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From Point A to Point B
Author: BobR    Date: 2014-08-28 10:47:27

The recent murder of an American journalist in Iraq is not unprecedented, as a visit to the Newseum in DC will show. Journalists have paid the ultimate price for many years while exercising an American 1st Amendment right here - but mostly abroad. More troubling is the news that an American died fighting alongside his ISIS compadres. There has been criticism of President Obama's handling of the Middle East, but the die was cast years ago.

To the casual observer, ISIS - the Islamic terrorist group - is just another flavor of al-Qaeda. They are - in fact - enemies. ISIS is a Sunni group; al-Qaeda is Wahhabi. The current government of Iraq is mostly Shiite, the same as Iran. If you think of The Troubles in Ireland as Protestant battled Catholic, you'll get a better understanding of what's going in in the Middle East.

One of the big questions is where did ISIS come from, and how did they get so powerful so fast? To answer that, we need to look back to 2003.

When the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 occurred, the leadership in Iraq was the Baath Party, which was essentially Sunni Muslim. In an attempt to purge the leadership of the power structure loyal to Saddam Hussein, the U.S. "policy advisors" in Iraq outlawed the Baath Party, and the army was disbanded. In its place, the US installed a Shiite leader, and tried (apparently in vain) to build a new army from scratch.

And what of the now suddenly unemployed highly-trained Sunni muslims? They were angry, broke, and desperate, with a (valid) animosity to the new ruling party in Iraq. They found allies in another disempowered group of Sunnis in Syria, fighting the power structure there.

But back in Iraq, it was a military contractor's wet dream. No-bid open-ended cost-plus contracts allowed companies like Halliburton and KBR to milk the American taxpayers for billions of dollars while they wrote off trucks with a broken fan belt as "disabled" so they could charge for yet another brand new truck. The landscape became littered with perfectly good vehicles and equipment that anyone with a modicum of know-how could get working again.

So in a confluence of a multi-faceted blowback situation, we have a highly-trained force of suddenly unemployed soldiers looking to regain their power and money, equipped with salvaged American firepower (and taking more as the so-called Iraqi "troops" dropped their weapons and ran at the first provocation), and money stolen from Iraqi banks, as well as support from their Syrian counterparts ("freedom fighters") who have been funded and supplied by interests looking to overthrow the Syrian regime. Everything we do is more gasoline on the fire.

When you think about the bombing that occurred in Boston last year, as well as the death of an American fighting with ISIS this past week, it's easy to see how our hubris and tone-deaf foreign policy of intervention in the Middle East could well result in more death and destruction here at home. With that much money, and that much anger at us for our meddling, it will be a lot easier for them to recruit and fund Americans disillusioned with our government.

Instead of Ali Babba, the next attack could come from All Y'all Bubba. It's not out of the question. The question instead should be: when do we stop pumping money and weapons into a region of tribal conflicts that are none of our business? The blowback is only going to get worse, the more we try to correct it. It's time to stop.

Now.

29 comments (Latest Comment: 08/28/2014 20:30:28 by Mondobubba)
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Comment by trojanrabbit on 08/28/2014 12:20:50
Good morning

Score one for employees and consumers!

Arthur T's offer to buy Market Basket OK'd

Let's see how quickly they can get back going again and at least make something from this Labor Day weekend.

Comment by wickedpam on 08/28/2014 13:02:06
Morning

Comment by Mondobubba on 08/28/2014 13:14:24
Quote by trojanrabbit:
Good morning

Score one for employees and consumers!

Arthur T's offer to buy Market Basket OK'd

Let's see how quickly they can get back going again and at least make something from this Labor Day weekend.



That is good news indeed.

Comment by Mondobubba on 08/28/2014 13:24:44
Comment by wickedpam on 08/28/2014 13:36:28
Chris speaks as someone who has never painfully had their knees jammed into plane seats. It hurts even when seats are upright.

Comment by Raine on 08/28/2014 13:58:13
So tone deaf… So stupid.

Comment by Raine on 08/28/2014 14:37:12
to the caller.

Comment by Raine on 08/28/2014 14:38:27
Good morning!

Comment by Scoopster on 08/28/2014 14:39:49
Mornin all..

Huzzah for Market Basket! People powah!

Comment by Will in Chicago on 08/28/2014 14:54:34
Good morning, bloggers!!!

We can see how the policies of George W. Bush are leaving a lingering impact in the Middle East and beyond.

Closer to home, no word from yesterday's teaching interview.

Good news on the Market Basket story. It is nice to see workers win one.

Comment by Mondobubba on 08/28/2014 14:55:30
Well that interation with one of the supervisors was fun. Since I am the FNG, he was trying to test my authoritah! I told him that I was just using the guidelines he suggested for the particular type of calls I was listening to.





I am Joker here





Comment by Raine on 08/28/2014 15:40:51
I am not used to cheery Mondo…

Comment by BobR on 08/28/2014 15:44:57
Quote by Raine:
I am not used to cheery Mondo…




Comment by BobR on 08/28/2014 16:17:28
Comment by wickedpam on 08/28/2014 16:45:34
Quote by BobR:
SQUEEE!



omg! so cute!

Comment by Raine on 08/28/2014 16:48:48
I seriously cannot believe 9 years ago we witnessed the horrors of Katrina.

Comment by Raine on 08/28/2014 17:06:27
Comment by Raine on 08/28/2014 17:10:35
I don;t normally get nervous about world events, but I have qa deep fear that with Russia entering Ukraine -- boots on the ground… we are seeing the beginning of a very bad war.

:(

Comment by Will in Chicago on 08/28/2014 17:12:58
Quote by Raine:
I seriously cannot believe 9 years ago we witnessed the horrors of Katrina.


It has been a long time. Here is a story from the Times-Picayune.


Hurricane Katrina +9: New Orleans still smaller 9 years later, but growing, says Data Center
By Mark Waller, NOLA.com

Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans remains a smaller city still struggling with some persistent ills, but a city that also is growing impressively, according to the latest post-storm statistical snapshot by the The Data Center research group.

The center Thursday (Aug. 28) issued its annual rundown of economic and population statistics a day before the anniversary of Katrina.

The report notes that the New Orleans metropolitan area has weathered not just the epic Katrina disaster, but the severe national recession and the massive BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

For the eighth anniversary of Katrina in 2013, the Data Center issued a more comprehensive status update on the city and region. The center plans to issue another comprehensive data set on the 10th anniversary next year.


Comment by livingonli on 08/28/2014 17:26:41
It has to say something when the Times-Picayune isn't even a daily paper any more.

Comment by Will in Chicago on 08/28/2014 17:32:48
Quote by livingonli:
It has to say something when the Times-Picayune isn't even a daily paper any more.


The American newspaper business is not what it once was. Apparently, it is printed as a boradsheet 3 days a week and as a tabloid three other days of the week as the Times-Picayune Street.

Comment by Will in Chicago on 08/28/2014 17:39:25
According to Wikipedia, there is an early Sunday edition printed on Saturdays.

Comment by Scoopster on 08/28/2014 17:43:12
Cool little website that's monitoring the volcanic/seismic activity in Iceland

Every few minutes the webcam does a jiggle. Makes you kinda wonder what it must be like to live in an active quake area.

Comment by TriSec on 08/28/2014 18:45:34


Comment by Scoopster on 08/28/2014 19:01:26
Oh goodie.. Obama's coming to RI tomorrow for a fundraiser in Newport. There goes the traffic!

Comment by Raine on 08/28/2014 19:07:47
Comment by BobR on 08/28/2014 19:16:28

what the hell?...

1) How did the cop find out they were having sex?

2) Why is it illegal? (gross, yes, but illegal? When they're adults?)

3) Sodomy is no longer illegal in GA - why were they charged?


Comment by Mondobubba on 08/28/2014 20:30:28
Quote by BobR:

what the hell?...

1) How did the cop find out they were having sex?

2) Why is it illegal? (gross, yes, but illegal? When they're adults?)

3) Sodomy is no longer illegal in GA - why were they charged?



Maybe they were trespassing in the trailer?

(insert southern related incess joke here)