Writing on the Double Yellow Line

Militant moderate, unwilling to concede any longer the terms of debate to the strident ideologues on the fringe. If you are a Democrat or a Republican, you're an ideologue. If you're a "moderate" who votes a nearly straight party-ticket, you're still an ideologue, but you at least have the decency to be ashamed of your ideology. ...and you're lying in the meantime.

Location: Illinois, United States

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Climbing Mount Megiddo

Climbing Mount Megiddo
©2014  Ross Williams


I predicted over a decade ago, to a certain class of armchair general and barstool diplomat who cannot bring themselves to stop yammering about the subject they're clueless about, after our invasion of Iraq in 2003, that the next step would be Syria and Yemen.  Then Iran.  And that we would not materially leave Iraq behind us.

I didn't know why exactly, though I forwarded a guess.  My guess as to the circumstances was 50-50 correct [Yemen yes, Syria no], but the targets were 100% spot-on.  And then some.  I recall having considered Libya, but discarded them.  In retrospect, I should have included them as well.

In the past few years, the Obama administration has conducted direct US military actions in [in order] Yemen, Libya, Iraq and — as of today — Syria.

In Yemen, US drones eliminated the ranking officers of a seat-of-the-pants jihadist group founded by its general [a naturalized US citizen] and his lieutenant [his American-born son].  They had declared war on the US and moved to Yemen to wage it … naturally.  They have since moved on to better things, if their belief system is in any way accurate.

Then we helped Libyan pan-islamist paramilitaries remove the ever-bombastic but by-then-impotent Khadafy from power in Libya to be replaced by an islamist theocratic council.  A geo-political Brock for Broglio trade.  This was part of the brainless, clueless, ideologically naïve and bumblingly inept "Arab Spring" movement that the brainless, clueless, ideologically naïve and bumblingly inept Obama fell so madly in love with for its simultaneous capacities to sell our allies up the river, reverse a generation of cultural evolution in the region [albeit slow evolution to our instant ramen world], and run counter to US interests.

A few weeks ago we started bombing northern Iraq for the purpose of stalling the rebranded outfit headed by perennial Iraqi misfit Abu Bakr.  This is the same guy who — as one of dozens of anti-Assad militias in the Syrian version of "Arab Spring" — the US was funding and arming.  Syria was the one, single, solitary, lone example of "Arab Spring" revolution that I said the US had a vested interest in getting directly involved in.  Replacing the Hamas- and Hezbollah-supporting Assad regime with a pro-western Shah-style puppet would forestall the pan-islamist dogs barking at the gates of Damascus demanding to recreate a Sunni-version Iran bookending Iraq and bordering Israel.

Instead, we fed those dogs and advertised that we're clueless about the nature of the people in that part of the world.  Arabs [and Turks, and Kurds, and Pashtuns, and Persians, et cetera] owe first allegiance to their tribe, and second allegiance to their religion.  They have a dizzying array of further and whimsical allegiances based upon conditions that only they seem able to truly comprehend.  An Arab Sunni will shoot a Turk Sunni as soon as look at him, all things being equal — which they sometimes are.  And vice versa.  Arab Sunnis and Arab Shi'a only agree on killing Kurds.  And Turks.  But Arab Sunni gladly obliterate Arab Shi'a for being the ugly step-children to the despised Persians … who are virtually all Shi'a.  But Arab Shi'a will happily ally themselves with Kurd Sunni  if it means the Arab Shi'a can repay Arab Sunni atrocities upon them.

Everyone will gladly support both the Arab Sunni Hamas and Arab Shi'a Hezbollah as proxy warriors against Israel … since no one today wants to officially tangle with the Hebrews who would kick their ass twice before breakfast and then again immediately after.  But no Arab-slash-muslim nation wants these "Arab brothers" in their own territory; Jordan tried that in 1970 out of pity, and the first thing the Palestinians did was host a revolution against the Jordanian government, because even though they were both Arab, and they were both Sunni, the King of Jordan was the wrong tribe of Arab, and he needed to be disposed of for it.  So back the Palestinians went to Israeli territory.

If this sounds like a free-for-all, there's a good reason for it: it is.  And back in the day, when Jews had not been trained by 1,900 years of being lumped into one undiscerning wad by a thoroughly anti-semitic world, the different tribes of Jews acted the same way — a condition which caused Rome to forcibly remove half of them to the Roman Empire version of Siberia.

If we — by which I mean Obama and his crack staff of foreign policy wonks whose expertise comes from being able to recognize that the Risk game board is a stylized world map — had any clue what they were getting us into, they'd have understood that a group of people with the stated ambition to create an islamist theocracy carved out of five separate Arab nations plus Israel would not take our money and weapons and stay in the nation we were paying and arming them to topple; they'd export that ambition as soon as they could.

And surprise! they did.

The folks we paid and armed to rebel against Assad took those weapons to Iraq and conquered oil fields with them.  It's these people — with brand new American-bought weapons — that we're bombing in Iraq.  Who knew?

Besides me? no one in the US government.  It is considered to be "islamophobic" to mention the truth about Arabs, and the US government would rather pretend to be polite to impolite people than to hold an accurate impression of the folks who dominate another part of the world and build a sane and sensible policy around that accuracy.

So Team Obama, now playing 4th Quarter Catch-Up, has decided that the US … the same US which has spent the last three years fostering rebellion in Syria … is now Syria's Bestest-ever Buddy and Pal.   Sure Bashar, we'll help you with your insurgency problem … now … because we suddenly discovered that we got played like the third-grader with a bottomless pocket of milk money in a sixth grade lunch room.

Only Syria isn't having any of it.  Even though Syria is losing territory and military armament [mostly old Soviet and new Russian] to these US-supported rebels, Syria doesn't want the US to bomb them.  Bashar Assad appears to not be as credulous as Obama and cynically comprehends that what the current US President touches turns, in an anti-Midas manner, to tin-plated farce.

But that didn't prevent the US, at Obama's direction, from violating Syrian airspace with military aircraft this morning anyway.  We are there with drones to spy on what's going on, so that if and when Assad does give permission to bomb his rebels — if he isn't deposed and exiled to Jordan first, and such permission becomes moot — the US will know where to send the cruise missiles.

But by that time, the US-backed [oopsy] force will have exported itself to Lebanon and possibly Jordan, and Israel will be calling up their reserves.

On the bright side of all this, Arabs will continue to be tribalists unable to sustain political unity for any length of time, and they will self-destruct into a mud-wrasslin mass of finger- and AK-47-pointing factions.  But not until taking others along for the ride.  The only relevant questions are: how many others, and where will these others be when it happens?


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