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Petraeus: America can’t serve as an air force for a Shi’ite militia

18 June 2014

5:16 PM

18 June 2014

5:16 PM

If conservatives had an answer to Woodstock, it would resemble the Margaret Thatcher Conference on Liberty held today by the Centre for Policy Studies. The lineup is stellar, and I’ve been here all day. General David Petraeus is one of the many guests and was asked what he’d do about the rise of ISIS. Here’s what he said, 3:30 into the below clip:

‘If there is to be support for Iraq, it has to be support for a government of Iraq. That is; a government of all the people; and that is representative of and responsive to all elements of Iraq. President Obama has been quite clear on this: This cannot be the United States being the air force for Shia militias or a Shia on Sunni Arab fight. It has to be a fight of all of Iraq against extremists.’


It’s a real problem. Maliki has been trying to make Iraq into a Shi’ite state, in the orbit of Tehran, which is why ISIS has been able to make such progress in Sunni parts of the country. If America sends arms, it would not be defending the country it created but another, sectarian state. It underlines the lack of good options facing the West.


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Show comments
  • George1111

    Iran has a sizeable air force and would be more than capable to bomb a group of rebels that do not have an air force or significant anti-air systems. So you have to ask yourself why is Maliki asking the U.S. and not their patrons in Iran to bomb the rebels? The answer to that question is that he wants the “Great Satan” and not Iran to be blamed when there is the inevitable collateral damage.

    • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

      “Iran has a sizeable air force and would be more than capable to bomb a group of rebels that do not have an air force or significant anti-air systems.”

      That’s not a part of the plan. See my comments below (and in my Disquis page) for the explanation…

  • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

    Notice what’s missing? Where were the drone strikes? Where was the United States Air Force/Navy? In fact, where were the United States’ aerial assets two weeks ago when the so-called “Jihadists” were moving south (from Turkey) in long columns of flatbed trucks during the broad daylight, and what were the “Jihadists” doing in Turkey being trained by the United States?

    Anyone stumped? Then see my Disqus comment history, where you’ll also find my website.

    Notice the shill media’s silence on the above points I’ve directed your attention to? The so-called alternative media is likewise silent, proving that both medias work together to keep you uninformed. Communists call this tactic the “scissors strategy,” in which the blades represent the two falsely opposed sides that converge on the confused victims.

    • HookesLaw

      Keep your tinfoil hat on.
      The US did not do anything because they wanted to see a more inclusive regime in Iraq and were unwilling to jump to their support without getting something in return.
      This may or may not be a good tactic but there is nothing secret about it.

      • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

        “The US did not do anything because they wanted to see a more inclusive regime in Iraq…”

        Huh?

  • Laguna Beach Fogey

    If Diversity is a Strength, why is Iraq breaking up?

    • HookesLaw

      Because bigotry is a weakness. I see no diversity in Iraq, they are all muslims of the same ethnic origin, just as we the French and Germans were all christians of the same ethnic origin between 1914 and 1945.

      • La Fold

        Thats a bit too vague to describe the subtlies of both situations in all honesty. There is the Shia and Sunni sectarian schism, with a shia majority that had been ruled by a Sunni/ Ba’athist elite and thats without the added confusion of Sufism thrown in. Also there are the tribal differences and loyalties within Iraq itselfs as well as the “ethnic” Kurds in the North, The Marsh Arabs in the south as well as minorities as Persians, Turkmen, Circassians etc

        One could also argue that simiralities could be drawn between France and Germany in the two great wars. Firstly, the french were predominately catholic and the germans protestant. Secondly Germany was an incredibly young “nation” whcih saw many people still regard themselves as primarily Prussian or Bavarian etc where as France as a nation state had been long established. Then add in resentment running not from just the first war but all the way back to the Franco Prussian war and even before to Napoleans conquest of the Holy Roman empire etc.

    • La Fold

      because is Diversity is strength is just another nonsensical statement bleated out by a certain section of the political class because thinking hurts their head too much. Its true, diversity can bring strength. In the geen pool for instance, or in a portfolio of stocks and shares. However a basketball team made up of a guy in a wheel chair, a blind lesbian, two small white co-conjoined twins and great dane will never be in the NBA where around 80% of the players are tall black men.

  • Augustus

    If America sends arms, it would not be defending the country it created but a country which has lost all its military might, and what is essentially a divided state. America made the great error of presiding over the total dissolution of the Iraqi army and police forces which caused a vacuum that couldn’t be filled by US and coalition forces.

  • My_old_mans_a_dustman

    It’ll be interesting to see how good Iran really are at fighting

  • http://batman-news.com The Commentator

    We need to keep ISIS on side, remember most of them live in the UK.

    • My_old_mans_a_dustman

      Could be interesting

    • BoiledCabbage

      “used to live” ??

      • CharlietheChump

        Back soon, having lovely holiday . . .

    • Sideshow Bob

      Ha ha. Seriously?

  • littlegreyrabbit

    Everyone talks how bad Maliki is like it is some truism, but they are very vague of the concrete terrible things he has actually done.
    I mean are there large concentration camps of Sunnis that we haven’t heard about?

    • HookesLaw

      He won an election. Is anyone saying that the West wants to be an airforce for Sunni militias.
      The fact would seem to remain thnat the ISIS ‘army’ is going round murdering people. It would likely be a good idea to stop it.

      The USA in particular has tried mighty hard to stop Iraq subsuming into a horrible civil war, the like of which we had in the 17th century – with the inevitable horrendous loss of life – it did its best to hold the ring and give Iraqis time to live together . It may sadly be that all nations have to go through these terrible happeniongs before they realise, as we did in 1660, that the game was just too terrible to repeat.

      • victor67

        The US promoted sectarian division by disbanding the Iraqi army and sponsoring militias to defeat the uprising .

        • HookesLaw

          The Iraqi army was not sectarian? Tell that to the people they gassed.
          The US under Pretaeus brought both sides in and signed numerous peace deals with various militias. The Sunni Awakening was not, as far as I can see, used to fight Shias.

      • itdoesntaddup

        The US originally reckoned it would take 500,000 boots on the ground to sort out Iraq post invasion – and then cut the force to 250,0000.

  • Robert_Eve

    I find that trying to understand who is on whose side in the middle east almost as difficult as following who is who on Game of Thrones.

  • Alexsandr

    why dont the septics get this simple fact. they should do nothing. They are not wanted there. And winding up one side against the other is never clever.

    • Makroon

      It’s strange. a few months ago Petraeus was entirely discredited.
      Now, suddenly, he’s back to full-on hero-sage status.
      Which PR company does he use ?

  • AlexanderGalt

    There’s a great post on the best strategy to beat ISIS…

    Do nothing!

    It’s in a piece called “They Don’t Like It Up ‘Em” at:

    http://john-moloney.blogspot.com/2014/06/they-dont-like-it-up-em.html

  • Bonkim

    Well said – The West is in a pickle. If it bombed Assad out of existence three years back, all this would not have happened. The extremists would not have appeared on the scene and gathered strength to venture into Iraq and their dream of a fundamentalist Sunni Empire in the region.

    The great danger now is not just the extremists trying to take over Baghdad but that they have managed to gain a huge amount of sophisticated ordnance from the fleeing Iraqis – the US will have to be very careful how they intervene if at all – some of their own equipment will be aimed at them now. The ISIS mob are not just idealistic amateurs – they have a lot of western educated and capable managers and PR professionals, know how to use modern communications effectively and understand the mindset of their arch-enemy.

    The only solution to keep western body count low would be to get Iran to go in with its forces and kick ISIS out. Encouraging the Shias and in a perverse way keeping war-criminal Assad in his position a little longer. Hard choice either way and Iraq will be split – there is no doubt about that..

    • Kennybhoy

      “If it bombed Assad out of existence three years back, all this would not have happened. The extremists would not have appeared on the scene…”

      Caca!

    • Kennybhoy

      “The ISIS mob are not just idealistic amateurs …”

      They certainly appear to be rather more savvy than their predessesors…

    • Kennybhoy

      “Hard choice either way …”

      Welcome to the real world of the politician…

      “Iraq will be split…”

      Agreed. If we have to back anyone up it should be the Kurds.

      • The Masked Marvel

        Not a bad idea. Iraq should be split in any case. There’s no valid reason to keep it intact, as the current borders are about as arbitrary and connected to reality as Labour’s economics policies. They will be much smaller countries with much less ability to cause mischief for anyone other than their immediate neighbors. Same for Afghanistan, come to think of it.

      • Frank

        Are the Kurds not at war with Turkey? Probably best to wait until Iraq has fought itself to a standstill.

    • El_Sid

      If it bombed Assad out of existence three years back, all this would not
      have happened. The extremists would not have appeared on the scene

      That’s completely wrong – the Assads were the main bulwark against extremism in Syria. They consistently fought against eg the Wahhabis setting up madrasas in Syria. Without the Assads the extremists would have taken over Syria or at the very least been able to use it as a secure base, growing stronger sooner. Certainly the Assads were the best option for the Christian community in Syria.

      • Bonkim

        Decisions on whether to eliminate war-criminals does not hinge on whether the Christian community in Syria would go along with that or not. In any case if the Christian minority in Syria love war-criminal Assad that killed tens of thousands of his countrymen and made millions homeless refugees and feel safe with him – they are not Christians. It sounds like the Pope’s Concordat with Hitler, never mind the six-million Jews he killed. Doubt if serious Christians will buy your perverse logic.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          Guess again, lad. They’ve watched the islamofascists murdering Christians regularly. They know who is the real threat, and I’ll give you a little hint…. it’s the islamofascist nutters chopping off Christian heads.

        • El_Sid

          Having spent quite a bit of time discussing these things with “serious” Syrian Christians – they’re not blind to what goes on but they’re still all big fans of the Assads, because they know that the alternative is genocide. They don’t live in your utopia where the alternatives are between Assad and democracy.

          They know the real choice is between a dictatorship that rejects Islamism and protects minorities – and an anarchy where psychotic jihadis kill anyone who worships the wrong God. Assad’s not great, but he’s the least bad option.

          There were no refugees and jihadis when the Assads were in control – the reason we have them now is a measure of Assad losing control, and things would be even worse if he had been bombed “out of existence three years back”. For comparison, see what happened when Gaddaffi and Saddam were “bombed out of existence”.

          • Bonkim

            I don’t trust people claiming to be Christians and in cahoot with a blood-thirsty Dictator from a minority tribe. These people you have met are not Christians but wearing a badge of convenience. Their hands are bloodied as those of the war-criminal they support. There are Christian minorities like these in all Mid-East countries and in South and South East Asia and Africa that benefited from their Christian badge during the colonial era or traders and merchants and now finding themselves at a loose end. Uneasy peace between Hezbollah and Lebanese Christians Many from Lebanon have emigrated.

            This lot will be lumped together with the criminal Sunni and Shia murder squads on Judgement day. The don’t deserve the West’s sympathy and will not be loyal to the West either if it comes to a crunch – simply opportunists.

            • the viceroy’s gin

              …yes, they’d likely prefer the opportunity not to have their head cut off by the islamofascist murderers you seem to prefer .

              • Bonkim

                Not if they practised true Christianity and did not associate with mass-murderers. Don’t get involved with Satan’s creations, politics or political processes, stay neutral. The region is infested with bigoted religion and mad-men. Tens of thousands of their co-religionists have been slaughtered – think of the huge numbers of Muslim men, women and children that suffer day in day out and the millions in refugee camps – the handful of privileged Christians small beer in that context. And to repeat – if they were true Christians would not support a mass murderer even at the risk of attracting Islamic bigots. That is what Jesus taught.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Your islamofascist buddies are mass murderers, but perhaps you hadn’t noticed.

                  I’d say those Christians know who is the biggest threat to them, and it isn’t anybody but your islamofascist buddies.

                  Oh, and you’ll pardon Christians if they don’t take theological lessons from a nutter like you.

                • Bonkim

                  Glad to send a copy of the Bible through you. Look up how Christians are to deal with war-criminals.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Look up how Christians deal with nutters like you, who tell them to submit to headchopping lunatics.

                  They’ve learned not to listen to you types, laddie.

                • Bonkim

                  May Jehovah have mercy on you and the other sinners masquerading as Christians in Syria.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  I doubt anybody is much concerned what a nutter like you is calling a masquerade, lad.

    • The Masked Marvel

      What’s so funny/sad is that the “it’s nothing to do with us, let them kill each other” crowd’s plan will lead us back to a situation of a handful of brutal dictators controlling these countries once again. History will repeat itself, only this time one will hesitate to call it farce. The countries will continue to be horrible sh!tholes, and guess what happens then.

      • Bonkim

        Lot of sense in what you say. Brutal dictators drop in such places because locals have no capability to develop their social organisation independent of middle-ages slave drivers in their temples of worship.

        • The Masked Marvel

          And in general there are no outside forces truly threatening to upset their status quo any time soon. Removing Sadaam should have been a game-changer there, but the aftermath was handled badly, and eventually the baby was deliberately thrown out with the bath water.

          • Bonkim

            Mankind’s tenure on earth coming to close. With the population explosion and fast depletion of land, water, energy and mineral resources, it may be a question of a century or two if not decades. The Arabian desert used to be called the Empty Quarter not long ago – with technology and huge energy use populations have multiplied and being kept alive by artificial means and consumption double or triple that in the US. No sane person will think that this can continue for long – ISIS or no ISIS. Read the Book of Revelations in the Bible.

            • The Masked Marvel

              I’ve read it. It’s rubbish.

    • itdoesntaddup

      Iran didn’t get very far in the course of 8 years last time out. Barely got across the border at all at any time, in fact.

  • Frank

    I thought that this man had left the US Army. Why is he shown in uniform?

    • HookesLaw

      Old photo. He was Director of the CIA before he had to resign over an extramarital affiar.
      This is analagous to us sacking Nelson before Trafalgar and Wellington before Waterloo. Would that have made sense?

      • The Masked Marvel

        That would depend on the true goal of the leadership, wouldn’t it?

  • Laguna Beach Fogey

    Another example of the inherent instability of multicultural, multiracial polities.

    The Americans desperately need the multikulti country they created to succeed, because if (or when) it does not, it creates further doubts about the long-term viability of the US itself.

    Diversity + Proximity = War

    • Kennybhoy

      Loon.

    • Pete

      You’re an idiot. The United States of America has been a “multicultural, multiracial” polity since it’s inception. The “long-term viability” of the U.S. is certain, I can only assure you. The last major war inside the U.S., our Civil War, wasn’t even between racial or sectarian factions. You ought to immediately disassociate any notion of America’s viability from the failings to other states to produce the same results.

      • La Fold

        Because the America experiment is the melting pot, or the salad bowl, depending on your philosphical bent, in absolutely no way means it adheres to the failed progressive political concept of Multiculturalism.

        • Pete

          Yes, well, once you unpack your terms, perhaps we can proceed. You’ve said nothing.

          • La Fold

            Ooh hark at her! If ive said nothing then your post was an intellectual black hole devoid of anything but a snarky repsonse.

            The term Multicultural as applied in Britain, which became
            the cause celebre during the 1990s and the first half of the Blair/ Brown government
            is a specific ideological concept.

            It does not apply to any society which is made up of several
            cultures ( you’ll find most countries are). At its very core is the idea that
            all and any cultures are equally valid,

            deserve equal respect and each should be approach edby
            cultural and political institutions in its own unique way to ensure each culture is treated with sensitivity and respect in accord to their own particular customs and sensitivities.

            Which all sound very respectable, in fact admirable, however what it promotes and achieves is cultural isolationism, a balkanisation like schism and distrust between “communities” and a two tier system when dealing with political and or civil institutions such as the police, the courts, social work, schools etc in where one “community” is held to different standards than others, which is surely what we are trying to avoid in the first place.

    • HookesLaw

      No logic to that.

  • goatmince

    Absolutely, which is why anyone making verbal goatmince out of what that ex-general chappy comes out with will have my undivided support.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …are all of your sockpuppets on board as well, lad?

      • goatmince

        You forever ask for the Judy to be punched out of you? Fine by me.
        The Austrians have another word for it of course: Kasperletheater.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          …were but that you and your army of sockpuppets would confine yourself to the theater, lad .

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