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Posted by wmmbb in Uncategorized.

I am as curious as George Brandis, in my case to discover what the Australian army can teach the Iraqi army about holding ground from within defensive position with special precautions against insider attacks.

Noam Chomsky is not alone in his assessment on the background that gave rise to Islamic State. The brutal assault on and invasion of a fragile society after war with Iran and sanctions is not the least of it:

Patrick Cockburn‘s book, The Jihadis Return describes the rise of ISIS. Tarig Ali interviews him and their conversation is recorded at Counterpoint. Scott Norton interviews Patrick Cockburn on the situation in Mosul (with intermittent libertarian propaganda).

Jack Waterford in the Canberra Times points out the Australian army has little, if any experience in urban street fighting. Mosul would probably be closer to Fallujah than to Belfast, but obliteration is something only invaders would do.

What do I know, but the more elementary point is that teaching usually implies talking – and that might be a problem if there is mutual misunderstanding. Presumably interpreters are ready to go. Do the interpreters get the differences between the different Englishes. Cultural shock could never be a problem.

At least the deadly clown show is set to last two years since mission creep is inconceivable. It is especially endearing that it has bipartisan support. Hang the cost, we just had to do something about those Sunni extremists.

Allegories, I know, are difficult, but do our leaders know what they getting into?

Could an alternative and informed policy even be imagined?


As usual we have signed on the US strategy almost without qualification. Tony Abbott will not have to deal with the consequences. Juan Cole writes on the US “strategy” at Truthdig:

President Obama’s impossibly complicated plan for dealing with ISIL involves a de facto alliance with Iran in Iraq, and training up a ‘third force,’ essentially creating a new, ‘moderate’ Free Syrian Army to attack al-Qaeda and ISIL.

Training an effective new fighting force will likely take 15 years, making it a not very practical option.

Worse, the few moderate units allied with the US in the north of Syria have been being badly defeated by the Support Front (Jabhat al-Nusra), an al-Qaeda affiliate. Just this week, remnants of the al-Hazm Group were defeated at Aleppo and they have been forced to disband. Some of their fighters appear to have gone over to al-Qaeda, taking their American-supplied T.O.W. anti-tank weaponry with them.

The US increasingly has no one with whom to ally in Syria.

What I don’t get is that the alarm at this proposal should have been sounded, and by inference probably was, but the Government chose not to listen.



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