ISIS Video Reminds Us: All Political Power Grows Out of the Barrel of a Gun

As the Islamic force known as ISIS captures large swaths of Iraq, it’s worth noting that they’ve done so through telegenic terrorism. Though vastly outnumbered by U.S.-supplied and supported troops, ISIS’s reputation for brutality is so fearsome and so widely known that their march to Baghdad has been largely if not entirely unimpeded. As the CNN report above indicates, they established this rep through social media. And while the IED vids are jarring, it’s the up-close-and-personal firearms-based executions (which CNN doesn’t show fully) that have made ISIS seem more powerful than their numbers would suggest. You will notice, of course, that . . .

the victims are disarmed. That’s thanks to official Iraqi policy (strict licensing, no handguns), enforced by the official Iraqi government. Which is officially up shit creek without a paddle. To the point where the government and clerics are recruiting Baghdad residents off the streets to repel the coming ISIS invasion. You know: handing civilians a gun, giving them some ammo and telling them where to position themselves.

They say all politics is local. In fact, it’s even more granular than that. All politics comes down to a fight for power between those who would enslave others and those who don’t want to be enslaved. Or shot. When push comes to shove, it’s best to be armed. Knowing who’s got what firepower where in Iraq is above my pay grade. All I know is that Gil-Scott Heron was wrong: the revolution will be televised. And the guys with the guns will be the stars.

comments

  1. avatar Swarf says:

    Damn, that’s some brutal stuff.

    Thanks President Bush. Hope you are enjoying your baseball games and painting hobby.

    1. avatar Jay1987 says:

      would you prefer we left Saddam’s regime in power so they could do the same which wasn’t reported due to his control of that country’s press?

      1. avatar Swarf says:

        Are you… Are you seriously trying to pretend we invaded Iraq for altruistic reasons? Like Saddam was mean and that’s why we invaded a country made up of three groups of people who hate each other who have been corralled together due to arbritary lines drawn by idiots?

        Is that what you are saying?

        We invaded for oil and bloodlust and we only got one.

        1. avatar Chuck in IL says:

          Umm….no.

        2. avatar Jerry says:

          Yes.

        3. avatar Jay1987 says:

          Did I type that we invaded Iraq to bring rainbows and unicorns? No we invaded over WMDs that weren’t there (either they were used up on the Kurds, smuggled out to surrounding countries, or were non existent in the first place.) Did we gain cheap oil from the whole fiasco? Hell no!! Did we plan on it? Probably. Did we take down a government that raped everyone (men wonen children), murdered anyone who dare speak out, and torture folks for any reason they could imagine (up to and including losing at the olympics and FIFA world cup)? Yes we did. Was it worth leaving that government in power to scare Iran? No, eventually they would’ve drawn Saudi Arabia into their squabble and in turn everyone else.

        4. avatar neiowa says:

          You need to wean yourself off the progressive libtard drugs. Stop watching CNN etc.

          We won Iraqi just as we won Vietnam (I’ll bet you also KNOW we lost Tet). In both the babyboomers smoking their joints threw a fit, wet their pants and the dem pols in DC surrendered.

          OBUMA LOST IRAQ.

          A decade later (AFTER THE FACT) can make a case we were fooled and should or should not have gone into Iraq. But it was NOT about Iraqi Oil as the occupy maggots and libtards have preached.

        5. avatar John G. says:

          Bullcrap. Republicans were openly talking about how there wouldn’t be any cost to a war in Iraq because we’d take their oil revenues and use that to pay for the war.

          Didn’t work out quite that way, did it?

          Bush lost Iraq by getting us into a war that was impossible to win. Over WOMD that simply didn’t exist, and anyone who has ever been involved with the production of nukes or chemical weapons (I am raising my hand here) could have told you that going into the war.

          You need to back away from the propaganda that Faux “News” has crammed down your throat.

          And this nonsense about “Dems” surrendering in Vietnam is also revisionist history. When Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers while Nixon was in office (remember Nixon? think he was a Democrat?) they showed clearly that all battlefield assessments clearly showed that the USA was losing the war. Badly. And the public was being mislead.

          Man … you conservative Fascist wannabes have some really wacked ideas of how the planet works. Ever take a history or economics course Einstein?

        6. avatar ChrisB says:

          Are you kidding?

          We invaded Iraq because Bill Clinton locked us into a Sanction regime on Clinton Admin claims of WMD in Iraq and we killed 100,000 Iraqi infants a year.

          At last Bush ended that carnage of innocents and got rid of Saddam.

          Obama threw away that victory

        7. avatar John G. says:

          ChrisB, you are an idiot. Where do you come up with that nonsense?

        8. avatar Paul Rain says:

          I don’t agree.. but invading to ‘bring democracy’ to an Arab country (excuse me my sides are splitting) is not any more noble. It’s just a stupid idea.

      2. avatar Daily Beatings says:

        Saddam clamped down on the radical islamic groups while suppressing the shia majority to discourage any alliance with Iran. Saddam was secular and a stabilizing factor in the region. With his removal a power vacuum almost instantly occurred between the various religious factions, which has not subsided to this day.

        You have to remember that Iraq as a country was carved out by the British after world war one. There’s almost no nationalism but only allegiances to major groups in the regions, those being Sunni, Shia and Kurd. You need to read up on the history of the region to really understand what is going on.

        The same thing is happening in Syria with Assad, who is also secular. He may be a dictator who rules with an iron fist, but he’s better than allowing jihadists to turn the place into another Islamic state trying to re-establish the Caliphate. Anyone who has any real knowledge of the region knows this all too well.

        1. avatar Craig in Louisville says:

          Well put, we should have stayed the hell out of Iraq in the first place.

    2. avatar TimB says:

      Not sure where Bush figures into this current event, this is happening on Obama’s dime. He is the current chief of the military. Politics aside, this is indicative of the current issues with our military tactics and foreign policy. When we go to war today, we are way too politically correct. The only way to fight a war is to go in with everything and wipe the bad guys completely out. You can’t pick and choose your victims, there will be collateral damage. When it happens, rather than kowtowing to the media, we just need to be brutally honest – bad stuff happens in war, period. No excuses.

      No one wants to go further in debt on war, especially ones that aren’t in direct defense of the US. But better to fight these bad dudes over there, than in downtown USA.

      1. avatar whatever says:

        “Wiping everyone out” would anger the remaining billion Muslims everywhere int the world. It is simply not possible with conventional forces.

        Even if we subject the entire middle-east to nuclear holocaust, there is no guarantee that the other big nuclear powers, Russia and China will not step in and start World War III just to grab what’s left in the power vacuum.

        In short, “wiping everyone out” over there would require at a minimum securing absolute cooperation from every major power, a perfect willingness to obliterate Iran, Pakistan, Malaya and Indonesia, with an accompanying loss of global GDP, among other things, as well as throwing practically every Muslim living in the west and asia into concentration camps, and that’s just getting started.

        In short, this kind of thinking is the geopolitical equivalent of running a government or corporation budget “just like a family budget.” It demonstrates a profound ignorance of how anything works or could possibly work out at a national or global level. Anyone who makes these kind of sentiments should just gracefully bow out of these kind of discussions.

        1. avatar MigNoche says:

          Well said.

        2. avatar Paul Rain says:

          Seems like it’d be pretty cheap. The nukes are already built. Why aren’t they being used?

    3. avatar Jus Bill says:

      “Damn, that’s some brutal stuff.”

      That’s war. That’s what a civil war looks like. It’s brutal. It’s messy. It’s loud and dirty. And that’s why those who have been there are the very last to wish for a civil war here.

      1. avatar Bastiat says:

        ^^^This.^^^

        I tell people that talk about civil war to look up raw Syria videos.

      2. ISIS reminds me of Nazis. Mass murderers. Frightening propaganda. Killing, killing, killing innocent people. Men with families who need jobs to support their families irrigardless of religious affiliation, these men were beginning to form a working economy. What is ISIS going to do? Kill every Sheeit in Iraq?

    4. avatar IdahoPete says:

      And it has been 5 years since the Feckless One became President. Since then, he has (1) given a speech in Cairo which told the entire Muslim world that the US was going to be a warm and fuzzy neighbor; (2) Brought the Muslim Brotherhood (CAIR) into the White House as “advisers; (3) Shown in Benghazi that the US would allow the Islamic terror groups to kill our people with impunity; (4) Praised the “Arab Spring” when every intel source in the Western world showed that it was a power grab by the Muslim Brotherhood and other terror groups; (5) Shown in Syria that his “red line in the sand” was meaningless drivel; (6) Shown in the Ukraine, the South China Sea, Egypt, and Nigeria that his foreign policy consists of Michelle, Kerry, Hilary Clinton and the Feckless One giving meaningless speeches and starting hashtag campaigns to “show they care”; (7) Released 5 high-level terrorist leaders from Gitmo, using Bergdahl’s “deteriorating health” as an excuse, never consulting Congress in spite of a law requiring him to do so; (8) Earning, in every foreign policy action he has taken, the title of “worst President ever, even compared to Jimmy Carter”.

      ISIS and all the other Muslim terrorists know that the US under Obama will do absolutely nothing to prevent their takeover of as much of Iraq as Iran and the Kurds will allow.

      Hey, don’t give me “it’s Bush’s fault”. Obama RAN FOR THE PRESIDENCY on the platform of curing everything “wrong” that Bush did. HE WON. HE IS THE EFFING PRESIDENT. It is HIS JOB to protect the national interests of the UNITED STATES, not to make the UN and the transnationals and the chattering classes happy. Obama has had FIVE EFFING YEARS to “fix” Bush’s “errors’.

      When is he going to get started?

    5. avatar ChrisB says:

      You mean “Thank you president Clinton.”

      We invaded Iraq because Bill Clinton locked us into a Sanction regime on Clinton Admin claims of WMD in Iraq and we killed 100,000 Iraqi infants a year. 500,000 dead Iraqi babies due to Clinton.

      Bush ended that carnage, and Obama threw away a victory

      1. avatar John G. says:

        ChrisB, I guess you think that if you repeat a total lie often enough people will believe it. Probably works with regressives and conservatives-in-training, but it doesn’t work with people smarter than you.

      2. The loss of people during the sanctions was prevented, in theory, by humanitarian aid including the Oil for Food program. This was diverted by Hussein to build palaces and redistributed in tens of millions of dollars worth of bribes to people to protect Hussein, including US Democrats. Had it gone where theoretically intended, those deaths would have been avoided.

        We won the Iraq war quickly in 2003. But we indeed screwed up the transition process, miring us in a mess there for four years. The surge put an end to that and got us a victory, allowing Bush to negotiate an exit from a stabilized Iraq cleaned of al Qaeda elements.

        Obama flew to Iraq during the campaign to counter those negotiations, ultimately losing the ability to keep any forces there.

        The result: This civil war, inevitably.

        ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  2. avatar Jay1987 says:

    ummm back when I was there (07-10) each household was allowed one AK 47 (not the civilian version the real deal full select fire variety) no pistols were allowed though. Did they change that policy and if they have when did they change it?

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      You;re right. I’ve put a link in the piece to an article on Iraqi gun laws, which were “liberalized” to allow one rifle. Kept in the house. No handguns. And a bunch of registration.

      In effect, they were disarmed when out and about. Which is where these murders seem to occur.

      1. avatar Jay1987 says:

        Oh ok they took away the ability to carry them. While I was there they were allowed (as per my chain of command’s interpretation) to carry their AK where ever they pleased outside of the city proper.

  3. avatar doesky2 says:

    Yeah damn him for having the belief that if he removed Saddam Hussein and his rape rooms and his chemical weapons (used on the Kurds) off of the back of the common Iraqis that they would step up to the challenge of controlling their own lives.

    Lesson learned….The cult of Islam is the devils playground.

    1. avatar Parnell says:

      From the looks of it, the Kurds learned the lesson. They’re holding their own in the face of these guys.

      1. avatar Jay1987 says:

        Kurds are a whole different critter than your normal issue Iraqi/arab. They aren’t snivelling cowards for one and they don’t take too well to being oppressed hence why they were slaughtered by the former Sunni govt. and why they fight these new invaders so hard. Sunnis hate em and the Kurds know if the Sunnis win they go back to getting slaughtered while the state controlled press and the world press by and large ignores it.

        1. avatar Wes says:

          For sure. The Kurds are the only group there worth being called men. I always admired the Kurds. I just felt contempt for most non-Kurdish Iraqi men. Perhaps being left to their own devices without someone to protect/secure them, Iraqis will rise up to fight the islamist and make a future for themselves. I doubt it though. The will likely cower in fear waiting to be slaughtered

      2. avatar doesky2 says:

        Happened to watch a blurb on news last night and they switched to a correspondent (who was an uncovered white anglo women) driving in a car and I was wondering WTH she was doing tempting fate there and then she revealed that she was in the non-Islamist Kurdish region. Essentially she interviewed a Kurd leader that said the Iraqis were a bunch of wusses and afraid to fight the ISSI. Essentially the crux of the report was saying that the ISSI dares not to tread inside the Kurd region.

    2. avatar John G. says:

      If Saddam actually used chemical weapons on the Kurds (and plenty of folks debate that) then he used them 20 years before we invaded. The shelf life of most agents is anywhere from an hour to 6 months.

  4. avatar Ralph says:

    Not to worry. Because he plays more golf than Phil Mickelson, Obama is an expert at sand traps. So he’s thoughtfully arranged for The Islamic Republic of Iran to save the day.

  5. avatar John A. Smith says:

    We have Bush the younger to thank for this. His people were the architects of the new Iraqi constitution – and no less than Colin Powell hailed the constitution as a great triumph in that it did NOT protect the right to keep and bear arms.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Obama’s been managing the show for almost 6 years, but it’s still Bush’s fault?

      Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Too freakin’ funny.

      If Malia ever gets knocked up, she’ll probably blame it on George Bush.

      1. avatar gloomhound says:

        +1

      2. avatar Jerry says:

        Can’t it be both their faults???

        1. avatar whatever says:

          It can’t possibly be the Project for a New American Century had bipartisian support and big money backers worldwide. No way, it can’t be that, it has to be that guy in the other worthless party.

      3. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        Hahahaha
        Then Obeyme might finally have a son….

      4. avatar John G. says:

        The Obama hatred is strong with the ignorant.

        1. avatar foggy says:

          Where does the buck stop? Why does Obama get to pass it?

        2. avatar John G. says:

          Obama didn’t start the war. The mood of the nation was to get out of Iraq. He promised that we’d get out. We did leave. The Iraqi Prime Minister refused all offers to leave some troops as a peace keeping force. The right wants to reduce spending and nothing wastes $$$ than a war.

          So what’s your solution to the problem Slick? Other than to blame Obama because … well … he’s a black guy in the White House and he’s not a Republican?

          Do you really have any suggestions?

        3. avatar neiowa says:

          A genuine Obuma fanboy. Not many left.

        4. avatar John G. says:

          I’ll wager there are a helluva lot more fans of President Obama than there are of Dubya Bush. Hell, you regressives and fascist wannabes won’t even let Dubya show up at your conventions.

          Besides, how did that President McCain and President Romney thing work out for y’all?

        5. avatar John in Ohio says:

          He’s actually half black and half white. I guess if we’re using the one drop rule then he’d be black. But, isn’t that racist? 😉 More accurate would be to say “the biracial guy in the White House.” Just sayin’…

        6. avatar ChrisB says:

          John G, Obama threw away a major victory.

          Yes it began before him with Clinton’s WMD sanctions.

          Essentially you had the first Bush win a major victory, Clinton throw it away, the second Bush pick up the mess Clinton caused, win another victory; and Obama threw that victory away.

          I notice you throw in the race card as well. desperate as you president sinks below Nixons level of trustworthiness — even among Democrats polled!

    2. avatar Garrison Hall says:

      Yes, there’s plenty of blame to go around on this one. Chalk it up to incredible arrogance and ignorance on the part of the US government and military. They thought they were going to engage in “nation building” and basically repeated Vietnam without the last-minute helicopter evacuation. Saddam was definitely a threat and needed to be removed. It was what came afterwards that was the unmitigated disaster.

      Build the damn Keystone pipeline and let the middle-east destroy itself!

      1. avatar Jay1987 says:

        No this is about par for the course in Iraq even with Saddam in power. He was a Sunni and his media guy was too so they did a good job of covering up the bombings of Shiite and Kurdish towns and neighborhoods and the murders went unreported. Far as keepin Iran in check, they would eventually attack again anyway.

      2. avatar Dev says:

        I think this is due to our fear of imperialism since the Vietnam war. The US has some sort of guilt trip now about setting up a government in a foreign land overtly. Had we gone in, stayed the course instilled a government and supported that government instead of pulling out as soon as they got into power,because the rest of the world was like “OMG AMERICA” we wouldn’t have this situation.

        1. avatar Jay1987 says:

          True. We should’ve stayed a little longer after their government gained autonomy (think of Germany after WWII) but dialed down our role in daily operations. I don’t know if you could call that imperialism for certain since they wouldn’t be under direct or indirect US rule just our (and our allies’) protection.

        2. avatar whatever says:

          “Staying the course” and “installing a civilian government.” And how is this *any* different from what the British Empire tried?

          The Iraq and Syria the British empire created no longer exists. The only thing worth doing that involves intervention at this point is sending the Air Force on a high-explosive repo job; setting all the sides to carve out their ethnic enclaves in Syria and Iraq exchange for shutting-out the extremists; reinforcing Israel and giving them the green light to completely expel the Arabs (hopefully with some compensation), then get the hell out.

        3. avatar Mark N. says:

          I seem to recall that we offered to stay longer, but Al-Maliki turned us down. We had no choice but to leave. It is utter speculation to suppose that staying longer would have done anything to resolve the massive animosity the Shi’ia and the Sunni have for each other, or the discrimination imposed on the other by whichever is in power. In addition, the majority of Americans were keen to see us stop pouring billions of dollars into the country, probably half or more of which was eaten up by out and out fraud, with our sons and daughters being picked apart from the daily IEDs planted by the Al-Queda factions. Add to that the fact, as mentioned above, that Iraq is not a nation; there is no national unity except that which is imposed by government fiat. Tribe is first, religion second, town third, nation hardly a consideration. It would be better to split the country into three autonomous regions–or even three separate countries–to divide peoples that have centuries of hate towards each other that have never been resolved.

  6. avatar seans says:

    Robert needs to stay in his lane. He believes that just arming people is enough. Its not enough just to be armed. When somebody kidnaps you small child and not only will kill them but brutally torture them first its gets compliance. ISIS knows how the game is played. These people believe in there convictions. They can do anything and they believe they will be rewarded for it. People like to talk big about what they would do in the face of extremist but when its more than you that is at risk the dynamic changes.

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      seans, it’s the quiet ones you really have to worry about.

      1. avatar Steve Truffer says:

        Worry? I quite like the way he wrote. Well thought out, unassailable, like a master tactician.

    2. avatar John in Ohio says:

      The natural right of the individual to keep and bear arms is universal. It doesn’t begin within our borders and end at same. Infringement by the Iraqi and American governments on the individual RKBA in Iraq does play into this.

      Let people fight their own wars. Don’t help disarm them and, absent a direct and eminent threat, don’t invade them. If their rights are important enough to them, they’ll fight for them. Private individuals can supply support and even go fight. But, the minute our government gets involved, it is a huge error.

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        Well, let’s see here. We reorganized their armed forces and trained the troops and officers, arming them with modern weaponry. We reorganized the police force, trained it, and armed it. But troops abandon their posts and flee as the ISIS approaches, even though it is heavily outnumbered. The civilians (and there are many armed militias) in the west do not fight because they are Sunni, and they are sick of a government that abuses them and denies them a share of power. You can give a man a gun, but does not mean he will fight. These people will fight for their tribe, but not for their “country.”

        1. avatar John in Ohio says:

          I don’t think that you understood my point. We had no business being there in the first place. After we were there, we helped in the disarming of everyday citizens. I don’t think that we should do another blinking thing there. It’s time to go and stay gone because we shouldn’t have been anyway. It’s their problem to fight or not to fight. It’s not our problem.

  7. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    These tribes, families, religious factions have been at war with each other for how many generations?
    Let them devolve.
    I hate to sound so callous, but really, it’s not our concern.

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      Correct. Sectarian blood feuds have been going on between clans and families there for millenia.

    2. avatar Wes says:

      Not our concern? If my parked car rolled down a hill into a crowd of people can I say “not my concern”?

      Like it or not, we are responsible for this. I don’t feel like spilling more American blood for these cowards, but make no mistake. We should have a sense of national guilt over this. We “freed” a bunch of defenseless natural born victims the same as if we “freed” a fenced sheep into wolf country. We will now sit on our hands and watch the newly liberated beheaded.

      1. avatar Ing says:

        We should never have gone into Iraq. This is what happens when you try to create democracy among people who don’t understand it and don’t really want it. As brutal as Saddam Hussein was, he did keep a lot of even more vicious people at bay.

      2. avatar Mark N. says:

        Bulloney. the Shi’ias and the Sunni have been fighting each other since Mohammed died. Saddam kept a lid on this animosity by his brutal iron-fisted control of the people through control of the army, the political system, and the secret police. Bush I understood this, and wisely stopped at the Kuwait border, even though it would have been an easy matter to roll all the way to Bagdad to depose Saddam. Bush II did not have enough sense to understand this, believing his father had left a job undone, and led the country (through patent lies and selective interpretation of intelligence) to a war that should not have been fought.

    3. avatar Ralph says:

      Yeah, Sunnis and Shiites seem to love killing each other. Let ’em have at it. The only reason that the whole world isn’t burning is because they can’t get together. God help us if they ever do.

  8. avatar Bossman8867 says:

    Back when our boys were over there they caught a lot of flak. Claiming it was just an “occupation.” And now they want us to intervene in a shitstorm THEY started? Pfft… I say let God sort ’em out.

  9. avatar former water walker says:

    And we are perilously close to Armageddon. Saddam Hussein was a bulwark against Iran. He posed little threat to us-lots of threat to Iran. It would be hilarious having Iran send troops to prop up the Iraqi government if it wasn’t so. horribly violent. And who’s blaming W.? The same folks who voted lock-step to go to war. Like Hillary Clinton…sigh.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      “And we are perilously close to Armageddon.”

      I had the same thought.

  10. avatar mk10108 says:

    You all are wrong. Here’s why. The force is smaller than you think. Note cities taken (actually abandoned) are along the main north south highway. Classic guerrilla campaign, the force is smaller than reported, but more ruthless in killing civilians driving Iraqi army units to flee. Baghdad will hold and drive them back, if not the entire Iraqi government gets to dig their graves.

  11. avatar macgearailt says:

    Send in the CHP, they’ll handle this disturbance just like they handled the NO folks during Katrina.

  12. avatar Peter says:

    ODIN better watch out

    1. avatar Kenny says:

      HA HA I trolled through the comments, hoping to see if someone made a reference to “Archer” . Well done sir!

  13. avatar Taylor TX says:

    “You know: handing civilians a gun, giving them some ammo and telling them where to position themselves.”

    Yes Comrade Conscript! You have come to kill the Facists and Protect the Rodina! For the Motherland!!!

    Wait wait wait, wrong era sorry.

    I was half tempted to write an Archer joke but someone beat me to it…. LANA!

    1. avatar dh34 says:

      Every other soldier gets rifle, the rest just get ammo. Pick up rifle from fallen comrade.

      Do not retreat, or we will shoot you!

      1. avatar John in Ohio says:

        Enemy at the Gates

      2. avatar Steve Truffer says:

        Gawd I hate when half-assed history teachers repeat that. “Not every solder had a rifle.” Surprise! Neither did our guys. There are these cool things called submachine guns. We had them, the Russians churne them out by the millions, and armed entire divisions with them. Not every Russian soldier had a rifle because many had a submachine gun.

        1. avatar dh34 says:

          If you are referring to my semi-quote, I was referencing the movie John mentions. It is however, not without precedence.

          I’m sure if one were to dig into the battle of Stalingrad, there may be instances of conscripts being thrown into battle without weapons. “Enemy at the Gates” like “Platoon”, “Apocalypse Now” and “Full Metal Jacket” have used variations on actual events for story line. To be honest a lot of this stuff in the real world, you just can’t make up.

          But that being said, in military history classes from years ago, the one rifle for every two men as well as the machine guns at your backs was a Soviet tactic for the penal brigades. If you want a source, it’s been over twenty years and quite frankly its not important enough to me to look it up.

  14. avatar dh34 says:

    One of the good and bad things about spending most of my life to date traveling the world on Uncle Sam’s dime, is that you get to see the world and it is…the good and the bad. I look at the Bloomies and Shannons of the world, and think, “you have no idea how brutal the world is outside of your gated communities.” The farther east (or west) you go the cheaper the value of a human life. Until you’ve seen, touched and smelled the evil that we can do one another…not just mean, but pure evil that people can do to another. #notonemore…yeah how about #notonemoremassgrave or #notonemore_person_who_just_want_to_vote_dies.

    As far as blame Bush or Obama…blame the Brits and the French. This goes back a hundred years to the arbitrary political divisions made post WWI. Each one of these countries from Turkey to Saudi are one step away from anarchy. Ironically, it has historically been the Persians (Iranians) who have been the most stable over the years.

    1. avatar Mk10108 says:

      “The farther east (or west) you go the cheaper the value of a human life. Until you’ve seen, touched and smelled the evil that we can do one another…not just mean, but pure evil that people can do to another”

      Been there done that and your words relay walking the ground. People in this country are living the dream. Everything east of One particular longitude is shit holes and mud huts. Not worth one American life.

    2. avatar John in Ohio says:

      We achieved what we have through our values and foundation of Liberty. We’ve been chipping away at our own foundation. Given enough time, we won’t have to go east or west from here to experience it. If America falls, so does the World, IMHO. It’s anyone’s guess as to how long it will take for humanity to realize that which is self evident and forge a nation on those ideals.

      1. avatar Lolinski says:

        I like you guys but the sad truth is that the world is better off without you.

        1. avatar dh34 says:

          You got us there..after all if it weren’t for all those Americans we left in the cold Atlantic or in the skies or soil of Europe twice in the last century…how’s that not living under the Swastika working for ya?

        2. avatar dh34 says:

          ”After Romania enjoys several decades of prosperity like France, then we will have the luxury of taking the U.S. for granted.” – Mircea Geoana

        3. avatar John in Ohio says:

          Well, Lolinski, at least you are straight forward about your opinion and I appreciate that. I don’t want to change your country or anyone else’s. I only want mine to return to its constitutional limits. What other nations do is entirely up to them.

        4. avatar lolinski says:

          Not that I hate you or anything, it is just that the country/government itself is extremely ineffective (+ human rights violations in the foreign countries don’t help together with the invasions) and the populace uses an high amount of resources for a not particularily good standard of living. If everybody lived like in the USA you would need 4.5 planets to provide the resources (remember, we only got one). Then you see China where the living standard isn’t that bad (my brother was there for a while) and if everyone was to live like them you would need only one earth to provide the resources. Let that sink in. 300 million times 4.5 = 1.35 billion, population of China = 1.35 billion.

          I think that the high consumption mainly comes from te psychology of abundance which traces back to colonial times.

          Also to the guy with the swastika remark: The Eagle couldn’t have done it without the Bear, and the the espionage/cvovert efforts by the Bulldog and all the local resistances did help. So, no, America didn’t single-handedly save Europe. Besides, if the nazis come again, I doubt I would have problems. Me and my neighbour would probably make a sport out of it (not trying to sound macho but he is a bit crazy in a good way).

          @John G.
          I don’t think that the AR-15s in civilian hands are the problem. The Predator drones in government hands spying and killing innocent people…might be a problem. Also the government spending and what the taxes are used for is also a problem.

        5. avatar Garrison Hall says:

          “. . . Let that sink in. 300 million times 4.5 = 1.35 billion, population of China = 1.35 billion. . .”

          Oh, good grief. This is just so much twaddle. The US uses energy because we actually produce things. The modern world exists because of us. It doesn’t exist because of you. Sorry to be so direct but you brought the subject up.

        6. avatar John G. says:

          Garrison, you remind me of those folks from NYC that know about New York, San Diego, and they think that the rest of the country – probably where you live – is just unimportant flyover territory. You do realize that this is the 21st Century and that there is significant industry in many, many other parts of the planet, don’t you? And that the USA doesn’t and never did have a lock on all technologies. We trace our history back to the 1700’s. Europe traces theirs back two centuries and the Chinese trace their civilization back five centuries.

        7. avatar ChrisB says:

          Must burn you the US is sitting on a massive natural gas reserve

        8. avatar John G. says:

          Yeah, that Reagan and Bush thangs about reducing the tax rates on the very wealthiest wouldn’t have anything to do with the nation’s deficits and the 1% getting super wealthy, would it Einstein?

          Genuinely, it’s not an act with you is it? You have the most absurd of the Faux Entertainment lines on a cheat sheet, and you are stupid enough to believe a lot of those things you write. Correct?

      2. avatar John G. says:

        We have a super wealthy 1% in the USA but the reality is that any way that you measure it middle class incomes in the USA are falling way, way behind other industrial nations. Canada, Australia, pretty much all of Northern Europe have a wealthier middle class, and they have health care, good educations, and solvent pensions all paid from their taxes.

        We have a military that spends more than the next 6 nations combined. Other than that we don’t have much to show for our tax dollar$.

        Oh, and practically every mammal in the USA can buy an AR-15. I forgot about that one.

        1. avatar ChrisB says:

          The Democrats have been gutting the middle class for decades now.

          And by the way why are Loliniski and John G making the same diction errors?

        2. avatar Lolinski says:

          What diction errors? Are you implying I am John G. Or vice-versa? I can assure you I am not.

          I didn’t mention energy, but resources (metal, food, oil, etc.). I haven’t seen that much being made in the US anymore being exported, most of the new stuff from the US is pretty shoddy while the old stuff is dependable. It is also much harder to get. You have to accept that that era is sadly over. People no longer take that much pride in their work. Just ask Dyspeptic Gunsmith on how firearms were finished when he was young and compare it to now. Now it is quantity that matters, it has hit the whole world. The primary reason I try to support craftsmen as much as possible.

  15. avatar ThomasR says:

    What people in this country really don’t understand is that what we have had in this country is almost unique. Most every where else in the world; governments are run by brutal dictators using force to maintain order. Whether they are have so called “elections” or not. The mid-east as the prime example.

    And the liberal/progressives go around worshiping at the feet of all the other tin pot dictators and their “cultural diversity” while tearing down the only culture that has actually come close to being a true Representative Republic based on the rule of law and the respect of individual rights. Mostly.

    1. avatar John G. says:

      Sweden, The Netherlands, Finland, the UK, France, Switzerland, and the rest of Europe are ruled by brutal dictators? Hmmmm … Must have missed that memo.

      1. avatar ChrisB says:

        All those countries have higher rates of murder of non criminals

        1. avatar John G. says:

          WTF are you talking about?

  16. avatar DerryM says:

    We went into Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein because we convinced ourselves that Hussein had “Weapons of Mass Destruction” which he was going to supply to A-Qaeda to attack the U.S., and because we thought the Iraqi people would embrace liberty and democracy with open arms. None of those three premises was ever shown to be true. An ulterior motive may have been to insure oil supplies for our own benefit, but that panned-out only marginally since oil prices went to all time highs and have not come back down to pre-invasion prices. We expended about 4500 American lives, brought home thousands of “wounded warriors”, caused hundreds of thousands of lost Iraqi lives, and spent about 2 trillion dollars.
    Possibly our worst miscalculation was that we completely failed to understand the people we were trying to bring “the blessings of freedom and democracy ” to. People who have no history or experience of freedom are unable to suddenly see their world as we think they should, and that has been proven beyond question in Iraq.
    Saddam Hussein was a cruel tyrant and it is hard to argue the region would have been better off had we left him in power. Our past with him was checkered, to say the least.
    Maybe we need to just let them fight it out and try to strengthen our bonds with the few friends we still have in the region. It may be our only viable option at this time.

  17. avatar Jon Renguul says:

    When it comes right down to it, all efforts America made after driving out the terrorists were useless. Going after the terrorists and beating them down to the brink of extinction had purpose.There was a clear goal and endgame that could be executed and the American and the Middle East people, for the most part, could fall behind.Trying to give the Middle Eastern people western values and culture was destined to fail.The only way you’re gonna change a country is when you get almost everyone on board and make sure they’re going too follow through. That was never gonna happen and anyone who thought it would was lying to themselves and everyone around them.

  18. avatar Pro2Aguy says:

    I am not quite old enough to actually remember the Vietnam War, but I am a student of history and know many Vets–suffice it to say that to think that yet another “Vietnam” has occurred is enough to make any American question their Government’s loyalty to first and, foremost, its Brave Military as well as its Citizens as a whole. Deplorable, despicable and downright criminal malfeasance of the highest order on behalf of those that “purportedly” serve us…?

  19. avatar Excedrine says:

    Nope. Being looked at through an optic attached to a rifle isn’t creepy at all. /sarc.

    It’s actually kind of chilling knowing that, allegedly at least (and we all know the MSM’s reputation for [in]accuracy), even Al-Qaeda looks at these people, throws its hands up, and walks away from them.

    It also doesn’t surprise me that, according to other news reports, broad swaths of the Iraqi “Army” (I have always used this term quite loosely and for good reason) are turning tail and running away. Even disbanding altogether. One General even quit on-the-spot and was hauling ass in his POV, in civvies, as ISIS thugs came tearing through the position he and his men intentionally abandoned.

    It was always a waste of time to try and keep peace the Middle East, it is now, and it is forever going to be. Period. We should hang it up and bring everybody back home from that God-forsaken Hell-hole. We never should have been over there to begin with anyway, so don’t bother even getting started on why because it never should have happened regardless of what anybody on all of God’s green Earth thinks, says, or does.

  20. avatar launchpadmech says:

    They want our help? HA! Call Poi po Russia’s turn.

  21. avatar SD3 says:

    These are the same people that Swarf & his ilk thinks it’s fun to release from Guantanamo.

    Doesn’t really matter if we’re talking about Boko Haram, ISIS, Al Quds. “Evil” is a real thing in this world. Calling it something different or pretending it doesn’t exist won’t change that.

    1. avatar Lolinski says:

      Not saying people in Gitmo are innocent but it is hypocritical to imprison people for life without accusation or a fair trial.

      If you can’t see why that is wrong then you have big problems.

      1. avatar John in Ohio says:

        I happen to agree with you and under a constitutional United States the action wouldn’t stand.

  22. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    It is high time we quit lying to ourselves. Here comes some brutal truth that the Professionally Sensitive don’t want to admit, much less hear:

    There is no political tradition of “liberty” and “freedom” and so on in any culture outside of white, northern European Protestants. Northern European Protestants invented the political ideals on which this nation was founded.

    Everyone else who claims to subscribe to these ideals since then is merely a pretender. They pretend to believe in such notions as religious tolerance, separation of religion and state, a right to own property, arms, etc. But they can pretend for only so far into their political agendas, before they start saying things like “We believe in the right to do X, but…”

    The Catholic Church doesn’t believe in the type of liberty on which the US was founded; they’d love it if they could undo the Reformation entirely. If the Catholic Church did have a political culture of freedom and liberty, South America should be a garden spot of liberty and freedom. Jews don’t, because, well, all you have to do is look at the preponderance of American Jews in politics and draw your own conclusions. There is nothing like the ideals that came out of northern Europe from 1600 onwards evidenced in any middle eastern country (including Israel), or any Asian country not populated by a majority of white, English-speaking Europeans (ie, Oz and New Zealand – and they’re increasingly suspect).

    African countries? They’re mostly a Hobbesian hell, where life is nasty, brutish and short. Always have been, most likely always will be. All one needs do today is look at Zimbabwe for an example of the prevailing thought process of Africa.

    No, the hard truth is that ideas about liberty that were once in vogue here in the US (until we allowed the third world perspective of a bunch of grifters from Chicago to take over our political system) are the result of one cultural group. Countries and cultures that weren’t founded or based on northern European Protestantism will never adopt these ideals, because they haven’t the intellectual foundation on which to build the culture. Politics follows culture and the culture of the rest of the world tends towards totalitarianism, political graft and corruption that arise from tribalism.

    High-minding attempts to install US-styled (or even European style) “democracy” in the middle east are destined to fail simply because these cultures are missing about 800 years of intellectual development. Installing “democracy” from the top down into these cultures is about like giving the normal 10-year-old kid control of a nuclear reactor: It isn’t just that the kid is lacking a background in nuclear physics, he hasn’t even studied calculus yet. Not only does he not possess the knowledge to know how to solve problems that arise, he doesn’t even have the mental tools with which to describe the problems he’s trying to solve.

    Right about now, the intellectual development of the middle east would be best described as “solving” the problem of a blinking red light on a reactor control panel by smashing the light so it goes out.

    1. avatar John G. says:

      You make it sound like expecting Democracy in Iraq is one of those librul ideas but it’s not. Dubya sold his sheeplike followers on the concept and said that the US troops would be welcomed in Iraq as liberators.

      This here librul said that the entire venture was a mistake, including thinking that if you have democracy in Iraq that the Shiites and Shias would suddenly play nice. Wasn’t going to happen and didn’t happen.

      Oh, and algebra was developed in the Middle East and then spread into the rest of Europe. When you rant about the lack of intellectual development in the Middle East don’t fool yourself.

      1. avatar ChrisB says:

        higher mathematics was invented in Greece, The Arabs didn’t invent much at all — except mass carnange

        As far as Iraq, the first Bush gave us a major victory, Clinton threw it away while killing 500,000 Iraqi babies on Clinton WMD claims. The second Bush was left with Clinton’s massive bloodletting mess, fixed it and then Obama threw that victory away

      2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        I’m not trying to say that. I’m trying to say that the idea of the American (and to some extent, European/EU) elites that we can install “democracy in the middle east” (whether it was Bush and the agenda in Iraq, or Obama and Egypt, Libya or Syria), the notion is simply fatuous.

        Politics follows culture, and the culture of individual freedom didn’t start in the middle east – or anywhere else other than Northern Europe and the UK.

    2. avatar lolinski says:

      I won’t argue that Africa isn’t in the best state, but look at Rwanda. High gender equality and happiness (+ democracy), despite genocide they have improved.

      Also the whole “Northern Protestants are the only ones who believe in liberty” is a bit silly.

      Worst comes to worst, we can at least agree to disagree.

      1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        OK, so show me the John Locke of Japan.

        Or the Adam Smith of South America.

        But start with the Martin Luther of the Islamic world.

        1. avatar lolinski says:

          Don’t have to, ain’t my battle nor my job. I just want to make people think and have an open mind.

          Of course I have a pick in the last one. Believe it or not but Protestantism and Islam do have similarities (+ both don’t like the Catholic chrurch).

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protestantism_and_Islam#Comparative_elements

          Of course the fundamentalist elements get all the attention, you won’t see for instance me in the news.

      2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        And, for the record, “improvement” in Rwanda isn’t difficult. All they had to do was stop slaughtering people by the tens of thousands and kill people in only the 100’s per week, and that’s an improvement.

        When your country has devolved into the horror that Rwanda had, there’s nothing possible to do but improve.

  23. avatar Nighthawk says:

    Under Saddam civilian firearms ownership was allowed, this new draconian approach is probably courtesy of the US. Representative governments don’t work in regions where people use religion as their free pass to murder anyone they disagree with. In order to have a secular, somewhat modern nation in the Middle East you need a strongman and his loyal army crushing the religious insanity out of the population to make it work. Remove them and the screaming masses of jihadi psychopaths infest every aspect of the country, kill everyone who opposes or disagrees with them, establish their demented Sharia, destroy the economy, enslave women, then send over “ex-pats” to Europe, Australia and America who exploit our freedoms and social welfare to finance their insanity, breed, and get useful idiot Liberals to defend their hate speech and abhorrent violent culture. It’s an Islamic cancer and we actively had a part in removing the only thing that kept it in check. We saw it in Iraq, we saw it in Libya, we see it happening in Syria and Egypt as well. Democracy is a means to an end for fundamentalists, they don’t cherish its ideals but rather exploit its mechanisms to their own ends, and get the backing of more useful idiots like John McCain to advance their agenda.

  24. avatar IdahoPete says:

    “All politics comes down to a fight for power between those who would enslave others and those who don’t want to be enslaved. Or shot. When push comes to shove, it’s best to be armed.”

    See: Bill of Rights. Amendment II.

    “Folks with guns in their homes were often willing to make their own decisions. That was a fact that had not escaped many governments.”

    -David Drake, in “Skyripper”

    It ain’t about hunting.

  25. avatar jon says:

    Damn, ” accused of working with the US…. forced to dig their own graves” (from video). Imagine if someone has a grudge against their neighbor and they decide to accuse him of working with the US – BANG! Instant revenge.

  26. avatar DerryM says:

    It is now being reported the Iraqi Army with the aide of “volunteers” has won some victories over the invading Sunni ISIS force and prevented ISIS from entering Baghdad. The other day it was reported the ISIS force amounted to less than 1,000 (when they defeated a 25,000 Iraqi Army at Fallujah). Unknown how many ISIS fighters advanced on Baghdad, but since they are extreme extremists, their pool of fresh people to recruit replacement fighters from may be limited to far less than the Iraqi Shi’a majority has to draw upon. This might be over sooner than we expected, and/or give Iran time to get troops to Baghdad to help push ISIS back North again. Apparently, some “elite” Iranian Fighters have got to Baghdad already, but their number was reported as only 150. Also, the Iranians are saying they are “prepared to co-operate with the United States” if we get involved and Iraq asks for Iranian help….talk about strange developments…

    1. avatar John in Ohio says:

      We’ve always been at war with Eastasia.

  27. avatar JAS says:

    Another Vietnam. They can take it all as far as I’m concerned if the right people (whoever that is) don’t have the cojones to fight. When it comes to dealing with the rest of the world it will be a whole different story. If the whole of Iraq goes south it’s just becomes a bigger target, and the bigger the target the harder it is to miss.

  28. avatar Panzercat says:

    The only countries we have ever occupied and later turned into hard allies were ones that occupied for a very long time. It creates a central power and long term stability. It’s also a lesson we seem to completely ignore time and time again.

    1. avatar philthegardner says:

      The US got lucky with the Philippines. Don’t think they’ll get lucky again

  29. avatar H.R. says:

    The conflict in Iraq shows that it’s not just a weapon that makes one an effective fighter. The proper mindset is also necessary. The Kurds, fighting for their homeland, seem to have that. The Iraqi army, festooned with more American weapons than I could ever dream of, is not loyal to the Iraqi government and does not have the mindset. Thousands of soldiers put to flight by a few hundred guys with AK’s – arming the Iraqis was one of the worst investments we’ve made lately.

    Having said that, maybe ISIS can use some of the American hardware they’ve recently acquired to finally oust Bashar al Assad.

    1. avatar lolinski says:

      And f*** up the region even more? What you guys don’t understand about these “tyrants” is that they are primarily secular and keep all the different religious crazies from starting a civil war. Just look at Lybia, prosperous contry until the crazies were riled up enough and now it is per definiton a shithole.

      1. avatar H.R. says:

        Self determination.

  30. avatar Anonymous says:

    The solution is for everyone to join ISIS – then they can have a gun. Then together they can all drive the oil stealing infidels out of their region.

  31. avatar Gordy says:

    Bush went in to Iraq because Sadaam was boasting about how he supported the murder of 3000 innocents, 2001. That was 11 years ago! Bush has had no involvement with oil companies for at least 15 years.No power and silent for six. Nobody forced this African, and at least 50,000,000 of us thought he was a fool, to take the job. This is the usual left wing mess that happens every 8 years. I can fault Bush on not planning for it. He should have known and allowed for in his last couple of years the likelihood of a Democrat foul up just like Vietnam, Korea, and both World Wars!

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