Spreading Bad American Policy from Iraq to Syria…and Back Again

The World Post (a partnership of Huffington Post and the Berggruen Institute on Governance) has published our latest op-ed, “Don’t Compound the Damage Already Done in Iraq by Doubling Down in Syria.”  To read the piece online, click here; we’ve also appended the text below.  As always, we encourage readers to post comments, Facebook likes, etc. both on this site and on The World Post Web site.

 Don’t Compound the Damage Already Done in Iraq by Doubling Down in Syria

The debate over America’s Middle East policy has reached a new level of surreality.  In the wake of President Obama’s West Point commencement address last month—in which he pledged to “ramp up” U.S. support for Syrian rebels seeking to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad—Washington elites are exhorting the Obama administration to do much more.  Former U.S. ambassador to Syria Robert Ford urges intensified training and more advanced weapons for “moderate” opposition fighters; others argue for direct U.S. military involvement.  At the same time, Washington has been stunned by the success of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which has seized Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, and several other strategic targets, and is drawing close to Baghdad.

Washington elites are effectively compartmentalizing these stories—but, in fact, they are intimately related, and policymakers need to understand the connection to avoid another disaster in the heart of the Middle East.

In Iraq, the resurgence of sectarian violence stems not from the 2011 American withdrawal.  It is, rather, the fruit of America’s 2003 invasion of Iraq, the subsequent U.S. occupation, and the much vaunted “surge” of 2007-2008.  The U.S. invasion and occupation destroyed the Iraqi state and ignited tensions among Iraq’s sectarian and ethnic communities.  The surge sought to empower certain Sunni militias while paying them (temporarily) not to kill American soldiers; this ended up giving Sunni militants the means to press their grievances through escalating violence once U.S. forces were no longer around.

Unfortunately, Washington seems determined to compound its appalling policy choices in Iraq with equally grievous choices regarding Syria.  For over three years, America has provided Syrian oppositionists with “nonlethalaid, trained opposition fighters, coordinated with others openly providing lethal aid for U.S.-vetted recipients, and extended high-level political backing to the anti-Assad campaign—including serially reiterated public demands from Obama that Assad “must go.”  Yet, from the conflict’s start it has been clear that opposition fighters would not dislodge Assad, no matter how much external help they received—because, from the beginning, the constituencies supporting Assad and his government have added up to well over half of Syrian society.

Objective measures of public opinion in Syria are not as robust as any serious analyst would like.  Nevertheless, for over three years, every piece of relevant data—including multiple polls, participation in the February 2012 constitutional referendum and the May 2012 parliamentary elections, participation in this month’s presidential election (including by thousands of refugees), and other evidence—indicates that a majority of Syrians continues to back Assad.  Conversely, there is not a scrap of objective evidence suggesting that anywhere close to a majority of Syrians wants Assad replaced by some part of the opposition.

These realities were readily observable in spring 2011; we have been writing and speaking about them for over three years.  Yet the Obama administration decided, within weeks after the outbreak unrest in parts of Syria in March 2011, to support oppositionists seeking to overthrow Assad.  It did so—as administration officials told the New York Times in April 2011—because it calculated that destabilizing Assad’s government would undermine Iran’s regional position.

This was a colossally irresponsible exercise in policymaking-by-wishful-thinking, for two reasons.  First, outside support for opposition fighters—a sizable percentage of whom are not even Syrian—has taken what began as small-scale, indigenously generated protests over particular grievances and turned them into a heavily militarized insurgency that could sustain high levels of violence but could not actually win.  The Obama administration prides itself on overthrowing Libya’s Muammar al-Qadhafi in 2011 without putting U.S. boots on the ground (though the results are comparable to those in Iraq:  the destruction of a functioning state and the arming of militias that kill with impunity—including the U.S. ambassador in 2012).  Assad is a vastly tougher target.  Stepped up support for anti-Assad fighters will not accomplish anything positive strategically; it will, however, perpetuate conditions in which even more Syrians die.

Second, it was utterly foreseeable that backing an armed challenge to Assad would worsen the threat of jihadi militancy—in Syria, in neighboring countries like Iraq, and beyond.  Well before March 2011, it was evident that, among Syria’s Sunni Islamist constituencies, the Muslim Brotherhood—whose Syrian branch was historically more radical than most Brotherhood cells—was being displaced by more extreme, al Qaeda-like groups.  External support for anti-Assad forces after March 2011 accelerated the trend and reinforced it with an infusion of foreign fighters, including organ-eating extremists.  Many of these jihadis, according to the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, are now working not just to bring down Assad but also to mount attacks against the United States.

The Obama administration’s transformation of Syria into a magnet-cum-training ground for transnational jihadi fighters has directly fed the resurgence of jihadi extremism we are witnessing in Iraq.  Three years ago, at the beginning of the Syrian conflict, the Islamic State of Iraq—formed in 2006 from Abu Musab Az-Zarqawi’s “Al-Qaeda in Iraq” movement—was on the ropes.  Reinvigorated through the creation of an externally supported insurgency in Syria by the United States and America’s European and regional partners, it rebranded itself in 2013 as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and, like the Taliban in Afghanistan before 9/11, has taken over swaths of both Syria and Iraq with lightning speed.

Washington has only itself and its collaborators in the anti-Assad crusade to blame for such an outcome.  As ISIS captures more cities and territory in Iraq, it is also capturing stockpiles of weapons and military equipment that America supplied to the post-Saddam government—weapons and equipment that will enable further gains by ISIS fighters.  Against this backdrop, calls to increase the flow of weapons into neighboring Syria are a case study in Einstein’s (apocryphal) definition of insanity—“doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”  Calls for the United States to “go back” to Iraq, to undo the horrific damage it has already done there, are equally delusional.

The Syrian conflict will ultimately end with negotiated power-sharing between the Syrian government, still headed by President Assad, and those elements of the opposition with some popular base inside Syria.  This can happen relatively sooner, if America begins basing its Syria policy in on-the-ground reality.  Or the process can be protracted by open-ended external backing for opposition fighters with no meaningful popular base.  Neither the interests of ordinary Syrians and Iraqis nor the interests of ordinary Americans will be served by Washington doubling down on its ill-considered arming of brutal and unrepresentative militias.

–Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

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207 Responses to “Spreading Bad American Policy from Iraq to Syria…and Back Again”

  1. thecelticwithinme says:

    I think you’re missing something. The conflict now will not end. “ISIS” is off to see the wizard and there’s no turning back. With U.S. support, they now openly operate on both sides of the border between Iraq and Syria. Fact is, as they follow the rivers south, ISIS will run head long into Iran-friendly, Shiite-majority Iraqi communities, each with their own militias plus what ever effective fighting force al-Maliki can throw at them as they approach Baghdad. I predict that IF U.S. enters this conflict (and it will) it will be on the side of ISIS with the intent of regime change in Baghdad. The U.S. is after Iran. The U.S. has no problem with crushing Shiite resistance in Iraq to eliminate this threat. Saddam did it for decades. In the long run, anything the U.S. can do to hurt Iran, it will do. ISIS would love nothing better than to assist because they are the perfect vehicle to do this. I believe the U.S. will end up working with a group like ISIS, once it becomes clear who is calling the shots (as if they don’t already know). Set them up to govern, ala Egypt. And thus regain control via Sunni-led dictatorship, of not only all that Iraqi oil but equally important, the pipeline corridor through Syria to finally connect south to north and by-pass Russia all at the same time. Will Iran sit by while things begin to close in on them from east and west? What will Russia do now that they have seen the kind of games the west likes to play up close and on their doorstep? Can anything stop ISIS from their headlong crash into Shiite-dominated Iraq? Look at all the high-end military gear and millions of dollars in cash (U.S. money no less) they just confiscated in Mosul. Things are ramping up.

    When it’s over and everything is all said and done, it will be hard to tell who won, but it won’t be difficult to figure out the losers. This is the start of something BIG. Iraq lies in ruins, more death is on the way. The land is a radioactive dust bowl of the U.S.’s making. What hope is there for the future of the peoples of that region when death and war comes knocking at their doors… again?

  2. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Justin Raimondo on
    Iraq War III?
    Will Obama try to re-fight the Iraq war?
    http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2014/06/12/iraq-war-iii/

    I wouldn’t put anything past Obama – or more precisely, his masters. He’s an empty suit that does what he’s told – if he can figure out how to which also appears to be a problem for him.

  3. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Told you McCain would be the first…

    McCain: Send Petraeus back to Iraq
    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2014/01/12/mccain-send-petraeus-back-to-iraq/

  4. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Iraqi government asks U.S. to bomb Islamist fighters as 30,000 troops flee their posts
    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/06/11/230039/islamist-fighters-capture-saddam.html

    THIRTY THOUSAND Iraqi troops FLED! This is the military the US spent BILLIONS training!

  5. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Obama, Warming to Intervention, Declares Iraq ‘Needs More Help’
    Biden Promises Maliki US Will ‘Intensify’ Support
    http://news.antiwar.com/2014/06/12/obama-warming-to-intervention-declares-iraq-needs-more-help/

    Quote

    This is likely to include not only air strikes, but rushed shipments of weapons for the Iraqi Army, though since the Iraqi Army has been dropping its weapons and fleeing in the face of advancing militants, it seems the US shipments are just as likely to end up in al-Qaeda’s hands at the end of the day as they are to alter the battle.

    End Quote

    Again – what happens when air strikes, limited Iranian forces and more weapons to Iraq FAIL?

    Does the US invade again? Does Iran? Do BOTH?

    Is it possible that the US elites see this situation as another means to get a war started with Iran – over Iraq?

  6. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Is this the end of Iraq as we know it? Government powerless against Islamists
    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/06/12/230150/militias-become-iraqs-only-defense.html

    Again, Iran’s forces and Shia militias are the ONLY ones able to fight against ISIS. But Iran only has a battalion or two in Iraq. That isn’t going to be enough if most of the Sunni tribes join the insurgency, as has been indicated is ongoing. At the very least we can expect full-scale civil war to a degree even greater than occurred up to 2007.

  7. Richard Steven Hack says:

    From the above article:

    Quote

    In Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, whose fall late Monday was the beginning of ISIS’ rapid march, Islamic State fighters held a parade to show off the military equipment they’d seized when they captured military bases and weapons storehouses, according to local residents who spoke with Reuters.

    The news agency said residents reported that the parade included Iraqi tanks and American-made Humvees as it passed through what had been the main government complex in western Mosul. Unconfirmed reports from the scene said two Iraqi Army transport helicopters overflew the city _ apparently piloted by ISIS fighters. U.S. officials in Washington said they were still trying to determine what U.S.-provided weapons had fallen into ISIS’ hands.

    End Quote

    Now they have tanks, Humvees, and helicopters and probably tons of ammunition.

    The Kurds have taken Kirkuk, which means how long before they turn on the Central Government for their own ends? Only their support has kept Maliki in power for the last six years or so as part of the coalition government.

  8. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Territory Lost, Iraq Withdraws Troops From Syria Border
    Both Sides of Border Are al-Qaeda’s Now Anyhow
    http://news.antiwar.com/2014/06/12/territory-lost-iraq-withdraws-troops-from-syria-border/

  9. Richard Steven Hack says:

    A Twitter post to George Galloway…

    john turner ‏@jtlondon
    @georgegalloway interesting aircraft arrivals at RAF Fairford – here we go again…

  10. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Patrick Cockburn on…
    Iraq Crisis: Capture of Mosul Ushers in the Birth of a Sunni Caliphate
    http://www.unz.com/pcockburn/iraq-crisis-capture-of-mosul-ushers-in-the-birth-of-a-sunni-caliphate/

  11. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Russian Bombers Buzz California
    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/06/russian-bombers-buzz-california/

    Obama sends stealth bombers to eastern Europe…Russia sends theirs here..

  12. Richard Steven Hack says:

    That didn’t take long…

    GOP Blasts Obama for Iraqi Unrest
    http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/iraq-turmoil/gop-blasts-obama-iraqi-unrest-n129636

    As I said, this is a nightmare for Obama. If he does nothing, he loses to the GOP…if he does anything else, he loses to everyone else and his Nobel Peace Prize becomes a joke (not that it isn’t already.)

    But since he isn’t calling the shots, the real issue is whether his masters want to use this crisis for their own ends. And of course, they do…And we can count on whatever the US does, the situation will be worse than if the US does nothing.

  13. Richard Steven Hack says:

    UN official says no immediate threat to Baghdad; envoys skeptical
    Top UN official to Iraq briefs Security Council behind closed doors; ‘It’s a disaster,’ French envoy says after meeting.
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/1.598535

    Of course, this is from Haaretz…Israel would like nothing better than to see Iraq devolve into civil war…except maybe to use the crisis to get the US into Syria and Iran…

  14. Karl.. says:

    That iraq invited US as claimed by the media is a colossal misstake, this is a problem for iraq to find out, foreigners whatever that is americans, iranians, turks etc will just make the problem biggger imo.

  15. Karl.. says:

    …and as usual Huffpo either reject comments on articles like these or simply just ignore them.

  16. hans says:

    The timing of the attack seems suspicious to me, it was during the visit of President Rouhani to Turkey. What has happened to the so called “hostages” that Turkey claimed? Iraq law makes openly accusing Turkey of duplicity. Was Rouhani fooled, was this included in the equation of the Israeli’s. Another thing was the capture of gold from Mosul, if it is gold involved it is 101% certain that the British, USA and Israel have been involved in stealing the gold, no if but sure.

  17. BiBiJon says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    June 13, 2014 at 3:47 am

    “Is it possible that the US elites see this situation as another means to get a war started with Iran – over Iraq?”

    No. It is not possible. Despite the deep cleavages that exist between US and Iranian interests in the region, the two have cooperated on these types of matters before, and will do so again.

    The short-sighted Carter/Reagan support for the Afghan Mojahedin cum’ Taliban eventually settled into a cooperation with Iran, Russia and India in support of the Northern Alliance.

    Today, we have a similar scenario. Ignoring the fact that Jehadis have territorial ambitions, and are deeply inimical to Western creed, the US went ahead and supported these Jehadis in Syria. The extent that they were a pain in the tush for Assad, was the extent of US’ vision. The entirely predictable turn of fortunes — why would any sane Jehadi continue a losing battle with the Syrian Arab Army, when there is an easier battle to fight for a slice of Iraq — was not allowed to cloud the wishful thinking that Assad’s days are numbered.

    Ultimately, Iran cannot help but to get involved in pushing back ISIS. “Carney on Thursday declined to urge Iran to stay out of the crisis” is what the Guardian’s Spencer Ackerman observed.

    So no. Whatever issues US and Iran remain at loggerheads about, stabilizing Iraq, and eliminating ISIS will not be among them, in fact it will be one of those rare areas of cooperation.

  18. BiBiJon says:

    Two days ago

    http://goingtotehran.com/critiquing-americas-brain-dead-foreign-policy-debate#comment-48289

    Today:

    From the Guardian

    Sistani,most senior shía cleric,urges people to take up arms,I saw how they reacted in 2006,vicious cycle of sectarianism is back #iraq
    — Javier Espinosa (@javierespinosa2) June 13, 2014

  19. BiBiJon says:

    PS June 13, 2014 at 6:01 am

    UK seems in favor of Iran quelling ISIS

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-27834462

    In the context of things, Carney declining to urge Iran not to intervene, and BBC reportage confining itself to the fact that “The US and Iran have promised to help the fight against the insurgency” is as full-throated a support for Iran’s intervention as one is likely to get from London and Washington.

  20. Rehmat says:

    Iraq since it “liberation” from Ottoman empire by the western colonialists in 1918, has been ruled by its Sunni minority elites for their collaboration with the anti-Ottoman Zionist-controlled western powers until the fall of Saddam Hussein regime in 2003 for him becoming an existential threat to the Zionist regime. During its 8-year occupation, Washington allowed country’s Shia majority (60%) to gain some political power. However, the US occupation force also created the so-called Sunni Al-Qaeda consisting of members of the defeated Ba’athist army, Kurd and Wahhabi Sunnis for waging an ethnic-religious sectarian war in Iraq to counter Shia-led government’s possible tilt towards neighboring Shia-majority Iran.

    The western media have been painting the ongoing daily bloodshed in Iraq as in the neighboring Sunni majority Syria, as “civil war. But in reality, what is currently going on in the Middle East is part of Israel’s Yinon Plan or the so-called “Arab Spring”. It is an Israeli strategic plan to ensure Israeli regional superiority. It insists and stipulates that Israel must reconfigure its geo-political environment through the balkanization of the surrounding Arab states into smaller and weaker states. Israeli strategists viewed Iraq as their biggest strategic challenge from an Arab state. This is why Iraq was outlined as the centerpiece to the balkanization of the Middle East and the Arab World. In Iraq, on the basis of the concepts of the Yinon Plan, Israeli strategists have called for the division of Iraq into a Kurdish state and two Arab states, one for Shia Muslims and the other for Sunni Muslims. The first step towards establishing this was a war between Iraq and Iran, which the Yinon Plan discusses.

    Failing to destroy the Islamic Republic, the US-Israel went after a weakened Iraq and created an autonomous oil-rich pro-Israeli Sunni Iraqi Kurdistan. Currently, western poodle in Saudi Arabia and Qatar are funding the Sunni terrorists who has established Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Iraq after defeated by army and Hizbullah in Syria.

    The results of Iraqi parliament election held on April 30, 2014, show that most Iraqis agree with Nouri al-Maliki’s independent policy and his fight against foreign terrorism. His alliance won 92 seats of the 325-seat parliament – followed by his two Shia rival parties with a combined 57 seats. Former Iraqi Shia prime minister and American poodle, Iyad Allawi’s Wataniya list won 21; Moqtada Sadr’s Shia supporters won six seats, and two Sunni parties won combined 33 seats.

    On June 10 the province of Nineveh in northern Iraq including the provincial capital city Mosul was captured by militants mainly from the ISIL. The majority of the population in this province is Sunni, with a large Christian community loyal to Saddam Hussein. The militants destroyed all local military camps and released more than three thousand fellow terrorists from the Mosul state prison. Fearing more bloodshed at the hands of Takfiri mercenaries, some five hundred thousand inhabitants fled Mosul to seek refuge in the neighboring Kurdistan.

    US vice-President Joe Biden, whose new notorious report Sectarian War in Iraq Draws the Map of Three Regions outlines a plan for dividing this country into three parts. But even before Joe Biden was appointed Vice President of the United States, he as a senator proposed a plan to divide Iraq into three regions. During recent years, Washington’s actions contributed to the deterioration of the situation in Iraq after the military intervention. And now, whilst implementing the plan for the country’s partition, Biden strongly justifies his project by the “escalation of the civil war” in Anbar province, the creation of armed formations of the “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” in central Iraq, and the ongoing conflict between Iraq’s central authorities and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) regarding their joint budget and oil exports.

    http://rehmat1.com/2014/06/12/iraq-civil-war-or-israeli-plan-to-divide-the-country/

  21. Cyrus_2 says:

    I agree with BibiJon.

    Looks like after 2001-2002 Uncle Sam again wants Iran’s co-operation to resolve another US created clusterfuck.
    Of course, Iran ended all co-operation in Afghanistan after the US included Iran in the ‘Axis of Evil’ and started making war threats (‘Everyone wants to go to Baghdad, but real men go to Tehran’, etcetera).

    However, this time, Iran should impose certain conditions:
    - End all US (and US’ client states) support for Syria’s opposition groups.
    - End US unilateral sanctions against Iran.
    - Formal US recognition of a full nuclear cycle on Iran’s soil, with as many advanced centrifuges as Iran wants.
    With the first condition an absolute minimum for Iran’s help.

    If these conditions are not met, Iran should simply refrain from interfering directly in Iraq to rescue Uncle Sam’s ass.
    Iraqi Shia volunteers (and Kurds, as we have recently seen in Kirkuk) are dedicated and numerous enough to defend their cities and shrines.
    Iran should stick to logistic support and fortifying its borders and watch how the US embassy in Baghdad may end up in a Saigon déjà-vu moment.

  22. Karl.. says:

    Lets not get the warmongers space in their bs propaganda that Iran is going into Iraq.

  23. BiBiJon says:

    Karl.. says:
    June 13, 2014 at 9:13 am

    What should Iran do? If you suggest nothing, then please let us know what you think is the most scenario likely to unfold in Iraq which justifies Iranian inaction.

  24. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Iraqi Shiite Cleric Issues Call to Arms
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/14/world/middleeast/iraq.html

    Sistani makes the call. Civil war about to erupt in Iraq.

  25. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Building Nuclear Weapon Would Take Years, Not Months, Iran Says in Report
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/13/world/middleeast/iran-building-nuclear-weapon-would-take-years-not-months-us-disputes-estimate.html

    This ain’t gonna help…Indicating that you’ve spent time trying to figure out how long it will take you to build a nuke is just playing into the West’ paranoia.

  26. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Sunni Fighters Gain as They Battle 2 Governments, and Other Rebels
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/12/world/middleeast/the-militants-moving-in-on-syria-and-iraq.html

    They learned some things about controlling the local populace since their previous failure in Iraq.

  27. Karl.. says:

    Bibijon
    June 13, 2014 at 9:22 am

    Iran shouldnt do anything just because they cannot do anything.
    Iran cant save Iraq from the mess, no one can.

  28. BiBiJon says:

    fyi says:
    June 13, 2014 at 8:48 am

    One of the Leveretts’ most important contributions to the discourse about US-Iran relations — that of Nixon goes to China — is unfolding before our very eyes.

    It is incalculably stupid for an Iraq to be in flames, while UK and US, having absolutely burned their bridges with Arab Shiites and Sunnis alike, but cannot talk to Iran about coordinating a strategy without loud heckles emanating from Washington, London, and Tehran.

    Iraq of course is only the beginning. Pakistan is barely contained, and Afghanistan is cocked, ready to fire violently fairly soon.

    Now all this mayhem may suit some religious bigotry, or racist claptrap out of Netanyahu and Prince Bandar. That piece of cheese, Goldberg, every chance he gets, he blathers about Muslims killing Muslims in polite conversation. But, really, has satisfying the insatiable goofballs of Tel Aviv and Riyadh become US’ only raison d’être?

    A stable Middle East, just as a stable anywhere else, provides the most opportunity for Western commerce, and political influence. And before you delve in, and put front and center some mindless fanatical Christian hatred of Muslims as the fulcrum of all things, how far can utter nonsense be allowed to heap on top of a pile of failed policies? Is this blueprint for abject failure supposed to be allowed to repeat itself in Eastern Europe, and in the Pacific?

    I’d say, today’s Iraq is the final straw.

  29. Cyrus_2 says:

    Karl,

    ISIS presumably has no more than 10.000 fighters in both Iraq and Syria.
    Although they are extremely dedicated, it can’t be that difficult to rout them out or at least push them back if the US, Iran and Iraqi Shia’s co-operate (see the push-back of the Taleban in Afghanistan where US/Iran shortly co-operated as well).
    However, Iran’s support should not come without a price tag, IMO.

  30. BiBiJon says:

    Karl.. says:
    June 13, 2014 at 9:48 am

    What is Iran lacking, that makes you think Iran cannot do anything?

  31. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says:

    June 13, 2014 at 9:54 am

    Americans wish to sell geo-political protection; per the movie Godfather.

    They created a crisis in Ukraine and now in excellent position to sell their geopolitical protection snake oil to EU states.

    They instructed Japan to provoke China in South China Sea in order to sell the same snake oil to ASEAN states.

    They were doing that in the Levant vis-à-vis Israel with other Arab states – until they lost the dynamics of the war in and for Palestine and it blew in their faces.

    They are now selling geopolitical protection in the Persian Gulf; the ISIS occupation of Mosul is God-send for them in that regard – in addition to the perpetual Cold War against Iran.

    But all these cresses is exceeding their capacity to respond; they are incapable of painting a credible and positive view of the future – in the Middle East it is war, in Eastern Europe and Russia is economic warfare like the one being waged against Iran and in East Asia a militarized situation akin to that which prevails in the Persian Gulf.

    In my view, US will do nothing to assist Iraq’s central government. Iraq is Iran’s to save.

    In my view, US will also persist with her current policy in Syria.

    They want to destroy the Shia Crescent and the developments in Iraq are not a threat to US interests of selling protection.

  32. BiBiJon says:

    fyi says:
    June 13, 2014 at 10:05 am

    Interestingly, the God Father line does explain a lot, it even turns disasters into actual aimed for objectives, though I’m not sure if that is not a post-disaster rationalization. But it will meet its demise when ISIS sets its eyes on Q8 and Jordan, and beyond, while doing nothing but tightening the bond among the constituents of the ‘Shiite crescent.’

  33. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says:

    June 13, 2014 at 10:19 am

    Yes, it only consolidates the Shia Crescent.

    But for people who have no positive vision of the future except “Follow our orders and all will be well”, they have no alternative but to follow their current policies to the bitter end.

    The unrolling of of the new rising Irani/Shia power was the common goal of US, EU, Russia, and India.

    Nothing has changed to alter that.

  34. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says:

    June 13, 2014 at 10:19 am

    In regards to Jordan, US will do nothing unless Israelis ask US to save Jordan.

    US & EU only care about Israel, that is all.

  35. Kathleen says:

    Which General said that the invasion of Iraq was the “worst strategic mistake in U.S. history?” Along with what many of us who stood against the invasion of Iraq were concerned with…loss of life….based on lies

  36. Karl.. says:

    Bibijon

    They simply cant, this is a party of ~10’000 people, its a domestic problem for Iraq and any involvement by Iran, US etc will just cause more damage both for Iraq itself but also for Iran/US and the region.

  37. fyi says:

    Karl.. says:

    June 13, 2014 at 10:47 am

    No, Iran will have intervene one way or another for reasons of religious solidarity as well as strategy.

    There is no other way.

    Sunnis will not run Iraq again.

  38. fyi says:

    Kathleen says:

    June 13, 2014 at 10:45 am

    Late Lt. General Odom – a sane American with who Iran could do business.

    That he was ignored was an indicator of persistent insanity in the Court of the King.

  39. Cyrus_2 says:

    Karl,

    Do you oppose Iran’s and Hezbollah’s ground support for Assad’s government as well?
    Without their assistance, Damascus already might have been fallen.
    Iraq at least has the advantage that a clear majority are Shia’s and its Sunni Arabs equal the Kurds.
    The difficult part will be engaging the more moderate Sunni’s, IMO.

  40. Karl.. says:

    Cyrus_2

    It would of course be best if there werent any foreign involvement in Syria. Of course thats not how the reality works. At the same time I think its a difference between active state sponsorship vs miltia involvement (Hezbollah) where the latter imo is somewhat “ok” but not the former, there is a whole lot of other premises for a state (like Iran) to engage in Iraq.

  41. nico says:

    Karl,

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/101754226

    Two Guards’ units, dispatched from Iran’s western border provinces on Wednesday, were tasked with protecting Baghdad and the holy Shiite cities of Karbala and Najaf, these security sources said.

  42. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    What you teerm “insanity” in US governing circles in fact is simply excessive influence of the Israel lobby. Much of which does not want normal relations between the US and Iran. Curiously, you also oppose such relations.

  43. nico says:

    “Two battalions of the Quds Forces, the elite overseas branch of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps that have long operated in Iraq, have come to the aid of the besieged, Shiite-dominated government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, they said.

    Combined Iraqi-Iranian forces had retaken control across 85% of Tikrit, the birthplace of former dictator Saddam Hussein, according to Iraqi and Iranian security sources.

    They were helping guard the capital Baghdad and the two cities of Najaf and Karbala, which have been targeted by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, an al Qaeda offshoot whose lightning offensive has thrown Iraq into its worse turmoil since the sectarian fighting that followed the 2003 U.S. invasion of the country.”

    Tehran has also positioned troops along its border with Iraq and promised to bomb rebel forces if they close within 100 kilometers, or 62 miles, from Iran’s border, according to an Iranian army general

  44. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Jordan has strong support in Britain and the US. In part this is due to the great skill shown by King Hussein over many years, in nurturing contacts in both countries etc etc etc.

  45. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Japan and China dispute ownership of some islets that are far from the South China Sea.

  46. nico says:

    “Iran has sent about 500 Revolutionary Guard troops to fight alongside Iraqi government security forces in Diyala province, a senior security official in Baghdad told CNN.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iraq/10892299/Iraq-crisis-al-Qaeda-militants-push-towards-Baghdad-live.html

  47. nico says:

    http://www.oneworldofnations.com/2014/06/iran-deploys-forces-to-fight-al-qaeda.html?m=1

    “Iran Deploys Forces to Fight al Qaeda-Inspired Militants in Iraq

    The irony – Iran helping Iraq, when Obama does nothing because of reality. In the game, momentum has gone to Iran whose status just grew.

    Another positive victory for sense in the Middle East.”

  48. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    You compare Prince Bandar bin Sultan to Bibi Netanyahu? Nonsense. My guess is that Prince Bandar would be very happy if Israel got out of the entire West Bank. And out of the Golan Heights too.

  49. Karl.. says:

    nico

    And who is spreading the info that IRan has sent 500 troops to Iraq? Come on now

  50. Smith says:

    This is another miracle happening. It is exposing the forces that US/Turkey/Saudi Arabia/EU etc were supporting. It is really funny that Obama instead of standing by an elected government (the only democracy in Arab lands) is acting “confused”. He has refused to send any help to a democratic government fighting extremists. Absolutely none, except his words and his famous “debating power”. I am sure the people of Iraq be they Sunni or Shia are not impressed.

    But then here is the beauty. Iran is leading the forces of good. This is no small thing. As I said it is a miracle. It has made it clear for everyone to see who is who. It has once again proved that US and its slave client states are not a reliable allies, contrary to Iran. That US can never be trusted to stand against terror unlike Iran. This episode will only make Iran’s influence grow in the region and beyond. Make no mistake that Iran will win and whatever geopolitical outcome rises out of this situation, it will be hugely beneficial to Iran and a great loss to US.

    And this is a miracle, a Godsend, so the Iranians should not let it get into their heads. They should just thank God for this unexpected coming victory. The Iraqi military that US had designed and funded is about to be wrapped up and replaced by an Iraqi army that Iran will raise. The last time this happened was around the birth of Christ. You are watching genuine history unfold here. It is an initiation ceremony for Iraq to be finally made a permanent Iranian ally as it was centuries ago.

  51. Smith says:

    Karl.. says:
    June 13, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    That is most probably true. You need good quality officers to lead. They are there to lead the Iranian allied Iraqi forces on the ground.

  52. BiBiJon says:

    James Canning says:
    June 13, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    Did GCHQ do the typical unit/system test of your programming before they let you loose on these comment threads? Or are you coded to simply elicit a response even at the cost of embarrassing the programming crew on Fridays?

  53. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    The Iraqi army has abandoned billions of dollars in equipment and weapons. Not a good thing.

    Obama has been supplying weapons but does not want US troops involved in the fighting in Iraq. Sensible, surely.

  54. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    You called Bandar bin Sultan “racist”. Correct? I think your comment was rubbish.

  55. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    Are you objecting to my comment that King Hussein skillfully nurtured good relations between Jordan and the US, and between Jordan and the UK? True statement, but you object?

  56. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    FYI wrongly claimed ruling circles in Britain and the US do not support Jordan. I corrected this error. And you object?

  57. nico says:

    Karl,

    Only time will tell.
    However the news is one day old with no official Iranian denial.
    In adddtion Rohani stated that Iran will do what must be done to fight back the takfiris.

    As stated by Smith, it would be difficult for western media to spin the Iranian intervention darkly.
    Actually it rather tastes line the “300″ movie revisited.
    With the “500″ Persians fighting for democracy and the western led axis of evil…
    lol

  58. Smith says:

    All,

    Every one should note here that US had refused to deliver any meaningful weapons to Iraqis except a few rusting, second hand and useless hmmvee and such. Absolutely no weapons of significance had been given to Iraqi. The Iraqi military needed above all an airforce and the only thing US had given to Iraq resembling an air force was a singly airframe of a heavily downgraded F-16. This one also they have given last week. A single F-16 delivered last week (meaning Iraqis have not had any experience to even operate it) is the only weapon of any use US has given to Iraq. Even now, US appears to be on the side of terror as it is telling the elected Iraqi government to set aside its differences with these wahabis and kneel in front of them. Also US government just announced that Iraq’s neighbors (read Iran) should not help Iraqi government. If there was any doubt in anyone’s mind that US is siding with Wahabis and against the Shias, then that doubt should be cured by now.

  59. nico says:

    Smith,

    Iraq by turning down the SOFA made its own choices.
    Difficult to see why the US would help the Iraqi while the US were turned downed.
    Iraq aligned itself with Iran.
    it is Iran reponsibility to protect its clients not the US.

  60. Smith says:

    As I said above: Iran is leading and US is fleeing (or rather even supporting the forces of darkness instead of standing by a democracy). This is pivotal from the point of view of history and geopolitics. The irony is that today, it is Iran that is defending the forces of modernity (even say secularism) and democracy in the region as is evident in Syria and Iraq. Defending the freedom of the people to be modern, secular, Shia, Sunni, Christian, democrat etc etc. In word defending the freedom of humanity. Where is US in all this? Supporting the forces of darkness.

  61. Smith says:

    nico says:
    June 13, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    No, you will not get it. You are completely wrong. And I do not have time to argue with brick layers.

  62. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    June 13, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    In a situation that Axis Powers have to decide between continued support for Israel and the destruction of Jordan, they will elect the destruction of Jordan.

    Do you dispute this?

  63. Smith says:

    All,

    We have to remember that the prime responsibility of a Super Power and a world leader is to, surprise, surprise: LEAD. When a crisis hits the world: LEAD.

    What US has just done is what a third rate country does. Stick your head in the sand.

    Who is leading now? Iran. Unconditionally. No fuss. No fear.

    Note: By the way China just announced that it will help the democratically elected government of Iraq.

  64. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    June 13, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    Mr. BibiJon is correct; Arabs are generally racists; just go to UAE or Saud Arabia.

  65. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    June 13, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    Americans are doing what they must; help destroy the Shia Iraq.

    They put so much effort into resisting the rising Irani/Shia power over the last 10 years that you could not expect them to change tack now.

  66. nico says:

    Smith says:

    “No, you will not get it. You are completely wrong.”
    No need to get it.
    I simply believe my explanation is more logically convincing than yours.
    For evreyone to see here.
    Iraq turned down the SOFA fully knowing their weakness and the danger of the neighborhood.
    That is Iran reponsibility tl support.
    In addition, what would be said if the US sent troops ? Second Iraqi invasion by warmongering US ! Bad bad bad US.

    “And I do not have time to argue with brick layers.”
    Ahahah.
    No problem, I feel no such limitation with your kind and will answer to you logically when I feel the need to debunk BS.

  67. Smith says:

    nico says:
    June 13, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    What brick layers like you do not understand is that Iraq is not a client state of Iran. This is the critical difference between Iran and US. The states allied with Iran are allied out of the free will of their populace. Not under the tyranny of a regime. What you do not understand is the linchpin of US ideology of supposed democracy and how every where it is US that is leading the democracy and protecting it. This linchpin just broke today. A democracy put in place by Americans is being defended by Iran against the undemocratic US allies. What brick layers can not understand is that this ideological defeat will have far reaching consequences into future. What brick layers can not understand is that SOFA has nothing to do with it.

  68. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    June 13, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Yes, this is now very clear. They will even side with Taleban and Qaeda to achieve that. Such a shame. Hubris has blinded them to most simplistic truths.

  69. BiBiJon says:

    Negotiate this!
    ============

    I guess it is over. First you had fab Fabius blurt out I’m just a … brick in the “wall”, and now you have Zarif spell out what is being rejected by P5+1.

    http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/06/zarif-reveals-irans-proposal-for-ensuring-against-breakout/

    I should have known. When Sanger Anger gets promoted to appear on a Friday edition, then it’s over. Livid David’s latest gotcha: Iran has used the back of an envelop to prove Einhorn might breakout in hives.

    Here it is:

    But the very fact that Iran’s nuclear energy establishment wrote the eight-page report, titled “How Long Would an Iranian ‘Breakout’ Really Take?” was itself notable. Until now, Iran’s public position has been that its program is entirely peaceful and that it has never studied what it would take to amass the fuel for a weapon, which is known in the nuclear world as “breakout.”

    Brilliant Anger. Now with that calculation surely the Eye-ranians are 9 tenths of the way to a weapon!

    The paper of record folks _http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/13/world/middleeast/iran-building-nuclear-weapon-would-take-years-not-months-us-disputes-estimate.html?ref=world&_r=0

  70. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    June 13, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    The most important feature of the current situation is the silence of all states surrounding Iran and Iraq – excepting Syria.

    They all want the Shia to fail.

    Then, of course, you have EU – no surprises there.

  71. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    June 13, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Yes, they are all complicit in this. Now it is crystal clear that it is not about democracy or human rights (the wahabis are crucifying civilian in Mosul, right now). It is about destruction of Iran.

    But the good thing I see, is that Iran will win this one with the Iraqi people full knowing who saved them and from what. There is alot of effort going on in Western media right now to put the blame on Maliki (they can not outright blame democracy) but let’s not forget that just weeks ago, his party again got more of Iraqi people vote than any other party. Infact the ink on the ballots are still fresh.

    It is really unfortunate that US instead of siding with democracy has sided with Saudi monarchy. If Iranian media is smart, this is the time to push US ideology into tailspin. Expose them. Nudify them. Say it loud that the emperor is naked.

  72. nico says:

    Smith says:

    June 13, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    nico says:
    June 13, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    “What brick layers like you do not understand is that Iraq is not a client state of Iran. this is the critical difference between Iran anThe states allied with Iran are allied out of the free will of their populace. Not under the tyranny of a regime.”

    Not true.
    When a country is not able tl defend itself and need to accept foreign support to do just that.
    Well such country is called a client state.
    That is real politic.
    whether the client state is willing or not and whether such client stated is abused by its boss is another story.

    “What you do not understand is the linchpin of US ideology of supposed democracy and how every where it is US that is leading the democracy and protecting it. This linchpin just broke today. A democracy put in place by Americans is being defended by Iran against the undemocratic US allies.”

    Are the US comfortable or behind such situation is another debate.
    Maybe the US have only a neutral or semi neutral position while PGC states are behind the takfiris.
    Why should the US help Iraq ?

    “What brick layers can not understand is that this ideological defeat will have far reaching consequences into future”

    With that I agree.
    Where did you see the contrary ?
    Come to earth.

    “What brick layers can not understand is that SOFA has nothing to do with it.”

    Not true.
    The US negotiated hard ball to get the SOFA stating that Iraq would be on its own if it was not signed.
    Iraq turned it down.
    The US have no obligation to help. To the contrary by helping the US will lose credibility if they want to negotiate another SOFA type agreement later with another country if they help Iraq.

  73. Smith says:

    nico says:
    June 13, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    As I said, it is a waste of time to argue with brick layers. You are clueless.

    1- Client state is not a state that is weak in defense. It is a state that is satisfying the economic goals of another nation and holding the economic prosperity of another notion above its own. Iran is not economically exploiting Iraqi at the cost of Iraqis, therefore Iraq is not a client state of Iran.

    2- There is no difference between the Saudi monarch and Iran. The Saudi monarch and princes can not take a dump without first taking permission from DC. And US as a self declared sole super power and the state ruling the “end of history” can not be neutral (you are either with us or against us/You are either democratic or undemocratic)

    3- If you agree, say so. I do not read minds

    4- The US did not negotiate. The US wanted Iraq to be its slave. Iraqis could not accept that. The US was not helping Iraqis when it was there (eg. it was giving weapons and cash to Sunni tribes to attack Shias). The US did not want Iraq to have an air force (the same is true in Afghanistan). The US wanted the ability to kill Iraqis without any legal framework or answerability to Iraqi people.

    And again what a brick layer does not understand is the fact that even if a democracy has refused to become an official slave of yours by signing SOFA then it does not mean that you should support undemocratic forces against it. In fact if such forces ever arise, the responsibility of you as a supposed “world leader” is to come to the rescue of the democracy not standing “neutrally” with the forces of undemocracy.

  74. Smith says:

    nico says:
    June 13, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    Typo correction:

    2- There is no difference between the Saudi monarchy and United States….

  75. nico says:

    Smith says:

    “As I said, it is a waste of time to argue with brick layers. You are clueless.”

    Well it seems you do it nonetheless…

    “1- Client state is not a state that is weak in defense. It is a state that is satisfying the economic goals of another nation and holding the economic prosperity of another notion above its own. Iran is not economically exploiting Iraqi at the cost of Iraqis, therefore Iraq is not a client state of Iran.”

    Not true.
    Client state is about geopolitical independence in the world order and defending its own value, ideology, border and other interests.
    That can only be done if one can defend itself.
    By stating such nonsense about economic wealth you are just in the same league as Canning.
    What about Qatar, KSA and other PGCC wealth ?
    If you are not able to defend yourself you are a client state.

    “2- There is no difference between the Saudi monarch and Iran. The Saudi monarch and princes can not take a dump without first taking permission from DC. And US as a self declared sole super power and the state ruling the “end of history” can not be neutral (you are either with us or against us/You are either democratic or undemocratic)”

    Maybe true.
    But again, why should the US interfer with their client states policies to support an Iraq aligned with Iran.
    For now there is no proof (even if suspicion rise up) of direct US involvement in Iraq.
    As an example, maybe KSA is against US-Iran rapprochement and is pulling Iran into Iraq to irritate the US by such Iranian involvement in Iraq. Thus making such rapprochement impossible at such important juncture by playing with US political factions.

    To the contrary, for sure the US are directly involved in Syria or Ukraine. So that another story in the latter case.

    “3- If you agree, say so. I do not read minds”

    Well if you have no clue about another mind you could avoind making false assumption.
    That would be a good enough.

    “4- The US did not negotiate. The US wanted Iraq to be its slave. Iraqis could not accept that. The US was not helping Iraqis when it was there (eg. it was giving weapons and cash to Sunni tribes to attack Shias). The US did not want Iraq to have an air force (the same is true in Afghanistan). The US wanted the ability to kill Iraqis without any legal framework or answerability to Iraqi people.”

    Yes the US were arm twisting Iraq into an unjust agreement.
    Thus logically they need to leave the Iraqi on their own now to keep credibility in future arm twisting.
    So what ?

    Does it mean the US are directly involved in the Takfiri takeover in Iraq.
    Maybe yes, maybe not.
    There is no proof by now.

    “And again what a brick layer does not understand is the fact that even if a democracy has refused to become an official slave of yours by signing SOFA then it does not mean that you should support undemocratic forces against it. In fact if such forces ever arise, the responsibility of you as a supposed “world leader” is to come to the rescue of the democracy not standing “neutrally” with the forces of undemocracy.”

    Not true.
    A country moral responsibility is to not abuse another country.
    But there is no duty to help another country.
    That is exactly the same nonsensical argument like the Humatarian colonialists who claim they need to help other country !

  76. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The specific is at issue: Prince Bandar’s mother was a black slave. He is not a likely candidate to be “racist”.

  77. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I for many years have been concerned that the Israel lobby in the US would bring about the destruction of Jordan, in order to help the illegal colonisation programme in the West Bank conducted by Israel year after year.

    My conern on this score in fact has risen in recent years.

  78. kooshy says:

    Since the Iraqi parliament (on sectarian divide) failed to hold emergency session and give special authority to government to defend against the foreign invasion, Grand Ayatollah Sistani, had to issued a fatva to mobilizes the people against the invaders, one wonders what would have happened to people of Iraq if there was no Valieh Faghi to call up and mobilize the masses at the time of emergency. Or in similar way what would have happened in Iran after 2009 election if ayatollah Khamenei did not stop the color revolution.

    One would think the Americans regime and her clients states will soon need to re-engineer their regime change tactics and methods for countries with Valieh Faghi, by now they should have learned none of the previously successfully tested methods works in countries that have Valieh Faghi (vision of Imam Khomeini).
    It was not long ago that ayatollah Sistani asked the people of Iraq to come out against the way Americans wanted to select the Iraqi governal system, we all know what the result was, the super doper power end up to give up and go the ayatollah’s way. Like I wrote to fyi a few days back, when there are powers like that of grand ayatollah Sistani, all including the American regime and associates will eventually come to learn that mosques are no place for farting.

  79. nico says:

    BiBiJon says:
    June 13, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    Thanks for the IPS link about Zarif interview with Porter.
    Zarif is impressive and well articulated.
    In the same way the PressTV quote is impreeive as well.

    Truly principled diplomacy of highest level.

    as a side note, Arqchi offering to take the opportunity for the another 6 months period of negotiatiln under the preliminary deal is strenghtning Iran hand and shows Iran resolve.
    Actually, we saw some news about Western negotiator being replaced by the end of this year.
    putting pressure on Iranian side to accept a deal.
    By postponing the deal the Iranian side called the bluff qnd send message. Do it.

    Now pressure is on western shoulder to cut the deal before their negotiators leave…

  80. kooshy says:

    Nico Jaan

    Lay your bricks one by one and so strongly to wall off this impostor like how his sponsors are doing it in occupied Palestine, his kind really see themselves superior and chosen. In a known lose city like Haifa him not getting it makes one so desperate that ends up not only constantly saying BS but also getting a mind full of that stuff.

  81. nico says:

    kooshy says:
    June 13, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    The difference between arrogance and courage is whether you back your point with logic and whether the logical argument is proven true.

    Unfortunately he is not up to the logical task.

    A lost mind.

  82. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Good point…

    Jihadist Gains in Iraq Blindside American Spies
    First Crimea, now Iraq. Why does America’s $50 billion intelligence community keep getting taken by surprise?
    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/06/12/jihadist_gains_in_iraq_blindside_american_spies

    The obvious answer is: They weren’t. It’s all deliberate.

  83. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Iranian General In Charge of Defense of Baghdad as al-Qaeda Nears
    Iran Open to Working With US in Defense of Maliki Govt
    http://news.antiwar.com/2014/06/13/iranian-general-in-charge-of-defense-of-baghdad-as-al-qaeda-nears/

    And exactly what happens to Obama’s administration if it works with Iran? What happens when the GOP and Israel go berserk on Obama over cooperating with Iran. Previous US “cooperation” with Iran was mostly under the table.

  84. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Obama: The U.S. Won’t Send Troops Back Into Combat In Iraq
    Obama: The U.S. Won’t Send Troops Back Into Combat In Iraq
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/13/obama-iraq_n_5492117.html#59_pentagon-moves-aircraft-carrier

    Demonstrating his dilemma, Obama makes two contradictory statements:

    1) ISIS is not primarily a “military threat”.
    3) ISIS is a danger to the US.

    Well, which is it? Again, what happens when Iranian troops, US air strikes and the crumbling Iraqi army DO NOT stop ISIS from taking over most of Sunni Iraq? How does Obama and the Democrats survive the fallout in the next election if they do nothing?

  85. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Another amusing thing: The Pentagon, for all its surveillance capabilities, “can’t confirm” that Iranian troops are in Iraq…Seriously? Or they just don’t want to admit that they were blindsided by that action as well.

  86. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Report: Pentagon to move aircraft carrier into Persian Gulf in case of potential airstrikes in Iraq – @barbarastarrCNN

    White House on Iraq: Can’t confirm if the US is moving a military carrier into the region, refers reporters to Department of Defense – @lesleyclark

    Translation: Chaos at the White House and Pentagon.

  87. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Zarif Reveals Iran’s Proposal for Ensuring Against ‘Breakout’
    http://original.antiwar.com/porter/2014/06/13/zarif-reveals-irans-proposal-for-ensuring-against-breakout/

  88. James Canning says:

    RS Hack,

    Israel lobby would not be thrilled to see the US carrying out bombing raids on ISIS, in coordination with Iranian forces.

  89. James Canning says:

    RS Hack,

    Neocon warmongers and other ardent supporters of Israel right or wrong will not like to see American military cooperation with Iran to advance American interests. Anathema.

  90. Castellio says:

    I agree with the first comment on this topic from thecelticwithinme that the Leverett’s are having trouble joining the dots in their article, or perhaps simply feel constrained in their description of how the dots join.

    Again I ask that interested persons go to http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=11986

    I think that the context as set by Sabah al Nasseri goes a long way to describe the situation.

    His is opposed to the many (most?) on this comment board who somehow believe the Sunni-Shia divide accounts for all relevant historical factors; somehow forgetting the fairly recent period when the Shah’s Iran was a friend and reliable ally of both the US and Israel.

    Key players might leverage off the Sunni-Shia division to hide their actual involvement: but the critical questions to identify them are these: Who is giving money to support the fighters? Who is giving armaments to arm them? Who is giving military intelligence to inform them?

    Once you have that figured out, you will discover that it is not sectarian hatred which is at work at the primary level, but other more specific interests.

  91. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:

    June 13, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    In fact, air craft carriers cannot operate in the Persian Gulf since they have to speed into the wind or along with it when launching or retrieving air craft.

    US has asserts in Oman, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, and Bahrain if they wish to help Iraq.

    So does France and England.

    They won’t; they still aim to destroy and unroll the Shia/Irani power – a.k.a. the Shia Crescent.

  92. Smith says:

    “… that it was also the result of Turkey’s disastrous foreign policy over the past three years, noting that Erdogan’s efforts to forge an alliance with Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Qatar — which have been referred to as the “Sunni axis” — against the Assad regime had failed.

    The focus for now, however, has shifted to Iran — whose own “Shiite axis” appears to be holding — especially in regard to what steps Tehran plans to take in view of Iraqi developments, which it views as a strategic threat…

    The bottom line is that Erdogan and Davutoglu’s dream of a Turkey that would be the principal game-setter in the Middle East has been crushed. Instead, there is in its place a defensive Turkey that has painted itself into a corner and is being led by events that leave it no choice but to cooperate with countries that have much more regional influence that it does. Iran is clearly one of these countries. ”

    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/06/idiz-iran-rouhani-turkey-isis-mosul-syria-iraq-consulate.html

    As I said, it is a miracle for Iran. A Godsend. This will only make Iran more powerful and influential.

  93. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    June 13, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    American air power is useless now. Unless if they want to do some Syrian air force styled “barrel bombing” in Mosul or Fallujah. This battle needs high quality officers leading highly motivated soldiers on the ground. US is powerless in this regard now.

  94. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Iran official identifies Diego Garcia as potential second-strike target of war
    http://www.uskowioniran.com/2014/06/iran-official-identifies-diego-garcia.html

    That’s if you have any missiles left after the first strike the US uses to destroy most of them… :-)

  95. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Supreme Leader rep addresses video claims on 2009 election
    http://www.uskowioniran.com/2014/06/supreme-leader-rep-addresses-video.html

    Apparently some video has surfaced with an IRGC commander allegedly saying that Iran committed fraud in the 2009 election. The Iran government says the video was edited and doesn’t say what it appears to say. Given the massive evidence that there was no fraud in the election, I would be inclined to believe the government.

  96. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    June 13, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    Let us not be too hard on poor kolfat Turkey; after all, her masters told her to do so and she did.

  97. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Juan Cole’s take on the situation vis-a-vis Iran and Iraq… He, too, assumes the US will support Iran in Iraq.

    The Second Iran-Iraq War and the American Switch
    http://www.juancole.com/2014/06/second-american-switch.html

  98. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Patrick Cockburn on Why the New Iraq War Could be More Savage Than the Last
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/06/13/why-the-new-iraq-war-could-be-more-savage-than-the-last/

  99. Richard Steven Hack says:

    How Obama Lost Iraq
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/06/13/how-obama-lost-iraq/

    More importantly – WHY…

    Quote

    Most importantly, a strong independent Iraq is seen as a threat to U.S. “regional interests,” since Iraq is a potential ally to Iran, Syria and Hezbollah, the regional powers that the U.S. does not have influence over and consequently desires either their “regime change” or annihilation.

    End Quote

  100. Richard Steven Hack says:

    On to Baghdad
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/06/13/on-to-baghdad/

    Quotes

    And what does al-Maliki intend to do to defend the capital from this rampaging horde of highly-motivated, combat-tested Sunni troopers?

    He plans to launch an enlistment campaign to organize a “popular army” similar to the National Defense Forces in Syria.

    Got that? The ISIS militia is just a few miles from Baghdad and al-Maliki thinks he’s going to whip up an army in the next couple hours that will repel them.

    Good luck with that, Mr President.

    End Quotes

  101. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Theories behind the ISIS takeover of Iraqi province
    http://english.al-akhbar.com/node/20125

  102. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Robert Fisk’s view…

    Iraq crisis: Sunni caliphate has been bankrolled by Saudi Arabia
    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/opinion/columnists/robert-fisk/iraq-crisis-sunni-caliphate-has-been-bankrolled-by-saudi-arabia-30351679.html

  103. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Saudi behind ISIS onslaught in Iraq: Syrian state media
    http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/saudi-behind-isis-onslaught-iraq-syrian-state-media

    Quotes

    “In the events in Iraq and the escalating terrorist campaign, no Western country is unaware of the role Saudi is playing in supporting terrorism and funding and arming different fronts and battles, both inside and outside Iraq and Syria,” it added.

    The editorial also accused Qatar and Turkey of playing similar roles backing extremists “according to US demands or Israeli desires.”

    “The emergence of these organizations is not the result of a vacuum but rather long and clear support for terrorism… which the Gulf has dedicated its finances to expanding,” it said.

    Such actions were taken “with Western knowledge and in most cases clear and explicit orders,” the newspaper continued.

    End Quotes

  104. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Iraq chaos highlights US ‘idiocy’
    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/06/13/366719/iraq-chaos-highlights-us-idiocy/

    Quotes

    Why would the US let its ally (some would say puppet) Saudi Arabia back ISIL, a terrorist group so extreme that it horrifies even al-Qaeda? Why has the US tacitly allowed the Saudis to wreak havoc in Syria and Iraq by arming terrorists whose viciousness makes Osama bin Laden look small by comparison? And why is the US standing by as the Saddam loyalists and ultra-terrorists overrun Iraq, threatening to destroy it as a coherent, unified state?

    The innocent explanation: The US is run by incompetent idiots.

    But a darker explanation also suggests itself.

    Many analysts suspect that the real purpose of the war was to destroy Iraq, not save it. They argue that the Zionist neoconservatives of Project for a New American Century were the real authors of 9/11 and the wars it spawned. These agents of Israel tricked the American leadership into invading Iraq. They convinced idiots like Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld that the war would be a cakewalk. But their real plan was to balkanize Iraq by smashing it into three miniature states: A Shi’ite south, flanked by Kurdish and Sunni sectors to the north. This has always been Israel’s “Oded Yinon” Plan for breaking up Middle Eastern countries into tiny, powerless statelets that could be easily dominated by Zionism.

    The “Oded Yinon theory” explains why US and British special forces, and their Israeli handlers, sparked sectarian strife by carrying out false flag bombings of mosques and markets throughout Iraq. Two members of British special forces, for example, were arrested by authorities in Basra on September 19, 2005 trying to carry out a false flag car bombing of the Basra market. The British army smashed the walls of the Basra jail with tanks in order to free the two false flag terrorists.

    Countless reports circulated of “suicide car bombings” that were actually homicide bombings by Occupation forces. The Occupiers would hire a driver to transport a cargo to a particular place in a market. When the driver arrived at the destination, his “cargo” (and he and his vehicle and everyone in the vicinity) would be blasted to smithereens by a remote-control bomb. If it was a Shi’a market, the crime would be blamed on a “fanatical Sunni suicide bomber.” If it was a Sunni market, just the reverse. In many cases these bombs were detonated by helicopters that trailed the “delivery vehicles.” Numerous Iraqis escaped with their lives by figuring out what was going on and abandoning their vehicles before they exploded.

    Journalist Dahr Jamail wrote, “The word on the street in Baghdad is that the cessation of suicide car bombings is proof that the CIA was behind them. Why? Because as one man states, ‘[CIA agents are] too busy fighting now, and the unrest they wanted to cause by the bombings is now upon them.’”

    The purpose of the Occupation’s wave of false flag terror in Iraq was to start a Sunni-Shi’ite civil war. Today, the unrest they wanted to cause by these bombings is upon them in the form of the decimation of Iraq by the rabid liver-eating terrorists of the ISIL.

    End Quotes

    Not a bad theory, in my opinion…

  105. Richard Steven Hack says:

    US silence on ISIL offensive dubious
    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/06/12/366643/us-silence-on-isil-offensive-dubious/

    Quote

    The Saudi regime is opposed to democracy and the US rejects Islamic democracy. Therefore, the Riyadh-Washington alliance is defending terrorists opposing Islamic democracy in the Middle East. We have to keep in mind that a main reason for the Saudi regime’s warmongering in Syria was its failure in post-Saddam Iraq.

    End Quote

    Seems reasonable…

  106. Richard Steven Hack says:

    The Battle for Baghdad: Scenarios
    http://iswiraq.blogspot.it/

    Quotes

    ISIS will seek to target the seat of Iraq’s government in the Green Zone. This may be a symbolic target rather than an operational target. Strategically, ISIS does not need to overrun the Green Zone. They only need to demonstrate the ability to maneuver ground forces into the city center, past the best that the ISF can muster, and touch the flagpole. If ISIS is able to assault the Green Zone with a ground attack force, they will realize the full defeat of the Iraqi Security Forces. The command and control of Shi’a militias, police forces, and Iraqi civilians in the wake of such an attack would overwhelm the Baghdad Operations Command. The core functions of the Iraqi state would break down. Baghdad would become a ward of the Iranian government to protect the Khadimiya shrine, and Baghdad would become a buffer zone for low-level attacks across an Iranian-ISIS demarcation line.

    End Quotes

  107. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Iraq under attack by US, France, Saudi Arabia
    http://www.voltairenet.org/article184211.html

    Quote

    The Islamic Emirate in Iraq and the Levant is led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on behalf of Prince Abdul Rahman al-Faisal, the brother of the current Saudi Foreign Minister and of the Saudi ambassador in Washington. He is funded and supervised jointly by U.S., French and Saudi officers. Over the past month, he has received new weapons from Ukraine, where Saudi Arabia has acquired a weapons factory, and via Turkey, which has created a special rail line alongside a military airport to supply the IEIL.

    End Quote

    Interesting if true…

  108. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    June 13, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    I know. But I get angry when this kolfat tries to punch above her weight: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58HoZnNKu7k

    Anyways, this is the strategic tipping point, Iran was waiting for. Now, Iran can start wrapping things up as per her wishes. The Middle east map is changing and it is Iran and its allies who are going to benefit from it. This desert that now has come under control of ISIS, is very special. One side of it is the northern Iraqi oil field, other side of is the southern Iraqi oil fields and Kuwaiti oil fields, and then to its south is Saudi Arabia and its oil fields and to its north the NATO bases of Turkey. And to its west another kolfat of America, the Jordan and by extension Israel. Take the case of southern Iraqi oil fields. No one is there to protect them except Iran. 2.5 million barrels of oil per day is going to get shaved from the global market in less than 24 hours with price of crude jumping up 30 to 40 dollars more. The Kurds can not operate without Iranian logistic support, infact the kolfat Turks know this more than anyone else so their oil fields are going to do no better (already their fields are non-functional).

    And then who is going to save Saudi Arabia? Will US deploy troops? ISIS can just barge in any time with Saudi central government shaken, the oppressed and poverty stricken Shias sitting on top of all of the Saudi oil field might just decide to rise up and demand independence or worse demand merging with Iran. There it goes 12 million barrels of oil per day off the market. The price of oil will go up another 120 dollars. Saudi falls, so does Bahrain, so does Kuwait. I mean the enemies of Iran are check mated. Completely. Their confusion and their current state of paralysis is not about morality of action and intellectual righteousness about what to do. It is about how to salvage this situation without Iran getting the biggest piece of cake. I saw in one of the MSM that they were ecstatic about how the Kurds have finally “been freed” and that Iran is “afraid”. They are stupid. Kurds have been free since 1991 when they reached a strategic deal with Iran. And they are just controlling an oil reservoir of some 20 billion barrels of oil will only make the kolfat to their north alarmed.

    And a ragtag of wahabi crazies are not a threat to Iran but to all these kolfats with large Sunni population whose people specially the poor ones, who are susceptible to wahabi ideology and Caliphate wet dreams. The security apparatus that US was building in middle east to the exclusion and destruction of Iran is now completely destroyed. The only road to security in middle east now goes through Iran. Today, more than ever, I wish Iran had nuclear weapons too. It would have made Iran a truly global power with these recent development, a power in the rank of Russia. But then thank God for even this that has been given. As you use to say, one can see the finger of the hidden Imam in this.

  109. kooshy says:

    کیهان/ سعد اله زارعی
    قفل و کلید بحران امنیتی غرب عراق

    Mr. Sadallah Zareie is a well informed and one the better analyst of Middle East specially the Arab Middle East and I have seen his analysis is mostly accurate and comes true including his analysis of the battle of Syria since the begging here is his latest regarding new events in Iraq, I do think he makes sense.

    Sorry this one is in Persian, but basically he thinks a lot of what ISIS is doing and can do is exaggerated considering the demographic and geographic of territory they could take.

    http://www.tasnimnews.com/Home/Single/399999

  110. Rehmat says:

    The defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Jewish) by a Tea Party challenger professor David Brat (Christian) in Virginia’s June 11 primary took Israel and Jewish Lobby by surprise. The Jewish-controlled mainstream media is full of conspiracy theories about “how” and “why” Israel’s most visible lobbyist lost his prestigious post which he used to campaign for Israel’s proxy wars against Muslim countries.

    J.J. Goldberg at the Jewish Daily Forward (June 12) claimed that Eric Cantor lost because he was Jewish – and the Tea Party is controlled by conservative Christians who don’t like Jews as Republicans do.

    http://rehmat1.com/2014/06/14/eric-cantors-defeat-is-a-victory-for-iran/

  111. Karl.. says:

    Deal possible within a week according to rouhani
    http://rt.com/news/line/2014-06-14/#63876

    I read somewhere else that it would stop above 5% enrichment. Maybe a rumour.

  112. Empty says:

    RE: Iranian Revolutionary Guard members and/or Qods Force in Iraq….

    It’s a lie and wishful thinking on the part of US Inc.

  113. Empty says:

    RSH,

    RE: “Juan Cole’s take on the situation vis-a-vis Iran and Iraq… He, too, assumes the US will support Iran in Iraq.”

    Juan Cole bases his argument on a false unverified report and false premises. Your uncritical statement based on his weak and unsubstantiated assumptions surprised me. You are usually more careful about dubious sources.

  114. Sammy says:

    “Empty says:

    June 14, 2014 at 5:03 am
    “You are usually more careful about dubious sources.”

    A propos sources and Juan Cole , from MoA :

    “”…Excuse me for being a bit more cynical/”conspiratorial” but I seem to remember during nearly each and every fucking “situation” – e.g., Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Ukraine blah blah – that one of the major propaganda thrusts of each of these campaigns was that the situation was “complex”, the causes for the conflict were “historical” and just NO ONE in the entire US intelligence apparatus/Establishment could even HOPE to know what’s going on much less have had a hand in the planning and/or precipitation of said “situation”. At least that was the official line in the MSM and the government mouthpieces. Yup, they’re just monitoring the situation that they just have NO FUCKING IDEA as to how it started, who it exactly involves and who’s exactly responsible.

    They know for certainty the name of a shadowy mysterious, evil and powerful enemy – (whispers) ISIS – but they don’t really know how this situation happened to turn into a conflagration.

    Yup, with each every new roll-out of some conflict/situation that just “flared up” all by itself – ok, maybe with a teensy weensy little part due to US involvement in the region – fucking CIA gasbag Juan Cole and other erudite fools are trotted out to explain to good bourgeois lefties and others that “intelligent” people shouldn’t jump to any conclusions but especially any about US behind-the-scenes involvement because – y’know – it really was just a big surprise to everyone and the situation was frustratingly multicausal.

    Why, shithead gatekeeper – who remember just loved him some Qaddafy knife ass-raping – Cole has a piece out just today telling us how the rise of ISIS in Iraq can be blamed on just about EVERY SINGLE FUCKING historical fact in the book going back to WWI. Yup, Cole STARTS with W. and goes on from there. What a fucking scholar!!!

    Why, it’s interesting that Mr. Cole – and the rest of MSM press which is literally SCREAMING about ISIS today when it didn’t even know that it existed less than a day ago – leaves out all the machinations on the part of US war criminals involved in what’s been going on concerning the funding/arming/supporting of all of these “terror groups” – cough MERCENARIES cough – across the ME and elsewhere since before the beginning of the GWOT and up till now.

    Why, all of what we’re seeing now is simply just the “confusion” left over from the US invasion of Iraq 11 years ago. Yup, don’t mention the US involvement in Syria because then you’d have to talk about Libya and Ukraine on and on and on and how in all of those cases while it may have SEEMED to have been just an organic “situation/event/reaction” what had really transpired was that the Americans – and their Israeli partners – were – surprise surprise – once again neck deep in the shit pulling strings of various groups and making payments/arming others directly or through proxies.

    ASIDE: And whatever you do, do NOT mention the Yinon Plan and how the fracturing of Iraq further plays into the hands of the Zionist Israeli apartheid scum. Yeah, I’m sure the Israelis who helped gave birth to Hamas, who have supported scores of “crazy jihadists” – most recently in Syria – over the decades and who have a modern military and nukes I’m sure are just REALLY worried about a rag tag collection of mercenaries helping them out in dissolving Iraq and Syria according to a plan they set out 30+ years ago.

    Stop it ISIS, you’re just helping us TOO much!!!

    Yup, all of this stinks like a intel fucking rollout. The MSM coverage with each outlet showing its own version of the “ISIS Controls the World” Map. Juan “Knife Ass-Rapist” Cole and others deflecting for their buds at the CIA. Fuck, the NYT itself has breathlessly told us that now ISIS has gotten hold of all sort of US weaponry! Uh oh!! Look like we’ll need to buy more weapons of our own then!!Whoddathunkit!!! Why, I’d better watch one of the handy-dandy videos the NYT has recently supplied about the history of ISIS or look at their interactive ISIS map which shows me where the evil ISIS is hiding to make myself feel better! What a life-saver!

    What we are witnessing is the real-time creation/roll-out of another US-intel backed “boogeyman” one that has the same air of “mystery” and “ultimate evilry” attached to it that Al-CIAda had back 10+ years ago although obviously on a smaller scale.

    If people remember, by the morning of 9/12/01 the MSM had shiny Al-CIAda maps and charts, blueprints of their secret caves and all of that other fucking nonsense crap. That rollout reminds me of this one. OTOH, after 4 months on during the Ukraine “crisis” you could barely find a person in the MSM who could tell you who Bandera was, ffs.

    The purported “confusion” on the part of the US Establishment is belied by how sleek, shiny, “out-of-nowhere” and coordinated the coverage of ISIS in the MSM. That’s the tell.

    Certainly, not everyone in the US Establishment knows what’s going on but make no mistake a number of them do and they haven’t been caught off guard.

    Watch out for the false flag. That’s when real innocent people start dying.

    BTW, for being such a crazy bunch of jihadists that don’t care if they die or not, ISIS sure does seem to make sure that they’re photographed with their masks on an awful lot, huh?

    Probably just bashful. Oh well.

    Posted by: JSorrentine | Jun 11, 2014 5:30:45 PM | 38

  115. Karl.. says:

    According to rouhani there are no troops in Iraq which I also believe is the case.

  116. fyi says:

    kooshy says:

    June 13, 2014 at 11:06 pm

    I tend to agree with Mr. Zareie; he is more often right than wrong.

    Also, I do not sense any panic among Iranian leaders; the SNSC is very quiet and not much is being said publicly about Iran’s Iraq policy.

    I also agree with Mr. Smith the ISIS provocation is supplying Iranians and their allies with the cause belli to set into motion another set of policies for which they did not have political justifications until now.

    Again, I see the finger of the Hidden Imam in all of this.

  117. fyi says:

    All:

    An Iranian view on Nuclear negotiations with P5+1 (in Persian):

    http://www.fardanews.com/fa/news/347580/ماجرای-اعتراف-ظریف-در-خصوص-مذاکرات-دولت-بعد-از-یکسال-به-ماهیت-اصلی-غرب-پی-برد

    We read:

    “: آقای ظریف بعد از گذشت یکسال از مذاکرات به این نتیجه رسیده است که غربی ها ماهیت دیگری در مذاکرات دارند و حمله نظامی نیز یکی از چشم داشت هایی است که غربی ها در مذاکرات دارند”

    “After one year of discussions, Mr. Zarif has reached the conclusion that the Westerners have another essential aim in the discussions and military attack is one of those goals that they are pursuing.”

  118. Smith says:

    fyi,

    Now we have something worse than Pakistan’s tribal area next to half of the world’s oil reserves. Iran can live with that as its own oil export is already disrupted by sanctions and during the Taliban rule when the Pakistan’s tribal area had been extended to almost the whole of Afghanistan by ISI, Iran survived. The question here is if the West can cope with this situation. Ultimately these ISIS and others are going to penetrate Sunni populations in places like Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE etc etc. When that happens, will US and EU have enough troops to occupy and defend these oil lands for the next 50 years? This is a very important question and if I were a NATO General, this would be my top priority right now. Or, as General Odom had advised to allow Iran become a nuclear armed super power in charge of the region. Strategically the US plans have now completely collapsed and the geopolitical balance has tilted favoring Iran.

  119. Smith says:

    مرضیه افخم، سخنگوی وزارت خارجه ایران: ” ایران با هرگونه دخالت نظامی خارجی در عراق” مخالف است. خانم افخم گفته است: “عراق از ظرفیت و آمادگی‌های لازم نظامی و توان و انگیزه مردمی در برابر عوامل تروریسم و افراط‌گرایی برخوردار است.”

    As I said it. Iran will raise a new army in Iraq. The American trained army is out.

  120. Fiorangela says:

    Gareth Porter from Iran –

    http://original.antiwar.com/porter/2014/06/13/zarif-reveals-irans-proposal-for-ensuring-against-breakout/

    June 14 2014
    QUOTE TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has revealed for the first time that Iran has made a detailed proposal to the P5+1 group of states aimed at ensuring that no stockpile of low-enriched uranium would be available for “breakout” through enrichment to weapons grade levels.

    In an exclusive interview with IPS, Zarif described an Iranian plan, presented at the meetings with the P5+1 last month in Vienna, that would exclude weapons grade enrichment. “The parameters of the proposal would be set to continue Iran’s enrichment but to provide the necessary guarantees that it would not enrich to anything over five percent,” said Zarif.

    The plan would involve the immediate conversion of each batch of low-enriched uranium to an oxide powder that would then be used to make fuel assemblies for Iran’s Bushehr reactor, according to Zarif. . . . END QUOTE

  121. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Empty: “Juan Cole bases his argument on a false unverified report and false premises. Your uncritical statement based on his weak and unsubstantiated assumptions surprised me. You are usually more careful about dubious sources.”

    I merely cited his concept. Didn’t say I agreed with it. I don’t.

    I don’t see the US agreeing to allow Iran to handle the Iraq situation militarily by themselves or with US assistance. That would be a disaster for Obama and the Democrats vis-a-vis the Republicans and Israel. He won’t do it.

  122. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Obama: ‘US Will Do Its Part’ In Iraq
    http://news.antiwar.com/2014/06/13/obama-us-will-do-its-part-in-iraq/

    This part is completely correct:

    Quote

    Even the promises of no “combat troops” seems to be leaving open wiggle room, as the US wasn’t considering any of its occupation forces “combat troops,” even when they engaged in combat, during the waning months of the last Iraq War.

    Air strikes seemed to be the tactic of choice yesterday, but this evening the idea of using just air strikes seems to be souring among officials, who insist they can’t accomplish all of their military goals with only warplanes.

    Actually deploying ground troops would be a huge and unpopular step, and it seems likely the administration will seek to portray that as a “last resort,” even as they try to build up public acquiescence for it.

    End Quote

    As I’ve said, air strikes alone will NOT work. So what does Obama do THEN? The Pentagon (except for the Air Force which is always overconfident of its ability) will have already told him that. So he’s lying again if he says there will be no ground troops.

    Even if ISIS is driven from its current Iraqi territory by whatever means, it will merely slip across the border into the Syria territory it already controls. Once again, an insurgency will have a safe haven. If attacked in Syria, they go to Iraq. If attacked in Iraq, they go to Syria. If attacked in both, they’ll go to Turkey.

    There’s no winning that “whack-a-mole” game, obviously.

    Also how is it that Obama can justify air strikes against ISIS in Iraq, while NOT employing air strikes against ISIS in Syria? Does ISIS become the “good guys” in Syria while being “bad guys” in Iraq? The situation in Iraq makes Obama’s entire Syrian “policy” idiotic on the face of it.

    If he decides to do both, how will Assad react? How will Israel react? How will the Saudis – who are behind most of this – react? Who is doing the thinking on this among the so-called “punditry”?

    What is far MORE likely is that Obama sees ISIS as another opportunity to get the Syrian war started. By starting airstrikes in Iraq and then “pursuing” ISIS into Syria, the Syrian situation can be made worse in some manner that may give Obama the chance to get the Syrian war going.

    I believe those articles I’ve referenced that theorize that this entire situation has been deliberately constructed to enable the destabilization of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon are correct. The ultimate target remains Iran.

    A side point. If there are no Iranian troops in Iraq, then all the media reports are disinformation. Who benefits from that disinformation? Obama, Israel, the neocons…No one else. If there are no Iranian troops in Iraq, then on what basis are we to suggest the US will assist Iran via airstrikes?

    It is extremely unlikely that there AREN’T Iranian troops in Iraq, to some level. Iran has had years to infiltrate Quds Force units into Iraq and have undoubtedly done so even if just to keep tabs on the Sunni forces there. Whether they have three battalions may be questionable. but that Maliki has called on Iran to assist is highly likely.

    But if there are significant numbers of Iranian troops in Iraq, this either complicates Obama’s plans or makes them easier – depending on what those plans are. If he plans airstrikes, as I’ve said, he will have to explain to Israel and the Republicans why he’s supporting Iranian troops on the ground in Iraq. If he does not, he will still have to explain why he’s letting Iranian troops on the ground. If he intends to use the presence of Iranian troops to ratchet up tensions again between the US and Iran, then their presence – real or not – will help that approach. If he intends to further the goal of destabilizing the “Shia Crescent”, with the ultimate target of Iran, then either supporting the Sunni terrorists – by allowing the Saudis to continue to do so – or re-starting the Iraq war and/or starting a Syria war is absolutely necessary.

    Any of these outcomes will result in more destabilization of the region. And I reiterate that I believe that is the point. That is the only way that the military-industrial complex and Israel gets what they want.

  123. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Panic over the ISIS Offensive in Iraq: “Everyone should take a deep breath.”
    http://nationalinterest.org/blog/paul-pillar/the-isis-offensive-iraq-10656

    Unless the “panic” has been planned…

  124. Richard Steven Hack says:

    fyi: “In fact, air craft carriers cannot operate in the Persian Gulf since they have to speed into the wind or along with it when launching or retrieving air craft.”

    They don’t have to actually be IN the Persian Gulf. They can launch from the Arabian or Red sea.

    They can also go in the Persian Gulf (or not) and launch cruise missiles from carriers without worrying about wind speed.

    The point is the carrier group is being moved into position to support airstrikes or some kind of military action.

  125. James Canning says:

    RS Hack,

    Yes, even if Obama can see that Iranian assistance to Iraq would be in America’s best interests, he cannot say this openly. Powerful Democrats who are part of Israel lobby would be sure to object.

  126. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Do I take it you oppose Javad Zarif’s proposal to ensure no “breakout” could take place?

  127. James Canning says:

    Rehmat,

    I understand that many voters in Eric Cantor’s district were not even aware he was Jewish.

  128. James Canning says:

    RS Hack,

    The neocon warmongers who conspired to set up the idiotic US invasion of Iraq did so in order to obtain a stable, oil-rich ally for the US and Israel. They ignored warnings that the overthrow of Saddam Hussein likely would result in a vicious civil war.

  129. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    June 14, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    I am not opposed to Mr. Zarif’s proposal, I just do not think it will be accepted by P5+1.

    Yes, I know, Naval Blockade etc.

    As thought military destruction of Iran by Axis Powers does not remain their primary objective and remaining so…

  130. kooshy says:

    With regard to western exaggeration of the Iraqi situation and ISIS in any minute is taking the Baghdad and other shieh cities
    I think the plan for the over reaction by western propaganda media outlet likes of CNN and BBC is to create a sense of urgency and send masses of refugees over the Iran border, but on this fyi is correct there seem to be no panic on the Iran side or in major Iraqi shieh cities as matter of fact the pilgrimage to major sites in south has continued. Taking the Sunni low density provinces was not difficult and as matter of fact was not well defended majority of security was provided by local Sunni clans, so it was easy to buy and change sides. But after the yesterday’s fatwa I think this problem will be finished and Iraq will become a solid shieh state, with semi-autonomous Kurdistan

  131. Smith says:

    The now formed tribal area and the future of Turkey was evident long ago: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/security/2013/09/time-act-al-qaeda-turkey-jabhat-al-nusra.html

  132. Smith says:

    The coward, kolfat and ignorant Turkish general instead of thinking how to save his supposedly “secular” state (a secular state that supports wahabis) from becoming a wahabi tribal waste land, is worried about Iran not being respectful of ataturk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVPzo0WpWsk#t=1430

  133. Smith says:

    Go to 23:45 of the video.

    Idiot liars. Iran has been supporting the secular state of Syria while Turkey has been trying to destroy it. The only difference between the two from Iran’s perspective is that one is free while the other is a kolfat.

  134. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I have suggested many times Iran may be able to avoid further sanctions if it continues its self-imposed freeze on its nuclear programme.

  135. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    June 14, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    Iranian leader have stated publicly and repeatedly during the past 2 weeks that they will go their own way if the current negotiations fail.

    Make of it what you may.

  136. Rd. says:

    Empty says:

    “RE: Iranian Revolutionary Guard members and/or Qods Force in Iraq….

    It’s a lie and wishful thinking on the part of US Inc.”

    ala …. Glaspie to Saddam, wink, wink, green light you can take Kuwait!!

    hello to juveniles in DC… you wanna play hide and seek????? ;-)

  137. Empty says:

    Sammy,

    Thank you for posting the MoA piece. I think it describes well, albeit in a colorful way, Juan Cole’s role. Fortunately, we do not have the attention span of a 4 year old and remember his performance during and after 2009 events.

  138. Empty says:

    Rd,

    Indeed. This latest episode looks more like the act of a desperate fisherman: he has used up all of his colorful baits and the fish are not biting. And, he has run out of time…

  139. Empty says:

    RSH,

    Again, I reiterate that there is no Iranian special forces operating in Iraq. You have to offer solid and verifiable evidence to back up your statement.

    Please note that: 1) There is no military and security pact between Iran and Iraq similar to what exists between Iran and Syria to justify sending any Iranian special forces or otherwise to Iraq. 2) Iran does not need to send ANY special forces to Iraq because there are sufficient Iraqis who are of one heart and mind with Iran. 3) Iranian leadership clearly understands that the situation in Iraq is a desperate act and failures of the Western Terrorist governments in the US and Europe that is not going to be resolved by military escalation. 4) Iran’s advice has been for Iraqi people to form Bassij forces (similar to what happened in Syria) and the Iraqi groups get themselves ready to manage their homes and neighborhoods. You’d be surprised to see how many Sunni Bassij forces are being formed.

    On the whole, one should look at the bright side. The Iraqi militia groups have now a chance to get more skillful and the Iraqi Sunni population gets a chance to gravitate toward Shi’a and away from Wahabi puppets and their masters in Washington and London.

  140. Rehmat says:

    In a televised news conference on Saturday, Iran’s president Sheikh Hassan Rouhani told over 200 lranian and foreign reporters that Iraqi nation is capable of defending itself against the foreign-funded the so-called “Islamic State of Iraq and Levant” (ISIL or ‘Daesh’ in Arabic).

    “If Baghdad asks for help, Tehran will support its neighbor based on the international rules and regulations,” said Rouhani. “However, there has been no such request for assistance by Iraqi government of al-Maliki,” he added.

    On Saturday, Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) condemned terrorist attacks of the Daesh group on Iraq, saying that Iraqis will soon annihilate group. Salehi said that the group was created by the world arrogant powers and Zionists. Salehi also said they will soon receive a devastating blow from Daesh terrorists.

    Iraq’s Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ali al-Sistani called Iraqis on Friday to take up arms against ISIL terrorists marching on Baghdad, as thousands volunteered to bolster the capital’s defenses.

    “Citizens who are able to bear arms and fight terrorists, defending their country and their people and their holy places, should volunteer and join the security forces to achieve this holy purpose. He who sacrifices for the cause of defending his country and his family and his honor will be a martyr,” Sistani’s representative announced on his behalf during the main weekly prayers in the Shiite shrine city of Karbala.

    Turkey, which allowed ISIL and other anti-Assad terrorist groups to be trained by NATO, Israelis, French and American on its territory – became the first victim of its own terrorism. The ISIL (Wahhabi Sunni) fighters stormed Turkish consulate in Mosul and kidnapped Consul Öztürk Yılmaz. Turkey’s opposition leader Devlet Bahçeli (MHP) has urged prime minister Erdogan to send military aid to protect Iraqi Turkmen.

    In response to pro-Israel lawmakers’ demand for a “military option” in Iraq, Barack Obama said on Friday that his administration will not get involved in Iraq’s security.

    “We’re not going to allow ourselves to be dragged back into a situation in which, while we’re there we’re keeping a lid on things, and after enormous sacrifices by us, after we’re not there, people start acting in ways that are not conducive to the long-term stability and prosperity of the country,” Obama said from the South Lawn of the White House.

    On June 13, Bangkok-based geopolitical analyst and writer Tony Cartalucci in an article, entitled NATO’s Terror Hordes in Iraq a Pretext for Syria Invasion has cleared some of the fog surrounding the evildoers behind the so-called “ISIL Islamists”.

    “In actuality, ISIS is the product of a joint NATO-GCC conspiracy stretching back as far as 2007 where US-Saudi policymakers sought to ignite a region-wide sectarian war to purge the Middle East of Iran’s arch of influence stretching from its borders, across Syria and Iraq, and as far west as Lebanon and the coast of the Mediterranean. ISIS has been harbored, trained, armed, and extensively funded by a coalition of NATO and Persian Gulf states within Turkey’s (NATO territory) borders and has launched invasions into northern Syria with, at times, both Turkish artillery and air cover,” says Cartalucci.

    “The alleged territorial holdings of ISIS cross over both Syrian and Iraqi borders meaning that any campaign to eradicate them from Iraqi territory can easily spill over into Syria’s borders. And that is exactly the point. With ISIS having ravaged Mosul, Iraq near the Turkish border and moving south in a terror blitzkrieg now threatening the Iraqi capital of Baghdad itself, the Iraqi government is allegedly considering calling for US and/or NATO assistance to break the terror wave,” adds Cartalucci.

    The Jewish-controlled Western media is capitalizing on ISIS’ notorious brutality, including mass beheadings and hundreds of thousands of civilians fleeing before them, is part of anti-Muslim campaign to pave the way for the so-called “humanitarian intervention” in both Syria and Iraq to further Balkanize the Middle East for the evil interests of Israel.

    http://rehmat1.com/2014/06/15/rouhani-iraqi-nation-is-capable-of-defending-itself/

  141. kooshy says:

    State sponsored American corporate media CNN and NPR are tearing themselves apart to make believe that the American sponsored Takfiri terror groups are about to overrun Baghdad hoping the citizens abandon the city so the ill trained American terrorist allies can take the city without any resistance, this new Iraqi headline episode now so vigorously fallowed and drummed up by corporate controlled CNN reminds me of similar act up by them during the 2009 Iranian election that for sure didn’t work out for them I don’t see how this one can, but than their job is to propagandize the American wishful foreign policy.

    Than again there is nothing wrong with continually making judgment on hopes even when one gets more disappointed than scoring like the American policy makers.

  142. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Patrick Cockburn…

    Iran to Step in to Prevent Collapse of Iraqi State
    http://www.unz.com/pcockburn/iran-to-step-in-to-prevent-collapse-of-iraqi-state/

    Quotes

    The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is taking a central role in planning and strategy in Baghdad in the wake of the disintegration of the Iraqi army in the country’s north, an Iraqi source has told The Independent.

    With the Iraqi army command completely discredited by recent defeats, the aim of the IRGC is to create a new and more effective fighting force by putting together trustworthy elements of the old army and the Shia militias. According to the source, the aim of the new force would be to give priority “to stabilising the front and rolling it back at least into Samarra and the contested areas of Diyala”. The Iraqi army has 14 divisions, of which four were involved in last week’s debacle, but there is no sign of the remaining units rallying and staging a counter-attack.

    The US, Britain and their allies such as Saudi Arabia and the Sunni monarchies of the Gulf might object to further Iranian involvement in Iraq. On the other hand, Washington’s only effective alternative policy would be air strikes, but even these may not be enough to put down what is turning into a general uprising of the Sunni community in Iraq, which is five or six million strong and mainly concentrated in the north and west.

    It is becoming clear that Isis is not the only Sunni militant group involved in the Sunni insurgents’ multipronged offensive that was carefully co-ordinated. Among those engaged are the Jaish Naqshbandi, led by Saddam Hussein’s former deputy Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, former members of the Baath party, the Mukhbarat security services and the Special Republican Guard. It is these groups, rather than Isis, which captured Tikrit.

    End Quotes

  143. Richard Steven Hack says:

    And the latest by Cockburn…

    Iraq Crisis: West Must Take Up Tehran’s Offer to Block an Isis Victory
    http://www.unz.com/pcockburn/iraq-crisis-west-must-take-up-tehrans-offer-to-block-an-isis-victory/

    Quotes

    It is difficult to think of any examples in history when security forces almost a million strong, including 14 army divisions, have crumbled so immediately after attacks from an enemy force that has been estimated at between 3,000 and 5,000 strong.

    Anger at these abuses is relevant to what is now happening. The majority of Sunni Arabs in Mosul – attitudes will be different among Kurds and minorities – are wary of Isis but terrified of what a vengeful Iraqi army will do if it retakes the city. Past experience, based on what happened in Mosul in 2003 when insurgents briefly took the city, shows that Sunni men, regardless of their actions or sympathies, will be vulnerable to arrest, torture and execution. Isis may have seized Mosul with a small force, but if the Iraqi army tries to take it back tens of thousands of Sunni will fight to defend it.

    The incompetence of the government in Baghdad explains many but not all the disasters of the last week. Isis were the shock troops of a much broader group of Sunni militant groups such as al-Naqshbandi army and assorted Ba’athist groups. Attacks were well coordinated and planned and were probably assisted by Sunni army officers within the regular Iraqi army sabotaging the defence.

    Iraq matters more to Iran than Syria. It is also better placed than the US to help the beleaguered Iraqi government. The Iraqi army and its commanders are wholly discredited. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps is now moving into Baghdad to reorganise a new military force that would combine elements of the old military and the militias, some of which are already under Iranian control. The aim of this would be to hold Baghdad and probably a line to the north through mixed Sunni-Shia provinces such as Diyala and cities including Samarra with its Shia shrine, destruction of which in 2006 led to the most savage stage of the Sunni-Shia civil war.

    End Quotes

  144. Richard Steven Hack says:

    I actually like this piece from Juan Cole… :-) Worth the read.

    The Seven People Who Need to STFU About Iraq Right Now
    http://www.unz.com/jcole/the-seven-people-who-need-to-stfu-about-iraq-right-now/

  145. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Iran sends troops into Iraq to aid fight against Isis militants
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/14/iran-iraq-isis-fight-militants-nouri-maliki

    Quotes

    Iran has sent 2,000 advance troops to Iraq in the past 48 hours to help tackle a jihadist insurgency, a senior Iraqi official has told the Guardian.

    The Iraqi official said 1,500 basiji forces had crossed the border into the town of Khanaqin, in Diyala province, in central Iraq on Friday, while another 500 had entered the Badra Jassan area in Wasat province overnight. The Guardian confirmed on Friday that Major General Qassem Suleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ elite Quds Force, had arrived in Baghdad to oversee the defence of the capital.

    End Quotes

  146. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Obama ‘urgently’ considering air assault on targets in Syria and Iraq
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/13/obama-urgent-air-assault-isis-syria-iraq

    Quotes

    The Obama administration is urgently considering an air assault on Islamic extremists that officials told the Guardian could be directed at targets in Syria as well as Iraq.

    Christopher Harmer, a retired US naval officer who analyses the Middle East for the Institute for the Study of War, said the Pentagon was “playing catch-up.”

    “The Pentagon has been considering targets in Syria for 18 months, but everything they’re looking at is Assad,” Harmer said. “Isis is just something we haven’t looked at closely or not closely enough.”

    Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, facing a threat to his government, is no longer asking for additional or more rapidly delivered missiles, ammunition and other military equipment, but rather for direct US intervention, similar to the air strikes he had requested earlier and the Obama administration rejected.

    There remains deep scepticism within the administration and the military about the wisdom of attacking Isis in either Iraq or Syria.

    The time it takes for Obama to reach a decision on the strikes impacts the scope of the campaign. With Isis on the roads and in the open, their positions are easier to strike than if and when they enter Iraqi cities, with the attendant risk to Iraqi civilians, and the US does not have forces on the ground to aid air targeting.

    “Are we really going to trust [Iraqi soldiers] to call in US air strikes?” Harmer said. “If the US is going to act, sooner is better, unless you want to get involved in urban combat.”

    End Quotes

    What did I say? That Obama would use this as a means to get involved in Syria as well…

  147. Karl.. says:

    RSH

    Disgusting indeed by obama and stupid of iraq to let US do this.

  148. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Miscellaneous news from the Guardian…

    Quotes

    There are about 7,000-8,000 Isis forces in Iraq, with about 5,000 in Syria, Charles Lister, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Doha Center, estimates, though he points out “the division between the two is increasingly irrelevant.”

    Martin Chulov reported that Iraqi officials’ estimate of Isis had them around 6,000 forces, and that as few as 800 jihadists may have taken Mosul earlier this week.

    In the second of Mona Mahmood’s series of accounts from the ground in Iraq, a resident of Audhaim recalls a chaotic fight in which Isis, a militia group and the military all traded fire. “What’s happening now in Iraq is completely absurd.”
    Fadhil al-Hadi, father of eight and resident of Audhaim in Diyala

    A big fight broke out between the rebels who came from Tikrit and the military forces stationed in Audhaim early this morning.

    The military forces did not wait long to [send] a large number of Shia militia elements of the Righteous League to the town. The militia are all equipped with different weapons and piled in cars. Upon their arrival, they began to comb all the neighbourhoods in the centre of the town and the surrounding villages, looking for rebels who might be hiding among the families.

    Most of the people, including me, rushed to flee the centre of the town to the nearby districts to avoid being killed or arrested by these brutal sectarian militia. We did not know what to take or leave with us, though my family has more than 13 members, most of them kids, who were so frightened. I’m a farmer and live on my farms corps.

    What is happening in Iraq is completely absurd. An official army is accompanied by militia? The army is supposed to protect us against such bloody militia but they are fighting hand-in-hand. We know that the Righteous League are criminal, they were firing against the people as they were trying to move outside of the town by their cars, and the army just watched without trying to stop them. Four young men who were in a hurry to flee were shot and killed by the militia. Till now, their bodies are in the car, no one dares to go and pick them up.

    An old man who is over 70, living as a shepherd, was shot dead too, after a raid on houses conducted by the army and the militia. I do not know why they left his wife alone. The town itself was not a core for the Iraqi rebels, the rebels are all based at Himreen mountain near the town.

    The rebels come down to attack the bases of the army and flee, but the Shia militia can’t grasp that. They are firing in random. The rebels were able to kick out the army from checkpoints at the edge of the town, and lots of the army elements were fleeing. But they were met by Righteous League men, who are attempting to stop the army forces’ rapid retreat. They’re killing anyone who runs away.

    The military are stuck between the fires of the rebels and the Shia militia. Some of the retreated units even engaged in fight with the militia to escape the hell of Audhaim. I do not know what to do or where to go. If I go to Khalis town, which is dominated by Shia people, I’m afraid they will execute me. If I go to a town controlled by the rebels, I’m scared they will think I’m a stranger and kill me too. It is a hell by all means.

    Samah Haider, a 42-year-old mother of two in Baghdad

    Everybody is in shock about the collapse of the Iraqi military forces, which are melting away like a block of ice in a hot summer. To be fair, some people think it better that the army is fleeing, and not fighting, while the rebels advance towards Baghdad. It will be a real disaster, because we as civilians will be stuck in between – surely we’ll be killed, and who would care? The Iraqi government, or the US administration who wiped out Iraq, and left us only with their democracy?

    Different types of militias are strolling in Baghdad, but we do not know how they would react at seeing Isis terrorists. would they fight and resist, or retreat and run away like the army? Every Iraqi now is not willing to die for any reason. We had paid enough sacrifices for many years and we found that nothing was worth it.

    An Iranian general arrived in Baghdad to discuss defenses against Isis with Iraqis, Martin Chulov reports from the capital.

    Major General Qassem Suleimani, a powerful figure who plays significant role in Iraq’s affairs, met with a series of militia leaders and Sunni tribal sheikhs in control of Baghdad’s western approaches.

    He is believed not to have met with embattled prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, or Iraqi generals, whose military capitulated across the north of the country this week and remains besieged in the central city of Samarra.

    “Heavy clashes broke out on the outskirts of Samarra,” threatening the Shia shrines that large numbers of militia have come from the south to protect, Martin Chulov reports from Baghdad.

    Maliki appears to have drawn battle lines further south in Taiji, hoping to defend Baghdad against insurgents who have occupied the north virtually unopposed.

    Witnesses said the shrines, key targets since their destruction sparked a civil war in 2006, remained undamaged so far and that the insurgents had not been menacing residents. “Some of them have long hair and they are carrying black flags,” said one man. “They are Arabs from other countries.”

    Isis is also holding around 4,000 soldiers as prisoners in a warehouse near Tikrit and has summonsed a Sheikh to rule on what to do with them. “I implored them to give the men water and dates,” an Iraqi official said. “I fear for their fate. Isis don’t know what to do with them.”

    “Iraq faces the abyss after its military melts away,” Martin Chulov reports from Baghdad, describing details of how “several phone calls from insurgents … spooked troops” from Samarra.

    This is a crisis like no other for Iraq, eclipsing even the blood-soaked and hopeless war years that pit sects against each other and whittled out towns and cities. There is no occupying army to hold the country together. After the stunning capitulation at the hands of Sunni insurgents this week, there is barely a military left at all.

    Since Thursday at least three divisions of the Iraqi army – close to 50,000 men – and other smaller units scattered around the northern countryside have refused to fight, shedding their uniforms, selling their service weapons and buying dishdashas [robes] to blend in with civilians as they fled.

    Samarra – home to the Imam al-Askareen shrines twice blown up by al-Qaida in 2006 – saw its military protectors capitulate. All it took was several phone calls from insurgents at a nearby checkpoint.

    “Maliki’s tongue has turned white from fright. He is finished,” a senior Iraqi official has told Martin Chulov, who provides extended reportage on the power struggles that fuel the crisis and the “unlikely alliance of interests” between the US and Iran.

    The elusive Iranian general Qassem Suleimani spent the day in Baghdad meeting with the leaders of his proxy militias, … Iraqi parliamentarians (prime minister Maliki wasn’t on the list), and Sunni Sheikhs who control parts of Baghdad’s outskirts.

    His meetings suggest that he will play a lead role in organising the defence of the capital – a role that reaffirms his primacy in Iraq’s strategic affairs.

    Iraq, though, is a disaster that has rattled both foes. “Already the CIA have sent more than 150 men back here solely to look into Isis,” the Iraqi official said. “What they give us, Iran finds out about soon enough.”

    End Quotes

  149. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Iraq Claims ‘Victories,’ But Loses Largest Refinery to al-Qaeda
    http://news.antiwar.com/2014/06/14/iraq-claims-victories-but-loses-largest-refinery-to-al-qaeda/

  150. Richard Steven Hack says:

    More lies from Obama on the Ukraine…

    US, NATO Claims on Russia Tanks in Ukraine Based on Flimsy Evidence
    Officials Identify Tanks as T-64 Models, Which Russia No Longer Use
    http://news.antiwar.com/2014/06/14/us-nato-claims-on-russia-tanks-in-ukraine-based-on-flimsy-evidence/

  151. Richard Steven Hack says:

    U.S. Secretly Flying Drones Over Iraq
    http://online.wsj.com/articles/u-s-secretly-flying-unmanned-drones-over-iraq-1402605640

    No surprise there…

    Quote

    A senior U.S. official said the intelligence collected under the small program was shared with Iraqi forces, but added: “It’s not like it did any good.”

    End Quote

    No surprise there, either…

  152. Empty says:

    It’s amusing to see the false news loop formed by Facebook, WSJ, the Guardian, and BBC about Iranian forces in Iraq. It appears they are trying to get this little faux news established for some criminal plan they are cooking.

  153. yk says:

    Objective observers know that all the news MSM are peddling about Iran troops being in Iraq is not borne out of love or admiration for IRI or its armed forces.

    This is the same government and army being condemned in Syria for doing the right thing and not allowing the West to achieve there despicable design.

    Now the question is what are they up to this time?

    What inhuman act are they about to commit again?

    All there hue and cry cannot fool the world public opinion anymore, because the world now knows them as the real enemy.

  154. fyi says:

    Rehmat says:

    June 14, 2014 at 11:26 pm

    Turcoman in Iraq are Shia Muslims; I doubt that Turks will do any thing for the Shia – called kaferi – heretics – in Turkey.

  155. kooshy says:

    yk says:
    June 15, 2014 at 7:04 am

    “Now the question is what are they up to this time?
    What inhuman act are they about to commit again?”

    Simple saving whatever is left of their hegemony on the region in any which way it takes even supporting arming founding any organ eater they can recruit, these so called western government have no shame doing any of this as matter of fact majority of their citizen don’t mind their governments doing this, as long as it can take other nations wealth informs of cheap labor, minerals, and resources and throws at its electorates, these people continualy elect with majority this kind of leaders.

  156. fyi says:

    yk says:

    June 15, 2014 at 7:04 am

    I think again it goes to the heart of matter; after 6 years of war people get tired and fed up with it.

    The man or the government that can promise security, will win the day.

    That is how Taliban won initially in Afghanistan.

    That is how the Civil War in Lebanon ended.

    The Axis Powers and GCC states and Turkey have shown that they can create and support war.

    But not Peace.

    That is why they will fail.

  157. fyi says:

    kooshy says:

    June 15, 2014 at 9:14 am

    Now you are coming to the understanding that why Iran must be a nuclear-armed state.

  158. kooshy says:

    fyi says:
    June 15, 2014 at 9:16 am

    “Now you are coming to the understanding that why Iran must be a nuclear-armed state.”

    Nukes – up to the teeth – Russia – Ukraine – NATO – Iran – Iraq – Regime change –

    Using above words see if you can make a sentence that logically make senses

  159. nico says:

    “ISIS Jihadists Release Shocking Photos Documenting Slaying Of 1700 Iraqi Soldiers”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-06-15/isis-jihadists-release-shocking-photos-documenting-slaying-1700-iraqi-soldiers

  160. fyi says:

    kooshy says:

    June 15, 2014 at 9:48 am

    That is why Iran was attacked and will be attacked but not Russia, or China, or USA.

    There is a limit to which their enemies could escalate.

    You want to feed another 300,000 souls into the furnace of war and be defeated nevertheless?

  161. Karl.. says:

    Tony blair urge today west to intervene in Iraq and deny any wrongdoing in his 2003 assault on the same country.

  162. yk says:

    fyi

    Your idea about Iran going the nuke way does not corroborate with your analogue.

    Russia is under attack in spite of being the second nuclear armed state in the world i. e. Ukraine which is Russian’s soft underbelly.

    China is being demonise once again and its neighbours are being turned against her with military build up springing up around her.

    Does there nukes protect them from getting attacked? Well we all know the answer to that.

    Iran as been following the right policy on the nuclear front and that’s been proven beyond any doubt. It’s been 35 years yet the IRI is still standing.

  163. Karl.. says:

    yk

    This discussion have been up before, and that argument have been rejected.
    You guys miss that WMD is deterrence for possible attacks. Nothing else.

  164. kooshy says:

    “Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that the government should talk with Iran about the deteriorating situation in Iraq.

    “We should have discussions with Iran to make sure they don’t use this as an opportunity to seize control of parts of Iraq,” the hawkish senator said. “They’re in this. They’re already on the ground. We need to put a red line with Iran.”

    Asked how the U.S. should do that, Graham replied, “You just sit down and talk with them.”

    Graham has long been a hardliner on Iran, and his comments came as a surprise to interviewers Gloria Borger and Dana Bash. The pair asked Graham to repeat himself. “I’m sorry, it’s sort of hard for me to believe that I’m hearing a Republican say, ‘Sit down and talk with Iran,’” Bash said.”

    “Do you realize what’s happening?” Graham replied. “If Baghdad falls and the central government collapses in Iraq, the Iranians are the biggest winner. We’re the biggest loser.”

    Can any one believe what this ass hole saying , acording to these warmongers Malki is a shieh and a client of Iran and supported by Iran, but if he falls and Baghdad falls Iran will be the biggest winner , does this ass hole knows WTF he is saying

  165. fyi says:

    kooshy says:

    June 15, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    I believe it, only the insane can prosper at the Court of the Mad King.

  166. James Canning says:

    Kosshy,

    Lindsey Graham is an ignorant blowhard. And often he makes foolish comments on foreign affairs. However, he is a very good lobbyist for powerful business interests.

  167. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    Syria’s WMD was of ZERO use in preventing eruption of civil war in Syria. Contrary to the claim you seem to have made today.

  168. James Canning says:

    yk,

    I what way is Russia “under attack”?

  169. fyi says:

    Karl.. says:

    June 15, 2014 at 11:54 am

    Yes, they will not learn until an Iranian city has been annihilated.

  170. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    Tony Blair’s key role was in helping the neocons to dupe GW Bush into invading Iraq. Blair has claimed he could not have blocked the conspiracy to set up the war. I disagree.

  171. James Canning says:

    RS Hack,

    I agree with you that some of those who have pressured Obama to attack the Syrian government are trying to get him to attack Isis forces, as part of larger scheme to get the US directly involved in the chaos in Syria.

  172. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    By “going their own way”, do you contend this means Iran would step up its stockpiling of enriched uranium, etc etc?

    Your apparent confidence Iran need not make a deal nor continue to freeze its nuclear programme voluntarily is simply mistaken, in my view.

    You, of course, want Iran to build nukes and in effect argue that Iran is only offering blather rather than substance in the negotiations.

  173. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    June 15, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    The gravest strategic mistake of the last 500 years for Iran was not to have left NPT in 1998 after the nuclear tests of India and Pakistan.

    Mr. Rafsanjani, in effect, risked the continued existence of Iran and Iran has been living on borrowed time ever since 1998.

    P5+1 and Iran can come to an agreement if they accept the reality of strategic threats to Iran.

    But they won’t since the EU and US part of P5+1 are themselves strategic threats to Iran.

    All the stated potential tactical threats to Iran must be weighed against the potential for her destruction in coming years and decades.

    I have made up my mind and do not wish to debate it.

    Those who think that Iran is not under potential existential threats ought to make their arguments know.

  174. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    June 15, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    What Iran is offering is a cease-fire.

    What P5+1 is asking is articles of surrender.

  175. Pouya says:

    Iran will NEVER tell publicly whether it is sending forces to Iraq.

    The threat of ISIS is exagerated. They were ony 400 to 800 fighters according to some reports from Mosul.

    The only reason ISIS is attacking Iraq is because they have been defeated in Syrina by the rebels. And the Syrian Rebels have been defeated in Homs, ALeppo and everywhere else.

    Those militia that have been trained in Syria and Iraq to help Assad will simply be turned on the ISIS. Assad did not confront the ISIS because they were principally fighting the Syrian Rebels.

  176. Pouya says:

    There are reports Iraq’s officers were paid cash to run. The soldiers simply followed.

    This reminds me of the time Saddam attacked Iran. They overtook Iranian cities of Khoramshahr and Abban using the tanks and weapons left behind by Iran’s US trained army who were running away wearing black chadors pretending to be women. This led to the creation of the IRGC and Basij.

    Iraq must go through what Iran went through to come out stronger at the end. The de-Baathification was right, and the creation of a new armed forces by abandonning the US trained armed forces is also the right thing.

    Morsi should have disbanned Egypt’s army and built a new one. We all know how that ended.

  177. Pouya says:

    fyi

    I think Iran made the right calculation.
    First, Nukes are expensive and difficult to maintain.
    Two, These weapns are essentially unusable except a final global solution. Then, everyone is affected.
    Three, if on decides to have such weapons then a minimum of 200 is required for it to be considered an effective force for deterrence.
    Four, a nuclear Iran would give the perfect excuse for Turkey and Saudi Arabia to form an alliance with Israel and bring to an end Iran’s greatest leverage in the region. Iran’s oppositon to Israel and Support for Palestinians has been its greatest psychological and political leverage in the region. As you may realize, the first nation who would love to eliminate the Palestians are the Saudi’s.
    Finally, while Iran may acquire the weapons in your wishfull thoughts but in reality it would lose its regional leverage and ability to project power. Current trends favor Iran which is why Western nations and the Saudis accuse Iran of building a bomb, they would love nothing less.

  178. fyi says:

    Pouya says:

    June 15, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    You are writing within the framework of a Balance of Power.

    I do not subscribe to that doctrine; I subscribe to the notion of Peace Interest.

    At the moment and for the foreseeable future, GCC, Axis Powers, and others are not interested in such a framework.

    What is needed for Iran is Balance of Overwhelming Power; that is Iran must accumulate such amounts of overwhelming power that such machinations as what GCC and Axis Powers or Iraq or Israel had wrought over the last 35 years becomes impossible to entertain or too costly to them.

    As is, harassing Iran and her allies is relatively cheap and inexpensive – was is being fought and has been fought on the territories of Iran and her allies.

    That inequality must come to an end in an overwhelming and decisive manner.

  179. Pouya says:

    In the long run, just like Iran, Iraq too will need to have a healthy relationship with America. The Iranians want to establish one, the Iraqis don’t want to ruin theirs while keeping a healthy distance from the US.

    The sooner we realize that the better off we will be.

  180. Pouya says:

    fyi

    I understand your point but I don’t read events in the same manner.

    I believe US influence is coming to an end, Israel and the Saudi’s are truly threatened by Iran and its allies.

    Their support for ISIS and other fundamentalist is simple the first paragraph of the last chapter. This is why Iran so confident. These are desparate moves. You remember when everyone said Assad is finished.

    I believe these desparate acts are distroying people’s lives. The people who fled Mosul were Sunni. The people who fled Faluja and Tikrit were also Sunni. Now, they are being armed for a new Iraq army. This was innevitable. They know who supports ISIS. And this is why US foreign policy is self defeating and we are all going to pay price of America’s continued decline. Hopefully somebody at the top will recognize this and begins to formulate a new policy.

    I believe when the dust settles, Iran will have more allies and the Jordanians, the Turks and possibly the Saudis will have fallen. The Israelis will keep paying the cost of their nukes and remain isolated.

  181. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The US is dismayed the civil war in Iraq has erupted yet again.

    Pat Buchanan on the McLaughlin Group programme last week said Obama should welcome Iranian help to Iraq in suppressing the insurgents.

  182. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    P5+1 want Iran to “surrender”, in your view. Surrender ability to build nukes quickly?

  183. fyi says:

    Pouya says:

    June 15, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    That all might come to pass, as you say, but the better option would have been to prevent all those disruptions and strife in which people died in so many countries for so many years.

    One has only a single life to live and what has happened has been so many lives have been burnt for nothing – nothing at all, except fantasies cooked in Washington DC and elsewhere.

  184. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    June 15, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    When will those two states as well as Turkey be added to the list of “State Sponsors of Terrorism”?

    When will EU so designate those 3 countries?

    All I am seeing is crocodile tears for Iraq emanating from the Arabs, US, and EU.

  185. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    June 15, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    When will Saudi Arabia, Qatar as well as Turkey be added to the list of “State Sponsors of Terrorism” in US?

    When will EU so designate those 3 countries?

    All I am seeing is crocodile tears for Iraq emanating from the Arabs, US, and EU.

    It will not happen….

  186. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    June 15, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    P5+1 want to remove Japan option from Iran.

    Axis Powers, additionally, wish to also destroy Iran’s missile capabilities.

    They want to a period of 20 years for the duration of the agreement.

    The idea is to maintain the sanctions as well as the sanctions structures to turn it on and off as they wish – all the while seeking the most opportune time to bring about the destruction of the Islamic Republic as well as allied states and powers.

    That will not happen….

  187. fyi says:

    All:

    Britain is to give £3 million of aid to Iraq.

  188. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    June 15, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    Furthermore economically speaking nuclear deterrence is vastly cheaper than an equally effective conventional deterrence (not that it is possible militarily to match the nuclear deterrence with conventional one).

    Theoretical estimates is 100 million dollars to develop a weapon program: http://csis.org/files/attachments/130828_Detecting%20and%20Disrupting%20Nuclear%20Trade.pdf

    And Iran would need just a few dozen to have a deterrence against any kind of malicious intent.

  189. Smith says:

    Practically Pakistan did it with an annual budget of 25 million dollars: http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=198595

  190. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    June 15, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    By comparison UK had given £5 million of aid to ISIS: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/aug/10/britain-aid-syrian-opposition-groups

  191. Smith says:

    Pouya says:
    June 15, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    1- They are cheap.

    2- They are for deterrence, not for use: “Only if you try to exterminate Iranians then you will be exterminated along with Iranians”.

    3- There is no such rule. For example even two dozen salted nuke tipped MRBM’s would give more than enough deterrence against the petite England (which should be the goal of Iran).

    4- This has already been talked here before. There is no possibility of that. Both of these countries do not have the nuclear infrastructures and the necessary technologies to develop nukes. Turkey does not need them since it already has 90 nuclear weapons under a NATO sharing agreement. Saudi Arabia is a kolfat of US and will never be allowed to have any kind of nuclear infrastructure. Already Turkey was best friends of Israel and Saudi Arabia is no different, so what are you talking about? And if they openly sign a pact with Israel, is what you mean, then by doing so they will lose all their respect in Muslim lands and specially there will be a revolt against Saudi Arabia.

    5- In your wishful thinking if tomorrow a country abc or xyz nukes Tehran, Isfahan and Shiraz, what will be Iran’s response? Diplomatic protest? Lodging a strong protest written on a radioactive paper to UN? Or surrender?

    Or this can happen again or even worse: http://www.jamaran.ir/fa/NewsContent-id_15095.aspx

  192. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    Are you claiming the Free Syrian Army and Isis are the same thing?

  193. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I think the P5+1 would end all sanctions against Iran, over time. If a deal is achieved.

  194. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    You mean, P5+1 are insisting Iran not be able to build nukes quickly.

  195. James Canning says:

    Tony Blair is trying hard to convince the world he was not a crucial element in the conspiracy to set up the idiotic US invasion of Iraq, and he is trying to argue Iraq might be in a major mess anyway, even without idiotic US invasion.

  196. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    June 15, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    “over time”, by that I understand the suitable date for Axis Powers to militarily destroy Iran or get some one else to do it for them.

    That will not happen….

  197. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    June 15, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    The SS and Wehrmacht were not the same either – but it was a distinction without merit if you were fighting Germany.

  198. Pouya says:

    Smith

    I never said the Saudi’s or anyone else would develop their own nukes if Iran went all out. I agree that other nations don’t have the infrastructure.

  199. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Smith claimed Britain had given five million pounds to Isis. WRONG. The forces given the money are fighting Isis. You argue this makes no difference!