RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment

Grayson writes: "For the past decade, we have purported to 'train' the Iraqi military and police, at the cost of at least $24 billion. That's almost $100 for every man, woman and child in America."

Representative Alan Grayson. (photo: AP)
Representative Alan Grayson. (photo: AP)

ISIS: You Can't Defeat Somebody With Nobody

By Alan Grayson, Reader Supported News

27 September 14


lashback, 2000: At a military checkpoint on the side of a road in Lesotho, an officer pointed an automatic weapon at me, and asked for $20. I took out my business card, I handed it to him, and I told him that I worked with the U.S. government and I didn't need to give him $20. He pretended to read the card (he was obviously illiterate), he smiled, and with his machine gun, he then waived me back to my car. Perhaps he said "Have a nice day"; I don't recall specifically.

Flashback, 2001: On a street in Myanmar, I negotiated with a shopkeeper over a curio. There were some soldiers leaning against a wall down the block. When we had a deal, he told me that I had to pay him in the alley, not in the street. I did so, and then asked him why. He explained that if the soldiers had seen me handing him money, they would have come and taken it away from him. They wouldn't take it away from me, but they would take it away from him.

Because that's what soldiers do, in most countries. Like fish gotta swim.

For the past decade, we have purported to "train" the Iraqi military and police, at the cost of at least $24 billion. That's almost $100 for every man, woman and child in America. We have undertaken this training even though in the Middle East, many millennia ago, the Iraqis' ancestors invented the concepts of both the military and the police, at a time when our ancestors were drawing pretty pictures on cave walls employing colored dirt.

Such training consisted primarily of a one-month paid vacation to the neighboring country of Jordan. American instructors who did not speak a word of Arabic were paid roughly $170,000 per year to teach "ethics" -- ethics! -- to these trainees. For sure, a good time was had by all.

We used to be good at training blood-thirsty killers. Google "School of Americas," and see what I mean. In the old days, we trained the caudillos of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Peru and, in Africa, Gambia. When did we lose our touch?

Anyone who has spent any significant amount of time observing soldiers and police officers in Third World countries like Iraq and Syria will tell you that it's ridiculous to think that any amount of "training" will make them want to put their head into the meat-grinder called "war." That simply is not the gig.

Here is the gig: In countries like Iraq with vast amounts of unemployment, being in the military or police (not a big difference between the two, in their minds) means a steady income -- in Iraq, around $500 a month. In addition to that, if you are posted somewhere other than in your hometown, you can steal whatever you get your hands on. That's it. That's the job. It has nothing to do with shooting at people, much less killing people. And for sure, absolutely for sure, it has nothing to do with being shot at. That sounds dangerous.

And no amount of training is going to change that. You can't train people to commit suicide.

But what about our military, you ask? Well, our military has gotten very good at killing without dying. Take drone warfare, for instance -- thousands of kills, no U.S. military deaths. In the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the death rate for U.S. soldiers was just above 1 percent -- which is just above the death rate each year for the U.S. population as a whole. Moreover, our military doesn't have anything else to do except "the mission"; it doesn't enjoy the same opportunities for ... "enrichment" ... that attracts young men in countries like Iraq.

Let's compare that to the death rate for Iraqis who counterattack against ISIS. It's roughly the same as the death rate from Ebola disease.

Everyone recognizes that ISIS cannot be defeated by bombing and missile strikes alone. It just doesn't work that way. ISIS now controls a population of nine million people, including the second-largest city in Iraq. When it comes to ground forces occupying urban territory, you can't defeat somebody with nobody.

So then what is the "plan" from our leadership? To try to reanimate the dead corpse of the Iraqi Army. Also, to assemble a ferocious regiment of orthodontists and bookkeepers to take back eastern Syria from ISIS. And how will we assemble such a force? By giving them a one-month paid vacation -- not in Jordan this time, but in Saudi Arabia.

Not going to happen. I regret to say this, but even with U.S. air support, there is no way that the Iraqi Army or the "moderate Syrian rebels" are going to defeat ISIS. And by the way, there are no "moderate Syrian rebels." We might as well arm leprechauns riding bareback into battle on unicorns. If you don't believe me, just ask the CIA.

So realistically, the current strategy is nothing but air strikes. And how effective are these air strikes against ISIS? Well, the first ones destroyed some oil refineries in ISIS-controlled territories. Those attacks increased the price of oil by approximately three dollars a barrel this week. And the United States imports almost eight million barrels a day. So these attacks have cost us $24 million a day in higher gasoline costs alone -- almost 10 cents a gallon. That's showing them!

Oil powers Saudi Arabia and the UAE bravely joined in these air attacks that increased the price of oil. Surprise, surprise. Are they laughing at us?

But not all is lost. Assuming for the sake of the argument that ISIS is something more than a band of theatric psychopaths, and actually does represent a threat to some fundamental U.S. strategic interest, here is how you could defeat ISIS militarily. Right now, Iraq says that it wants no foreign soldiers fighting ISIS in Iraq. So you give Iraq a firm deadline to defeat ISIS and take back western Iraq under international air cover. Let's say six months, which is how long it took for ISIS to occupy the territory.

If that fails -- and it very, very likely would -- then you acknowledge that the government of Iraq is unable to control its own territory, which is the most basic function of any national government. Under the auspices of the UN and the Arab League -- both of which have already authorized military action against ISIS -- you then assemble an international Sunni fighting force and deploy it against ISIS.

Now, let's suppose that the neighboring Arab League countries refused to provide such a force. What does that tell us? Why should we defend them, when they won't defend themselves?

But that's unlikely, because three Sunni Arab countries already have said that they would populate such a force, and with prodding from the United States, more would join. That force largely would consist of soldiers who speak Arabic, who look like the Sunnis in Iraq and Syria, who understand the religion and the customs, and who would not be regarded by the locals as invaders. Unlike the Iraqi Army, they have responsibilities other than cashing paychecks and looting from the locals, and they would be able to keep their own casualties down to what modern military forces view as acceptable levels.

That is how you defeat ISIS.

Is this realistic plan to defeat ISIS with Arab League forces ever going to happen? Probably not. Our present leaders have no interest whatsoever in action orchestrated by the United Nations or the Arab League. They don't have the chutzpah to tell Iraq, "look - you've failed to defend your territory from a terrorist group, why don't you give the other Arabs a shot at it?" And it would take too much effort to assemble a real fighting coalition, not a Potemkin-village "Coalition of the Willing" or a "Core Coalition" or whatever the polling says that they should call it these days.

I hope that I'm wrong, but I predict that our air attacks, without international Arab League "boots on the ground," will not defeat ISIS in western Iraq or in eastern Syria. I also predict that this war will fade from the news, just as the earlier war in Iraq did. I also predict that we will continue to throw half a trillion dollars each year at the military-industrial complex, which has now successfully transitioned from Osama bin Laden's corpse to a new bogeyman.

And it doesn't have to be that way. Peace, anyone?


Rep. Alan Grayson your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+62 # ER444 2014-09-27 13:28
Peace, Alan.
+17 # Radscal 2014-09-27 15:45
"We used to be good at training blood-thirsty killers... When did we lose our touch?

We trained, armed and helped fund ISIL/ISIS/IS. In fact, Congress just held a special session to agree to more training, arming and funding of these "moderate Sunni rebels" whom Grayson concedes are indistinguishab le from the "blood-thirsty killers" of ISIL, so it doesn't look like we lost "our touch."

Mr. Grayson is often spot-on, but this article is just plain bizarre.

ISIL has been selling oil for 1/3 the going rate, which was driving down prices on the worldwide market, which Grayson rightly points out is the reason some Arab oil nations took part in bombing oil fields, but ISIL is supported by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other members of Obama's "coalition of the willing," so calling for them to invade Iraq and Syria to destroy ISIL is just plain bizarre.

I suspect the plan is to Balkanize Iraq and "regime change" Assad.
+7 # mighead 2014-09-28 05:59
Exactly my thoughts...

This is one of my favorite sites for 'the real story' on what's going on in the world:

They have a great article on the M-E from 2006 showing a US army map of a 'Balkanized' M-E.

Just like the Balkans...we wanted Iraq to end as 3 separate states based on religion.

The idea of Balkanization is to chop large states like Yugoslavia into small states (as small as you can make them) so that they will eternally be at war with each other and so small they will have no ability to affect anybody else. Thus, Balkanizing Yugoslavia completely neutralized it as a political entity.

So in 2006, we drew up a Sunni Iraq...and a Shia Iraq...and a new huge Kurdistan as a separate state.

As to 'regime change' of Assad...I agree. I think ISIS is merely the pretext we're using to make that happen. That has been our agenda and we've been working on it since sending all of Kaddafi's weapons to OUR rebel forces in Syria out of our fake CIA embassy (the kind with no Marine guards!!!) in Benghazi in 2011. See the link to The Red Line and the Rat Line article in RSN below. It's an article on our activities in Benghazi that was first published in the London Book Review. This is the link to the LBR article:
+4 # Radscal 2014-09-28 09:18
Thanks for the link to the "new ME" map. I read Global Research, but don't remember seeing that article.

I've read Hersh's article on the Red Line fiasco, and yeah, the U.S. provided weapons to the "rebels" in Libya before March, 2011 and was shipping them to Syria by late 2012.

Perhaps you're familiar with Ambassador Robert Ford then. GR did a nice piece on him. He's a link between "al Qaida in Iraq," the "Libyan Rebels" and the "Syrian Rebels."
+6 # geraldom 2014-09-28 12:20
The following article came out today on Yahoo news:

It's entitled "Russia calls for 'reset 2.0' with United States."

Can someone tell me how much more crap Putin and Russia have to take from the western powers before they finally wake up to the reality that they can never tame or make a true peace with the United States (or NATO), that the ultimate and unchanging and unstoppable goal of the U.S. is the complete takeover of the world and, therefore, the ultimate demise of the only two countries left in the world that have any chance of stopping the march of world domination by the United States, Russia and China.

Russia had Reset 1.0 when Hillary Clinton was SOS, and look what it got Russia. The U.S. and NATO, its puppet army in Europe, have moved even closer to Russia's western border with eastern Europe, and are now militarizing the Baltic states like Poland and are threatening to include Georgia and Moldova, not to mention Ukraine, into the EU and NATO. Russia can’t afford to once again act the part of the fool by falling for Reset 2.0, so why is it even bothering to try? Imagine what Hillary would do when it comes to Russia and China if she were to become president in 2016!

+3 # geraldom 2014-09-28 12:21

And, why is Putin holding back on proactively protecting Syria from what is obviously a covert plan by the U.S. (through the backdoor on the pretext of destroying ISIS) of overthrowing the sovereign nation of Syria under Bashar Assad and establishing another puppet regime in the middle east who will take its marching orders from the United States? If Russia does not intervene to protect one of the few allies it has left in the region, the current govt of Syria will fall under the control of the United States. And, will Russia proactively protect its other major ally in the region, Iran, when the U.S. attempts to overthrow (and it will) its regime? Or, will Russia end up throwing both nations underneath the bus so-to-speak and, eventually, itself?
+2 # Helen Marshall 2014-09-29 08:42
And you might ask yourself which Middle Eastern country that we regard as a major strategic ally would benefit from the dismemberment of Iraq and Syria.
-3 # RobertMStahl 2014-09-28 07:29
Exactly! Why can no one tell a bubble from a sphere? Where is there any measurement, any use of context for the absence of evidence, or a finite explanation of anything reasoned by induction, instead of the impossible notion of the infinite? Frege, the courts and truth, huh? The Mad Hatter? Shame on you Grayson. Thumbs up, Radscal.
+2 # mighead 2014-09-28 07:49
IMO: ISIS was SUPPOSED to be used as the 'tool' to take out Maliki in Iraq...which it DID...and we and all of the states you mentioned had agreed on that plan. The objective was to replace the Maliki Shiite govt with a 'Western Friendly' Sunni govt.

But somehow along the way...they got a smart and charismatic leader who slipped their leash!!! Baghdadi!!!

So he took over a couple of oil refineries in Syria...and is using that business to fund his operations.

Then he was tasked - with the full knowledge and cooperation of both the Iraq govt and take out he started out with Mosul...and as instructed and pre-arranged from the top...the army laid down its weapons and 'fled the field'.

It's important to understand here that the govt and army were completely infiltrated long before Mosul. In addition, Baghdadi has sleeper cells when he took Mosul, those sleeper cells rallied in his behalf. All of this was pre-arranged to oust Maliki...but apparently Baghdadi added some 'twists' of his own.

He robbed all of the banks in Mosul while he was at it. I think he got $500M. Then he robbed all of the Iraq Army stores of all of their US weapons.

And he repeated that in every town and city he took.

So he has all of the money and weapons he needs.

Now it seems we're using him to take out Assad. But taking away his oil revenues. We still need him, so it seems we're leaving his tanks and weapons untouched so he can take Assad.
+1 # Radscal 2014-09-28 09:45
Given that ISIL is a descendant or branch of the Libyan "rebels," I think it worth noting that the U.S. began buying oil from the Libyan rebels by April, 2011... months before we started bombing and long before Gaddafi fell.

ISIL was selling Syrian oil cheap, which looks like a mistake. Otherwise, I don't really have a handle on how "rogue" Baghdadid really is.
+10 # ericlipps 2014-09-27 17:20
You can't train people to commit suicide.

But what about our military, you ask? Well, our military has gotten very good at killing without dying. Take drone warfare, for instance -- thousands of kills, no U.S. military deaths. In the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the death rate for U.S. soldiers was just above 1 percent -- which is just above the death rate each year for the U.S. population as a whole. Moreover, our military doesn't have anything else to do except "the mission"; it doesn't enjoy the same opportunities for ... "enrichment" ... that attracts young men in countries like Iraq.
Even though our death rate is low (so far, against vastly less well armed adversaries), our troops are still being trained to put themselves in harm's way. The old Patton maxim about making "some other sonofabitch die for his country" simply can't be 100% guaranteed--and since, like our friends the Israelis, we value the life of one of our own as equal to dozens, if not hundreds, of the lives of "those people," every death on pour side hurts disproportionat ely. Our adversaries know this, and exploit it.
+3 # mighead 2014-09-28 02:09
You're right...and that's why we're using proxies...
For just start a civil war by laying on sanctions...tha t instigates civil unrest which you can first 'encourage'...a nd next 'support' with foreign fighters. Last I saw, Syria had fighters from 29 other countries in their jails. But 85% of those foreign fighters are Saudi. Saudi has tons of these guys growing up under their careful tutorage in their Wahhabi school system...which they've implemented in many countries. So all of those 'graduates' need jobs...and terrorism is always open for new recruits.'s another example of 'global outsourcing'. You can 'outsource' to expensive contractors; or you can take advantage of your civil war; the war knocks out most of the jobs so the population has to either fight for the govt or you...or starve. So the wages are a whole lot cheaper than using US troops. My understanding is that we're paying Syrian terrorists...oo ps...moderates. ..$100 a month whereas US army guys would cost a lot more. So it makes sense business-wise.. .and also makes the US body count a whole lot lower so the American people don't complain and back out!
+33 # reiverpacific 2014-09-27 17:22
"Here is the gig: In countries like Iraq with vast amounts of unemployment, being in the military or police (not a big difference between the two, in their minds) means a steady income --" .
Delete Iraq and insert "The US" and it's not so different, is it? Just struck by the irony of that sentence.
I've had similar experiences with cops and civil servants in several countries tho' but at least they are openly corrupt; one told me "Well, we don't get paid very much here so we have to get extra somehow".
The most valuable employee on the staff of the US company I worked for in Indonesia was the former head of the deposed Sukarno's secret police: he knew exactly who to finger at the right time -I befriended him right off and never regretted it.
But observe the US politicians in the Corporate Lobbyist's pockets still pretending to be honest and represent us whilst becoming millionaires as we watch helplessly.
IS-whatever, is just one of the many instances of blowback resulting from high-level skulduggery and blatant ignorance since 1953 in Iran, of an area which as Grayson hints at, was fairly cultured when our forebears were still discovering fire and living in caves.
But they'll never get it.
O' aye -how many people have our beloved Saudi allies beheaded in Riyadh's "Chop-chop" square this month? Not to excuse the murderous scum which are IS-whatever but pointing out the selectivity of choosing allies and fabricating enemies to keep the war industry busy at home.
+2 # BobboMax 2014-09-27 22:32

Ref the judicial practices of our beloved Saudi allies, here's a nice cartoon and blog on the subject.
+7 # mighead 2014-09-28 02:32
Exactly...9/11 was executed through the Saudi Embassy in NYC...and that's pretty well known throughout the world here...and as you say...they're our "beloved allies" and BFFs.

IMO: one has to make allowances in our CIA wars...first, they have to fund them 'off the books'. After all...they can hardly declare them openly and get approval from Congress for them!!! So that means they usually have to earn the money needed in the drug trade.
And I have to admit...they're good at that...the drug business they built out of nothing in S.America to overthrow...oop s...'regime change' all the non-US-puppet-g ovts there has now turned into the largest (and nastiest!!!) Drug Cartel(s) in the world.
Of course they mainly learned all of that drug business and terrorist 'craft' in 'Nam in the '60's...and have been using it ever since...e.g., Afghanistan.
As for their 'training' of the 'Freedom Fighters' 'carefully vetted CIA trainee' in Libya was interviewed and asked what he had learned; he said he learned to always "finish the job". By that he meant: "leave no survivors". So he had dozens of ways to 'kill efficiently" with a large selection of weapons...but usually he was trained to use a knife since it didn't waste ammunition.
In Ukraine the CIA is using whatever the bottom of the barrel is...that's their guys!!!
+35 # riverhouse 2014-09-27 17:41
How did we get to be such imbeciles? We used to be reasonable people who did reasonable things and now look at us. We are blooming idiots.
+4 # BobboMax 2014-09-27 22:28
No, no, we're not idiots- we have a president whose motto is "Don't do stupid stuff."

And actually, that's not a bad policy guideline- it's just a lot easier to say than do- the universe is a pretty random place and something reasonable people agree "seemed like a good idea at the time" turns out to have unintended consequences.

And when you're dealing with the Cheney-Addingto n* legacy, it can be pretty hard to find ANY action that won't have blowback.

*If Cheney was Bush's brain, David Addington was Cheney's brain, described by U.S. News & World Report as "the most powerful man you've never heard of."
+2 # Radscal 2014-09-28 09:52
And ex-Mossad, Rahm Emanuel was Obama's brain.

By deception ye shall wage war.
0 # Helen Marshall 2014-09-29 08:45
"We used to be reasonable people who did reasonable things and now look at us."

Could you be a little more specific as to when that was?
+10 # mighead 2014-09-27 18:11
Apparently, chasing ISIS into Syria is just another pretext to take out Assad...
Coordinated with Israel...

This is from my favorite site on Syria-Iraq-Ukra ine - this article details the entire US-Syria plan:
September 15, 2014

The New "Regime Change" Plan - Attack Damascus From The South

Also...from the same site...our bombing of the Nusra group in Syria was NO MISTAKE...we were trying to kill Fadhli...our mystical Khorasan guy...we say he was sent by Qaeda head Zawahiri to recruit Syria-Iraq rebels from western countries for Qaeda terrorist attacks because they have passports that can get them through Western airport and airlines for Qaeda bombings. This article notes that we killed Fadhli in that Nusra bombing. Plus the bombing implemented other parts of the plan outlined in the 9/15 article above.

from the Sept 23 article on Moon of Alabama:
Concealed By U.S. Airstrikes Israel Opens Nusra Path To Lebanon

In essence...we are USING ISIS to take out Maliki in Iraq and Assad in Syria...PERIOD!!!
Our TARGET in Syria is ASSAD...not ISIS...
+5 # mighead 2014-09-27 18:18
It's cheaper to hire 'fighters' in Syria...
we're only paying them $100 per month there...
thanks to the new money from Congress to support them...
Which Obama has been doing covertly since 2011 anyway:

as to Grayson's point: apparently the SFA Syrian Free Army is so inept here that the CIA is now bypassing SFA headquarters and commanding the individual SFA units directly.
Don't have a link for that one...
+1 # Radscal 2014-09-27 18:25
Yeah, but they get all the enemy hearts they can eat.
+1 # tgemberl 2014-09-27 18:33
I think Grayson is right to at least emphasize that we have to set a time limit on airstrikes. If the Iraqi army is unable to stand up to ISIS within 6 months or a year, the central government is unable to control its territory. At that point, someone besides the Iraqis must take over the battle.

It's also possible that ISIS itself may eventually stabilize and turn into a less threatening entity. The "revolutionary fervor" of the present may wear off.
+2 # mighead 2014-09-28 03:06
I think you've been reading too much MSM: Main-Stream-Med ia.
ISIS has fully infiltrated ALL of Iraq politics and its army.
That army was commanded...fro m the 'leave the field'. ISIS was promised there would be zero opposition. As one ISIS commander told the press (sorry I don't have a link!) they were all surprised when they took Mosul and there was absolutely no opposition. It was set up from the TOP.
If I remember correctly, Obama promised ISIS that if they left the CIA headquarters of Erbil and our embassy in Baghdad alone...he wouldn't bomb them.
So in Iraq: ISIS conveniently got rid of Maliki...who we agreed with Saudi "had to go"...and now ISIS is helping us get rid of Assad in Syria...who we agreed with Saudi "had to go". The 'freedom fighters' we've been arming and training and supporting in Syria didn't do their job. So now we'll have to do it ourselves by bombing Syria to smithereens...l ike we wanted to do last year.
So why are we 'cleansing the M-E of Shiite govts'??? (Syria, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, etc.) Ask Israel! They are also arming and supporting all of the Sunni Qaeda groups in partnership with Saudi, Qatar and us; they are afraid of Shiite Hezbollah and want all of their Shiite border states cleared and turned over to 'West Friendly" Sunni govts. So that's our mission here and why we have to 'regime change' Assad. We replaced the Maliki Shiite government in Iraq. And got rid of the UN on the Golan Heights so Israel is now 'free to roam'.
+1 # crispy 2014-09-28 19:40
Assad's government is NOT Shiite.
+20 # Charles3000 2014-09-27 18:44
At some point in time someone has to start talking about what it really is all about. And it is all (the terror threat/ISIS)abo ut US hegemony in the mid east. That is "our national interest" but it is not "ours" it is the interest of US oil companies and US banks. If the US loses hegemony there then US oil influence/contr ol of OPEC and the petro dollar hose to US banks would end. That is what it is all about PERIOD
0 # crispy 2014-09-27 22:28
Yes yes and yes Charles3000.
Afghanistan was also about natural resources. Someone posted a link recently to the USGS own estimates in 2010 and it was clear. Several expetrts have made the point before.
Should WE (US govt) invest in clean energy?
Should every American who owns a home receive a 90% SUBSIDY on solar panels(not tax rebate, the poor don't pay taxes or not enough, a CHECK)?
The 10% could be financed at 0-3% over 5 years.
People earning over say $75000 (for a couple) would NOT qualify at all or perhaps for a 20% subsidy.
Above $100K,sorry U can pay for it.
INSTEAD it is the opposite we have: zero amount avail for people like me (under poverty level but who could pay $1200- 10% of cost - from savings on electricity in less than 2 years).
SUPERB investment for America and AMERICANS, not banks or multinationals!

NOT EVEN Sanders is proposing it!
+1 # mighead 2014-09-28 03:43
Dead on...
Since the US went off both gold and silver backing for the dollar, the only thing holding it up...and our global financial primacy-hegemon the 'petrodollar'. Anybody wanting to buy oil has to do it in US dollars. That is the whole of our partnership with Saudi here (hopefully we all DO know by now that the 9/11 bombing was executed through the Saudi Embassy in NYC by Saudi's Qaeda army). The reason why we do whatever Saudi wants us to do in the M-E is because Saudi OWNS US! Saudi is the one keeping oil priced in dollars. If that stopped, the world would suddenly 'notice' that the dollar has zero backing and we're printing vast quantities of completely worthless paper...and DUMP their dollars. Most are already hedging their bets by diversifying into Euros and gold.

Also, Israel has an extremely powerful lobby in the US Congress: AIPAC. What do I mean by "powerful"??? 100 of 100 US senators just voted to fund a build-out of their Dome system to protect THEM from Hamas and Gaza. I think there were something like 6 'Nays' in the House.

The problem here is that Saudi is now also hedging their bets and accepting China's renminbi-yuan for oil.

Also, we are taking out Ukraine here. Kiev is the birthplace of the Russian Empire in 862. So it's like Russia taking out Philadelphia and bombing Pennsylvania for not agreeing.

So I believe Russia-China and others are setting up an alternate financial system to take out the 'root' of our global power.
+1 # corals33 2014-09-27 18:46
When will the U.S. get around to sending in advisers to train these barbarians in "peace"
+13 # reiverpacific 2014-09-27 19:11
Quoting corals33:
When will the U.S. get around to sending in advisers to train these barbarians in "peace"

That's a nasty, forbidden word here mate: remember Denis Kucinich being deafeningly ignored -even ridiculed- when he proposed a "Department Of Peace?
Hell, even the title "Department of Defense" is a joke; it should be entitled "Department Of Perpetual Empire Slavemakers" (D.O.P.E.S.)
+1 # mighead 2014-09-28 04:04
There are ZERO PROFITS in peace!!!
The Great American War Machine is accustomed to taking trillions out of the US 'treasury'!
They lost their trillion-dollar -Iraq war...and are now losing their trillion-dollar -Afghanistan they need a new trillion dollar war or they're out of business.

So now with Iraq 'back on'...and now there's some hope that Syria will 'heat up' looks like we can replace both the Iraq-Afghan wars with a new War!!! The War against Terror...but this time it's the REAL ONE: ISIS!!! yeah right!!! and it was Khorasan last week but we killed that guy...

There are guaranteed to be fundamentalist Islamic "terrorists" (NOT OUR MODERATES!!! even though 9 million Syrians have fled their homes from them in terror!!!) in almost every country in every continent. Russia alone has 6 ex-Soviet Islamic countries that would be 'juicy' to attack!!! And we're already attacking Qaeda armies (or arming, training and supporting them!!!) in most countries in Africa.

Of course, we've only got $2 trillion left in the Social Security Fund to pay for it...we already spent the other $2 trillion in it for Iraq and Afghanistan. In Iraq we were spending roughly $1 billion per day...$90B approvals came from Congress every 3 months.

So at the Iraq rate, $1 trillion for 3 years; we'll be bankrupt in the next 5 years or so.
+4 # RMDC 2014-09-28 08:11
migheda -- There are ZERO profits in peace.

This is the problem. But the assertion needs refining. ZERO profits for the weapons industry and mercenary companies. There are NO PROFITS from war for the 99.9% of people on earth. They only suffer from war, either by paying for it and sacrificing in other areas like schools, infrastructure or they pay for it by being bombed and killed.

The vast majority of people on earth PROFIT from peace. Their standards of living go way up. Afghanistan is a good example. In the 1950, the socialist party proposed a constitutional government to replace the monarchy. The king agreed and democracy was born in Afghanistan. By the late 70s, the nation was prosperous. Women had equal opportunities and rights (at least for a developing nation). Things were looking good. But then the US brought war to Afghanistan. Today it is a wreck.

War is theft from people by a small group of corporations. These corporations murder for PROFIT. They drop bombs on cities in Syria just so they can have more war. They must be stopped. They are 1000s of times worse than organized crime like the Mafia. They are mass murdering corporations seeking only PROFIT.

Ordinary people PROFIT from Peace.
+1 # mighead 2014-09-28 09:04
In regard to your comments on Afghanistan:
the same case is exactly true for Iraq before and after...

Eisenhower made a famous speech on leaving's a very brief excerpt touching on the core of his concern:

"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."

IMO: this is where we are now. All of Ike's fears have been realized and the Military Industrial Complex has taken over our country and our economy. Over half of our budget goes to the military here.

Every country that has dedicated that much of its economy to war has collapsed from within. Whether that country was Rome or the recently departed USSR.

It's abundantly clear here that our nation is about War and not Peace here. It's about PROFITS. Not PEOPLE.

I totally agree with you but we are about War here. NOT PEOPLE.

We are no longer a democracy. We are a corporatocracy here. Of-By-For Corporations.

Ike was right in his fears.
+4 # KiteMike 2014-09-27 19:17
I am a donating follower of you!
I do not understand that you totally ignore the Kurds and their legitimate fight for independence and self-determinat ion. They are our best friends in that area. Yet the US only half heartedly supports them (see I think you should. I think we should. They are the "boots on the ground". They need our help. They are the ones who are REALLY fighting ISIS. Let us look to the future and support those who help themselves. Please put that into your thoughts and do not disregard them as you did in this article.
+3 # mighead 2014-09-28 04:45
I'm a grassroots supporter of Grayson too...
And Thank Goodness Grayson voted "NO" on funding our 'moderate' terrorists in Syria!!!
In the Senate, 22 voted against funding them including Bernie and only 9 Dems: Warren, Baldwin, Begich, Brown, Gillibrand, Leahy, Markey, Manchin and Chris Murphy who made a great statement:

"...the moderate Syrian rebels have shown a disturbing willingness to join forces with Islamic extremists like the Al Nusra Front, a wing of Al Qaeda, and it will be nearly impossible to stop the rebels we train from joining forces with groups that pose a real threat to the United States. Second, it will be hard to thread the needle of supporting a majority Shiite regime against Sunni extremists in Iraq while, at the same time, supporting a largely Sunni insurgency against a Shiite leader in Syria. Third, I believe we are too optimistic that the American trained rebels will target ISIL when their true enemy inside Syria is Bashar al-Assad..."

This is bottom of the barrel POLITICS...abou t MONEY...and POWER...and WAR...not HUMANITIES!!! Kurds, 9 million Syrians out of their homes and jobs, ethnic-Russians being bombed in Ukraine...are all just 'road-kill' in our AGENDA to overthrow Maliki, Assad and Putin. People...and what they want...DO NOT COUNT WHEN WE DETERMINE THAT WHAT THEY NEED IS OUR "FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY"!!!
+1 # Henry 2014-09-27 19:53
Alan Grayson is WAY funnier than Andy Borowitz, any day.
+4 # futhark 2014-09-27 21:33
Perpetual war is what the Empire wants and needs and perpetual war it will have by any means, whether it is by provoking the local population to retaliation against attacks and/or seizure of resources, all the way to up to and including inventing and covertly supporting an "enemy", which is what I suspect ISIS/ISIL is. Popular outrage against a barbaric enemy gives the MIC and state surveillance apparatus the justifications they need for continuing and expanding their operations.
-1 # crispy 2014-09-27 22:16
OOPs, just for the record Allan says:
" So these attacks have cost us $24 million a day in higher gasoline costs alone -- almost 10 cents a gallon."
he does not mean 10C per gal of gasoline I think he means per barrel of oil -- thank God!
Perhaps 1 cent/gal of gasoline (I never had the conversion formula from crude oil to gasoline).
0 # BKnowswhitt 2014-09-27 22:42
It's still Bush Cheney's Iraq. They misplayed us on and had the help of the cooked media. So it's a problem that unfortunately we began and created. However yeah that's the past .. best we can do is at least stand up against the killing of innocents .. and so we degrade them. Well that might have to be good enough .. they are a sick mentality .. that is not our doing or responsibility .. and changing that will be no magic pill .. in the meantime fight evil with what only it understands unfortunately ... give us another option Grayson .. as you know there is none ... as you well describe herein ...
0 # crispy 2014-09-27 23:58
"Now, let's suppose that the neighboring Arab League countries refused to provide such a force. What does that tell us? Why should we defend them, when they won't defend themselves?"
I agree the Arab League MUST do it, Sunnis CAN fight other Sunnis if they are as extreme as ISIS.
Also, a Sunni Shiite government might help
0 # crispy 2014-09-27 23:58
I mean such a government in Irak
0 # lexorcista 2014-09-28 00:25
Thank you for this M East 'exegesis'.
While Grayson's description of the moderate rebels as leprechauns on unicorns is amusing, and agreed extremely difficult to ascertain wch are moderate, much more distressing is likelihood extremists will infiltrate to get the weapons and aid, and take over once Assad removed.
Saddam removed, replacement/res ulting society situation worse. Libya same. Probably be same re Assad. Started w/ good intentions and reforms. Family loyalty powerful so, unexpectedly, after brother (intended after Hafez), died, had to leave ophthalmology in London (w/ his London-born wife).
Apparently the US is near-sighted.
One said US shd let the Arabs, those countries themselves, sort out their problems/politi cs. Some might advise the US to do the same for its (dysfunctional? ) political system wrt to international dabblings/wars. Given Grayson's $$$, it might help the US budget and debt to China.
Not being able to train ppl to commit suicide? so brainwashing resulted in suicide bombers and kamikaze pilots?
Kurds omitted. Awkward. Most think shd have their own state; Kurds in Iraq were virtually autonomous b/c of the US's no-fly zone. The US needs Turkey in fight against ISIS but the Turks have been killing Kurds for years since they want autonomy/indepe ndence; don't want them armed.
Having to fight ISIS b/c of barbaric beheadings? So how justify supporting Saudi Arabia wch beheads and has executed 34 this year?
Welcome to The Muddled East.
0 # mighead 2014-09-28 05:09
I notice that we're NOT bombing all of the weapons that ISIS has taken from the Iraq Army stores...all the latest US equipment: tanks, artillery, etc. So they'll still be able to take over whatever cities and towns they go after.

As for the Kurds: all they've got defending them are their own forces. They are very trusted allies of both the US and Israel. They're key in the M-E since they have populations in Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey. But apparently, no matter what we say...we don't give a damn about them here.

After we take out each one of our 'evil monsters': Saddam, now Maliki, Kaddafi, etc. there's a big influx of Qaeda rebel groups on the hunt in the resulting 'vacuum in power'. Surprise...surp rise...we take them out...and Saudi's Qaedas move in; is happening in Iraq and Syria here: we move Saudi's Qaedas in to take them out!!!

We're NOT hunting ISIS in Syria...and we're certainly not disarming them!!! We're using them as a pretext to take out Assad!!! Just as we tried to use CW as a pretext to take him out last year...but unfortunately, the only ones that were fooled by that one were the NYT and WaPo...the same ones that were fooled with the 'nukes in Iran' story!!! And the same ones that are printing every lie that Kiev tells in Russia or the separatists took out MH17 when it was their own fighter planes. Just look it up in the NYT and WaPO and it's all true. Look it up elsewhere and it's all just lies.
-1 # beamamyl 2014-09-28 01:25
Excellent analysis. The Kurds have to be armed with heavy arms, tanks, etc. This includes arming the PKK and delisting them from the terrorist list. The PKK were the only ones who defended the Yezidis when they were driven out of Shengal.
0 # mighead 2014-09-28 05:18
We said we did it...and we never went near there...the Kurds saved themselves...

The problem for the Kurds here is that we want ISIS to take out Maliki and the Shiites in Iraq...and Assad in we certainly won't be helping them get rid of ISIS in either of those places anytime soon!!! And we are NOT bombing any ISIS heavy weapons here...they will need them to take out Assad for us...since our current 'freedom fighters' Grayson pointed out...are taking the money (we're paying them...thanks to Congress)...and certainly not fighting!!! except of course, among themselves!!!
0 # lexorcista 2014-09-28 01:27
shortened prev, hope post intelligible. More:
2013 04 17 In interview w/ Syria TV, al-Assad compares support of rebels to backing of fighters in Afghanistan during war w/ Soviet troops in '80s. He predicts the rebel grps will one day turn against the US and others.
Maybe UN to carve out a Kurdistan, at least as autonomous to start with; that may pacify and lessen killing?
Keep their sticky fingers out for a while? Greenwald's and Snowden's revelations of their involvement and urgings/directi ons arguably harm US's position, credibility, and aims.
Moon on Alabama: ...Syrian airforce wanted to bomb Jabhat al-Nusra positions in Golan where Nusra is, opening corridor from Jordan towards Lebanon and for attacks on Damascus right along the demarcation line between Israel and Syria. Israel, ... open support effort for Nusra plan, shot down the Syrian SU-24 using U.S.-provided Patriot missiles. Israel claims the plane violated its border, [but] reported crash site far from border, (Kanaker) halfway between the demarcation line and Damascus.
Under protection of U.S. attack on IS and other targets Israel practically established a no-fly-zone next to the Golan wch will allow Jabhat al-Nusra to safely use the corridor, to attack Hizbullah in Qalamoun and S Lebanon. It also opens space for new attacks on Damascus.

Solutions or ideas, anyone?
+1 # mighead 2014-09-28 05:42
Keep on reading Moon of Alabama...
You're on the right track...
And you know what's going on...
The Israeli lobby AIPAC has enormous power here.
Israel believes that Shiites are NOT 'West Friendlies'...s o they want all Shiite govts stopped. Shiite Hezbollah in Lebanon is one of their biggest terrorist targets. Other Shiite govts they want arently for their own protection?...a re all the Shiite states on their borders...Syria and the most powerful Shiite state of all of them...Iran. IMO: Shiite Iran is equivalent in power to Sunni Saudi and they are pretty much 'mortal enemies'. I didn't mention that Iraq is 67% Shia and 30% Sunni so the Maliki Shia govt had to 'go'...and it did. We are putting a more Sunni-friendly govt in there. So basically, our M-E foreign policy here is to get rid of the Shiite states and govts.

We were supposed to get paid for our trouble in Iraq by privatizing the oil...which Cheney was after for Halliburton. But I understand that is still all tied up and we haven't gotten it.

We're doing the same thing in Iran as we did in Syria...accusin g Iran of having nuclear weapons...which Israel insists they have...but which Bush2's intelligence people said they gave up in we're using that as a pretext to break them. Like Syria, first is sanctions, next we foment civil unrest, next comes civil war.

According to Israel which funds our Congress and who knows who else! Iran HAS TO GO!!! so we're trying.
0 # mighead 2014-09-28 05:56
According to Moon:

OUR Syrian rebels attacked the UN border guards on the Golan Heights in order to clear them out. When I read about it...I was afraid for Israel...fearin g our rebels in Syria and ISIS would be heading over that border into Israel.
NOT TO FEAR...apparent ly the point was to clear the UN off of Israel's borders so they now have a clear path to both Damascus in Syria...and to their Hezbollah enemies in Lebanon. So apparently, if we can get a 'hot war' started with Assad in Syria...they can join in helping us take him out...and the whole thing can be extended into Lebanon. So looking at the map on the 9/15 article in's clear they've now got a path open and clear for both Damascus and Assad...and Lebanon and Hezbollah.

Looking at should be clear that the war in Syria will be expanded into Lebanon next.

Ironically, ISIS also wants all of Syria and Iraq and Lebanon and Jordan and Israel!!! All are territories in its new Caliphate.

IMO: Israel still has superior weapons to in an all-out war...I would bet on them.

But apparently, we just love playing with nukes here!!! and we don't seem to care where we go to nuke war here!!! M-E or's all the same to us...and it's ALL GOOD...

On oil: ISIS grabbed 2 oil refineries in Syria and that was their apparently, we bombed those. They still have $500M give or take they robbed from Mosul.

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.