Iraq: ISIS Coalition Briefing #3

The third edition of my briefing series on the war on the Islamic State (IS)……information that the media sees fit not to pass on to the American public……I do this so people interested do not have to spend all day on the internet trying to get all the info……it’s what I do………you are welcome………..

Item 1–McCain has been all over the media with his push to do more for the ‘moderates’ fighting ISIS……but he may need to check IST briefings from time to time apparently he has not gotten the word……

Col. Riad Assad, the leader of the US-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebel, has announced that his group will not join the anti-ISIS coalition the US is assembling, nor will they participate in attacks on ISIS.

Col. Assad insisted that the rebel group’s chief goal is to conquer Syria and oust President Bashar Assad (no relation). He complained the anti-ISIS coalition did not make regime change in Syria its goal.

Even though the FSA isn’t on board with fighting ISIS, Col. Assad did say his group would be happy to keep taking US money and weapons.

The US arms to the FSA and other “vetted, moderate” rebels have been controversial because so many of those weapons have wound up in the hands of ISIS anyhow. The FSA has also been facing growing defections of their fighters into ISIS.

Maybe McCain needs to step aside for he has tunnel vision and that could be lethal in this region.

Item 2–One of the big plans, especially from war hawks, is to train and arm ‘moderates’ to help fight our newest enemy ISIS.  But that is not the way to go….

an international coalition to take its campaign against Islamic State from Iraq into Syria, fighters like Ammar al-Wawi could make the difference.

He fears that restrictions on the kind of weapons he’ll receive and the training he’ll get under a $500 million White House proposal to arm moderate Syrian rebels will make his job impossible.

“We don’t really need more training. And we have enough soldiers. What we need are quality weapons,” said Wawi, a commander in the Free Syrian Army, a loose collection of moderate rebels fighting both the Islamic State and Syrian government forces.

“We need anti-aircraft weapons. We need anti-tank weapons. If we don’t get those, we can’t win, no matter what the United States does.”

They don’t need training?  Yeah, they are doing a helluva job against Assad as they lose area after area to the regime.  And AA guns?  Do we really need to give them those so they can be passed on to ISIS as so many other weapons have?  Wrong to do this!

Item 3–Everybody keeps asking “what about Assad”? after all he is fighting ISIS also as well as a wealth of other groups…….

The United States and other Western governments have dismissed the idea of cooperating with Syria in the fight against Islamic State, which has seized large areas of Iraq and Syria. Western governments see Assad as part of the problem and say he must leave power.

The meeting between Faleh al-Fayad, the Iraqi national security adviser, and Assad indicated that the Iraqi government aims to maintain those ties. It also points to the scope for possible indirect contact between Syria and the West over the fight against Islamic State via third parties such as Iraq.

Fayad “put Assad in the picture of the latest developments in Iraq and the efforts that the Iraqi government and people are making to combat the terrorists”, Syrian state news agency SANA said.

The meeting stressed “the importance of strengthening cooperation and coordination between the two brotherly countries in the field of combating terrorism that is hitting Syria and Iraq and which threatens the region and the world,” SANA said.

My educated guess is that we used a proxy to let Assad know what is happening…..even though we are not officially including him in any decisions…….Iraq can.

Item 4–Remember back in the dark days of the last Iraq War?  Remember al-Sadr?  A Shi’a cleric who commanded a large militia that fought against the US in those dark days….well he has NOT gone away…….

Influential Iraqi Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has ordered members of his Mahdi Army militia to withdraw from areas where US forces are conducting their ir war against ISIS, and urged popular demonstrations against the return of US ground troops to the country.

The Mahdi Army largely disbanded after the US pullout, but Sadr has kept ties with its leadership, threatening regularly to bring them out of retirement if the US tries to return to the country in a military role. With the ISIS war looking to do exactly that, they could quickly be another foe for the US in its ever-expanding conflict.

Another wrinkle in our latest war in Iraq….this could be a major problem down the road…..

Item 5–the US has scouts on the group in Iraq…..they are searching for Sunni tribes to help in the fight against ISIS…….the problem is the lack of trust by the tribes……..

Unwilling to send U.S. troops back to Iraq, Washington is trying to persuade armed Sunni factions and tribal figures to fight Islamic State militants in an echo of the “Awakening” movement that drove al Qaeda from the country six years ago.

Unwilling to send U.S. troops back to Iraq, Washington is trying to persuade armed Sunni factions and tribal figures to fight Islamic State militants in an echo of the “Awakening” movement that drove al Qaeda from the country six years ago.

The plan is far from easy, since many Sunnis regard the Awakening as a failure and a betrayal and see the Sunni Islamic State’s sweep into predominantly Sunni northern and western Iraq as the lesser of two evils, despite its mass killings.

U.S. and Iraqi officials say it is not a rehash of the Awakening but will incorporate Sunnis into a “National Guard”, a security force intended to decentralize power from Baghdad, addressing Sunni demands to stop oppression from the majority Shi’ite security forces.

Sorry dudes but trust is everything to these tribes…….our word was given then ignored….it will be a hard row to hoe…..and then the ‘national guard’ thing…..we will building yet another militia for future conflict….now there is a good plan.

Item 6–al-Qaeda is pushing for more unity among the warring factions in the Middle East……

Two al Qaeda branches urged warring militant factions in Iraq and Syria to stop fighting each other and unite against a U.S.-led alliance preparing to attack the ultra hardline Islamic State armed group, according to a joint statement posted online.

“Stop the infighting between you and stand as one rank against America’s campaign and that of its satanic alliance that lies in wait for all of us, to break us stick by stick,” al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) said in a rare joint statement.

This could be seen as an attempt for unity…….or it could be seen as an attempt to isolate ISIS from other groups so they can carry on without interference from the US and whoever else wants in on this fight.  This needs to be watched closely.

Item 7–this final piece would have been predicted if anyone had taken the time to do some research…….

Support for the Islamic State organization has grown since the US launched airstrikes in Iraq and the group is attracting many new jihadist fighters, top US officials said Wednesday.

The IS group’s “widespread use of social media and growing online support intensified following the commencement of US airstrikes in Iraq,” FBI head James Comey told the House Homeland Security Committee.

This ends briefing #3…..the next briefing will be as events warrant….time for Americans to pout aside their fascination with celebs and to pay attention…..the world is about to become a lot more dangerous and we need to stay alert.

Thanx for the attention to this briefing.

Turn the page.

America To The Rescue

America is fighting so many bad guys that it is a bit confusing at times……we are fighting a do nothing Congress, and China over trade and Russia over Ukraine and ISIS just because and then there is the big one…..the Ebola outbreak.

The battle against the Ebola virus is a fight that needs to be fought……if we can keep it in Africa then the US and the rest of the world will be safe from the pandemic that some are predicting……if you think that was a callous statement on my part then I will agree…it was….but everything we are doing appears to be just that….keep it in Africa.

As part of his promised “scaled-up response” to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, President Obama is expected to announce during a visit to the CDC today that the US will be sending 3,000 military personnel in an effort that could cost up to $750 million over the next six months, the Washington Post reports. The American contingent, which will take about two weeks to set up, aims to build 17 health care facilities with 100 beds each and train up to 500 health workers a week, the AP reports; the US will set up headquarters in Monrovia, Liberia. “This is a really significant response,” one global health expert tells the Post. “This is really beginning to seem like a game-changer.”

The US announcement comes as the head of Doctors Without Borders warns that the international response is “dangerously behind,” adds the AP. The military workers will also help distribute home health-care kits and educate locals on how to handle the disease, according to the AP. “This humanitarian intervention should serve as a firewall against a global security crisis that has the potential to reach American soil,” says Sen. Chris Coons, who has been pushing for increased US intervention. The UN Security Council will hold a rare emergency meeting on Thursday to talk about the public health crisis.

Sounds like we are trying to keep the virus in Africa, at least to me, it does.

My next point is….where do we find an “extra” $750 million to fund this operation?  Was it between the cushions on the Oval Office couch?

We should work to help with the control and the cure, if possible…….but it appears that the US will once again be doing the heavy lifting on this issue……

Pros And Cons Of The Obama Plan

I know that the American public is hopped up on revenge right now…..but is the plan as put forth by the prez the best plan?

Most Americans do not want to hear any negativity about the fight against the Islamic State…..but there needs to be a truthful conversation and a deep search to the realization that there may not be a path to victory against IS.

 

Obama’s Hazy Plan To Fight ISIS Is Unlikely To Succeed by Ivan Eland — Antiwar.com.

 

That is the negative….how about a positive….well sort of……..

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ruben-gallego/obama-has-right-strategy-_b_5829646.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Iraq: F.U.B.A.R.

War is an interesting subject….the causes and effects.  I got my interest in the issue after returning from Vietnam back in the Dark Ages….I enter school and majored in International Relations with an emphasis on the Middle East….so this situation is in my wheelhouse…I’m loving it!

The words have been spoken and now the real results of the speech will be known….nightly.

And after the words have been spoken the first thought I had was FUBAR.  For those not serving in the military..FUBAR means F*cked Up Beyond All Repair.  Or I could use the more common…SNAFU….Situation Norrmal All F*cked Up.

For days now the analysis has been almost overwhelming at least to someone who has NO idea of the region and the true situation.  Every channel has its analyst to give expert opinion….they are even letting Cheney voice his views which shows the depths some media outlets will sink to for ratings.  Even the actually ‘reliable’ news outlets are going to McCain fr his expert opinion…..and that is foolish……let a person who has been wrong on the Middle East for 30 years as some sort of expert…….

Anyway…I was listening to a former undersecretary of state, Paul Brinkley and in his analysis about Americans in Iraq he stated…..”US troops will be manning the forward positions and not on the front lines”…..my question to the tube was……just where these forward positions would be?  If by definition the front lines are not in a forward position where would they be?

This is what I bitch about…the media lets these twats babble on and never challenge their statements….this is how they sell BS to the masses…..this is how they get the public to play their games……misinformation.

 

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There are so many statements being made that it is hard to distinguish fact from BS….for instance….we will train and arm the Syrian opposition…..good one…..but just who are the opposition….and why does the US have to do that…..let the cowards in the region fund these ‘fighters’.

I am still concerned about arming the Kurds.  why?  their fighters have been on the terrorist list for at least ten years……so now they are not so bad?……….is that the way we do this terror list now.  We know how that can come back to bite us….if you recall we were arming and training the Afghan rebels during the Soviet days and one of those was AQ.

Then there is the promise of no American troops on the ground (I refuse to use the de-humanzing term “boots on the ground”)……we already have them there and then what if a plane goes down who will retrieve the pilot?  This will take troops doing what they do….hit the ground running.

These are just a couple of my concerns…..we are not being fed the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth….and I do not like that…..we are about to force more Americans to risk their lives in the name of…..WHAT?

I know all this may sound like nit-picking…….or even redundant………and it is……..but I will continue to do so as long as we are throwing our young men and women into a meat grinder….for you see I have seen human lives wasted during war and do not want to see any more…..our young deserve a life without the problems that war will bring.

War is good business….invest your young!

Obama knows he can’t really ‘defeat’ ISIS. Americans need to wake up to that reality, too. – The Week

Americans have to have a winner and a loser…..sorry but that is not going to be possible in the newest war that we have gotten ourselves into…….

The best laid plans of mice and men will have No bearing on the outcome of the conflict with ISIS/ISIL/IS……

 

Obama knows he can’t really ‘defeat’ ISIS. Americans need to wake up to that reality, too. – The Week.

The last thing Iraq needs is more misguided military action by the west | Sami Ramadani | Comment is free | The Guardian

In case you were unaware of it the US has been doing airstrikes in Iraq since 1991….the 4 presidents, Bush 1, Clinton, Bush 2 and now Obama,  have ordered them…….when is enough enough?

 

The last thing Iraq needs is more misguided military action by the west | Sami Ramadani | Comment is free | The Guardian.

Iraq: Where Do We Go From Here?

Inkwell Institute

Middle East Desk

 

The whole world is up in arms because of the brutality of IS……every nation has it opinion and its talking points……….but most of it is talk….it is what the nations do these days….they talk and demand and then wait for someone to step forward to take control of the situation……and as usual the good old US of A has decided that it must take the lead.

I guess it is only fair that we have to handle the situation after all we are mostly responsible for the events occurring these days……even a GOP member of Congress is saying the obvious…….

Republican Rep. Walter Jones of North Carolina said if we had not invaded Iraq in 2003 there would not currently be chaos in Iraq.

“I think today with the sadness of what’s happening in Iraq, that if we had not removed Saddam Hussein — who was an evil man — we would not have the chaos we have now,” Jones said at Liberty Torch PAC dinner in August.

Jones, who has been an outlier on a number of Republican positions, many of them in foreign policy matters, also faulted Obama for bombing Libya, said, “We have created many of our foreign problems today by bad foreign policy.”

First of all it is scary that I would agree with anything someone in the GOP would have to say…..but in this case I believe the man is right.  And then there is Ron Paul, I guess most would catagorize him as an isolationist but he recently asked some questions that I think Americans need to ask themselves and their reps……..

1) Is ISIS a threat to Americans?

Politicians such as Senator Lindsey Graham have claimed that ISIS is an existential threat to the United States saying, “I think of an American city in flames because of the terrorists’ ability to operate in Syria and Iraq.” This has the ring of fear-mongering more than an honest assessment of reality. The president’s top military adviser, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey, has said that he has not seen any evidence of “active plotting against the homeland” by ISIS.

2) Is the bombing really for humanitarian purposes?

This is a regularly used justification for military intervention given by politicians. In the current crisis, the US has stated that entire minority communities – from Christians to the little known religious sect the Yazidis – face certain extinction without US bombing and perhaps even ground forces.

3) Are “limited airstrikes” likely to escalate into something more?

The act of one country bombing another is an act of war. Thus, the US has quietly begun the third installment of the Iraq War. From here, escalation seems inevitable. There has already been “mission creep”—shifting objectives that expand and prolong the conflict. There are sure to be unintended consequences that simply cannot be foreseen from Washington D.C., which will make even more involvement necessary. Expansion of the war into neighboring Syria, which the US government has long wanted, is also likely.

4) What is the alternative?

In a word, the alternative is nonintervention. US policies of invasion, occupation, overthrowing leaders and arming rebels led to the conditions in which a group like ISIS can arise and thrive. The current bombing campaign boosts recruitment, solidifies support and further motivates ISIS. The US should not continue to double down on failed policies.

Before anyone has a stroke…I am NOT agreeing with Ron Paul….just saying these are good questions that need good answers.

Recently at a NATO meeting the prez was working the crowd looking for others to join in the ‘crusade’ against ISIS…….as written by Jason Ditz in Antiwar.com…….

The long-term diplomatic effort, along with the lack of any serious strategy that could conceivably “win” the war, means that the weeks of steady escalation we’ve already seen of the war are going to be continued over the very long term.

The plan to build a “moderate” rebel alternative to ISIS in Syria, which the US has been trying, and failing, to pull off for years, is going to be pushed on for years longer, while the US builds up its involvement in the war on the Iraqi side, and eventually gives up on the futile effort to manufacture a pro-US Syria faction and expands the war outright into Syria.

Basically all indications are the we are looking at yet another long, protracted war with No end in sight and with NO stated goals other than…….ISIS BAD!

Our biggest problem is that we are searching for a quick fix to make this all go away and we can move on……..sorry, there is NO quick fix.

Does anyone see a different scenario playing out?