Iraq to the Future III

“I think they’re in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency.”

Vice President Dick Cheney, on “the” Iraq insurgency, June 20, 2005

 

As the Boeing 747 reached its cruising altitude, the pilot came on the intercom.  He announced their altitude, expected arrival time, a bit about the weather, and advised them to relax and enjoy the flight.  Then forgetting to turn off his microphone, he said to his co-pilot, “What would really relax me now is a cup of coffee and a blow job.” 

All the passengers heard it.

As the attractive stewardess ran forward to the cockpit to tell the pilot of his slip-up, one of the passengers yelled after her, “Don’t forget the coffee.”

 

IRAQ

            Iraq is in the news again, and I think we could all do with a little coffee and attractive companionship.  The “Middle East” is IraqNownot a place for fun.  But it has a ton of freaking oil, and Big Uncle Brother Sam wants it, so we’re there.  Our political strategy related to energy since, WW2, the big one, has been, “Get oil, or control who does get it.” 

I’ve blogged a bit about Iraq to try to figure out WTF is happening there with ISIS (the “Islamic State if Iraq and Syria”)  They’re on the move.  [Red on the map below.]

I came up with the following questions:Is this just a sectarian dust-up in a typically unstable middle Eastern “nation?”

Or, is the fall of Mosul the beginning of a Third Iraqi War for the U.S.?

OR, is all this just a pretense to kick up the price of oil, and buck up the buck?

I’m leaning towards all three possibilities.  And, of course, like everyone else, I’m happy to have these events take place in some country far away from mine.  See VOX.com:  http://www.vox.com/2014/6/13/5803712/11-things-iraq-crisis-isis  I’ve shortened their piece a bit…OK, I’ve shortened it a LOT:

1. ISIS used to be called al-Qaeda in Iraq  ISIS is, essentially a rebooted version, and now a rival, of al-Qaeda in Iraq.  ISIS is not a dead Egyptian goddess, [Let's avoid that Horus old thought...] but an Islamist group that rose to power after the 2003 American invasion.  US troops and allied Sunni militias defeated Al-Qaeda (“the base” or AQI) during the post-2006 “surge,” but it didn’t destroy them.

2. ISIS wants to carve out an Islamic state in Iraq and Syria.  Their goal since being founded in 2004 has been remarkably consistent: found a hardline Sunni Islamic state.  Chief of Staff of the Army Raymond Odierno has said, “They want complete failure of the government in Iraq.  They want to establish a caliphate in Iraq.”

Today, ISIS holds a land mass roughly the size of Belgium.  Also noteworthy, is that their new territory overlaps a few oil fields.  [Ok, so they're capitalists.  War costs money.]  ISIS isn’t strong enough to topple the Iraqi or Syrian governments at present, but it does indicate the boys are ambitious.Continue Reading

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