Why Islamic State Is Winning

Exclusive: The Saudi-Israeli alliance and U.S. neocons have pressured President Obama into continuing U.S. hostility toward the secular Syrian government despite major military gains by the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front, leading to an emerging catastrophe in the Mideast, as Daniel Lazare explains.

By Daniel Lazare

President Barack Obama and his foreign policy staff are not having a very merry month of May. The Islamic State’s takeover of Ramadi, Iraq, on May 15 was one of the greatest U.S. military embarrassments since Vietnam, but the fall of Palmyra, Syria, just five days later made it even worse. This is an administration that, until recently, claimed to have turned the corner on Islamic State.

In March, Gen. Lloyd Austin, head of U.S. Central Command, assured the House Armed Services Committee that the Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL or Daesh) was in a “defensive crouch” and unable to conduct major operations, while Vice President Joe Biden declared in early April that “ISIL’s momentum in Iraq has halted, and in many places, has been flat-out reversed.”

Saudi King Salman bids farewell to President Barack Obama at Erga Palace after a state visit to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Saudi King Salman bids farewell to President Barack Obama at Erga Palace after a state visit to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

A couple of weeks later, the President proved equally upbeat following a meeting with Iraqi leader Haider al-Abadi: “We are making serious progress in pushing back ISIL out of Iraqi territory.  About a quarter of the territory fallen under Daesh control has been recovered.  Thousands of strikes have not only taken ISIL fighters off the war theater, but their infrastructure has been deteriorated and decayed.  And under Prime Minister Abadi’s leadership, the Iraqi security forces have been rebuilt and are getting re-equipped, retrained, and strategically deployed across the country.”

But that was so last month. Post-Ramadi, conservatives like Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, have lost no time in labeling such views out of touch and “delusional.” And, indeed, Obama sounded strangely detached on Tuesday when he told The Atlantic that ISIS’s advance was not a defeat.

“No, I don’t think we’re losing,” he said, adding: “There’s no doubt there was a tactical setback, although Ramadi had been vulnerable for a very long time, primarily because these are not Iraqi security forces that we have trained or reinforced.” It was rather like the captain of the Titanic telling passengers that the gash below the waterline was a minor opening that would soon be repaired.

Not that the rightwing view is any less hallucinatory. Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, faults Obama for not doing more to topple the Assad regime in Damascus, as if removing the one effective force against ISIS would be greeted with anything less than glee by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and his hordes.

“We don’t have a strategy,” House Speaker John Boehner complained on Tuesday. “For over two years now, I’ve been calling on the President to develop an overarching strategy to deal with this growing terrorist threat. We don’t have one, and the fact is that the threat is growing than what we and our allies can do to stop it.” But when asked what a winning strategy might be, the House Speaker could only reply, “It’s the President’s responsibility.” In other words, Boehner is as clueless as anyone else.

In fact, the entire foreign-policy establishment is clueless, just as it was in 2003 when it all but unanimously backed President George W. Bush’s disastrous invasion of Iraq. Both Republicans and Democrats are caught in a disastrous feedback loop in which journalists and aides tell them what they want to hear and resolutely screen out everything to the contrary. But facts have a way of asserting themselves whether Washington wants them to or not.

The Whys of Failure

With that in mind, here are the real reasons why the U.S. is doing so badly and ISIS is seemingly going from strength to strength.

Reason #1: Obama can’t decide who the real enemy is ISIS or President Bashar al-Assad.

Even though the White House says it wants to smash the Islamic State, U.S. policy is in fact torn. Obama wants to defeat ISIS in Iraq. But he is unsure what to do on the other side of the border, where he seems to regard it as a potentially useful asset against the Assad regime in Damascus.

This is one of those policy assumptions that no “responsible” journalist dares question. Thus, The Wall Street Journal reported in January that “U.S. strategy is constrained by a reluctance to tip the balance of power toward Syrian President Bashar al-Assad,” while The New York Times added on Wednesday that the U.S. has purposely bombed ISIS targets in “areas far outside government control to avoid the perception of aiding a leader whose ouster President Obama has called for.”

As long as ISIS limits itself to battling Assad, in other words, the U.S. will hold off. It is only when it sets its sights on other targets that it sees fit to intervene. But there are any number of things wrong with this strategy. One is that it is breathtakingly cynical. Hundreds of thousands of deaths don’t seem to count as the U.S. sets about toppling a regime that has somehow come within its crosshairs.

But another is that it is militarily self-defeating. Allowing ISIS free reign in portions of Syria means allowing it to take root and grow. Harassing the Assad with trumped-up charges about weapons of mass destruction encourages ISIS to expand all the more. As a result, Syria is now “a place where it’s easier for them [i.e. Islamic State] to organize, plan and seek shelter than it is in Iraq,” as an unnamed senior defense official told the Journal.

Perhaps, but the result is that ISIS is able to rest and regroup and prepare for fresh assaults on the other side of the border. Not unlike Afghanistan in the 1980s, the U.S. thinks it can manipulate and control fundamentalist jihadis at will. But as 9/11 demonstrated, it couldn’t be more mistaken.

“In the Middle East the conventional wisdom remains that Islamic State will not be defeated until Assad is,” The Guardian declared on Thursday. Why such conventional wisdom should be accorded more respect than any of the other nonsense that Washington regularly dishes out is not explained. If Assad goes, the likeliest upshot is that ISIS will march into Damascus, its black flags flying. Why this is any sense a positive development is also not explained.

Saudi Double-Dealing

Reason #2: The anti-ISIS coalition is a fraud.

The allies that Obama has recruited in the struggle against ISIS couldn’t be more unreliable.  Joe Biden let the cat out of the bag when he told an audience at Harvard’s Kennedy School last October: “our allies in the region were our largest problem in Syria the Saudis, the emirates, etc., what were they doing? They were so determined to take down Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war, what did they do? They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of tons of military weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad, except the people who were being supplied were Al Nusra and Al Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world.” [Quote at 53:20 of clip.]

The Saudis and the other Arab gulf states thus financed ISIS, armed it, and then cheered it on as it launched itself into a genocidal campaign against Shi‘ites and other minorities. Although Washington claims that the gulf states are allies in the fight against Al-Qaeda, Biden’s statement reveals that they are in fact playing both sides of the net, battling ISIS at times but also funding it when it suits their interests.

To be sure, the gulf states had a change of heart when al-Baghdadi began threatening the House of Saud. As Biden put it: “Now all of a sudden, I don’t want to be too facetious, but they have seen the lord.   Saudi Arabia has stopped funding. Saudi Arabia is allowing training on its soil the Qataris have cut off their support for the most extreme elements of terrorist organizations, and the Turks [are] trying to seal their border.”

But if the Saudis have cut off funding for ISIS, they have upped their support for the Al Nusra Front, the so-called “good” Al-Qaeda that has hawks like Walter Russell Mead of The American Interest and Lina Khatib of the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut burbling with excitement.

But the distinction that conservatives draw between Al Nusra and ISIS is much exaggerated. While the two groups are currently on the outs, that is a comparatively recent development. Just a few months ago, they were friendly enough to launch a joint push into Lebanon and then to team up for an assault on the Yarmouk refugee camp in the southern outskirts of Damascus.

In a few months, they will undoubtedly make up and conduct fresh new assaults as well. The Salafists who have flooded into Syria since 2011 are a fissiparous lot, forever combining, splitting up, and combining again, which is why there are currently more factions than types of coffee at Starbucks.

Moreover, it is far from clear that the Saudis have entirely cut off aid. Financial controls in Saudi Arabia are lax, while corruption, according to former Wall Street Journal editor Karen Elliott House, “is rampant, entrapping almost every Saudi in a web of favors and bribes large and small.”

One scholar estimated that as much as 30 to 40 percent of oil revenue disappears into private hands. [See As’ad Abukhalil, The Battle for Saudi Arabia: Royalty, Fundamentalism, and Global Power (New York: Seven Stories, 2004), p. 88]

Moreover, Saudi religious organizations like the International Islamic Relief Organization, the Muslim World League, and the World Assembly of Muslim Youth are a law unto themselves. Although the Saudis have repeatedly promised to rein in terrorist funding by such outfits, Hillary Clinton complained in a secret States Department memo that they had still not done so as of late 2009 and it is unlikely that they have taken action since.

So promises that the money flow has stopped are less than reassuring. Indeed, the Saudis have a long history of hedging their bets. They turned against Osama bin Laden after Al-Qaeda began bombing Saudi targets in 2003. But they most likely continued to maintain back-channel communications while leading members of the royal family, according to testimony by Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called “twentieth hijacker,” funneled money to the group in the years leading up to the attack on the World Trade Center. If Saudi money reached Al-Qaeda then, it is likely that it is still reaching ISIS now, despite Saudi claims to the contrary.

Ignoring Sectarian War

Reason #3: The real problem is a growing sectarian war that the U.S. has done nothing to constrain.

ISIS is merely the forward striking arm of a growing Sunni offensive that is causing turmoil throughout the Middle East. Saudis used to talk about a “Shi‘ite crescent” stretching from Damascus to Baghdad and Tehran. But since Shi‘ite Houthis began taking up arms in Yemen, they have been raging about “a full Shia moon” encompassing Sana’a as well.

As its paranoia shoots through the roof, Saudi Arabia has responded by pounding Yemen with nightly air assaults, funding Sunni terrorists in Syria, sending troops into Bahrain to crush a democratic revolt Bahrain is approximately 70 percent Shi’ite, but the royal family is Sunni and engaging in a dangerous war of words with Iran

Saudi Arabia has also stepped up pressure on its own 15 percent Shi‘ite minority, largely concentrated in the kingdom’s vast Eastern Province, home to the bulk of its oil industry. On Friday, ISIS claimed credit for a suicide bombing that killed at least 21 people at a Shi‘ite mosque in Qatif governate, located just a few miles from the Bahrain causeway. But hundreds of Wahhabist websites calling for the total elimination of Shi‘ism undoubtedly egged the bombers on. [Click here, see page 152]

The result is a growing sectarian rift that makes secularism all but impossible. While the U.S. pushes Baghdad for even-handed treatment of Shi‘ites and Sunnis, its long-term alliance with the war party in Riyadh suggests the opposite, i.e. that such pleas are a smokescreen for policies that are frankly and openly pro-Sunni.

Given Biden’s statement at the Kennedy School that Saudi Arabia and its gulf allies were “determined to take down Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war,” one might think that the U.S. would step back and refuse to have anything to do with a war of extermination against Syria’s religious minorities. Instead, it went along.

But now, Biden went on, Obama has succeeded in persuading the Saudis to cease funding ISIS and undertake the task of toppling Assad themselves. He has “put together a coalition of our Sunni neighbors,” the vice president went on, “because America can’t once again go into a Muslim nation and be aggressive. It has to be led by Sunnis.”

Only Sunnis have the moral authority, evidently, to launch a war of aggression against a Shi‘ite-led government.

Rather than tamping down religious conflict, America’s grossly lop-sided policies have thus done everything to encourage it. The results are a godsend for ISIS and Al-Nusra and equal and opposite Shi‘ite militias as well. No matter how many bombs the U.S. and its allies drop, ISIS can only grow stronger the more the political climate deteriorates.

The Oil Card

Reason #4: Oil.

Saudi Arabia is a growing political liability. Its policies have become so toxic that even old allies are abandoning it. Pakistan has refused to supply troops for the kingdom’s insane assault on Yemen despite being a long-term recipient of Saudi aid while Egypt has also balked at sending in forces.

Given a regime that is increasingly isolated and suspicious of the outside world, the obvious solution for the U.S. would be to loosen its ties with Riyadh, refuse to have anything to do with a religious war against Assad, and try to reach an accommodation with Damascus just as it is doing with Tehran.

But the U.S. can’t. Saudi Arabia is not just any country, but America’s oldest partner in the Middle East. It sits on top of one-fifth of the world’s proven oil reserves and is the dominant partner in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, which accounts for another 20 percent of global oil reserves and 23 percent of the world’s proven gas reserves.

The kingdom has nearly $700 billion in foreign-currency reserves and is also the world’s biggest importer of military hardware, overwhelmingly from the U.S. It is thus a country that Washington feels it cannot do without, which is why, in a classic case of the tail wagging the dog, the U.S. these days is increasingly following the Saudi Arabia lead in Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, and elsewhere as well.

The consequences have been all too predictable. Indeed, the Defense Intelligence Agency warned nearly three years ago that Salafists, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Al-Qaeda were the dominant force in the anti-Assad movement and that their backers in Saudi Arabia and the other gulf states were seeking to establish a Salafist stronghold in eastern Syria.

In an August 2012 report, the DIA observed that the implications for Iraq were ominous., noting Al-Qaeda’s growing strength in Syria “creates the ideal atmosphere for AQI [Al Qaeda in Iraq] to return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi and will provide a renewed momentum under the presumption of unifying the jihad among Sunni Iraq and Syria and the rest of the Sunnis in the Arab world against what it considers one enemy, the dissenters [i.e. the Shi‘ites].

“ISI [Islamic State of Iraq, forerunner of ISIS] could also declare an Islamic state through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria, which will create grave danger in regards to unifying Iraq and the protection of its territory.”

Military intelligence, it seems, is not always an oxymoron. Nonetheless, the White House pressed ahead.  Overstretched, beleaguered, and increasingly dependent on its Saudi allies, the American empire felt it had no alternative but to follow Riyadh down the rabbit hole, hoping against hope that the consequences would not prove too dire. It was wrong.

Daniel Lazare is the author of several books including The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy (Harcourt Brace).

51 comments for “Why Islamic State Is Winning

  1. Wm. Boyce
    May 25, 2015 at 14:59

    It’s difficult for me to understand the stupidity of, among others, the Israelis, in their “thinking” that the monster they are aiding in Syria isn’t going to come back and bite them badly, Assad, as bad a leader as he may be, looks like a moderate compared to the savages going about beating their chests and beheading people.

    As others have noted, Bin Laden was our “freedom fighter” before he wasn’t.

  2. May 24, 2015 at 09:23

    @ “the real problem of freeing America and the West from the evil which infests our governments?”

    Step A: http://movetoamend.org/wethepeopleamendment

    Already endorsed by one state and over 600 local governments, with several co-opting counterparts introduced in Congress that are incredibly watered down and establish no judicially enforceable rights. There’s a big lobbying push from pseudo-progressive front groups right now to pass the Udall watered down counterpart. https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-joint-resolution/5/text

    Getting the money out of politics and shedding the notion that imaginary beings have constitutional rights are step 1 to dismantling the corrosive influence of the oligarchs. Elected officials will then be far more responsive to what voters want and the public will be far less influenced by oligarch-oriented election and ballot measure propaganda.

    Then there will be opportunity to address our government’s other defects.

    Or in the alternative, break out the pitchforks and march on Washington, D.C.

  3. RogerT
    May 24, 2015 at 01:00

    Until the electoral system in the USA, which permits huge donations from foreign interests, is reformed, it matters not a jot whether the President’s name is Obama, Bush or Knucklehead. The World is going to get more of the same, death and destruction all stemming from the Zionists’ control of American foreign policy and that of most Western countries. Infiltrators of dual nationality, Zionist/Americans whose first loyalty is to that abomination of a barbaric and apartheid state should be barred from office, organisations such as AIPAC and Friends of Israel which corrupt and exert extraordinary power over governments, and acting solely in the interests of Israel, should be proscribed.

    Perhaps, the brainpower exhibited above in revealing the truth could focus on the real problem of freeing America and the West from the evil which infests our governments?

    • May 24, 2015 at 09:22

      @ “the real problem of freeing America and the West from the evil which infests our governments?”

      Step A: http://movetoamend.org/wethepeopleamendment

      Already endorsed by one state and over 600 local governments, with several co-opting counterparts introduced in Congress that are incredibly watered down and establish no judicially enforceable rights. There’s a big lobbying push from pseudo-progressive front groups right now to pass the Udall watered down counterpart. https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-joint-resolution/5/text

      Getting the money out of politics and shedding the notion that imaginary beings have constitutional rights are step 1 to dismantling the corrosive influence of the oligarchs. Elected officials will then be far more responsive to what voters want and the public will be far less influenced by oligarch-oriented election and ballot measure propaganda.

      Then there will be opportunity to address our government’s other defects.

      Or in the alternative, break out the pitchforks and march on Washington, D.C.

    • dahoit
      May 24, 2015 at 12:08

      If the Zionists were represented proportionately in the MSM to their % of the population,we wouldn’t be in this disaster.That’s the nexus of our dilemma.

  4. paul wichmann
    May 24, 2015 at 00:50

    Commenting on “The Truthdigger Of The Week“ award going to the just-passed William Pfaff, a guy posted Pfaff’s cameo in William Prochnau’s “Once Upon A Distant War.” From this book, which I highly recommend (pages 163-4):
    “Not long ago the guerrillas fought with makeshift weapons… Now, they fought with automatic rifles and American-made landmines. They armed themselves with the very stuff the US was sending over to defeat them, much of it taken in the field, some surreptitiously funneled to them by agents and corrupt black marketers straight off the docks in Saigon, the shipping crates unopened. “
    “About the same time the French historian and journalist Bernard Fall visited Hanoi and heard a remarkably similar assessment from North Vietnam’s prime minister, Pham Van Dong. Dong seemed to relish the idea of increased American military aid. The more the Americans send, Dong said, the worse it will become for them. It sounds as if the South Vietnamese are caught in a vicious circle, Fall suggested. The northerner smiled. “Not a vicious circle,” he said, ”but a downward spiral.”

    The Americans are yet again arming the enemy.
    Despite all the training, the South Vietnamese couldn’t get it up, same as the Iraqis.
    The war spilled over into neighboring countries – Cambodia and Laos – but presently, thanks to the jujitsu pulled on the “Arab Spring,” the lunacy runs from northern and middle Africa, up to Syria (one might go so far as Afghanistan and even the Ukraine).
    And the goddamned propaganda. From the president to the generals, “We’re not failing” and the old “light at the end of the tunnel;“ the conventional realists, on the other hand, are pushing escalation.
    Except back then there were a few journalists possessed of an eye and a respect for reality, whose work made it through to the garden-variety american.

    I choke on the conspiracy-inspired idea that ‘everything’s going according to plan.’ But I try to be patient with those who plumb these depths, for the fact that it’s really hard to imagine that US can be this deluded and dense.

    • Brad Owen
      May 24, 2015 at 07:32

      Depends on whose plan it is, and if the Perp is INTENDED to also fall, along with the Vics. I still think the primary target of all of these wars is USA (the one Lincoln, FDR, JFK knew and defended), to run it through the “Desert” for 40 Years, in a bunch of “Wasting Wars” (been The Plan since Vietnam. JFK said”no thanks” in the end. He was whacked for that…LBJ, a good FDR man, got the Message, and “About-Faced”, to lead us into the “Wasting Desert” of endless Warfare; “Guns & Butter”, but the Patriot’s “Republic’s Butter” thins out, leaving Tory “Imperial Guns” only; New Deal is buried in Imperial Warfare…and The Republic is destroyed in the process…#1 Threat-to-Empire removed).

    • May 24, 2015 at 08:45

      @ “I choke on the conspiracy-inspired idea that ‘everything’s going according to plan.’ But I try to be patient with those who plumb these depths, for the fact that it’s really hard to imagine that US can be this deluded and dense.”

      That depends to some extent on who you regard as the U.S. government’s constituents. If you believe it’s the general populatiion, the “common welfare,” then the government looks very deluded and dense. But if you regard the oligarchs as its true constituents, the government looks a lot less deluded and dense and it becoems much easier to arrive at something approaching an “everything’s going according to plan” conclusion. Follow the money …

      • paul wichmann
        May 25, 2015 at 23:33

        Brad and Paul, both of you have made some strong points. I especially appreciate the civility of your replies.
        The idea of “Wasting Wars” is crazy, though I’m not saying you are. If real and true, they’re blowing the ground right out from underneath themselves. Who, then, will fight for them? They’ll have molded Americans into the form of being that presently flees despite being superior in arms and ten-to-one in numbers, as in Ramadi. They’re good for nothing but (making themselves rich and us impoverished) lording over us; but they’ll forever need people to take care of them, a base, to do their dirty work, down to the mundane tasks fundamental to life itself. If even one in five americans turns semi-actionably resentful, they’ll have to do a lot of screening, in front of which they’ll have to find the screeners.
        All of Washington was optimistic about Vietnam, and again, Iraq, and now, versus the Islamic State. Just names from the hat: Do you think Westmoreland and McNamara, then Cheney and Rumsfeld, now Carter and Obama, were / are so many actors, and thoroughly insincere? That they’re trying to waste US? I’d sooner believe they’ve bullshirted themselves into sur-reality. The consequences of power are the never-is-heard-a discouraging-word stroking of toadies, arrogance, and, in the end, a forfeit of the ability to be honest with one’s self. Very few, if any, could avoid falling for themselves. And becoming full frontal flunk-ups. All this reaches the heights in the CEOs and the money changers. Lloyd Blankfein thought he was doing God’s work, and after being made to testify before Karl Levin’s committee on the 08 melt-up, said he felt as though he’d been waterboarded (let him be subject to this procedure; then he can properly give witness to the similarities).

        Another of Paul’s replies above uses the words “Wall Street’s love of instability.” I recognize what he’s saying and agree with it, in the case of continuing the war over there. Yet how many thousands of times have we heard, when it comes to taxes and regulation, that Wall Street must be treated to predictability; that is, stability. Hypocrites – for all it‘s worth. I would note, however, that for stability here the police / surveillance state will be very helpful.
        Someone here or at TruthDig gave this link:
        From 1982, the scheme involves the plan to atomize the Arab states (and get out from under dependence on america – ha – among other things. Lebanon was effectively broken up – but that got them Hezbollah. The Palestinians were split; so, Hamas. Iraq is now partially possessed by the nasty Islamic State. How’s all this old schit working? On Brad’s point, it’s a howling success.
        Maybe y’all are right, that it’s all going according to plan. In which case the planners are all-world idiots. It is my belief that chaos is preferable to stability only when stability is insufferable… and that in most cases they were too quick to come to that conclusion.

        • paul wichmann
          May 25, 2015 at 23:45

          Sorry to have to reply to myself:
          These people thrive on exploitation; How do you exploit chaos? The diminishing returns have gone negative for US; Israel will be made to suffer the same fate, if only for exhausting its dullard big brother.

        • Brad Owen
          May 26, 2015 at 05:32

          The ones you name (former Prezes) are not the authors of these plans. A good descriptive term for the “Authors” would be very wealthy & powerful “Tories” (ones who opposed The Republic, and democratic republicanism in general, in principle, and would much prefer the Nation be “run like a business”, such as a plantation/Company Town/Corporation, in a mere Province, of a Global Empire, with “The Crown” still residing in City-of-London). The Territory will still be here, peopled with now-desperate “servants” of a Ruling Class of Oligarchs. It is almost what happened to Russia, which even called the benefactors of the nineties “Reforms” Oligarchs. Putin stopped the down-slide. China better beware, and us too. Our huge National Sovereignties are a Threat to a Global Empire that would be run by Oligarchs who will not “stoop” to the indignity of holding elective office…that is for their underlings.

          • paul wichmann
            May 26, 2015 at 08:34

            Agreed. However, I missed my summary mark:
            They’re not so good as their money says, and far too many of us seem to allow. Not even close.

          • Brad Owen
            May 26, 2015 at 11:09

            To Paul below. Agreed. They’ll most likely fail in their plans. I think they’ve been driven mad by Power-Lust, having come so close to “owning the World”. I just hope the collateral damage from eradicating them can be kept to a minimum. It would be of immense help if we, forced bankruptcy re-organization, and joined BRICS: Russia, China, USA, would be too powerful a Bloc for “the Tories” to overcome. I’m actually optimistic that “the Good Guys” (the 99%ers) will prevail, in the end.

    • Bob Van Noy
      May 24, 2015 at 23:07

      Man do I ever agree Paul. As the real story of Vietnam has evolved, it is nearly impossible to believe we would That
      Stupid again and again. However I believe I read that Colin Powell did the IG report on My Lai, so anything is possible, I suppose.

  5. May 23, 2015 at 23:59

    An excellent article and many amplifying comments. My thanks to all who provided them.

  6. Anthony Shaker
    May 23, 2015 at 17:22

    There is a certain blind, diabolical logic to Obama’s plank walk. One, it is pushing Saudi Arabia to the brink. The terrorist attack on a Shi’a mosque may well be a sign that the cracks inside the Kingdom have widened. King Salman has many enemies all around him.

    Two, it has brought Israel into a position much closer now to its doom. This Zionist race colony is bent on finishing its days, not peacefully like South Africa, but with a bang like Nazi Germany, which we know is, in fact, its direct ideological offspring.

    Is Obama a prophet or a dilettante and a golfer enjoying his last days in office?

    History will not be merciful with today’s barbarians. They are all coming out of the woodwork for a final apocalypse, it seems. If only the tribal fables in the Bible under which they like to take ideological cover were God’s plain truth! The reality is that their reception committe is not for the Messiah, but for the devil himself. But then I am not a religious man.

    • Bob Van Noy
      May 24, 2015 at 22:57

      “Is Obama a prophet or a dilettante and a golfer enjoying his last days in office?”
      I’d Love to know the answer to that question Anthony…

  7. Abe
    May 23, 2015 at 16:16

    The Qatar side of the Persian Gulf, called North Field, contains the world’s third largest known natural gas reserves behind Russia and Iran.

    In July 2011, the governments of Syria, Iran and Iraq signed an historic gas pipeline energy agreement which went largely unnoticed in the midst of the NATO-Saudi-Qatari war to remove Assad. The pipeline, envisioned to cost $10 billion and take three years to complete, would run from the Iranian Port Assalouyeh near the South Pars gas field in the Persian Gulf, to Damascus in Syria via Iraq territory. The agreement would make Syria the center of assembly and production in conjunction with the reserves of Lebanon. This is a geopolitically strategic space that geographically opens for the first time, extending from Iran to Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. As Asia Times correspondent Pepe Escobar put it, “The Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline – if it’s ever built – would solidify a predominantly Shi’ite axis through an economic, steel umbilical cord.”

    Shortly after signing with Iran and Iraq, on August 16, 2011, Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian Ministry of Oil announced the discovery of a gas well in the Area of Qarah in the Central Region of Syria near Homs. Gazprom, with Assad in power, would be a major investor or operator of the new gas fields in Syria. Iran ultimately plans to extend the pipeline from Damascus to Lebanon’s Mediterranean port where it would be delivered to the huge EU market. Syria would buy Iranian gas along with a current Iraqi agreement to buy Iranian gas from Iran’s part of South Pars field.

    Qatar, today the world’s largest exporter of LNG, largely to Asia, wants the same EU market that Iran and Syria eye. For that, they would build pipelines to the Mediterranean. Here is where getting rid of the pro-Iran Assad is essential. In 2009 Qatar approached Bashar al-Assad to propose construction of a gas pipeline from Qatar’s north Field through Syria on to Turkey and to the EU. Assad refused, citing Syria’s long friendly relations with Russia and Gazprom. That refusal combined with the Iran-Iraq-Syria gas pipeline agreement in 2011 ignited the full-scale Saudi and Qatari assault on Assad’s power, financing al Qaeda terrorists, recruits of Jihadist fanatics willing to kill Alawite and Shi’ite “infidels” for $100 a month and a Kalishnikov. The Washington neo-conservative warhawks in and around the Obama White House, along with their allies in the right-wing Netanyahu government, were cheering from the bleachers as Syria went up in flames after spring 2011.

    Today the US-backed wars in Ukraine and in Syria are but two fronts in the same strategic war to cripple Russia and China and to rupture any Eurasian counter-pole to a US-controlled New World Order. In each, control of energy pipelines, this time primarily of natural gas pipelines—from Russia to the EU via Ukraine and from Iran and Syria to the EU via Syria—is the strategic goal. The true aim of the US and Israel backed ISIS is to give the pretext for bombing Assad’s vital grain silos and oil refineries to cripple the economy in preparation for a “Ghaddafi-”style elimination of Russia and China and Iran-ally Bashar al-Assad.

    In a narrow sense, as Washington neo-conservatives see it, who controls Syria could control the Middle East. And from Syria, gateway to Asia, he will hold the key to Russia House, as well as that of China via the Silk Road.

    The Secret Stupid Saudi-US Deal on Syria
    By F. William Engdahl

    • May 24, 2015 at 08:29

      Abe, we look to be in complete agreement but stress different points. See my reply to a post above (page search for “instability”). Perhaps I go a bit farther in suggesting that maintaining instability and not victory is the U.S. goal in Syria/Iraq and in an arc of instability extending northward into the Caucusus Mountains to block the unification of Asian and European markets via the New Silk Roads and pipeline corridors.

  8. Abe
    May 23, 2015 at 16:01

    Syria and Iran continue to be demonized by the Western media, with a view to justifying a military agenda. In turn, the Western media has fed, on a daily basis, incorrect and biased notions that the populations of Iraq cannot co-exist and that the conflict is not a war of occupation but a “civil war” characterised by domestic strife between Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds.

    Attempts at intentionally creating animosity between the different ethno-cultural and religious groups of the Middle East have been systematic. In fact, they are part of a carefully designed covert intelligence agenda.

    Even more ominous, many Middle Eastern governments, such as that of Saudi Arabia, are assisting Washington in fomenting divisions between Middle Eastern populations. The ultimate objective is to weaken the resistance movement against foreign occupation through a “divide and conquer strategy” which serves Anglo-American and Israeli interests in the broader region.

    Plans for Redrawing the Middle East: The Project for a “New Middle East”
    By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

    (first published in 2006, this article remains of particular relevance to an understanding of the ongoing process of destabilization and political fragmentation of Iraq, Syria and Yemen.)

  9. May 23, 2015 at 15:43

    Excellent article and comments.

  10. May 23, 2015 at 15:09

    To me US foreign policy is not unlike the mad power-hungry doctor who created Frankenstein only to have his monster turn against him. It’s hard to feel sorry when the insane doctor gets his due. But in our case, that script is constantly repeating. The quest for “full spectrum dominance” and the blindness of American exceptionalism seems to mean we are doomed to keep repeating the “Charlie Wilson’s Frankenstein War” script. The various neocon warmongers and MIC, most of them inept Peter Principles, just don’t care because they are making money.

    Also see Nafeez Ahmed’s article: https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/secret-pentagon-report-reveals-west-saw-isis-as-strategic-asset-b99ad7a29092
    “This strategy was repeated on a grand scale in the 2011 NATO intervention in Libya, said Annie Machon, where the CIA and MI6 were supporting the very same Libyan groups, resulting in a failed state, mass murder, displacement and anarchy. So the idea that elements of the American military-security complex have enabled the development of ISIS after their failed attempt to get NATO to once again ‘intervene’ is part of an established pattern. And they remain indifferent to the sheer scale of human suffering that is unleashed as a result of such game-playing.”

    “The documents show that not only did the US government at the latest by August 2012 know the true extremist nature and likely outcome of Syria’s rebellion”   —   namely, the emergence of ISIS   —   “but that this was considered an advantage for US foreign policy. This also suggests a decision to spend years in an effort to deliberately mislead the West’s public, via a compliant media, and the infiltration of pro regime change expats in ‘peace groups’ into believing that Syria’s rebellion was overwhelmingly ‘moderate.’”

    The ease with which some of our Minnesota “peace” community became co-opted into supporting US wars and bloody regime changes, due to the R2P human rights and democracy promotion ideology but also in part via the “infiltration of pro regime change expats” is what Margaret and I previously bemoaned here: https://consortiumnews.com/2014/12/25/selling-peace-groups-on-us-led-wars/ . Since our article appeared, one of the Twin Cities groups, the Quaker-inspired “Friends for a Nonviolent World” did explicitly stop their calling for “Assad to go.” But on the bad side, its spin-off CISPOS support group for Syrian rebels, promoting speakers/writers who urged US bombing and other military intervention, infiltrated into the much larger “Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers (MAP).” So MAP now hypocritically spews CISPOS-neocon propaganda out to its 75 + member peace organizations. It’s just sad to witness how Orwell’s “Peace is war” actually works!

  11. Pablo Diablo
    May 23, 2015 at 14:41

    MONEY. It is always money (oil, weapons, etc). Get the neocons out of “our” government. They and their corporate sponsors make money, lots of money, off of war. WE PAY

  12. Dato
    May 23, 2015 at 14:29

    The Spice must flow and … the dunes must be made safe for Israel.

  13. david t. krall
    May 23, 2015 at 13:52

    From: david t. krall

    Great article ! Could not agree with you more. It’s would have been just the same in Latin America if the Bay of Pigs succeeded or some other op removed Casto and Socialism from Cuba via proxy army funded, trained supported by a a joint CIA/DoD/US corp interests and sympathetic interests in Latin America…the failure at the Bay of Pigs was a relief in some quarters that by default (or seen as “by design” by those who hated and blamed JFK) that “what ever” was designed to take place in Cuba upon Castro’s removal was to be “let loose and spread, a “domino principle” of our own and in “our favor” ala’ a “ROLLBACK” as a by product to keep any and all Latin American Governments. even under “tighter” control…that no doubt would have been a result, if not THE contemplated result…A proxy army operation/program originally “sold” as a “freedom & liberty loving” cadre or militia to dupe a president and his (or some of them not “in the loop”) advisors…., just like the latter Contras. SOUND FAMILIAR,?????? Regards,
    David T. Krall

  14. David Sheridan
    May 23, 2015 at 12:50

    A coalition between US, Syria, Russia, and Iran could wipe out ISIS in short order.

    • W. R. Knight
      May 23, 2015 at 13:07

      Yeah, but the Israelis and Arabs wouldn’t like that, so don’t count on it.

      • Larry
        May 23, 2015 at 15:45

        I think David’s right and that so are you, W.R. I really wonder what the end-game for the West is. Do they want to remove Assad and then fight a big war to destroy a consolidated IS and Al-Nusra across Syria and Iraq? Who then would run the Syrian territory, or Anbar province and Mosul? Coalitions? Comprised of whom? And who would be their Western sponsors? Would Saudi Arabia consolidate its influence by joining itself with a Sunni Syria? It would potentially bring some stability in Syria. Israel might be okay with that given they’re already at least tacitly on the same side.

        • Stefan
          May 23, 2015 at 16:56

          I believe Israel wants to sever Syria from Iran and Hezbollah before a nuclear deal with Iran is finalised – so Israel is fighting against the clock, to turn Syria into a total hell and cut off the resistance group Hezbollah from its allies.

          The I believe it feels it can turn to Lebanon and initiate a new war, without having to worry about Hezbollah being resupplied via Syria and Iran.

          Israel’s deterrence factor took a major hit after the second Lebanon war in 2006. It has been salivating after revenge, but Hezbollah has proven too strong a force for it to tackle, without her losses starting to backfire politically at home.

          Thus, better recruit terror jihadi groups, deny any connection to them, and spread Hezbollah thin by luring into a war in Syria. At the same time, Syria will turn into Libya, the country dismemebered, puppet regimes put in place, a country run by drug lords, war lords, a failed state, without any central authority and standing army – but most importantly, no longer an ally to Iran, a dream that Israel has been having since 1982 at least, and some analysts also written about it back then, and suggesting exactly what is happening to Syria today.

          Israel wants to turn Syria and Leganon (Hezbollah) into a wasteland, get revenge for the war in 2006 when IDF was defeated.

          Israel can only restart a war on Lebanon and turn it to rubble if first, Syria is completely destroyed and Secular Assad is removed and replaced by Al Qaeda affiliated jihadis.

          Israel can only turn Lebanon into a wasteland if Hezbollah is cut from Iran, which means it must first cut it off from Syria.

          All of this has to be achieved before a final nuclear deal with Iran, so both elements in USA and Israel I believe are rushing, because a deal is getting closer seemingly.

        • May 24, 2015 at 08:13

          Re “the end-game for the West”

          It’s quite conceivably erroneous to think that what we are seeing now in Syria and Iraq is in fact the U.S. “endgame,” permanent instability in those two nations. U.S. moves have been quite consistent with an effort to maintain instability. Instability is also consistent with Israeli goals, the balkanization of Iraq by religion and keeping the Syrian government tied down to combating “terrorism” while Israel pursues its empirical goals of territorial expansion and becoming the region’s economic hegemon.

          CIA shipment of arms from Benghazi to Turkey and the al Qaeda types in Syria began only a very few months after Iran, Iraq, and Syria announced their agreement to construct the Friendship Pipeline from Iran’s South Pars / North Dome field through Iraq to Syria and from thence to Lebanon and under the Mediterranean to a European country to supply European customers as well as Iraq, Syria and Lebanon with natural gas, along with a with a refinery and related infrastructure in Damascus.

          Importantly, Iran shares the same field with Qatar, a U.S. ally. The Friendship Pipeline would have competed with the U.S.-backed Nabucco pipeline from Azerbaijan to Europe and Qatar’s proposal to build a pipeline running from Qatar to Europe via Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and Turkey. Syria refused to participate in the latter project “to protect the interests of [its] Russian ally, which is Europe’s top supplier of natural gas.” The Gulf Coast Council was not pleased by that rejection and selection of Iran and Iraq as partners in the Friendship Pipeline. The U.S. supported the Nabucco pipeline because it would harm Russian sales of natural gas in Europe, of course.

          Other contributing factors include the U.S. military/industrial complex’s love for perpetual war and arms sales and Wall Street’s love of instability as the plowed ground for profits from international currency exchange and other bankster shenanigans. There’s no profit to be made from victory.

          American oligarchs also have an enormous interest in maintaining Europe in a vassal relationship to the U.S. But that relationship is threatened by China’s rising economic star and aspirations to establish a trans-continental market with Russia and Europe, unified by high-speed freight railway systems and pipelines. The U.S. has maintained for several years an arc of instability extending largely unbroken (except for NATO ally Turkey) from the Chechen Caucasus Mountains to the Red Sea. One can view the U.S. proxy war in Ukraine as filling in one of the gaps. All create obstacles for China’s New Silk Roads project. The Gulf States Council nations, particularly Saudi Arabia, are partners in maintaining that arc of instability. They export Salafist mercenaries as needed to maintain the instability while CIA and the U.S. State Department provide the coordination and guidance.

          So I think there are ample grounds to posit that the U.S. goal in Syria/Iraq is not victory but to maintain instability. The three Macinderan imperatives of geostrategy are: [i] to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals; [ii] to keep tributaries pliant and protected; and [iii] to keep the barbarians from coming together. Maintaining instability in Iraq/Syria and points northward fits well in the third category.

    • Al
      May 23, 2015 at 17:22

      Yes But don’t forget that the USA, Saudi, Turkey, Israel, Qatar and NATO are arming, financing and supporting ISIS.

      • david t. krall
        May 23, 2015 at 18:31

        YES !!!..t and just add another “mirror” / prior op…Operation Condor… I’m am sure “somewhere” there is some CIA/DoD acronym for this ISIS program/op…it seems that I can assume that many here agree with that ? Right out of the CIA/DoD playbook,,,and certainly within the paradigm since 1945 or 1947…
        david t. krall

  15. Abe
    May 23, 2015 at 12:36

    The US-led coalition now attempting to appear as though they are fighting ISIS knowingly aided the rise of the Islamic State for the purpose of isolating Assad and combating expanding Iranian influence. At least as far back as August of 2012 the very same anti-IS coalition knew full well that the precursors to ISIS, al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) and Islamic State in Iraq (ISI), dominated the Syrian opposition along with other al-Qaeda affiliated groups. They knew that AQI was declining during 2009-10, yet was resurrected due to the insurgency in Syria. In spite of this, the US and her allies continued to provide aid, funding, weaponry, and training to these same extremist groups, specifically seeing their rise (and the horrendous crimes against humanity that they partook in) as a strategic asset for their geopolitical aims. The rise of the Islamic State was not only predicted, it was the expressed aim of the powers sponsoring the sectarian Syrian opposition for the purpose of opposing Assad and containing Iran. Despite the fact that the rise of an Islamic State was predicted to have dire consequences for Iraq, including the fall of Mosul and Ramadi, support from the US-coalition to the Syrian opposition continued to manifest, leading to the conclusion that this was either the expressed intent, or an accepted byproduct of these policy decisions.

    How the US Aided ISIS and the Fall of Mosul and Ramadi
    By Steve Chovanec

  16. W. R. Knight
    May 23, 2015 at 12:31

    It would appear that US policy makers finally realized that the law of unintended consequences caught up with their stupid experiment with “spreading democracy” in Iraq. Now that they successfully installed “democracy” in Iraq and Shiites (who are a majority in the country) rule, US policy makers suddenly discover that that’s not what the Israelis and Sunni Arabs intended. So now to appease the Israelis and Sunni Arabs, they are going to let both Iraq and Syria fall into the hands of ISIS so that we won’t have just one Sunni extremist tyranny, but two.

    The absolutely amazing stupidity of US policy makers has to make one believe in the famous quote by Pogo, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

    • Coleen Rowley
      May 23, 2015 at 14:27

      I’ve been writing that, from my experience in government, there are a lot more “Peter Principles” operating than any real evil genius. And that’s because there isn’t much real genius in the less scientific and more political branches. Even the most cunning Brzezinski and Kissinger types who pompously think they are good at playing geopolitics on their 3D global chessboards, always meet their match.

      Yet most people find it scary to believe their leaders are Peter Principles incarnate, true Barney Fife incarnations of Ignorance and Arrogance. Scarier even, for many, then believing in vastly complicated conspiracies run by evil geniuses featured in the movies.

      • Larry
        May 23, 2015 at 15:39

        I like your use of the Peter Principle. I’ve been thinking Murphy’s Law lately. There’s room for both, unfortunately, in describing the western amateurism involved in strategy and policymaking.

        There is a completely ad hoc quality to U.S. actions lately, and, that actually is a good thing, a smart thing, and really the only mode that can keep up with events. I think it’s not even possible at this time to have an overarching strategy in the region described in the Consortium article above, or at least no strategy beyond containment and wait to see how things play out.

        That being said, I agree with Abe and others that the Iraq War continues by other means, players, and locations now, with the Iraq War’s ultimate aim – destabilization and/or destruction of the entrenched nation-states in the region whom had all lined up against Western and secondarily Israeli influence in the region – being still being played out, especially in Syria which is on the border of the Anglo-American Mediterranean colony/fort just south of Lebanon.

        I truly believe all is still going according to the amorphous and non-time-sensitive American neocon plan. Newly drawn borders are coming, with a powerful renegade (for a while) Sunni state as a buffer between Iran and Lebanon, and perhaps a reclusive reduced Assadian Syrian state still intact as well.

        I think this would satisfy Anglo-American needs for a combination of stability and volatility that both further secures the survival of the Anglo-American Mediterranean colony/fort just south of Lebanon and also provides context for continuing Anglo-American/Saudi-Gulf States armed interventions to keep the region ‘calm’ enough the Americans, British, and their Gulf

        Yemen and Jordan seem to be, besides Syria, the regional nations at greatest peril for their survival. Those three at risk would seem to be okay enough for the Americans and Brits, whose overarching strategy seems to be creating wastelands and wasting people and resources, all of which is so profitable to the West it must be just irresistible.

      • May 24, 2015 at 07:03

        Re: “Brzezinski and Kissinger types” and their geopolitics.

        “Geopolitics” is a false pseudo-science that has dominated U.S. foreign policy since World War II. At its heart, it rests in ancient and racist geographical determinism concepts used to justify empires and a lunatic view of the global importance of controlling Eurasia and “containing” the major power in that area, Russia. Geopolitics gave the world the Korean, Viet Nam, and Ukraine wars along with a host of other conflicts.

        I recently blogged about the lunatic history of geopolitics. http://relativelyfreepress.blogspot.com/2015/03/us-russia-and-ukraine-heartland.html

        “Geopolitics” and its closely related “geostrategy” are nothing more than horse feathers spread by kooks and frauds who have managed to worm their way into position to influence the exercise of power in the best tradition of W.C. Fields’ famous quip, “if you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.”

        • dahoit
          May 24, 2015 at 11:35

          How the hell did furriners(Kissinger,Brze?) become our sages?
          Beware of foreign entanglements must be last years model.
          We created an Iranian Iraq,and when we saw that,we had to rectify the mistake.Yankee Come Home!pretty please?

    • david t. krall
      May 23, 2015 at 15:14

      from: david t. krall

      W.R. Write….you are “RIGHT ON”….and on target !!! I suggest anybody and everybody to read the internal CIA inspector’s report on the Bay of Pigs AND the also declassified “Zapata Report” also on the Bay pf Pigs…as well as numerous Church Committee Reports, “FireWall” and the Iran Contra (“emphasis” on the CONTRAS) congressional report….ISIS is the “real-time” / present version on “THAT”….same recipe…but with a middle-eastern “flavor”…proxy armies and adjoining deep cover agendas don’t happen by accident. Regards, David T. Krall

  17. Abe
    May 23, 2015 at 12:26

    While there is truth to the assertion that Iraqi military forces are riddled with severe problems, from sectarianism in the command hierarchy, to poor training and, at times, organizational disarray, none of these issues is singularly responsible for the loss of Ramadi. Nor is it entirely accurate to say that Obama’s alleged weakness is really the cause.

    Rather the primary reason, the one which the media carefully avoids including in their reportage, is the political and military sabotage of Iraq perpetrated by the United States in pursuit of its long-term agenda.

    Indeed, while Washington waxes poetic about the need to more forcefully confront ISIS and destroy its military and terrorist infrastructure, the actual policies it has pursued are designed to achieve just the opposite. Instead of promoting unity of command and execution within the Iraqi armed forces, the Pentagon, Congress, and the White House have done everything to fracture Iraq’s political and military structures, fomenting rather than mollifying sectarian conflicts. Then the Washington Post can publish editorials blasting Iraqi fecklessness, and calling for a more robust US military presence. In this way, the US policy of promoting division and weakness within Iraq has directly led to the dire situation in Ramadi and throughout the country.

    Ramadi and America’s Fracturing of Iraq
    By Eric Draitser

    • Larry
      May 23, 2015 at 15:26

      I’d like to thank Abe for his comments containing cogent contextualizing of the situations described above. It’s good to be able to read text that furthers a coherent and accurate understanding of the events described.

    • david t. krall
      May 23, 2015 at 16:22

      To Abe…I agree completely. It may be seen by us as a recipe for disaster, but that’s not the contemplated or anticipated effect or assumed and/or foreseen result or endgame by the initiators and their subordinates, enablers and allies of this “war” in the middle east, no matter how stupid it appears (to us). Those who thought or assumed in 1964 that they were on the winning side in regards to Vietnam never assumed or envisioned events that culminated in or played put by 1967, 1968 or 1969, or 1973 (!) even in spite are all the warnings, doubts and indications from “war-gaming” and from some other nations, especially France.
      David T. Krall

      • Peter Loeb
        May 24, 2015 at 06:05

        OUR ALLIES?

        While there is much information and analysis of considerable
        value in Daniel Lazare’s article, as several commenters have
        perceptively noted, it fails to address the role of the Zionist
        State of Israel, an entity to which this Administration has
        just given $1.9 billion dollars in weapons (See Rania Khalek
        in “EI” or her own blog).

        To lsay the least, it is not discrete for a politician in the US
        Democratic party to discuss its blatant support for terrorists..
        while maintaining that the US supports helpless Israel
        defend itself. Meanwhile as R. Khalek observes,
        Israel defies almost every international law.

        In addition, the US defies the unanimous resolution of
        the UN Security Council of last year (See SRes/2139(2014
        point 14, page 4 of the document).

        The US and Israel are playing with fire. The US well knows
        how the CIA employed and funded Osama bin Laden to
        fight the Russians. The US recalls its experience in
        searching for a strong man in CIA employ to take over
        Iraq. This was Saddam Hussein. And none of the US puppets
        in Viet Nam “worked out” from the US perspective.

        Would it be too facile a generalization to say that Washington
        is in the habit of backing leaders in foreign nations who
        end up betraying US goals from Chang Kai-shek to
        various leaders in Viet Nam, to Syngmon Rhee in South Korea.
        This is a subject to itself as each case is unique to its
        time and place.

        The US Republicans are almost right. Almost.The major
        exception is, of course, that they too are courting Israel
        and the funds it supplies in US elections …and denies
        Democratic candidates.

        One wonders if Zionist Israel arrogantly believes in the
        myth that once proximate Israeli aims are met, that
        terrorist groups will belong to Israel and submit to being
        managed by them.

        —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

    • geo
      May 23, 2015 at 19:32

      hello abe. the minutiae is fine but where is the real policy and the real power in the u.s. perpetual war is beyond titillating conversation it is real and happening. cheny and company have succeeded in supplying the necessary means to isil. this was done with the help of viceroy bremmer in iraq. billions of dollars have been stashed in the mideast. with the black market oil and private interests (armament dealers) they have created a truly mobile attack force not unlike the ability of the u.s. army (hummers and all that). it is ridiculous to assume that obama is frozen in place and incapable of dealing with the isil threat. obama’s legacy is a disaster so to appear as the ‘peace guy’ is just another distraction of the very bad magicians. dont go to the show even though it is happening.
      i refer you to james risen ‘PAY ANY PRICE’

  18. Abe
    May 23, 2015 at 12:06

    Not only is Israel using terrorists in a proxy war against Syria, it is also using terrorists to harass and expel UN monitors in attempts to prevent any documentation of their state-sponsorship of terrorism. Similar tactics are used by NATO along the Turkish-Syrian border. The same UN report would also note that among the militants operating under apparent Israeli protection was terrorist group Al Nusra – listed as the Nusra Front in the report. Reports of Israeli attacks on Syrian aircraft further indicate that Israel is intentionally providing sanctuary for terrorists against Syrian attacks imposing a defacto “buffer zone” between Israeli territory and Syria where literally Al Qaeda can arm, stage, and carry out attacks further into Syria.

    It is clear that without Israeli and Jordanian support on Syria’s western and southern fronts, and NATO member Turkey’s help in the north, the Syrian government would have restored order within its borders long ago. That the very source of ISIS and Al Qaeda’s strength appears to originate within NATO territory and within buffer zones carved out by Israeli forces, reveals the Syrian conflict as the proxy military operation it truly is – as well as exposing Al Qaeda and ISIS as not the independent menaces they are portrayed as across the Western media, but as a proxy mercenary force created, directed, and perpetuated by the West.

    Israel claiming that it must strike Damascus to eliminate “regional threats” while Al Nusra maintains tanks and artillery literally on Israel’s borders is the verbatim fulfillment of Seymour Hersh’s 2007 report where it was warned the US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel were conspiring to carry out this exact military campaign, with Al Qaeda filling the ranks of their own regional mercenary army.

    Old Tricks, Old Dogs: Israeli Attacks on Syria
    By Tony Cartalucci

    • david t. krall
      May 23, 2015 at 16:32

      Abe…”right on” !!! You are so correct ! May I add that the current pres/PM in Israel is as whacked out as LBJ was during his time and tenure here, with views and policies with disasterous results. ISIS is nothing more or less than a proxy army and “front” for some major interests.
      David T. Krall

      • nexus789
        May 24, 2015 at 00:47

        A recently leaked secret pentagram report confirms the manufactured nature of ISIS and the fact that the Washington degenerates are indirectly murdering tens of thousands of people. Makes Hitler, stalin , etc, look like amateurs when it comes to mass murder and genocide.

    • Anthony Shaker
      May 23, 2015 at 17:43

      Sure, but we must stop speculating about the Damascus falling to ISIL. The Syrian government and army are able to withstand this onslaught from every direction. There is almost nil chance of Syria falling to either side of the Wahhabi hordes.

      This is not even a terrirtorial war, but one of attrition; and one neither Saudi Arabia nor Israel is any longer in a position to carry on forever. The main reason behind the terrorist wars in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere is precisely that everything has changed in Israel’s survivability. But at the core of it is that the US international position is slowly collapsing. All this is just a rear-guard action for cover its tracks.

      Now a new team of Nazi-like leaders have taken their positions in Israel, armed with biblical quotations, I hear, and an increasing ease about using nuclear weapons! Israel has just thanked Obama for killing an Egyptian-led initiative to ban nuclear weapons in the Middle East. Is this not an admission…not to say another veiled threat to nuke Iran? How far exactly do you think this artificial Zionist race will go on its present track? Israel must be sensing the end.

      And how far will the artificial, British-installed Wahhabi regime in Saudi Arabia go, do you think?

      • david t. krall
        May 23, 2015 at 21:31

        from: david t. krall

        Great points made, here from you (!) Anthony Skaker…you want a real head spinner? On one of my posts on another website, where I have written about “things” like this and other ‘stuff”, I wrote about how there is an actual “precedent”
        for lack a better word for what is happening NOW. I bought and added to my research library a really good mid-sized coffee table sized book called “Spying For The Furher”, about the German/Nazi Intelligence Community. Before and right after the start of WW2 in the European Theater, Nazi Gov. Officials, Intelligence officers and related military personnel were in touch with a growing number of high ranking Middle-Eastern and Arab officials who were fascist-minded and zealot “nationalist”. This multi-level and numerous “meeting of the minds” anticipated a possible “tilt” in Germany’s favor. The contemplated “trigger” was discussed within and between Nazis and these like minded influential middle-eastern circles. This “trigger” operation was actually going to be a far and wide-spread Anti-Western Jihad across parts of the middle east with both Nazi covert intell agents and these fanatical Arab Jihadists, ‘working it and “lighting the fuse”..This jihad was TO BE EXPLAINED as a fanatical anti-western Jihad to the world press. BUT here’s the “kicker”…it wa actually and in reality to be used as a cover /ploy to remove the British and French out of the Middle East and related countries in Northern Africa…Even the Nazis realized (even in spite of their own proclivities and tendencies) based on their intelligence that such an operation was “not likely” and “turned off” because they became wary and leery of such Arab fanatics as allies and assets…(something the CIA has not learned!) in such an operation..
        Also there is in this book a similar reference to “who ever controls the Syria/Iraq/Iraq region controls a “possible key” to Russia.
        Anti-Western Jihad used as a “devise” and “mechanism” to further and advance an agenda…A CiA/DoD, Halliburton/Carlyle-neo-con network is doing this NOW !
        David T. Krall

      • Anthony Shaker
        May 24, 2015 at 07:15

        Sorry about an error above. I meant “How far exactly do you think this artificial Zionist race colony will go on its present track?” Not “this artificial Zionist race,” which makes no sense.

  19. Abe
    May 23, 2015 at 12:04

    “America can’t once again go into a Muslim nation and be aggressive. It has to be led by Sunnis.” – after the American occupation of Iraq (2003–2011)

    “Israel can’t once again go into a Muslim nation and be aggressive. It has to be led by the United States.” – before the September 11, 2001 attacks

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