Alternative Insight

Get Them Out
Those who cause the endless wars

From the way it is going, it will take decades to defeat ISIS and its worldwide cohorts. Destroying a combination of religious extremism, social alienation, and rejection of western values that water the roots of Radical Islam will not be an easy task; made less easy because the strategies (or lack of), policies, and directives that shape the war against ISIS are being polarized by a leadership that is responsible for its birth and growth. Unless those who engage in the war against ISIS can "get them out," the campaign against ISIS will always be in doubt.

Who are the culprits that warrant the phrase "get them out?"
They are the warmongering United States senators, led by John McCain, deadened Joint Chiefs of Staff, led by General Martin Dempsey, heirs to the Neocons, led by House Speaker John Boehner, a host of Republican candidates for president, followers to the calamities of former President George W. Bush, a deceptive and untrustworthy media, highlighted by Fox News, and the super patriots who wave the American flag in the wind, an uninformed portion of the American populace.

Senator McCain's Freudian remark that linked the rise of ISIS with President Obama's decision to pull out too quickly indicated the Arizona senator had not read the Status of Forces Agreement, which described the arrangements between the Bush administration and the Republic of Iraq for withdrawal of all American troops by the end of 2011.

Article 24 Withdrawal of the United States Forces from Iraq
Recognizing the performance and increasing capacity of the Iraqi Security Forces, the assumption of full security responsibility by those Forces, and based upon the strong relationship between the Parties, an agreement on the following has been reached: 1. All the United States Forces shall withdraw from all Iraqi territory no later than December 31, 2011. 2. All United States combat forces shall withdraw from Iraqi cities, villages, and localities no later than the time at which Iraqi Security Forces assume full responsibility for security in an Iraqi province, provided that such withdrawal is completed no later than June 30, 2009.

Before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, none of the precarious elements that suffocate present day Iraq and have spilled over to other areas of the Middle East were apparent. Most came into play immediately after the U.S. military occupied Iraq with its grand strategy of "liberal hegemony." What other conclusion can there be than the causes of the conflagrations are derived from the overthrow of the Hussein regime? The Bush administration, following dictates from the Neocons, who represented their client State of Israel, has been responsible for several major calamities that plague the world.

Allowed ISIS to gain a strong foothold in the Levant
ISIS did not start with proclamation of the caliphate. Trace the extremist group back to six months after the 2003 U.S. invasion, when Jordanian Abu Musab al-Zarqawi initiated an Iraqi insurgency. On October 12, 2006, al-Zarqawi, already united with other groups and Sunni Islamic tribes, formed a coalition, "which swore by Allah to rid Sunnis from the oppression of the rejectionists and the crusader occupiers, ... to restore rights even at the price of our own lives... to make Allah's word supreme in the world, and to restore the glory of Islam...". The next day, the coalition declared the establishment of the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI).

Four years later, after U.S. financed Awakening of Sunni Tribes almost decimated the Islamic insurgents, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi became the new leader of the Islamic State of Iraq. Who was this Islamic extremist and why did he join the battle? The Middle East online journal, AL MONITOR,, talked with those who knew him.
An excerpt:

The younger man waited until I left a group I had been standing with and then approached me, revealing that he knew Baghdadi very well. After introducing himself as Amjad, he said, "Sheikh Ibrahim [Baghdadi] was someone very normal, someone like you. He didn't have any complexities in his life, and we used to play football here," as he pointed to an empty piece of land next to the mosque. "He was obsessed with scoring goals; he would become nervous if he didn't." Amjad added, "When the US invaded Iraq he decided to take up arms and fight - he changed a lot after that."

After the capitulation of Mosul, ISI became ISIL. The U.S. invasion of Iraq led to the establishment of the caliphate that the policies of Senator McCain and his associates nourished to original existence.

Deepened the Shi'a/Sunni divisions
U.S. occupation of a prostrate Iraq simplified the mechanism for al-Qaeda elements to enter Iraq and challenge authority. President Bush's backing of a corrupt and despotic Nouri al-Maliki as Prime Minister provoked the Sunni population into finding a sectarian ally and overcome the consolidation of economic and military power in a preferred Shi'a population.

During Hussein's regime, discrimination against women and religion were neither public policy nor approved. The relative conviviality and absence of strife between all ethnicities and religions within Baghdad's mixed neighborhoods testifies to an attempt to give the government a nonsectarian character.

Compare Hussein's last seven years ruling Iraq with al-Maliki's seven years as Prime Minister. Brutality committed by Hussein in his last years was nil when compared to the brutality during al-Maliki's term in which murder squads of Shi'a and Sunni slaughtered one another. Al-Maliki's Iraq became entirely sectarian in all aspects - forcible segregation with walls between communities, not a day of peace, civil strife, and severe discrimination of women and Christians - all a result of the U.S. occupation.

Strengthened Iran's influence in the region
U.S. administrations have labored for decades to prevent the Islamic Republic from extending its influence in the region. Acting to the contrary, President Bush sacrificed 4500 Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis in a war that enabled Iran to greatly extend its power. Installation of a Shi'a government in Iraq removed a Sunni threat to Iran, expanded Iran's narrow base of friendly nations, gave the Ayatollahs a bridge to Syria and emboldened its rulers.

Forced Iran to pursue nuclear weapons
By stationing troops on two borders with Iran, those of Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States, who has made known its hostility to the Islamic regime, convinced Iran to protect itself by any means. It is no coincidence that after suspending its nuclear program in 2003, the Islamic Republic resumed uranium enrichment at Natanz in January 2006 after it became evident the United States was staying in Iraq.
Imagine if Mexico and Canada hosted Iranian military and ISIS extremists. What would the U.S. do?

Brought war and scorn to the Middle East, instead of promised peace and harmony
The United States entered Iraq with a promise to its people that Operation Iraqi Freedom would protect world freedoms and bring peace and stability to the Middle East. Compare the Middle East in the year 2015 to the Middle East in year 2003.

Caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and displacement of millions.
Accurate count of Iraqi deaths resulting from the U.S. invasion and occupation are controversial, ranging from 150,000 to 1.2 million. Iraqi Body Count, recites documented civilian deaths from violence at 136,589 - 154,503, and total violent deaths, including combatants, at 211,000.

A PLOS Medicine Journal survey from the University of Washington in Seattle,, polled heads of households and siblings across Iraq. The researchers, including some from the Iraqi Ministry of Health, concluded with "We think it is roughly around half a million people dead. And that is likely a low estimate…"

Internal and external displacement varied with the intensity of the strife
Out of a population of 30.7 million, The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) has recorded "at least 3,276,000 internally displaced as of 15 Jan. 2015," and "401,417 refugees originating from country, as of Jan. 2014."

Engineered the breakup of Iraq.
Without a national security system that protects all citizens, a nation is not a nation. Iraq has semblance of a country, but it is mainly an oil sharing enterprise. The northern Kurds display their own flag, the tribes in the middle of the country operate independently, and many Sunnis have taken up arms against the government, Baghdad has become enclaves of separated ethnicities and the southern Shi'a go about their activities with scarce recognition of what is happening to the rest of the country.

Initiated the destruction of Christian communities in Iraq

I had three wonderful days in Mosul before coming on here ... One of the nicest was among the old Christian villages ... Karakosh, the Syriac village, was especially fascinating in itself, because of its old churches dotted round. I was all alone and went about with most of the population, looking at the very primitive churches which had to be opened with huge keys|

Freya Stark in northern Iraq, March 21st, 1930.

An Iraq census of 1987 counted 1.4 million Christians. Despite the high birth rate, the estimate of Christians in Iraq remained static, due mainly to elevated infant mortality and an exodus during the 1990s of well educated Christians, results from the sanctions imposed on Iraq. At the start of the U.S. invasion, Iraq had 1.5 million Christian citizens. The CIA WORLD FACTBOOK lists only 261,000 Christians left in Iraq in January 2015.

Repercussions of Bush policies, which include the U.S. led invasion of Afghanistan and the 2007 economic downfall, will be felt for generations. Assuredly, George W. Bush, 43rd president of the United States will be judged as one of the worst leaders any nation ever had, considered below that of the Kuomintang's Chiang Kai-shek and the Roman Empire's Emperor Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus,

The problems the Obama administration faces in confronting ISIS are due to actions from previous administrations.
(1) The U.S. is forced to go mostly alone - other nations hold the U.S. responsible for the rise of ISIS and do not feel obligated to make sacrifices to repair problems that are due to U.S. actions. The U.S. broke it and the U.S. must fix it.
(2) The America people, tired of counterproductive wars that have destroyed their families and economies, are not eager to support additional death traps for their children.
(3) Repairing the Shi'a/Sunni divide, which plays a great role in the struggle, will require incorporation of Iran into the strategy.
(4) Obama cannot change a mindset that has been indoctrinated to believe that Iran is the number one terrorist nation and wants to take over Iraq and the region.

Warmongers and super patriots may plead for more American deaths in Iraq and shout invectives against President Obama's recalcitrance, but a substantial reason precludes sending troops to the battle -- it would be a suicide mission,
The Iraq military, consisting of mostly "at home" soldiers would welcome U.S. troops engaging the enemy while they watch from afar, but the Iraqi fighters, an assembly of several militias, would treat American troops as another foe. The World Post,, writes that "Just a short drive from Tikrit's frontline, amid a slew of spray-painted phrases by different militias, four words stand out: "USA, Israel, Daesh [ISIS] = terrorism."

Presence of U.S. troops in Iraq will alienate the population from an already detached government. Most militias (the real army) would refuse to fight alongside of U.S. troops, and in many areas, could fight against them. If they grudgingly step aside and force the Americans to combat ISIS by themselves, U.S. forces will suffer all the casualties. Sending U.S. troops to fight ISIS in Iraq substitutes U.S. forces for Iraqi forces, which contradicts President Lyndon Johnson's famous words that unfortunately did not match his deeds, "We are not about to send American boys nine or ten thousand miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves." The warmongers are essentially recommending the sacrifice of American soldiers in order to save Iraqi soldier lives, diversion of funds that could be used for enhancing U.S. employment to hiring Iraqis that relieve Iraq's unemployment and for adding to the current account deficit by overseas spending, and they demand the imposition of their policy as an effective military strategy.

The dilemma remains with the mindset - how can a suitable strategy be developed when its drivers are chauvinist, ethnocentric and defy reality? Examine the mindset.

General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staffs, in testimony to the U.S, Congress, admitted that "Iran is playing a helpful role against Islamic State militants in Iraq now," but expressed fear that "once the extremists are vanquished, Tehran-backed militias could undermine efforts to unify the country." The General also said, "officials are watching to see whether the militias, after recapturing lost ground, engage in acts of retribution and ethnic cleansing.

The statements carry an admission - that the once unified nation of Iraq still needs "efforts to unify the country." And why is Iraq no longer a unified nation; obviously because the years of U.S. occupation and interference destroyed its national identity.

It also reveals an illogical mindset - the already separated Iraq may become separated (doubly separated?) because "Tehran-backed militias could undermine efforts to unify the country." As for "officials are watching to see whether the militias, after recapturing lost ground, engage in acts of retribution and ethnic cleansing;" if that happens, it will be due to U.S. policy that undermined reconciliation and turned Iraq into a nation of revenge.

The repeated phrase of" Tehran-backed militias" and sinister mention of increased Iranian influence throughout the region lacks comprehension and correct interpretation. By overcoming the Taliban and Saddam Hussein regimes the U.S. allowed Iran to have improved relations with the Afghanistan community and find rapprochement with a new Iraq government that contained favorable elements. Note that when the U.S. State Department finally became disenchanted with al-Maliki and sought to replace him, Iran made no fuss. If the Ayatollahs controlled al-Malki would they not have prevented his replacement? While the U.S. instigated and interfered in Iraq electoral politics, the Iranians did nothing; and they are accused of instigating and interfering.

This mindset is promoted by a media that substitutes rumors for facts.
One prominent example.

Iranian-led fighting in Tikrit spurs worries of sectarian revenge in Iraq
BY MITCHELL PROTHERO, McClatchy Foreign Staff March 4, 2015

The overwhelming presence of Iranian-backed Shiite militias - which are being publicly led by top Iranian officers from the Revolutionary Guard - has made multiple U.S. officials say they are deeply concerned that the battle has taken a sectarian tenor, as Shiite Muslim irregular troops commanded and equipped by Iran have taken the lead in the heart of Sunni Iraq, where suspicion about both the Shiite-dominated government and Iran runs deep.

Multiple unconfirmed but credible reports have indicated that Iranian troops along with Lebanese Hezbollah allies are helping coordinate the attacks and operating artillery, rocket-launcher systems and Iranian-made surveillance drones.

From where do the words multiple U.S. officials and multiple unconfirmed but credible reports arrive in the newsroom? They come from one report being repeated multiple times, such as at "General Qassem Suleimani, the commander of Iran's Quds Force, has been spotted drinking tea and leading operations against ISIS in the Iraqi city of Tikrit."

The word "spotted" conjures the appearance of subterfuge, a person constantly on the move and trying to hide. Reading further down the report we learn that General Suleimani, the Iranian Indiana Jones, described in the press as master spymaster, hero of the Iraq/Iran war, Major General in the Iran army. commander of Iran's Quds Force, Iran's military mastermind, Iran's Rising Star, Iran's Superman, and Iran's Mysterious elite General, has not been spotted but photographed widely in the open. "The New York Times reported that pro-militia websites circulated photographs of General Suleimani on Wednesday drinking tea on what was said to be the front line, dressed in black and holding his glass in one hand and a floral patterned saucer in the other." No mention or knowledge of the tea drinker "leading operations against ISIS in the Iraqi city of Tikrit."

Nor are there any photographs or proof that other top Iranian officers from the Revolutionary Guard, Iranian troops or Hezbollah are fighting in Iraq. We do know there are 400 U.S. Marines and other service members at the al-Asad air base and we have an International New York Times report state "The American presence in Iraq is expected to grow in the coming weeks, to more than 3,000 personnel from about 1,800.

If one Iranian commander from Iran's Quds Force can lead the charge to victory over ISIS in Tikrit, why are thousands of U.S. advisors necessary? Just ask the Iranians to send a few more of their military masterminds to guide the battles.

GET THEM OUT, out of government, out of media, out of institutions, those who are out of mind, is a suitable rallying cry for the next decade or else there may not be a succeeding decade. T-shirts that describe the message, marches that spread the message, mass rallies that convey the message, and conferences that carry the message might educate and convince voters to remove from office those who have brought us World War I, a Great depression, inability to halt Nazi militarism, World War II, Cold War, Vietnam War, Iraq war, and policies that encouraged Islamic extremism -- a world of endless wars and economic uncertainties.

Come you masters of war
You that build the big guns
You that build the death planes
You that build all the bombs

You that never done nothin'
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it's your little toy

I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul

Excerpts from Masters of War
Songwriter Bob Dylan

april, 2015