Previous posts in this discussion:
PostISIS/ISIL: "We Are Where We Are, So Deal with It" (Robert Gibbs, USA, 06/22/14 4:53 am)
In response to John Heelan's comments of 21 June, I am not sure as to what he means or proposes. We are most assuredly in the Iraq crisis, and we have to decide what if anything we should do in light of what is in our national interests and goals. Wishing will not make it go away. Deciding that it was Bush's fault or Obama's fault will still leave us with the problem of what to do. If we decide to do nothing, or send in thousands of troops or anything in between, we will have to live with the consequences. There are no good choices here but we should make a choice and not just let the choice be made for us as a fait accompli--and then have to deal with that.
As for our Editor, and as much as it pains me to say this, I would like to point out that while we--the West in general and the US in particular--are war-weary and want to avoid war, our opponents are not and while we may wish it were not so, they are at war with us but by any means available. Worse by our actions--inaction, refusal to recognize this--I believe we are turning this into inevitable and real Clash of Civilizations.
JE comments: Wouldn't inaction in Iraq lessen the Clash of Civilizations? It takes two to make a clash, and my point is that it is no longer politically acceptable in the West to choose war, unlike in 2003. Iran (for a price) may be able to help with the ISIS/ISIL threat, and my guess is that high-level discussions with the IRI are taking place as we speak.
ISIS/ISIL and the Money Trail; from Ric Mauricio
(John Eipper, USA
06/22/14 1:54 PM)
JE: These comments came in from our friend Ric Mauricio:
I am finding the commentary on political and military ramifications of the situation in Iraq quite informative, especially coming from such learned and experienced WAISers. I cannot even begin to pretend to have any of the academic or military background that goes into the analysis of the issues involved.
But when I look at global situations, unlike the young man in The Sixth Sense, who sees dead people, I instead see charts ... charts of stocks and commodities.
I have seen some sources that indicate that the Saudi government (which is Sunni) has disavowed anything to do with ISIS. However, other sources have reported that funds are being funneled to ISIS through wealthy connections from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar (with their governments looking the other way, of course). ISIS got their hands on $450 million from a bank in the captured city of Mosul (really would have hated to have my dinars parked in that bank). Oh, but wait, aren't the Saudis our friends, along with Kuwait (hey, George HW Bush saved them from Saddam ... remember?) and Qatar? Don't we buy a lot of oil from them? Then there are the Persians (Iranians to most people in the US). Iran is Shiite. The US-backed prime minister of Iraq, al-Maliki, is Shiite, therefore we are now on the same side as Rouhani, the prime minister of Iran (which is Shiite).
President Obama is sending 275 Spec-Ops for security purposes. Uh, look at the history books, folks. That's exactly what President Kennedy did at the beginning of the Vietnam War. I think he called them "advisors."
Ah, this is all crazy, unless, hmmm, here comes my financial forensic analysis question again. Cui bono? Who benefits? Brent crude oil prices have increased 14.7% in the last couple of weeks, as uncertainty has hit the oil markets. By the way, my technical charts issued a buy signal on oil on June 10th. Who does this benefit? Why, gee, the Saudis, Kuwaitis, Qataris, and global oil companies. As a former controller of a fuel distribution company, these kinds of market actions certainly helped our margins. So under the cover of religious wars, you have the dynamics of a manipulated oil market. No, you say, they wouldn't do that. Does anyone remember the Crusades, prompted to liberate the Holy Land? And what do you really think the Crusaders were after? Yup, you got it. Gold, silver, treasures, anything of value they could get their hands on. Why do you think the Russians wanted Crimea? Because it is a pretty area and they really care about the Crimeans who claim to be more Russian than European? Nope, access to the port for oil tankers. Why do you think the British, Spaniards, French, Ottomans, Persians, Mongolians, Romans, Macedonians, and Khazars expanded their empires? Because they loved the people they conquered? Ha, yeah, right.
JE comments: Follow the money. If ISIS/ISIL pockets $450 million, and oil prices rise to boot, there is no crisis that doesn't work to somebody's advantage.
Great to hear from you, Ric!
ISIS/ISIL and the Money Trail
(Francisco Wong-Diaz, USA
06/23/14 3:56 AM)
Ric Mauricio's post of 22 June reminds us of the problem of causation v. correlation. The oil-producing countries are not solely Sunni Arabs, but sharp operators of commodities futures, so no surprise in their taking advantage. The previous knowledge that they might have had, which led to Ric's June 10th call on oil, is probably the reflection of better access to intel about the developing situation, since important financiers are in their midst.
By the way, the releasing of five Haqqani terrorists to Qatar is another example of the myopia affecting US leaders.
JE comments: Commodities operators don't like uncertainty, and ISIS/ISIL provides uncertainty in abundance. Here's a news item on that group's $450 million heist from the Mosul Central Bank. ISIS now has the distinction of being the richest terrorist organization in the world. All this begs two questions: 1) Whose money was it? and 2) Why was it lying around in the middle of a war? The booty amounts to $562,500 for each of the 800 fighters involved in the Mosul operation.
- ISIS/ISIL and the Money Trail (Francisco Wong-Diaz, USA 06/23/14 3:56 AM)