To the point: if China proposes and initiates that alliance, would it be the pivotal historical moment in which China took the torch of leadership in world affairs?
Any nation, big or small, rich or poor, can propose the alliance. However, for reasons given below, it is unlikely any will do it.
I will state our policy again: this blog and its contents are open to all countries. Period.
(i) China and the United States go to war.
(ii) China wins.
That outcome is readily conceivable given the fact that, with one exception, the United States has never won a war. It lost two wars. How can we possibly say such things? See our post "America´s Fatal Flaw: The Belvedere Conundrum," July 4, 2014. More on this subject shortly.
(iii) China immediately disbands the entire United States military establishment. It builds a new one commanded from Peking. Every man and woman who ever served in the defeated U.S. military is excluded. Locked out.
What type of American would join a Chinese-owned and operated American army?
Would you, dear reader, sign up?
I pose the same question to our Chinese readers. If the shoe were on the other foot and the U.S. won a war with China, would you join a Chinese army run by Washington?
An analogous situation exists right now in Iraq. The United States invaded that country in 2003, toppled the Saddam Hussein government, and rebuilt Iraq´s army. Cost to American taxpayers in equipment and training: $25 billion from 2004-2014.
On the street and nowhere to go, many of Iraq´s former officers and troops joined ISIS.
Last week the elite of the U.S.-built Iraqi army cut and ran from Ramadi. U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter:
“What apparently happened was that the Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight. They were not out-numbered but in fact they vastly outnumbered the opposing force, and yet they failed to fight, they withdrew from the site, and that says to me, and I think to most of us, that we have an issue with the will of the Iraqis to fight ISIL and defend themselves ... We can give them training, we can give them equipment -- we obviously can't give them the will to fight ..."
When asked, the White House did not refute Secretary Carter´s statement.
God-damn cowards! Traitors! After all we´ve done for them!! $25 billion down the toilet!!! Worthless bastards!!!
Or does the problem lie elsewhere?
CNN published a report (updated May 28) "Why ISIS is winning, and how its foes can reverse that success." If you actually watch the report, you will be one step ahead of the indolent editor who wrote the headline. Nowhere does the text identify the cause of ISIS´s winning, much less how to reverse it.
Unlike CNN, this post addresses both questions.
(1) Why is ISIS winning?
The truth of the matter is, ISIS is not winning. The U.S. and its puppet Iraqi government are losing. Ramadi is only the latest in a long/longer/longest line of defeats in which the U.S.-owned Iraqi army heard ISIS´s footsteps, tossed aside its weapons, bolted.
The cause of the flight of Iraqi soldiers was identified 500 years ago. Niccolò Machiavelli (1513):
"The chief foundations of all states ... are good laws and good arms; ... I say, therefore, that the arms with which a prince defends his state are either his own, or they are mercenaries, auxiliaries, or mixed. Mercenaries and auxiliaries are useless and dangerous; and if one holds his state based on these arms, he will stand neither firm nor safe; for they are disunited, ambitious and without discipline, unfaithful, valiant before friends, cowardly before enemies; they have neither the fear of God nor fidelity to men, and destruction is deferred only so long as the attack is; for in peace one is robbed by them, and in war by the enemy. The fact is, they have no other attraction or reason for keeping the field than a trifle of stipend, which is not sufficient to make them willing to die for you. They are ready enough to be your soldiers whilst you do not make war, but if war comes they take themselves off or run from the foe; which I should have little trouble to prove ..." (The Prince, Chapter XII, pp. 55-6)
ISIS recognizes something that nobody in the Pentagon -- certainly not Ashton Carter -- or the White House -- certainly not Barack Obama* -- or the CIA recognizes. ISIS knows mercenary soldiers when it sees them. That is why ISIS pounced again and again. That is the secret of its success.
You are unconvinced that the mercenary dynamic is causing the failure of the Iraqi army? I have a one-word reply: Vietnam.** U.S. sponsorship and mega-buck subventions did not work then and there; they won´t work here and now.
(2) How can ISIS´s winning be reversed?
You, dear reader, surely think our headline "How To Destroy ISIS in Two Weeks" is at best an exaggeration. You are right. Nobody can destroy ISIS in two weeks -- with one exception: ISIS. No group lacks the power to defeat itself.
Here´s how to accomplish it:
The White House makes this announcement:
"U.S. to send 30,000 ground troops to Iraq and Syria."
ISIS jumps for joy. 30,000? The proverbial drop in the bucket. Another slack-jawed error by Pentagon knuckle-draggers. We´ll hand all 30,000 soldiers their heads in a basket!
But wait ... there´s more in the announcement ...
The 30,000 U.S. soldiers will be accompanied by 30,000 soldiers from North Korea. 30,000 from South Korea, too.
30,000 from India. 30,000 from Pakistan.
30,000 from China. 30,000 from Vietnam.
30,000 from Russia. 30,000 from Ukraine.
30,000 from Germany. 30,000 from France.
30,000 from Cuba.
30,000 from the United Kingdom. 30,000 from Argentina.
30,000 from Saudi Arabia. 30,000 from Iran.
30,000 from Algeria. 30,000 from Brazil.
30,000 from South Africa. 30,000 from Turkey.
30,000 from Indonesia. 30,000 from Syria.
30,000 from Venezuela 30,000 from Egypt.
30,000 from Canada. 30,000 from Angola.
Any and all countries are invited to join the IAAI -- International Alliance Against ISIS. Food, uniforms, medical aid, fuel, transportation: each member contributes what it can to what is needed.
That type of international alliance is as straightforward as it is well-known. The best part of it is, unlike what Washington is doing today, it will work.
The IAAI would be a contemporary manifestation of the strategy Sir Winston Churchill announced on June 22, 1941, the day Nazi Germany invaded Russia.
"We have but one aim and one single irrevocable purpose. We are resolved to destroy Hitler and every vestige of the Nazi regime. From this nothing will turn us. Nothing. We will never parley; we will never negotiate with Hitler or any of his gang. We shall fight him by land; we shall fight him by sea; we shall fight him in the air, until, with God's help, we have rid the earth of his shadow and liberated its people from his yoke.
Any man or State who fights against Nazism will have our aid. Any man or State who marches with Hitler is our foe."
Continuing our IAAI scenario:
Preparations are made for the biggest D-Day in world history. Logistics are worked out; assignments are given. War exercises and simulations begin.
IAAI soldiers start to pack. Their transport by land, sea, and air is arranged.
The threat to ISIS posed by the world community is not a threat; it is a prediction.
New lines of communication, coordination, and cooperation arise. The Old World Disorder -- the one great big dysfunctional family set up by Henry Kissinger et al -- starts to dissolve, give way to The New World Order.
The secret inner essence of ISIS is that of any militia or secret society: it is mostly a state of mind. Looking out for Number 1, ISIS folds up its tent. Two weeks maximum.
Anybody who doubts that outcome does not understand the men running ISIS. They are middle class rebels. They hear a clarion call:
The whole world is coming with seven league boots; it´s over.
Enantiodromia occurs. ISIS bravado and fanaticism turn on a dime and metamorphose into their opposites. ISIS leaders vanish into the night. Without them, the lumpenproletariat gangstas who are ISIS foot soldiers are hopelessly lost. Mind-wobbling panic surges, takes control. It is their turn to cut and run for their lives.
Sound impossible? It is.
The oligarchy sitting atop The Old World Disorder will not let the IAAI happen. The mega-rich are the sole sector of the great big dysfunctional world family which is benefiting from things as they are. No change allowed.
As for what the oligarchy wants, click here for this month´s report of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Its central conclusion:
"The gap between rich and poor keeps widening. Growth, if any, has disproportionally benefited higher income groups while lower income households have been left behind. This long-run increase in income inequality not only raises social and political concerns, but also economic ones. It tends to drag down GDP growth, due to the rising distance of the lower 40% from the rest of society. Lower income people have been prevented from realising their human capital potential, which is bad for the economy as a whole."
One of the OECD authors elaborated:
"It's not just income that we're seeing being very concentrated - you look at wealth and you find that the bottom 40% of the population in rich countries have only 3% of household wealth whereas the top 10% have over half of household wealth."
Recent data on income trends in the United States are especially disturbing. They show galloping polarization took place under the Obama Administration. Between 2009-2012, income rose 31% for the top 1%; income shrank for the bottom 90%. The Economist (2013):
"The recovery belongs to the rich. It seemed ominous in 2007 when the share of national income flowing to America's top 1% of earners reached 18.3%: the highest since just before the crash of 1929. But whereas the Depression kicked off a long era of even income growth the rich have done much better this time round.
New data assembled by Emmanuel Saez, of the University of California, Berkeley, and Thomas Piketty, of the Paris School of Economics, reveal that the top 1% enjoyed real income growth of 31% between 2009 and 2012, compared with growth of less than 1% for the bottom 99%. Income actually shrank for the bottom 90% of earners. After the Depression households across the income spectrum enjoyed income growth roughly commensurate with losses during the downturn. As a result the top 1% only captured about 28% of total income growth from 1933 to 1936. This time around 95% of the increase in American income since 2009 has gone to the top 1%. No wonder, then, that the share of national income flowing to the rich is at a record high of 19.3%, ahead of both 2007 and 1929."
Heads we win; tails you lose: that is the oligarchy´s favorite game. Maybe it´s time for the IAAI to form and get rid of the coin -- to stay awhile and take on other projects.
P.S. The 24 nations of an anti-ISIS coalition meeting today (June 2) in Paris do not in any way, shape, or form qualify as an IAAI:
First, Russia, Syria and Iran are not attending; they refuse to participate in any U.S.- led coalition. In any genuine alliance no one person, state or other entity dominates.
Secondly, the 24 nations will not commit foot soldiers in Iraq and Syria.
June 4 Update.
Our strategy is to get the Chinese into Laos and Cambodia
as a barrier to the Vietnamese ... You should also tell the
Cambodians that we will be friends with them. They are
murderous thugs, but we won´t let that stand in our way.
We are prepared to improve relations with them ...
Tell them the latter part, but don´t tell them what I said before.
-- Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to Foreign Minister Chatchai Chunhawan of Thailand, November 26, 1975. Dialogue in Official Secret
NODIS Memorandum of Conversation concerning Pol Pot --
Please be sure you are sitting. What you are about to read will buckle your knees.
We need to shut something down and somebody up.
Two days ago, Secretary of State John Kerry said ISIS "is no more a state than I am a helicopter."
What on earth (or elsewhere) is going on? What provoked Kerry to make such a remark?
In his 1941 war announcement cited above, Churchill saved the worst for last. He poured scorn on Quislings, i.e., people who collaborated with Hitler, cut deals with him:
"Any man or State who fights against Nazism will have our aid. Any man or State who marches with Hitler is our foe. This applies not only to organized States but to all representatives of that vile race of Quislings who make themselves the tools and agents of the Nazi regime against their fellow-countrymen and against the lands of their births. These Quislings, like the Nazi leaders themselves, if not disposed of by their fellow-countrymen, which would save trouble, will be delivered by us on the morrow of victory to the justice of the Allied tribunals. That is our policy and that is our declaration."
Given the unspeakable atrocities ISIS has committed, who would possibly consider parleying with them? Making a deal? Who would have us forget James Foley? Peter Kassig?
If you think Churchill´s 75-year-old comments about Quislings are irrelevant to what is happening now, you´d better think again ...
Richard Clarke, former top counter-terrorism official and White House Security Adviser to Presidents Reagan, Clinton and Bush, recently told CNN that the ISIS caliphate was a done deal. Clarke glibly pronounced that
"ISIS is very professional, very organized, has created successfully an Islamic state. Let's admit it. They run three or four cities. They probably have two million people under their control."
Clarke arrogantly appropriated for himself, a non-Muslim, the right to do what the vast majority of Muslims does not do: recognize ISIS as a caliphate, i.e., "an Islamic state." His de facto recognition means Clarke totally accepts the totally unsubstantiated claims of Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi, the head of ISIS, (i) to be descended from the prophet Muhammed, and (ii) to be the leader of the entire Muslim community. Clarke can proclaim and defame to the stars above that those two points "just ain´t so." But they are. Welcome to the real world, Mr. Clarke.
Clarke did not openly say we should negotiate with ISIS. However, he and CNN are preparing the ground for exactly that undertaking. As we shall see, whether or not Clarke is deliberately doing what he is doing makes no difference.
Done deal. We have seen Clarke´s clumsy and naive, hurry-up offense, Kissinger realpolitik reasoning countless times before. Every time a ruthless dictator like Saddam Hussein, Fulgencio Batista or Anastasio Somoza pops up and seizes power, the boys and girls in the State Department will tell you, "We don´t like those guys; however, we gotta deal with somebody in those countries, and they are the ones in power. Gosh ... a shame ... but ... oh well ... "
Kerry´s helicopter comment was clearly a response to Clarke´s demand to admit it -- ISIS is an Islamic state. Kerry knows that the de facto recognition Clarke is urging is the start of a slippery slope toward de jure recognition.
Here is how that plays out:
"Recognition of a state is the act by which another state acknowledges that the political entity recognized possesses the attributes of statehood. Fenwick also subscribes to the view that through recognition the members of the international community acknowledge that a new state has acquired international personality.
According to kelsen, a state to be recognized must have
(1) The community must be politically organized
(2) It should have control over a definite territory.
(3) The community must be independent.
Mode of recognition:
Recognition may be either expressed or implied. Express recognition takes place by formal indication or declaration. Implied recognition without directly expressing it ...
A De-facto recognition.
It is extended where a govt. has not acquired sufficient stability. It is provisional (temporary or conditional) recognition. It is not legal recognition. However, it is recognition in principle ...
It is legal recognition ...De-jure recognition is complete and full and normal relations can be maintained.
De-facto recognition of a state is a step towards de-jure recognition. Normally the existing states extend de-facto recognition to the new states or govts. It is after a long lapse of time when they find that there is stability in it that they grant de-jure recognition. Such practice is common among the states."
We must grant ISIS de facto recognition now, Clarke exhorts -- admit it. Make no mistake, dear reader: de facto recognition is the thin edge of the wedge to pry open the door to negotiations and deals with ISIS; otherwise, de facto recognition has no point.
"We will never parley; we will never negotiate with Hitler or any of his gang." Winston Churchill would have come down hard with both feet on Clarke and his ilk. We follow Churchill, not Clarke.
As for what Clarke is up to, three hypotheses emerge:
Hypothesis 1 requires a brief introductory note:
Business is business. ISIS has $2 billion in assets burning a hole in its pocket.
Today, Clarke is the head of Good Harbor Security Risk Management, a firm that describes itself as having
"completed cybersecurity projects for Fortune 500 companies and other organizations in the areas of financial services, telecommunications and cable, private equity, transportation, and utilities."
I don´t know about you, dear reader, but for me that description is transparently nontransparent. It sends us from Pontius to Pilate.
O.K., let´s try again.
Clarke is also Chairman of Good Harbor International -- "we are a proven, trusted adviser to governments and businesses around the world." I ask you once more, Richard Clarke: what do you do, exactly?
"[W]e help our clients prevent adverse events before they happen and recover from them when they do. Our approach is to understand the whole organisation – your strategy and goals, your policies and procedures, your risks and opportunities. We then design solutions that fit your operating environment and reflect your resources and requirements. Our objective is to build capabilities and transfer knowledge, so you can manage risk independently once the project is complete."
Design solutions; build capabilities; transfer knowledge: at this point, one thing Clarke is doing becomes apparent. Good Harbor harbors tankers packed to the gills with nullité sonore. Of course, the CIA, FBI, NSA and governments and businesses around the world have no need for a job description or a cv; they know perfectly well who Clarke is and what he is doing. He is not consulting the oligarchical system as a friendly outsider; he is part and parcel of that system. An inside agitator.
Which brings us to
Hypothesis 1. Clarke has a client who wants to sell something to ISIS. Weapons? Human organs? Towels? Your guess, dear reader, is as good as mine.
Hypothesis 2 is the null hypothesis.
Clarke is not preparing the ground for negotiations with ISIS. He does not have a client who wants to do business with ISIS. In saying the ISIS caliphate is a fait accompli, Clarke is simply talking through his hat, sounding off, expressing a personal opinion. A bureaucrat blowhard, he is completely unaware of the political and diplomatic ramifications of what he is saying.
The null hypothesis is not entirely far-fetched. Clarke´s full-throttle denunciations on TV, including "60 Minutes," of his former boss, President Bush, demonstrate once and for all that he cannot hold his tongue. A perusal of his publications, among them a novel, shows he cannot hold his ink.
Hypothesis 3. Clarke´s recommendation to recognize ISIS as an Islamic state is simply the fulfillment of the U.S. policy that founded and supported ISIS from the very beginning.
The Iranian Government claims that ISIS is and always has been a United States tool and agent. The American goal is to create instability in the Middle East and protect Israel.
The Iranian thesis dovetails with the peak oil theory -- see our post, "R.I.P. Michael C. Ruppert. The Brontosaurus Factor" of May 15, 2014. That theory: the U.S. wants control over Middle East oil to offset the decline in world petroleum production. To achieve that goal, America needs an on-going excuse to have a military presence in the region.
The United States fostered and supports ISIS? We dealt with this subject a year ago in our post of June 10, 2014, "The Baddest Terrorist. Poison, Dagger, Noose, etc.":
"Disturbing reports are circulating that the United States trained Isis soldiers ... at a secret base in Jordan. America´s purported purpose at the time was to overthrow the Syrian Government of Bashar al-Assad.
Let us assume for a moment the reports are correct.
(i) The incompetence thesis. Although Isis members trained by the U.S. were supposedly vetted for links with terrorist groups, as has been shown time and again Washington has no effective methodology for identifying terrorists. For that matter, we showed conclusively that United States Government definitions of terrorism are so full of holes a typical teenager can play them like a flute.
(ii) The collusion thesis. Fully aware that Isis commanders and fighters were terrorists, Washington clandestinely aided and abetted them in order to have a terrorist-pretext to justify and secure a continuing American military presence in the Middle East. Thus, the mayhem and massacres committed by Isis this very moment are being secretly welcomed in Washington as Pearl Harbor III."
We do not discount the Iranian/Ruppert collusion thesis. Facts may eventually prove it to be correct. For the present, however, we are working with the incompetence thesis -- and basically for one reason. It is consistent with the long-standing, historical pattern presented in our post "America´s Fatal Flaw: The Belvedere Conundrum":
"Our conundrum: What is in the American character that ... prevents it from winning, i.e., starting and ending, a war?
If character is destiny, a question arises: what is character? If character cannot exist independently of hamartia or fatal flaw/ignorance/miscalculation, what is America´s hamartia?
The answer consists of one word. I will be more than happy to give it when a consensus develops that the United States ... has a hamartia.
Why is that consensus crucial? Alcoholics Anonymous got it right: an open admission is a necessary first step to a solution. If America will make a comparable acknowledgement, it can begin to control the unconscious and autonomous complex presently deciding its destiny, instead of being controlled by it ... "
We offered a clue to America´s fatal flaw in the form of this question:
"Why does the United States fabricate and/or assist ´creeps´ -- Ho Chi Minh, Fidel Castro, Manuel Noriega, Saddam Hussein, bin Laden and now, apparently, the terrorist organization Isis led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi ... -- in order to combat them?"
We come to the bottom line. Regarding Clarke and ISIS, which one is correct: collaboration (hypotheses 1 and 3) or ignorance (hypothesis 2)?
Traitor or dupe, it makes no difference. The result is the same.
Before leaving this subject: why would CNN be angling to get a piece of Clarke´s action and cut a deal with ISIS?
Simple. The news organization would give its eye teeth to scoop the opposition and get a reporter behind ISIS lines. It wouldn´t be the first time. Remember the CNN reports "Live From Baghdad" with Peter Arnett in the 1990-1 Gulf War? For a preliminary nodding and winking "objective" CNN report that life under ISIS isn´t all bad -- they even have a polio vaccination campaign! -- click here.
Get ready, readers. The way is being greased for negotiations with ISIS. The fact you are appalled means nothing. The oligarchy, not you, is in charge, and when the oligarchy sees ISIS, it smells gold.
Clarke wants us to believe that future negotiations with ISIS are, like the Islamic state, a done deal. Get the show on the road! Hurry! Urgent! Before the Europeans and Chinese beat us!
John Kerry´s rebuttal shows that Washington is not 100% Quisling. Apart from moral reservations, there are political-electoral ones:
A CBS poll conducted in February 2015, showed 65% of Americans viewed ISIS as a "major threat" to the United states. 57% favored sending American ground troops into Iraq and Syria. Both numbers were on the upswing from October 2014.
Clarke clearly has an uphill struggle. However, should he and his faction of the oligarchy carry the day, negotiations with ISIS will be either formal/expressed or informal/implied. In either case, dear reader, when and if talks begin and you look on in horror, remember you read it here first.
Still unconvinced? You believe Washington would never cut a deal with ISIS? Do you think thousands and thousands of murders, beheadings, tortures, beatings, thefts and destruction of cultural artifacts/mosques/other assets, enslavements, arbitrary imprisonments, abuse of children, graft and extortion, kidnappings and rapes make any agreement by Washington with ISIS so unconscionable as to be impossible?
My response in two words: Pol Pot.
*Barack Obama spoke at the G7 Conference (June 8) about the not yet "complete" U.S. policy in Iraq. What, then, is needed to complete it?
Obama´s answer: more U.S.-training and equipping of Iraqi soldiers.
Sorry, it did not work 500 years ago, and it will not work now.
A trained and equipped mercenary is still a mercenary. That Washington does not understand that reality is underscored by the Pentagon´s stumbling and fumbling in delivering to Iraqi soldiers what they want most: not victory or freedom or democracy or self-respect -- much less defense of the fatherland -- but paychecks.
** Remember the ARVN -- the Army of the Republic of Vietnam formed and financed by the United States? Wikipedia:
"The fall of Huế to NLF forces on March 26  began an organized rout of the ARVN that culminated in the complete disintegration of the South Vietnamese government. Withdrawing ARVN forces found the roads choked with refugees making troop movement almost impossible. North Vietnamese forces took advantage of the growing instability, and with the abandoned equipment of the routing ARVN, they mounted heavy attacks on all fronts. With collapse all but inevitable, many ARVN generals abandoned their troops to fend for themselves and ARVN soldiers deserted en masse. President Nguyễn Văn Thiệu escaped with large amounts of money and the assistance of the CIA, according to a reporter. Except for one battle by the 18th Division at Xuân Lộc and the perimeters around Saigon, ARVN resistance all but ceased. Less than a month after Huế, Saigon fell and South Vietnam ceased to exist as a political entity. The sudden and complete destruction of the ARVN shocked the world. Even their opponents were surprised at how quickly South Vietnam collapsed."