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Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing the violence in the Iraqi town of Sinjarl west of Mosul, take refuge at Dohuk province, August 7, 2014. Islamic State militants extended their gains in northern Iraq on Thursday, seizing more towns a
More arms means more war and more refugees
So much of what is wrong with U.S. foreign policy is summarized in one seeming aside in this McClatchy article about the latest horror perpetrated by the Islamic State (ISIS):
Islamic extremists captured a major government military airport in Raqqa, eastern Syria, on Sunday, completing their takeover of the entire province and dealing a humiliating blow to President Bashar Assad.

The victory is further evidence that the Islamic State is determined to widen its grip on the region. Since it launched its brutal assaults in June, the Islamic State has captured half of Iraq and one third of Syria and operates an Islamic caliphate armed with US weapons and financed by booty seized during its lightning raids.

For more than a decade now, the United States has been pouring weaponry into the region. Who could have imagined that some of it would end up in the hands of the bad guys? Who could have imagined that so much of it would end up in the hands of the bad guys? Well, besides anyone who remembers how well arming the Mujahideen in Afghanistan worked out, anyway...

More over the fold.

Less than a month ago, I noted that the Pentagon is missing many of the 747,000 small weapons it has sent to Afghanistan. Which is not in any way slowing down the shipments of more arms to Afghanistan. As for ISIS, the McClatchy article continues:

With the loss of the base, Assad’s options are diminished, and if he seeks to regain control, he’ll have to divert significant military resources from other fronts where his forces are attacking fighters of the U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army.

It will be all the more difficult, for IS captured an enormous arsenal of weapons after its attack on Mosul, Iraq, in early June.

An enormous arsenal of weapons. Any questions about how it got there, who made the weapons, and who sent them?

That bloodthirsty maniacs like ISIS should be using American-made arms to fight its wars ought to be a lesson to the American public and to American policy-makers. But there have been so many missed lessons by the American public and American policy-makers. And once again, the lesson taken may turn out to be the exact wrong lesson. The right lesson is actually very simple: being the world's leading arms merchant is a very bad thing.

Originally posted to Laurence Lewis on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 08:05 AM PDT.

Also republished by Group W: Resisting War and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The best way to make sure our arms... (10+ / 0-)

    ...don't fall into the wrong hands is if they're attached to our own troops, but that doesn't sound very attractive either.  That leaves sitting back and watching, but we're always talking about making popcorn.

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 08:15:12 AM PDT

    •  there's also the video game (8+ / 0-)

      of air strikes.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 08:17:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And drones (13+ / 0-)

        Give it a decade, I'm sure most of the army will be people in a room controlling KillBot 3000 on their console.

        My preferred pronoun is 'They', what's yours?

        by AoT on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 08:32:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Radicalize, train, arm mercenaries with latest (14+ / 0-)

          weapons until they become the enemy.

          Buy MIC stock and make a killing.

          repeat ad infinitum

          Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

          by CIndyCasella on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 09:11:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  As long as you've got that capability... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT

          ....why not outsource all those drone strikes to Playstation gamers? They'd do it for free.

          Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.

          by The Termite on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 09:18:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Who said they were getting paid? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            The Termite, Rich in PA

            It will be a truly volunteer army.

            My preferred pronoun is 'They', what's yours?

            by AoT on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 09:20:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Have you read Ender's Game? (nt) (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            markthshark, US Blues
            •  No (0+ / 0-)

              Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.

              by The Termite on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 09:31:07 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, if you're interested in (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                The Termite

                an exciting sci-fi read with a surprising level of consideration of how humans respond to a crisis, I highly recommend it. It's by Orson Scott Card.

                I'm torn whether or not to explain why I asked, as it's a major spoiler if you intend to read it. Scroll down for spoiler :-P
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                With the earth having survived an alien attack, the military begins recruiting and training children from a young age. A promising commander emerges, and is trained along with his lieutenants on increasingly sophisticated simulators. After a particularly difficult session at the computers in which he directs his fleet in successfully destroying the enemy home world, the commander (still a kid, really) is informed that it was not a simulation, and that the "simulated" battles he has been waging for quite some time have in fact involved real ships, real people, and real deaths. He has won a real victory, but one that he was not remotely prepared for. And he has been directed into wiping out an entire sentient species without realizing that is what he is doing. A sequel, "Speaker for the Dead" follows him as he tries to cope with this fact and learn something about those he has destroyed so as to be able to memorialize them.

        •  We're becoming the military force in truth which (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT, JVolvo

          Orson Scott Card (yes, I know anti-gay monger, but I read these books decades ago, before I ever even saw the acronym LGBT) foresaw in his book "Ender's Game".

          Unlike the shitty all-special-effects and none-of-the-storyline movie of recent years....

          In the original book, the kids who are remotely operating the actual interstellar ships and weapons which they use to destroy the Home planet of their insect-like enemy DON'T KNOW they are doing anything more than training for a game which will determine if they eventually get to become part of the Military which will some day strike back against humankind's first interstellar foe.

          When Ender Wiggins learns that he has actually lead the battle which killed billions and destroyed an entire planet of beings? He is destroyed, mentally and emotionally. His remorse it unfathomable.

          Now, consider those "people in a room controlling KillBot 3000 on their console" -- will they, like Ender Wiggins live with the true consequences of their remote "war games"?

          Probably not all of them, but for the ones who do? I imagine the rest of their lives will be haunted by what they did.

          "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

          by Angie in WA State on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 06:09:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  If we keep churning them off the production (26+ / 0-)

      lines they are going to end up somewhere

      "I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity." Nadezhda Mandelstam

      by LaFeminista on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 08:18:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Which recalls Vladimir Putin and his Op Ed (9+ / 0-)

        at NY Times on Syria:

        A Plea for Caution From Russia
        What Putin Has to Say to Americans About Syria
        By VLADIMIR V. PUTIN
        Published: September 11, 2013

        MOSCOW — RECENT events surrounding Syria have prompted me to speak directly to the American people and their political leaders. It is important to do so at a time of insufficient communication between our societies.

        Relations between us have passed through different stages. We stood against each other during the Cold War. But we were also allies once, and defeated the Nazis together. The universal international organization — the United Nations — was then established to prevent such devastation from ever happening again.

        The United Nations’ founders understood that decisions affecting war and peace should happen only by consensus, and with America’s consent the veto by Security Council permanent members was enshrined in the United Nations Charter. The profound wisdom of this has underpinned the stability of international relations for decades.

        No one wants the United Nations to suffer the fate of the League of Nations, which collapsed because it lacked real leverage. This is possible if influential countries bypass the United Nations and take military action without Security Council authorization.

        The potential strike by the United States against Syria, despite strong opposition from many countries and major political and religious leaders, including the pope, will result in more innocent victims and escalation, potentially spreading the conflict far beyond Syria’s borders. A strike would increase violence and unleash a new wave of terrorism. It could undermine multilateral efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear problem and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and further destabilize the Middle East and North Africa. It could throw the entire system of international law and order out of balance.

        Syria is not witnessing a battle for democracy, but an armed conflict between government and opposition in a multireligious country. There are few champions of democracy in Syria. But there are more than enough Qaeda fighters and extremists of all stripes battling the government. The United States State Department has designated Al Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, fighting with the opposition, as terrorist organizations. This internal conflict, fueled by foreign weapons supplied to the opposition, is one of the bloodiest in the world.

        Mercenaries from Arab countries fighting there, and hundreds of militants from Western countries and even Russia, are an issue of our deep concern. Might they not return to our countries with experience acquired in Syria? After all, after fighting in Libya, extremists moved on to Mali. This threatens us all.

        From the outset, Russia has advocated peaceful dialogue enabling Syrians to develop a compromise plan for their own future. We are not protecting the Syrian government, but international law. We need to use the United Nations Security Council and believe that preserving law and order in today’s complex and turbulent world is one of the few ways to keep international relations from sliding into chaos. The law is still the law, and we must follow it whether we like it or not. Under current international law, force is permitted only in self-defense or by the decision of the Security Council. Anything else is unacceptable under the United Nations Charter and would constitute an act of aggression.

        No one doubts that poison gas was used in Syria. But there is every reason to believe it was used not by the Syrian Army, but by opposition forces, to provoke intervention by their powerful foreign patrons, who would be siding with the fundamentalists. Reports that militants are preparing another attack — this time against Israel — cannot be ignored.

        It is alarming that military intervention in internal conflicts in foreign countries has become commonplace for the United States. Is it in America’s long-term interest? I doubt it. Millions around the world increasingly see America not as a model of democracy but as relying solely on brute force, cobbling coalitions together under the slogan “you’re either with us or against us.”

        But force has proved ineffective and pointless. Afghanistan is reeling, and no one can say what will happen after international forces withdraw. Libya is divided into tribes and clans. In Iraq the civil war continues, with dozens killed each day. In the United States, many draw an analogy between Iraq and Syria, and ask why their government would want to repeat recent mistakes.

        No matter how targeted the strikes or how sophisticated the weapons, civilian casualties are inevitable, including the elderly and children, whom the strikes are meant to protect.

        The world reacts by asking: if you cannot count on international law, then you must find other ways to ensure your security. Thus a growing number of countries seek to acquire weapons of mass destruction. This is logical: if you have the bomb, no one will touch you. We are left with talk of the need to strengthen nonproliferation, when in reality this is being eroded.

        We must stop using the language of force and return to the path of civilized diplomatic and political settlement.

        A new opportunity to avoid military action has emerged in the past few days. The United States, Russia and all members of the international community must take advantage of the Syrian government’s willingness to place its chemical arsenal under international control for subsequent destruction. Judging by the statements of President Obama, the United States sees this as an alternative to military action.

        I welcome the president’s interest in continuing the dialogue with Russia on Syria. We must work together to keep this hope alive, as we agreed to at the Group of 8 meeting in Lough Erne in Northern Ireland in June, and steer the discussion back toward negotiations.

        If we can avoid force against Syria, this will improve the atmosphere in international affairs and strengthen mutual trust. It will be our shared success and open the door to cooperation on other critical issues.

        My working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust. I appreciate this. I carefully studied his address to the nation on Tuesday. And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.” It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.

        Vladimir V. Putin is the president of Russia.

        We have John McCain, the "Arm the Syrian Rebels" guy. He got in bed with CIA to do arms giveaways to "rebels."

        Those arms went to Al Nusra Front and ISIS/ISIL when the former Free Syrian Army flipped to the terrorist Qaeda groups in response to Hizb Allah and Qods force coming in backing Assad.

        After the battle for Qusayr in 2012, there was no more FSA outside the tiny area north of Damascus. What CIA had given to FSA went over to the Qaeda groups. And McCain was still calling to send more such weapons three months ago.

        McCain sounds more like Palin by the month.

        Putin ??? Looking better on Syria by the day.

        "The illiteracy of our children are appalling." #43

        by waterstreet2008 on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 08:51:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  the ones that don't end up in our police hands (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WisePiper

        seem to end up in the hands of people we consider bad guys.  

        •  There is plenty of that, but as the leading (0+ / 0-)

          arms merchant, with no one to challenge us, we can supply arms to every person in this world. As can be seen from our history in the Mideast, there is little concern for the weapons ultimate destination--it's all about making money. That's the driving force in our foreign policy.

          War is costly. Peace is priceless!

          by frostbite on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 04:18:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'm only somewhat less concerned about the (0+ / 0-)

          military weaponry being handed out to our domestic LEAs than I am about the weapons left behind in volatile nations.

          I envision the day when rogue Oathkeeper cops decide to liberate the machine guns in their station armory and spirit the cache away in an APC from the motor pool.

          Just HOW do we get our representatives to move in a populist direction without threatening electoral consequences for their willful failure to do so? (This is the issue routinely avoided by party loyalists at the GOS.)

          by WisePiper on Tue Aug 26, 2014 at 02:07:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  2nd Best. (27+ / 0-)

      The 1st best would be to get the military out of the business of protecting our global supply chain of dirty carbon.

      Since that is basically the only credible excuse for a superpower sized military, and for much of the irritation we cause in that part of the world, we would take all of our worst foreign policy problems down about 3 notches, especially arms leakage.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 08:32:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Leakage" is a nicer way to say "distribution." nt (6+ / 0-)

        "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi, 6/30/07 // "Succeed?" At what?

        by nailbender on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 08:36:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  But what about the super-duper, all-encompassing.. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        frostbite, JVolvo

        evil caliphate that our dear leaders say is truly coming down the road if we don't intervene?

        (which, in reality, has about the same chances of coming to fruition as the neocon's own self-serving pipe dream of spreading their style of "democracy" throughout the entire world at the end of a gun barrel)

        "If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged." - 17th-century French clergyman and statesman Cardinal Richelieu.

        by markthshark on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 12:14:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  sit back and watch? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CIndyCasella

      What happened to your brilliant "bombing works" stratagem?

  •  yes, we must send more to the good guys (18+ / 0-)

    wait...hmmm...now who were they again...OK...the ones we are not fighting against at the minute...oh wait....yikes

    "I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity." Nadezhda Mandelstam

    by LaFeminista on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 08:15:13 AM PDT

    •  we cannot get this empire thing down to (5+ / 0-)

      save our lives.  The French and British were much more adept at proxy wars, allowing brown people to suffer and die for white people's aspirations and greed.  While we are getting a bit better at it, we still can not seem to grasp the concept

      •  Americans want an empire without (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lost and Found, Jim P, frostbite, JVolvo

        actually calling it an empire, so the US does its level best to maintain plausible deniability.

        Sometimes I think the Us might be more popular around the world if it just fessed up and admitted it wanted an empire and was acting as such. It's not like the rest of the world doesn't notice.

        But no, we must maintain the charade.

        My preferred pronoun is 'They', what's yours?

        by AoT on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 09:25:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "Homeland" is the dead giveaway. What other (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT, Garrett, WisePiper, JVolvo

          "land" do we have, that we can't say 'National' instead of 'Homeland?"


          A government is a body of people usually notably ungoverned. -- Firefly

          by Jim P on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 09:54:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's creepy language (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            frostbite

            that has no American history behind it prior to the Bush age. Bush's legacy can be consciously equating the DHS with the KGB, the similarities in nomenclature are too close to be ignored.

            … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

            by mosesfreeman on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 12:25:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Actually, eerie similarities to the Third Reich (4+ / 0-)

              Goebbels would be in heaven today with all the tools available to our leaders.....

              The US went from Republic to Empire in the years following WWII - accelerating as energy became a major issue in the 1970's.  The US - especially the global 'chess players' and neo-cons view the world as something to be dominated and exploited by the US for the benefit of the US, that any and all force necessary should be used for the US to maintain a dominant position in the world.... well, the US has bankrupted itself in pursuit of world domination.  It seems that now those in power are far more concerned with at least maintaining control over  the US - holding onto power here even as their grip on the rest of the world fades.  

              We're Rome collapsing in a far faster time frame.  We use mercenaries to fight wars citizens want no part of, have debased our money to try and put off impending bankruptcy and are seeing our power and influence wane even as the standard of living of our citizens drops.  

              But those holding power are unwilling to admit any error or change the course they are on.

              We've seen this many times in history - why do we think we are 'special'?   We reached too far, overextended and are now collapsing...... and the ultimate distraction and inevitable result is war.   The masses suffer the most - though history has shown that those in power are often held accountable whether they try and avoid that or not.....  the more they try to hold onto power the worse the end.

              Life isn't fair but you should try to leave it fairer than you found it.

              by xrepub on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 05:04:16 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Precisely. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              native, kay3295

              The "domestic Tranquility" evoked in the Preamble to the Constitution seemed to serve the Republic perfectly well, for over two centuries, until Dick "So?" Cheney locked that document away in the secret Executive Safe at his Undisclosed Location. The very first time I heard W. croaking about "Homeland security," I immediately thought: "Don't they remember Heimatland was one of the most frequently used words in the National Socialist lexicon?" I persist in suspecting that not ignorance, but deliberate design, lay behind the sudden, unnecessary change in long-established vocabulary.

              As though the American people weren't already insular and patriotic enough!

              "[T]he preservation of the means of knowledge among the lowest ranks is of more importance to the public than all the property of all the rich men in the country." - John Adams, A Dissertation on the Canon and the Feudal Law. (1765)

              by AnacharsisClootz on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 05:36:48 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  The US: A soft empire if can swing it (0+ / 0-)

          Total control is too much work. We are happy with control of finances and resources, and have the rest of the world as profit centers.

  •  Well at least it keeps the drones busy.... (4+ / 0-)

    ...hellfiring the shit outta all the various motorized gadgets the Iraqi Army so generously provided them....

    "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

    by leftykook on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 08:17:37 AM PDT

  •  I think the public already knows this. (5+ / 0-)

    It's our neocon/neoliberal politicians who keep pushing arms as a panacea.

  •  And if we hadn't armed Iraq, Iraq would have (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib, FG, sweatyb, charliehall2

    been unarmed?

    Or, as is more likely, purchased substantially equivalent weapons elsewhere?

    Would it be in any way better if ISIS was now armed with French, Chinese or Russian weapons?

  •  Then the MIC's plan worked perfectly (16+ / 0-)

    1. Sell arms to our government so it can arm 'good guys.'

    2. Wait for those arms to be captured by 'terrorists.'

    3. Sell more arms to our government to fight the new threat [we created].

    No lose plan. Isn't America great?

    Of the almost 1,900 dead Palestinians, the IDF said it killed "900 terrorists" in Gaza. Add that to its long list of lies.

    by pajoly on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 08:28:27 AM PDT

  •  Had missed your post about hundreds (6+ / 0-)

    of thousands of missing weapons in Afghanistan. So sickening.

    Fortunately many of the weapons ISIS in Iraq and Syria have captured cannot be used by them?

    ISIS Weapons Growing In Number, Sophistication: A Soviet, Balkan And American Mix, But The Group Can't Use All Of Them
    By Christopher Harress@Charressc.harress@ibtimes.com
    on August 15 2014 8:32 AM
    SNIP
    The U.S. Department of Defense did not respond to questions from the International Business Times about exactly what weapons were stolen from the Iraqi bases, but footage of ISIS fighters driving U.S.-made Humvees and operating M198 howitzers and Stinger portable surface-to-air missiles shows that ISIS has some U.S.-made equipment that it can transport and use easily. That will enable them to remain a nimble and flexible force -- an important distinction from a government-run military that can use and maintain heavier weapons, Carafano said.
    Still, its sad that our government was so negligent to  leave all that armament behind (much less be there in the first place, and that ISIS can use those US weapons to commit acts of violence on innocent civilians.

    Agree with diary yesterday that ptb are trying to  bum rush public opinion to get behind more endless war, and that we should resist.

    Thanks for the post.

    Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

    by divineorder on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 08:30:16 AM PDT

    •  I agree some of those weapons should have (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      divineorder, G2geek

      never been left by us, particularly the Stingers. However, the retreating Iraqis should have blown them all up if they couldn't take the weapons with them.

      "let's talk about that" uid 92953

      by VClib on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 08:40:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  We need a second SIGAR (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      divineorder, JVolvo

      SIGAR 1 would send out the reports, same as always, Unaccounted for arms in Afghanistan may fall into insurgent hands!

      And SIGAR 2 could send out the reports, Unaccounted for arms in Afghanistan may fall into the hands of the people we put them in the hands of!

    •  I note that there are reports that increasing (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      divineorder, AoT, Utahrd, BYw, JVolvo

      numbers of jihadists are originating in the US and EU.  In addition to having Western passports and citizenship, some of them more than likely have had some degree of military training.  Assuming captured weapons are beyond the abilities of ISIS recruits may not be a good idea  

      •  The big issue there is upkeep (0+ / 0-)

        and parts. Parts for US weapons are expensive, much ore so than bullets for an AK. And where are they even going to get them? Other than some of the more simple weapons they'll run out of supplies for most of that stuff fairly quickly. The artillery is probably the only thing that will be useful in the long term.

        My preferred pronoun is 'They', what's yours?

        by AoT on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 09:27:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  just found this: (9+ / 0-)

          http://www.juancole.com/...

          scroll down to find this:

          "The powerful but supposedly moderate Yarmouk Brigade, reportedly the planned recipient of anti-aircraft missiles from Saudi Arabia, was intended to be the leading element in this new formation. But numerous videos show that the Yarmouk Brigade has frequently fought in collaboration with JAN, the official al-Qa‘ida affiliate. Since it was likely that, in the midst of battle, these two groups would share their munitions, Washington was effectively allowing advanced weaponry to be handed over to its deadliest enemy. Iraqi officials confirm that they have captured sophisticated arms from ISIS fighters in Iraq that were originally supplied by outside powers to forces considered to be anti-al-Qa‘ida in Syria."

          So they need not capture weapons as our ham handed policies appear to be handing them over along with munitions and spare parts

          •  Handing them over (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT

            with a wink and a nod, and a user's manual. Heck even ISIS tweeted out a joke that the US would have to honor its warranty on parts for the equipment they have.

            The fact is that simple capture isn't enough anymore. These aren't Napoleonic cannons. To operate these systems requires a sophisticated supply line, and not just once, but continuously.

            … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

            by mosesfreeman on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 12:30:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Artillery won't be useful for long (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT

          I've heard that they have largely 20 and 23mm autocannons, technically a direct fire weapon. If that's the case, their ammo needs will be nearly exponential, if they keep attacking.

          I haven't heard much about their use of true artillery, although they are alleged to have some. I'm guessing that their fire control will be marginal at best. The biggest worry I would assess would be desperation attacks on targets within their known range, thus Taqba.

          … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

          by mosesfreeman on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 12:36:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It seems to me that their strongest weapon (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mosesfreeman, JVolvo

            is their ferocious fighting spirit. Whatever we might think of them, they show enormous tenacity and ruthlessness. The extra weaponry ISIS has acquired helps, of course, but it is the fighting spirit of the men that counts more. It reminds me a little of the Wermacht in Italy and North Africa in WW2. They were just astonishing in the resourcefulness and determination they showed over and over again. Also, in France late in 1944, the German troops were well aware of the rapidly weakening strategic picture, but half of all German military casualties occurred during the last 12 months of the war, even though materiel shortages were brutal. Bottom line is that badly led armies with poor morale are easily beaten just as we saw with the Iraqis recently. Well-led armies with enthusiastic troops can still be beaten but it's a pretty tough road.

            Voting is the means by which the public is distracted from the realities of power and its exercise.

            by Anne Elk on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 02:07:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  They definitely have that (0+ / 0-)

              as misguided as it is, although I doubt that it's half as deep as the morale of the Wehrmacht. My FIL was Wehrmacht.

              … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

              by mosesfreeman on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 03:49:21 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  no training (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mosesfreeman, Garrett, JVolvo

        they get their trainign there. The fear here is rather that with the returnees we acquire people here who have had training and experience of there. This could in the mid run bring deep trouble into the midst of europe.

        I have seen a number that 20 UK citizens per week are joining IS.
        I have also seen a number that the IS had its best recruiting month ever this summer with 7000 new recruits of which 1000 were foreign. In the same time, they lost about 700 at the frontlines by waterstreet´s countings. This means IS is strengthening, and not really waning under the US attacks.

        I find it totally wrong that everyone here fixates themselves exclusively on the military aspects of this. We can leave the military things to the military.

        IS is a political problem not a military one. The YPG and in some manner the assad´s regime demonstrate that under the right political conditions, IS is stoppable and defeatable. People here need to drop the testosterone talk and try engaging with the region in political terms. What makes the populations of the area embrace IS rule enough to allow them to sweep, as they did? What kind of a political future can anyone or a coalition of which the US would be part, offer to those people so that they would opt to fight for it, instead of for IS? just as an analogy: the world after WWII was planned for in the political circles of both winning worlds even while the Nazis were still marching triumphant. This allowed the effective reshaping of the world when the battle was won. Where is such a thing now? Has anyone any political imagination for a stabilized, cooperative MidEast? If none has it then people can go packing because they´ll be defeated.

        •  There is no imagination or plan (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          marsanges

          regarding brown people, except death, destruction, and a boot stomping their face forever.

          That's not on AIPAC's priority list.

          … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

          by mosesfreeman on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 12:58:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I think it's a combination. (0+ / 0-)

          Of course, the political dimension is important, but I don't know what political actions might take place in Syria with over 190,000 people dead now. The situation in Iraq might be stabilized if the Iraqi government builds a less sectarian government and gives Sunnis a bigger role to play. Our brushback of ISIS is designed to buy more time for them to get organized, although it's hard to feel optimistic about that. The other front, of course, is supporting the Kurdish state, which is - to me anyway - a laudable objective.

          Voting is the means by which the public is distracted from the realities of power and its exercise.

          by Anne Elk on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 02:16:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Well said. US airstrikes can't touch this: (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          marsanges

          Muslim youth from UK joining radicals in ME

          It is common to describe these young British radicals as ‘brainwashed’. But I dislike using that term because it far too easily absolves them of responsibility for their actions.

          They know only too well exactly what they are doing. They have consciously decided to immerse themselves in a blood-soaked narrative of vengeance and power, in which they will annihilate their enemies, destroy Western values and ensure the triumph of their perverted, totalitarian version of Islam.

          Young British Muslims have been drawn to radicalism for decades, but the involvement with the Islamic State marks a new departure, both in the savagery of its methods and its approach to recruitment.

          "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition /= GTFO" Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon + JVolvo

          by JVolvo on Tue Aug 26, 2014 at 07:21:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Desperate for belonging to something.. (0+ / 0-)

            It is necessary for a society to instill in its youth the idea that they are there for a national purpose, or a larger purpose to serve, and in return to be included in a great project for humanity. These youth have never been truly brought into any project which they can belong to in Britain; political, spiritual, economic or even basic social comfort. Britain is now in a panic about this, but it was predicatable since the fall of the Raj, when British attitudes toward Asians, South Asian, Middle Easterners and Far Easterners was patterned after the Colonial-Servant model, and never questioned at home.

            That is not brainwashing, it is reactionary politics, and Britain has created a whole lot of them. The US does its share as well, but at least we have a vocabulary for equality and full inclusion in our schools, and it plays out to a limited degree. Not good, but not absolutely horrible for young immigrants of color. Many first and second generation immigrants here DO make the first level of economic gains, and that at least gives hope that the other levels can be attained in the next generations.

            Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

            by OregonOak on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 07:26:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  ISIS was originally sold to us by the MSM (13+ / 0-)

    as being a "Bonnie & Clyde" outfit, stealing its weapons and money as it went. Modern armies, even ISIS, don't work that way. As romantic as the fable sounds, it's bullshit. The arms and training were actively given, as well as the money.

    ISIS is the creation of western aligned powers. The KSA, Qatar, and Turkey definitely have roles, the US role is more ambiguous, but is still definitely culpable. ISIS is the monster, and these powers are Dr. Frankenstein.

    Whether the monster got away, or if its original purpose was to cause destabilization in the region is debatable, but the point is that this is no accident.

    … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

    by mosesfreeman on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 08:31:23 AM PDT

    •  turkey has been key (7+ / 0-)

      not by active support, but by allowing a free flow of weapons, money, and recruits through its border.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 09:04:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  worse even . . . (8+ / 0-)

      ISIS (in Syria) was originally sold to us as "better than Assad", back when we were against that "threat to our best ally" in the region.

      Remember the demonization of Assad?  Remember the push to "support the Syrian rebels"?

      Qui bono?  Who wants to see all the stable and prosperous "Arab" countries in the region reduced to rubble?
       

      Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

      by Deward Hastings on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 09:18:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Iran isn't Arab (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Deward Hastings

        but stay tuned for the next victim!

        … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

        by mosesfreeman on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 09:21:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Which is why Arab was in quotes (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Deward Hastings, JVolvo

          The MIC is racist and really loves to clump all of them together. That at least should be clear by now.

          My preferred pronoun is 'They', what's yours?

          by AoT on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 09:28:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's quite clear n/t (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            marsanges, JVolvo

            … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

            by mosesfreeman on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 09:31:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  exactly so . . . (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mosesfreeman

            Lebanon is not an "Arab" country, Palestinians are not "Arabs", most Syrians are not "Arabs" in any reasonable sense of the word and neither are most Iraqis.  And of course Persians are not "Arabs".  What they all have in common is what they are not . . .

            Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

            by Deward Hastings on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 10:47:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Palestinians are Arabs (0+ / 0-)

              As are most Syrians. I'm not sure why you would say otherwise in those cases, but it isn't correct.

              My preferred pronoun is 'They', what's yours?

              by AoT on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 11:17:36 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  "Arab" is pretty subjective (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Deward Hastings

                Who is an Arab? I suppose we could settle on those who speak Arabic as a primary language, but that ignores ethnicity completely. It's as if we called all English speakers "English".

                Speaking for Lebanon, Najdi Arab genes probably account for less than ten percent of the pool. The Maronite claim to be "Phonecians" is probably closer to the mark.

                … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

                by mosesfreeman on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 12:44:48 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  People who speak Arabic and share a cultural (0+ / 0-)

                  history. They are also Palestinians. They can be both. If the Palestinians were out there saying they didn't want to be considered Arabs then there might be something there, but culturally they are Arab.

                  P.S. Being Arab doesn't mean they should be a part of Egypt like some folks say, not even close.

                  My preferred pronoun is 'They', what's yours?

                  by AoT on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 01:11:32 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Most Egyptians (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    mosesfreeman

                    don't regard themselves as "Arab" either . . .

                    Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

                    by Deward Hastings on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 01:27:18 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  You don't get it (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Deward Hastings

                    I'm saying that there are multiple ethnicities within what the west calls "Arab" culture, and even those are further sub-divided. Very few of those ethnicities are true Arabian Peninsula Arabs, the rest are people who have been conquered at some point in the past, and now speak Arabic.

                    The Berbers of Morocco share no more culture with Riyadh than they do with Paris. Each has an influence, but at the end of the day, the people are Berber. Most of the "Arab" world has a similar story to share.

                    … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

                    by mosesfreeman on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 01:27:47 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  both ethnography and genetics (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AoT, mosesfreeman

                say "not".  Many (probably most non-Jewish) Palestinians are of Canaanite, Egyptian and Greek descent, with a mix of Roman and Hebrew thrown in, particularly in the south coastal region (Gaza).  They are ethnically quite distinct from the actual Arab (Bedouin) population of Palestine, and historically the Palestinian "upper class" would not have self-identified as "Arab" at all.  Until recently large numbers did not even speak Arabic as their native (first) language, and a very large minority remained Christian despite several periods of Islamic conquest/dominance (under which they were persecuted less than they are now under the present occupation).

                Similarly in Syria, except that the "ethnic blend" there includes Turks, Kurds, and descendants of the historic coastal populations (which were much like those in Lebanon . . . a blend of Greek, Phoenician etc.).  Persians are not the only folks in the region who take insult at being called "Arab".

                Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

                by Deward Hastings on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 12:56:14 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Do they speak Arabic? (0+ / 0-)

                  Do they participate in Arab culture?

                  Do they call themselves Arab?

                  My preferred pronoun is 'They', what's yours?

                  by AoT on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 01:19:59 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Nelson Mandela (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    mosesfreeman

                    and Mahatma Gandhi both spoke English and "participated in English culture", though neither called themselves "English".  The did fit the current definition of "Arab", though . . . in that neither approved of a certain recently established Middle Eastern State.

                    Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

                    by Deward Hastings on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 01:38:10 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  That wasn't my question. (0+ / 0-)

                      I askd about the Palestinians, not Gandhi or Mandela.

                      My preferred pronoun is 'They', what's yours?

                      by AoT on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 02:06:24 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  The Palestinians (0+ / 0-)

                        are genetically a mix of the peoples who have occupied the area. Arab, Phonecian, Greek, Roman, Crusader, Turkish, etc etc.

                        … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

                        by mosesfreeman on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 04:30:42 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Genetic mix is not the determiner of ethnicity (0+ / 0-)

                          It's primarily cultural.

                          Again, how do the Palestinians identify. In my experience thy identify as Arab.

                          My preferred pronoun is 'They', what's yours?

                          by AoT on Tue Aug 26, 2014 at 06:37:56 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

        •  Persians? Persians? You're saying they're cats!?!? (0+ / 0-)

          http://thedailyshow.cc.com/...

          If the link takes you to auto-update list: search for Sir Archibald Mapsalot III

          "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition /= GTFO" Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon + JVolvo

          by JVolvo on Tue Aug 26, 2014 at 07:32:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Demonization has been a MSM specialty. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JVolvo
      •  Under the auspices of defeating ISIS (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Deward Hastings

        the entire region will be brought to anarchy. The only beneficiary is the state that wants no "existential threat".

        … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

        by mosesfreeman on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 01:04:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Al Qaeda, ISIL, ISIS, IS same baddie to create (5+ / 0-)

      chaos that Neocons always wanted.  How convenient.

      Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

      by CIndyCasella on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 09:23:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's impressive, the way MSM fixates (6+ / 0-)

      on a particular narrative and then sells it to us as incontrovertible fact.  And we are like Charlie Brown having another go at Lucy's football.

  •  Bloodthirsty maniacs by any other name? (8+ / 0-)

    Campaign launched to rename them from ISIS to QSIS

    The top Islamic authority in Egypt, revered by many Muslims worldwide, launched an Internet-based campaign Sunday challenging an extremist group in Syria and Iraq by saying it should not be called an "Islamic State."
    The Grand Mufti of Egypt, Shawki Allam, previously said the extremists violate all Islamic principles and laws and described the group as a danger to Islam as a whole. Now, the Dar el-Ifta authority he oversees will suggest foreign media drop using "Islamic State" in favor of the "al-Qaida Separatists in Iraq and Syria," or the acronym "QSIS,"
    The campaign comes as the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheik Abdul-Aziz Al-Sheik, also has called the group Islam's No. 1 enemy.
    http://www.usnews.com/...

    “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

    by Catte Nappe on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 08:52:18 AM PDT

  •  well, we pretty much saw the same thing with (4+ / 0-)

    the fall of South Viet Nam.  While the NVA was already pretty well supplied from Soviet and Chinese sources, the windfall the loot that the US left behind was a plus, enabling VN to reestablish a historical regional hegemony and even leading to Chinese/Vietnamese border disputes.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    •  Wrong (0+ / 0-)

      Once the NVA took over South Viet Nam, the domino theory was that it would then take over Thailand, Burma, Malaysia, Indonesia....

      It sort of took over Laos (which it has mostly controlled anyway) and it did invade Cambodia to kick out the Khmer Rouge. But its disinterest in Thailand or any other country proved the domino theorists wrong.

    •  Wrong (0+ / 0-)

      The "Chinese/Vietnamese border disputes" that followed the US surrendering and leaving Vietnam weren't caused by the US leaving its weapons behind. They were caused by China invading Vietnam after the US wasn't around to compete for control of the country. Vietnam won that war, too (a trifecta: France, US, China), keeping its territory and protecting its borders - and freeing itself from the clutches of China that had formed as support against the US invasion.

      Also wrong: "Vietnam to reestablish a historical regional hegemony". Vietnam's regional role beyond its borders was merely to invade Cambodia after the Khmer Rouge converted it into a hellscape. The KR genocided a million Cambodians and targeted the rest of the region for an actual Cambodian hegemony. Vietnam stopped that, and along with it much of the CIA's opium farms.

      Where did you get that version of Vietnam's post-victory history? Nixon's diary?

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 11:07:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I did not intend to imply that the war was (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DocGonzo, JVolvo

        caused solely by the US bugout but that the sudden upgrade the VN enjoyed enabled them to at least a stalemate with China.  After all China was a reluctant VN ally during the war since Ho enjoyed Soviet support.
        http://www.washingtonpost.com/...
        The US withdrawal ended the necessity of such an alliance and enabled the NVA to become a more muscular force.

        I think VN economically has established itself as a leader in the region:
        http://www.foreignaffairs.com/...
        and is one of the leading economies, along with a competent military renders them a neighbor with a lot of clout among the other parts of French Indochina

        •  What You Said (0+ / 0-)
          the windfall the loot that the US left behind was a plus, enabling VN to reestablish a historical regional hegemony and even leading to Chinese/Vietnamese border disputes.

          You said the US loot led to Chinese/Vietnamese border disputes. It did not. The loot did help Vietnam defend itself from the Chinese invasion that followed US bugout. There is no reason to believe the Vietnamese wouldn't have been as successful without the US materiel, but taken longer - just as it had taken 15x as long to rid itself of the US invader without any arms but Soviet.

          But what caused the war - not a "border dispute" - was China invading Vietnam following Vietnam's invasion of Cambodia, which followed the US bugout. Vietnam invaded Cambodia, ended the Khmer Rouge holocaust. A decade later Vietnam finished its occupation and "nation building" and left Cambodia, without changing the border.

          The idea that Vietnam used US weapons and its army to create a "regional hegemony" is Henry Kissinger's and China's propaganda. Vietnam established no regional power through its military, except to rid Cambodia of the Chinese-allied KR and then leave. The accurate description is that Vietnam established national sovereignties and international order among the region's countries allied with either China, the Soviet Union or the US.

          Yes, Vietnam used US weapons to do so, but you make it sound like Vietnam got US weapons and expanded its political control for reasons other than defeating the threat to Vietnam and humanity from first a KR Cambodia and then an opportunistic China. Again, it sounds like Kissinger's "domino theory".

          Your version of history is consistent with what looks like the Islamic State in Iraq's actual plotted course, which is how you invoked it. But the actual history, and history since Vietnam's withdrawal from Cambodia, show it's quite different.

          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

          by DocGonzo on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 12:46:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Beware! Old school Domino Theory adherents (0+ / 0-)

          are afoot!

          "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition /= GTFO" Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon + JVolvo

          by JVolvo on Tue Aug 26, 2014 at 07:38:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  not hardly; however it appears at the (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JVolvo

            current moment in history that the domino theory may well apply to the ME as it descends into chaos.  I note the most recent is Egyptian planes bombing jihadist positions in Libya without telling the US that they were doing so (matter of fact they denied it)

            OTOH the domino theory was also dominant in US policy in Europe following WWII as there was concern that Communism would continue to spread  

  •  and the Kardashians are somehow involved, too! (9+ / 0-)
    financed by booty

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

    by annieli on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 08:57:30 AM PDT

  •  If we arm everyone, then war is so much (5+ / 0-)

    easier to do.

    Completely ridiculous!

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 08:58:58 AM PDT

  •  I wish we had listening to the warnings (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, mightymouse, JVolvo

    of climate scientists like Dr. James Hansen and others and put much more into clean energy the last 25 years.

    If we had, we might be near energy independent or energy independent and not be so dependent on middle east oil for our economy.

    While ISIS is evidence it was a terrible mistake to go into Iraq, the situation is what it is...there doesn't seem to be a good option.

    But long term, what is it about U.S. foreign policy and other countries policies that creates these monsters?  I know - we never should have gone into Vietnam, the Soviets shouldn't have gone into Afghanistan, and we shouldn't have gone into Iraq.

  •  Caliphate is a hoax (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, native, Kickemout

    In order for their  too be a Caliphate ,their would have to be a sucession of a religious  leader ,with the power to control all Muslim with a fawah  , Mohammad   successor was name Khilafa ,that  is where the world Caliphate come from,thier is no  Islamic leader that have total control of all  Muslim ,like the Pope control the Catholic faithful

    •  of course (5+ / 0-)

      but that's their claim. lots of people have tried to make such a claim.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 09:33:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Most recently the Ottoman Turks (0+ / 0-)

        who actually did control a substantial part of the Muslim world.

        •  The Ottoman Caliphate (0+ / 0-)

          wasn't so bad, considering modern developments. I'd vote for them.

          … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

          by mosesfreeman on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 01:16:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sigh, yes. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            native

            I've often thought to myself that dismembering the Ottoman state may have been the greatest of all the many postwar blunders made by the victors of WWI.

            "[T]he preservation of the means of knowledge among the lowest ranks is of more importance to the public than all the property of all the rich men in the country." - John Adams, A Dissertation on the Canon and the Feudal Law. (1765)

            by AnacharsisClootz on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 05:53:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I'm betting they can find someone to fit (0+ / 0-)

      that bill if they capture the territory. That sort of "historical" research is not hard to do.

      My preferred pronoun is 'They', what's yours?

      by AoT on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 09:38:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The largest Muslim organizations in the world (0+ / 0-)

        are both in Indonesia, with literally tens of millions of members each. Here is one:

        http://www.muhammadiyah.or.id/...

        Here is the other (sorry, no English site):

        http://www.nu.or.id/

        Muhammadiyah is more reformist, Nahdlatul Ulama more traditional, but they are both quite moderate. Completely the opposite of ISIS and Hamas. Unfortunately neither has the money to propagate its teachings widely outside of Indonesia, while the crazies have plenty of oil money. Islam would be well off if one of the leaders of either of these groups would become accepted as caliph, but that isn't going to happen.

        •  Well, lets be honest here (0+ / 0-)

          The whole region was far better off under previous Muslim empires than it is now under the post-colonial world order. A new Khalifa would mean a huge change for the positive for a great many people in the region.

          Of course, that's not going to happen.

          But ISIS will find some dude somewhere that has family documents that prove his connection to the prophet. And he'll be a great figurehead. It's the beauty of monarchy.

          My preferred pronoun is 'They', what's yours?

          by AoT on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 12:23:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The real problem (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          marsanges, charliehall2, JVolvo

          is that KSA largely controls Islamic education. The ones least qualified, no less. It's so bad, that years ago, you would find Saudi nationals floating through US mosques to make sure that the hand-out material all passed muster.

          Most Muslims are not Wahhabi, yet it is they who push this crappy interpretation.

          … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

          by mosesfreeman on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 01:20:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  why is this unchallenged? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mosesfreeman

            Islam had ans has centers of learning and local traditions that have all their own traditions back into the ages, they dont need wahhabism (whatever it really is) to learn. How come the local variations of islam do not offer more resistance to this cultural imperialism from Saudi Arabia? How can a saudi cult interpretation push out all the time honored traditions in say the Haussa states in Nigeria, so that - later - an abomination like Boko Haram arises? I mean this as - how can the locals allow that? Have they no self respect? They are the ones who should teach civilization to the Saudis.

            I have to admit though, I watch with the same exasperation whats going on with evangelical cults, like e g in Brazil. One can criticize catholicism all day long for its faults, but still, what brings them by the millions and millions to suddenly turn to the most shallow, most intellect-insulting, most culturally regressive evangelical TV mass hypnosis cults they can import from the US?

            I understand neither. And I would like to know why this is so. Is it really just a function of money? Are the cultural identities of people, whether it is islamic Haussa or brazilians or anyone for that matter, just buyable?

            •  Money is only part of the equation (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              charliehall2, marsanges

              They are also very aggressive. They wrest control of local masjids through intimidation, manipulation, cajolery, etc. The average immigrant from Syria, Egypt, Senegal, or wherever won't stand up to them. They present as the arbiters of Islam.

              There is a local one that is Albanian. They welcome everyone, but prohibit non-Albanians from official membership, exactly for this reason, they don't want their mosque stolen away by Wahhabis.

              This has been going on for decades. I can't find it, but there was a cartoon floating around about fifteen years ago that characterized this phenomenon. A bunch of Sufis gathered to raise funds and build a mosque, yet soon after it was completed, a group of Salafis took over, through intimidation and brow-beating.

              … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

              by mosesfreeman on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 04:19:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  KSA, Egypt, and Indonesia (0+ / 0-)

                appear to be the places with the largest number of scholars so they can intimidate with their knowledge -- except that Indonesia doesn't send people outside the country much.

                Any rich folks want to do some good deeds by helping Muhammadiyah and Nahdlatul Ulama build schools in the rest of the Muslim world -- or in Europe and America?

    •  No Christian Caliph, Either (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kickemout

      Popes don't control all Catholics - there is no Catholic fatwa. Catholics are a minority of all Christians, just as Sunnis and Shiites each are a minority of all Muslims.

      There is no leader of any major religion who has fatwa-like power over all followers of the religion among all its sects. Which is yet another demonstration of the fraud that is religion, with its "universal" prescriptions and representations of "omnipotence" that fail even as soon as the next fraudster running a competing franchise with slightly different flavor of the same "god".

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 11:11:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Mohammad's succesor (0+ / 0-)

      was Abu Bakr. He was a Caliph, as were many others to follow. A Caliph should unify and represent the Muslim community as a whole. I think that (almost) everyone recognizes that ISIS doesn't fill this bill, and can't, but your comment isn't helpful.

      … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

      by mosesfreeman on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 01:15:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Nobody could have predicted" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, JVolvo

    (except the people who predicted)

  •  US weapons fall into wrong hands w every shipment (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DocGonzo

    of weapons the US sends the Netanyahu government in Israel IMHO.

    Israel buys US weapons with the condition that they not be used to violate human rights, something the IDF does routinely.

    "The Democrats and the Republicans are equally corrupt where money is concerned. It's only in the amount where the Republicans excel." ~ Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 10:27:05 AM PDT

  •  I-Told-You-So Is Only Useful (0+ / 0-)

    When it stops a bad behavior. If we can ever have the political will to stop arming everyone, then maybe things will change.

    As for ISIS? Wipe them off the face of the Earth down to the last molecule. I'll be glad to do the I-told-you-so after they cease to exist even as a memory.

    And as the song and dance begins, the children play at home with needles, needles and pins.

    by The Lone Apple on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 10:57:55 AM PDT

  •  WHEN is the Last Time a Democrat (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kickemout, JVolvo

    in congress said,

    "Maybe we should make some products, other than weapons, the number one export of the United States"?

    "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

    by Superpole on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 11:11:36 AM PDT

  •  Saudi Arabia has a LOT of US weapons and they (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JVolvo

    spend 9% of their GDP(19th largest in the world-745 $billion) on US military weapons (the US spends 3.8%).
    Turkey has a slightly bigger GDP and spends 2.3%.
    Iran has 1/2 KSA's GDP and spends ~2% on military.
    Iraq has about 60% the GDP of Iran and spends ~3.5% on military.
    According to the World Bank.

    Now guess who is REALLY supplying ISIS.

    •  but KSA won't fight (0+ / 0-)

      They are above fighting, they just pay others. The Saudi king just warned the West that ISIS will hit us next.  I wonder how he feels immune..?

      Everyone in the Kingdom knows their corruption. I expect ISIS will hit KSA and/or it will tip over in a succession fuss, then ISIS will have all the oil$$ and all that top-end American weaponry.

      What a mess.

  •  Republished to Group W. (0+ / 0-)

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 11:28:29 AM PDT

  •  Speaking of U.S. weapons showing up. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JVolvo
    Twice in the last seven days, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have secretly teamed up to launch airstrikes against Islamist-allied militias battling for control of Tripoli, Libya, four senior American officials said, in a major escalation between the supporters and opponents over political Islam.

    The United States, the officials said, was caught by surprise: Egypt and the Emirates, both close allies and military partners, acted without informing Washington or seeking its consent, leaving the Obama administration on the sidelines. Egyptian officials explicitly denied the operation to American diplomats, the officials said.

    WTF
  •  How about Russian weapons in Syria? (0+ / 0-)

    It seems inadequate to limit the criticism to only American weapons.

    Libertarian? Libertine!

    by Jake Bodhi on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 02:25:12 PM PDT

  •  It's another case of (0+ / 0-)

    inconvenient truth, wherein an unintended consequence of the Bush Administration's War of Choice in Iraq are that an entire region of the world is now being decimated with the arms and munitions which American Tax Dollars paid for.

    Think former President Bush will ever get up and publicly apologize for any of the bad, horrible and horrific shite which is now happening because he Decider'd his way to invade Iraq?

    Nah, me either.

    "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

    by Angie in WA State on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 06:01:54 PM PDT

  •  Who's in charge, Lewis? Who? n/t (0+ / 0-)

    "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

    by EdMass on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 04:05:43 PM PDT

  •  What is the threat ISIS poses to America? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    native

    I wish someone would define it clearly for me. Other than of an American who travel to war zones risk getting killed. I don't think America should use war to protect its more adventurous  tourists. Nor are American Tourists a vital enough national security concern to start wars.

    So someone please tell me, in concrete terms not speculation, what is the threat to America that justifies getting involved with military force?

  •  The United States leaving vast quanities ... (0+ / 0-)

    of weapons scattered around Iraq was like me leaving a big bowl of Snicker Bars unattended on my front porch on Halloween.


    I keep my fingernails trimmed to length by scraping them across the rough edges of life.

    by glb3 on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 04:11:27 PM PDT

  •  More guns -- it happens here, it happens there (0+ / 0-)

    and the same companies are making money in both cases.

    Just as we have to destroy the climate system to keep Big Oil rich, so we have to destroy any possibility of peace everywhere to keep the Arms Manufacturers rich.

    American Presidents: 43 men, 0 women. Ready for Hillary

    by atana on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 04:53:37 PM PDT

  •  It's jobs Jobs JOBZZZZZZ! As long as at least 1... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    native, Valatius

    It's jobs Jobs JOBZZZZZZ! As long as at least 1 component is manufactured in every single voting district we'll keep pumping weapons out at an increasing rate.

  •  I think we should send the Ferguson police (0+ / 0-)

    department over there and kick that damn Caliphate right in the nads after shooting them all with tear gas and the like.  Nothing would put the fear of ____into them more than this police force's idea of crowd control.  Mosul, better look the hell out, cause we are gonna send the police to fix this matter.  Whats more, they are all dressed up and raring to go, right boys????  right fellows?????    crickets chirping

  •  No one could have predicted this... (0+ / 0-)

    except for nearly everyone on this site. When you arm governments, you are saying you have the faith that the government is strong enough to keep its people, and its army, loyal. What possible series of events in Iraq would have led us to that conclusion?

    George Bush and Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith and Donald Rumsfeld and Scooter Libby and the Joint Chiefs are absolute morans. Can we have a do-over? Guess not.

    Up next: Afghanistan.

    Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

    by OregonOak on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 07:33:10 PM PDT

  •  So Bush & Co. screwed up (0+ / 0-)

    Got it.

    Now what are we doing to do about it?

    IS really is as bad as everyone says.

  •  ISIS... The Ghost of GOP Obstructionism Past.. (0+ / 0-)

    Sep 5, 2013 4:57pm Why Obama Doesn’t Have Congressional Support on Syria….

    “This stems in part from the fact that this is a Democratic president with an anti-war history asking a divided Congress to act. It’s sometimes tough to disentangle the anti-Obama sentiments from the anti-Obama-agenda sentiments, even when that agenda would more closely align with, say, a Bush foreign policy than perceptions of an Obama one.”

    ISIS is quite literally a "blast" from the past Obstructionism of the Republican party and proof that they are perfectly willing to sacrifice National security in favor of their personal quest for power..

    Read here and reflect on the results of the republican obstructionism that the world is dealing with today: http://abcnews.go.com/...

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