The West and ISIS

By Jim Wight

Far from the boasts made by the US, British, and French governments that IS would be destroyed, they have been unable to even contain the extremist jihadi group as it marches from city to city and town to town in Syria and Iraq, seemingly without constraint, sowing chaos and carnage in the process.

There are a number of reasons why the West has made a virtue of failure and disaster in the region. The first, of course, is the determination to prosecute a hegemonic strategy regardless of the consequences. We can trace the modern incarnation of this strategy to the 2003 war in Iraq, which only succeeded in destabilizing the country preparatory to it descending into the abyss of sectarian violence and schism, where it exists today, 12 years later.

The short-lived Arab Spring of 2011/12, which after decades spent living under corrupt dictatorships gave millions of people across the region reason to hope for a better future, gave way to an Arab Winter in the form of a counter-revolutionary process driven by Western intervention – first in Libya with the air war unleashed against the Gaddafi regime, and then in Syria with its support for the opposition against Assad. The resulting chaos laid the ground for the emergence of various al-Qaeda affiliated groups, followed by ISIL/ISIS, later morphing into IS (or Daesh in Arabic).

Despite carrying out airstrikes against the organization both in Syria and Iraq, it has taken Ramadi in western Iraq and the ancient city of Palmyra in the district of Homs in central Syria with alarming ease. After failing to take the Kurdish town of Kobane in northern Syria, next to the Turkish border, and losing Tikrit to Iraq government forces earlier this year, its butchery and barbarism is once again resurgent.

The loss of Ramadi in particular, a mere 80 miles from Baghdad, is a major embarrassment for Washington, despite Obama’s incredulous statement that it merely constitutes a “setback.” The billions of dollars funnelled into Iraq by the US to finance the reconstitution of the Iraqi Army has proved akin to pouring money down a drain. The elite Golden Division, for example, stationed in Ramadi, tucked tail and fled almost on first contact with IS forces, leaving in its wake a significant amount of US-supplied hardware and equipment.

What’s clear by now is that a full-blown Sunni-Shia conflict is underway across the region, pitting Sunni-supported IS against an Iranian-supported Shia militia that has already proved its mettle with the taking back of Tikrit. The context of this struggle is the deep enmity between Iran and Saudi Arabia, informing a series of proxy local conflicts in Yemen and most prominently in Iraq and Syria.

Further, when it comes to this conflict, the West is on the wrong side – friendly with those it has no business being friends with, and enemies of those it has no business being enemies with. The Saudis, Qataris, and Turkey have been guilty of fomenting the chaos and carnage with both the active or passive support for IS, without which it could not sustain its existence and enjoyed the success it has.

In particular the Saudi gang of corrupt potentates, sitting in gilded palaces in Riyadh, have long been dredging a deep well of hypocrisy as part of the US-led grand coalition against IS and its medieval barbarism. A state that beheads almost as many people in public as IS, the oil-rich kingdom’s status as a close Western ally is beyond reprehensible. Money talks, but in Riyadh it flows alongside a river of blood spilled in the name of Wahhabism, the perverse and extreme Sunni ideology that underpins the obscene luxury and ostentation of the nation’s ruling clan.

Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah, supported by Russia, are currently leading the ‘real’ struggle against the savagery of IS. Yet each of them is regarded as a threat to regional stability and Western interests, and scorned as such.

The need for a major reorientation of the West’s entire Middle East policy is glaringly obvious. Instead of lurching from one disaster to another – all in the name of ‘democratism’, which is not to be confused with democracy – a coherent strategy to defeat IS and its butchery rather than make it stronger would entail the formation of a coalition of the willing, comprising Iran and the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad.

Syria’s survival as a secular state, in which the rights of minorities are upheld, is from guaranteed as the conflict that has ripped the country apart enters its fourth year. Its people have suffered immeasurable harm over the course of this brutal conflict, suffering that evinces no sign of letting up soon.

The Assad government and the Syrian army, which has bled like no other army has in recent times, have proved unbelievably resolute in resisting both Syria’s invasion by thousands of foreign jihadis, and the enormous pressure levelled against the regime by US and its allies, both within and without the region.

As for Iraq, the damage wrought by the sectarianism of the Maliki government, prior to it being ousted in August 2014, is even worse than most thought. The Iraqi Army is unfit for purpose, riven with corruption and a lack of morale. The fact that 200 IS militants were able to rout the 2000 Iraqi troops defending Ramadi tells its own story. It is also evident that IS has been able to exploit the disaffection of the Sunni population throughout Anbar Province – otherwise known as the Sunni Triangle – without whose either active or passive support they would not have been able to take first Fallujah and now Ramadi.

Iraq’s permanent schism along sectarian lines is closer now than it has ever been. This rather than a Western-style democracy is the end result of Bush and Blair’s war of 2003.

The spreading destabilization of the Middle East is a threat to stability and security everywhere. With every gain made by IS more disaffected young Muslims throughout the West are attracted to its ideology. As Malcolm X said, “You can’t understand what’s going on in Mississippi if you don’t understand what’s going on in the Congo.”


Copyright © CounterPunch

John Wight is the author of a politically incorrect and irreverent Hollywood memoir – Dreams That Die – published by Zero Books. He’s also written five novels, which are available as Kindle eBooks. You can follow him on Twitter at @JohnWight1

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  1. dubinsky
    May 24, 2015 at 9:18 pm

    ” Further, when it comes to this conflict, the West is on the wrong side – friendly with those it has no business being friends with, and enemies of those it has no business being enemies with.:

    THAT’S where this thing falls apart.

    the US damn sure ought to be opposed to Iran, the Assads and the hezzies.

    that the ISIS forces are swine does not mean that the Assads and their supporters aren’t also vile, reactionary and worthless.

  2. Chris Maukonen
    May 24, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    The Iraqi army isn’t worth a damn for the same reason the South Vietnamese army wasn’t worth a damn, they just don’t do not give fuck. Period.

    Iraq being in the same condition as South Vietnam was priori to collapse.

  3. Shutter
    May 24, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    The inevitable attack on Fortress America, otherwise known as the Green Zone in Baghdad, is gonna be a wild variation on the Boxer Rebellion siege of the Foreign Legation in Peking. Except for who’s gonna win of course.

  4. Pluto
    May 24, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    Syria is about an issue over a single pipeline that delivers gas to Europe.

    The Shias want it to originate in Iran. The Sunnis (Our Saudi Overlords) want it to originate in Qatar. Syria chose the Shiite pipeline, and that’s why the CIA started yet another fake revolution there.

    ISIS was created and funded by the US, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, with strategic help from Turkey and Lebanon. (Pay attention to whom they do not attack.) We’ve known this from day one. They own complete fleets of identical SUVs and trucks. They are outrageously well armed and well funded. It’s just not that complicated to see what’s going on here. This, too, is a proxy war against Russia via Syria and Iran.


    Note the Syrian location. It’s up to them whose oil flows. War is always simple. Just follow the money. Note also the tiny tip of Crimea at the top of the Black Sea, and recall that Russia has diverted its EU gas supply pipeline from Bulgaria to Greece. The same destination as Iran’s proposed pipeline. That should tell you everything you need to know about geopolitics and the dying US Empire. (Also, for those who like paint-by-number geopolitics, this reveals the future of Greece.)

    As for the future of Iraq, here is a map of Bagdad. The green areas are the natural supporters of ISIS. The Red areas will need to assimilate or go. Today’s News, FYI: Defense Secretary Carter: Iraqis lack ‘will to fight’ to defeat Islamic State. (Hint to Sec’y Carter: For all of the Middle East, including Iraq, ANYTHING is better than whatever the US wants.)


  5. dubinsky
    May 24, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    the Iraqi army seems to be performing with even less enthusiasm than Saddam’s army displayed in opposing the US invasion.

  6. dubinsky
    May 24, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    the Syrian civil war didn’t start out over oil and it still isn’t about oil.

  7. dubinsky
    May 24, 2015 at 10:03 pm

    cute…… but doesn’t change the nature of the Assad dictatorship’s police state or explain why it’s not excellent policy to wish to see the Assad’s dead and in hell.

    they’ve killed 100,000 Syrian civilians (24, 000 of them women and children) and imprisoned, tortured and raped tens of thousands…..and without doing anything good.

  8. Pluto
    May 24, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    Did they cut off wimmens noses, too? More claptrap that’s none of the US’s business.

  9. dubinsky
    May 24, 2015 at 10:18 pm

    are you trying to make some point?

    Wight is claiming that we shouldn’t be opposed to the Assad’s…and that is simply a crack of crap.

    the US has no reason not to wish them gone…….. even if they stay away from noses.

    if you are implying that they have some virtue, please make that clearer.

  10. May 24, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    And then the secularist regime of Assad will be replaced by Wahhabi ISIS…or, some num’nut like HRC or any other from the neocon cohort(R) will send American grunts to die in defense of…? Because until Gas can reach the Med from Qatar’s North Field., the .01% will not be satisfied.

    War is and always has been a racket, and idiots will always remain idiots…

  11. dubinsky
    May 24, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    will it be replaced by ISIS?

    I think that isn’t the probable outcome.

    we’re not bombing the Assads and we ARE bombing ISIS.

    try imagining other possibilities for replacing the Assad dictatorship.

    and some oil pipeline isn’t what any of this is about.

  12. Pluto
    May 24, 2015 at 10:51 pm

    I’m stating that the world is sick unto death of US terrorist attacks.

  13. Pluto
    May 24, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    Tell your peeps to send in some real competition.

  14. Pluto
    May 24, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    Of course it did. If you’re not following the money, you’re just blowing smoke up your own ass.

    First rule of Intelligence Analysis.

  15. dubinsky
    May 24, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    my “peeps” is bombing them ISIS mofos……… and competition is being trained

  16. dubinsky
    May 24, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    sorry, but imaginary pipelines are just pipe dreams

    and money is not identical with oil.

    there really are more things in heaven and Syria, Pluto, than are dreamt of in your philosophy

  17. Pluto
    May 24, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    Terrorists bombing terrorists. Same shit different day.

  18. May 24, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    No it’s not about oil this time around. It’s about a gas line.

    What we’re bombing is not very well known, unless you trust the government that took us to war because WMD and mushroom clouds that we are in fact bombing ISIS…

    Just take a look at the number of sorties and ask yourself whether we are serious…. Effin convoys in the desert roaming freely, fer shit’s sake…

  19. Pluto
    May 24, 2015 at 11:10 pm

    You sound just like Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

  20. May 24, 2015 at 11:13 pm

    Whom they have created and whose funders they support… get a grip on your stupid, dub.

    Pentagon report predicted West’s support for Islamist rebels would create ISIS

    Anti-ISIS coalition knowingly sponsored violent extremists to ‘isolate’ Assad, rollback ‘Shia expansion’ –

    Newly-Declassified U.S. Government Documents: The West Supported the Creation of ISIS

    And, yup, The Muslim Brotherhood is part of this Western backed fundamentalist outfit. First we build them up, then we fight them, and the MIC is pocketing taxpayer dollars. Whoppee!!

  21. dubinsky
    May 24, 2015 at 11:20 pm
  22. dubinsky
    May 24, 2015 at 11:22 pm

    and you sound just like Lord John Whorfin

  23. dubinsky
    May 24, 2015 at 11:25 pm

    we’re not gonna bomb twelve guys in two trucks because it’s a boring day.

  24. Glenn Brown
    May 25, 2015 at 1:21 am

    Dubinsky, if you actually know the first thing about the Syrian government or about the war it’s fighting against extremist religious fanatics bought and paid for by a real brutal dictatorship (Saudi Arabia), then let’s see some proof of your expertise. Cite some sources, or at least say why you think Assad is such a monster. Give us your critique of the elections Syria held in 2012 and 2014. Or explain just how, if the Syrian government doesn’t have the strong support of a large part of the Syrian people, it’s managed to survive the meat grinder of a war it’s been forced to fight against fanatics supported by the Saudi’s, the Turks, and the Americans. Because I personally think the way the Syrian people and army have fought against the real monsters who are trying to destroy their country is deeply admirable.

  25. May 25, 2015 at 1:22 am

    Used to bomb tree canopies with napalm, day in and out… Now, so long as it ain’t a wedding party the “enemy” can safely advance by the dozen, in two trucks, at a time. (ignore the Abrams tanks and Hummers…

    So you say that the US sucks at asymmetrical warfare; what with all their Sea and Airpower, gidgets and fancy gadgets; all reducing to loss of major cities to sword wielding and kalashnikov toting, heart eating and head-offing heathens, taking major cities with two trucks, heh?

    Too much Wolf Blitzer, not enough sense, dub.

  26. dubinsky
    May 25, 2015 at 1:29 am

    You know, not many people knew it, but Bashir a terrific dancer. (now shouting with rage) That is because you were taken in by that verdammte Allied propaganda! Such filthy lies! They told lies! But nobody ever said a bad word about Winston Churchill, did they? No! “Win with Winnie!” Churchill! With his cigars, with his brandy. And his ROTTEN painting! Rotten! Vashir, THERE was a painter! He could paint an entire apartment in one afternoon! TWO COATS! Churchill. He couldn’t even say “Nazi”. He would say “Nooooozeeehz, Nooooozeeehz!” It wasn’t NOSES, it was NAZIS! Churchill! Let me tell you THIS! And you’re hearing this straight from the horse – and his father Hafez was better looking than Churchill. He was a better dresser than Churchill. He had more hair! He told funnier jokes! And he could dance the PANTS off of Churchill!

  27. dubinsky
    May 25, 2015 at 1:31 am

    jungle fighting when we had vast numbers of troops on the ground to protect…..isn’t an apt comparison with this

  28. Glenn Brown
    May 25, 2015 at 1:52 am

    Dubinsky, if you’re drinking some alcohol at the moment, maybe you shouldn’t drink and post. Or maybe this post does show just how competent you are to discuss serious issues. Maybe you should think, or even do a bit of research, before you write something. Unless your real goal here is just to be a troll.

  29. dubinsky
    May 25, 2015 at 1:54 am

    Glenn. on the off-chance that you were being serious and really asking me for reasons to oppose the Assad dictatorship police state ……. I guess I’m just bigoted and don’t like dictatorships that come to power n military coup and imprison, torture, rpe and murder tens of thousands of citizens to insure that they have no political rights or free press or freedom of expression.

    I’m silly in thinking that it’s not a good thing for the dictator to maintain power for a few decades and then have power pass to his son.
    (and when you ask me about elections in Syria I don’t know whether to laugh in your face or puke on your loafers.)

  30. dubinsky
    May 25, 2015 at 1:55 am

    I drink champagne on Dec 31 and on a couple of days in June.

  31. Glenn Brown
    May 25, 2015 at 2:08 am

    So Assad is a dictator, even though he was elected, unlike the King of Saudi Arabia, for instance? Maybe the Syrian electoral system doesn’t measure up to your high standards? I would be the last to deny that elections can sometimes be stolen. As in the case of Bush vs Gore, for example. And it’s certainly true that Assad has done some nasty things. Sucking up to the Americans with neoliberal economic policies and even torturing prisoners the Americans sent to him, to cite two examples. But what exactly is it about Assad that makes you think he’s such a horrible dictator? Could it be the fact that he’s opposed to Israel? Or maybe it’s that he’s allied with Iran? Is that what makes you sick, Dubinsky?

  32. Southern
    May 25, 2015 at 2:14 am

    Well stated Pluto – The GWOT is a giant smoke screen hiding many different aspects all at once – The final phase of globalization in the form of secret FTA’s doing the rounds – We hear so little about MEFTA – [Middle Eastern Free Trade Agreement]

    This is indeed pretty much all about control over hydrocarbons – Specially the currency that these might be traded in as well as installing and maintaining Neo-Con approved puppets lording over strategic territory.

  33. dubinsky
    May 25, 2015 at 2:19 am


    who thinks that the elections where the winner is always named Assad mean any more than a fart in a windstorm.


    ” what exactly is it about Assad that makes you think he’s such a horrible dictator?”

    I guess that raping and torturing tens of thousands of people in the prisons and killing 24,000 Syrian women and children doesn’t mean that’s he’s not a nice dictator.

    here’s a quarter, Glenn. go out a buy a clue.

  34. dubinsky
    May 25, 2015 at 2:55 am


    the US doesn’t even make the list of the 10 most popular terrorist bombers

  35. Glenn Brown
    May 25, 2015 at 2:56 am

    Nice picture, Dubinsky, but in this case, it’s not worth a thousand words. Interesting that you think resorting to insults and calling me a fool answers the questions I’m raising. Well, maybe I am a fool for trying to have an honest discussion with you. But shall we sharpen my criticism a little more? Let’s compare Syria to its next door neighbour, Israel. Which country is more democratic? In one country, the government rules over a brutalized population which is not allowed to vote. (otherwise know as the Palestinians) One religion is favored over all others. (Why does the western media almost always describe the Syrian government as “Alawite dominated”, but never describes the Israeli government as “Jewish dominated”? The government commits mass murder on a regular basis, using cynical racist language like describing its crimes as “mowing the lawn”.
    The other country, while far from perfect, is ruled by a secular government that really protects religious minorities like the
    Christians. It’s surrounded by ruthless enemies who are doing everything they can to destroy it. Hundreds of thousands of people in this country have died in the last few years, and over two million people have been displaced as refugees. But of course you don’t feel the need to write in any detail about the suffering of that country, do you Dubinsky? You regard yourself as such a moral, high-minded person, utterly opposed to dictatorship, so you denounce Assad as a dictator. Even though you don’t seem to know much more about Syria than a Fox News analyst would. Yet somehow you seem to focus your indignation at the strategic enemies of the US and Israel.

  36. dubinsky
    May 25, 2015 at 3:17 am

    Glenn, everything that I’ve said about the Assads is factual and true…….and you haven’t been able to say anything anything to deny it or to say anything that’s good about the Assad hereditary dictatorship…..what’s to discuss?

    the Assads have become billionaires and BEFORE any protests or fighting, the employment rate in Syria (2008) was 45% and literacy slightly above 80%……

    they did nothing good except for themselves and their supporters.

  37. Glenn Brown
    May 25, 2015 at 4:14 am

    Dubinski, I’m pleased that you are starting to be a bit more specific in your criticism of Assad, rather than just throwing around the term “dictator”. But how accurate is your criticism? According to this source

    the unemployment rate in 2009 was 10.9, which is certainly too high, but it’s not nearly as bad as unemployment rate of 55%. (Maybe I’m misunderstanding what you mean by ‘an employment rate of 45%?)
    There are conflicting reports on Syrian literacy, but Wikipedia provides some context.

    “Education is free and compulsory from ages 6 to 12. Schooling consists of 6 years of primary education followed by a 3-year general or vocational training period and a 3-year academic or vocational program. The second 3-year period of academic training is required for university admission. Total enrollment at post-secondary schools is over 150,000. The literacy rate of Syrians aged 15 and older is 90.7% for males and 82.2% for females.[179][180]

    Since 1967, all schools, colleges, and universities have been under close government supervision by the Ba’ath Party.[181]

    There are 6 state universities in Syria[182] and 15 private universities.[183] The top two state universities are University of Damascus (180,000 students)[184] and University of Aleppo.[185] The top private universities in Syria are: Syrian Private University, Arab International University, University of Kalamoon and International University for Science and Technology. There are also many higher institutes in Syria, like the Higher Institute of Business Administration, which offer undergraduate and graduate programs in business.[186]”
    As I said in a previous post, Assad did adopt some neoliberal economic polices prior to the war. That, when coupled with a major drought possibly exacerbated by global warming, did a lot of damage to the Syrian economy prior to the war, and helped start up the current war.
    However, the fact that Assad’s policies before the war were flawed doesn’t change the fact that he and his government currently has a lot of support from the Syrian people. This support says more about how absolutely horrible Assad’s Islamic enemies are than it does about any particular virtues Assad possesses. There is no doubt that many Syrians would wish they didn’t have to choose between Assad and ISIS or Al Qaida. But given that choice, a substantial majority of Syrians did vote for Assad in the 2014 elections. He was elected in what were, given that the country was in the middle of a war, fairly “democratic” elections.

  38. dubinsky
    May 25, 2015 at 4:22 am

    ” ,,,, the 17.5% increase of the population in Syria between 2001 and 2008, was accompanied by a fall in the share of the population employed (from 46.6% to 44.8%) due to difficulties encountered by the economy in creating the requisite number of new jobs to absorb an increase in working age population (250,000 new entrants into the labor force annually). The above phenomenon has been accompanied by a reduction of the share of youth amongst the employed population from 30.8% in 2001 to 20.4% in 2008″


    you keep on with the horseshh1t about the farcical election

    Voting was held only in government-controlled areas, excluding huge tracks of northern and eastern Syria that are in rebel hands.

  39. Southern
    May 25, 2015 at 4:24 am

    Nothing is ever what it seems to be whenever the US is involved….hydrocarbons are only part of the greater geo-political spiel.

    One thing is fer sure – We may find that in our society – as in a stagnant pond – the scum floats to the top.

  40. Glenn Brown
    May 25, 2015 at 4:47 am

    Dubinski, did you know that Abraham Lincoln was reelected in 1864, during the American Civil War? I really don’t think you’d want to argue that election was “farcical” because the territories controlled by the Southern traitors didn’t participate. And
    of course a majority of the Syrian population is in government controlled territory.
    Even though the American government and the Saudi King won’t admit it, the fact that the Syrian government did have an election, despite the war, does give Assad and his government greater legitimacy.

  41. dubinsky
    May 25, 2015 at 4:56 am

    maybe you should do a bit of research and learn about opposition parties in the Assads’Syria and how opposition candidates get on the ballot.


    ( in the US, when Lincoln died, one of his sons didn’t take over, you silly person

  42. Glenn Brown
    May 25, 2015 at 5:13 am

    Dubinsky, it’s certainly true that Syria isn’t a political utopia. Assad only changed Syria from a single party to multiparty system in 2011, at which time he was considered a reformer. On the other hand, Syria doesn’t have a subject population under its control that is methodically tyrannized and forbidden the right to vote. So in that respect, Syria is much more democratic than Israel, which doesn’t extend its democracy to its oppressed Palestinian “helots” in the West Bank and Gaza.
    And you’re right, Lincoln wasn’t succeeded by a son. His assassination sort of put an end to his political influence.
    It wasn’t until Supreme Court Justices appointed by former President and CIA head George Bush helped his son steal the Presidency that democracy in America became a complete joke.

  43. May 25, 2015 at 5:16 am

    The Sunnis want it to originate in Iran. The Shias (Our Saudi Overlords) want it to originate in Qatar.

    Err… the Sauds are Sunni and Iran is Shiite, Pluto…! 😉

  44. disqus_tu7SEHpgGp
    May 25, 2015 at 8:42 am

    Ouch! That is gonna hurt.

  45. disqus_tu7SEHpgGp
    May 25, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Are you suggesting the US should go in there and kill the “army”, in the process, killing more innocent women and children?

  46. disqus_tu7SEHpgGp
    May 25, 2015 at 8:55 am

    Would money not best be spent developing and building more efficient and infrared solar panels, in Syria, taking advantage of the two assets of the region, sun and heat. Exporting to the world could lift Syria from a world of refugee camps to an economy driving the area.

    Yeah, I know …

  47. disqus_tu7SEHpgGp
    May 25, 2015 at 8:56 am

    Unfortunately, that “strategy” began with the insipid moron president and his gang of thieves.

  48. disqus_tu7SEHpgGp
    May 25, 2015 at 9:05 am

    Glenn, awesome, and, thanks for jumping in.

  49. disqus_tu7SEHpgGp
    May 25, 2015 at 9:10 am

    Don’t forget the flood of refugees from Iraq Syria took in, a direct result of the US richard cranium administration invading Iraq.

    BTW, weren’t the Ba’aths involved in maintaining Saddam’s government in Iraq?

  50. disqus_tu7SEHpgGp
    May 25, 2015 at 9:13 am

    Yes, dub. The “population increase” was directly attributable to the US invading Iraq. In an economy barely doing OK, to increase the population in such a way is the strain most any government. Perhaps the war goons of Bush II anticipated that. Perhaps that is why they were, at best, asleep at the switch on 11Sep01.

  51. disqus_tu7SEHpgGp
    May 25, 2015 at 9:22 am

    The US makes my list as the top ten. Killing from afar, blowing up wedding parties of relatives in hopes that they can blow up the subsequent funeral in hopes of “getting their man”? I personally know of one drone squadron commander who quit in disgust over the program.

    Do you get your “top ten” list from propaganda outlets like Faux Entertainment™ etc.?

  52. dubinsky
    May 25, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    I don’t remember suggesting that……. I figure that Assad’s army is disintegrating and fewer and fewer Syrians are protecting the Assads and it’s becoming more and more foreign Shi’a

  53. dubinsky
    May 25, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    it should be without saying that President Assad is a moron and his “family” thieves.

  54. dubinsky
    May 25, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    keep on trying to shift the focus off the (lack of) merits of the Assad regime away from the Assad regime and onto Israel and you keep exposing yourself as full of shift and sophistry.

  55. Not CIA not me
    May 25, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    It’s over the transport of the gas from Pars field in Qatar and the Leviathan gas field in Israel. It’s about reducing Europe’s reliance on Russian natural gas.

  56. Not CIA not me
    May 25, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    They have ISIS leaders and fighters in the ‘competition’. Better brush up on who’s in the Army of Conquest. They also have fighters from other ‘bad’ groups such as Jabhat Al Nusra and Al Nusra Front.
    You have to do more than bomb empty APCs, Syrian government building and depots, and so on to be more convincing. There is a lot of staging and posturing by ISIS and the US government to try to convince the public.

  57. dubinsky
    May 25, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    it ain’t. but you’re entitled to your opinion.

  58. Pluto
    May 25, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    Thanks, CT. Corrected. (It was right there on the legend of my Bagdad map.) I hope they don’t come after me for this innocent mistake 😉

  59. Bill Rood
    May 25, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    Half that 100,000 were Syrian soldiers and militia loyal to Assad. Atrocities on both sides, and until US allies instigated the rebellion, Assad was no worse than Mubarak, Sisi or for that matter Netanyahu.

  60. dubinsky
    May 25, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    No, Bill…. the 100,000 is only civilian non-combatants killed by Assad’s thugs

    total killed is more than 225,000

  61. Bill Rood
    May 25, 2015 at 11:26 pm

    I was assuming from your figure of 100,000 that you were citing statistics from a couple years ago. Sure, the casualties continue to mount. But in any case, at least half the casualties are people loyal to the government, and they are both civilian and fighters.. You imply all deaths are the result of government actions, and that’s simply not the case.

  62. dubinsky
    May 25, 2015 at 11:35 pm

    I didn’t think I was implying much of anything….. I’m stating that 100,000 of the people that the Assad forces/allies have killed are non-combatants and of that 100,00, 24,000 are Syrian women and children.

  63. Bill Rood
    May 26, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    But you make no mention of the tens of thousands of innocent Syrians, mainly Christian and Alawite, who have been slaughtered by the taqfiris. Bias is found not in what is said, but in what is not said.

    You’re part of the propaganda machine that endlessly harps on the crimes of the enemies of the US elites and their allies and constantly ignores or makes excuses for the crimes of the US, its allies and those it pretends to oppose but in fact supports through its proxies in KSA, Qatar and Turkey.

  64. dubinsky
    May 26, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    I certainly am revolted by the wanton slaughter of the innocent perpetrated by ISIS and would prefer to see all of ISIS dead.

  65. Bill Rood
    May 26, 2015 at 11:49 pm

    There is no “other possibilities for replacing the Assad dictatorship.” The FSA has demonstrated repeatedly that it’s really a stalking horse for ISIS and al-Nusra. Most of the weapons that have gone to our “vetted” insurgents have ended up in the hands of one of those extremist groups.

    So, you have two choices. One of them is a secular government that protects the Christian, Alawite, Druze and Shia minorities in Syria, but is brutal with any Sunni it even suspects of being a terrorist, and has been a willing partner in the CIA extraordinary rendition program, torturing innocent people like Maher Arar, who was detained with no probable cause at JFK airport when en route to his home in Candada, then without being allowed counsel was sent to Syria, even though he was a Canadian citizen traveling on a Canadian passport.

    Your other choice is a takfiri regime that beheads people solely because they’re Western journalists, or simply don’t agree religiously, who apparently think it’s OK to hold Yazidi women as sex slaves because Yazidis aren’t “people of the book.”

    Those are your only two choices, Dub. Oh, I suppose you can “create (y)our own reality,” by acting and providing me with a new reality (like the neo-cons did when they created ISIS and allowed KSA, Qatar and Turkey to fund them and send them weapons). You can intervene against Assad and create a power vacuum, and then the reality-based community will have to deal with the outcome of that, which is likely to be a very strong Caliphate that controls all of Syria, Lebanon and NW Iraq. Just remember, while you are creating your own reality, ISIS will also be creating its reality, which you will have to deal with.

  66. dubinsky
    May 27, 2015 at 12:01 am

    sorry, but I reject that false dichotomy.

    ISIS isn’t gonna rule Syria and the Assads aren’t going to reclaim the dictatorship.

    the two more likely outcomes are near-anarchy or some sort of patched-together coalition something like Lebanon

  67. Bill Rood
    May 27, 2015 at 1:54 am

    Mainly, I was refuting your proposal to do away with Assad. It ain’t gonna happen, and if the US attempts to force Assad out, it will merely strengthen ISIS and al-Nusra. It’s already near-anarchy, and your “patched-together coalition” would be dominated by ISIS and al-Nusra, at which time ISIS will set its sights on Israel.

  68. dubinsky
    May 27, 2015 at 2:39 am

    the Assads are already out of power as they control only about 1/3 of the country….. and are broke and can’t re-take and hold any territory.

    it’s the Iranians who are bringing the money and the fighters….the Assads can do no more than try to hang on to what little that they still hold and hope that the Iranians will somehow continue to pay their expenses without fully owning them.