June 12, 2014

Let's Take a Moment to See What is Happening in the World

ISIS, an Islamic army that spun off from AlQuaeda some years ago and  combines the worst attributes of the Taliban, Al Qaeda and Boko Haram, has conquered two of Iraq's largest cities and is marching on the capital. 
The Long War Journal provides this rather alarming map. 

 It gets worse: Along the way the Burkhameisters managed to pick up all the gold in the Iraqi equivalent of Fort Knox along with a vast stash of weapons. Keep in mind this is the same group that the current administration (and John McCain) were trying to send arms too a few months ago. ISIS controls or is active in a good chunk of eastern Syria. The organization has been using their share of the huge quantities of guns, money and Jihadists that have been flowing from around the muslim world into the Syrian opposition to build up an army to take Iraq. This has the additional benefit (to them) of cutting the lines of communication  between Iran and their Syrian puppet. This then will further weaken the Assad regime who they are still trying to overthrow albiet with much less success to date. Thus we could potentially see a collapse of both countries into an Islamic Jihadist state or at least a huge region akin to Somalia but with lots oil and quite possibly the Syrian WMDs, and right next to a country crawling with Jihadis...that may have a dozen or more nukes..in other words, an unspeakable mess. 
Fortunately the Iranians are riding to the rescue.
Yes! It gets even more crazy and unpleasant. You see, this is a religious war, ISIS is Sunni, the Iranians are Shia, Iraq has some of the holiest Shia shrines and ISIS is burning them so the Iranians are sending troops to assist the Iraqi government. 

Thus my take on what our short term policy should be in this debacle is "Let's you and him fight." 

However, even if ISIS is defeated in their attempt to take Iraq, they have already gained vast reserves of money and firepower to the point that even if they are driven underground they will be far more dangerous than they were. 

Michael Totten has thoughts on this terrible turd taco here. When asked about the situation a senior US intelligence official offered this helpful analysis.
  "It makes you want to kill yourself.”


The Chinese have set up an oil rig in Vietnamese waters, and are claiming the area as their own. When some Vietnamese fishermen went out to peacefully protest this and film their protests, a Chinese naval auxiliary responded by running down and ramming the fishing boats. 

I suppose the official line is that they "didn't fire a shot".  The Chinese navy is now arming the oil rig and declaring it a naval base. 

This has been going on for about two months. About a month ago, in order to demonstrate to our allies like Japan, Taiwan, The Philippines and Korea the depth of our steely resolve, the Administration's response was to...
 General Fang Fenghui, China’s chief of general staff, is now in the US on a five-day tour of American military facilities, including the naval air station in San Diego, where he inspected the USS Ronald Reagan, one of America’s 10 active aircraft carriers. Most notably, he will receive a "full-military-honors arrival ceremony” at the Pentagon on Thursday.

How did this nuanced approach work? What is the status of the oil rig? Well, as of yesterday....

 There are now six Chinese warships, 38 coast guard vessels, 13 cargo ships and 19 tugboats protecting it, the paper said. 

Meanwhile, the Chinese are discussing expanding their Phillipine adventure by building an artificial island in the Spratleys

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