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Cockburn writes: "Islamic State (Isis) will remain at the centre of the escalating crisis in the Middle East this year as it was in 2014. The territories it conquered in a series of lightning campaigns last summer remain almost entirely under its control, even though it has lost some towns to the Kurds and Shia militias in recent weeks."

Fighters march through the ISIS stronghold of Raqaa, Syria. (photo: AP)
Fighters march through the ISIS stronghold of Raqaa, Syria. (photo: AP)


The West Is Getting War on ISIS Wrong

By Patrick Cockburn, CounterPunch

06 January 2015

 

slamic State (Isis) will remain at the centre of the escalating crisis in the Middle East this year as it was in 2014. The territories it conquered in a series of lightning campaigns last summer remain almost entirely under its control, even though it has lost some towns to the Kurds and Shia militias in recent weeks.

United States air strikes in Iraq from 8 August and Syria from 23 September may have slowed up Isis advances and inflicted heavy casualties on its forces in the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani. But Isis has its own state machinery and is conscripting tens of thousands of fighters to replace casualties, enabling it to fight on multiple fronts from Jalawla on Iraq’s border with Iran to the outskirts of Aleppo in Syria.

In western Syria, Isis is a growing power as the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad loses its advantage of fighting a fragmented opposition, that is now uniting under the leadership of Isis and Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian affiliate of al-Qaeda.

Yet it is only a year ago that President Obama dismissed the importance of Isis, comparing it to a junior university basketball team. Speaking of Isis last January, he said that “the analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think it is accurate, is if a JV [junior varsity] team puts on Lakers uniforms it doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant [famed player for the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team].” A year later Obama’s flip tone and disastrously inaccurate judgment jumps out at one from the page, but at the time it must have been the majority view of his national security staff.

Underrating the strength of Isis was the third of three great mistakes made by the US and its Western allies in Syria since 2011, errors that fostered the explosive growth of Isis. Between 2011 and 2013 they were convinced that Assad would fall in much the same way as Muammar Gaddafi had in Libya.

Despite repeated warnings from the Iraqi government, Washington never took on board that the continuing war in Syria would upset the balance of forces in Iraq and lead to a resumption of the civil war there. Instead they blamed everything that was going wrong in Iraq on Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who has a great deal to answer for but was not the root cause of Iraq’s return to war. The Sunni monarchies of the Gulf were probably not so naïve and could see that aiding jihadi rebels in Syria would spill over and weaken the Shia government in Iraq.

How far has the political and military situation changed today? Isis has many more enemies, but they remain divided. American political and military strategies point in different directions. US air strikes are only really decisive when they take place in close cooperation with troops on the ground. This happened at Kobani from mid-October when the White House decided at the last minute that it could not allow Isis to humiliate it by winning another victory. Suddenly the Syrian Kurdish fighters battling IS shifted from being “terrorists” held at arm’s length to being endangered allies. As in Afghanistan in 2001 and in northern Iraq in 2003, experienced personnel in the front line capable of directing the attacks of aircraft overhead are essential if those strikes are to be effective.

When the bombing of IS in Syria started, the government in Damascus felt that this was to its advantage. But while the US, Arab monarchies, Syrian rebels and Turkey may have overplayed their hands in Syria between 2011 and 2013, last year it was the Syrian government that did the same thing by seeking a solely military solution to the war. It has never seriously tried to broaden its political base at home by credible offers to share power, relying instead on its supporters to go on fighting because they believe that anything is better than a jihadi victory. But these supporters are becoming worn out by the struggle because they see no end in sight.

The government has always been short of combat troops, a weakness becoming more apparent as it calls up more reservists and diverts conscripts from entering the National Defence Force militia into the regular army. Government forces have made gains around Aleppo and Damascus, but they are losing ground south of the capital and in Idlib province.

There have always been political advantages for Assad at home and abroad in having the Syrian rebels dominated by “terrorists” of whom the West is frightened. But the dominance of Isis and Jabhat al-Nusra means that the Syrian army is losing its advantage of being a single force facing a disunited foe with 1,200 different factions. A sign of this underlying weakness is the failure of government troops to launch an expected offensive to retake rebel held parts of Aleppo.

Isis won great victories in Iraq in the course of the year by taking advantage of the alienation of the Iraqi Sunni Arab community. This tied the Sunnis’ fortunes to Isis and, while they may regret the bargain, they probably have no alternative but to stick with it.

The war has become a sectarian bloodbath. Where Iraqi army, Shia militia or Kurdish peshmerga have driven Isis fighters out of Sunni villages and towns from which civilians have not already fled, any remaining Sunni have been expelled, killed or detained. Could Isis launch another surprise attack as in June? This would be difficult outside Sunni-majority areas, though it could provoke an uprising in the Sunni enclaves in Baghdad, probably with disastrous results for the remaining Sunni in the capital. They were forced out of mixed areas in 2006 and 2007 and mostly confined to what a US diplomatic cable at the time called “islands of fear” in west Baghdad. Isis could create mayhem in the capital, but the strength of the Shia militias is such that it would probably be at the price of the elimination of remaining Sunni enclaves.

Syria’s two main foreign backers, Russia and Iran, are both suffering from the collapse in the oil price. This may make them more open to a power-sharing compromise in Syria, but it is by no means clear that they are being offered a deal by the West and its Arab allies. This may be a mistake since at the end of the day the great confrontation between Sunni and Shia across the Muslim world is not going to be decided by Iranian or Russian budgetary problems. Iraqi Shia militia units that withdrew from Syria to fight Isis in Iraq can always be sent back and reinforced.

The Iranians really do feel this is a war they cannot lose whatever the impact of economic sanctions imposed by the US. The balance of power between government and Isis looks fairly even in Iraq at the moment, but this is not true in Syria where Sunni Arabs are 60 per cent of the population as opposed to 20 per cent in Iraq. Above all, Isis is strengthened in Syria by the fact that the West, Turkey and the Sunni Arab states are seeking the fall of Assad, Isis’s main opponent, as well as the overthrow of Isis itself.

The mutual hatreds of its enemies remain Isis’s strongest card.

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+70 # wantrealdemocracy 2015-01-06 13:24
The Arab people do not want to be occupied by the United States. They will never end the resistance to foreign control. The United States Empire must get out of the Middle East.
Bring our troops home and take care of our many problems at home.
 
 
-18 # brux 2015-01-07 01:19
When 40% of Arab people have sympathies with ISIS, I don't give a damn what they want - they are too stupid and brainwashed to know what they want.

They seem to want to be able to do anything they want with women. They seem to want to keep women down, uneducated and powerless.

Since when are these tenets of Liberalism or the Left?
 
 
+18 # backwards_cinderella 2015-01-07 04:30
wow ! "they are too stupid and brainwashed to know what they want" -- that sounds just like Americans !
 
 
-4 # brux 2015-01-07 13:51
Whatever it sounds like to you, intellectually to objectively engage in discussion and debate you need to consider the content of it and not roll around like a pig in the muck.

I am in sympathy and support of the people caught in these miserable societies where they do not get any information, cannot speak or act freely politically. How else should I have expressed that Cindy??



--Uh, no answer, of course.
 
 
+2 # RMDC 2015-01-07 22:28
"I am in sympathy and support of the people caught in these miserable societies where they do not get any information, cannot speak or act freely politically. "

Brux is talking about the US. Most people in the world know a hell of a lot more than americans do. They do speak freely. It is only american who don't speak freely because they don't know anything, except for celebrity gossip.
 
 
-6 # brux 2015-01-08 16:04
Why don't you stick to what you are talking about, let me talk about what I am talking about without your silly troll interpretation of my words? How about that ... how about respecting how a political discussion and debate is supposed to work?

By the way, there is no RSN in most of the Muslim world, there is a filtered internet and some people are killed for seeing things or saying things their clerics decide they should not have done.

Since that does not happen in the US ... your silly contention is wrong ... I am not talking about the US, the US is a model in free speech even for Europe where Britain does not have as much leeway for free speech as well do.

I'd also stack my knowledge of anything against yours because if you had a clue you would not need to communicate like a 8 year old.
 
 
0 # mh1224jst 2015-01-17 18:25
Free speech is worthless if you have nothing to say.
 
 
+8 # RLF 2015-01-07 06:58
You may be right Brux...but the way to fix it is not an invasion...havn 't you learned that that only makes them more powerful. They have to have their asshole/muslim government for 30 years without our interference and when they get good and sick of it it will change. THAT is what we started by going into Iraq. WE screwed up and the people of the middle east (especially the women) are going to pay for it for a very long time.
 
 
+3 # jwb110 2015-01-07 11:47
[quote name="RLF"]You may be right Brux...but the way to fix it is not an invasion...havn 't you learned that that only makes them more powerful. They have to have their asshole/muslim government for 30 years without our interference and when they get good and sick of it it will change. THAT is what we started by going into Iraq. WE screwed up and the people of the middle east (especially the women) are going to pay for it for a very long time.[/quote

I agree with your premise that 30 yrs without Western interference would make the changes necessary. Also it would stabilize the oil market because there is a glut of oil in the market and ISIS might very well use that as a stick. Trying to buy loyalty in the Middle East clearly is not working. Dry up the money and the factions will have to make peace with one another to have a workable gov't.
The US created its enemies by being there. Can a pull out create neutralism with an enemies. Creating a vacuum by leaving is a strategy that hasn't been tried. It may be answer and it may not but without trying it the US will never know.
And for those who think this is a scatter brain idea all of us, in our hearts, know this is all about the oil. Our troups are being used as cannon fodder for the benefit of the Oil Business who pay no taxes to support the Middle East action. That is just wrong.
 
 
-5 # brux 2015-01-07 13:53
> Haven 't you learned that that only makes them more powerful.

No. I don't think that has been established yet, and though it is oft-repeated cliche.

1) They do not have the right to get sick of their government.

so

2) They will not be able to change it without outside force being applied, whether or not in the mean time there are reactionary forces provoked that oppose the US and the West.
 
 
-4 # brux 2015-01-07 13:52
> havn 't you learned that that only makes them more powerful.

No. I don't think that has been established yet, and though it is oft-repeated cliche.

1) They do not have the right to get sick of their government.

so

2) They will not be able to change it without outside force being applied, whether or not in the mean time there are reactionary forces provoked that oppose the US and the West.
 
 
+8 # Buddha 2015-01-07 11:32
Actually, what this more shows is that people in the Middle East are tired of living in artificially constructed countries with borders drawn predominantly by the British Empire a century ago for their own colonial reasons. The Kurds no more want to be part of a Shite-dominated Iraq than Sunni's do. This civil war is the ugly process of people in this region trying to redraw the map according to their own tribal and sectarian populations, not according to how the British Empire wanted them drawn. The US, like usual, finding these colonial divisions useful for pushing our own hegemony in the region, do not want Muslims to have any power of self-determinat ion or to threaten our control of this region's resources. So, we stick our finger in their pudding, trying to make the outcome work best for us, not for them.
 
 
-6 # brux 2015-01-07 13:54
It's not the border that are the primary problem, although, yes, you're right, they could be better.

Talk to Turkey about a Kurdish state though? The rulers of these countries and majority populations are fine with borders the way they are, Bud.
 
 
+1 # Buddha 2015-01-08 13:16
Well duh, the Turkish Sunni majority is more than happy to have its borders remain as is to include Kurdish majority regions, where Kurds then remain as a mostly unrepresented and oppressed minority in Turkey overall. Nobody ever wants to see pieces carved off of their current sovereignty. That is no different than the Shiite majority running the circus of Iraq who also certainly want to keep Iraq's current borders to include the Kurdish and Sunni majority regions. The issue is that Sunni people who are actually living in the Sunni Crescent or the Kurds living in the Kurdish regions don't want to be ruled over by Shiite majorities running Iraq or Syria as drawn by English colonialism, or running Turkey as per borders drawn after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.
 
 
-2 # brux 2015-01-08 16:05
wantrealdemocra cy ... now that is ironic, guess you do not want it for the middle east.
 
 
+15 # Activista 2015-01-06 13:57
(Syria) " opposition, that is now uniting under the leadership of Isis and Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian affiliate of al-Qaeda.... against Syrian government
Syrian government got like 80% of PEOPLE vote year ago ...
Edward Snowden leaked NSA documents show ...
www.politifact.com/.../edward-snowden-leaked-nsa-docu...
PolitiFact.com
Aug 19, 2014 - So it's no surprise to see Snowden's name attached to the increasingly popular idea that America and Israel created ISIS.....
What USA bombs in Syria is mostly infrastructure ... hurting Syria more than ISIS
 
 
+13 # Activista 2015-01-06 13:59
NSA Doc Reveals ISIS Leader Al-Baghdadi is U.S., British ...
www.infowars.com/nsa-doc-reveals-isis-leader-al-baghdadi-is-...
Alex Jones
Jul 19, 2014 - The allegation about ISIS and al-Baghdadi, however, pairs up with other ... States, Israel, and Britain are responsible for the creation of ISIS...
in war against Iran, Syria ... enemy of my enemy is my friend ... sick USA/Israel foreign policy ...
 
 
+14 # Activista 2015-01-06 14:05
www.infowars.com/nsa-doc-reveals-isis-leader-al-baghdadi-is-u-s-british-and-israeli-intelligence-asset/
According to a document recently released by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, now the Islamic State, is an intelligence asset.
"In 1982 Oded Yinon, an Israeli journalist with links to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, wrote The Zionist Plan for the Middle East.

The white paper proposed “that all the Arab states should be broken down, by Israel, into small units” and the “dissolution of Syria and Iraq later on into ethnically or religiously unique areas such as in Lebanon, is Israel’s primary target on the Eastern front in the long run.”
The destruction of the Arab and Muslim states, Yinon suggested, would be accomplished from within by exploiting their internal religious and ethnic tensions."
all goes according to the "plan" ..
 
 
-3 # ronnewmexico 2015-01-06 14:24
I have always felt A…the real reason for the initial attack in Iraq was not blatently oil, as some claim, nor global terrorism, as the right claim, nor A Bush personal hatred of Saddam, as some conspiracists claim but this…

Saddam was sponsoring local terrorism against Israel. He would pay a many thousand dollar reward to any family of a person who did commit a suicide bombing in Israel. This went on for quite some time and nothing says he would not have continued as soon as the heat was off him personally..

So that was it…we intervened for Israel.
they had to stop the suicide bombing the stopping of payments to suicide bombers famlies was the way to stop it.
I forget exactly but it was something in the range of 30k to the family…..big big money in that part of the world in this class group.
 
 
0 # ronnewmexico 2015-01-06 14:36
As a aside…. Saddam did this not for some nobel cause, it was as with most of his things... to retain power. He was representing Suni but to radical Suni he was the most despicable..a secular sunk.

So he had to court the opposition, those who were most likley to hurt him…radical suni's. So he courted them in this manner...

He did pretend at times to have nuclear weaponry. He did that to effect a fear of attack from Iran the shia…..so they would not mount a gross gross attack…he sponsored that lie.

The US used that…what was known to be a obovious lie to their effect of enablenece of the attack upon Iraq.
It was a known lie and the why of that lie was well known as well..

But no..is was for Israel this attack on Iraq. Other reasons accompanied it but chiefly….that was it.
 
 
+9 # tedrey 2015-01-06 14:45
Without evidence or source I see no reason to believe this.
 
 
+4 # ronnewmexico 2015-01-06 14:55
Ok I'll play…

this quote from the official George Bush historical web site. quary Saddam sponsorship of terrorism and this is one of about a thousand that will pop up..this is simply from what one would call the most authoritarian source..George Bush the man himself…..

"In April 2002, Saddam Hussein increased from $10,000 to $25,000 the money offered to families of Palestinian suicide/homicid e bombers. The rules for rewarding suicide/homicid e bombers are strict and insist that only someone who blows himself up with a belt of explosives gets the full payment. Payments are made on a strict scale, with different amounts for wounds, disablement, death as a "martyr" and $25,000 for a suicide bomber. Mahmoud Besharat, a representative on the West Bank who is handing out to families the money from Saddam, said, "You would have to ask President Saddam why he is being so generous. But he is a revolutionary and he wants this distinguished struggle, the intifada, to continue."

Shall I coninue???
 
 
+1 # ronnewmexico 2015-01-06 15:06
To be clear I am not entering into a debate on wether we should do this or have done this….that is a seperate issue. I think firmly not but many more think Israel is really the US…we should by all means do everything to protect and foster them.

But we absolutely have to know the why's of out actions to make objective determinations.
So say yes we did and we should have and should in the future….I can see that argument. To say not this never happened…it simply a gross gross lie.
 
 
+6 # Activista 2015-01-06 19:59
[quote name="ronnewmex ico"]Ok I'll play…

this quote from the official George Bush historical web site. quary Saddam sponsorship of terrorism and this is one of about a thousand that will pop up..this is simply from what one would call the most authoritarian source..George Bush the man himself…..

"In April 2002, Saddam Hussein increased from $10,000 to $25,000 the money offered to families of Palestinian suicide/homicid e bombers. The rules for rewarding suicide/homicid e bombers are strict and insist that only someone who blows himself up with a belt of explosives gets the full payment. Payments are made on a strict scale, with different amounts for wounds, disablement, death as a "martyr" and $25,000 for a suicide bomber. Mahmoud Besharat, a representative on the West Bank who is handing out to families the money from Saddam, said, "You would have to ask President Saddam why he is being so generous. But he is a revolutionary and he wants this distinguished struggle, the intifada, to continue."

from
georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/infocus/iraq/decade/sect5.html
Ron, do you believe ... the most authoritarian source..George Bush the man himself….. authoritarian leadership: A leadership style in which the leader dictates policies and procedures, decides what goals are to be achieved, and directs ... do not see much difference between Bush and Saddam in context of their environments ...
 
 
+3 # ronnewmexico 2015-01-06 22:03
Were both places run/now run, without democratic leadership…cert ainly.

The mode is different by my take. In america things are done covertly and subtle, it is in the history displayed this way always….so a Bush does not really hold the reigns of power. He works for those that do.
 
 
-8 # kalpal 2015-01-06 15:04
How ignorant have you been all your life? Extremely so.
 
 
+5 # ronnewmexico 2015-01-06 15:09
Those without arguments always invaribly resort to attacks of the personal ….so to whit..please do continue…

for others you then are quite clearly exposed.
 
 
-6 # brux 2015-01-07 13:56
Whether a personal attack or you, you are correct Kalpal, and to take on a discussion with an unbalanced person like ron is a waste of time. Saner heads realize that.
 
 
+6 # Activista 2015-01-06 19:30
Did bit research - yes Saddam paid money to Palestinian families who lost member (killed by Israel) in Intifada - and without Israel there would be NOT Iraq war -
Saddam funds fail to buy Gaza hearts
Payments to families of suicide bombers and intifada victims bring only indifference ...
www.theguardian.com/world/2003/mar/13/israel
 
 
-5 # brux 2015-01-07 14:19
I knew it ... you always act like you are so well-informed ... this was a well-known fact prior to 2000 that Saddam was moving to consolidate power from a secular leader to more of a religious leader to take advantage of the radical Islamic current in this area of the world. One part of that was to pander to the Palestinian supporter rabble like so many here do.

If you are just finding out about that now, nothing you have said on this issue is relevant.
 
 
+2 # Activista 2015-01-07 21:43
One fact is that Saddam paid money to past Palestinian "victims" of intifada ...
Other thing is the Bush website/propaga nda/likely lie:
Saddam pays Palestinians $25,000 for a suicide bomber to go and attack.
Like Niger uranium forgeries - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niger_uranium_forgeries
Wikipedia
These documents seem to depict an attempt made by Saddam Hussein in Iraq to purchase yellowcake uranium powder from Niger during the Iraq disarmament ...type of propaganda Made by Mossad.
 
 
-7 # brux 2015-01-07 09:46
Why don't you people get it ... war does not have to be about just one single thing.

Clearly the leaders of the West believe that Islam is a big ongoing threat that needs to be countered and fought over a long time, maybe generations. This is a pro-human rights issue that is being subverted by crazy comments purportedly from the Left. How gullible can people be?

Your support of the $30K going to suicide bomber's families is interesting. You seem to think it is a good thing for a country to bribe people into giving up their lives because they are so poor in a rich but unequal part of the world.
 
 
+4 # RLF 2015-01-07 07:00
Gotta keep that oil cheap!
 
 
+14 # MJnevetS 2015-01-06 14:08
I agree # wantrealdemocra cy. $1.3 trillion is the approximate true cost of the military budget; not the $525 billion sought in fiscal year 2013. Imagine what we could do with almost 800 billion dollars of 'found' money in the budget. The government could (and would) further reduce corporate taxes, give bigger tax cuts to the 1% and still obliterate the American safety net. Proud to be an American!
 
 
+15 # ronnewmexico 2015-01-06 14:10
We will not but the rational response at this time, despite our having a heavy hand in its creation is…to withdraw.

Remove ourselves from the fight entirely and let a homeostasis occur. Like we did in Vietnam years and years ago. There occured local wars China/vietnam some genocides, Cambodia, as consequence but really once we intervened with our brand of colonialism the continuance of colonialism would not have allayed those occurances not a bit.

Upset the locally derived power system and there will be a period of realignment usually to gross detriments of the local peoples…until once again the powers equalize.

Colonial history is exactly that. Colonialism withdrawn..as it has to be..the outcome for sometimes quite a while is strife till the powerstructure establishes itself locally once again.

We in the US must accept this as fact. WE have acted as colonialists and now this place suffers the result. We can not continue as colonialist to stop it….a wave it will have to at some time have to occur.

We must withdraw…immedi ately and now.
 
 
+3 # James Klimaski 2015-01-06 14:51
While would agree that it is not good to underestimate your enemy, It is also not good to overestimate it either. In reading this article and some others on recent events in Syria and Iraq, I believe Mr. Cockburn has done the later.
 
 
+7 # ericlipps 2015-01-06 18:41
[qupote]But while the US, Arab monarchies, Syrian rebels and Turkey may have overplayed their hands in Syria between 2011 and 2013, last year it was the Syrian government that did the same thing by seeking a solely military solution to the war. It has never seriously tried to broaden its political base at home by credible offers to share power, relying instead on its supporters to go on fighting because they believe that anything is better than a jihadi victory.

No doubt Damascus believes--and it may be right--that "sharing power" with ISIS is the road to seeing its share shrink to zero in time.

And it's hard to believe the U.S. would be better off if that happened and ISIS took over Syria outright. We may not like Assad, but would a jihadi successor e any better?
 
 
+5 # Activista 2015-01-06 19:43
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrian_presidential_election,_2014
turnout for the election was 73.42%, ...
Bashar al-Assad Ba'ath Party got 10,319,723 votes 88.7%
The new constitution, adopted following the Syrian constitutional referendum, 2012, has changed the nature of the Presidential election from a referendum to a multi-candidate electoral ballot. As a result this election marks the first time that candidates can challenge the incumbent President. A law adopted by the Syrian parliament in early 2014 restricts candidacy to individuals who have lived in Syria for the past ten years, thereby preventing exiled people from running.
 
 
+5 # Activista 2015-01-06 19:43
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrian_presidential_election,_2014
turnout for the election was 73.42%, ...
Bashar al-Assad Ba'ath Party got 10,319,723 votes 88.7%
observers from some 30 different countries including Bolivia, Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, India, Iran, Iraq, Nicaragua, Russia, South Africa and Venezuela[12][1 3] claimed in a statement that the election was "free, fair and transparent".
rebel groups vowed to disrupt the elections in any way possible, including bombing and shelling polling stations and government-cont rolled areas. Another statement, issued by the Ajnad al-Sham Islamic Union, the Sham Corps, the Army of Mujahedeen, and the Islamic Front, said they would not "target voters but warned people to stay at home in case the Syrian government did". There were 50 reported deaths from the shelling by the rebels.
 
 
+3 # ronnewmexico 2015-01-06 20:02
In any event it is not our place to do a thing there.

It is simply a concern of and for these peoples. If Isis was Al Queda who had launched a attack upon america that would be a cause to seek and find Al Queda and destroy them regardless of the country they were in.

To seek the enablance or destruction of another countries government on the oft chance Isis may be favored or disfavored by them is a stretch….ISIS has not yet launched any attack upon america other than in self protection in this area of the world. They have not a capeability in that regard. Al Queda had access to Saudi monies and a way to do that.

This group no.

It is simply not our fight. We should stay out of it and this area. A group presents that has some possibility and intention to harm america..fo course we should enter the fight with that group. But that group is like as not not the government.

Al Queda was not the taliban. It was not the taliban who attacked us. The taliban allowed al queda to exist where they did that is way way differing than partaking in their plan of attack.

Isis is simply not alqueda even though both are extreme fundmentalist islamic suni groups…their aims are differing and their scopes are differing.

Bathist party…even if the election was completely rigged(which it may not have been as activista states)..it is simply not our place to individually step in.
 
 
+11 # futhark 2015-01-06 23:44
I caught some comments by 9/11 whistleblower Sibel Edmonds on the radio recently, in which she pointed out in an interview that every time American forces seem to be gaining some advantage in the Middle East, a new foe requiring military action is discovered. The chief consequence of government expenditures to support more American military activity is a rise in the value of stocks of companies in the business of manufacturing weapons and providing material support to troops. She strongly hinted there is a positive and causative relation between these two phenomena.

I tend to agree with her. There is plenty of documentation available on the involvement of the CIA and other agencies in the state surveillance apparatus working with businesses to promote the threat of terrorism and terrorism itself for power and profit.

Al Qaeda originated with the CIA's support for the Soviet-fighting mujahideen in the 1980s, then continued to be an instrument with which to threaten the public through the 1990s, always with covert CIA support. People maybe get tired of Al Qaeda, so now a new bogeyman, ISIS, has be conjured up. It's not personal, it's just business.
 
 
-2 # ronnewmexico 2015-01-07 13:45
Futhark…colonia lism is always beyond a simple singular industry or group. Now this colonialism of the american sort even really surpasses america. Haliburton for one they moved to dubai a couple of years back..that is where the headquarters are located not in the US.

This is why the efforts to counter this new colonialism so often fail….we apply a smaller thing to this which is larger.

It is global/american business industry which pursues this dominance. To make it nation against nation…is really a misread and fails, and will fail.

America represents global corporatism. It is quite satisfying to say it is nation group type or culture…it is not any of these….it is all of these. EXon mobile is quite a multinational. for one….they all are these players who benefit.
 
 
0 # mmcmanus 2015-01-07 11:27
Dick Cheney blatantly lied. Thousands of American soldiers lost their lives and limbs in Iraq. And ISIS is the result. Cheney needs to be strung up on the steps of the Capitol.
 
 
-6 # brux 2015-01-07 14:27
> Thousands of American soldiers lost their lives and limbs in Iraq. And ISIS is the result. Cheney needs to be strung up on the steps of the Capitol.

It must be nice for the world to be so simple.

Or maybe the kernel of ISIS has existed in Islam since 600 years ago, and now with some oil money and modern technology they erupt into the world's faces with their intolerance and violence that we just have not seen close up before.
 
 
+1 # ronnewmexico 2015-01-07 14:48
Brux…do you realize... back in the day…1100 or so... the roman catholic church with inspiration of bounty(land given to the victors) at papal edict conducted the extermination of by cather descendents count…one million people?.

One million and who knows how many by double those tortured subsequent to the inquisition.

Kernel,, this and not kernal that?
 
 
-2 # brux 2015-01-07 15:16
Ron ... I'm not a Catholic, but I think the thing is we disagree on how much force and weight to put behind what the Catholic Church did in the 900's.

Do you think that is a fair statement? Why are you worried about that? Do you think the new Pope who seems in some ways to be quite "progressive" or any other Pope in the future is going to back some kind of genocide?

Kernal, with an "a" is a component of a Commodore computer's operating system, kernel with an "e" is the core meaning, or essence.
 
 
+2 # ronnewmexico 2015-01-07 15:50
Brux…you are talking about a islamic thing..

"ISIS has existed in Islam since 600 years ago"
pf 600 years ago.

That allow the introduction of a thing of christian inception…of a 1000 or so years ago…
You allowed it not me.

On the specific a presidential candidate John McCain did firmly call america a christian nation…..I know that means to my and my famlies exclusion as my family is native….they are largly not christian, and the asian part of my family is buddhist….

So how can we claim this on islam and not see that same claim made on Christianity. Are we and my family by John McCain…being natives them almost all to leave???

Curious that. But in any event you framed the 600 year thing so I but responded in kind.
 
 
-3 # brux 2015-01-07 19:25
No you did not respond in kind, because there is no such similar streak that has survived in Christianity ... in other words you lie and distort to make a try to make a point that is untrue.
 
 
+1 # ronnewmexico 2015-01-07 19:39
No not at all…McCains statement of exclusion…is that not a act upon all those who are not christian…nativ es quite a few who may claim first ownership of this land..must be in a christian nation…..is that not the same thing as Islam and their extreme factions claiming similiar things….

of course it is. No lie in that….he did say that. No distortion in that he did say that.
You want old…I went old. You say not that now….it does not apply how about the present…I go present….this america by a presidential candidate at the time…no a all religion place…a christian nation.

Now you claim lies and distortions….cu rious that???
 
 
+1 # tgemberl 2015-01-07 12:15
The title of the article is "The West is Getting War on ISIS Wrong." The article does say that Obama underestimated ISIS a year ago, but I'm not sure the title really fits the article's content. A more accurate title would be: "Why ISIS will be difficult to defeat." It's basically just an article on the challenges of the situation, not something criticizing the actions of the West. After reading the title, I expected the article to say something like "we should support Assad," but it does no such thing.
 
 
-4 # brux 2015-01-07 14:26
Everything on RSN must be "sweetened" with anti-Western sentiment in order for these folks to get awake enough to bother reading just the title or the first few lines. ;-)
 
 
-3 # tgemberl 2015-01-08 17:24
Brux,
You put that so well! Thanks
 
 
0 # Khidr 2015-01-09 17:09
US Govt. alway screws up. The Zetas the most feared drug gang is made up of Mexican armed forces trained by DEA to fight other drug gangs. Now they are the most feared and ruthless drug gang. Like CIA trained the mujahideens to fight the Russians became Al Quaida. Now ISIS.... Mighty coincidental, keeps the drug and terrorism business active and alive, keeps the western defense economy humming.
 

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