Category Archives: Iraq

UPDATED: ‘At Peace’ In War

Iraq, Just War, libertarianism, Military, Paleolibertarianism

He’s a fine man (inside and out), which is why it is numbingly absurd, if predictable, for a CNN correspondent to have drawn a moral equivalence between Jordan Matson’s mission and that of 100 or so other Americans, who’ve flocked to fight alongside the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

You see, Matson is an American soldier fighting, voluntarily, with the Kurds against ISIS. And he is not part of Rome’s tax-funded Army’s. Rather, after praying “about what to do for a month or two,” Matson resolved to help the Kurds: “For me, it’s for the Kurdish people,” Matson told CNN.

Matson is “from Sturtevant, Wisconsin, a ‘mom and pop town’ as he described it, with just a few restaurants and three gas stations. He worked the third shift at a food packaging company,” before enlisting with the Popular Protection Unit (YPG), “a Kurdish militia set up to protect the Kurdish areas” from ISIS.

Unless they are pacifists—a quality as odious as militarism—libertarians ought to have no issue with Matson: He is risking his own life, doing what he believes in, is fighting a Just War, and is not funded by the American taxpayer.

Although there is no doubt that this man would rush to the aid of his “little platoons” in America—Edmund Burke’s description of a man’s social mainstay, his family, friends, coreligionists, coworkers—there is, seemingly, no place for Matson in an increasingly feminized, manliness-averse, honor-free America:

“Civilian life just wasn’t for me. The normal 9-to-5, I just wasn’t comfortable with it,” he said.

As to why there is no moral equivalence between Matson and ISIS enlistees:

* Matson is a Christian who prays to the G-d of the Hebrews and the Christians. Some of us think that Islam is problematic and that “ISIS is Islam.”
* Matson does not behead, rape, enslave anyone, much less innocent civilians.
* Matson is not fighting an expansionist aggressive war, his is a defensive war against an aggressor.
* Matson is on the side of the only people that has made good on their sovereignty; are westernized and are profoundly pro-American (G-d only knows why).

UPDATE (10/28): Tinny libertarianism, again. From the Facebook thread:

Myron Robert Pauli: Funny thing but I said about the various neocons like Krauthammer and Kristol that they ought to put their $$ where their mouths are and lead volunteers to fight rather than commit a collective national effort. Jordan Matson decided to do as an individual fight against some international evil that he personally cares about – fine for him. It is the policy of forcibly dragging the nation as a whole into imperial efforts that I object to.

Ilana Mercer: Myron Robert Pauli, so ISIS is just some amorphous “international evil.” Don’t lapse again into tinny, “lite libertarianism.”

Myron Robert Pauli: ???? ???? ISIS has not attacked the US. They have attacked Kurds, Shiites, or opposing Sunnis in Syria and Iraq which, last time I check, are not in the US – which makes them external – now perhaps I should have used the word external instead of international. But a non-interventionist policy for a limited-government republic would not “go around searching for monsters to destroy” (John Quincy Adams). So maybe we have a disconnect but I am not sure what you call “lite libertarianism” here – people overseas have the responsibility to defend themselves against the scumbags that attack them but we don’t have an obligation to help them (and it usually is counterproductive when we “help”) but if some individual wishes to help, that is probably fine.

Ilana Mercer WTF, Myron Robert Pauli: From the fact that ISIS has not attacked the US, it does not follow that one is morally neutral as individuals to their deeds against other innocents. We went over this “argument” when I wrote “Masada on Mount Sinjar.” By your “argument,” no individual had the right to mess with the Germans who murdered close on 6 million Jews and others.


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NATO’s Worth Nothing

Europe, Foreign Policy, Iraq, Islam, Jihad, Middle East, States' Rights

Why doesn’t he provide a solution to the siege by the Islamic State (ISIS) of Kobani (or Ayn al-Araba in Arabic), a Kurdish city in the Kurdish regions of northern Syria? He is Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s president, who has issued a dire warning to the West: “dropping bombs from the air will not provide a solution … the time [has] come to ‘cooperate for a ground invasion.’”

Turkey is a NATO ally with a sizable, modern army, quite capable of tackling ISIS. The problem Turkey, the US, the European Union and NATO face stems from these great centralizers’ opposition to the PKK. The PKK is a long-standing Kurdish, separatist movement, which the US, Turkey and the rest aim to eliminate or undermine, for obvious reasons. Statists struggle with secession, separation or States’ Rights.

National Post:

The Turkish leader is strongly mistrusted by the Kurds of Turkey and Syria. Many accuse his government — anxious about Turkey’s own Kurdish separatist movement — of conniving with ISIS and of failing to act to prevent it committing atrocities against the Kurds in Syria. Meanwhile, Washington is becoming increasingly frustrated with its NATO ally. There’s growing angst about Turkey dragging its feet to act to prevent a massacre less than a mile from its border,” an unnamed U.S. official told the New York Times. “After all the fulminating about Syria’s humanitarian catastrophe, they’re inventing reasons not to act to avoid another catastrophe. “This isn’t how a NATO ally acts while hell is unfolding a stone’s throw from their border.”

If the US is so cut up about Turkey’s craven indifference to the Kurds, it could collude with NATO members to strip Turkey of its NATO membership, for what that’s worth.

Excoriated though he was, in his attempt to “absolve the US of any guilt in the matter,” to quote an RT expert, Vice President Joe Biden had a point. Via RT:

“our allies in the region were our largest problem in Syria,” elaborating that Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the UAE were “so determined to take down Assad,” that they started a “proxy Sunni-Shia war.” Biden went on saying that “they poured hundreds of millions of dollars, and tens of thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad. Except that the people who were being supplied were al-Nusra and Al-Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world.”

DER SPIEGEL on the quagmire:

The country has been strangely reserved when it comes to dealing with the Islamic State. It is the neighboring country that is perhaps most threatened by the jihadist fighters, but it has refrained thus far from joining US President Barack Obama’s anti-terror coalition, even if Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan strongly hinted over the weekend that it might do so soon. When it comes to combatting the Islamic State and putting an end to the Syrian civil war, Turkey has a key role to play.

The government in Ankara had justified its hesitancy by pointing to the dozens of Turkish diplomats taken hostage by the Islamic State in Mosul. Now that they have been released, however, all eyes are on Turkey to see what responsibilities it might take on. On the way back to Turkey from the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Erdogan told reporters that his country is now prepared to join the coalition. At the World Economic Forum meeting in Istanbul on Sunday he added, in reference to the fight against the Islamic State: “We cannot stay out of this.”


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Back Into The SAME Shiite-Sunni Cesspool

Iran, Iraq, Neoconservatism, War

On “Fighting in Iraq Until Hell Freezes Over,” courtesy of Peter Van Buren @ The Unz Review:

… The staggering costs of [Iraq] — $25 billion to train the Iraqi Army, $60 billion for the reconstruction-that-wasn’t, $2 trillion for the overall war, almost 4,500 Americans dead and more than 32,000 wounded, and an Iraqi death toll of more than 190,000 (though some estimates go as high as a million) — can now be measured against the results. The nine-year attempt to create an American client state in Iraq failed, tragically and completely. The proof of that is on today’s front pages.

According to the crudest possible calculation, … America’s war of terror resulted in the dissolution of a Middle Eastern post-Cold War stasis that, curiously enough, had been held together by Iraq’s previous autocratic ruler Saddam Hussein. We released a hornet’s nest of Islamic fervor, sectarianism, fundamentalism, and pan-nationalism. Islamic terror groups grew stronger and more diffuse by the year. That horrible lightning over the Middle East that’s left American foreign policy in such an ugly glare will last into our grandchildren’s days. There should have been so many futures. Now, there will be so few as the dead accumulate in the ruins of our hubris. That is all that we won.

… And then came the Islamic State (IS) and the new “caliphate,” the child born of a neglectful occupation and an autocratic Shia government out to put the Sunnis in their place once and for all. And suddenly we were heading back into Iraq. …

… The truth on the ground these days is tragically familiar: an Iraq even more divided into feuding state-lets; a Baghdad government kleptocracy about to be reinvigorated by free-flowing American money; and a new Shia prime minister being issued the same 2003-2011 to-do list by Washington: mollify the Sunnis, unify Iraq, and make it snappy. The State Department still stays hidden behind the walls of that billion-dollar embassy. More money will be spent to train the collapsed Iraqi military. Iran remains the foreign power with the most influence over events.

One odd difference should be noted, however: in the last Iraq war, the Iranians sponsored and directed attacks by Shia militias against American occupation forces (and me); now, its special operatives and combat advisors fight side-by-side with those same Shia militias under the cover of American air power. You want real boots on the ground? Iranian forces are already there. It’s certainly an example of how politics makes strange bedfellows, but also of what happens when you assemble your “strategy” on the run.

Obama hardly can be blamed for all of this, but he’s done his part to make it worse — and worse it will surely get as his administration once again assumes ownership of the Sunni-Shia fight. The “new” unity plan that will fail follows the pattern of the one that did fail in 2007: use American military force to create a political space for “reconciliation” between once-burned, twice-shy Sunnis and a compromise Shia government that American money tries to nudge into an agreement against Iran’s wishes. …

Here we go again.


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Stupid, Stumble-Bumble Superpower

Foreign Policy, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Israel, libertarianism, Media

What would happen in the miasma that is the Middle East if a silly, if well-intentioned, superpower—profoundly ignorant of history, in general, and the region, in particular—quit enabling one side or the other; stopped lurching maniacally (a la “McMussolini”) from supporting one bloodletting entity or another?

What would transpire if, as I wrote in “Leave ISIS To The Homies,” the US left “ISIS to Syria, Tehran and Tel Aviv”; “let the locals take out their trash”?

Today I heard one of the interchangeable bimbos on CNN pondering—oh the sacrilege!—whether the US should talk to Iran.

However, were we to leave things be, the feuding parties might cease vying for American money and materiel and begin hammering out a strategy among themselves that would ensure longevity—an uneasy balance of power, if you will—in the region.

The Israeli government, as was noted, is already endeavoring to “radically change its tack on Syria, reversing a policy and military strategy that were long geared to opposing Syrian President Bashar Assad.”

By the way, how stupid is the American state? Look no further than that Marie Barf, that sibilant tart at State. Go Foggy Bottom …


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Leave ISIS To The Homies

Barack Obama, Bush, Foreign Policy, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Israel, Middle East

“Leave ISIS To The Homies” is the current column, now on WND. An excerpt:

… Despotism and populism finally coalesced. Driven by polls and craving plaudits from the pundits, the president cobbled together a strategy. Within hours, love was in the air again. Members of a lovelorn liberal media scurried about like teens on prom night. It had been a long time since they felt the same rush about Obama. In his televised address to the nation, the president committed to increasing the ongoing airstrikes in Iraq; said he would take the fight to ISIL in Syria, too. The hormonal monitors at CNN spiked with each paternal promise of protection. “If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven,” roared Big Daddy. …

… Easily the most ludicrous aspect of Dr. Feelgood’s “plan” is the promise of “military assistance to the Syrian opposition”: “I again call on Congress, again, to give us additional authorities and resources to train and equip these fighters.”

There is no telling the good Syrian opposition from the bad. If anything, there is a “growing preponderance of radical Islamists in the Syrian rebel force fighting Assad’s army,” seconds the outstanding intelligence provider DEBKAfile. Currently fighting ISIS is Bashar Hafez al-Assad, Syria’s embattled leader, whom Hussein, McCain and Clinton wanted to unseat.

The unseating of yet another extremely effective law-and-order leader, Saddam Hussein, is what unleashed ISIS. Despite what Delphic Oracle Dana Perino says in praise of her “prescient” boss’s “strategizing”; Bush 43 owns ISIS. Fidelity to historical fact demands that Bush get Brownie points for turning Iraq from a rogue state to a failed state, where mad dogs thrive. …

Read the complete column. “Leave ISIS To The Homies” is now on WND.


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‘ISIS Is Not Islamic?’

Barack Obama, Iraq, Islam, Jihad

ISIS Is Not Islamic?

By Daniel Pipes

In a televised address this evening, President Barack Obama outlined his ideas on how to defeat the Islamic State. Along the way, he declared the organization variously known as ISIS or ISIL to be “not Islamic.”

In making this preposterous claim, Obama joins his two immediate predecessors in pronouncing on what is not Islamic. Bill Clinton called the Taliban treatment of women and children “a terrible perversion of Islam.” George W. Bush deemed that 9/11 and other acts of violence against innocents “violate the fundamental tenets of the Islamic faith.”

Word magic permits Obama to turn ISIS into a “not Islamic” organization. None of the three has any basis for such assertions. To state the obvious: as non-Muslims and politicians, rather than Muslims and scholars, they are in no position to declare what is Islamic and what is not. As Bernard Lewis, a leading American authority of Islam, notes: “it is surely presumptuous for those who are not Muslims to say what is orthodox and what is heretical in Islam.” (That Obama was born and raised a Muslim has no relevance here, for he left the faith and cannot pronounce on it.)

Indeed, Obama compounds his predecessors’ errors and goes further: Clinton and Bush merely described certain actions (treatment of women and children, acts of violence against innocents) as un-Islamic, but Obama has dared to declare an entire organization (and quasi-state) to be “not Islamic.”

The only good thing about this idiocy? At least it’s better than the formulation by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (known as CAIR) which has the nerve to call ISIS “anti-Islamic.”

In the end, though, neither U.S. presidents nor Islamist apologists fool people. Anyone with eyes and ears realizes that ISIS, like the Taliban and Al-Qaeda before it, is 100 percent Islamic. And most Westerners, as indicated by detailed polling in Europe, do have eyes and ears. Over time, they are increasingly relying on common sense to conclude that ISIS is indeed profoundly Islamic. (September 10, 2014)

© 2014 Daniel Pipes
DanielPipes.org


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