THE ISIS FIASCO: IT’S REALLY AN ATTACK ON IRAN

June 21, 2014 – 5:01 am


When Iraq refused to grant immunity to US troops garrisoned on Iraqi soil, the Americans left in 2011. Now the man who refused to sign that amended treaty (the Status of Forces agreement), Nouri Kamal al-Maliki, is on his knees begging for the Americans to come back. Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki is facing a revolt in his Armed Forces as rebels surround Baghdad. Mike Whitney explains who wants what and what may be the real goal - to curb Iran’s influence on Iraq.

There’s something that doesn’t ring-true about the coverage of crisis in Iraq. Maybe it’s the way the media reiterates the same, tedious storyline over and over again with only the slightest changes in the narrative. For example, I was reading an article in the Financial Times by Council on Foreign Relations president, Richard Haass, where he says that al-Maliki’s military forces in Mosul “melted away”.

Interestingly, the Haass op-ed was followed by a piece by David Gardener who used almost the very same language. He said the “army melts away.” So, I decided to thumb through the news a bit and see how many other journalists were stung by the “melted away” bug. And, as it happens, there were quite a few, including Politico, NBC News, News Sentinel, Global Post, the National Interest, ABC News etc.

Now, the only way an unusual expression like that would pop up with such frequency would be if the authors were getting their talking points from a central authority (which they probably do.) But the effect, of course, is the exact opposite than what the authors intend, that is, these cookie cutter stories leave readers scratching their heads and feeling like something fishy is going on.

And something fishy IS going on. The whole fable about 1,500 jihadis scaring the pants off 30,000 Iraqi security guards to the point where they threw away their rifles, changed their clothes and headed for the hills, is just not believable. I don’t know what happened in Mosul, but, I’ll tell you one thing, it wasn’t that. That story just doesn’t pass the smell test.

And what happened in Mosul matters too, because nearly every journalist and pundit in the MSM is using the story to discredit al-Maliki and suggest that maybe Iraq would be better off without him. Haass says that it shows that the army’s “allegiance to the government is paper thin”. Gardener says it’s a sign of “a fast failing state.” Other op-ed writers like Nicolas Kristof attack al-Maliki for other reasons, like being too sectarian. Here’s Kristof:

“The debacle in Iraq isn’t President Obama’s fault. It’s not the Republicans’ fault. Both bear some responsibility, but, overwhelmingly, it’s the fault of the Iraqi prime minister, Nouri Kamal al-Maliki.”

Of course, Kristof is no match for the imperial mouthpiece, Tom Friedman. When it comes to pure boneheaded bluster, Friedman is still numero uno. Here’s how the jowly pundit summed it up in an article in the Sunday Times titled “5 Principles for Iraq”:

“Iraq’s Shiite prime minister, Nouri Kamal al-Maliki, has proved himself not to be a friend of a democratic, pluralistic Iraq either. From Day 1, he has used his office to install Shiites in key security posts, drive out Sunni politicians and generals and direct money to Shiite communities. In a word, al-Maliki has been a total jerk. Besides being prime minister, he made himself acting minister of defense, minister of the interior and national security adviser, and his cronies also control the Central Bank and the Finance Ministry.

Al-Maliki had a choice - to rule in a sectarian way or in an inclusive way - and he chose sectarianism. We owe him nothing.” (5 Principles For Iraq, Tom Freidman, New York Times)

Leave it to Friedman, eh? In other words, the reason Iraq is such a mess, has nothing to do with the invasion, the occupation, the death squads, Abu Ghraib, the Salvador Option, the decimated infrastructure, the polluted environment, or the vicious sectarian war the US ignited with its demented counterinsurgency program. Oh, no. The reason Iraq is a basketcase is because al-Maliki is a jerk. Al-Maliki is sectarian. Bad al-Maliki.

Sound familiar? Putin last week. Al-Maliki this week. Who’s next?

In any event, there is a rational explanation for what happened in Mosul although I cannot verify its authenticity. Check out this post at Syria Perspectives blog:

“…the Iraqi Ba’ath Party’s primary theoretician and Saddam’s right-hand man, ‘Izzaat Ibraaheem Al-Douri, himself a native of Mosul… was searching out allies in a very hostile post-Saddam Iraq… Still on the run and wanted for execution by the al-Maliki government, Al-Douri still controlled a vast network of Iraqi Sunni Ba’athists who operated in a manner similar to the old Odessa organization that helped escaped Nazis after WWII… he did not have the support structure needed to oust al-Maliki, so, he found an odd alliance in ISIS through the offices of Erdoghan and Bandar.

“Our readers should note that the taking of Mosul was accomplished by former Iraqi Ba’athist officers suspiciously abandoning their posts and leaving a 52,000 man military force without any leadership thereby forcing a complete collapse of the city’s defenses. The planning and collaboration cannot be coincidental.” (The Inner Core Of ISIS - The Invasive Species, Ziad Fadel, Syrian Perspectives)

I’ve read variations of this same explanation on other blogs, but I have no way of knowing whether they’re true or not. But what I do know, is that it’s a heckuva a lot more believable than the other explanation mainly because it provides enough background and detail to make the scenario seem plausible. The official version - the “melts away” version - doesn’t do that at all. It just lays out this big bogus story expecting people to believe it on faith alone. Why? Because it appeared in all the papers?

That seems like a particularly bad reason for believing anything.

And the “army melting away” story is just one of many inconsistencies in the official media version of events. Another puzzler is why Obama allowed the jihadis to rampage across Iraq without lifting a finger to help. Does that strike anyone else as a bit odd?

When was the last time an acting president failed to respond immediately and forcefully to a similar act of aggression?

Never. The US always responds. And the pattern is always the same. “Stop what you are doing now or we’re going to bomb you to smithereens.” Isn’t that the typical response?

Sure it is. But Obama delivered no such threat this time. Instead, he’s qualified his support for al-Maliki saying that the beleaguered president must “begin accommodating Sunni participation in his government” before the US will lend a hand. What kind of lame response is that? Check out this blurb from MNI News:

“President Barack Obama Friday warned Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki that the United States wants him to begin accommodating Sunni participation in his government, or see the United States withhold the help he needs, short of US troops on the ground, to ward off an attack on Baghdad.

Obama added the emphasis of an appearance before TV cameras to his midday message, that while he will be considering options for some military intervention in the days ahead, the next move is up to al-Maliki.” (Obama Warns Iraq’s al-Maliki, Looking for Sunni-Shia Accommodation, MNI)

Have you ever read such nonsense in your life? Imagine if, let’s say, the jihadi hordes had gathered just 50 miles outside of London and were threatening to invade at any minute. Do you think Obama would deliver the same message to UK Prime Minister David Cameron?

“Gee, Dave, we’d really like to help out, but you need to put a couple of these guys in your government first. Would that be okay, Dave? Just think of it as affirmative action for terrorists.”

It might sound crazy, but that’s what Obama wants al-Maliki to do. So, what’s going on here? Why is Obama delivering ultimatums when he should be helping out? Could it be that Obama has a different agenda than al-Maliki’s and that the present situation actually works to his benefit?


ISIS has so far attacked Mosul, Baiji, Tikrit, Samarra and are now heading to Baghdad. Map posted at dailymail.co.uk.

It sure looks that way. Just take a look at what Friedman says further on in the same article. It helps to clarify the point. He says:

“Maybe Iran, and its wily Revolutionary Guards Quds Force commander, Gen Qassem Suleimani, aren’t so smart after all. It was Iran that armed its Iraqi Shiite allies with the specially shaped bombs that killed and wounded many American soldiers. Iran wanted us out. It was Iran that pressured al-Maliki into not signing an agreement with the US to give our troops legal cover to stay in Iraq. Iran wanted to be the regional hegemon. Well, Suleimani: “This Bud’s for you.” Now your forces are overextended in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, and ours are back home. Have a nice day.” (5 Principles For Iraq, Tom Friedman, New York Times)

Interesting, eh? Friedman basically admits that this whole fiasco is about Iran who turned out to be the biggest winner in the Iraq War sweepstakes. Naturally, that pisses off people in Washington, Tel Aviv and Riyadh to no end, so they’ve cooked up this goofy plan to either remove al-Maliki altogether or significantly trim his wings. Isn’t that what’s going on? And that’s why Obama is holding a gun to al-Maliki’s head and telling him what hoops he has to jump through in order to get US help. Because he’s determined to weaken Iran’s hegemonic grip on Baghdad.

Friedman also notes the Status of Forces agreement which would have allowed US troops to stay in Iraq. Al-Maliki rejected the deal which enraged Washington setting the stage for this latest terrorist farce. Obama intends to reverse that decision by hook or crook. This is just the way Washington does business, by twisting arms and breaking legs. Everybody knows this.

To understand what’s going on today in Iraq, we need to know a little history. In 2002, The Bush administration commissioned the Rand Corporation “to develop a Shaping Strategy for pacifying Muslim populations where the US has commercial or strategic interests.” The plan they came up with–which was called “US Strategy in the Muslim World after 9-11” - recommended that the US, “Align its policy with Shiite groups who aspire to have more participation in government and greater freedoms of political and religious expression. If this alignment can be brought about, it could erect a barrier against radical Islamic movements and may create a foundation for a stable US position in the Middle East.”

The Bushies decided to follow this wacky plan which proved to be a huge tactical error. By throwing their weight behind the Shia, they triggered a massive Sunni rebellion that initiated as many as 100 attacks per day on US soldiers. That, in turn, led to a savage US counterinsurgency that wound up killing tens of thousands of Sunnis while reducing much of the country to ruins. Petraeus’ vicious onslaught was concealed behind the misleading PR smokescreen of sectarian civil war. It was actually a genocidal war against the people who Obama now tacitly supports in Mosul and Tikrit.

So there’s been a huge change of policy, right? And the fact that the US has taken a hands-off approach to ISIS suggests that the Obama administration has abandoned the Rand strategy altogether and is looking for ways to support Sunni-led groups in their effort to topple the Al Assad regime in Damascus, weaken Hezbollah, and curtail Iran’s power in the region. While the strategy is ruthless and despicable, at least it makes sense in the perverted logic of imperial expansion, which the Rand plan never did.

What is happening in Iraq today was anticipated in a 2007 Seymour Hersh article titled “The Redirection.” Author Tony Cartalucci gives a great summary of the piece in his own article. He says:

“The Redirection,” documents… US, Saudi, and Israeli intentions to create and deploy sectarian extremists region-wide to confront Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah in Lebanon. Hersh would note that these “sectarian extremists” were either tied to Al-Qaeda, or Al-Qaeda itself. The ISIS army moving toward Baghdad is the final manifestation of this conspiracy, a standing army operating with impunity, threatening to topple the Syrian government, purge pro-Iranian forces in Iraq, and even threatening Iran itself by building a bridge from Al-Qaeda’s NATO safe havens in Turkey, across northern Iraq, and up to Iran’s borders directly…

It is a defacto re-invasion of Iraq by Western interests - but this time without Western forces directly participating - rather a proxy force the West is desperately attempting to disavow any knowledge of or any connection to.” (America’s Covert Re-Invasion of Iraq, Tony Cartalucci, Information Clearinghouse)

So, now we’re getting to the crux of the matter, right? Now we should be able to identify the policy that is guiding events. What we know for sure is that the US wants to break Iran’s grip on Iraq. But how do they plan to achieve that; that’s the question?

Well, they could use their old friends the Baathists who they’ve been in touch with since 2007. That might work. But then they’d have to add a few jihadis to the mix to make it look believable.

Okay. But does that mean that Obama is actively supporting ISIS?

No, not necessarily. ISIS is already connected to other Intel agencies and might not need direct support from the US. (Note: Many analysts have stated that the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) receives generous donations from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, both of whom are staunch US allies. According to London’s Daily Express: “through allies such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the West (has) supported militant rebel groups which have since mutated into ISIS and other Al‑Qaeda connected militias. (Daily Telegraph, June 12, 2014)

What’s important as far as Obama is concerned, is that the strategic objectives of ISIS and those of the United States coincide. Both entities seek greater political representation for Sunnis, both want to minimize Iranian influence in Iraq, and both support a soft partition plan that former president of the Council on Foreign Relations, Leslie H Gelb, called “The only viable strategy to correct (Iraq’s) historical defect and move in stages toward a three-state solution: Kurds in the north, Sunnis in the center and Shiites in the south.” This is why Obama hasn’t attacked the militia even though it has marched to within 50 miles of Baghdad. It’s because the US benefits from these developments.

Let’s summarize:

Does the US Government “support” or “not support” terrorism depending on the situation?
Yes.

Have foreign Intel agencies supplied terrorist organizations in Syria with weapons and logistical support?
Yes.

Has the CIA?
Yes.

Has the Obama administration signaled that they would like to get rid of al-Maliki or greatly reduce his power?
Yes.

Is this because they think the present arrangement strengthens Iran’s regional influence?
Yes.

Will ISIS invade Baghdad?
No. (This is just a guess, but I expect that something has been already worked out between the Obama team and the Baathist leaders. If Baghdad was really in danger, Obama would probably be acting with greater earnestness.)

Will Syria and Iraq be partitioned?
Yes.

Is ISIS a CIA creation?
No. According to Ziad Fadel, “ISIS is the creation of the one man who played Al-Qaeda like a yo-yo. Bandar bin Sultan.”

Does ISIS take orders from Washington or the CIA?
Probably not, although their actions appear to coincide with US strategic objectives. (which is the point!)

Is Obama’s reluctance to launch an attack on Isis indicate that he wants to diminish Iran’s power in Iraq, redraw the map of the Middle East, and create politically powerless regions run by warlords and tribal leaders?
Yes, yes and yes.

Note: Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at [email protected] The above article was posted at CounterPunch.

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U.S. RULES OUT MILITARY ACTION UNTIL AL-MALIKI STANDS DOWN

By Patrick Cockburn

The US has told senior Iraqi officials that the Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, must leave office if it is to intervene militarily to stop the advance of Sunni extremists, The Independent has learnt (on June 18, 2014). The Sunni community sees Mr Maliki as the main architect of its oppression and the Americans believe there can be no national reconciliation between Sunni and Shia unless he ceases to be leader of the country.

Mr Maliki is showing every sign of wanting to cling to power despite the disasters of the past 10 days during which his army of 350,000 men, on which $41.6bn (£24.5bn) has been spent by Iraq since 2011, has disintegrated after being attacked by a far less numerous foe. He has blamed Saudi Arabia, the Kurds and treacherous generals, but has offered no real explanation nor taken responsibility for the defeat.

Mr Maliki was effectively appointed by the US in 2006 but is today seen as being under the influence of Iran. The Iranian leadership is divided on whether or not to withdraw its support from Mr Maliki and see Shia dominance and Iranian power in Iraq diluted. Iranian commanders have taken over central direction of the Iraqi army, but Iraqi politicians do not believe that Iran has a coherent plan to rescue the Baghdad government from the crisis. The Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, said that “the great Iranian nation will not hesitate to defend the holy [Shia] shrines”. These are at Samarra in the front line, al-Kadhimiya in Baghdad and Najaf and Karbala further south.

The most effective shape for US military support would be air strikes on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) fighters called in by American forward air controllers operating with Iraqi units. Drones would be largely useless against an elusive and lightly armed enemy, though US air strikes of any type would raise the morale of the Iraqi military and the Shia population.

There is a constitutional way of getting rid of Mr Maliki when the Iraqi parliament meets before the end of June. It must choose a speaker and a president who will then ask a member of the largest party to form a government. It is unlikely that Mr Maliki would be chosen Prime Minister as other parties unite against him. “It is impossible that he should serve a third term,” said an Iraq politician who did not want to be named. - independent.co.uk (click here for more)

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U.S. IN IRAQ: GEOPOLITICAL ARSONISTS SEEK TO BURN REGION

By Tony Cartalucci

When a fire is raging, firefighters are called - not the arsonist who started it, especially if they return to the scene of the crime dragging a barrel of gasoline behind them. Yet, this is precisely what the US proposes - that they - the geopolitical arsonists - be allowed to return to Iraq to extinguish the threat of heavily armed sectarian militants streaming from NATO territory in Turkey and edging ever closer to Baghdad.

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is a creation of the United States and its Persian Gulf allies, namely Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and recently added to the list, Kuwait. The Daily Beast in an article titled, “America’s Allies Are Funding ISIS,” states:

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), now threatening Baghdad, was funded for years by wealthy donors in Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, three U.S. allies that have dual agendas in the war on terror.

Despite the candor of the opening sentence, the article would unravel into a myriad of lies laid to obfuscate America’s role in the creation of ISIS. The article would claim:
The extremist group that is threatening the existence of the Iraqi state was built and grown for years with the help of elite donors from American supposed allies in the Persian Gulf region. There, the threat of Iran, Assad, and the Sunni-Shiite sectarian war trumps the US goal of stability and moderation in the region.

However, the US goal in the region was never “stability” and surely not “moderation.” As early as 2007, sources within the Pentagon and across the US intelligence community revealed a conspiracy to drown the Middle East in sectarian war, and to do so by arming and funding extremist groups including the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda itself…

In fact, the US admits it has armed, funded, and equipped “moderates” to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. In a March 2013 Telegraph article titled, “US and Europe in ‘major airlift of arms to Syrian rebels through Zagreb’,” it was reported that a single program included 3,000 tons of weapons sent in 75 planeloads paid for by Saudi Arabia at the bidding of the United States. The New York Times in its article, “Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels Expands, With CIA Aid,” admits that the CIA assisted Arab governments and Turkey with military aid to terrorists fighting in Syria constituting hundreds of airlifts landing in both Jordan and Turkey. - landdestroyer.blogspot (click here for more)

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  1. 3 Responses to “THE ISIS FIASCO: IT’S REALLY AN ATTACK ON IRAN”

  2. While this political, religious and economic chess game gets played out, do any of the powers making this war possible give a damn how many people get killed?

    By The Little Guy on Jun 21, 2014

  3. FFS, the reason all those journalists are using the “melted away” cliche is because the exact same thing happened in 2003 when the US invaded, and the same phrase was used to describe it at the time. Google “Iraqi army” “melted away” “2003″ for plenty of examples. The Iraqi “army” is infamous for flipping their so-called allegiances to whoever seems to be winning at the moment, or at least stripping off their uniforms and turning into civilians as soon as actual bravery is required.

    So the two possibilities here are that the writer is so ignorant of the history of Iraq from only a decade ago that he had no clue that he was saying something stupid, or that he knows better and is pretending that “melting away” is some pernicious new talking point (probably issued by the US, or the Zionists, blah blah blah).

    By none more black on Jun 26, 2014

  4. I really find it hard to believe the U.S. is controlling much of anything that is going on in the Middle East.History is full of unusual alliances against a common enemy.

    By Mike on Jun 27, 2014

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