Have You Heard The News?

The good news is that the Saudis have come up with a master plan for fighting ISIS….It seems that they now have a 34 nation coalition that will do the trick…..I said when I heard the news that it was too good to be true…..maybe I am a psychic….or something…..

Some key members of the 34-nation anti-Islamic State coalition announced by Saudi Arabia have a fundamental question: just what is it?

Indonesia did not know it was going to be a military alliance, which it does not want to join. A senior Pakistani lawmaker only learned the news from a Reuters reporter.

And while Western governments welcomed this week’s initiative, there was uncertainty over how it would work.

Comments from several of the countries that signed up to the initiative appeared to reveal a lack of preparation by Riyadh, which approached partners with an invitation to join a coordination centre but then announced a military alliance.

When Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the new group at a sudden midnight press conference, he called it an “Islamic military coalition”, a description that appeared to surprise some of the governments involved.

OOPS!  Our Bad!

Looks like someone may have spoken too soon…..some of the countries have trust issues with the Saudis…..why?

Modern jihadist groups follow an extreme interpretation of Islam’s Salafi branch, of which Wahhabism was the original strain, and whose clerics regard Shi’ism as heresy, laud the concept of jihad, urge hatred of infidels and back harsh penalties for religious offences.

This is a problem….because?

Saudi is the home of the salafist movement and they follow a strict fundamental line of Islam…….sound familiar?

Understanding ISIS: Leaked document reveals nation-building plans

Everybody has an opinion on how to defeat ISIS…..I mean with the horrendous acts they have committed everyone wants them gone in one way or the other…..

The prez and every other world leader has given the country their assurances that ISIS WILL be defeated….there is a consensus among western leaders……the problem I have is that not one of them will give a rudimentary plan of how they will accomplish this feat.

To my way of thinking….the only way ISIS can be defeated is by understanding every aspect of their operation……I have written in the past that this organization is trying to act like a nation state…..this could be a source of information to help in that defeat….

A state-building manual for Islamic State administrators confirms the complexity and breadth of the group’s efforts to create a functioning state, albeit one ruled by terror. In life under Islamic State, however, many civilian services seem to be suffering.

Source: Understanding ISIS: Leaked document reveals nation-building plans – CSMonitor.com

As I have said…..this could be a good start in finalizing what to do about ISIS and their desire for a nation state…..

Syria: How Complex Could It Possibly Be?

I have tried in the past on many occasions to try and explain the complexities of what is happening in Syria……I am not sure that I have made it clear just how absurdly complex it really is……I saw this cartoon and decided to try it more more time…..

This is a fine example of what the war in Syria looks like……


This Cartoon by Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

Is it clear now?

What could possibly go wrong?

In the battle against IS, where is the Arab coalition?

The coalition against ISIS keeps growing…..and many people that I have talked with because they know that I watch and write about the Middle East ask me the same question….almost daily.

Why has the Arab countries not stepped up?

An excellent question that would take me an entire book to explain accurately……that is why when I saw this piece while reading the news I found an easier way of answering the question without giving myself a migraine….

Arab countries claiming their opposition against the Islamic State have stood down in their battle against the self-proclaimed “Caliph Ibrahim,” creating a political void in the coalition.

Source: In the battle against IS, where is the Arab coalition? – Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

The sectarian divide will have to come to a head if this situation will ever be resolved……

Syria: Guy Ritchie Would Be Proud

I am a huge fan if film director Guy Ritchie……his movie have more twists than Lombard in San Francisco……..his work is interesting, entertaining and well done…….if you have not seen any of his work then I suggest you do so…..they are well worth the price of admission.

That said I am comparing the situation in Syria to a Guy Ritchie movie.

In essence it is the US Syria policy that is messed up…….

The program is meant to train and equip rebels who will fight ISIS in Syria. But the problem is that, broadly speaking, America has three goals in Syria, and they don’t line up:

  1. Support local fighters in Syria who can push ISIS out of its territory in the country’s north and east
  2. Avoid getting drawn into a direct conflict with Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad that could escalate into a major, Iraq-style war
  3. Prevent other extremist groups in Syria, such as al-Qaeda, from getting stronger

These three objectives are fundamentally irreconcilable. In order to retake ISIS territory, the United States needs allies on the ground, which means Syrian rebels (Kurdish forces aren’t enough on their own). But those rebels typically see Assad as a bigger priority than ISIS. If the US were to simply train them, equip them, and let them go their own way, they’d likely use their American support to focus on fighting Assad.

The whole plan is a silly and fruitless exercise….something that I have been saying from the beginning…..and I am not alone……

Let’s look at the training of “moderate” rebels………we started training and have turned a small group lose in Syria……and how has the plan working?

President Obama asked for $500 million to arm and train the Syrian rebels. This year alone, the effort is supposed to train 3,000 soldiers to fight ISIS.

But so far, it’s only yielded about 60 fighters. Of those 60, over half have been killed, wounded, or captured in the past week alone by Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s Syrian branch. American officials, according to the New York Times, “did not anticipate an assault from the Nusra Front.”

So far the plan has been a failure with NO chance of success……..is it time for a step back and devise a new plan?

Let’s be honest……if we keep to the plan we have no there is NO way to win and definitely NO way out of Syria!  Maybe that is the plan…….the longer we stay in Syria the more money the M-IC will rake in and after all profits is what war is all about, right?

As I was writing this word came out that all is NOT well with the US trained rebels……..

Syrian fighters trained by the United States are now refusing to fight.

In the past few days, five of the US backed recruits have been detained by the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front. A sixth recruit has reportedly been killed.

The US-backed group, Division 30, is accusing the Pentagon of misrepresenting its mission.

The fighters say they signed up to battle the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), not the al-Nusra Front.

Will this finally put an end to the snowjob of training the “moderates” to fight?  It is NOT working no matter how much McCain thinks it will…..

In an article by Jason Ditz…..

A solid year after Congress authorized $500 million for the training and creation of a brand new pro-US Syrian rebel force, the first class of trainees was deployed into Syria. What was initially expected to be tens of thousands of fighters ended up being 54, and they were quickly routed by al-Qaeda.

It’s just now that the Pentagon is finally admitting to there being “flaws” in their plan, and they are now talking about “tweaks” so that their future efforts are a little less disastrous than what they’ve accomplished so far.

The admission itself is a leap forward for the Pentagon, which has been insisting the 54 troops were going to do just fine, despite there only being 54 of them. Despite this, however, they are offering no indication of what changes they might make, suggesting that finally noticing there are problems with their plan didn’t bring them much closer to “fixing” it.

And there Irene is the problem….Tweaks will not win the day….a whole new approach needs to be found……it is so sad that even with the disaster of the rebels training the Pentagon will still only “TWEAK” the program…..

Victory is going to be a long time coming with these plans…..

Dismantling ISIL’s propaganda machine

I do hope that everyone enjoyed their Labor Day, that is all the American visitors, but it is time to get back to work, at least for me….I wanna see how many people I can irritate…..welcome back.

For over a year since the prez announced the “degrade and destroy” plan for dealing with ISIS has done little to accomplish the end result that he promised.

Airstrikes and drones have killed many…..some were terrorists but most have been civilians…….the Iraqi Army is ineffective at times and inspiring at others…..the Kurds are a strong fighting force but have their problems with Turkey and supplies to continue the fight……Moderate Syrians are fighting each other and ISIS is running amok.

All in all the conflict is going badly for the US and the Coalition…..at best a draw is the end result of a year of wasting resources and weapons……the present plan is not going to win the war with ISIS…..something I have been saying for over a year…….without an overall total commitment of destruction ISIS will survive to continue to fight and kill.

ISIS strongest weapon is its propaganda machine….the videos, the recruitment are strong and some far uncontrolled…..if the West is ever going to end this conflict with a victory they must find a way to counter the propaganda machine that ISIS has put together……something I have been preaching for over a year.

Efforts to combat ISIL must also include a wider strategy to attack the group’s ownership of powerful symbols.

Source: Dismantling ISIL’s propaganda machine – Al Jazeera English

This is how ISIS can be defeated….the problem is that they have a head start on this and it will take commitment to neutralize the effects…..now the question is…..does the US have the stomach for the fight?  If we are not willing to fight fire with fire…..then this will be just another wasted effort and a failed endeavor.

Has The US Been Duped?

I would like to remind my readers that about a year ago the president went before the nation and announced that we would “degrade and destroy” the Islamic State.

After many many airstrikes by the US and its coalition members the news from the battle front is not the best we could be getting.  It appears that the terror group known as ISIS is no closer to defeat than a year ago when this all began.

Recently the media reported a favorable situation Turkey has decided to allow US planes to use their airspace and air bases as a base of operation…..they also decided to join in the fight.  The problem with their participation is that they are flying more ops against the Kurds, a long time enemy, than against the ISIS positions.

The Kurds an ally of the US and the most successful fighters against ISIS is now a target of one of our allies…

So my question now is…..was the US duped by Turkey so they could wage an all out war against a long time foe?  This question needs an answer if this whole plan is to be remotely successful.

There is something rotten in Istanbul!


Source: Turkey duped the US, and ISIS reaps rewards – The Unz Review