Iraq insurgent advance slows, U.S. sends carrier to Gulf

Comments (25)
Doc62 wrote:

“We all should practically and verbally confront terrorist groups,”
Rouhani and Shia Iraq are NERVOUS! If the Sunni ISIL take Iraq, they will butcher Iran next. More oil rich little countries to follow. Verbally won’t work with terrorists. While you chat – They’ll shoot!

Jun 14, 2014 10:32am EDT  --  Report as abuse
PCScipio wrote:

Doc62, most of those “oil rich little countries” are Sunni like the ISIL, so not only don’t they have a lot to worry about, but they are likely supporting the insurgents.

Jun 14, 2014 11:02am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Bagehot wrote:

Like Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Syria, Iraq is essentially a fiction invented by Britain and France in the last gasp of colonialism following the Great War. Today, as we remember the fall of Paris 74 years ago, it is well to remember just how far U.S. responsibility goes. History will show that we gave both Iraq and Afghanistan every chance to be a free, democratic and unified nation. If they don’t want it, I say leave them to their fate. One drone strike hitting an orphanage or hospital and we become the Great Satan again. Let the GCC deal with it.

Jun 14, 2014 11:24am EDT  --  Report as abuse
JamVee wrote:

I am not at all sure which side of this conflict represents the biggest threat to the US and our allies.

I place absolutely no trust in the current Shiite led government of Iraq NOR the Sunni Rebels. I think we should stand back and let them sort it out on their own. I get the feeling that the vast majority of Sunni’s are not Jihadists, they’ve simply had a bellyful of the grossly unfair treatment by their own Shiite Government.

Jun 14, 2014 11:43am EDT  --  Report as abuse
kehenaliving wrote:


Jun 14, 2014 12:34pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
gitmojo wrote:

Excellent idea to let the Iranians fight the Sunnis into oblivion.
It’s how it always was and always will be, like water seeking its own level.
The ideal situation was under Hussein when the tribes kept each other under control. This will be messier but who cares as long as we’re not dying in there.
Obama’s foreign policy of ” I’ll look into it” wins again.

Jun 14, 2014 1:02pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
libertadormg wrote:

Somebody trading crude oil futures is going to make a killing on this unrest. If Malaki regains full control the spigots will flow unabated. If not, it may spell trouble is the southern production is curtailed. Somebody has a very good idea which way it will swing, and trust me, they will make billions on paper trading crude oil.

Jun 14, 2014 2:26pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
nose2066 wrote:

Is this whole idea of a religious war just a facade to gather recruits? Not that many years ago, the different groups in the Middle East just used to fight each other based on which tribe they belonged to.

In fact, that whole rebellion down in Libya was rebels from one tribe fighting against the government of Muammar Gaddafi who was from a different tribe.

Jun 14, 2014 2:54pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Stickystones wrote:

nose2066 wrote:

Is this whole idea of a religious war just a facade to gather recruits?

It is a simmering cauldron below the façade and it is spilling out with religious leaders stirring it. Making it a religious war defines it as a ‘just war’ for the faithful. Although any means to justify the end will do to gather recruits – such as the ‘war on terror’ or the ‘evil Nazis’.

Jun 14, 2014 3:41pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
carnivalchaos wrote:

It’s very frustrating to have argued to whomever would listen that we shouldn’t invade Iraq because what Bush was proposing, bringing democracy to Iraq, was a fool’s errand only to see this happen, precisely what I so easily predicted over 10 years ago. It makes me so mad. All those wasted lives and all that wasted money, just to open Pandora’s box, empowering Iran and unleashing the dogs of war across the Middle East. This could get very ugly real soon and Bush and the Republicans bear the brunt of the responsibility. And yet we put them in charge of the House of Representatives. One way or another we’re going to pay for this.

Jun 14, 2014 4:13pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
carlmartel wrote:

ISIL is slowing down because few armed groups have the logistical capabilities of the US for movement and combat, and some may recall that the US paused and regrouped during the Iraq invasion in 2003. Part of it was caused by severe sandstorms but part was the normal need to see where the troops are and where they need to go next.

ISIL will become a serious danger if it takes Iraq because it will be able to attack the Arabian Peninsula from the north while al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (ACAP) can attack from the south. Iraq shares borders with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, and Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman are not far away. Yemen, the current home of ACAP, shares borders with Saudi Arabia and Oman. The main problem is that the US may be able to defend against physical attacks against the US, but the US military cannot stop oil price rises to $150 to $200 per barrel that could give US gasoline prices of $10 per gallon or more. The EU would have higher prices. The US and EU could be driven into a decade of depression like the 1930s. Our military can’t fight that situation, but we proved in 1991 that we can use airstrikes and other forms of air support to reduce greatly ISIL and ACAP ground movements by day and night. We can degrade their capacity to move until they become foot bound in the 130 degree heat of Iraq’s and Arabia’s summer. It is the best way to slow down their forces and allow recruitment, arming, and training of troops to defeat them.

The US and/or NATO should not supply ground troops because that would arouse anger and provide recruits for ISIL and ACAP. We should deploy two carrier battle groups to the Persian Gulf near Basra to conduct air strikes that support the Iraqi army. We should deploy aerial tankers to keep the fighter/bombers on station for longer times. We should request Russia to increase arms shipments to Assad’s forces to launch attacks on rebels and prevent them from joining ISIL’s forces. We should send transport helicopters, ground attack fighter/bombers, and helicopter gunships to Iraq. We should supply spare parts needed to continue Iraq’s air operations. We may need to provide maintenance personnel and, if necessary, air crews. Any Americans should stay on their bases, unless they are needed to fly missions, to reduce the apparent size of our footprint and to minimize US casualties. At the end of the emergency, we must remove any recently added US military personnel in Iraq and transfer the recently added aircraft to Iraq with the possibility of training in Bahrain, Qatar, or Djibouti.

Al Qaeda may not be able to shoot US troops at present, but the US cannot escape massive rises in the prices of oil that will cripple the US economy for many years, create millions more unemployed, and reduce the likelihood of maintaining or increasing standards of living for Americans. Since the economy pays for the military and develops and pays for the technological tools of the armed forces, the US military will be crippled for many years and may not be able to keep foreign military threats away from the US for many years into the future. Those are the reasons for a limited intervention that expose as few Americans as possible to combat situations.

Jun 14, 2014 4:18pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
REnninga wrote:

Captured Sunni Muslim “ISIS” militants in Iraq have acknowledged, under questioning by US and British Intelligence, that they are being armed and financed by the Sunni Saudi Arabian, Qatari and United Arab Emirates (UAE) governments.

The Shi’ite Muslim Iraqi government is being assisted by the Shi’ite Iranian government.

No amount of effort, and no amount of additional treasure expended by the USA in Iraq is going to yield results of benefit to the United States, or result in a government and citizenry that is more favorable to the United States.

The Middle East is a stinking cesspool of centuries-old Shi’ite Muslim vs. Sunni Muslim hatred, coupled with Shi’ite and Sunni Muslim hatred for non-Muslims. And the sooner the western powers entirely eliminate our presence from the Middle East, and let those barbaric cockroaches kill each other until they tire of killing, and cannibalize the tattered remains of their own backward, regressive 12th-century societies, the sooner the western powers can refocus our efforts on exterminating the vermin when they leave their own borders, and keeping our tactical nuclear weapons positioned and at the ready to send more pointed messages whenever, and as often as it is necessary to do so.

Jun 14, 2014 5:48pm EDT  --  Report as abuse

Good plan; send in the militias to do the dirty work of the Army.

It usually isn’t that simple, though.

The deserting Army left behind a huge stockpile of weapons in the Mosul area. The militias may become so much target practice.

With air cover en route, ISIL knows that they need to move quickly, or hunker down for the long haul.

John Kerry needs to drop in on Baghdad & give a speech about political diversification. I’m sure that with the ISIL hordes descending upon Baghdad, Maliki will be sufficiently attentive.

The days immediately ahead are not destined to be boring; that’s certain.

Jun 14, 2014 6:54pm EDT  --  Report as abuse

Hmmmm. What is the U.S. interest in Iraq, exactly? Didn’t Maliki kick the U.S. troops out? We’re expecting to attack Sunni insurgents – because we like Maliki, better? It’s not as though Maliki will give U.S. corporations a discount on oil prices. He’s in bed with BP.

Maliki is on an anti-Sunni campaign; that won’t get better. What was the plan; something about Democracy in Iraq? Obviously that didn’t work; so what’s the “principle” behind supporting Maliki?

This is another U.N. problem – or Israel’s.

But then, supporting Maliki works for Iran & Assad. Aren’t those supposed to be the “Bad Guys?”

Well, if Iraq’s oil production gets shut down, Iran would be glad to sell oil to U.S. companies – probably at a discount, at that.

Time for a remake of “Catch-22.”

Jun 14, 2014 7:42pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
zigo wrote:

Mission Accomplished !
Bring them on !

What defines the Tea Party President more: his invasion of Iraq or the housing bubble that caused the Great Depression?

Jun 14, 2014 8:21pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
papalock wrote:

End game for the Bush legacy in Iraq.

Jun 14, 2014 8:39pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
paintcan wrote:

“Kerry pledged $12 million and stressed that Iraq should assure its neighbors that the war is not sectarian, but against the insurgents, the statement said.”

That question is downright stupid.

Jun 14, 2014 9:05pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
paintcan wrote:

Unlike Assad – We don’t use barrel bombs against “terrorists” insurgents”, “rebels”, and “decapitators”. We do it by remote control or high altitude air strikes.

I have to admit – Iran is looking better and I always entertained a soft spot for their rhetoric. It’s very easy to see the supreme leader as a Pope or Queen of England, type character, ME style. I couldn’t stand the big spending Shah back in my HS days when I found out he had secret police and later, after college, that his daddy was a bit of a thug and assembled property by the murdering rich owners. Even if the Shah did throw lavish parties for the big shots of Europe, everyone else in the country paid the bills, and they weren’t invited.

Assad and company don’t appear to be nearly as insular in their grip on the country’s resources as the Saudis. Every piece of land a major developer wants to purchase has to be bought from one of the numerous princes. They make sure they have a controlling interest everywhere. The family is filthy rich and can support insurgents (whatever) anywhere they choose. They are an ally of the uS and the US is essentially proposing to shoot n by remote control the tools of one of their allies. Isn’t that Emmanuel Goldberg with bells on? Huxley couldn’t have thought that one up. American politicians have become utter HOs because they are paid to be bedded by the richest constituents. And local billionaire actually told me to stop writing a complaint in a local club I briefly joined. The wealthy are most easily led by their egos and appetites than anyone else. they just like to flatter themselves they are the voice of good sense until they so obviously don;t make any sense.

Our political rhotoric regarding freedom and political choice seems to rest best when the country is shell shocked and terrified and many of them are refugees with more immediate concerns on their minds. It far easier for the “freedom loving” using remote control – everything here seems to have a remote- to manipulate their political process for our edification and profit – at least some subsantial and very powerful interest’s profits.

This country should never self-beatify and there is more truth to The Ayatollahs rage at Satan than anyone here would comfortably accept. We believe in “satans” too and use the same rhetoric without recognizing it. But once satan is the most dominant player – he wins.

If the ME isn’t quite living up to your expectations regarding freedom and tolerance it’s because they don’t quite know how to substitute their culture for your consumer oriented, very flimsy and even disposable culture. Anyone can claim a sophisticated culture and even intellectual advancement. This country has no monopoly on them.

In this country the remote is in the hands of demanding and spoiled brats, all the time, with the concentration span of mosquitoes but with egos the size of mountains, appetites the size of elephants, and back bills to break the bank. We need massive debt to keep the country alive and the ME has tons of cash but not a particularly large economy. It scares us that they have so much cash and we have so much debt. WE are afraid the dollar is on the way out as a global currency and the center of gravity is shifting to the other side of the Atlantic and Pacific. So we will do anything to kill – disrupt or under that shift.

We talk the rhetoric of “freedom” and “democracy” – and if that isn’t believable enough for the truly stupid we scare them and talk about terrorism, but our real concern is the shift of wealth and the prospect that out dollar could become worthless and the prospect that we could all become dependent on the kindness, even mercy, of the people we so easily despise.

Jun 14, 2014 9:47pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
paintcan wrote:

excuse me – hinder the shift.

Jun 14, 2014 9:50pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Rhino1 wrote:

Here is a good read.

A big “Thank you” to XCanada2 for pointing out this great website: Counterpunch.

Jun 14, 2014 12:01am EDT  --  Report as abuse
ruelt wrote:

Why Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims cannot see eye to eye? They both believe in one Allah. Where is the unity?

Jun 15, 2014 1:23am EDT  --  Report as abuse
paintcan wrote:

@Rhino! Where was Xcanada2 on this page? Another sharp cookie cutter is Carlmartel.

Jun 15, 2014 7:04am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Rhino1 wrote:

Hi paintcan:

Xcanada2 didn’t comment on this page.

It was an article about the Ukraine where he referred to Counterpunch.
Also a great article, by the way.

Jun 15, 2014 8:29am EDT  --  Report as abuse
paintcan wrote:

@ruelt- good question.

As I understand the theology of Islam – Sunni’s and Shi-ites disagree on the succession of the Prophet. Shi-ites believe the succession should have passed through his own bloodline and Sunnis believe anyone can be a spiritual and temporal leader. It’s something like the difference between Catholic and Protestant points on the succession of Peter.

It’s not a frivolous or “crackpot” or “fanatics” controversy because the Saudi royal family – tens of thousands in it – bases its claim on the Sunni point of view, while the Iranian Ayatollahs base their claim on the Shi-ite theology. I think many of the Emirate’s also claim the Sunni argument of decent to establish their political legitimacy.

This is anything but silly or an issue that can be glibly dismissed. Many people all over the world are very interested in their ancestry, The Mormons make family trees a part of the theology and use that lineage to establish their place in their church and even in an afterlife. And even some people in my neighborhood and all over the world are every concerned with, and some even think they deserve prestige, from long family connections in the area. There are many people still, with significant influence in the modern world who read deBrett’s or the Almanac de Gotha and can be found in them. Think of the DAR. If those connections mean control of major wealth and millions of lives, and even the power to define ways of life -well?

The last few decades are exposing deeper rifts in human life than many realize. It is truly a crisis period and crisis can be terribly destructive. Events and crisis that challenge such deeply held and ancient belief systems could be as explosive as the splitting of the atom and release every bit the destructive energy. Some historians, and even psychologists, have said the same for events like the French, Russian and the Chinese revolutions. And if you look back even further there are the very deadly wars of religion that followed the Protestant reformation. People are not entirely correct to say religion is the cause of those difficulties. Culture, social philosophy, language, property, and political rights all gained or lost legitimacy depending on some deep philosophical and theological disagreements. And they are deeply psychological too remember.

People do not generally take well to the idea that everything they might have assumed about their lives and their world may have been mistaken. They may all want change but how deep is the question. And you had better have some very good alibis for your values and actions, especially when the shedding of blood enters the battle, and control your actions so they are consistent with your rhetoric, if you start to kill in the name of any of it.

I don’t know many people whose actions and rhetoric are very profoundly united. In fact I can’t think on any I’ve met who somehow aren’t deeply contradictory and contain many divided loyalties or even have none at all. And wars on automatic aren’t going to satisfy the dilemma. Suicide fighters are obviously people deeply attached to core beliefs and they will not accept garbage as a substitute.

Even those like me who have really only watched the last 15 years of obvious crisis, can’t avoid thinking about what we ever did, believed and learned in life. Even a rather glib and non conforming person (very hard to say, actually, living in a very liberal society where conformity is practically a dirty word and also difficult to figure out what I would conform to) have to think about “the last judgment- even if it is only the last thought of my last breath, that at 63 will likely be here before I know it.

I ask myself – “feeling lucky punk?

Jun 15, 2014 7:54pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
desertares wrote:

Yeah, sending a carrier to the Gulf will scare them.
Iraq crumbles while the President plays golf and goes to a fundraiser. Not unlike when he went to a fundraiser after the Benghazi tragedy. I can’t believe that 47% of the public still approve of this incompetent, bumbling, and dictatorial man.

Jun 15, 2014 8:20pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.