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The ISIS Fiasco: It's Really an Attack on Iran

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Cross-posted from Counterpunch

For Once, Not a CIA Plot?

From Alleged ISIS executions in Iraq
Alleged ISIS executions in Iraq
(image by YouTube)

There's something that doesn't ring true about the coverage of the crisis in Iraq. Maybe it's the way the media reiterates the same, tedious storyline over and over again with only the slightest changes in the narrative. For example, I was reading an article in the Financial Times by Council on Foreign Relations president, Richard Haass, where he says that Maliki's military forces in Mosul "melted away."

Interestingly, the Haass op-ed was followed by a piece by David Gardener who used almost the very same language. He said the "army melts away." So, I decided to thumb through the news a bit and see how many other journalists were stung by the "melted away" bug. And, as it happens, there were quite a few, including Politico, NBC News, News Sentinel, Global Post, the National Interest, ABC News etc.

Now, the only way an unusual expression like that would pop up with such frequency would be if the authors were getting their talking points from a central authority (which they probably do). But the effect, of course, is the exact opposite than what the authors intend, that is, these cookie-cutter stories leave readers scratching their heads and feeling like something fishy is going on.

And something fishy IS going on. The whole fable about 1,500 jihadis scaring the pants off 30,000 Iraqi security guards to the point where they threw away their rifles, changed their clothes and headed for the hills, is just not believable. I don't know what happened in Mosul, but, I'll tell you one thing, it wasn't that. That story just doesn't pass the smell test.

And what happened in Mosul matters too, because nearly every journalist and pundit in the MSM is using the story to discredit Maliki and suggest that maybe Iraq would be better off without him. Haass says that it shows that the army's "allegiance to the government is paper thin." Gardener says its a sign of "a fast failing state." Other op-ed writers like Nicolas Kristof attack Maliki for other reasons, like being too sectarian. Here's Kristof:

"The debacle in Iraq isn't President Obama's fault. It's not the Republicans' fault. Both bear some responsibility, but, overwhelmingly, it's the fault of the Iraqi prime minister, Nouri Kamal al-Maliki."

Of course, Kristof is no match for the imperial mouthpiece, Tom Friedman. When it comes to pure boneheaded bluster, Friedman is still numero uno. Here's how the jowly pundit summed it up in an article in the Sunday Times titled "Five Principles for Iraq"...

"Iraq's Shiite prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, has proved himself not to be a friend of a democratic, pluralistic Iraq either. From Day 1, he has used his office to install Shiites in key security posts, drive out Sunni politicians and generals and direct money to Shiite communities. In a word, Maliki has been a total jerk. Besides being prime minister, he made himself acting minister of defense, minister of the interior and national security adviser, and his cronies also control the Central Bank and the Finance Ministry.

"Maliki had a choice -- to rule in a sectarian way or in an inclusive way -- and he chose sectarianism. We owe him nothing." (Five Principles for Iraq, Tom Freidman, New York Times)

Leave it to Friedman, eh? In other words, the reason Iraq is such a mess, has nothing to do with the invasion, the occupation, the death squads, Abu Ghraib, the Salvador Option, the decimated infrastructure, the polluted environment, or the vicious sectarian war the US ignited with its demented counterinsurgency program. Oh, no. The reason Iraq is a basketcase is because Maliki is a jerk. Maliki is sectarian. Bad Maliki.

Sound familiar? Putin last week. Maliki this week. Who's next?

In any event, there is a rational explanation for what happened in Mosul although I cannot verify its authenticity. Check out this post at Syria Perspectives blog:

"...the Iraqi Ba'ath Party's primary theoretician and Saddam's right-hand man, 'Izzaat Ibraaheem Al-Douri,' himself a native of Mosul...was searching out allies in a very hostile post-Saddam Iraq ... Still on the run and wanted for execution by the Al-Maliki government, Al-Douri still controlled a vast network of Iraqi Sunni Ba'athists who operated in a manner similar to the old Odessa organization that helped escaped Nazis after WWII ... he did not have the support structure needed to oust Al-Maliki, so, he found an odd alliance in ISIS through the offices of Erdoghan and Bandar. Our readers should note that the taking of Mosul was accomplished by former Iraqi Ba'athist officers suspiciously abandoning their posts and leaving a 52,000 man military force without any leadership thereby forcing a complete collapse of the city's defenses. The planning and collaboration cannot be coincidental." (THE INNER CORE OF ISIS -- THE INVASIVE SPECIES, Ziad Fadel, Syrian Perspectives)

I've read variations of this same explanation on other blogs, but I have no way of knowing whether they're true or not. But what I do know, is that it's a heckuva a lot more believable than the other explanation, mainly because it provides enough background and detail to make the scenario seem plausible. The official version -- the "melts away" version -- doesn't do that at all. It just lays out this big bogus story expecting people to believe it on faith alone. Why? Because it appeared in all the papers?

That seems like a particularly bad reason for believing anything.

And the "army melting away" story is just one of many inconsistencies in the official media version of events. Another puzzler is why Obama allowed the jihadis to rampage across Iraq without lifting a finger to help. Does that strike anyone else as a bit odd?

When was the last time an acting president failed to respond immediately and forcefully to a similar act of aggression?

Never. The US always responds. And the pattern is always the same. "Stop what you are doing now or we're going to bomb you to smithereens." Isn't that the typical response?

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Mike is a freelance writer living in Washington state.

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This insightful article is a must read if you have... by Rob Kall on Thursday, Jun 19, 2014 at 10:40:11 AM
Well, of course!But one thing is even more nearly ... by Eric Zuesse on Thursday, Jun 19, 2014 at 11:36:39 AM
Who reads them? White trash. Fox pay incentives to... by Ethan Hollow on Friday, Jun 20, 2014 at 2:04:23 AM
A ew columnists have expressed the same reservatio... by George W.Reichel on Thursday, Jun 19, 2014 at 1:03:15 PM
I predicted this would happen... BREAKING: ISIS Te... by Bill Johnson on Thursday, Jun 19, 2014 at 1:43:58 PM
And if that is not bad enough...Being reported on ... by Bill Johnson on Thursday, Jun 19, 2014 at 1:57:48 PM
Read John Moffett's top headlined article Bill. An... by Rob Kall on Thursday, Jun 19, 2014 at 4:26:31 PM
poodle, he doesn't rate poodle. ... by zon moy on Thursday, Jun 19, 2014 at 4:33:47 PM
Bill: OMG! Gas prices are going to rise! If you fi... by Daniel Geery on Thursday, Jun 19, 2014 at 5:51:30 PM
You cite a very dubious news site, to say the leas... by Chris Cook on Thursday, Jun 19, 2014 at 4:40:01 PM
I hear ya Rob. I am just a concerned citizen doing... by Bill Johnson on Thursday, Jun 19, 2014 at 5:29:26 PM
Yes, we've seen your concern in action, BJ - all o... by J. Edward Tremlett on Thursday, Jun 19, 2014 at 6:12:08 PM
No, I do not find the The Gateway Pundit, WSJ, IBT... by Chris Cook on Thursday, Jun 19, 2014 at 6:27:47 PM
You are aware of the fact that Bush himself finall... by Gary Williams on Friday, Jun 20, 2014 at 8:36:02 AM
I don't believe the lie. Democrats do.And an admis... by Bill Johnson on Friday, Jun 20, 2014 at 10:00:32 AM
The minute that I realized that "ISIS" is total bu... by Donn Marten on Thursday, Jun 19, 2014 at 8:26:26 PM
Well we all know John Kerry would believe it. ... by Gail Harrison on Thursday, Jun 19, 2014 at 9:27:56 PM
Donn maybe this will clear up the WMD issue if you... by Bill Johnson on Thursday, Jun 19, 2014 at 10:03:38 PM
Cuba got upset once because Forbes Magazine inclu... by Guglielmo Tell on Thursday, Jun 19, 2014 at 9:45:54 PM
Not trying to bark, only provide useful informatio... by Bill Johnson on Thursday, Jun 19, 2014 at 9:54:16 PM
Isis is FIGHTING Baath Party in Syria. It's Pan-Ar... by Guglielmo Tell on Thursday, Jun 19, 2014 at 10:28:10 PM
The source of this information came directly out o... by Bill Johnson on Thursday, Jun 19, 2014 at 11:40:17 PM
The fact that original information came from a sou... by Guglielmo Tell on Friday, Jun 20, 2014 at 5:38:21 PM
"Saddam has destroyed all the capacity and infrast... by Guglielmo Tell on Friday, Jun 27, 2014 at 2:15:58 PM
Everything was started by Reagan -- the American ... by Guglielmo Tell on Thursday, Jun 19, 2014 at 9:52:31 PM
And China as well. I told it from begining. This i... by Ethan Hollow on Friday, Jun 20, 2014 at 1:55:49 AM
BTW. Thumb up. I smell rat but you have gave me a ... by Ethan Hollow on Friday, Jun 20, 2014 at 2:10:04 AM
High time for nation states to "melt away." ... by Daniel Geery on Friday, Jun 20, 2014 at 12:00:02 PM
Barack Obama is President of the United States of ... by Jean SmilingCoyote on Saturday, Jun 21, 2014 at 10:51:49 PM
Correct - going back into History is always the ri... by Guglielmo Tell on Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 1:47:27 PM