“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Iraq: On the frontline with Islamic State - BBC News

Islamic State: Is Iraq's army staging a comeback?

The local military commander, Brigadier Jabbar Karam al-Taee, is a shrewd and effective soldier, who commands the 17th division of the Iraqi army. He and his men hold the key to Baghdad. If they fail to stop IS, the city itself will be in real danger.
But they are not failing: on the contrary, they've staged a remarkable comeback - with the support of American warplanes.
As we drove through the village in his personal Humvee, he showed me where the IS forces had been dug in, and where the American bombs had landed. They had been extremely accurate.
Now much of the village is in ruins, destroyed by IS as it pulled out. The buildings were destroyed by booby-trap bombs, the road was cratered by IEDs (improvised explosive devices).
'Leaderless and terrified'
Brig Karram's men are in full charge here.
Soldiers from Iraqi 17th division with captured Islamic State flagSoldiers from Iraq's 17th division drove IS out of the village of al-Yusufiyah, capturing the militants' flag
IS, which has swept into so many towns and villages in Iraq and Syria in the past few months, was forced out unceremoniously, and has taken refuge on the far bank of the River Euphrates, destroying the bridges as it went.
When you talk to his men, you can see the transformation in their morale in the fortnight or so it has taken them to sweep IS aside.
And even more so if you compare the 17th division with other Iraqi soldiers last June.
There is a terrible video, posted on the internet by IS itself, which shows dozens of Iraqi soldiers captured at Spyker army base near Tikrit in central Iraq, weeping and begging for their lives.
Many, perhaps all, of the men whose voices you can hear are swiftly murdered by IS death squads which move among them, shooting them in the back of the head.
Three-hundred-and-fifty of their officers had simply run away and abandoned them, leaving them leaderless and terrified.
Iraqi Lt Gen Ali FurajiLt Gen Furaji says many of his soldiers panicked when IS approached the Spyker base
In Baghdad, I met the commanding officer from Spyker, Lt Gen Ali Furaji. He did not run away, but his lined face with the black circles under his eyes showed the level of stress he had endured. He is 44, and looks 20 years older.
Lt Gen Furaji described the terror that had gripped the Spyker base when it became clear that the city of Mosul, to the north, had fallen, and that the forces of Islamic State were heading their way.
Wild stories spread that IS had a thousand vehicles, and were hundreds of thousands strong.
It was then that his officers started to desert. Many were young, and had been given their commissions by the strongly sectarian government of Prime Minister Nouri Maliki because they were Shia Muslims, like him.
They panicked and drove out of the camp, while some even started destroying the camp's defences.
Of 2,000 soldiers in the camp, only 61 officers and 440 men stayed with Lt Gen Furaji.
'No longer supermen'
Yet in a matter of a few weeks the situation has changed.
Iraqi military convoyA growing number of Iraqi soldiers believe they can beat IS - with the help of Western air strikes.
For a start, Iraq has a new prime minister, Haider al-Abadi: a Shia Muslim, but one who understands, as Mr Maliki seems not to have, that this country can be governed only with the support of the Sunnis and the Kurds.
One of Mr Abadi's first jobs was to reorganise the army. Many of the young, inexperienced officers have been sacked, and older men who fought in the army under Saddam Hussein have been brought in - plenty of them Sunni Muslims.
The army is being re-equipped with better weapons, and plans are afoot to create a National Guard which is intended to strengthen Iraq's defences against IS.
Driving along the eastern bank of the Euphrates and watching Brig Karram's men, it is already clear that their morale is far higher. They no longer regard IS as supermen.
They believe they can beat them - with the help of Western air strikes.


...and we have this: Iraq’s Anbar appeals for help against Islamic State

Map showing air strikes against IS in Syria and Iraq since 8 Aug 2014
Iraqi officials have made an urgent appeal for military help in the western Anbar province, saying the area could fall to Islamic State (IS) militants.
The jihadist group has been attacking the provincial capital Ramadi, and has seized army bases in the area.
A US official told AFP news agency the situation in Anbar was "fragile".
IS fighters control large stretches of territory in Syria and Iraq. They are also fighting for control of the Syrian border town of Kobane.
Anbar is a strategically important province, and home to Iraq's second-largest dam, the Haditha dam.
Seizing Anbar would give IS control of a stretch of territory across much of Syria and Iraq, enabling it to establish a supply line and potentially launch attacks on the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.
'Fall in days'
Anbar's provincial council submitted a request to the Iraqi government asking for US ground troops to help fight IS militants, Iraq's al-Sharqiyah TV reported.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has repeatedly ruled out any foreign ground troops in Iraq.
The US military has carried out several air strikes on IS militants, preventing them from seizing the Haditha dam. However, IS militants are still advancing in the province.
The vice-president of the council, Faleh al-Issawi, warned that Anbar could "fall in 10 days", The Times newspaper reported.
Fighting in Kobane, the Kurdish town on the Syria-Turkey border, had diverted international attention from the IS advance in Anbar, he added.
A US defence official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP that the situation in Anbar was "tenuous".
"They are being resupplied and they're holding their own, but it's tough and challenging."
Smoke rises from clashes between the Iraqi army and IS near Ramadi last month
IS fighters have attacked army bases and police stations elsewhere in Anbar
Iraqi government troops were unable to effectively combat the IS threat, US officials added.
One said that there was "no comparison" between the effectiveness of Kurdish forces and the Iraqi army.
"The Kurds are moving, they're taking back towns and territory," the official said, whereas the Iraqi army "starts an operation and it stops after a kilometre".
'Massacre likely'
Islamic State forces have continued to take ground inside the Syrian border town of Kobane.
Targets hit by US-led air strikes in Iraq and Syria
They have overrun the headquarters of the Kurdish militia, and have all but encircled the town despite continuing air strikes by the US-led coalition.
On Friday, the UN special envoy to Syria warned that up to 700 people were trapped in the town.
Staffan de Mistura said that the civilians would "most likely be massacred'' if the town fell to IS.
Kurdish forces, who are being helped by US-led coalition strikes against IS, say they urgently need more weapons and ammunition to push back the militants' advance in the town.
Turkey is reluctant to get involved militarily, partly because it is concerned about arming the Kurdish forces who are fighting the IS militants. Turkey fought a long civil war with its Kurdish minority.
IS says it aims to establish a "caliphate", a state ruled by a single political and religious leader according to Islamic law, or Sharia.
It has become known for brutal tactics, including mass killings, abductions of members of religious and ethnic minorities, and the beheadings of soldiers and journalists.


  1. This is an important report on the progress of the Iraqi 17th Division and their struggle with ISIS. You will recall that this is the same army that was disgraced by ISIS in June. I posted a video on the bottom of the post which recorded the events by ISIS.

    This current report by the BBC shows the same division today. It is a glass, half full.

  2. Back in June, it was reported by CNN:

    Washington (CNN) -- How big of a threat is ISIS really?

    The White House wants to find out and is deploying as many as 300 military advisers to Iraq to assess the might of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

    The jihadi group’s rash battlefield successes make it look extremely fierce.

    ISIS militants have surged from the border with Syria to blitz major cities in Iraq's northern Sunni region, taking Tal Afar and Mosul, then moving quickly south. Hundreds of thousands of civilians fled from their path, creating a new refugee crisis.

    They have advanced on Baquba, just north of Baghdad, and are threatening to attack the capital.

    The Obama administration has said there will be no more American boots on the ground after the drawdown of all American troops -- tens of thousands of them.

    It’s up to the advisers to help Iraqi security forces vanquish ISIS on their own.

    Washington officials have said little about what they’ll actually be doing, and expert opinions on that and on whether they should be in Iraq at all are split.

    Who are they?

    They are high-ranking officers. They are Navy SEALs and Army Rangers, said retired Marine Sgt. Adam Banotai.
    Banotai, who scrapped through the brutal battle for Falluja during the Iraq war, thinks the term "adviser" is misplaced.
    "It is political semantics," he said. “We are calling them adviser now ... instead of combat troops or boots on the ground," he said.

    "They are the most elite fighters we have," he added. “So, if they aren’t going to be combat troops, I'm not quite sure who the President is going to refer to as combat troops."

    In all fairness, it looks as if it is working in Iraq.

  3. Obama may be accomplishing a military turnaround in Iraq in a manner similar to the intelligent beginning of US support for the Northern Alliance in the wary apart of the Afghan War. We shall see.

    1. That's the plan, the essence of the "Rat Doctrine"

  4. Leon Panetta thinks not:

    In the third high-profile book this year to detail behind-the-scenes conversations inside the White House, another former member of Obama’s administration has opened up with criticisms of the president’s embattled foreign policy.

    President Barack Obama “needs to jump in the ring” and fight the problems facing the United States for the entirety of the next two years of his term, former CIA Director Leon Panetta said this week.

    “Too often in my view the president relies on the logic of a law professor rather than the passion of a leader,” he writes in his new 512-page memoir, “Worthy Fights.” Panetta’s critical account is similar to those of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

    In the book, released Tuesday, Panetta has harsh words for the president’s handling of the current situation in Syria and Iraq. He writes that Obama’s past decisions in the two countries strengthened the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which consequently made the battle against the terror group more difficult.

  5. As Director of the CIA, Panetta presided over the operations that led to Osama bin Laden's death on May 1, 2011.

    1. He also watched as 150,000 civilians died in Mexico.

  6. Panetta spent two years in the military as an Intelligence Officer. Long enough to get a picture.


    The US-led coalition is pounding Islamic State (Isis) in the Syrian border town of Kobani with some of its most intense air strikes so far, according to a Kurdish official and an activist group.

    But the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that despite overnight air strikes Isis fighters had captured a police station in the east of the town and now controlled one-third of Kobani.

    Idriss Nassan, an official with the town’s Kurdish government, said the police station was taken but that it was later destroyed in a strike. He said the Kurdish fighters managed to regain several other areas of the town on Thursday.

    The Isis onslaught on Kobani, which started in mid-September, has forced some 200,000 people to flee the area.

    The latest air strikes come after the White House admitted on Wednesday that military advances by Isis in Syria showed the limits of America’s policy to “roll back” its fighters without committing US ground troops. But it insisted that a long-term coalition strategy would defeat the militant group.

    “There are limitations associated with the exclusive use of air power,” said President Obama’s spokesman, Josh Earnest. “Our strategy [in Syria] is reliant on something that is not yet in place … a Syrian opposition that can take the fight to Isil [Isis],” he added.

    Speaking at the Pentagon after a meeting with top generals, Obama said: “It remains a difficult mission. As I’ve indicated from the start, this is not something that is going to be solved overnight.”

    The increasing gloom about short-term prospects for Kobani was echoed by the secretary of state, John Kerry, who met the UK foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, in Washington to discuss a British offer to help train other Syrian rebel groups to take on Isis


    We keep hearing the bullshit from the Turkish Ass Stabbers about their training of Syrian moderates. I wouldn’t trust the Turks with anything. We don’t have to train the Kurds and Hezbollah. We need to provide amazing arms to the Kurds and do nothing but watch in awe at Hezbollah.

    The US military has some amazing anti-tank weapons. Give them to the Kurds as a goodbye kiss and a hug to the ass stabbers.

    1. What is required is a properly integrated attack, beginning with bombing and followed up swiftly and effectively by ground troops.

      Communication and Coordination

  8. Erdogan wants to be a Petite Putin, let him go. He is a no good prick and Turkey is less than worthless to US interests and NATO. The US should use this opportunity to create normalized relationships and recognition of Iran, Kurdistan, Iraq and Lebanon. Syria will have to sort itself out. Normalized US relationships in the area would only help Israel instead of the moronic Neocon, so-called US Christian and Likud wet dream of constant destabilization of the ME. It would be a good time to get rid of the US ban on exporting petroleum and let the Russians and Saudis digest that for awhile.

  9. This ought to be good:

    Fisherman From China Dies in Clash Off S. Korea

    By CHOE SANG-HUNOCT. 10, 2014

    SEOUL, South Korea — The captain of a Chinese fishing boat was killed on Friday when the South Korean Coast Guard fired shots as officers tried to impound a vessel they said was illegally fishing in South Korean waters.

    A coast guard official said the captain appeared to have been struck when an officer fired warning shots from a pistol during a violent clash between South Korean officers who boarded the ship and the crews of the boat and four other vessels that joined in the fight. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because there had been no official government announcement about the cause of the captain’s death.

  10. General Bob thinks we can stop ISIS from the air, and mostly protect Kurdistan.

    But defeating ISIS from the air only, naw.

    The Iraqi Army ought to be able to defend Baghdad.

    Other than that don't count on much.

    Yours, from the High Command here in Northern Idaho.


    1. Accept No Substitutes
      Column: Only American ground troops can defeat the Islamic State

      Might as well back my opinion up with somebody who knows something.

    2. Therefore, protect Kurdistan, and let the rest go to hell.

    3. Korbne is in Kurdistan, Robert "Bob the Knob" Robertson, should the US "protect" them with ground troops.
      Should the US invade Syria?

  11. STUDY: Obama gives most dumbed-down presidential speeches since WW2.......drudge

    I'd say since World War 1, but the optics are OK.

  12. National Geographic Alleges that Birdwatching is Racist; An Urban Birdwatcher Responds
    Danusha Goska
    According to the National Geographic, birdwatchers have replaced the KKK as the major threat to racial peace and harmony. More at American Thinker

    I'm not going to read wife is a bird watcher......

  13. GALLUP: OBAMA 39% APPROVAL.......drudge

    Getting down there into Bush territory.

    Only Rufus remains steadfast, stubborn, and unrepentant.

  14. What is required is a properly integrated attack, beginning with bombing and followed up swiftly and effectively by ground troops.

    The idea that only US troops can swiftly and effectively follow up, pure bunk.
    It is RACIST at its core.

  15. "Degrade and ultimately destroy"

    Not exactly bumper sticker material, is it?

    No "Iraqi Freedom." No "Enduring Justice." No "Thor's Hammer From God Against the Heathens!"

    No Pentagon Briefing at 3:00 Eastern with maps, and charts, and gunship videos of bombs a'blowin' up buildings, and tanks.

    Just "well, we might not save that town, but we will ultimately degrade them some, maybe, if things mostly work well, and Michelle says she thinks it's alright, and the girls approve - they asked about that last night at dinner, you know- anyway, I've gotta go to a fundraiser, and then we're having a party at the white house in honor of beyonce's new shoes, or something, and some Corporal from somewhere is going to have a little information on this when he gets back from leave - or something - later.

    Oh, and God Bless America

    or, something.

    1. Hell, let the Iraqi fight for Iraq.
      Who really gives a shit, if they are the "Good Guys", which means ...

      If they are not al-Qeada.

      That is the Enemy that the US is still at war with.
      14SEP2001 AUMF, never repealed or rescinded.

      If Israel prefers al-Qeada, then Israel is the enemy, as well.
      That is the Law, US Law
      Passed by Congress, signed by the President.

      Israel prefers Daesh (al-Qeada) in Syria, over the Alawites, Christians and their Kurdish allies

      Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren told the Jerusalem Post that Israel so wanted Assad out and his Iranian backers weakened, that Israel would accept al-Qaeda operatives taking power in Syria.

      “We always wanted Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran.”

      Even if the other “bad guys” were affiliated with al-Qaeda.
      “We understand that they are pretty bad guys,” Oren said in the interview.

      The US could attack Israel, for the aid and comfort it has provided al-Qeada.

      Te enemy of the United States, Bibi, giving solace to al-Qeada terrorists in an Israeli hospital

      Israel has painted a target on itself, but Bibi knows that Mr Obama and Mr Biden, they are Zionists, too.

      Section 2 - Authorization For Use of United States Armed Forces

      (a) IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

      The Israeli provide aid to al-Qeada combatants, the Israeli are enablers of International Terrorism.

      Israel - Founded by Terrorists and Sustained by Terrorism and now ... Allied with Islamic Terrorists

      In broad daylight, a Saudi-Israeli alliance

      Saudi Israeli alliance forged in blood

      Understanding the Israeli-Egyptian-Saudi alliance

  16. "Bob the Knob" would rather have US soldiers killed, than to even accept the idea that foreign troops could do the same tasks, if those foreign troops were provided the same level of support the US soldiers would need, to succeed.

    The Draft Dodger, Robert Peterson, promotes himself to President, but does not meet the minimum requirement, being as 'smart' as Barack Obama.

    1. Drafter Dodger "Bob the Knob Peterson has stated that MR Obama is the "Worse President Ever".
      Which Mr Obama may well be.

      But the ideas that are advocated by Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson, they are so much worse than anything Mr Obama has proposed. "Bob the Knob" would sacrifice US troops, when those he would be 'protecting' could well fight for themselves.

      Legionnaire Q, would rather see Kobane fall to the Daesh then to see the Iraqi Army defeat those terrorist aggressors.
      Claiming the Iraqi 'can' do it', when the posted article is an indicator that they could.

      Legionnaire Q, he just 'knows' about those Iraqi troops. His knowledge based upon his years as an aspiring writer.

    2. (Legionnaire Q) Claiming the Iraqi "can't do it", when the posted article is an indicator that they could.

  17. Here's the simple fact:

    NO ONE in the region has the horsepower to do what they want to do. Daesh does not have the troops to conquer Iraq (yet.)

    Iraq does not have the Army to Protect Iraq (yet.)

    This is why you see cities like Tikrit, Fallujah, etc., half in control of the IS, half under control of the army, or the locals.

    The same principle applies to Syria.

    With the size of the population from which to recruit, and the air support of the coalition, the end result in Iraq is fairly predictable.

    Syria? Not so much.

    But, Assad is starting to look like a potential survivor.

    We'll see.

    1. Kobane is the same situation. The Daesh don't have the troops to completely conquer it, and the Kobanis don't have enough forces to protect all of it.

      And, at our present level of engagement, it looks doubtful that we can fully "turn the tide." We haven't even bothered to position a carrier in the Med, off the coast of Syria. That would make a huge difference in the ease of our Kobani mission. It's almost like our "planners" wish Kobani would go ahead and fall, and let them get back to the primary job (protecting the oil.)

  18. It's hard to imagine a worse PR mistake than the one Obama is making. He's trying to "downplay" the war. Well, That's a bad idea.

    While it's true that his base disapproves of military action, they even more disapprove of "half-hearted" military action;" and by downplaying the bombing, Obama is giving the impression of exactly that.

  19. "Idriss Nassan, an official with the town’s Kurdish government, said the police station was taken but that it was later destroyed in a strike. "

    This speaks to a fairly high level of "coordination."

    1. And, pretty good "targeting," too.

    2. The Air Force (and, the Army and Navy, to be fair) are "fighting the future, fighting the future, and fighting the future."

      But, 20 LARGER Drones, with a belly full of missiles, and bombs, and Airborne Refueling Capability, and 60 PFC's, playing with joysticks, would completely decimate the Daesh in Kobane.

      And, the money saved would be mind-boggling.

  20. Medicare Part B Deductibles, and Premiums, Will Not Rise, this year.

    That Obamacare is just "killing" the old folks, eh?

    Oh, and don't forget to get your free "Obamacare" Flu Shot.

    And, (trust me on this one) the free shingles vaccination is more than worth the money.

    Also, you can get your PSA checked (always a good idea,) and /or a mammogram, and / or one of many other tests and vaccines, Free under Obamacare.

    Watch out for them "Death Panels," though.

    1. This must be just 'splodin' the ol' deficit, eh?

      Huh? What? . . . . . . The Deficit is Down 72% under Obama?

      Get Outta Here.

  21. About 30,000 people contracted the flu, and died from it, in the U.S. last year.

    "0" people contracted Ebola in the U.S. in the last year.

    That's some "outbreak."

  22. "rat" sounds like he is on meth this morning.

    No rationality at all.

    Just fried brain ends.

    Look at this fried egg of a thought here, for instance:

    The idea that only US troops can swiftly and effectively follow up, pure bunk.
    It is RACIST at its core.

    Yep, he's on meth.......the attention span and intellectual coherence of a simian.

    Fried frontal lobes.

    1. The only one who i fried, the Draft Doder, Robert Peterson.
      The coward who would send others off to do what he would not ...

      Protect US interests with his own service.
      His own time, his own efforts.

      He claims that no others in the entire world can match the US soldier, if provided with the same support.

      That is delusional, that is racist.
      What else, though, would anyone expect from Robert "Bob the Knob" Peterson.

    2. The only one who is fried, the Draft Doder, Robert Peterson.

    3. Jack HawkinsSat Oct 11, 09:10:00 AM EDT
      The only one who is fried, the Draft Doder, Robert Peterson.

      Dear Jack/rat.

      Please explain what a Draft Doder is.

      One who think, as a self professed expert at the English language, publishing, writing, syntax and all things literary you could learn how to type.

      Your errors are numerous and often.

      You say:

      Jack HawkinsSat Oct 11, 09:09:00 AM EDT
      The only one who i fried, the Draft Doder, Robert Peterson.

      What kind of sentence is that? What does it mean? I see how Bob draws the conclusion that your PROBLEM is meth, however it also can be attributed to severe anxiety and nervous depression. A narcissist like you melts down when faced with over whelming evidence that OTHERS can see their faults and weaknesses.

      Please seek medical treatment as soon as possible.

      If I am incorrect and you do not suffer from acute depression coupled with narcism you might just have PSTD or ever a brain tumor.

      Seek medical care asap.

      You are getting worse and worse each day.

      It is obvious to all at the blog. ALL....

  23. October 11, 2014
    ISIS advance in Iraq threatens Anbar province
    By Rick Moran

    American military sources told CNN that Anbar province is in danger of falling to ISIS forces who are also threatening Baghdad.

    Despite dozens of air strikes, the Iraq army in the area is in danger of being cut off and the Pentagon is growing anxious about the situation.


    A key province near Iraq's capital is in trouble amid an onslaught from ISIS forces, the U.S. defense secretary said Friday, signaling the Islamist extremist group is continuing to flex its muscles and expand its territory -- on several fronts -- despite international airstrikes.

    Speaking to reporters during his travels in South America, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said there's a lot of uncertainty about what will happen with Anbar province, which is just west of Baghdad.

    These comments are in alignment with those of a senior U.S. defense official who told CNN that Iraqi forces are "up against the wall" in Anbar. Some units are in danger of being cut off by the advancing militants, who call themselves members of the Islamic State.

    The Iraqis' ultimate goal is to take back some of the vast areas, in both Iraq and Syria, that ISIS controls. But right now, Iraqi forces appear to be mostly trying to survive -- taking defensive positions and using Apache helicopters again, even after two were shot down in the area this week, according to the U.S. official.

    "We do see ISIL continue to make gains in Anbar province and (are) mindful of how Anbar relates to the security of Baghdad," said another senior U.S. defense official.

    The first official said the U.S. military is more confident right now about the Iraqi military's ability to protect Baghdad. The Iraqi brigades defending the capital are more capable and include U.S. military advisers, so at least Washington should have a better sense there if there's any imminent danger.

    Abu Ahmed, a 42-year-old colonel who belongs to a group allied with the Iraqi government, said that "a large number of ISIS militants" attacked al-Garma, in Anbar province, around 3 a.m. Friday.

    What began with the detonation of seven vehicles by a bridge ended about five hours later. In between, Ahmed said there was "a fierce battle" with ISIS militants on one side and Iraqi and local allied forces on the other.

    "During the fight, ISIS militants set some oil containers and tires on fire to block the view from the Iraqi air support that was called in," Ahmed said. "... The Iraqi army and Awakening Council fighters did not advance to the positions where ISIS militants were fighting, fearing booby traps and planted (improvised explosive devices)."

    As we've seen in the past, ISIS forces apparently have excellent leadership. Whoever is planning these operations knows a thing or two about combat. And while fanaticism might make up for defects in their officer corps, there is no substitute for intelligent direction on the battlefield.

    The ISIS forces have a huge psychological advantage thanks to their bloodthirsty ways, while the Iraqis appear to still be struggling with small unit leadership. If the guy next to you doesn't have your back, you're much more likely to run away. American officers may be a steadying presence for some Iraqi units, but in the coming battle for Baghdad, will it be enough to prevent a collapse like we saw in Mosul?

    It doesn't sound like American military observers have much confidence in the Iraqi's army ability to resist. But there are half a million Iraqi troops in Baghdad so perhaps sheer numbers will save them in the end.

    Read more:
    Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook

    1. That's what I think.

      Baghdad is just too big..............

      Time will tell.

    2. The American Stinker, once again beating the drums of defeat.
      Not by reporting what is happening ...

      But by telling their dim witted readers about ...
      What may happen.

      Draft dodgers, like Robert Peterson, they love the American Stinker, its anti-American mumblings fitting their mental imagery of an imaginary United States. The United States they would have sacrificed for, if only ...

    3. American Thinker is a daily internet publication devoted to the thoughtful exploration of issues of importance to Americans. Contributors are accomplished in fields beyond journalism and animated to write for the general public out of concern for the complex and morally significant questions on the national agenda.

      There is no limit to the topics appearing on American Thinker. National security in all its dimensions -- strategic, economic, diplomatic, and military -- is emphasized. The right to exist and the survival of the State of Israel are of great importance to us. Business, science, technology, medicine, management, and economics in their practical and ethical dimensions are also emphasized, as is the state of American culture.


      Editor and Publisher — Thomas Lifson
      Senior Editor — Larrey Anderson
      Deputy Editor — Drew Belsky
      News Editor — Ed Lasky
      Blog Editor — Rick Moran
      Manager, Social Media — David Daley
      Chief Political Correspondent — Richard Baehr
      Consulting Editor — J.R. Dunn
      Staff biographies

      Thomas Lifson, editor and publisher, calls himself a recovering academic. After graduating from Kenyon College, he studied modern Japan, sociology, and business as a graduate student at Harvard (three degrees) and joined the faculty at Harvard Business School, where he began the consulting career that was to lead him away from academia. He also taught sociology and East Asian studies at Harvard and held visiting professorships at Columbia University and the Japanese National Museum of Ethnology. As a consultant, he has worked with major companies from the United States, Japan, Europe, Asia, and Australasia at the nexus of human, organizational, and strategic issues.

      A Democrat by birth, Thomas became more conservative in adulthood as reality taught him that dreams of perfecting human society always run smack into human nature.

      In 2003 he founded American Thinker.

      Me thinks that our own "Jack Hawkins" is jealous.

      After all by calling the "American Thinker" the "American Sticker" he's just calling slurs and names.

      Green is the color of envy. Maybe Jack/rat is sad his own publishing career failed so miserably?

      What is the potential circulation of a newspaper/magazine about Horses and Riding? Far smaller than world events and politics.

      Maybe that's the root of Jack/rat's anger.

      Business failure.

  24. Denver Post Editorial Backing Gardner -

    Congress is hardly functioning these days. It can't pass legislation that is controversial and it often can't even pass legislation on which there is broad agreement. Its reputation is abysmal, and even its members rarely dispute the popular indictment.

    It needs fresh leadership, energy and ideas, and Cory Gardner can help provide them in the U.S. Senate.

    In every position the Yuma Republican has held over the years — from the state legislature to U.S. House of Representatives — he has quickly become someone to be reckoned with and whose words carry weight. An analysis on ABC News’ website, for example, singled out Gardner a year ago — before he declared for the Senate — as one of the party’s “rising stars” who represented “a new generation of talent” and who had become a “go-to” member of leadership.

    And this was about someone who wasn't elected to Congress until 2010. Nor is Gardner a political time-server interested only in professional security. He is giving up a safe seat in the House to challenge a one-term Senate incumbent, Democrat Mark Udall, in what is typically an uphill effort.

    It's time for a change

    Fortunately for Gardner, the polls are showing the contest a tossup. Voters may be sensing the time has come for change.

    1. Udall is a fine man with good intentions, and on some issues our views are closer to his than to Gardner's. But he is not perceived as a leader in Washington and, with rare exceptions such as wind energy and intelligence gathering, he is not at the center of the issues that count — as his Democratic colleague, Sen. Michael Bennet, always seems to be.

      Rather than run on his record, Udall's campaign has devoted a shocking amount of energy and money trying to convince voters that Gardner seeks to outlaw birth control despite the congressman's call for over-the-counter sales of contraceptives. Udall is trying to frighten voters rather than inspire them with a hopeful vision. His obnoxious one-issue campaign is an insult to those he seeks to convince.

      One-two punch in Senate

      If Gardner's past is any guide, he would very likely match Bennet's influence in the upper chamber, providing Colorado with a powerful one-two punch and pairing two young, energetic senators with clout on both sides of the aisle.

      If Gardner wins, of course, it could mean the Senate has flipped to Republicans. However, that doesn't mean it will simply butt heads with President Obama as the Republican House has done. As The Wall Street Journal's Gerald Seib recently pointed out, "A look back shows that eras of evenly divided power — Congress fully controlled by one party, the presidency by the other — have turned out to be among the most productive" because both sides temper their policies.

      By contrast, we can be sure of what will happen in the next two years on issues such as immigration, tax reform, entitlement reform and military spending if the status quo persists: little to nothing. And yet these issues are critical to the nation's economic health and a long-awaited boost for middle-class incomes.

      Gardner has sound ideas on tax reform that could help the economy take off and has expressed willingness to compromise on immigration despite a fairly hard line over the years. And his stance on defense spending appears closer to those of Rep. Mike Coffman, who favors restraint, than to those in the GOP who view the military as sacrosanct.

      If Gardner had been a cultural warrior throughout his career, we would hesitate to support him, because we strongly disagree with him on same-sex marriage and abortion rights. But in fact he has emphasized economic and energy issues (and was, for example, an early supporter among Republicans of renewable energy).

      For that matter, his past views on same-sex marriage are becoming irrelevant now that the Supreme Court has let appeals court rulings stand and marriage equality appears unstoppable. And contrary to Udall's tedious refrain, Gardner's election would pose no threat to abortion rights.

      Credit to Udall on spying

      We'd be remiss in not giving credit to Udall for using his position on the Senate Intelligence Committee to crusade against spying activities that encroach on individual freedom and privacy. Gardner himself has praised the senator's efforts there. But the congressman hasn't been oblivious to this issue, either. He was a co-sponsor last year of the USA Freedom Act, which the ACLU praised as "real spying reform."

      Many Coloradans are no doubt sick of the overload of negative ads that have assaulted them from both sides, painting Gardner as an extremist and Udall as a mindless vote for the president's policies. Neither portrait is fair. But in their irritation with the campaigns, voters should not lose sight of the fact that a great deal is at stake. A dysfunctional Congress calls for action when voters have an attractive option to the gridlocked status quo. And in Colorado, thankfully, they do in Cory Gardner.

    2. This is a big deal......The Denver Post.......

  25. From the stupid stinker piece, above:

    "using Apache helicopters again, even after two were shot down in the area this week, according to the U.S. official."

    Two Apache helicopters Were Not Shot Down last week (or any other week) in Iraq.

    A couple of old, probably barely maintained, Iraqi army helicopters were shot down.

    This is not to say that the Daesh will never get lucky and shoot one down, or that one won't crash on its own, because, eventually, almost anything that can happen to a helicopter Will happen to a helicopters. BUT, it sure as hell didn't happen "last" week.

    1. Cntinuing to lie and misrepresent what is happening in the world ...

      Little wonder that "Bob the Knob" Peterson continues to use that rag as a reference.
      It good that he does, as it is so, so easy to refute.

  26. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Fabrication, lies and deciet, all that Robert Peterson has in his quiver.

      His mind, it left the building, oh, back in 2009, right after Mr Obama was sworn in as President of the United States.

    2. A draft dodging drunk ....
      Robert "Bob the Knob" Peterson.

  27. Meth addiction would explain how rat can say one thing one minute and the precise opposite a short while later without feeling any intellectual embarrassment whatsoever.

    The mind jumps around like a monkey's mind, wholly entranced by whatever new shiny bright thought has just arrived, only to jump to its opposite a short while later.

    This also explains the use of the heavy black type.......his mind is totally rapt in some new thought he thinks profound and he underlines it as if to say, "See, see, don't you SEE?"

    Meth addiction along with some kind of underlying psychosis.

    Meth addiction also explains his ability to blog countless hours beyond what a 'normal' human being would do.

    1. A draft dodging drunk ....
      Robert "Bob the Knob" Peterson.

      Fabrication, lies and deciet, all that Robert Peterson has in his quiver.

      His mind, it left the building, oh, back in 2009, right after Mr Obama was sworn in as President of the United States.

    2. He would use Italics and Bold type, but he cannot figure out how to perform that typing task.

      It is to hard, to steep a learning for him to ascend.

      HTML for Dummies to 'tough' a read, for "Bob the Knob" Peterson.

    3. "Bob the Knob" does admit he is no scholar, but even so, there is an assumption of basic literacy.
      HTML, the language of the World Wide Web, his blogging passion ...
      Yet he cannot handle it, cannot comprehend its basic simplicity.

      BobSun Jun 22, 01:42:00 PM EDT

      When did I ever say I was a scholar??

      I don't recall saying that.

      I have a college degree in English Lit. from U of Washington.

      To avoid being drafted in part. ...

    4. Bob,

      it's way simpler.

      Just a sick, bitter, loser of a man, who seeks attention.

      Do not reply specifically to anything he says.

      There is no discussion with someone who cannot speak truth.

  28. I invite our other contributors to consider the idea rat may well be a meth head.

    Your insights and observations would be appreciated.

    Thank you

    1. No he's not, he's the Court Jester.

      he has single handedly turned this place into a farce.

    2. This "rat", the fella that never publishes a post ...
      Obviously he must be winning the "Battle of Ideas"

    3. To cause such a series of lies and fabrications to spew from the Zionist tag team.
      They are all a twitter about ...

      Wait a second, they probably do not comprehend the intricacies of Twitter, either.

  29. Monkey meth mind on racism -

    Jack HawkinsFri Jul 18, 12:36:00 AM EDT

    I mean, you are an Israeli, and there is nothing worse than that.

    In all the world, the Arabs of Israel are the scum.

    Now if you were a European, well thatd be different, but Israelis are all Arabs, Semites.
    Scum of the Earth


    Have a nightmare tonight and a shitty tomorrow,
    QuirkFri Jul 18, 01:13:00 AM EDT


    And the voice of the rat is heard in the land.

    And the world once again cringes.

    1. you continue to post that piece of writing, it gladdens my heart, Robert " Draft Dodger" Peterson.

      It indicates that you are in agreement with it.
      As for the Legionnaire Q, he is not performing on the assignment he volunteered for. Wrestling that bear, tougher task than he thought it was.

      When he went to find the images on the screen, he found they did not match the story in his head.
      As I knew would be the case.

      Putting on my shoes, now, will be out the door, soon enough ...
      "Bob the Knob", he's licking his lips in anticipation of the discharge.

  30. Now, fellas, I am flying over to Palm Springs for a weekend of polo.
    So I will not be dedicating the few minutes of time this 'hobby' takes, over the weekend.

    1. We shall alert Homeland Security for the safety of all.

  31. Ahead of Halloween, the Sun Resembles a Jack-O’-Lantern

    Composite images......nifty from NASA

  32. Jack HawkinsSat Oct 11, 09:09:00 AM EDT
    The only one who i fried, the Draft Doder, Robert Peterson.
    The coward who would send others off to do what he would not ...

    Jack HawkinsSat Oct 11, 09:10:00 AM EDT
    The only one who is fried, the Draft Doder, Robert Peterson.

    Notice how Jack/rat, in a rush to insult cuts and pastes the same error of typing over and over, even as he corrects himself on one error another shines thru.

  33. Samra Kesinovic, 17, and Sabina Selimovic, 15, had been dubbed poster girls for the jihadist groups after fleeing to Raqqa in central Syria. They have since married foreign fighters in the city and become pregnant.

    But the city’s strict Islamic lifestyle has turned sour for the girls, who want to return to Europe.

    They have contacted their loved ones and told them they are sick of living with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) jihadis.

    O RLY

  34. Bob, you gotta make your links clicky, like this:

    <a href=""></a>

    Which renders as this:

    1. I have forgotten the formula, Miss T.

      Remind me how to do it. I used to do it that way.

    2. Jeez, you just did give me the formula !

      I admit I have been talking with my wife about the trail cam, which she is setting up, and we are reading the directions.

      It has a video you can set to how long, etc.

    3. It has a memory card. Take that out and slip it into your computer, bingo, you got your pics !!

      Night photos too.

      I'm excited.

  35. Rat, give your head a shake!

    American is not a race.

    Ethics is not metaphysics.

  36. .

    Now, fellas, I am flying over to Palm Springs for a weekend of polo.

    Says the rat, as he adjusts his official Snoopy Hat and Goggles set (picked up on e-bay for $7.99) and pulls up Microsoft Flight Simulator on his PC for a virtual flight to Palm Springs. As he waits for the game to load, he settles back into his rocker (the only piece of furniture he has left after his last divorce) and slips the How to Mount Your Horse video from PoloSkilz into his VCR.

    He grimaces as he hears his mother call down from the top of the stairs, "Jack, do you want a fried boloney sandwich for breakfast, hon?" He yells back, "No ma. Not now. How many times do I have to tell you not to bother me when I am flying."


    1. Rat's mother doesn't like his tone of voice. She comes down into the basement and holds a ball-peen hammer over his game cartridges. "Talk like that to me again and say goodbye to all your friends," she warns him.

  37. .

    Sorry guys, I may not be here this weekend, not even for the miniscule time I spend here between running my bath and trimming my nails.

    I will be getting re-certified on my sniper rifle. Plus I have to take my jet pack over to Chi-town to visit Xang Li's Martial Arts Stuff in order to pick up a new set of nunchucks . Xang Li is the only dealer in the US that sells the official Teenage Mutant Turtle Nunchucks and I only use the very best.

    You are probably asking, "What the f**k. This sounds serious, what the hell is the Quirkster up to this time?"

    Well, Obama called said they were having trouble with IS in Iraq/Syria, got a big election coming up, asked if I could help.

    Sounded serious, thus the preparation. I checked my terrorist rolodex, got Baghdadi's number, called him on my satellite phone and told him, "Get out of, I mean, wait get out of countries, Syria and Iraq, and do it before November because if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you".

    After a moment, Baghdadi said, "Try it".

    Ladies and gentlemen, you are about to see military history being made before your very eyes.


  38. Does this mean you will be a no show at the Idaho/Georgia Southern game this afternoon?

  39. This trail cam even has a solar panel one can buy for extra to keep the batteries charged. I am thinking about it.

    1. We will put a salt lick out. That ALWAYS brings the deer in, I would think the elk too.

      Big salt cube lasts a few months maybe. Then what you see is the earth dug up, the deer trying to get the last of the salt from the soil.

    2. .

      That's when the wolves attack, the deer/elk distracted, bloated from all the salt they have absorbed, discombobulated from the clicking of the camera. They don't have a chance.

      Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you are seeing military history being made before your eyes.


  40. Georgia Southern is first in the Conference, Idaho last.

    For QUIRK

    Want to be a Vandal?

    Sign up sheet.

    Lots of personal information required Quirk, including:

    Counselor's First Name:
    Counselor's Last Name:
    Counselor's Phone:
    Counselor's Fax:
    Counselor's Email:

    We look after our own !

    1. Also:

      Guardian's First Name:
      Guardian's Last Name:
      Guardian's Address (If Different):
      Guardian's City:
      Guardian's State:
      Guardian's Zip:
      Guardian's Occupation:
      Guardian's Email Address:
      Guardian's Cell Phone:
      Guardian's Business Ph.:

      Your have my permission to list me as your Guardian, Quirk.

      Always looking out for you, as you are incapable of looking out for yourself.

    2. .

      Unfortunately, I don't have 'lots of personal information'. Lost it all in a big real estate scam back in '08.

    3. .

      I'm lucky the bankruptcy left me with a clean pair of underwear.


    4. By Gott I did it !!!

      Thanks, Miss T !!

      There you go Quirk, one click away from being a Vandal !!

    5. Congratulations, Bob. Now just remember never to click on penis enlargement attachments in your email, or surf to and your computer will be fine!

  41. Things are looking desperate in Kobane. Still the Turks allow no weapons in and are sitting on their hands. Turkey was brought into NATO to defend against the Russians. Only the delusional would believe that Turkey would do anything if the Russians decided to assault a NATO country. Another worthless US ally in the ME on a good day.

    1. "another"?

      Turkey has screwed over America for decades.

      Remember the Iraq war? Remember how it cost America a logistical nightmare when turkey REFUSED to allow US troops to use bases to go into iraq?

      Turkey has not been an ally or friend of the west for quite some time.

      Maybe America should remember that.

  42. I am reading the Kurds are running out of ammo.

    Surely we can get them some ammo.

    1. .

      According to reports I have seen they also need the basics like food and water. Even if the US can't walk the supplies over from Turkey, one would think they could airlift them in just as they supplied the refugees on Sinjar Mountain. It's obvious the problem is more political than logistical.


    2. .

      On the same subject, I just saw a CNN report indicating that the IS is attacking Iraqi troops around Haditha, and that US planes were making air drops to resupply the Iraqi troops by air so there is little reason to think that we couldn't do the same thing in Kobane, well, I mean if we wanted to.

      CNN also reports that IS is in the process of moving 10,000 troops from around Mosul into Anbar Province to join the fighting there. If true, what is wrong with this picture?

      No matter how small you divide the units up, there will still be a lot of them and they will be traveling with equipment, trucks, heavy equipment, artillery, possibly tanks. They will be traveling through desert where we have been assured they will be sitting ducks. Hopefully, if the report is true, we will be seeing more action out of the coalition air strikes.

      Despite what some here say, despite administration protestations that they are primarily concerned with IS command and control and infrastructure and not so much personnel or population centers, 400 airstrikes in a two month period are a nit especially since you would expect they are taking out the low hanging fruit first and that finding new targets can only get harder from here.


    3. "CNN also reports that IS is in the process of moving 10,000 troops from around Mosul into Anbar Province to join the fighting there. If true, what is wrong with this picture?"

      The fact that it's total nonsense?

  43. .

    Vaya con dios, amigos and amigas.

    I am off to the range. I want to be ready. I booked a discount flight to Baghdad on It leaves Sunday.


    1. Give Maria a hug and kiss from me.

    2. (I don't know what Q is up to but he's up to something today)

  44. When the Iragi Army (sic) stands and fights, call me.