“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, March 28, 2015

Where are the Turkish, Saudi, Kuwaiti, Israeli or Qatari troops fighting ISIS?

The Enemy of My Enemy

The Enemy of My Enemy
Yemen Allies Saudi Arabia and Egypt Consider Intervention in Yemen, but Likely Only by Air

The forces that do not want a U.S. nuclear deal with Iran, nor any U.S. detente with Iran, are impressive.
Among them are the Israelis and their powerful lobby AIPAC, the Saudis and their Sunni allies on the Persian Gulf, a near unanimity of Republicans and a plurality of Democrats in Congress.
Is there a case to be made for a truce in the venomous conflict that has gone on between us since the taking of U.S. hostages in 1979? Is there any common ground?
To both questions, President Obama and John Kerry believe the answer is yes. And they are not without an argument.
First, the alternative to a truce — breaking off of negotiations, doubling down on demands Iran dismantle all nuclear facilities, tougher sanctions — inevitably leads to war. And we all know it.
Yet Americans do not want another war in the Middle East, with a nation three times the size of Iraq, and its allies across the region.
Nor can Iran want such a war. Had the ayatollahs and mullahs wanted it, they could have had a war with the United States at any time in the third of a century since they seized power.
Yet as Ronald Reagan was taking the oath in 1981, our hostages were suddenly on their way home. With the accidental shoot-down of an Iranian Airbus by the cruiser Vincennes in 1988, the Ayatollah ended his war with Saddam Hussein, fearful the Americans were about to intervene on the side of Iraq.
Why Iran wants to avoid war is obvious. Given U.S. air, missile and naval power, and cyberwarfare capabilities, a war with the United States would do to Iran what we did to Iraq, smash it up, set it back decades, perhaps break up the country.
Some mullahs may be fanatics, but Iran is not run by fools.
Yet even if we have a mutual interest in avoiding a war, where is the common ground between us?
Let us begin with the Sunni terrorists of al-Qaida who brought down the twin towers, and the Islamic State that is beheading Christians, apostates, and nonbelievers, and intends to establish a Middle East caliphate where there are no Americans, no Christians, and no Shiites.
Americans and Iranians have a common goal of degrading and defeating them.
In the Syrian civil war, Iran and its Shiite allies in Hezbollah have prevented the fall of the Alawite regime of Bashar Assad. For years, Iran has helped to keep the al-Nusra Front and ISIL out of Damascus.
When the Islamic State seized Mosul and most of Anbar, the Iranians helped to rally Shiite resistance to defend Baghdad, and are now assisting the Iraqi army in its effort to recapture Tikrit.
Until this week, the U.S. stayed out, as Shiite militias were mauled by fewer than 1,000 jihadis. Wednesday, however, we intervened with air power, thus exposing Iraq’s reliance on us.
This does not contradict but rather reinforces the point. In the war to expel the Islamic State from Iraq, we and Iran are on the same side.
Does Iran wish to displace American influence in Baghdad?
Undeniably. But when we destroyed the Sunni Baathist regime of Saddam, disbanded his army and held elections, we greased the skids for a pro-Iranian Shiite regime. We can’t walk that cat back.
Consider Yemen.
This week, the Saudis sent their air force against the Houthi rebels who had seized the capital of Sanaa, driven out the president, and have now driven south to Aden to take over half of the country.
Why is the Saudi air force attacking the Houthis?
The Houthis belong to a sect close to the Shiite and are supported by Iran. Yet the Houthis, who bear no love for us, began this war to expel al-Qaida from Yemen. And their hatred for ISIS is surely greater than it is for us or Israel, as, last week, 137 of their co-religionists were massacred in two mosque bombings in Sanaa. ISIS claimed credit.
In summary, though the Houthi rebels in Yemen, Shiite militia in Iraq, Iran, Hezbollah, and the Alawite regime of Assad may not love us, they look on al-Qaida and ISIS as mortal enemies. And, thus far, they alone have seemed willing to send troops to defeat them.
Where are the Turkish, Saudi, Kuwaiti or Qatari troops?
During World War II, the U.S. Navy and Merchant Marine shipped tanks, guns and munitions to a Soviet Union that was doing most of the fighting and suffering most of the casualties in the war against Hitler.
No matter all the “Uncle Joe” drivel at Tehran and Yalta, we were never true friends or allies, and shared nothing in common with the monster Stalin, save Hitler’s defeat.
If President Nixon could toast Mao Zedong, can we not deal with Ayatollah Khamenei?


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. :)

      Perfectly polite comment.

      Trouble is, it was truthful.

      It said Islam is the perfect apartheid system. You either accept the program, become Islamic, or you are a second class person, a dhimmi, without any rights at all. The entire Islamic world is an apartheid.

      Israel is not. 20% of its citizen are arabs and some sit in the Knesset.

      The hoped for 'Palestinian State' is to be Jew free, which Jews can't enter only on pain of death.

      That's all it said, except I added Deuce has slipped his moorings.

    2. which Jews can enter only on the pain of death

  2. UNOCHA, who have detailed key humanitarian concerns in the oPt for the past four years, reports that about 4,000,000 Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza strip remain under an Israeli military occupation that prevents them from exercising many of their basic human rights.

    The U.N. Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the territory, James Rawley, told U.N. media that the economic and social problems are expanding from Gaza to East Jerusalem.

    “A record number of 1,215 Palestinians were displaced due to home demolitions by Israeli authorities, while settlement and settler activity continued, in contravention of international law, and contributed to humanitarian vulnerability of affected Palestinian communities,” he noted.

  3. The French and German ministers joined the talks in Switzerland on Iran’s nuclear program Saturday, as negotiators, including the U.S. secretary of state and Iran’s foreign minister, work toward a midnight Tuesday deadline.

    The ministers held private sessions with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif and consulted with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

    France, Germany and the United States are three of the six countries designated by the U.N. Security Council to conduct these talks. The British, Russian and Chinese foreign ministers are expected to join the final push to the deadline in the coming days.

    Officials describe the talks as “tough” and “difficult.” They said agreement is possible but not guaranteed. Several issues appear to still be in dispute, including the timetable for easing economic sanctions that have crippled Iran's economy.

    Key goals

    The key goals of the talks, which started two years ago, are to verifiably limit Iran’s nuclear program to ensure it cannot quickly build a nuclear weapon, and to end economic sanctions against it.

    The issues are highly complex and technical, making both sides concerned about leaving the other a way out.

    The sanctions are a web of measures imposed by the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and several other countries, and they have a variety of conditions and mechanisms attached to them.

    Iran wants all the sanctions lifted as quickly as possible after an agreement is reached. The U.N. negotiators insist on a gradual lifting as Iran demonstrates it is complying with its commitments.

    Analyst Trita Parsi of the National Iranian American Council said Iran will insist on at least some sanctions relief immediately.

    "The Iranians, it appears like, want to make sure that the Western side agrees to one permanent measure up front, in order to signal its seriousness about seeing through this deal, not for now but for the next 10 years," Parsi said.

    That could be some of the United Nations sanctions, which Kelsey Davenport of the Arms Control Association in Washington, said are particularly objectionable for Iran.

    "Iran views these sanctions as illegal, and wants them lifted early in an agreement. For Iran, the U.N. Security Council sanctions carry a significant stigma. And that’s why symbolically lifting them is something that Iran has prioritized," Davenport said.

  4. UN sanctions

    The U.N. sanctions cover weapons, nuclear technology and items with military applications, and impose travel bans and asset freezes on some Iranian officials. The most recent U.N. sanctions, now five years old, include some financial and trade restrictions, but Davenport said they have not been the ones that have particularly hurt the Iranian economy.

    “Sanctions from the United States and the EU that target the banking sector, the oil sector, investment in Iran, those are the measures that have really damaged Iran’s economy. And suspending the lifting those sanctions are what will allow Iran’s economy to rebuild," Davenport said.

    But lifting those sanctions requires action by Western political leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama, who faces strong opposition in Congress to any move to ease pressure on Iran. The president has the authority to lift or suspend many of the U.S. sanctions on his own, but he will eventually need congressional approval to end them.

    That is likely years away, and officials hope opposition will ease if Iran is complying with an agreement.

    In any case, none of this is expected to start until later this year. As difficult as these talks have been, they are only aimed at agreeing on what Secretary Kerry calls “the major elements,” with three more months of talks planned to work out the details.

  5. What do banking sanctions and nuclear proliferation have in common?

    A monopoly in either incentivizes the need for additional players to reduce the threat from the monopolist.

    These sanctions once installed and then held up by US politics will be all the incentive necessary to create new global banking systems.

  6. While in related news ...

    It looks as if the Iraqi commanders are going to let the Coalition 'do its thing' in and to Tikrit.

    The NYTimes reports ...

    Iraqi Forces in No Hurry to Expel ISIS From Tikrit

    TIKRIT, Iraq — Here at the headquarters of Iraqi ground forces, after three days of American airstrikes that at times witnesses here described as “carpet bombing,” Iraq’s military seemed in no great hurry on Saturday to press its advantage.

    It also seemed to be moving very slowly on promises to withdraw Shiite militias from the battlefield.

    An Iraqi Air Force C-130 carrying 150 militia volunteers, a dozen federal police officers, a few soldiers back from leave and two American journalists landed here late in the morning. Although the intensive bombardment of the night had eased, within half an hour two large explosions rattled the windows of the Salahuddin Operations Command building as bombs dropped by unseen aircraft from the coalition brought satisfied smiles from the assembled military men.

    Missing from this picture was any sense of urgency.

    1. Destroying booby-traps by detonating them in place, rather than to attempt to disarm them, a standard practice.

      If Tikrit is razed in the process of clearing the demolition charges placed by the combatants fighting for the Islamic State, it would appear that the Iraqi commanders are garnering two birds, with each Coalition air strike.
      The battle space is 'made safe' for their forces to advance, the city is razed while making it safe.

      It is all good, in Baghdad.
      The Iranians command structure has moved north towards Mosul, if their self-reporting is accurate and not tactical misinformation. Regardless, US influence has been reestablished and the Shia militias are being integrated into the Iraqi Security Forces, much as the Pershmega has been.

      Another step forward for US diplomacy.

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    4. Taki Theodoracopulos

      Interesting name.

      Did time in prison for cocaine.

      One of Pat's good buds.

    5. I wouldn't allow either of them to use my outhouse.

      They would have to take their shit elsewhere.

    6. .


      Buchanan is anti-Semitic and you are an Israeli apologist. We are forced to suffer you both here. At least, Buchanan occasionally comes up with something interesting.


    7. I dislike the system of Islam.

      If that makes me an Israeli apologist, so be it.

      If you support the creation of a new Palestinian apartheid state, you are a fool. It would just be turned into a further launching pad against Israel.

      Congratulations on getting it right about Buchanan.

      Progress is always possible !

      Ditto back to you Ash.

  8. .

    It doesn't matter if you believe the militias or the US command as to why the militias pulled out in Tikrit. As of now, for good or ill the US owns the Tikrit operation.

    One thing is certain, the operation won't create any new friends for the US.


    1. It will certainly eliminate some of the enemies of the US.

    2. .

      And create just as many or more.

      When we leave Iraq, the names may change, the deck chairs may be shuffled, but it will be the same shit hole it's always been.


  9. It, also, won't make us any "new" enemies.

    1. And, the oil will continue to flow.

    2. The oil will continue to flow, regardless.

      What is anyone to do without money ?

    3. Hey ISIS is shipping oil out of Libya.

      They may be having some temporary interruptions due to fighting, but it will pass.

      ISIS is shipping oil out of Iraq through Turkey.

      Relax, already.

    4. Libya? You mean, West Egypt?

  10. I'm with Noble Ash.

    Let the locals sort it out.

    Let the Sunnis and the Shia kill one another with great abandon. If we were Machiavellian enough, we would shore up the currently losing side.

    Only, support Kurdish Independence, Israel, Sisi in Egypt. Haven't seen Noble Ash mention anything about these matters.

    Noble Ash is a much better General, without even trying, than Generals Rufus and rat, with their totally absurd predictions.

    I would rather have Noble Ash has Commander in Chief than O'bozo.

    He could not do any worse and would probably do better.

    1. Noble Ash is not eligible to be Commander in Chief, you say?

      O come on !

      That is so yesterday.

      Eligibility requirements are lame.

    2. Ash is a US citizen living abroad, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson.

      You are so self absorbed you do not remember the biographies of your fellow contributors.
      So sad.

  11. US and coalition forces conducted 18 air strikes against Islamic State fighters in Iraq during a 24-hour period, with eight strikes near militant-held Tikrit, the US military said on Saturday.

    The Tikrit strikes destroyed 11 Isis fighting positions, a vehicle, and a potential car bomb, the military statement said. Some strikes also hit three Isis fighting and tactical units.

    Iraqi ground forces are fighting an estimated 500 to 750 Isis militants for control of Tikrit, the home town of the dictator Saddam Hussein.

    1. On Thursday, the Shia militia commander leading the campaign against Isis in Tikrit said his forces did not need extra US air strikes to help them take the town, as had been requested by the Iraqi government.

      “We did not ask for [extra strikes] and we have no direct contact with the Americans,” Hadi al-Amiri said. “From what I understand, Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi made the request. However, we respect his decision.”

      Saturday’s US military statement said that elsewhere in Iraq, forces struck targets near Fallujah, Mosul, Tal Afar, Ar Rutbah and Bayji.

      The strikes in Syria, all near the town of Kobani on the border with Turkey, hit two Isis tactical units and destroyed two anti-aircraft machine guns, three vehicles and one excavator.

      Strikes against Isis fighters began . . . .

      Dead Men Not Walking

    2. " a potential car bomb" ?

      What is that, a car ?

      "one excavator" ?

      What is that, a man with a shovel, or a backhoe ?

      Ramp it up, Rufus, ramp it up 20X.

  12. At this moment, California is getting 26% of its Electricity from Renewables.

    1. You've been a true prophet on this subject.

      Believe it or not, I really mean it.

      Your natural talent should be used in the Energy Department, not the Pentagon.

    2. It's not "natural talent," dumbass; it's "Reading."

    3. Well, dumbass, it is certain then you haven't read a damned thing about the actual situation in Iraq.

      If you are saying you really have no natural talent, I might agree with that, dumbass.

  13. Poor Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson, his anti-US stance is beginning to take its toll.

    He denigrates his fellow citizens, he denigrates his political leaders, denigrates the US military ...

    Once a draft dodging piece of shit, always a piece of shit, is that the ticket?

    1. It has to wear on you - having to constantly root against the home team, just because the coach is black.

    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    3. Root against the Home Team ?

      What the hell are you about, you idiot ?

      And quit with the idiotic playing of your stupid race card.

      Obama is an asshole. Much like you.

      Ben Carson, there's a MAN.

      Ayan Hirshi Ali, there's a WOMAN.

      You ever heard of her ?

    4. Obama is empowering Iran.

      Is that your Home Team, General Rufus ?

      What the hell are you talking about ?

      I know, it's a stupid question, and the answer is obvious.

      You don't know what the hell you are talking about, except on energy.

    5. Hell, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson, you denigrated Ash, denigrated Rufus, spoke ill of Mr Buchanan who worked for Ronald Reagan in the White House.

      Yet if someone mentions your name, you feel slighted.
      When you are quoted, you feel slimy.

      You just are ashamed of who you are, and that is not my fault.
      It is Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson that defrauded the bank, stole his aunt's honor ...
      And now wants us all to forget it, while he defames and denigrates his betters.

      Not going to happen, Fraudster.

    6. If I were to list your self-acclaimed accomplishments, as you did with Mr Buchanan, you would cry in despair.

      Bigot, thief, liar ... Each documented, timestamped and dated.


    7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    8. Post those supposed comments, with their dates and times, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson.
      Not some list you have fashioned from your delusional mind.

      Complete quotes, that would certainly be acceptable, as I have done with yours.
      If you would like to see them, I'd be happy to comply.
      If you post another delusional list of unreferenced claims, you will see your quotes, again and again.

  14. Wampum Day.

    Casino Time again.


    Cheers !!

  15. (Denigrate Noble Ash ? Perish the thought. I have recommended him as Commander in Chief)

    1. Not at all what you claimed, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson.

      Idaho Bob Sat Mar 28, 04:32:00 PM EDT

      Noble Ash is not eligible to be Commander in Chief, you say?

      O come on !

      That is so yesterday.

      Eligibility requirements are lame.

      Ash is totally eligible, for you to have claimed otherwise, fraudulent.
      False flag waving and straw man, all wrapped into one.

    2. Bob didn't say Ash was ineligible.

      Just the opposite.

      Just because he lives and votes and gains his living in Canada and has a Canadian citizenship doesn't make him ineligible.

      Such consideration are, as Bob said, lame and so yesterday in the world of today.

      Bob backs Ash as Commander in Chief for gosh sakes.

      Can't you read ?

    3. Certainly I can read, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson answered a question that only he, himself, asked.

      The set-up and the lie, that eligibility was so lame.

      Robert "Draft dodger" Peterson wrote it all, is responsible for it all. Responsibility, something that Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson tries to shun, it is something that will not be allowed, by me, myself and I.

  16. I sit here hoping and praying to be pushed.

    Why am I never pushed except for WiO and Bob ?

    I feel useless.

    1. Because you are useless, as well as worthless, Robert.

  17. Short rundown of today's mid east news from Drudge:

    Iranian Defector: 'USA Negotiating Team Mainly There to Speak on Iran's Behalf'...
    Powers close in on 2-3 page nuclear deal...
    PRUDEN: Obama's love bomb...
    Mideast 'free fall'...
    'Unprecedented' threats...
    Arab warplanes pummel Yemen rebels...
    Battle for the Middle East...
    YNET: Iran's master plan...

    Yes,Ash could do better or certainly at least as well.

    Wife has car, no Wampum.

    Gone off and left me stranded to visit Vickie, note says.

    We share a single car.

  18. General Petraeus, who was in charge of the Surge, seems to be going to Team Obama.

    He is a political General, a white piece of shit, just like General Powell turned out to be a political General and a black piece of shit.

    I think Petraeus would be ticked by having his accomplishments thrown away by our Napoleon of the Potomac, but I guess not.

    He has said, intelligently, that it is not ISIS that is the big problem, but Iran.

    So I'm glad he might be around to talk a little sense to folks.

    With Ash as Commander in Chief, and Petraeus as his advisor, we might actually get somewhere, if Ash had the good sense to follow the advice of those who know more than he, as O'bozo definitely does not.

    The Generals, and Bush too, advised O'bozo not to take the troops out so soon.

    So, now we have seven devils worse than the first and most of the mideast is in flames.

    The American People have finally gotten what they have always wished for, a total idiot in the White House.

    We need Ash.

    He is correct. The experiment of a unified Iraq living in something resembling peace is a forgotten, and dead, dream.

    Let the locals sort it out.

    It's Generals Rufus and rat that all hot to take it to ISIS.

  19. Ash, Now More Than Ever !! -

    Poll: The backlash against Obama’s foreign policy has begun
    posted at 5:21 pm on March 27, 2015 by Noah Rothman

    Presidential aides and democratic officials aren’t even trying to disguise it anymore. Quote after quote provided to the press by unnamed sources or uttered aloud by White House advisors in what were thought to be private moments indicates that the administration sees a prospective nuclear agreement with Iran as Barack Obama’s final positive legacy achievement as president.

    The president must be hoping that history vindicates his actions, because the polls sure aren’t. As the security environment in the middle east continues to deteriorate, the public is expressing dissatisfaction with how Obama has approached relations with America’s adversaries and allies alike.

    The White House’s disdainful treatment of Israel, and it’s thinly veiled efforts to turn the public against the Jewish state like releasing the details of the extent of Israel’s penetration of the nuclear negotiations with Iran, appears to have backfired. According to the findings of a new CBS News poll, 29 percent of respondents say that the United States gives Israel too much support while 27 percent say the current level of support is too little. Not much of a difference, right? It’s not, until you learn that the number of respondents who say the U.S. provides Israel with too little support has increased by 10 points in just the last four years.

    The administration’s determination to secure a nuclear deal with Iran no matter the cost has apparently disturbed the American public as much as it has United States allies in the region. CBS News discovered that 47 percent disapprove of the president’s handling of relations with Iran while 38 percent approve. A majority of Republicans disapprove of Obama’s approach to relations with Iran while a majority of Democrats approve, but a large plurality of independents – 48 percent – join Republicans in disapproving of Obama’s approach to the Islamic Republic.

    As for ISIS, 65 percent of the public thinks the fight against that apocalyptic militant insurgency is going “badly” while just 28 percent apparently think things could be worse. The bright spot in this poll for Obama is that the increasing chaos in the Middle East has caused many Americans to rethink the logic of committing American troops to the fight against the Islamic State. In February, 57 percent of respondents backed a return of U.S. ground troops the region. Today, only 43 percent favor this approach.

    “The percentage of Americans that views ISIS as a major threat to the U.S. is about the same as it was last month. Now, 62 percent view it as a major threat to the U.S., and another 21 percent see it as a minor threat. Just 13 percent say ISIS is not a threat,” CBS News reported.

    As for Obama’s approach to foreign policy in general, a majority – 51 percent – disapprove while 39 percent approve. Obama’s overall job approval rating remains stable and more poll respondents are beginning to see the economy steadily improving, but the number of respondents who said the country is on the “wrong track” increased from 56 percent in February to 62 percent. The only likely reason for this increase is the suboptimal state of affairs in the increasingly volatile Middle East.

    The backlash against Obama’s handling of U.S. foreign policy may finally be materializing.

    >>> the suboptimal state of affairs in the increasingly volatile Middle East<<


    If that isn't an understatement I don't know what might be.....

  20. The USA a needs a third party candidate for POTUS - might as well be a potato, salt of the earth!

    1. You run as President, I will happily serve as your Vice-President, if only you will have me !


      As Biden is said to be Obama's 'assassination insurance' I may serve as yours.


    2. Quirk for Secretary of State.

    3. Then we can always blame him when things go badly wrong.

    4. I hate to say it but there is some logic to that assassination insurance idea. I hadn't thought of that before...

      ..expensive policy though.

    5. Not a bad idea, at all, when you closely consider it.

      Kinda protects us both in my mind.

      If I got shot Quirk would move up a notch in the line, and nobody would want that.

      I need an idiot as Speaker of the House - isn't that person next in line after the VP ? - and an idiot as Speaker of the House should be easily arranged.

  21. Where is Israel in fighting ISIS ?

    You got to be kidding.

    If Israel were bombing ISIS Deuce, rat, Rufus would say it's some kind of nefarious Jewish plot to control the entire mid east.

    Part of some 'plan' or other.

    Israel has had zero to do with Iraq.

    They even bowed to our demands not to get involved when Saddam was shooting missiles at them.

  22. The start of American air operations against Da'ish forces in Tikrit has generated a lot of concerns that this is another foolish move by which the United States is empowering Iran and its allied Shi'ite militias in Iraq.

    In this one case, however, the exact opposite is true.

    What is critical to understand about the Tikrit offensive is that it was meant to discredit the United States. Two weeks ago, an extremely high-ranking Iraqi official—a senior cabinet minister—told me that the operation was presented by Abu Mahdi al-Mohandis, Iran's most important cat's paw in Iraq, to the Iraqi government six days before the start of the operation.

    At the time, he indicated that the various Shi'ite militias were going to launch the offensive against Tikrit with Iranian support, and he asked if the Iraqi government was interested in participating. He also made it clear that he and his compatriots did not want the United States to participate.

    In other words, the Shi'ite militias and their Iranian backers devised this operation on their own; they intended to carry it out regardless of what the Iraqi government did and simply gave Baghdad the option of participating—but only at the price of excluding the Americans.

    It was an operation designed to demonstrate that the Shi'ite militias (and the forces at the disposal of the Shi'a-dominated government more broadly) were fully capable of liberating even core Sunni cities without the United States. It was intended to demonstrate that Iraq needs Iranian help, while American help was of secondary importance at best.

    1. This seems to be why the offensive caught the United States by surprise—the Iraqi government did not know about it until the last minute and it was forced to keep the Americans in the dark or be shut out of the operation altogether. This was too dangerous for Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who could not afford to have the Shi'ite militias and Iran liberate Tikrit from Da'ish without Iraqi Security Force (ISF) participation. Doing so would have demonstrated that he is not fully in control of Iraq or the military campaign to liberate Iraq.

      Given his own problems with Iran and its Iraqi allies, that was something he just could not afford, and so he agreed to participate, rushed some ISF units north to take part in the offensive, and gave a send-off speech to the troops—all to try to take ownership of an operation conceived by the Shi'ite militias and Iran.

      The great danger in all of this is that if the operation was a success it would reinforce the narrative that Iran was Iraq's only real ally and the United States was both diffident and not terribly important. It would have further increased Iran's already extensive influence in Iraq and further diminished America's already damaged reputation.

    2. And early on, when the offensive seemed to be succeeding, this was exactly what Iraqis were saying. Indeed, the Shi'ite militias distributed all kinds of sophisticated media materials showing them feeding liberated Sunni children to demonstrate that they were welcomed by the Sunni populace and thus did not need the Americans even to reach out to the Sunnis.

      Now, the sudden stalemate and the request for American airstrikes has given the United States the chance to reverse that narrative: to convince Iraqis that the Shi'ite militias cannot do it all on their own—or only with Iranian help—and that Iraq needs the United States because the United States has unique capabilities critical to Iraq's future security.

      It is also important for Prime Minister Abadi in giving him some room to maneuver and not reducing him to subservience to Iran and its allies among the Shi'ite militia leadership. What's more, if Tikrit is now liberated, Iraqis will all say that the Iranians failed, but the Americans succeeded.

      Nothing could be more useful in starting to restore American influence. Indeed, that is precisely why the Shi'ite militias closest to Iran—Asaib ahl al-Haq, Khataib Hezbollah, the Peace Brigades and possibly the Badr Organization—all have either announced that they won't participate in the fight anymore or are considering withdrawing.

      They do not want to see the United States succeed where the Iranians alone failed, and they know that their own role could be crucial to the fighting. So rather than do what is best for Iraq, they are doing what is best for themselves and for Iran, even at the expense of what is best for Iraq.

    3. What you have just said is that southern Iraq is becoming a province of Iran.

      >>>In other words, the Shi'ite militias and their Iranian backers devised this operation on their own; they intended to carry it out regardless of what the Iraqi government did and simply gave Baghdad the option of participating—but only at the price of excluding the Americans.<<<

      If you are opposed to this development, you should switch sides.

      I suppose this is all good to Deuce, who has said Iran is fighting for civilization.

      Who can be opposed to civilization ?

      President Ash and I think we ought to stay out, though I wish to help the Kurds, and hope to convince The Boss to see things my way on this point sooner or later.

    4. Southern Iraq has been becoming a province of Iran since 2004.
      They were using Iranian Rials in Basra, back when Colonel Trish was there, in Iraq.
      When the British were occupying the region.

      Just as Kurdistan has been since the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-1988.

      If you had any retention of what was written you would remember those factoids, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson.

    5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    6. Why not have your wife post that, Colonel?

      Oh that's right, you two got divorced. So, just perhaps, there is something wrong with you.
      Impotent, like Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson?

  23. Diamond Rings and Old Barstools

    The Lady is his cousin. He is trying to give her a start.


  24. Iran's influence in Iraqi Kurdistan - briefly.

    1983 - An Iranian counterattack opens a northern front in Kurdish northern Iraq. With support from KDP fighters, Iranian troops take the key town of Hajj Umran. Human rights organisations say Iraqi troops killed around 8,000 men from the KDP leader's home area of Barzan in revenge.

    1983 - PUK agrees to a ceasefire with Iraq and begins negotiations on Kurdish autonomy.

    1985 - Under increasing Iraqi government repression, the ceasefire begins to break down. Pro-Iraqi government militia men kill Jalal Talabani's brother and two nieces.

    1986 - Iranian government sponsors a meeting reconciling the KDP and PUK. Now both major Kurdish parties are receiving support from Tehran.

    1. Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government Nechirvan Barzani speaks of Iran's current influence in Iraqi Kurdisan

      Barzani: There is a reality that needs to be addressed. When ISIL first embarked on this war in Iraq, Iran was one of the first countries that came forward to defend Iraq, including Kurdistan. It was felt there was a common enemy, Daesh.

      And the other bitter reality was that the Iraqi army did not possess the means to stop the onslaught of ISIL. As a result of a fatwa from Ayatollah [Ali] Sistani, Hashid Shaabi, or the Popular Mobilization Units, were formed. It would be unfair to deny the positive contribution of these forces to help push back ISIL. In many places they have played a positive role.

    2. Yeah, the main thing is to remember that he main thing is the main thing.

      And, the main thing is to kill the daesh - something that we're doing pretty well.

      1,500 - 2,000 / month. 18,000 to 24,000 / yr.

      Dead Men Walking - Iraqi politics be damned.


  25. Independent daily Newspaper

    Old Archive RSS Feed Advertise



    Iran not supporting Iraqi Kurdish Independence
    Kurd Net does not take credit for and is not responsible for the content of news information on this page

    Iran not supporting Iraqi Kurdish Independence 20.5.2012

    Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast speaks to the media in Tehran. Photo: Reuters • See Related Links
    May 20, 2012

    LONDON,— In a statement broadcasted on a state news channel on May 8, the Iranian foreign ministry expressed support for the territorial integrity of Iraq.

    Ramin Mehmanparast, a spokesman for the foreign ministry, told reporters, “We consider any issue that could affect the territorial integrity of Iraq to be erroneous and to bear a negative impact on regional security. Our clear position is support for Iraq's territorial integrity.” Analysts say that Iran fears a Kurdish state in Iraq could inspire Kurds in Iran. Last Tuesday, the Iranian ambassador, Hassan Danaifar, visited Barzani to discuss current developments.

    Both Turkey and Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani have been critical of the role Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki plays in Iraq. The Kurdish president and other officials from the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) recently visited Turkey. Barzani has hinted in statements that he will consider Kurdish independence if Baghdad does not listen to Kurdish demands.

    Barzani supports fugitive Iraqi Vice President Tariq Al-Hashimi, who fled to Kurdistan after being accused of involvement in terrorism by authorities in Baghdad, as does Turkey. According to a TV report by the pro-Iranian station Al-Alam, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan argued that the case of Hashimi was “political rather than legal,” and accordingly his country would not hand him over to the Iraq government, even after Interpol issued an international arrest warrant.

    Iranian media have been critical of Turkey’s support for Hashimi and Barzani against Maliki, and suggested the “enemies of Iraq want to fragment the country.” On February 24, Siyaset-E Ruz, a conservative Iranian newspaper, published an editorial by Mohammed Safari that attacked Barzani’s statements and suggested he should not dream of ruling a Great Kurdistan supported by Turkey and the United States, as this would be a “big political risk that ends in suicide.”

    According to Iranian scholar Alireza Nourizadeh, Iran does not support a Kurdish state in Iraq because of the huge number of Kurds in Iran....................

    Translated, that means Iran supports an Iraq totally under Iran's own thumb.

    In other words:

    Fuck the Kurds.

    With friends like these.......


  26. If you had any retention of what has been written in the world you would remember those factoids, WC rat.

    1. No one ever said that Iran supported Kurdish independence, you dimwitted fool, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson.

      Only that Iran was making Iraqi Kurdistan a province of Iran, just as it is doing in southern Iraq.
      Has been on that mission for decades, now.

    2. Iran has been supporting the PKK in Turkey and through the Assad regime, the YPG in Syria.

    3. Against the Sunni majorities in both Syria and Turkey, but then if you have been reading, and not fronting for ISraeli agitprop you would know that ...

      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.

    4. You were making out that they were good buds of the Kurds, rat-O-Sewer Rooter.

      >>>Iran was one of the first countries that came forward to defend Iraq, including Kurdistan<<<

      Anyway, I got to go now.

      You have a fine time with yourself now.

      Convince yourself of anything you wish.

      Convince yourself that Iran is defending Iraq if you wish.

      Maybe Rufus will believe you. Maybe Deuce will.

      Cheers !!

    5. Your delusions are not my realities, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson.

      The Prime Minister of Iraqi Kurdistan made those statements regarding Iran coming to the aid of Iraq.
      I did not.

  27. "We're moving forward," Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, hunkered down with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Switzerland since Thursday, told reporters.

    "I think we can in fact make the necessary progress to be able to resolve all the issues and start writing them down in a text," Zarif said.

    German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who like French counterpart Laurent Fabius joined the negotiations on Saturday, said the talks were in the "endgame".

    Steinmeier added however that "the final metres are the most difficult but also the decisive ones".

    Russia's chief negotiator, Sergei Ryabkov was quoted by the RIA Novosti news agency as saying the chances of a deal were "more than 50/50".

    EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, who arrived late Saturday, said negotiators "have never been so close to a deal" but added there remained "critical points" to resolve.

  28. Heh

    Fox News is reporting Shillary has wiped her hard drive or server or whatever its called clean, AFTER she was told by the State Department to turn it over.

    Also reporting she pocketed a cool $$$25,000,000 million US (twenty five million dollars US) from the Saudis. And that's the tip of iceberg of foreign 'donations' to Bill and Hill's 'foundation'.

    It is a solid foundation, to be sure.

    Hopefully the house built upon it is of straw, and she is jailed soon.

    She won't be. She is Shillary, after all.

    But she should be.

    The Democrats are gangsters.

  29. Hillary is widely considered to be the most scheming woman extant in the world today.

    She is certainly up in the Top Ten of Most Scheming Women of All Time.

    Right up there with Livia......

    Livia fires up the Gladiators.

    I spent a wonderful snowy winter watching the "I, Claudius" series one year, and loved every minute of it.


    >>>It might sound like something straight out of Q’s laboratory or the latest Marvel film but a group of scientists in California have successfully created eye drops that temporarily enable night vision.<<<

    Night vision eyedrops allow vision of up to 50m in darkness

    Though I am in and on the privy with this, I'm on the Q.T. and can't reveal when, where, how or why Q invented this super secret eye drop.

    I can say it didn't have anything to do with his work with the Pesh Merga, and that it didn't have anything to do with men (hint hint hint).

    And it is legal, in a few states (Alaska is one) and scattered jurisdictions (Guam).

  31. March 29, 2015
    No International Amnesty for the Palestinians
    By Michael Curtis

    >>>Amnesty International boldly asserts that Palestinians are guilty of war crimes as a result of their direct attacks on civilians; their use of prohibited weapons that are inherently indiscriminate, such as unguided rockets and imprecise mortars; and indiscriminate attacks that kill or injure civilians.

    The Palestinians have long shown a reckless disregard for the lives of civilians in Israel. They have deliberately targeted civilian centers in Israel in the hope of killing civilians. Between 2001 and July 7, 2014, the start of the Israeli Operation Protective Edge, Palestinian groups fired 15,200 rockets and mortars against Israeli civilians. From July 8 until August 26, they fired 4,881 rockets and 1,753 mortars from Gaza, and struck 224 Israeli residential areas.

    The danger to Israel has intensified because of the increase in range of weapons – namely, medium- and long-range rockets. From 2001 to 2004, the Palestinians fired homemade Qassam rockets. In 2014, they fired long-range ones, such as the Iranian Fajr 5, the R-160 rocket, M-75s, and the M-302, weapons that can hit the major Israeli cities.

    Though it does not refer to them as "terrorists," the report states that the Palestinian organizations involved have committed war crimes......<<<

    So !

    Our blessed, peaceful, irenic, laid back and live and let live 'Palestinians' are guilty of War Crimes.........!

    Who'd a thunk ?

    Other than WiO and I ?

  32. After the unending anti Israel/Jewish propaganda and slander around here, I'd think this news would warrant a thread.

    In the spirit of honest journalism and open discussion.

  33. >>>

    “According to Hamas’ official television station, ‘Christians, Communists and Jews must be eliminated down to the very last man.’ Hamas has the support of 61 percent of the Palestinians. Even if we assume that support for Hamas will fall, Hamas will take a violent stand against its opponents. Some of the Hamas leaders are talking about ‘the conquest of Rome and Andalusia.’

    “Is Obama listening? Does Obama know that Hamas won the last election? Is it hard for Obama to understand that a Palestinian state would mean, in all likelihood, another Jihad state and more bloodshed? What gives him the illusion that a Palestinian state will become a model of stability? Where is there stability under one of the Jihad movements?

    “Will Qassem Soleimani sit by quietly and allow peace to flourish? And what kind of agreement could be achieved anyway? Is there a Palestinian leader – even just one – who is willing to accept the peace proposals submitted by Obama, J Street or Meretz? After all, over the past decade or two, the Palestinians have rejected every offer of a two-state solution. So what agreement is Obama talking about?

    “What is needed, therefore, is a reevaluation. We don’t need another failure. And this reassessment must take place both in Washington and in Jerusalem. A sober look at the situation will lead to the obvious conclusion – that under the current geopolitical circumstances, talk of a Palestinian state, which is likely to turn into a Hamas state, is delusional and evidence of a detachment from reality.”<<<

    March 29, 2015
    Let's Get Real: Re-evaluating the Two-State Approach
    By Ted Belman

    "talk of a Palestinian state, which is likely to turn into a Hamas state, is delusional and evidence of a detachment from reality"

    Delusional and evidence of a detachment from reality.........hey, that's exactly what I've been saying.

    Nice phrase. I will have to remember that.

    >>>Ben-Dror Yemini, writing in YNET, which is left of center and Netanyahu’s arch enemy, makes the case<<<


    The whole discussion also ignores Security Council Resolution 242, which is not much talked about these days.