“I don’t want to be Iraq’s air force…”


"b" pointed out to me that in this WH interview Obama told Friedman (paraphrasing) that during the process of IS overrunning much of northern Iraq he deliberately withheld massive air attacks on IS so that he could maintain political pressure on the Iraqi government to reform itself in directions that are the goals of US policy, i.e., inclusiveness, power sharing with the Sunnis, etc.  

I, too think that the intensely Shia run government that the US helped come into being in Iraq is unlikely to ever be able to run the country, but the notion that in the face of the onrushing horde of Sunni jihadi "reivers" one could withhold aerial fire support as leverage to bend the Shia government to  one's will is bizarre. 

Such an approach is reminiscent of college bull session discussions, graduate school seminars and papers and government funded war gaming in which the most bizarre nonsense is often "floated" as "the next move" in the game.

Unfortunately, this overly frank interview given to Friedman has been and will inevitably be taken as an admission of US employment of IS as a tool. 

I do not think it is that.  IMO it is an admission of Obama's tendency to overthink things and to listen too much to what he recently described to Goldberg as the "foreign policy establishment"  (the Borg).  pl


This entry was posted in As The Borg Turns, Iraq, Media, Middle East. Bookmark the permalink.

112 Responses to “I don’t want to be Iraq’s air force…”

  1. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Nah, it is just the view that the world is a fantasy based on the Godfather movies.

  2. cynic says:

    Is he still also trying to turn Afghanistan into a paradise of democracy, human rights and feminism?

  3. b says:

    “Such an approach is reminiscent of college bull session discussions, graduate school seminars and papers and government funded war gaming in which the most bizarre nonsense is often “floated” as “the next move” in the game.”
    But that is exactly how Obama policies always look. They are such. Just see for example the stupid conflict with China he is building and the bad relations with Russia. This whole “Assad must go” farce despite the knowledge that al Qaeda or IS would take over is also of such kind.

    His opinion on the Iraqi Kurds that he is lauding so much is also pretty ridiculous.
    President: Masoud Barzani now in the 7th year of his 4 year term
    Prime Minister: Nechervan Idris Barzani, nephew of Masoud
    Head of Kurdistan Region Security Council (secret services): Masrour Barzani, son of Masoud
    Several Barzani cousins, sisters, nieces etc are leading members of the KDP and hold the most huge$$$ business interests in the Kurdish region.
    Meanwhile the Kurdish region is bankrupt. Teachers and other state paid people (allegedly 70% of the population) as well as the Peshmerga militia have not been paid for several month.
    Barzani did not deliver oil, as he should, to the central Iraqi oil administration and was therefore not paid by the Iraqi government. He sold oil through illegal deals with Turkey. Erdogan recently shut down one of the two pipelines to pressure Barzani to do Turkey’s bidding.
    The Barzanis are throughout corrupt and incompetent. Even worse – they are unreliable. The population is mostly against them. I don’t get why anyone would ally with them as Obama does.

  4. turcopolier says:

    “But that is exactly how Obama policies always look.” The “but” is misdirected since I obviously agree with you. pl

  5. PL,
    Totally agree with your conclusion: there is no obviously no collusion of interest between the US and ISIS, not even using ISIS as a foreign policy tool. There is just sheer incompetence masquerading as the “grand game” thinking of the chosen ones … Actually, more a mixture of self-delusion combined with unwarranted arrogance and intellectual autism.

  6. That’s an interesting and important post, because it opens a window of opportunity both for the Barzani clan and for ISIS in Iraq. They might both be tempted to use each other as leverage against other regional actors: the IS entering into a more overt deal-making policy with Barzani’s people, regarding the oil trading for example. And Barzani bartering for his support in the battle for Mosul in exchange for better financial favours from Baghdad.
    See how it turns out, I sort of have a bad feeling about this …

  7. MRW says:

    “intellectual autism”
    You make that up yourself, or am I missing that as someone’s new descriptor making the round? Great phrase. I’m stealing it, PB. What an apt description of Obama’ foreign policy.

  8. Babak Makkinejad says:

    That might be true but I think “ISIS was made by US” is probably going to be very very difficult idea to dispel or otherwise disprove.

  9. Babak Makkinejad says:

    It is all about day-to-day survival and there is no strategic vision worth a damn behind it.
    They were collaborating with Saddam Hussein earlier against other Kurds.
    In Turkey, the PKK initiated the war against AKP Government to marginalize the People’s Democratic Party; lest it gains a firmer hold on the Kurds of Turkey.
    Some ethnic groups cannot govern – Sikhs, Kurds, the Dinka, the Nuer, the Fulani….

  10. Bob says:

    People should remember that at that moment in time in 2014 the anti-ISIL Coalition also was not in a position to be able to effectively use air power against ISIL in most populated areas of Northern Iraq or adjacent to Iraqi troop concentrations without a great risk of civilian casualties or fratricide of ISF. The Shia Government of Iraq (GOI) has never been particularly concerned about non-Shia civilian casualties which has always complicated use of coalition air power.

  11. Aka says:

    No wonder the Iraqis think that US is double-crossing them. If they had any doubt, Obama removed it with his above statement.
    The thing is that very few in many places would see it in your way (despite it being the truth).
    Many would think it is part of some grand strategy.

  12. Les says:

    I think there is some collusion with IS, some blackmail of the government (replace al-Maliki and include Sunnis in the PMF), and some genuine attempt to protect the civilians from the Shia militias. Denying air cover and letting ground forces engage at a disadvantage can’t be excused as incompetence as it’s happened several times.

  13. MRW says:

    OT, which I know is not allowed or frowned upon re: the colonel’s latest commenting directive, but important to listen to, imo: Stephen Cohen’s weekly interview on the John Batchelor Show this past Tuesday. Speaks directly and anecdotally to your assessment of Obama’s foreign policy chops, Patrick.

  14. Bob says:

    WRT Barzani and KRG forces, they are our most dependable allies in Iraq, but there is no reason to have unrealistic expectations. In 2014 they were not expeditionary, nor could they be expected to defend outside of Kurdish territory, especially IVO Mosul where we had already seen them not defend against AQI in 2004, nor assist in retaking Mosul in 2005, and when the ISF was running away.

  15. Castellio says:

    Off topic (I apologize) but related in terms of how policies get made. Poroshenko (of all people) asks how we are to tell the difference between good and evil. He then asks for a comprehensive bilateral security agreement between the US and Ukraine.
    “Speaking at the World Affairs Councils of America in Washington, Ukraine’s President P. Poroshenko stated, “Since I’ve visited America last time, Ukraine has effectively stopped the Russian offensive. The price we have paid is striking. Almost 10,000 people have died. […] 19 months after we initiated the Minsk process, I still receive reports about losses and shelling of our positions in the frontline every single day… Russia continues sending troops, heavy weapons and ammunition into Ukraine a few times a week… In 1994, Ukraine abandoned the third largest nuclear weapons arsenal. … We got security assurances under the 1994 Budapest Memorandum about sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of my country… Russia simply defied its assurances to Ukraine and committed a direct armed aggression against my state… We, Ukrainians, are entitled to call upon the Western guarantors under the Memorandum to take all possible efforts to restore international justice and order, to help us in our battle for survival and independent, democratic and European future…. Sanctions are the only ‘line in the sand’ that the West drew after 2014. It is the only line between good and evil drawn in the context of this war. And if there is no line anymore – than what’s the difference between good and evil?… The US support has been critical for successful resistance to the Russian aggression. It is high time to boost Ukraine-US bilateral dialogue in form and content. It is also time to upgrade our strategic alliance and to channel our intense cooperation in defense and security into a comprehensive bilateral security agreement.”
    A full transcript of his remarks is available at http://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/vistup-prezidenta-ukrayini-na-forumi-bitva-ukrayini-za-svobo-36927

  16. steveg says:

    Does anyone know if the Witches of Eastwick
    Powers,Rice ,the former third Hillary, have
    Obama’s ear currently? Mommy dearest Michelle?
    IMO the majority of of his FP decisions were
    consensus built as many others have noted.
    The Goldberg and Friedman interviews a cathartic?

  17. Matthew says:

    PB: The Borg explanation: https://twitter.com/SyriaSource/status/715555871351300097
    My translation: The Russians have defeated the Turkish/Saudi funded Liver Eaters we wanted to topple Assad. Had the Liver Eaters taken over Syria, then we would have gotten UNSC approval for NATO to use force to insert a new Chalabi into Damascus and route the aforementioned Liver Eaters.

  18. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg says:

    The additional irony of this coming up in an interview with the famously incoherent Friedman is almost too much.

  19. The Beaver says:

    Is Russia MIA or Putin was not invited?
    Ditto for Iran !!!
    Nuclear Security Summit 2016 @ DC
    I would have thought that ChiHuaHua Jubeir would have made the trip – Nope.
    The Sultan of Turkey is present as well as a king and some princes from the ME.
    Bibi is absent and is represented by a minister.

  20. turcopolier says:

    “They were collaborating with Saddam Hussein earlier against other Kurds.” Untrue. I have told you that before. pl

  21. Croesus says:

    How The World’s Biggest Bribe Scandal Unfolded In Iraq
    A Monaco-based company called Unaoil cultivated an astonishing web of influence.
    Apparently the corruption was institutionalized and international.
    I wonder why the US Treasury Dept’s Office of Terror Finance (OFAC) failed to spot this enterprise.

  22. Babak Makkinejad says:

    One faction made a deal with Saddam and another one fled to Iran; that was my recollection.

  23. Brunswick says:

    Although the Kurdish parliament ceased to meet in May 1996, the fragile cease-fire between the PUK and KDP held until the summer of 1996. During this period, the Iraqi government was permitted by the KDP to establish a smuggling route through the Khabur River basin for the transportation of illegal petroleum exports.[15] Barzani and his associates seized the opportunity to impose taxation on this trade, giving them the means to earn several million dollars per week.[16] This led to a dispute with the PUK over the beneficiaries of Kurdish imports and exports. Although the two parties reached an agreement where the Iraqi–Turkish smuggling routes would be divided evenly between each other, the KDP continued its attempts to exert greater control over the movement of goods through Kurdistan.[15]
    Talabani established an alliance with Iran, permitting them to conduct a military incursion into northern Iraq aimed at the Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran on July 28.[11][17] Faced with the prospect of fighting both Iran and the PUK, Massoud Barzani asked for assistance from Saddam Hussein. Seeing an opportunity to retake northern Iraq, Saddam accepted. On August 31, 30,000 Iraqi troops, spearheaded by an armored division of the Iraqi Republican Guard attacked the PUK-held city of Erbil, which was defended by 3,000 PUK Peshmerga led by Korsat Rasul Ali, in conjunction with KDP forces. Erbil was captured, and Iraqi troops executed 700 captured soldiers of the PUK and the Iraqi National Congress dissident group in a field outside Erbil.
    installing the KDP in control of Erbil, Iraqi troops withdrew from the Kurdish region back to their initial positions. The KDP drove the PUK from its other strongholds, and with additional Iraqi help captured Sulaymaniyah, on September 9. Jalal Talabani and the PUK retreated to the Iranian border, and American forces evacuated 700 Iraqi National Congress personnel and 6,000 pro-Western Kurds out of northern Iraq.[11][13] On October 13, Sulaymaniyah was recaptured by the PUK, allegedly with support of Iranian forces.[19]

  24. VietnamVet says:

    Colonel and PB,
    BS, hubris and intellectual autism pretty much nails American Foreign Policy in the 21st Century.
    How else can you describe the fiasco of CIA supplied Syria rebels in firefights with Pentagon supported Syrian rebels? No one is fired or demoted. The American policy of support of Islamists to destabilize Russia goes back to July 3, 1979 when President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul; 37 years.
    Fighting endless unwinnable wars is not happenstance. It is national policy. All the contortions are due to the unwillingness to acknowledge reality and tell the truth to the American people.

  25. Babak,
    You’re wrong about the Barzani KDP collaborating with Saddam Hussein. They got a little help from Iran and a little from Turkey in their civil war with Talibani’s PUK. All Hussein did was get out of Barzani’s way as he (Barzani) went after the PUK. I dealt with several Barzanis in the late 80s and early 90s. They never had a good word for Hussein.

  26. ISL says:

    As Russia has shown, and presumably someone in the US air force know, logistics are everything, the open desert is very accessible to air power, and its not rocket science to interdict transfers of weapons, tanks, large groups of personnel, or say, lines of oil tankers with air power.
    Unless you dont try (due to intellectual autism).
    Interestingly, TYT used the term Borg – hopeful that meme spreads far and wide.

  27. Babak Makkinejad says:

    OK, thank you for correcting me.
    Even I could be wrong (sometimes).

  28. Thirdeye says:

    I don’t know if “tool” would be the right word, but the circumstance of a powerful new enemy grabbing a chunk of territory could have been used opportunistically for bargaining power. Al Qaeda in Syria wasn’t opposed by the US either as long as their influence was convenient for bringing down the Syrian state.

  29. Ingolf says:

    Slightly at a tangent rather than OT but “The Anomaly of Barbarism” by John Gray is worth a look.
    “Assessed by reference to any kind of strategic rationality, the West has displayed unfathomable stupidity. To invade a country, dismantle its institutions, create a failed state, exit from the ensuing chaos, and then return with unending bombing campaigns is imbecility of an order that has few historical parallels. To persist in this behavior after so many catastrophes betrays something other than mere imbecility, however extreme. Behavior of this kind looks more like an extreme version of cognitive dissonance—an attempt to expel disastrous facts from the mind. In an obsessive effort to remake the world according to an idealized image of their own societies, Western leaders have renounced a sense of reality. Each attempt only reinforces the fact of their impotence. Obeying a kind of repetition compulsion, they have found themselves returning again and again to the intractable actuality they are so anxious to avoid.”

  30. LJ says:

    PB: I was and still am troubled by the inability of the US bombing campaign prior to the Russian gambit in Syria to find ISIS targets. Then there are the stories about the unfortunate dropping of supplies to the wrong guys. Also there have been stories of ISIS fighters getting medical treatment in Israel.
    Frankly, as much as one can say that there is no reason that ISIS could be seen as helpful to US interests in any way, ISIS might fit into the schema known as the Yinon Plan. Is it possible that ISIS gets some subterranean assistance from persons with dual loyalties who dupe and whisper in the ear of foolish president?
    To quote you, ” Actually, more a mixture of self-delusion combined with unwarranted arrogance and intellectual autism”, might one add with a “measure of calculated mendacity”?

  31. Chris Chuba says:

    Off topic reply to the off topic post. So Ukranians define evil as any affront against them. For some reason, I don’t see this as a universally applicable definition that can be of use for the rest of us, unless the Almighty shall judge us by how we responded to the Ukranians in their hour of need.
    The reason that I am using the plural, Ukranians as opposed to just applying this to Poroshenko, is because I read many comments regarding Syria and I see this a lot. Quite a few posters will exclusively focus on attacking Russian because of Ukraine. To them it represents the Alpha and Omega of Russia’s evil. I find that in bad taste to compare a civil war where north of 250,000 people have died and one where this proponent is claiming 10,000 deaths and the majority of refugees are Russians. Even if you accept the worst narrative regarding the Russian Federation, there has been no attempt to expand out of the tiny enclave in the east into the rest of his country.

  32. BraveNewWorld says:

    Sort of skipped over the part about the CIA helping to over throw the legal government of Ukraine because they were going to sign a trade deal with Russia. Something the CIA wouldn’t have tried if they didn’t have a greedy jerk willing to sell out his country for power.

  33. turcopolier says:

    Which greedy little jerk do you have in mind? pl

  34. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Yes, this is what I recalled too.

  35. bth says:

    So if it is repeated enough it must be true?

  36. bth says:

    A couple of points worth mentioning.
    The Shia militias were turned back last week by the Kurds and so my knowledge are not advancing anywhere near Mosul and certainly not across the Tigris crossing the marines facilitated last week. If anyone has a fact to prove otherwise then put it forward.
    Kurds want to do anything possible to make Iraqi army look bad, which admittedly isn’t hard to do. But the Kurds want to make it look like the only way for Americans to advance against IS in the north is to pay their Kurdish forces at least $1 billion plus weapons. Maybe that is a price worth paying, but the Kurds are constantly going to make the Iraqi army look bad to the western media.
    I have seen no evidence that any territory he held by any force in Iraq for more than a year if it is not aligned ethnically with the locals. So is it incompetence if US forces do not provide bombing support for Shia militias? And one might note the biggest complainers about US bombing are Shia militia leaders virtually in pay of the Iranians and not the Iraqi army.
    Also there are a lot of posters in these threads that would have one believe US bombs never hit and Russian bombs never miss or cause collateral damage. Just keep in mind Russia needs to hype in Syria and the US needs to understate right now at least in Iraq. Now frankly the US has a lot to be modest about, but we also seem to have some idea about shaping spheres of influence in Iraq roughly along ethnic divides and that probably isn’t a bad thing. If we can influence eveents (but not control them) with money and air strikes then perhaps we can shape some policy for a viable path forward. Just remember the biggest armed force in Mosul are the tens of thousands of Sunni Arab families with guns but great uncertainty – are they better off with IS, really the devil you know, or the Iraqi government Shia and all?
    Last, I would suspect that further advances south of Mosul and west of the Tigris will be along a very narrow band of Kurdish areas and not any bold strike toward the heavily populated Sunni areas nearer Mosul. I was looking at an ethnic map of Iraq today and news in the last two weeks of forward gains seems to be following that map.

  37. Castellio says:

    Yes, and there is no reason to accept the worst narrative.
    Poroshenko actually says in the speech that the last two years have been the most difficult in the Ukrainian nation’s history. This is an absurdity beyond compare. Well, perhaps not. Maybe his contention that the Ukrainians “stopped the Russian offensive” is comparable.
    And this list of misrepresentations is delivered in all seriousness…

  38. Freudenschade says:

    Given that the US funded the arming of the liver eaters in Syria through Jordan and Turkey, don’t they bear some responsibility for the rise of ISIS?

  39. turcopolier says:

    No. Not the same group, in fact rivals. pl

  40. b says:

    TTG, I believe you are wrong here.
    We are talking about August 31 1996. Barzani asked Saddam to throw the PUK out of Erbil. He did so. Sending 30,000 troops is hardly “getting out of the way” …
    Civil war broke out in 1994, and more than 2,000 Kurds were killed before the United States brokered a peace in 1995. That peace collapsed this summer. The PUK helped Iran conduct an incursion into northern Iraq. Barzani’s KDP, in turn, asked for Hussein’s help (even though Hussein had slaughtered thousands of Barzani’s supporters during the 1980s). Hussein accepted the invitation. On Aug. 31, 30,000 Iraqi troops and thousands of KDP fighters drove the PUK from Irbil. This raid inspired United States cruise-missile strikes on southern Iraq. After securing Irbil, Barzani’s men quickly routed the PUK from its other strongholds. Talabani fled to the Iran border, and the PUK is all but defunct. Barzani insists that he’s not Hussein’s puppet, and that Iraqi troops have withdrawn to the south. But Hussein’s secret police have settled in; the Kurdish Parliament has collapsed; and experts doubt that the KDP can resist Iraqi bullying.

  41. ToivoS says:

    The way that the US has been playing the Islamic jihadist in Afghanistan in the 1980s (that then became al Qaida) and today their ISIS descendants reminds me of the famous Nietzche quote: “He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster.
    And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee.”

  42. Amir says:

    A quick google search:
    Irish Times
    “IRAQI backed Kurds raised the stakes yesterday by calling for military intervention by President Saddam Hussein unless western countries pressured Iran to stop backing a rival militia, writes Ian Black.”
    “Barzani’s request for Saddam’s help in gaining control of the north from the PUK capped more than 30 years of modern Kurdish civil war. Exiled Kurdish leaders are horrified.”
    I tend to remember from personal memory, that one group of Kurds in Iraq was supported by Saddam against another that was supported by Iran. A mirror image of that was being practiced in the Iranian Kurdistan.

  43. Laguerre says:

    “And Barzani bartering for his support in the battle for Mosul in exchange for better financial favours from Baghdad.”
    Barzani won’t have much luck there. Baghdad is also pretty close to bankrupt. They are not paying retirement pensions in full – that was the latest I heard. No doubt attribuable to the endemic corruption, to the costs of the war, and the decline in the oil price.

  44. MRW,
    I have my moments. Guess the coining of “intellectual autism” as description for what’s going on was one of those 😉

  45. AS I said incompetence may include moral responsibility, but not legal/criminal liability.

  46. I don’t think that was the plan. Maybe it was contemplated as a contingency at the time when IS was threatening to overrun Damascus, but the money was on the “moderates” to take over and possibly call for NATO or GCC help in the fight against IS afterwards.
    Glad we didn’t see that one unfold, it would have been a mess of epic proportions, with treason, defection, alliance reversal and the like. Libya would have been child’s play in comparison.

  47. that’s the problem, al-Nusra would have turned against the West and the US at one point or another. Faced with the choice with confronting other Salafi Jihadis or the West, they always end up against us (al walla wal barra). And let us not forget who brought down those towers on 9/11.

  48. I don’t buy into the whole conspiracy theories. The only people I see with that dual loyalty issue would are sitting in palaces in the Gulf (or possibly in the White House in Ankara).

  49. Former 11B says:

    The Young Turks. Its a very popular podcast and website who has been criticizing Obama fro the left flank for quite a while. His one downfall is he is a Russiaphobe from an old style Turkish point of view. He gets it wrong about Putin but is spot on in his criticism of the Washington consensuses…I.E the “Borg”

  50. Emil Pulsifer says:

    Obama did have one observation to make which rings true:
    “So if we’re going to reach out to Sunni tribes, if we’re going to reach out to local governors and leaders, they’ve got to have some sense that they’re fighting for something.” Otherwise, Obama said, “We can run [ISIL] off for a certain period of time, but as soon as our planes are gone, they’re coming right back in.”
    All of which remains true, both in Iraq and Syria, for American and Russian forces.
    The lack of institutional memory, both in the American media and among American politicians, is appalling. Presidential hopefuls talk about quick and easy wars, destroying ISIS primarily with air power, and perhaps a few thousand more ground troops, with seemingly no recollection of a nearly decade long war fought against nearly the same coalition of Islamists and former Baathists, using coalition armies numbering roughly 200,000 ground troops, which ended only after the Anbar Awakening.
    On top of all this, the “war on terror” is an unwinnable game of whack-a-mole. You can’t get rid of groups like al Qaeda by concentrating on Iraq alone, or even Iraq and Syria. Add Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Yemen, Mali, etc.. You can’t invade and occupy everywhere, forever, to “deny safe haven” to terrorists. Neither the resources, the political will, nor the geopolitical realities allow this.
    Beyond that, terrorists can hatch plots anywhere, raise funds across borders, as well as recruits and supplies. Unlike a caliphate, they don’t need barracks, tanks, or control of real estate.
    ISIS did not start chopping heads off western journalists until after the United States began bombing them. It was, explicitly, a direct response. It was also a futile response: terror bombing was carried out on a far wider scale during the Second World War by both Axis and Allies, without undermining public morale to the extent of ending the war effort, contrary to the theories of of Douhet and others about the potential for strategic bombing to end wars. But perhaps these terrorist attacks are more of a recruitment and propaganda tool than a serious attempt to change western foreign policy.
    In any case, unlike al Qaeda, ISIS had been focused on what they call the “near enemy”: Shia Moslems and Arab monarchies of the Middle East.
    Despite the hoopla, ISIS inspired attacks in Europe and America don’t come close to the spectacle of hijacking multiple passenger jets and crashing them as flying bombs into skyscrapers and the Pentagon.
    The Paris attacks were amateurish, using semi-automatic rifles, and suicide belts that failed to kill or even wound few individuals aside from the wearers. For an organization as wealthy as ISIS and with its access to military grade high-explosives and bombmaking expertise, it was suspiciously inept, which is why I doubt that it was planned and directed by the Syrian leadership.
    The cafe shootings required no greater logistical or materiel support than a gangland drive-by shooting. The bulk of the killings took place in the Bataclan concert venue, when French police inexplicably gave the attackers three hours in which to work, despite shots being fired both early on and throughout.
    The western television media waxes like besotted teenage girls about “masterminds” and master bombmakers, despite the fact that many of these bombs do little more than fizzle, burn, or kill/maim their wearers. Underwear bombs, shoe bombs, or the pipe bombs of the San Bernardino attackers that failed to explode. The fact that the latter “jihad-shopped” online at the last minute, before settling on ISIS to declare allegiance to, seems lost on a media determined to build up a marvelous monster to exploit for ratings.

  51. gemini33 says:

    “I wonder why the US Treasury Dept’s Office of Terror Finance (OFAC) failed to spot this enterprise.” Now there’s a question for the ages.
    It’s really hard not to notice how ISIS has been at the very least exploited to achieve neocon/R2P foreign policy goals. In January, Israeli defense minister Ya’alon said “In Syria, if the choice is between Iran and the Islamic State, I choose the Islamic State. They don’t have the capabilities that Iran has.”
    re: Barzani. On his recent visit to Turkey, a lot of people took notice of the fact that Erdogan had the Kurdish flag displayed, in a state visit tradition, and noted this as unprecedented.

  52. gemini33 says:

    Col. Wilkerson did a scathing report on the Real News about the CIA-backed and Pentagon-backed proxies fighting each other.
    He said it’s not that unusual, due to the nature of using proxies but then he goes on to talk about the way these agencies work, do not coordinate well, and have no correcting influence above them in the National Security Council, and how few people at the top know what is going on on the ground. He says a lot more too. Wilkerson makes it clear that there are some parties who find this chaos to be in their best interest, and he names Netanyahu as one. He notes that it might be in their short term interest but in the long term could be disastrous for them, not to mention millions of others.
    I left with the impression that not only can what Wilkerson describes as how things work turn into a mess but also it could be manipulated in places, co-opted, by people, to advance their own interests. I’ve often read that Cheney (with help from others obviously) was a master of the cogs and gears of bureaucracy. If that’s true, it’s not hard to assume he had proteges or that there are others like him still in the government, NGOs and FP establishment.

  53. Patrica says:

    What I found interesting in the interview, Patrick, was when the journalistic question and answer session circled in on the Kurds, shortly after Iraq became the issue maybe 5:00 minutes in, where he confronted the president with the “vox populi”, e.g. people demanding he arm the Syrian rebels.
    Anyway, at that point Friedman offered the Kurds as the possible democratic model to be supported, which would then, I guess, long term also take care of the larger issue, how the Middle Easterners deal with their respective minorities.
    That maybe somewhere in the 13-15 minutes realm.
    From that point on Friedman’s body language became the center of my attention. He of course, has no dog in the game, he is only confronting the president with what people feel and thus debate. 😉

  54. turcopolier says:

    There are some issues that never go away. The memes involved in these things have become embedded in the collective mind. One involves the idea that the US sponsored mujahid groups in the Russo-Afghan War that became Al-Qa’ida. That is not the case the Saudis supported the Abu Sayyaf group that through the funding of schools for exiles in Pakistan became the Taliban and who were directly connected trough Osama bin Laden to their Al-Qa’ida allies and mentors. the US backed groups from the Russian War lost a civil war against the Taliban after Russian withdrawal and those that the US had backed were defeated and lost control of Afghanistan. pl

  55. “The Paris attacks were amateurish, using semi-automatic rifles, and suicide belts that failed to kill or even wound few individuals aside from the wearers”
    “The cafe shootings required no greater logistical or materiel support than a gangland drive-by shooting”
    you’re quite a CT expert it seems. Why don’t you send in a job application ? Good people are hard to come by these days …

  56. ISL says:

    Dear Colonel,
    Yes, The Young Turks, IMO “the Borg” is a powerful meme, and though I do not profess predictive powers, ideas can induce real change. That it is catching on through the non-Borg media is a good sign.
    I wonder if Gene Roddenberry actually had the deep state-news-industrial complex in mind when he developed the ultimate implacable enemy to the Federation. Certainly the original Star Trek addressed a number of (at a time) taboo topics in Hollywood.

  57. b and Babak,
    Yes, you are both right about the extent of Hussein’s support to the KDP against the PUK in 1996. His support clearly went beyond just getting out of the way. I was wrong about that. Although the support was short-lived and rather backhanded, it was real.

  58. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Thank you, for a moment I thought TTG had me and I had been wrong.

  59. Babak Makkinejad says:

    On your statement: “….You can’t invade and occupy everywhere, forever, to “deny safe haven” to terrorists…” there is an article in the Infinity Journal that might interest you:
    (It requires free registration for access).
    I personally think that only cooperation among states can make global security a reality. But since the end of the Cold War and the Peace of Yalta with it, we are witnessing – in my opinion – the decay of the state in much of Africa as well as parts of the Near East.
    I expect things to get worse before they get better; with the decay of state in Central Asia, in Ukraine and in Southern Balkans.
    In Kosovo and in Bosnia, NATO states have been able to maintain order only by resuming colonial practices that had made, in earlier times, famous.
    On your extended quote from Obama – what he has stated, no matter its efficaciousness as a policy prescription for the United States – is going against the higher aspirations of people across the Arab, Muslim, and the Third World.
    They want to be modern and not be subject to all the evils of bad governance and the attendant parochialism and arbitrary rule of local autocrats and “fiefdoms”.
    Mr. Obama is not articulating a positive vision – not for Sunni Arabs of Iraq and not for Iraq in general.

  60. Babak Makkinejad says:


  61. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I think I have not been able to express myself well. I will try again:
    The belief among many – in and out of the Middle East, however wrong, that ISIS is a creature of US or NATO or West – or sub-contracted to the Gulfies & Jordan for its creation by West – is impossible to dispel – in my opinion.
    I read that dollars still flow from Turkey to ISIS. Are they supplied by the Turkish Government?
    Is the Turkish Government, a member in good standing of NATO, has gone off reservation?
    You might say “yes”, another fellow would see a deep Byzantine scheme of “plausible deniability” in that.
    That skeptical person could observe further:
    “From 2014 until late in 2015 the US-led coalition did not make a dent against ISIS. It was a phony-war. Only when Russians joined the war in Syria that US-led coalition “found religion” – as they say.”
    That skeptical person, and he may not even be an Iranian or a Syrian or a member of the Axis of Resistance – would be observing to his mates – right outside of the Galata Tower:
    “NATO states did their best to choke Iran financially, yet they did nothing against Gulfies to choke ISIS. Wonder why?”
    And his mate would say:
    “Well, what do you expect; US President in 2014 stated publicly that he wanted to US ISIS to put pressure on the pro-Iranian Iraqi PM and his government.”
    And another mate would observe:
    “Yes, in the same interview US President stated that he did not want to be Iraq’s air force but they had no problems being the air force of another group of Muslim terrorists – the Kosovo Liberation Army earlier.”
    And so on and so forth.
    Now back to you bth.

  62. Joe100 says:

    Victoria Nuland served as Chaney’s “principal deputy foreign policy adviser”, so some of his people are still around.
    Nuland actually goes back to the Clinton administration..

  63. Fred says:

    “The Paris attacks were…”
    Well 160 dead and 368 wounded doesn’t sound like amateurs at work to me.

  64. Aka-Aka says:

    What was Obama’s exact statement?
    As far as I can see, bernard, does not give us the exact passage of the interview.
    You feel, I should trust him without checking?
    If so, you have to convince me that he isn’t somewhat in the larger entertainment industry.

  65. Leonore says:

    ‘some collusion, blackmail’?
    It would be better to split up Iraq across somewhat ethnic lines? Let me know, if I misread you.
    How could we fit that scenario into the fact that Obama stated that the problem, versus Friedman’s input, may have started after WWI and not necessarily after WWII? From a somewhat coherent “Western” strategical perspective, ideally?

  66. b says:

    What nonsense is that.
    The video is linked above. See and hear for yourself.

  67. Valissa says:

    LOL… as to Putin’s love life… I believe the longer term rumor that is probably accurate is that his girlfriend is a beautiful young retired gymnast, in her early 30’s now. Her name is Alina Kabaeva https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alina_Kabaeva and last year there were numerous rumors that she gave birth to a child by Putin. If you search on her and Putin, many articles come up.
    Apparently the source for Wendi Deng rumor is Us Weekly a notorious gossip rag, with little credibility. The breadth of topics that are the basis of anti-Putin propaganda is quite awesome to behold. There must be big money it for someone.
    To anyone who believes this Wendi Deng rumor… April Fools!

  68. “From 2014 until late in 2015 the US-led coalition did not make a dent against ISIS. It was a phony-war. Only when Russians joined the war in Syria that US-led coalition “found religion” – as they say.”
    That’s no doubt true. but what type of evidence is it for some type of grand theory?

  69. Thomas says:

    “You feel, I should trust him without checking?”
    It has been explained on this thread were to find the statement.
    Bernard has credibility, you don’t.

  70. ToivoS says:

    pl. What you say is correct. However, it is my understanding that the US was supporting those militias that evolved into the Taliban while Russia had troops in Afghanistan. It was after the Russians left that the Taliban emerged and defeated our preferred militias.

  71. Valissa says:

    Ingolf, thanks for the link! I have become somewhat of a fan of John Gray in recent years, ever since I read his book “Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia” which contains some of the themes in this article. He is the most sensible and relevant political philosopher I have ever read (and I generally can’t stand this category of intellectual). One of few thinkers who doesn’t believe in “progress” and much more Hobbesian than is fashionable among intellectuals.
    I am currently reading his latest book The Soul of the Marionette: A Short Inquiry into Human Freedom. http://www.amazon.com/Soul-Marionette-Short-Inquiry-Freedom/dp/0374261180/

  72. Aka-Aka says:

    Sorry b, arbitrary observer. I admit, that was a bit superficial.
    But I observed you earlier on Pat Lang’s blog.
    Which then led to me searching for the documentary evidence you seemed to rely on.
    In other words I didn’t follow the youtube link above. But yes, after reading your comment I watched it, wondering what exact passage you referred to, or more precisely where )Obama referred to the US intended regime change in Iraq you seem to refer to:
    “Remember that Obama himself said he did not do anything against ISIS in Iraq because he wanted to regime change Maliki first (Friedman interview Sep 2014).”

  73. Valissa says:

    Speaking of April Fool’s Day… here is a great list of hoaxes, pranks, etc https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2016/04/01/a-comprehensive-updating-and-upsetting-list-of-2016s-april-fools-day-hoaxes/
    For my fellow sci-fi buffs, here is APOD’s contribution to April Fool’s Day http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap160401.html
    More great posters here http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/visions-of-the-future/

  74. Huxley says:

    Who’s that, BNW: the “greedy jerk”
    The DNI or ultimately the the president, Obama.
    Which no doubt would close the circle from off to on topic.

  75. Babak Makkinejad says:

    The point I was trying to make was that the idea of ISIS as a creature of the West is here to stay and not easily rebutted.
    I think the now famous declassified secret US government document, published Judicial Watch (http://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Pg.-291-Pgs.-287-293-JW-v-DOD-and-State-14-812-DOD-Release-2015-04-10-final-version11.pdf ), purporting to show that West deliberately allied with al-Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups to topple Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad (in order to wound Iran, in my opinion.) is the core of the idea that West either created or supported ISIS.
    In this interview with General Flynn, he does not deny the veracity or accuracy of the document, https://www.youtube.com/watchv=SG3j8OYKgn4&feature=youtu.be&t=8m49s – as far as I can tell.
    I do not think there is any proof that could be submitted to a Court of Law that West was supporting ISIS.
    On the other hand, in a hypothetical encounter with General Soleimani, I would not be able to disprove that thesis either – I cannot prove a negative in this case.

  76. turcopolier says:

    The emergent Taliban and AQ were not supported in any way by the US. pl

  77. SmoothieX12 says:

    Ukrainian media’s overwhelming narrative is that Ukrainian Armed Forces (or whatever passes as such) are fighting Russian Army in Donbass. Evidently very successfully, since Russian Army hasn’t been able to break out of Donbass Bridgehead for two years;-)

  78. Matthew says:

    Fred: At a certain point, you have to admire the discipline required to believe that literally everything is caused by Assad. Seehttps://twitter.com/NoahBonsey/status/715889720807538688
    OF course, I have no idea how Assad remaining in power causes ISIS to kidnap Yazidi women and sell them into slavery…..or made ISIS dynamite ancient buildings in Palmyra.

  79. mbrenner says:

    It is true that the US never struck ISIL controlled oil facilities, refineries or truck convoys transporting oil through Turkey. The Russians embarrassed us by doing so – and by publicizing photos showing how exposed those convoys were. There has been intermittent American action since. Why this Obama policy of allowing ISIL to engage in commerce that has been its primary source of income has never been explained – and the MSM never has asked.

  80. cynic says:

    Yes; here’s another in the same vein about wannabe girlfriends of Putin:

  81. Procopius says:

    This may be the wrong place to bring this up, but I notice the neocon propaganda is still getting propagated, this time in a New Yorker article http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/on-the-american-front-line-against-isis?utm_source=pocket&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=pockethits. “The farming district of Makhmour is also one of the areas where ISIS has used primitive but deadly forms of chemical weapons—mustard gas and chlorine—since last August, most recently last month.” I’ve been trying to think what tactical purpose chemical warfare would serve in that area and really can’t come up with anything. Mustard gas, especially, because it’s persistent and your troops have to be equipped with protective clothing as well as masks. Chlorine would eventually disperse until it was safe to enter the area, but you might want to wait a couple of days. I think Makhmour was the town where 200 Marines set up an artillery fire base because IS chased the Iraqi 5th Division out. One, a master sergeant, has been killed.

  82. Procopius says:

    Don’t remember where I read it, but after the Russians started their campaign I saw a statement, probably by an Air Force spokesman, that they had been reluctant to bomb the oil fields because they didn’t want to damage equipment that would take a long time to replace, so they were studying the situation to decide which targets would be best, and they had, mirabile dictu, just that week finished their study. I never saw any explanation for why the long lines of tanker trucks were not deemed useful targets. Perhaps their drivers were thought to be civilians.

  83. gemini33 says:

    I think Daniel Lazare addresses this issue exactly in this Consortium News article.

  84. Amir says:

    Not even as an attempt to put pressure on Taliban’s Western neighbor?

  85. Ingolf says:

    Glad you enjoyed it, Valissa.
    Once in a while I feel Gray overplays his philosopher grouch role but mostly I just like him. He’s a genuine original and God knows there’s not exactly an oversupply of those.

  86. MadDog says:

    Do we know the date of the doc, or only its release? August 12, what 1913/14? It’s not the only doc that shows us the US services have quite a bit of awareness, but how is it evidence for agency or complicity in the creation of ISIS?
    Youtube link can’t be correct.
    “purporting to show that West deliberately allied with al-Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups to topple Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad (in order to wound Iran, in my opinion.) is the core of the idea that West either created or supported ISIS.”
    Without any doubt some circles felt that the aftermath of Operation Iraqi freedom may have resulted in handing too much power/influence in the region to Iran.
    But the West somehow deliberately creating and supporting ISIS is no doubt as false as its memetic Janus-face still floating around in minor ways that Assad created/worked with/or needed ISIS to teach the West a lecture about regime change in the Middle East.

  87. turcopolier says:

    I have told you before that I do not want you or any of you to use more than one screen name here. pl

  88. Chris Chuba says:

    The funny thing about the Ukranians keeping the Russians confined to the Donbass bridgehead is that we currently have U.S. forces training the Ukranian army. The Ukranians should be training us.

  89. Babak Makkinejad says:

    You do not need to convince me that “…the West somehow deliberately creating and supporting ISIS is no doubt as false…”
    You need to be able to convince hard men such as General Suleimani.
    I seriously doubt that anyone could convince such people any longer.

  90. Chris Chuba says:

    There is a very predictable pattern to the Neocon propaganda which is something that one should expect from a Borg collective. They are putting forth a false choice, either Assad resigns in disgrace and is given exile (this is billed as a comprise) OR Assad stays in power to crush the Sunnis. The Borg is completely ignoring what Putin has been saying from the beginning, … ‘it’s up for the people of Syria to decide their own future [with a multi-party election that includes Assad]’. It’s not like Putin, the Iranians, or even Assad have been hiding this position. To them ‘compromise’ is nothing less than the destruction of the current govt, yet they put forth this false choice.
    The Borg has gotten even more frantic lately, they remind me of the story of Elijah vs. the Prophets of Baal. To make a long story short, the longer the latter group experienced failure the more crazed and determined they got, the people turned against them, yada-yada-yada, much blood was spilled at the end of the day. Hmm… I’ve been sprinkling my posts with some Bible imagery lately. I think seeing Palmyra liberated on Easter Sunday triggered something.

  91. bth says:

    Procopius you are incorrect. There were chlorine and mustard gas attacks near there on several occasions in recent months and most particularly against Taza, south west of Kirkuk, which when was said and done wounded over 1000 civilians though fatalities were low.

  92. b says:

    Now we know where ISIS comes from:
    According to CentCom it was created in Syria during the war there and in 2014 invaded Iraq.
    How will Centcom soldiers learning such be able to really fight ISIS?

  93. LeaNder says:

    if you say so.
    I made no claim at credibility. But maybe it’s better if b, doesn’t make a claim at credibility himself? I am not so sure, what that could mean in his case.
    How about discussing a definition of “regime change” as applicable generally but also to the post WWI middle East present context? The US under Obama actively tried regime change in Iraq? Apparently he thinks so for longer now:
    The U.S. are gunning for regime change, June 19, 2014:

  94. turcopolier says:

    Regime change on this side of the pond means that you want a new government, a different government. The US accepted that Maliki would have a second term. pl

  95. SmoothieX12 says:

    I hope you understood my sarcasm in my post above. Should Russian Army really fight in Ukraine it would take about a week to finish off with Kiev. As per “Ukrainians should be training us”, you may want to read this:

  96. turcopolier says:

    I read the CENTCOM blurb. What difference would that make? whatever it was that you were talking about is obscure to me. BTW, CENTCOM is a theater command headquarters of DoD. It has no soldiers. It has troops who are “chopped” to it temporarily for a given operation overseas. BTW I doubt if you would find anyone serving in Iraq or Syria who cares about either one of those countries. They just work there as they would work anywhere. pl

  97. Barish says:

    Sir, I’ll take your word for it that the tullab, “students” in Afghanistan were primarily a Saudi project. Which makes the lack of any action taken against the Saudis even after the concerted 9/11 attacks primarily carried out by Saudi citizens all the more bizarre.
    What I am wondering about regarding these secret ops by the Saudis: as they are prone to hire foreign personnel in other fields, would it be beyond impossible for the Saudis and their fellow gulf monarchies to also hire ex-intelligence personnel – those who either resigned, were discharged for one reason or another or want to gain some earnings even in retirement – from western countries, US included, to run those ops for them?

  98. turcopolier says:

    “all the more bizarre” Absolutely. I attribute this to the unimaginative uncreative character of the Borgist collectivity and all the nice money that the Gulfies have given to the NGO side of the Borg. Yes, the Saudi often hire what they imagine to be real skill but they never trust them and always think of them as mamelukes and hireling outsiders. pl

  99. bth says:

    Not entirely correct. US was striking bootleg refineries from the air and generally not hitting the trucks. The reason is that IS was/is using the bootleg refineries for revenue while normal Sunni Arab or Kurds owned the trucks and were frankly making a living. Russia on the other hand went after the trucks but generally avoided the refineries and well heads in Syria. It was reported that Assad had asked Russia to avoid the fixed infrastructure in hopes that he would recapture it and didn’t want to rebuild it from scratch. Could the US have done more? I think yes. Could the Russias or Syrians for that matter destroyed the well heads and bootleg refinery sites? Yes obviously.

  100. Chris Chuba says:

    I think we need understand that all Babak is saying is that ‘Perception is reality’. He is just saying what many people in the M.E. think about the relationship between the U.S. and ISIS, he is not necessarily declaring his personal views.
    I am a big proponent that the U.S. is more of a blundering oaf, this is my own view. However, I don’t think that we should be harsh to those who believe otherwise. After all, we make similar snap judgments about them. For example, if Iran tests a ballistic missile it becomes an article of faith that it is meant to deliver a nuclear weapon even though the Iranians are not known to possess one, let alone miniaturized a nuke that could be delivered in that manner. We also do not even consider that ballistic missiles are commonly used as tactical weapons in conventional warfare but to us, perception is reality, suspicion is proof.

  101. Chris Chuba says:

    Smoothie, I definitely understood that your comment was tongue in cheek. I enjoyed it very much.

  102. cynic says:

    Is this claim plausible, that the terrorists around Aleppo are being rather incompetently directed by agents of MI6?
    ‘The fact remains that the British terrorist handlers, most of whom are MI6 independent contractors formerly with the agency or retirees from SAS, cannot keep any secrets. They use mediocre communications platforms which are easily intercepted by the Russian military, the Syrian counterintelligence branch of the MI or HZB, which is proving itself to be surprisingly adept at the most complicated forms of encryption and deciphering….
    British handlers in Gaziantep would micro-manage the assault based on detailed satellite and drone intelligence from the CIA and MI6….
    When the assault started at the time mentioned herein-above, you could hear British accented voices barking out orders in execrable Arabic – so dreadful it sounded like bad Spanish. It was only a few times, according to Wael, when a fluent speaker of Syrian Arabic could be heard with British voices in the background correcting this message or modifying this order.’

  103. bth says:

    Suleimani is a master of imagery and strategy. He can be counted on to have his Iraqi militia henchmen chime in on queue to receptive western media about the latest US bombing error or lack of support for his militiamen as they would seek to ethnically cleanse more than the Baghdad suburbs if they could. A man as intelligent as Suleimani must grow tired if having to deal with people like that year after year.

  104. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I did not see any serious dent made against ISIS until the Russian Federation started bombing their oil trucks.
    Iran did not have the air assets to carry such attacks.
    The US-led coalition against ISIS, in my opinion, was conducting a smoke-and-mirrors game of perception management until Russian joined the fray.
    There were any number of steps that US – together with Jordan – could have taken against ISIS that they was not taken.
    What am I supposed to believe?

  105. Babak Makkinejad says:

    In fact, outside of ME, the belief is also widespread.
    In regards to the “blundering oaf” – 2 of the declared enemies of the United States lie in ruin: Iraq and Libya while a third one, Syria – remains gravely wounded.
    Seems that only nuclear weapons have kept North Korea in existence.

  106. Neil R says:

    “Seems that only nuclear weapons have kept North Korea in existence.”
    In 1994 the Clinton White House seriously considered preemptive strikes against Yongbyon and elsewhere. The WH had asked Gen. Gary Luck (CFC/USFK) for assessment of immediate requirements. Gen. Luck had quite accurately ascertained that WH staffers had no idea what would likely happen if such an option were taken. He insisted on Shalikashvili and Adm. Larson (CINCPAC) that they make it quite clear to Aspin, Perry and any other principals in the chain of command the potential cost of a general war. After 1991 the KPA forward deployed 70 percent of their forces close to DMZ. They had close to 10000 artillery pieces with range fans covering most of the area immediately north of Seoul at the time. After the crisis, Gen. Luck testified that casualty estimate at the time was 36,000 US and 400,000 ROK military personnel. One could only imagine what civilian casualties would’ve been if the balloon had gone up.
    The simple fact is the North Koreans always had the means to deter any future invasion. That was the case in 1976, 1994 and thereafter. They have had that capability for the last 45 years, because nobody in the US or certain ROK wanted to pay the price of going north. The biggest threat for the regime has been internal mostly of their own making. The closest tipping point was during the famine. However, Kim Dae-Jung and his “Sunshine Policy” rescued the DPRK regime from collapse. We now know how close they were at the time as Kim Jong-Il had to adopt the Sŏn’gun policy. His son is now trying to roll it back.

  107. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Thank you for your comments.
    So they had conventional military deterrence in 1994.
    Would not nuclear weapons give the North Korean Government the ability to demobilize their forward forces near DMZ; thus reducing the economic burden on them?

  108. Neil R says:

    “So they had conventional military deterrence in 1994. Would not nuclear weapons give the North Korean Government the ability to demobilize their forward forces near DMZ; thus reducing the economic burden on them?”
    Yes. That has been the calculus shared by the three generations of Kims. Of course the trouble is the Kim regime can’t help themselves other than to do something so idiotic and shortsighted.
    Since 1987 the DPRK has defaulted on debts to numerous OECD and COMECON creditors. (And they ended up making payments to Iran with Yono and Yugo mini subs.) They have essentially nationalized Orascom assets last year. They nationalized South Korean assets in the Kaesong industrial park two months ago. Even if the DPRK were to partially demobilize the KPA where will it employ the surplus labor? The agricultural sector has limited ceiling. They need foreign direct investment desperately to do anything. The vast majority of transactions with Chinese firms is cash-and-carry. It helps to attract foreign investors if you can sustain the self-discipline to make debt payments. However they just couldn’t resist the urge to grab a quick buck (or a billion) through nationalization.

Comments are closed.