Iraq Policy: Washington’s Puzzle Palace Keeps Getting Curiouser

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by David Stockman via Contra Corner blog,

Let’s count the ways. It goes without saying that Obama is now busily bombing American military equipment. Some of that equipment is pretty high tech gear and especially lethal - not the kind that jihadists ordinarily train with in their desert lairs or mountain redoubts.

But then again, ISIS got provisioned by none other than the Iraqi Army. The latter not only dropped its uniforms for civvies during the battle for Mosul, but also left behind armored Humvees, heavy artillery, night vision systems, state of the art firearms and much else of like and similar nature. Nor was this the first time that the Iraqi Army disarmed itself unilaterally. A while back they also surrendered their uniforms and guns when another American President - George W. Bush - bombed them.

That was called “shock and awe”. Afterwards, the remnants of the Iraqi army must have found it indeed shocking and awesome that Washington immediately pivoted - after hanging the country’s leader - and spent $25 billion re-equipping and training them in brand new uniforms and with far better weapons.

Fast-forward to 2014. The hasty hand-off of these American weapons to ISIS during its June blitzkrieg was easy enough to explain. On their way out of Baghdad, the Washington “nation builders” had equipped and trained a native army so that it could defend a “nation” which did not exist. What passed for “Iraq” was some very long, straight lines drawn on a map exactly 98 years ago by the British and French foreign offices as they carved up their winnings from the Ottoman Empire. What passed for governance within these so-called Sykes-Picot boundaries was a series of kings, generals and dictators -  culminating in Saddam Hussein - who ruled from the barrel of whatever gun had been supplied by the highest bidder among the Great Powers.

Thus, Brezhnev gave the Iraqi generals weapons in the 1970s. In the 1980s, President Reagan joined in, green lighting exports of the components and precursors for chemical weapons and providing Saddam with the satellite-based intelligence to practice using them on his “enemies” ( i.e. teenage boys in the Iranian Army) before he used them on his own people (i.e. the Kurds and the Shiite).

Not surprisingly, after the US had “liberated” Iraq from 90 years of dictatorship - democracy took hold with lightening speed subsequent to the 2011 departure of American GIs. The “rule of the majority” - that is, the Shiite majority - soon ripped through most governmental institutions, but especially the military. In short order the “Iraqi” army became a Shiite army. Hence the precipitous surrender and flight from the battles of Mosul and other northern cities. That was Sunni and Kurd territory - not a place where Shiite soldiers wanted to be shot dead or caught alive.

The more interesting mystery is how the ISIS fighters learned how to use Uncle Sam’s advanced weaponry so quickly. Perhaps the CIA knows. It did train several thousand anti-Assad fighters in its secret camps in Jordan in preparation for Washington’s “regime change” campaign in Syria. Undoubtedly, in the fog of war - especially the sectarian wars in the Islamic heartland that have been raging for 13 centuries - it is difficult to have friend and foe vetted effectively.

But effective vetting or no, the purpose of training Sunni fighters in Syria was to achieve a key Washington strategic objective. Namely, to breakup and disable the fearsome “Shiite Crescent”, ranging from Hezbollah in Lebanon through Assad’s Alawite-Shiite regime in Syria to the seat of the Axis-Of-Evil itself - the purportedly nuke seeking Shiite theocracy of Iran.

To be sure, the CIA had re-certified as recently as 2008 that the Iranians had disbanded a few incipient nuclear weapons experiments years earlier. Likewise, the medieval mullahs who rule Iran had issued fatwas against a nuclear weapons program in any form. But so great was the Shiite threat deemed to be by Washington that both Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the peace president himself announced the Assad “must go”  peacefully or Washington would wage war against him. And this was all part of the grand scheme of disabling the fearsome Shiite Crescent.

Needless to say, Washington’s war on the Shiite Crescent caused a certain awkwardness in the newly “democratic” nation of Iraq. The political forces that had done the democratizing - al Maliki’s Shiite coalition - hailed from the southern regions of the Sykes-Picot map located at the headwaters of the Persian Gulf’s hydrocarbon infused sediments. Not only did this Shiite homeland have most of Iraq’s oil reserves and host all the crucial Shiite shrines of the 7th century battles which gave rise to the great Islamic schism, but it was also geographically the crucial land-bridge between the Iranian power to the east and the balance of the Shiite Crescent to the west.

It is not surprising, therefore, that the rise of ISIS earlier this year did not result in a plea to Washington from the al-Maliki government for help. Iraq’s Grand Ayatollah Sistani not only opposed American re-entry, but issued the first fatwa since the 1920s calling upon the Shiite militias to repel the ISIS invader—just as they had been called to arms against the British 90-years back. Likewise, the al-Maliki government’s Iranian allies loudly announced “no thanks” to Washington’s offers of help, as did leaders of the Shiite street like the firebrand preacher, Motqua al-Sadr.

So the tangle thickened. Making war on the Shiite Crescent, Washington was poorly positioned to repel the ISIS hordes through local proxies because most of the candidates were aligned with the wrong side or entangled in the fictional state of Iraq. Obviously, Assad of Syria and the mullahs of Iran - the natural state enemies of the emerging Sunni Caliphate - were not going to help because they knew full well that they were on Washington’s enemies list.

But the internal Iraqi entities were no more available. Yes, the Kurds have an army called the Peshmerga, which is comprised of motivated, seasoned fighters who’s battlefield exploits reach all the way back to the time of Saddam’s genocidal campaign against the Kurds led by his uncle, “Chemical Ali”.

However, the Kurd army is, unfortunately, illegal under the Iraqi constitution. So now the Obama Administration’s belated attempt to bolster the peshmerga will require a convoluted maneuver. To not offend the Iraqi government in Baghdad and its constitution, the Kurdish fighters will not be supplied with advanced American weapons like those being used by its ISIS enemy. Instead, they will be “unofficially” supplied with Russian weapons through a CIA back-channel!

But it probably doesn’t matter. While the ISIS was busy taking Mosul and the Iraqi army weapons from the central government, the Peshmerga was busy doing the same thing a little further south. After years of failing to annex the oil capital of the north—Kirkuk—through legislative action in the Iraqi parliament, they were able to accomplish this in recent weeks on the battlefield. At Kirkuk, the Iraqi Army also shed its uniforms and left its American supplied weapons behind. So the Peshmerga has American weapons after all!

And now the Kurds are ready for the obvious. Namely, to hold a referendum on independence which will be as decisive as that in Crimea. So “Kurdistan” will soon occupy the northeast portion of the Sykes-Picot map that used to be called Iraq.

The virtual certainty of an independent Kurdistan leaves a striking awkwardness with respect to the struggle over control and the constitution currently raging in Baghdad.  Al-Maliki has been dismissed by the Iraq’s president and has been urged to go quickly into the night by Washington’s leaders and strategists including the President and John Kerry. But the President of Iraq is a Kurd who claims to be upholding the nation’s constitution—-at the very moment that his countrymen are fixing to secede from the union, so to speak.

That leaves al-Maliki to defend himself against a constitution upholder who represents a multi-million person enclave of people who despise the Iraqi constitution, its government organs in Baghdad and its historic appropriation of the region’s considerable oil revenues. So the Iraqi “constitutional crisis” is everything the phrase implies, and much more.

Nevertheless, al-Maliki may be able to defend himself. His militia and special forces are equipped with the latest and greatest American weapons! If need be, they can be turned against his designated successor. And, oh, he’s a militant Shiite too - who spent most of his adult life in London. Either way, therefore, the nascent Shiite state in the southern regions of the Sykes-Picot map will remain an integral part of the Shiite Crescent.

So there are no proxies and there is no functioning Iraqi state. If the Washington war party decides to keep bombing just exactly what purpose will be served - other then defending a map which is now heading for the dustbin of history?

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BringOnTheAsteroid's picture

This is all the US knows, drop big fucking bombs on shit. It's hard to conceive of a more tragic fall from grace than the good ole US of A. 

Paveway IV's picture

al Maliki just had the Central Bank of Iraq transfer $380M to 'somewhere', so it's all but official then: Maliki is bailing out.  Haider al-Abadi was named the new PM and just sacked all Maliki's ministers. Probably the one guy that can actually bring everyone together for once in Iraq. He's Shia, but is already talking to the Sunni in the West of Iraq. The Kurds like him, the U.S. likes him. Hell, even the Iranians like the old coot. And the Iraqi Army will fight for him.

Good Luck to the Iraqis and al-Abadi. Get rid of ISIS and the Americans, and your country might have a chance.

Leonardo Fibonacci2's picture

Obama is a chimp with a hand grenade.  A chimp is gonna chimp!

tony wilson's picture

Kurds like him, the U.S. likes him. Hell, even the Iranians like the old coot. And the Iraqi Army will fight for him.

if the kurds like him that means the rabbis like him.

so the rabbis like and the cia like so thats a result.

chatham house want this country broken up into oil rich bits a bit for esso a bit for shell and bp and the zionist rabbis get the kurd bit

The.Harmless.Jew's picture



Hi Tony,


Massive fan, but may I quiz you on your post.  With everything being relative (i.e. with knowledge of the fact that the FED and its Zionist cohorts still dominating the world), why wouldn't you consider the new PM-proposed to be a good choice?


Malaki has been terrible in his second term, and will get worse surely?


You are right about entities wanting to break this country up.  And if there's a group I dislike more than the global zionists, it is their Kurd cousins - who are very closely linked to the zionists, and also are a bunch of pikey gypsies who are like a trojan horse.  They don't and never had the best in mind when it comes to Iraq, that's why they are rightly reviled. 



teslaberry's picture



the u.s. wants war with iran, all of these 'leaders' are all just cannon fodder. 


the only thing that could save iraq is a suicidal attack on iran by a resurrection of saaadam hoosein. the superpowers of the world , particularly those of the west are now trying to agitate for major war, while the eastern super powers play for time until they can direct the international violence on their terms.



The.Harmless.Jew's picture




Maliki just had the Central Bank of Iraq transfer $380M to 'somewhere'



Hi Paveway,


Have you got a source for this?  I'm interested in this story. Cheers.



Paveway IV's picture

DinarDaddy's Tidbits. I know it doesn't sound like much, but the Central Bank of Iraq is going to revalue the Iraqi Dinar soon - a lot of Iraqis are intensely interested in that event. DinarDaddy does provide a lot of useful insight into the Iraqi financial system and Iraq in general. It looks like it was $328M. All the insiders know Maliki has been looting Iraq for years.

Oldwood's picture

Like always looking for ways to commit Americans without our direct approval or participation. Once the bombs get things really going then the "national emergency" can occur requiring our more "personal" involvement. Will "we" ever get tired of this shit?

Bloppy's picture

It's all Rush Limbaugh's fault, at least according to ten people:

junction's picture

Down the rabbit hole again.

palmereldritch's picture

From the ashes of Iraq the UN would like to officially recognize, being the formerly fledgling state of ISILand, the now sovereign nation of Pipelinestan, with its capital located in .......

Slave's picture

I just took a shiite and it plugged the toilet.

Wahooo's picture

I'm at the hillary stage with all of this: Who really gives a fuck anymore?

NoDebt's picture

Never go full-Hillary.

krispkritter's picture

'Cash for Hummers'?

Winston Churchill's picture

Just remember where the gas pipelines have to go.

The Qatari one north, the Iranian one wast, or east then via Ukraine..

Then ignore all this background noise.

Oldwood's picture

I'm sure money interests have a lot to do with getting this shit rolling but once initiated what follows will have little to do with money. Simply pure hate and revenge will take it to its ends.

Winston Churchill's picture

Money, and sex make the world go around.

If you have the money,you get the sex.

One simple rule that applies in all the cultures. Moslem,Jewish, Christian ,Hindu,

make no difference at all.

Lea's picture

"Money, and sex make the world go around."

Old baseless cliche. Gravity and nothing else makes the world go around. As for money and sex being the sole horizon of humans, that's only OK for humans who accept to live like monkeys: "these are my bananas and I'll steal yours to have more, these are my females and I'll steal yours to have more".

Thankfully, some of us also acknowledge the existence of a humain brain and conscience.

Reaper's picture

Cui bono from all this Muslim warfare? Whose plans were to create this warfare? Who funds and supplies ISIS? Who does the Shia Crescent threaten? What are the Wahhabi goals? Cui bono in the US from dropping bombs? Who else cui bono?

Lostinfortwalton's picture

What to we acomplish by bombing ISIS? well, it could keep children from being beheaded. There is that. At one time in my country there would be no question and you would not be able to find enough of all the ISIS to fit in a shoebox after the bombing. My country doesn't seem to exist anymore.

LetThemEatRand's picture

The problem with this moral outrage is that we Americans don't have the high ground to preach any longer.  We have killed plenty of women and children in Iraq.  Several hundred thousand Iraqis were killed during the last kinetic action and most were not solidiers, many were women and children.  America is still #1 in death count by a mile, and I personally don't think a child who has her head blown off by a drone strike will tell you that she is any better off than one who is beheaded.   

nmewn's picture

"America is still #1 in death count by a mile..."

We have a long way to go in order to catch up with "national socialists" and communists. Maybe "Dear Leader" can try and abolish Congress or pack the court and go for the record ;-)

LetThemEatRand's picture

Next thing you know, ISIS will drop napalm on some villages or use depleted uranium shells or torture some "folks."  Or maybe they will declare war on half the world in order to keep oil flowing for private profit and central banks in charge.  If you think we have some kind of moral high ground, you are still deeply embedded in the matrix.   But go Team and all that.  

nmewn's picture

We're talking millions, over centuries Rand.

Emirs, sultans, "dear leaders"...why don't you get your head out of your ass.

DanDaley's picture

Islam over 13 centuries easily has enslaved more people by far than were ever sent to the Americas...well over 10 million in each case, but Islam is still hot and heavy for slavery. Nobody ever talks about this.

nmewn's picture

We would be razzzist for pointing out that truth. Zanzibar anyone?


And to say that caliphs, emirs, sultans etc. creating empires, slaughtering & subjugating native peoples to the point we have millions living under the Government of Islam (yes, government, because thats what Sharia Law is) would be equally razzzist ;-)

LetThemEatRand's picture

I think you're missing the point nmewn, because of your tribal bias.  Let me try again.  America has killed millions in the name of money for a few sociopaths while we literally flag wave them on.  Millions.  Would I rather live in America than some shithole in the Middle East?  Of course.  But the choices should not be such.  We can do better.  Getting riled up about what some other assholes are doing causes people to ignore what their own assholes are doing in their name.  We could make the world a much better place instead of being engaged in tribal warfare for our chieftans.

nmewn's picture

I'm missing nothing.

How many did Mao kill of his own and for what...and why was that sociopath always smiling? Tell me Rand.

And Stalin and Pol Pot and Tamerlane, don't even get me started on the willful massacres of Hindus carried out by such "enlightened muslims", do you know why a whole mountain range are called Hindu Kush?

It means Hindu slaughter Rand.

LetThemEatRand's picture

Okay, nmewn.  By your standards, we're better than them so I guess that's good enough.   We only killed 1/3 as many people as them.  They did it for religion.  We did it for money.  God Bless us one and all.

Slave's picture

This was fun. You two should do this again sometime.

nmewn's picture

The only thing fun about this was pointing out the almost complete lack of historical knowledge and cognitive dissonance exhibited by leftards on a daily basis.

Yes, you see the caliphs, emirs & sultans didn't carry all those slaves & gold back to their palaces FOR no no...thats an optical illusion, they did it to spread their religion.

Absolutely fucking amazing.

KanKhaderKhanKan's picture

You got verifiable quantitive data to back that up? Or should I assume you just bullshitting? Furthermore if we going to play this game of yours we should remember this only following fact: in classical Islam one of the punishments that would be enforced on a person is the compulsory releasing of slaves, using your method it could be rightly said THAT ISLAM RELEASED MORE SLAVES THEN ABE LINCOLN'S EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION. See how stupid this pissing contest is?

The_Prisoner's picture

Indeed. Communism is number 1 in the 20th century. Wonder who's behind it?

I know you really don't care who Mao was influenced by:

Sun Yat-Sen: Sun was later baptized in Hong Kong by an American missionary of the Congregational Church of the United States to his brother's disdain.

Chen Duziu: Politically, he advocated the Trotskyist theory of Marxism


nmewn's picture

Mao carried his "little red book" around with him you fucking bozo.

But a nice diversion from the conquest of the GOVERNMENT OF ISLAM over goat & sheep herders simply minding their own business and being subjugated & indoctrinated.

All the caliphs, emirs, sultans and empires were just completely organic outgrowths of agrarians!



Oh the "democracy" down votes, I forgot. If you didn't carry Mao's little red book with you, you were looked on with suspicion.

Democracy, that man...he's eating a twinkie! ;-)

KanKhaderKhanKan's picture

"But a nice diversion from the conquest of the GOVERNMENT OF ISLAM over goat & sheep herders simply minding their own business and being subjugated & indoctrinated." - Which sheep herders would those be? The Byzantine empire & Sassanids? You do know the Middle Eastern territories of Syria/Iraq/Egypt territories Mohammed companion's captured were part of large empire headed by ruthless warlords? Perhaps you were referring to time when that area was captured from the Ummayyad by the Abbasids? Or when the Mamluke captured it from the Abbasids? Or when the Ottomans captured it from the Mamlukes? Or when the Brits captured it from the Ottomans? But I suppose it takes someone educated in the American school system to genuinely argue that once upon a time the Middle East was ruled by peaceful (nice re-hash &re-use of the noble savage myth btw) sheep-herders before naughty muslims came along and spoilt it all. The Middle East has been fought over since the time of Alexander the Great...Islam was a late gate-crasher to this eastern slug-fest.

KanKhaderKhanKan's picture

If we going to play this semantic game of who is the bigger shit then lets even it out a little: Which group of believers created &transmitted the 'Christ killer' myth over 1500+ years that an individual named Hitler could utilise it to justify the holocoust? Forget the Middle Eastern Crusades how many pagans died in the Northern Crusades? If the number who died current Sunni-Shia slug fest is a damning indictment of Islam then what does the 30 years in Europe between Protestant and Catholic slugfest - in which the population of Germany was halved - say about Christianity? If native population in both North and South Americas plummeted with the arrival of european christians then what does that say about the barbarism of christianity? LTER discussing such topics in a blinkered tribalistic doesn't illuminate understanding it instead obscures it behind petty point scoring.

Lostinfortwalton's picture

I don't there is an American serviceman alive that would not crawl on broken glass to keep from injuring a little boy or girl. And you compare them to some Islamic asshole who gets off on beheading children?

LetThemEatRand's picture

Wow, you are well programmed.   American soldiers fight for bankers and oligarhcs.  Most don't realize that, but it is a fact.  We haven't had a war in decades that was about anything other than oil, pipelines, central banking, and the MIC.  American soliders also operate drones that America admits kill civilians with some frequency in countries that are no threat to us in any way, shape or form.  American soldiers operate airplanes that drop bombs that are unable to distinguish their victims, in countries that are no threat to us in any way, shape or form.  America is the only country in the world that has used an atomic bomb in war, and we used them twice on cities that coincidentally had women and children.   Our dear leader came out just days ago and admitted that "we tortured some folks."  Shall I go on or do you need to go watch a slow motion eagle and convince yourself that this was all for the children.

Oh, and America funded and created ISIS.  

Renewable Life's picture

"crawl on glass for the children" Holy Shit, you are one propagandized POS!!!

LOL, turn off the bullshit movies and music and stop all the rah rah flag waving bullshit and go ask a vet WTF is really going on or went on in Vietnam, Iraq, Afganistan, Pakistan, and the dozen other places we are or where at, over the last 50 years in pursuit of our "American Global Interests"!!

Then, if you can even get out of bed the next day, from your disillusionment and depression, crawl on some glass over to your computer and tell us what you found out!

SoberOne's picture

"How do you kill women and children?"


"Easy, just don't lead them as much."

Duffy's picture

Do you know how many 8 and 10 year old boys, bribed or, often, forced into planting IEDs in Afghanistan that were hit with artillery by US Forces?

It has to be in the hundreds.

LetThemEatRand's picture

Right.  Those are the only civilians America killed in Afghanistan.  Why are we even there, again?

Duffy's picture

I don't recall writing that they were the only ones.

Why are we there? 

To block potential Iranian and/or Russian pipelines south and east, and to continue the quite lucrative profits from opium. 


It's also a staging area potentially to attack Iran or Russia or Pakistan or China and in any event a good place from which to launch drones, etc.

It's essentially a carrier group.  There are likely other reasons, some strategic, some going to present and future profits.

So far as I can tell, anyway.


In any case, we're a long way from the Taliban offer to try, even possibly hand over OBL if given reasonable evidence of his involvement in the 9/11 attacks. 

tumblemore's picture

"It's essentially a carrier group."



LetThemEatRand's picture

I misread your earlier post.  My apologies.