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Weissman writes: "'Never bet on another man's game,' my father loved to say. It's a lesson Barack Obama never learned, especially in his military strikes against Islamic State."

 (photo: AFP)
(photo: AFP)

Why Obama Will Lose His Endless War in Syria and Iraq

By Steve Weissman, Reader Supported News

14 September 14


ever bet on another man’s game,” my father loved to say. It’s a lesson Barack Obama never learned, especially in his military strikes against Islamic State.

Islamic State, or ISIL, has only one way to keep the support of Iraq’s Sunni tribesmen and former Baathist supporters of Saddam Hussein. The blood-thirsty “fools of God” need to be seen defending their people against a Western invasion, which is precisely what Obama gives them.

He plays the role they purposely provoked with their brutal beheadings, summary executions, and sickening use of mass rape to keep their fighters happy. He becomes the foreign, Christian crusader defiling a Muslim land, and he does it in company with Iranian as well as Iraqi Shiites, whom Islamic State despises as heretics, and with the blessing of Sunni Arab leaders it correctly sees as outrageously corrupt.

In other words, the more jihadis Obama kills, the more Sunnis that Obama recruits to their ranks. Not a winning strategy.

Please do not read into this any defense of Islamic State. Though a response to centuries of Western abuse and colonialism, they are much too blood-thirsty and demented to deserve the least bit of sympathy, support, or solidarity.

Nor should we deny that they pose “a terrorist threat” to Europe and the United States, not to mention Washington’s Arab allies who – at least for now – safeguard Big Oil’s control of so much of the world’s supply of energy.

Realistically, the threat is far more limited than Obama wants us to believe, and nowhere near justifies calling in Central Command with its airpower and Special Forces. Even The New York Times, which shamed itself by beating the war drums in 2003, has rushed to remind readers that American intelligence sees “no immediate threat to the United States” from Islamic State in either Syria or Iraq.

So, let’s lower the volume and resist the counterproductive urges of chicken-hawks like Dick Cheney and the neocons – and of liberal interventionists like Hillary Clinton. By now we all should have learned to leave terrorists to lawmen, judges and juries, and the spies who have wasted so much time and treasure listening to our telephone calls and reading our emails.

The imperative here is exactly as Obama previously preached, and for which Hillary widely condemned him. “Don’t do stupid stuff.” Hillary is right in part. The old medical principle “First, do no harm” does not a foreign policy make. But giving Islamic State the war it wants will prove many times worse, as voters will hopefully come to see before they cast their ballots in 2016.

Besides being counterproductive, Obama’s war will also prove short-sighted. Go back and read how he had the CIA fly in arms, mostly from Libya, for the Saudis and Qataris to supply to supposedly moderate jihadis fighting Bashir al-Assad in Syria. Among those “moderates” were the ISIL militants, now Islamic State.

A few Cassandras, myself included, predicted that something like this would happen. Were we so much smarter than Obama and then CIA director David Petraeus? Not at all. We just listened, as they did not, to what history had to teach. We learned from the past the folly of covertly using Islamic groups, whether to protect Big Oil, drive the Soviet Union out of Afghanistan, or fight the Croats and Serbs in Bosnia, where the CIA flew in al-Qaeda militants from Azerbaijan.

Contrary to the overblown claims of many truthers and conspiratorialists, these episodes do not mean that Washington created or controlled its Islamic enemies. Not Islamic State. Not al-Qaeda. Not the Taliban. And certainly not the Iranian ayatollahs, some of whom the CIA bribed in 1953 to help overthrow Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh.

The truth, if I may borrow back the word, is less dramatic and more instructive. Simply put, Washington’s covert warriors funded, trained, and armed groups they could not control, strengthening them to bite America in the arse. As TV’s Mr. Rogers might have put it, “Okay, class, how do we spell ‘blowback?’”

Who, we have to wonder, will be the beneficiaries of Obama’s short-sighted and counterproductive war in Syria and Iraq? The answer seems obvious.

First will be the Iranians, the only real winners of the Bush-Cheney war in Iraq. Many of today’s deep thinkers called for Obama to ally overtly with Shiite Iran against Islamic State, a prospect that Henry Kissinger returned from the near-dead to warn against. Obama never mentioned Iran in laying out his strategy, but Central Command are likely working covertly even now with Iranian troops already fighting in Iraq.

The second winners will be the Sunni rulers and richies of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, whom Washington has covertly backed for several years. Only now the support will be more in the open.

The third winner will be Syria’s Bashir al-Assad, with whom Washington will likely work covertly to coordinate airstrikes against Islamic State forces in his country. Assad is the leader of the Alawites, a Shiite sect.

In short, Obama is helping draw the Shiite and Sunni pieces deeper into place, supercharging them for one of two very different outcomes. Either they will reach a rapprochement after more than 13 centuries of conflict. Inshallah. Or, if history holds, they will end up waging a cataclysmic sectarian war. This could be Obama’s legacy, for which the world will never forgive him.

A veteran of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement and the New Left monthly Ramparts, Steve Weissman lived for many years in London, working as a magazine writer and television producer. He now lives and works in France, where he is researching a new book, "Big Money and the Corporate State: How Global Banks, Corporations, and Speculators Rule and How to Nonviolently Break Their Hold."

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News. your social media marketing partner


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+23 # RMDC 2014-09-14 21:29
I think this analysis is correct -- Obama's bombing and killing of Iraqis and syrians will only create more ISIS adherents. we've seen that proved in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and others.

But Steve overlooks or misses one important point. Obama has not intention at all of doing any damage to ISIS. The opposite is the case. Obama's real target is Syria. He is taking the war to
Syria and will overthrow Assad and murder him just like he did to Qaddafi.

Obama's bombing in Syria will not be on ISIS targets but on Syrian targets. Obama will be arming what he calls "the moderate Syrian opposition" except that there is no moderate Syrian opposition. All fighters against the Assad government are US/Saudi funded mercenaries just like ISIS. So ISIS will get the weapons Obama gives to the moderates.
+9 # Pikewich 2014-09-14 23:00
How does this play out in Iraq and the surrounding region?

Even if you are correct in your analysis that this renewed war is to take out Syrian Assad, the consequences for every civilian in the region is horrendous.

Where is the benefit?

And a point of clarification, I believe Qadaffi was killed by rebel fighters when he tried to flee. Obummer assisted the collapse of the state which made that possible.
+19 # RMDC 2014-09-15 05:59
Pikewich -- the actual goal of the US and Israel for muslim or Arab nations is to destory them. Let them live in total chaos. Take a look at Gaza or the West Bank. This is the US/Israel image of what all Arab or Muslim nations should look like.

The nightmare for the US was Saddam's Iraq, with universal healthcare, employment, education, a modern road system, water treatment, electricity. Iraq under Saddam was moving from the developmental stage to first world living standards. Now Iraq is one of the poorest nations on earth and dead last in child health standards. That is the US goal and ISIS is playing a very vital role.

The US supports only Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain among Arab states and they have the exact same ideology as ISIS. In fact, most ISIS fighters have been recruited by Saudi intelligence working as a front for the CIA.

Obama and the neo-cons who run the US regime would be quite happy to see ISIS control all of the Middle East. There would be endless civil wars and the whole place would return to primitive living conditons. Gangs would control regions and these gangs would happily sell oil to the likes of BP, Shell, Exxon -- which are not much more than gangs themselves.
+3 # jdd 2014-09-15 08:28
True, until one of them shoots down an American or Israeli airliner. That will be the end of Obama.
+6 # Leonard R. Jaffee 2014-09-15 18:53
TO: RMDC (2014-09-15 05:59)

Very often, I disagree with your arguments & observations. Just rarely do I respond: mostly my disagreements relate to points bearing spare import.

In THIS instance, I respond because my reaction amuses me. I would not bother to disagree had I not agreed with the bulk of your comment's content. The matter would be moot.

So, why my "Reply"?

Your analysis is perfect — EXCEPT it misses (does not recognize) one vital, spoiling fact: The U.S. & U.K. power structures care only for one interest respecting Iraq & most of the rest of the Moslem world; and that one interest is OIL.

The matter is NOT that U.S. and U.K. Big Oil firms despair that they could not extract "enough" oil from a war-infested, chaos-ridden Moslem world. The matter is that if chaos blooms & proliferates in the Moslem Middle East & Asia, Big Oil will not be able to control (prevent "early" extraction of) the oil of the region, and, so, could not:

(a) assure that oil price will rise continuously

(b) control the timing of extraction, so extraction may not happen until the price is high as it can become

(c) cut costs (avoid extraction/refi nement expenses) while prices rise to high limit, so NET profits reach absolute-maximum


If chaos reigns, no one can control oil; hence Big Oil cannot guarantee itself NET-profit maximization. So, since Big Oil controls much conduct of the governments of the U.S. & U.K, the U.S. & U.K. will act to crush The Islamic State.
+4 # Leonard R. Jaffee 2014-09-15 19:14
TO: RMDC (2014-09-15 05:59)

A clarification of my first "Reply":

I wrote: "If chaos reigns, no one can control oil." [First sentence, last paragraph of my first "Reply."]

The problem is that in a state of violent chaos, Big Oil cannot, safely, take, or prevent the taking of, petroleum; and "small-time" extractors or purveyors (possibly the Islamic State) may grab some oil & market it to nations (like China or North Korea) or to lesser buyers (like African warlord types) whose positions or behaviors threaten U.S. or U.K. economic/hegemo ny-pursuing designs.
0 # tgemberl 2014-09-18 16:38
Why not just admit you fundamentally disagree with RMDC? You are denying his basic analysis of the situation. I think your analysis is more plausible. Oil interests could not desire an ongoing state of chaos in the Middle East. "Gangs would control regions and these gangs would happily sell oil to the likes of BP, Shell, Exxon"--not likely. You explain quite well why stability is necessary for the oil industry.
0 # tgemberl 2014-09-18 17:22
I think another question about RMDC's analysis: why is it important for him to make Saddam, Assad, and Qaddafi heroes?

One answer I can think of: at one point they were all clients of Russia. I'm guessing that's a priority for RMDC.
+33 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2014-09-14 23:24
Think Iraqi's will not soon forget that Bush and Cheney authorized the use of D U in Iraq. A weapon of mass destruction. Obama using D U? It is much heavier than lead and is a horribly devastating ammunition. Once fired from a weapon, D U starts on fire. Impacts a target, such as a tank or concrete bunker. When a tank is impacted, D U more often than not penetrates the tank. While inside the tank, D U continues to burn. Throwing off deadly radioactive dust. The impact to the tank creates a radioactive powder also outside the tank and is 60-70 % as deadly as Uranium. Once the projectile enters the tank compartment, it continues burning and the tank operator gets exposed. He or she inhales the deadly uranium powder. The powder affects the operator's DNA. A male tank operator now has unhealthy radiation affected sperm. Soldier at some point is discharged from the military. Returns home. Marries his sweetheart. Have children. Children most frequently are born with severe bodily defects. Born with one arm, one eye, no eyes. Hundreds of metric tons of D U have doused Southern Iraq. Gotten into water supplies, plants, animals. Will D U go away? Yes, in millions of years.

If you doubt any of what I'm saying, type into your computer address bar, "D U, cancer effects of in Iraq." Or type in what you want. As long as your input to the address bar includes D U, effects of on humans.

And Bush and Cheney said, "the Iraqi leader has weapons of mass destruction."
+33 # polfrosch 2014-09-15 00:42
Don´t forget the cancer death rate of Vietnam, which is 74%. A terrible record, even compared to the average of developing countries, which is 67%.(Western world: 49%)
And you just have to visit the areas in which Agent Orange (dioxin) was sprayed to see how many deformed children have been born and are born. The aftermath of a chemical war (With US soldiers as collateral damage.)

So will John Kerry advise the pentagon to bomb the pentagon in an "humanitarian intervention?"

Because the USA has a track record, it also is the only nation which used nuclear weapons of mass destruction against civilians in a terrorist act. (At least a major goal was to send a message to it´s still ally, but enemy in the making, the USSR.)

And it is doing it again and again - Now using depeleted uranium. The medical world knows it´s effects.

The US media keeps silent about them, while blurting out false accusations about the use of chemical weapons by Assad again and again - To start another war of agression. After helping to start a war of agression with 150.000 killed civilians, based on the lies they distributed to the public about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction again and again.

Which person on earth with a sane mind should trust US foreign policy?

Which person with a sane mind and a knowledge of history can trust the US media system with it´s abysmal track record?

They even failed to report the Holocaust during WW2.
+9 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2014-09-15 09:49
Good post. Not once have I read in the U.S. mass media about the U.S. using D U, a weapon of mass destruction in Iraq. D U is considered a "micro-nuke."
Spain, among some other countries wanted Bush extradited to face war criminal charges. What happened? "Let's make a deal." Hmm? Who made the deal? By the way, Bill Maher about a year ago reported 8 billion dollars were sent to Iraq. Neatly wrapped in cellophane, loaded on pallets. Just disappeared. Was reported but not investigated. Of course, to Bush/Cheney 8 billion dollars is grocery change. Why investigate? Should not be that hard to track down "missing" 8 billion dollars based on flight numbers, paper work. Or is it? I became of aware of D U, I believe, from Reader Supported News. About a year ago.
Keep go'n RSN.
+3 # geraldom 2014-09-16 00:08
Eldon, the following URLs are just a few of the several sites where you can watch the full and complete documentary entitled, "Iraq's Missing Billions." It is really heart breaking to watch in spots because parts of the film flashback to what was happening in hospitals in Iraq which were supposed to receive part of this money to improve the conditions in these hospitals but never made it there, while young Iraqi children were suffering and dying for lack of proper medical care, not because the Iraqi doctors were inept or incompetent, but because the hospitals didn't have the proper equipment or medicines to take care of these children. Imagine if you were the parents of these children watching them die.

Google "Iraq's Missing Billions."

I recorded this documentary many years ago off of FSTV onto DVDs. It's about 48 minutes long.
+1 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2014-09-16 15:03
Glad to hear from you. For so long, it appeared that I was one of the few who wrote about the missing billions.
0 # geraldom 2014-09-16 23:34
I remember the film well, especially where an Iraqi father is attempting to save his two newly born babies that are in incubators that are not working properly, and the doctor had him running around town to find something to fix the problem with the incubators with his babies inside while the money from the billions of dollars that was supposed to be used to fix hospital facilities like the one in the film was being ripped off by American contractors.

The babies died.

Talking about incubators, I clearly remember George Bush Senior lying to the American public using a young Iraqi girl who said that she had personally witnessed Iraqi forces in Kuwait dumping babies out incubators. The U.S. lies so much!

When you consider the number of innocent Iraqis who died, men, women, and children, as a result of the U.S. wars of aggression in Iraq under George Bush Senior, Bill Clinton, and most especially, G.W. Bush, the U.S. has a lot to answer for in terms of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Over a half-million Iraqi children alone under the age of five had died just as a result of the illegal and heinous sanctions pressed against Iraq right after the first gulf war, sanctions that lasted until after G.W. Bush illegally invaded and occupied Iraq in 2003.
+12 # riverhouse 2014-09-15 08:22
Why not just try the most sensible thing? Divorce Israel and the Middle East. Who needs 'em?
+8 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2014-09-15 10:34
"We" were raised with, by the Bible. We are controlled by an out-dated middle eastern philosophy. Mythology? You decide. Maybe it is time for the U.S.and its citizens to grow up.
+3 # ritawalpoleague 2014-09-15 14:04
Yep, RMDC. So sad but true:

+4 # geraldom 2014-09-16 00:44
RMDC, what scares me so at this point is that an American president, Obama in this case, can tell the whole world to GFI, that the United States is now so powerful that it can now violate international law with impunity by attacking any vulnerable sovereign and independent nation (it doesn't like), in this case, Syria, whenever it so desires and that country better not fight back or defend itself, or else, and there is absolutely no organization in the world that has the power or is willing to hold the United States accountable.

If Putin allows this to happen to Syria without threatening some form of military intervention, then Bashar Assad is a dead man and it tells the U.S. that they can do anything it wishes and not have to worry about Russia taking any action. And, what was the whole point of Syria destroying all of its chemical weapons to avoid being attacked by the United States when the U.S. was planning on doing it anyway?

Reference the following URL:

I'm sick and tired of Putin taking strong threats constantly from the U.S. and not, just once, telling the U.S. to back off. Check out the following URL:
+26 # Lucretius 2014-09-14 21:40
I believe the US and Saudis are going to bomb Assad's forces not ISIS. The Saudis are the very people who support ISIS. I believe Weissman is VERY wrong on this.

Here's why. Read this guy.

But he's right. Obama's legacy in the Middle East is one of the most horrific--until Hillary arrives on the scene. God help us all--all the gods, Muslims Christian and Jewish!
+37 # Pikewich 2014-09-14 22:54
No kidding. Hillary in office is a terrifying prospect.
+19 # polfrosch 2014-09-14 23:30
Thank you for the link. Excellent article.

And I think your assumption is dead on.

As a basic rule: Never trust the "fighting terrorism" pretext if there is a geostrategic agenda pointing to the same direction.

Terrorism and special operations are the toolkit of the deep state to create the public demand for the very actions they have already decided on to implement their strategy.

Isis might be a self-created Saudi/UAE/USA Frankenstein monster, a mishap - but that doesn´t mean it can´t be used according to grand strategy:

- civil wars and failed states for the middle east (Iran is next!),

- attacking Russia and preventing a stronger Europe (result of combining Russias economy with European technology, especially German) by creating civil war in Ukraine
- diminishinh oil and gas income for Russia (sanctions)
- taking out their harbours providing access to the mediterranean sea (Sewastopol/Cri mea and Tartus/Syria)

I just wonder when we will see the surge of islamistic terrorism in China and witness the strong desire of the free US media to report 24/7 about "China the bully", opression of minorities and human rights abuses there.

We luckily survived the cold war without thermonuclear Armageddon.

We won´t survive a New American Century. I don´t trust the US empire with it´s culture of violence to disappear in a civilized manner, like the USSR did.

Someone or an alliance will have to hospitalize (take out) the real global terrorist.
+11 # polfrosch 2014-09-15 00:50
On a second thought, calling Isis a Frankenstein monster is injustice to Frankensteins creature. In Mary Shelleys text the "monster" curses his creator, he just wants to live in peace - away from the lynch mob - with a female companion - and finally kills himself in desperation. A very different attitude. I should have used only the word "monster".
+13 # futhark 2014-09-15 08:44
I agree that ISIS is a monster created by the USA and Saudis. I disagree that its creation was accidental and do not believe it exists independent of its creators.

ISIS seems to be simply the current in a long line of entities set up by the military-indust rial complex and the state surveillance apparatus as a recipient of bullets, bombs, and missiles and rallying point against which the public can be mobilized to support more military appropriations and sacrifice more of their liberty.

This pattern goes back at least as far as 1983, with Operation Urgent Fury, the invasion of Grenada, a tiny Caribbean island nation whose leftist government supposedly posed a imminent threat to the United States. Since then we have repeatedly been called to arms against a variety of "enemies" who posed no tangible threat to the United States, including Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda, the Taliban, Muammar Gadaffi, and so forth. While some of these may have had independent origins, others are traceable to activities of the CIA.

If ISIS did not spring into existence virtually overnight in some kind of spontaneous generation, it would have had to be created by the MIA and SSA. I think it was, and was created deliberately.
+3 # RMDC 2014-09-15 05:53
Lucretius -- thanks. The link is good.
+9 # barryg 2014-09-14 21:58
I think Steve is correct in his prediction about the outcome of attacking ISIS but he is naive to think that the US leaders do not no what they are doing. I believe they are creating exactly the scenario they want based on the Roman and then British technique of divide and conquer. But it no longer works. He needs to think more like a sociopath or perhaps psychopath.
+7 # Pikewich 2014-09-14 22:52
Quoting barryg:
I think Steve is correct in his prediction about the outcome of attacking ISIS but he is naive to think that the US leaders do not no what they are doing. I believe they are creating exactly the scenario they want based on the Roman and then British technique of divide and conquer. But it no longer works. He needs to think more like a sociopath or perhaps psychopath.

I agree. I doubt everyone making these decisions is unwilling or unable to read and analyze the history and behaviors of the region, or too dumb to realize the obvious consequences.

Why they would continue to destabilize the area in this manner remains a bit of a mystery (not counting the outrageous profit motive for the war industry).
+2 # tomtom 2014-09-14 22:51
Perhaps, we're going about it all wrong. We are professionals and very experienced at supporting dictatorships around the world with bribes. We could offer them piles of money and a seat at the U.N. It's worth consideration. You know, before things get out of hand.
+8 # Thirdeye 2014-09-14 23:11
Just like the 9/11 attack provoked George W into destroying our civil rights when he unleashed the NSA on American citizens, exactly what Osama Bin Laden wanted.
+19 # Old Uncle Dave 2014-09-14 23:22
In the list of who benefits, you left off the banks and other corporations who profit from war. If war caused the owners to lose money, peace would break out in a heartbeat.
-2 # RICHARDKANEpa 2014-09-15 01:54
You forget needlessly squabbling with Iran which barks at Israel only to get Sunni Muslims to feel solidarity with Shiites

Iran can educate us to an undercurrent of Sunni Militancy over being upset with Muslims who who allow votes not dictates from the king to decide what is right
-8 # ericlane 2014-09-15 02:50
All of this is blowback from the Bush/Cheney idiotic invasion of Iraq. I don't think Obama has any other option. We really can't sit idly by as a bunch of religious wackos threaten an entire region with mass beheadings and rape. The alternative is to do nothing. A boil can become an infection and then much worse. Again, I don't think there are any other options.
0 # Johnny 2014-09-16 16:48
"Religious wackos" committing genocide? Obviously, you are referring to Israel.
+12 # humanmancalvin 2014-09-15 02:52
All these Hillary is a Hawk & will take the US to was may or may not be right. But a President Romney, Perry, Christie or whatever goat they can sneak past the Tea Baggers will without hesitation have this country ass & elbow deep in the Mid-East. Hell, why not even set up Iran 1st making a Gulf of Tonkin incident appear to strike the 1st blow.
Democrat: maybe war.
Republican: foregone conclusion, never mind privatizing Social Security, gutting Food Stamps, more tax breaks for the 1% & more taxes for the rest of we slobs. And on & on & on.
+7 # Dion Giles 2014-09-15 03:49
The Enlightenment ushered in the Age of Reason, the American Revolution and the open society. So why on earth are countries that benefit from it spilling blood to further theocracy? Because that is precisely what President Obama is foreshadowing.

The secular state of Syria has its back to the wall under years of attack from terrorist "rebel" groups all seeking to overthrow it and establish theocracy in which the law of the land is derived from "holy books". Anti-human in Mohammed's day and anti-human now.

The latest, Islamic State, is the same only even more vicious, not only against token Westerners but also against hundreds, maybe thousands, of Syrians and Iraqis.

Whatever Obama's motive is, it is not to defend and promote human liberty and the open society. When the guns stopped in 1945 the Axis slithered out of its stronghold in Germany and Japan to link with its metastases and regroup globally. The war is still on between the Enlightenment and the throwback forces of darkness and reaction and we all remain in harm's way.
+10 # Clovis 2014-09-15 04:03
While I absolutely agree that this umpteenth Ombomber war will as big a fiasco as the others, I think those "beheadings" are completely phony (the Times of London's experts agreed), third-rate Hollywood special effects (courtesy of Rita Katz's SITE organization, which brought us all those fake Bin Laden videos) designed to whip the credulous public into a war frenzy. But it won't matter that the war is a fiasco. The point is not to "win" any of these wars. The deeper intent is to create further destablization, the better to perpetuate the US presence in the region to secure the resources and allow Israel to steal more land commit more massacres while everyone is looking the other way.
+11 # jdd 2014-09-15 05:24
The key right now is forcing Obama to release the 28 pages of the 911 Joint Commission report that were classified by Bush and detail Saudi financing of 911 hijhackers. An exposure of the Saudi role will explode Obama's war plans and the intended Saudi role. They are. as former Sen. Graham stated on a TV interview,"play ing both sides" by pretending to help destroy IS and covertly funding it at the same time. The protection racket they've enjoyed since 9/11 by two presidents needs to end.Now.
+7 # Dion Giles 2014-09-15 08:58
Absolutely. An enduring memory is from Michael Moore's movie Fahrenheit 911 showing all those planes carrying Saudis out of the country on 11 and 12.09.01 while the American people were in emergency no-fly lockdown.
+15 # walt 2014-09-15 07:29
All excellent observations, but one point is missing. For whom is the USA being pressured into war? Although the war hawks are once again working overtime to frighten the people into hysteria, the average American is not overwhelmed with concern for what happens in the Middle East, especially as our country and infrastructure are in serious need.

Follow the money and watch the lobbies. They win every time and we citizens pay with our lives and tax dollars. More war just brings more war, not meaningful solutions or peace.
+5 # riverhouse 2014-09-15 08:24
That is the most well thought post in the stream. Keep it simple, stupid, is a good way to think about primrose paths.
+6 # Dion Giles 2014-09-15 20:19
For whom indeed? Let's see now. Who already occupies swathes of Syria? Who draws on American subsidies to fund the most pervasive, anti-American and intrusive foreign lobby in America? Is it India? Iran? Iceland? Ireland? Indonesia? - drat, I know it's I-something.
+6 # RMDC 2014-09-16 05:10
Dion -- you almost got to it -- Israel is the nation you are looking for.

The Neo-con movement is really a support program for Israel. The movement if filled with dual citizens. It is really wierd that a neo-con like Dick Cheney really is a front for Israel. Netanyahoo is a charter member of the neo-cons.
+1 # Activista 2014-09-16 13:45
We do not live in democracy/free media anymore - to survive one can not criticise AIPAC/Israel -
their operation - your enemy is my friend is main cause (Iran and Syria are perceived enemy of Israel) -
+8 # Citizen Mike 2014-09-15 07:37
Endless war is what our economy demands to drive corporate profits. That is literally the bottom line. Defense contractors are the last viable domestic manufacturing industry we have.
+8 # Kootenay Coyote 2014-09-15 08:02
To the list of corrupt ‘winners’, add one more class: the warmongering Weapons Industry.
-9 # Roland 2014-09-15 08:12
Steve is right we shouldn’t give them the war they want. We should give them the war they don’t want.*

Sunnis who were repulsed by Al Qaeda sided with us during the surge. I don’t think ISIS, which is worse to them than Al Qaeda, is winning the hearts of most Sunnis in Iraq and Syria.

*Is it too late now? One problem to this is that, should we spend lives and treasure there to prevent this threat (if you don’t believe they are an immediate threat now, why let them grow with all their money into one?) we may only build Iran’s influence in Iraq and the surrounding area. I understand Iraq checked with Iran before installing their new leader. Did they ask for our approval?

If we had left troops there (McCain and Romney and the generals said we should and Obama said that was the wrong thing to do, regardless of whether you believe we could have or not) the situation would be different. With leadership Iran wouldn’t have the influence with Iraq and ISIS would not have grown to is present size.
+4 # dsepeczi 2014-09-15 14:19
Quoting Roland:

If we had left troops there (McCain and Romney and the generals said we should and Obama said that was the wrong thing to do, regardless of whether you believe we could have or not) the situation would be different. With leadership Iran wouldn’t have the influence with Iraq and ISIS would not have grown to is present size.

I know that you have been told this not less than a thousand times, Roland, but .... repeat after me .... Bush signed the agreement to remove our troops from Iraq .... Bush signed the agreement to remove our troops from Iraq ... now keep repeating that until the truth finally gets through the "partisan bubble" you've created around your thought process. Besides, what qualifies Cheney as an expert on Iraq ? The Bush/Cheney/Rum sfeld/McCain cabal got every single thing they ever said about Iraq WRONG !!!
-4 # Roland 2014-09-15 16:01
And you have probably been told a thousand times that it was expected to be negotiated. Obama even looked into the numbers the generals said would be necessary. He didn't negotiate. Why would he? He stated he didn't believe in doing it! He said it was wrong to do it!
Bush and Cheney got the surge right (Obama didn't) and they would have never left Iraq that way.
+8 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2014-09-15 19:34
Iraq was stable before the fake premise invasion. What is Iraq like now? Doused with D U. A weapon of mass destruction by the U.S. military. Don't think the Iraqi's will easily or ever forget.
-1 # Roland 2014-09-16 06:39
By fake premise do you mean, what the world thought to be true?
0 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2014-09-17 08:31
Fox News in complicity with the military/indust rial complex have the propaganda ability to take an idea that is essentially false and make the public think it is true. But then, Americans do not have the critical thinking skills necessary to discern truth-except when it is too late.
+10 # riverhouse 2014-09-15 08:20
It's not Obama who will lose. It is the United States who will lose. No president can win this nonsensical "war on terror". It's a totally ridiculous concept and we are simply going own circles. We can debate Bush Cheney and Iraq, we can blabber on about McCain, we can try to pin it on Obama. They are all the same when it comes to this ludicrous 'war on terror'. Someone should ask the whole stupid lot of them what exactly this "war on terror" is and what is a reasonable end to expect because no one knows what this "war on terror" is all about nor what we can expect for an ending. We keep letting ourselves be distracted into partisan sides and all sides are a failure.
+8 # Philothustra 2014-09-15 10:42
The whole point of the "war on terror" is that it is endless, as long as terror can be fomented among the masses. Hence, the WOT will go on forever, and a permanently terrorized middle east (and American cities and towns with militarized police forces) will be realized. But don't be so sure these wars will turn out the way all the various master planners expect...
+4 # dsepeczi 2014-09-15 14:20
Quoting riverhouse:
It's not Obama who will lose. It is the United States who will lose. No president can win this nonsensical "war on terror". It's a totally ridiculous concept and we are simply going own circles. We can debate Bush Cheney and Iraq, we can blabber on about McCain, we can try to pin it on Obama. They are all the same when it comes to this ludicrous 'war on terror'. Someone should ask the whole stupid lot of them what exactly this "war on terror" is and what is a reasonable end to expect because no one knows what this "war on terror" is all about nor what we can expect for an ending. We keep letting ourselves be distracted into partisan sides and all sides are a failure.

I couldn't agree more !
0 # tpm713 2014-09-15 18:43
We should bring many resources home and secure the crap out of our border so we dont have to worry about them attacking the homeland.
+3 # RMDC 2014-09-16 05:15
It is the people of the middle east who really lose. Can you imagine living in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Palestine, Somalia, Sudan, and many other muslim nations that have had to suffer the onslaught of US/Israeli war for about 60 years, or since then end of WW II. The last period since 9-11 has been the worst and it appears that it will get even worse. Take a look at Gaza. That is the Israeli/neo-con vision for Arabs (except for their co-conspirators in Saudi Arabia and the Emirates).
+4 # Charles3000 2014-09-15 08:20
S. Weissiam does not understand or ignores the options available to Obama nor does he go to the true ultimate result of Obama taking any of the options he has. But first, the statement "ISIL is a threat to the US" is an incomplete sentence. The complete sentence is "ISIL is a threat to US hegemony in the mid east" and that is what it is all about. Obama had only two options, all out war or what he choose. The eventual outcome will be the same no matter which option he takes. US hegemony in the mid east will end and the Arabs will once again control their own lands. I think Obama knows this too but just walking out now from the mid east was not an option. He picked the least costly way forward.
+6 # Jingze 2014-09-15 09:03
War is good for the American economy, especially the rich CEOs in the arms business. And it takes the minds of the proles off the way they are being bilked at home.
-1 # jazzman633 2014-09-15 14:13
It's pathetic -- all this horror over religion, over different versions of a story that billions of people around the world do not care about. And why should they?

The Muslims are not going to reconcile, so cataclysmic war is likely. Let Allah sort 'em out.

Yes, it's about oil, power, money and other factors as noted by various commentators. But it's religion -- primitive beliefs and infallible holy books -- that really drives the hatred and violence.
+8 # dsepeczi 2014-09-15 14:23
Quoting jazzman633:
It's pathetic -- all this horror over religion, over different versions of a story that billions of people around the world do not care about. And why should they?

The Muslims are not going to reconcile, so cataclysmic war is likely. Let Allah sort 'em out.

Yes, it's about oil, power, money and other factors as noted by various commentators. But it's religion -- primitive beliefs and infallible holy books -- that really drives the hatred and violence.

I slightly disagree. The organizers of the war are fighting for resources. Religion is what the organizers of the wars use to recruit / galvanize their fighters.
+3 # RMDC 2014-09-16 06:30
jazz -- are you referring to the Christian crusade in the middle east. Muslims are not coming into Christian lands with regime change on their minds.

Yes, there is oil, Israel, and all of that. But I also think that deep down in Euro/American christianity there is a hatred for Islam and a desire to exterminate it as a heresy. This once extended to Judaism and Jews were persecuted, but that seems to be over with. It could come back. But the deep and unacknowledged hatred that Christians have for Muslims is always right out in the open. Most of the solders in the US military are fundamentalist christians and they often say they are killing Muslims for their religion.

Religious fanaticism is the way of the future. Huntington's Clash of Civilizations saw religious extremism rising everywhere, with the Christians being the worst because they have most of the weapons, money, and war experience.
0 # BKnowswhitt 2014-09-15 20:47
Obama lose endless war (His) in Iraq. My version: Obama will win his war defined as he did to destabilize Isis then support ground troops Iraqi in three years. That will happen. His war this one is not endless. It's a function of destabilization in the Middle East and the evil war in Syria. I support the use of US troops to stop a group that champions the killing of civilians. That is what Terror is and defined as today. Killing innocents to gain your own ends. Someone here suggested giving them money and a seat at the U.N. Why so they can espouse their hate for the West and their phoney ill thought intifada? So far only India has tried to bargain with the extremist killers. And they have failed .. unfortunately it's an ugly reality one we can not hardly afford to look away from ..
+3 # RMDC 2014-09-16 06:12
BKnowwhitt -- you say, "I support the use of US troops to stop a group that champions the killing of civilians. That is what Terror is and defined as today. Killing innocents to gain your own ends."

I guess this means you'd support invading Washington to regime change Obama. His drone program kills about 100 innocent civilians for every suspected terrorist it kills. Bush's war against Iraq killed over one million innocent civilians. What should we do about that. Obama's new war will kill god only knows how many innocent civilians.

Bombs are weapons of mass destruction. They kill everything on the ground where they fall. Or they injure them. Smart bombs miss their targets more than they hit. All bombing is indescriminate killing.

So, what do you say -- on to Washignton DC and root out the terrorists and baby killers.
0 # BKnowswhitt 2014-09-16 20:05
Nope! On subject on this subject. These Muslim Extremist Terrorists (it's not fair to call them Muslim to real Muslims and that's one of the problems) - these animals don't compare to how our passive aggressive leaders over the years have committed acts you dislike. You and many here are in a big disconnect on the reality that this is real it's not just in Bush Cheney caused Iraq .. it's in north africa syria and India as well. Horrific killing of innocents who only want democracy freedom and a chance in life .. something that we are supposed to stand up for and uphold ... that's all ...
0 # BKnowswhitt 2014-09-16 20:41
Oh yeah one more. Obama must fail according to Rich and you all here. Then your extremist leftie views no matter how long gone they be .. will be correct .. so the story in the story here is that You all hope that Obama's attempt to right a big big wrong in the world .. a world you folks never ever venture into .. here in the USA insulated from it all .. a complete disconnect from the realities that I at least bring forth ..
+3 # moonrigger 2014-09-16 08:31
Wow, this thread is probably one of the most thoughtful and informative I've read all year. Although the topic(s) is horrific, the gestalt of it makes me realize that at least we're all on the same page, and have been paying attention, and in sharing our perceptions and the data that backs them up, are coalescing into something stronger by far than our individual parts. This is a good thing if we are to move forward as a force for change. Yes, it seems we have little sway most of the time, but you can see just from this smattering of thought that we DO. And if we are getting this far, then think what's happening elsewhere.

Suppose they gave a war, and nobody came?
-1 # Jingze 2014-09-16 17:35
Simply put - Obama is a loser.
0 # RMDC 2014-09-16 19:43
Jingze -- yes Obama is a loser but it is only because he is the lackey of the neo-cons. If he had any balls, he'd tell the neo-cons to go fuck themselves and then he could be quite a good president. But he is afraid of people like Dick Cheney and what he might say. Cowards are losers.
-2 # BKnowswhitt 2014-09-17 17:59
You wouldn't have the balls to act on your criticism of Obama .. and you're a fucking idiot on your assessment of what's really going on .. other than that .. you don't know shit ..
0 # LauriceTatum 2015-08-28 08:47
It does not take a brain surgeon or International Affairs expert to see something that should have been
done all along!!!!! That is re-educate the extremist mentality on ways of playing and getting along with their neighbors. Hell those people can't even formulate a "modus vivendi" among themselves. So then what logically can we expect, but a continuation of the same old, hate, bombings, beheadings, murder rape and robbery done in the name of their  particular brand of Islam. Until the day the West starts under taking that effort of course it going to be an endless war. THINK ABOUT IT!

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