Sunday, June 15, 2014

Summer of Joy: The US Peace Deal With ISIS

Important Notice - Attn: NSA

The following blog content is sarcasm.  MeanMesa understands that the "spy catchers" and other righties have a terrible time determining that certain material is, indeed, actually sarcasm, meant to provide more stable visitors with a spirit lifting humorous interlude amidst the cultural darkness of the conservative "Church of Death." So, just as the bright, shiny Sunday school Republicans are always careful to announce that a "joke" is about to be uttered to a brain dead audience of their base, MeanMesa is taking this opportunity to absolutely, positively, unmistakably announce that this post is sarcasm.  Further, as an aid to the NSA's 1st Amendment shredding algorithm, this announcement will be presented in extra large font, bold letters.

This post is sarcasm.

Please do not place all of MeanMesa's relatives on the "enemy combatant" list, bug MeanMesa's InterGalactic HeadQuarters or make reservations for this old blogger in one of your top secret "black ops" torture prisons.

IRAQ: As We Find It
What happens when millions of Americans all say "I told you so..."

The 1,100 or so ISIS militia have been plowing the field on their was to Baghdad to establish their caliphate. This from The Economist. Read entire article  here.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria
Two Arab countries fall apart

An extreme Islamist group that seeks to create a caliphate and spread jihad across the world has made dramatic advances on both sides of the Syrian-Iraqi border

After four days of fighting, Iraq’s security forces abandoned their posts in Mosul as ISIS militiamen took over army bases, banks and government offices. The jihadists seized huge stores of American-supplied arms, ammunition and vehicles, apparently including six Black Hawk helicopters and 500 billion dinars ($430m) in freshly printed cash. Some 500,000 people fled in terror to areas beyond ISIS’s sway.

The scale of the attack on Mosul was particularly audacious. But it did not come out of the blue. In the past six months ISIS has captured and held Falluja, less than an hour’s drive west of Baghdad; taken over parts of Ramadi, capital of Anbar province; and has battled for Samarra, a city north of Baghdad that boasts one of Shia Islam’s holiest shrines. Virtually every day its fighters set off bombs in Baghdad, keeping people in a state of terror.

As The Economist went to press, it was reported to have taken Tikrit, Saddam Hussein’s home town, only 140km (87 miles) north-west of Baghdad. The speed of ISIS’s advance suggested that it was co-operating with a network of Sunni remnants from Saddam’s underground resistance who opposed the Americans after 2003 and have continued to fight against the Shia-dominated regime of Nuri al-Maliki since the Americans left at the end of 2011.

Now, this account sounds pretty chaotic, but we can still see a few familiar elements. For example, the $430 Mn in cash certainly reminds us of the "hard working" free enterprisers in Iraq who got paid off so lavishly at the outset of the oil war there. Even the commandeered US military equipment rushed away for future attacks on the dictator of Syria, while at first glance rather shocking, is, on more careful consideration eerily similar to some really stinky, "behind the scenes" transfers of military support we've seen conducted before.

Maybe GOP war monger, Gramps McCain, floundered and flummoxed by the pesky popular opinion opposing another dose of war in the region, found someone with the competence to piece this one together for him. For him, war is still war -- and still wonderful --  even if not fought by rosy cheeked American dough boys unable to find jobs in the economy his party wrecked a few years ago.

The Washington Post provides us with this map showing an overview of the ISIS advance from Syria into western Iraq.

Global Oil Cronies Scrambling to Make New "Deals" With the "New Guys?" [Map source - Washington Post]
Perhaps the most egregious part of the story unfolded with the fall of Mosul, reportedly defended by around 30,000 Iraqi Army regulars. The ISIS militia who took control of the city [population around 800,000] were reported to number 1,100. One of the Iraqi soldiers who fled the city was interviewed on BBC last night, saying that the army commanders were terrified by the ISIS troops approaching and  deserted the city almost immediately rather than fight with the Sunni insurgents.


Iraq’s Second Largest City Falls to Extremists

Karl Vick, June 10, 2014
[Excerpt. Read the entire article TIME - here]

Soldiers in Mosul threw down their guns and stripped off their uniforms as Sunni insurgents approached and raised their black flags on Tuesday, allowing the city to fall after just four days of fighting. Terrified residents were streaming out of the city

The fall of Iraq’s second largest city to Islamist extremists Tuesday sends an alarming message about the deterioration of a country where the U.S. spent eight years, 4,500 lives and $1.7 trillion. Mosul, a city of 1.8 million located in the far north of the country, long cultivated a reputation as a military town. But Iraqi soldiers threw down their guns and stripped off their uniforms as the insurgents approached on Tuesday, according to officials stunned by the collapse of its defenses.

Now that we've made a cursory pass at some of the news being reported on US domestic media, it's high time to begin drawing some conclusions.

ISIS: A US Opportunity in the Depressing Middle East
Yes, it involves a little "paradigm busting..."

First, just for convenience, let's "lump" Afghanistan and Pakistan into the "Middle East" collective simply to avoid any confusion about boundaries. [The hair splitting domestic "news" covers these countries as "Western Asia." Where ever one ends and the other begins only amounts to an afternoon bus ride -- if you make it without being blown up or kidnapped.]

We could waste some time discussing elements of the recent history of the region with respect to US intervention and other things, but let's just skip that part, and instead, just acknowledge the unavoidable fact that not just Iraq, but just about every "foreign policy" scheme having anything to do with the mess recently was birthed from the seed of the pig headed, stubborn, unrealistic machinations of the Bush W.-Cheney-Rumsfeldt-Rice autocracy clan.

The fact that President Obama has actually pulled out a few, scarce "wins" from the cess pool is remarkable given the absence of a functional Congress, but these exceptions from the dismal norm, however sweetly we might embrace them, have also been disturbingly vacuous. There have been so many miscalculations and misrepresentations that even the Bush lies have, in comparison, become passingly palatable.

What follows is the "sarcasm" part.

One common problem with the convenient Middle East allies we have wound up with is that they won't fight. And, all these men are not necessarily cowards. They have reasons -- actually fairly understandable if not downright good reasons -- for not being particularly anxious to bleed for their governments When we look for the visible reason that the over all situation has constantly sunk further into the sludge, this is abundantly clear. 

However, the "not fighting" problem may be only the "low hanging fruit." The only slightly more obscure reason is that none of our "allies" has ever had any inclination to address the "fairly understandable if not down right good reasons" that make this the case. MeanMesa suspects that these "allies" of ours are simply imitating the Bush-Cheney "winner take all" example.

Of course, someone like Nuri al Maliki was reassuringly eager to mouth the words we in the US allegedly wanted to hear, but once in a somewhat stable position of power, he lurched immediately back into the "winner take all" mode. In fact, there can be little doubt that every one of al Maliki's worst nightmares starts off with something to do with reconciliation.

ISIS, on the other hand, is "full to the gunnels" with mop headed boys totally ready to fight. Looking at the scene from their eyes, we can see that these sturdy militia men have, in fact, a "fairly understandable if not down right good reason" to fight like hell. Remember, 1,100 of them ran 30,000 terrified Iraqi troops out of Mosul.

Further, there is no deception. ISIS is, quite reliably, exactly what it looks like it is. That feature alone begins to elevate ISIS notably with respect to all the other "bag full of swarming vipers" governments in the region we have been propping up at any cost. This criticism extends abundantly beyond Iraq, too.

It seems like any horse thief wearing a tie and a turban can turn out to be "the cat's meow" when it comes to rousting up the next US "freedom loving ally." Worse, it is pretty clear from our history in the region that we begin our "search" for these "suitable allies" with the presumption that they must be like us or have the ambition of being like us.

Fasten your seat belts. Why not dump all the flimsy, wretched "allies" we have in the Middle East now and replace the whole bunch with ISIS?

Let's take a look at what would happen.

Right away we can assume that if -- after signing some sort of treaty with them -- the US wound up "training and equipping" the ISIS militia, the resulting force would emerge being quite ready to fight like hell. In practically no time the Middle East would be consolidated into an Islamic caliphate under Sharia law. It would be peaceful, and over time, even potentially prosperous and productive. The treaty could be sweetened up even further with provisions prohibiting ISIS terrorism in the Continental US.

The Syrian "problem" would evaporate after ISIS finished with the blood thirsty dictator there. The Iranians would even stop exporting terrorists and bombs to the region, and all the obstinate, squabbling, disparate little "congregations" in the "Syrian opposition" would become interested in, shall we say, "beating their swords into plow shares" and planting orchards of date trees.

If this sounds absurd, just spend a moment remembering that not a single peaceful day has passed sun down in the whole area for years. Would US foreign policy really be losing anything? Really?

Iraq was lost long before the US pull out of colonial forces. The chaotic, petulant little problem child was already waving the green flag last year for Iranian supply convoys and troops headed to Syria to help Assad. The billions of US dollar bribes delivered to Iraqis when the invasion began have all been spent now, and likewise with the Anbar Sunnis, all the cash frantically injected there to make George Bush's "surge" look like it worked is also now only a fond memory. 

The millions of desperate Syrian refugees crouching in Turkey and Jordan might not like the Sharia part of the ISIS program, but, given time in the misery of refugee camps, the prospect of a peaceful life would probably trump that disdain.

Our wonderful ally, Israel, once the "shining beacon of democracy" in the region has long ago slipped into its new role as a stubborn, fascist monstrosity dangling like a hyper-militarized Damocles' sword with h-bombs, threats and blind rage dribbling out of every pocket. Israel might act a little more constructively with a thousand miles of ISIS caliphate stretched out to its East.

Another of our "great allies," Saudi Arabia -- along with the brutal "junior monarchies" ringing the Gulf -- might find some heretofore rare tolerance and cooperation somewhere in those divine kingly souls once the horizon had shifted a bit.

Even the rabble rousing pirates in Somalia might settle down a little under the "guidance" of the ISIS caliphate.

All the deep jungle types ranging terror across sub-Saharan Africa would instantly lose the "hired gun" support of their "small state sponsors" and face the chilling choice of "flying solo" or submitting to the civilizing influence of the caliphate.

See, this is coming together, right? Take a deep breath.

A Moment of Clarity
What have we been doing?

For the last fifty years or so the United States has been trapped in one mindless escapade of repetitive military violence in the Middle East after another -- a record for which we are now involuntarily going to pay the full price. George W. had the bloodthirsty paralytic certainty of dogmatic arrogance beyond measure. With a single mindless word he set the final trap springs on the present disaster when he publicly used the term "Crusade" in his drooling description of the war he had started in Iraq.

But even before Bush, the stupefied US electorate had already unwittingly filled the role of dancing puppet between the prehistoric eschatologists screaming their biblical chants of apocalypse and the oil barons patiently subverting any possibility for peace in the meat grinder of their dynasty building nightmares.

MeanMesa has a troubling thought. Countries such as Iraq, Israel and Saudi Arabia all have the potential to make thing better for the billion plus people living in the arc from Morocco to Indonesia. All the specific reasons why this has never even existed as a possibility provide a litany of the "Top Ten Worse Things" humans are still doing in the world -- bad religion, incredible greed, barbaric brutality and stubborn adherence to out dated, irrational, destructive social "habits" ranging the full grisly spectrum from public stonings to clitoral mutilations.

[Anyone who ascribes this reference to "stoning" as evidence of the codger rolling "off his rocker" again, should just GOOGLE the term to see what appears.]

Oh sure, the ISIS fighters might be a "little rough around the edges," but in the larger picture, they might be just the allies we can do business with.

Next stop Ottoman Empire.

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