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MurphTheSurf3 On August - 21 - 2014


How to stop ISIS, a group too hardline even for al-Qaida, in control of $3 Billion, 30,000 men and a lot of captured U.S. arms, with minds and hearts focused on the creation of a Sunni Fundamentalist Caliphate, is emerging as a most important topic among world leaders. The ISIS video of James Foley’s beheading is shocking in its cruelty and brutality and it seems to have ratcheted up the resolve to bring down the group and its incipient Caliphate. The question is how to do this.


Led by an Iraqi, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Isis (the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant – al-Sham in Arabic) has an well deserved reputation for brutality in Syria, and northern Iraq which it justifies as the will of God required of the Sunni Faithful to purge the world of heretics and infidels. The group employees mass execution, beheading, amputation, crucifixion and wide scale assassination of opposing leader and their families.

Isis has its roots in al-Qaida in Iraq. The Islamic State of Iraq (ISI)’s involvement in the Syrian conflict was indirect at first but Abu Muhammad al-Joulani, an ISI member, established Jabhat al-Nusra in mid-2011, which became the main jihadi group in the Syrian war.

Baghdadi sought to gain influence over the increasingly powerful Jabhat al-Nusra but differences over ideology and strategy soon led to bitter infighting leading to a public repudiation by al-Qaida who called on Isis to leave Syria and return to Iraq.


Money. The oilfields of Syria, commandeered in 2012, funds from captured banks, the sale of Syrian antiquities, and the direct support of very wealthy sponsors in Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and to a lesser extent, Jordan and Turkey. Sometimes the support comes with the tacit nod of approval from those regimes. Often it takes advantage of poor money laundering protections in those states.

“Everybody knows the money is going through Kuwait and that it’s coming from the Arab Gulf,” said Andrew Tabler, senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “Kuwait’s banking system and its money changers have long been a huge problem because they are a major conduit for money to extremist groups in Syria and now Iraq.”

ISIS has been buying arms from the black market for years and it has plenty of money to do it. But, its invasion of Iraq resulted in a massive windfall of U.S. arms left behind by American force as part of its agreements with Iraq. The Iraq military abandoned huge stockpiles of weapons and ammo.

Zealotry. Baghdadi believes that the world’s Muslims should live under one Islamic state ruled by sharia law, the first step towards which is establishing a caliphate spanning Syria and Iraq. Many of those in leadership top tier are battle-hardened veterans of the insurgency against the US whose ideological purity is clear.

Charles Lister, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, Doha, wrote in a paper last month: “Isis now presents itself as an ideologically superior alternative to al-Qaida within the jihadi community and it has publicly challenged the legitimacy of al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. As such it has increasingly become a transnational movement with immediate objectives far beyond Iraq and Syria.”

The Iraqis.
The failure of Iraqi military forces to stand up to ISIS forces in the north not only resulted in the seizure of lots of territory, arms and money but it gave the ISIS forces an aura of invincibility and inevitability.


The “Iraqis”. With the removal of Prime Minister Maliki there will be efforts to create a real coalition government reflecting the Shia-Sunni-Kurd-Christian makeup of the country but there is little doubt that the Kurds are acting more and more as an independent power with the approval of Baghdad. Their armed forces, urged on by Shiite religious leaders and moderate Sunni religious leaders, will be the boots on the ground.

The U.S.. America will provide air power (manned and unmanned), intelligence, training and operations expertise, and arms.

Iran, the UK, France, Germany and ?. It appears that the U.S. and other European allies have been in discussions with Iran for several months. The Wall Street Journal continues to provide update on  Washington talks with Tehran on ways to push back the militants. Whether this will extend to military coordination – US air strikes, or drone intelligence in support of Iranian Revolutionary Guards or Iraqi units – is up in the air. Iranian Revolutionary Guard were at the ready to defend Baghdad earlier in the summer and have provided tactical assistance.

Prime Minister David Cameron has noted that Britain must be prepared to ally itself with Iran to combat the “shared threat” of Sunni Islamist extremists in Iraq and Syria who want to create “a terrorist state” that could extend to “the shores of the Mediterranean.”

Germany and France have now agreed to participate in arming anti-ISIS forces and to provide other logistical support.

The Home Countries of The ISIS Funders. Pressure is mounting on the governments of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait et.al. to interdict the flow of cash from wealthy sympathizers and supporters to ISIS.

Islamic Religious Leadership. Ayatollah Ali Sistani of Iraq, Indonesia Ulem Council, Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam of Egypt, IUMS (the International Union of Muslim Scholars), Mehmet Gormez of Turkey and a host of others have condemned ISIS for a variety of behaviors including the destruction of mosques, shrines and threats to destroy holy cities including Mecca and Medina.

In the U.S., CAIR (The Council on America-Islamic Relations) has made its position clear: “American Muslims view the actions of ISIS as un-Islamic and morally repugnant. No religion condones the murder of civilians, the beheading of religious scholars or the desecration of houses of worship. We condemn the actions of ISIS and reject its assertion that all Muslims are required to pay allegiance to its leader. CAIR strongly urges American imams and other community leaders to continue to speak out against American Muslims traveling abroad to join extremist groups and sectarian militias. While ISIS uses romanticized imagery in its propaganda materials, its human rights abuses on the ground are well-documented.”









Cross-posted at Daily Kos, and Yabberz.

Written by MurphTheSurf3

Proud to be an Independent Progressive. I am a progressive- a one time Eisenhower Republican who is now a Democrat. I live in a very RED STATE and am a community activist with a very BLUE AGENDA. Historian, and "Gentleman Farmer."

25 Responses so far.

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  1. monicaangela says:

    Murph, you forgot to mention this:

    The former employee at US National Security Agency (NSA), Edward Snowden, has revealed that the British and American intelligence and the Mossad worked together to create the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

    Snowden said intelligence services of three countries created a terrorist organisation that is able to attract all extremists of the world to one place, using a strategy called “the hornet’s nest”.

    NSA documents refer to recent implementation of the hornet’s nest to protect the Zionist entity by creating religious and Islamic slogans.

    According to documents released by Snowden, “The only solution for the protection of the Jewish state “is to create an enemy near its borders”.

    Leaks revealed that ISIS leader and cleric Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi took intensive military training for a whole year in the hands of Mossad, besides courses in theology and the art of speech.

    The diabolical relationship between the U.S. and Israel needs to be exposed. It appears the schemes of this to nations have been going on for quite some time. Check this out:

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      The video you left is from 1991.

      The Inside Story of the U.S.-Israeli Covert Relationship: Money, Mossad, and the CIA (1991)

      This is a C span program.

      I can see a connection IF the first part of the submission, the supposed Snowden claim, is true.

      As I note, it seems to be a hoax- origin. Iran.

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      This appears to be a hoax.


      Closing Paragraph
      “Middle Eastern publications have been circulating a rumor that Snowden’s NSA leak reveals “Operation Hornet’s Nest,” an American, British and Israeli plot to create the Islamic State to destabilize the Middle East.

      This isn’t the first time Iranian publications have mischaracterized the Islamic State as an American creation, but it is the first time Snowden’s name has been attached. Sources with access to Snowden’s documents have directly refuted the hoax. The Islamic State started as an al-Qaida offshoot, and there’s no reason to believe otherwise.

      We rate this claim Pants on Fire!”


      Concluding paragraph

      “Why IRNA had to concoct something so obviously fictional as a fake Snowden interview to bolster the narrative is still unclear. Even Shariatmadari, editor of Kayhan, is mystified. “I thought this interview was strange too, because all this happened after Snowden had access to those documents,” he tells TIME. Nonetheless, he ran the story on his front page as well.”

      • monicaangela says:

        Explain it away if you like, my point is this: Operation Cyclone was the code name for the United States Central Intelligence Agency program to arm and finance the Afghan mujaheddin prior to and during the Soviet war in Afghanistan, 1979 to 1989. The program leaned heavily towards supporting militant Islamic groups that were favored by neighboring Pakistan, rather than other, less ideological Afghan resistance groups that had also been fighting the Marxist-oriented Democratic Republic of Afghanistan regime since before the Soviet intervention. Operation Cyclone was one of the longest and most expensive covert CIA operations ever undertaken;[1] funding began with $20–$30 million per year in 1980 and rose to $630 million per year in 1987.[2] Funding continued after 1989 as the Mujahideen battled the forces of Mohammad Najibullah’s PDPA during the Civil war in Afghanistan (1989–1992).

        ISIS is an offshoot from AlQaeda, AlQaeda was known as the Mujahaddin, ran by our operative Osama Bin Laden…refute that. If this is a group that belonged to Al Qaeda, whether they were expelled for being too brutal or not is neither here nor there is irrelevant, they were a part of Al Qaeda, we did covertly support that group and for years denied it.

        I will at the same time here under this remark be answering your other question regarding the 1991 video. Did you watch the video? My point in posting it was to make the connection between the U.S., Europe, and Israel. Did you watch the part regarding the six day war? What the authors of the book say in the video and in print in their book has not been refuted. Watch the video, don’t worry about what year it was made..I of course realize what year it was made. My point was that even if the story about ISIS was made up, it is not far from the truth of what is going on in the Middle East involving the CIA, Mossad, MI-5, the DGSE and others.

        You only have to watch that video, or read that book which is much better and more informative than the video to know just how interwoven we are with Israel, and just how obvious the fact that these groups are created by the actions of this Deadly Alliance.

        • MurphTheSurf3 says:

          I am not explaining it away. I offer two sources that make it clear that the Snowden piece is a total fabrication.

          NOW…if you want my agreement the U.S., Israel and a number of European powers have connived together in all kind of schemes….you got. It is just that this was not one of them.

  2. Nirek says:

    Murph, I agree that we should not be the force that does the job. To overcome the enemy the people of the region need to do it. We can assist though with air strikes.

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      I knew a marine, still do, who was from a Pakistani family that came to the U.S. when he was 15. They guy had a gift for languages and he spent time in both Afghanistan and Iraq….he was a “community relations officer”. I wrote this down: “Conquerorers, even those with the best of intentions, eventually fail because they are not OF the place which they now occupy. They cannot even communicate except through intermediaries….much less think and feel as native people do.”

      and that is why we cannot be the ones on the ground.

  3. AdLib says:

    Murph, the NY Times claims that ISIS has half the number of fighters you mention in your post, they say it is about 17,000.


    That’s still a lot but a lot less to have to battle.

    • Kalima says:

      Constant sources I post on MB, seem to agree on about 10,000. I don’t have time to check it out now but I do link to and read current stories on a regular basis as you know.

      Here is one example from June this year.


      How has Isis grown so powerful and who will stop it? – Q&A

      The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, too hardline even for al-Qaida, is believed to control about $2bn and 10,000 men


    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      The numbers vary widely. Here is one that uses 30,000 -- 50,000.

      “The number of militants now fighting with the Islamic State, according to a recent estimate by Dr. Hisham al-Hashimi, an expert on the group. Many former Iraqi Army soldiers have been forced to join and others have been recruited from around the region and beyond.”

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/11/isis-iraq-numbers_n_5659239.html from http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/07/40000-iraqis-stranded-mountain-isis-death-threat

      • AdLib says:

        He may be correct but he is the only one I can find claiming this and it seems a bit far fetched to go all the way up to 50,000.

        I get very suspicious when there is one person like this represented as an expert who makes claims far outside of what other sources represent.

        You remember how this kind of thing happened before the war in Iraq, with Ahmed Chalabi and “Curve Ball” regarded as experts making claims that were highly exaggerated and used by the neocons as evidence for why we needed to go to war in Iraq.

        My concern is that al-Hashimi could be this type of exaggerating expert as well, used to justify greater military involvement.

        We need corroborating, independent evidence to be sure, not trust one man who may or may not have an agenda. The NYT disputes his count and al-Hashimi’s high number is five times higher than NYT’s low number, I wouldn’t hang my hat on either’s count right now but I find the assertion of up to 50,000 as very hard to believe, with an army that huge they would be able to take over Syria relatively quickly then take Iraq down.

        • MurphTheSurf3 says:

          I generally trust the Guardian. I have seen the 10 to 15 thousand figure as well and it might well be more accurate.

          What I am reading is that the 10,000 might have been an accurate number when they were just in Syria, but they seem to have grown significantly since.

          The Daily Mail offers a similar analysis: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2669218/ISIS-doubles-size-one-fell-swoop-merges-al-Qaedas-15-000-strong-Syrian-offshoot-border-Iraq.html

          I would be ok with the lower number as long as it was accompanied by a statement that “there are reports that the size of the force may have grown significantly since the invasion of Iraq when ISIS began to recruit aggressively among the Sunni population there.”

          • AdLib says:

            Murph, generally, I do like the Guardian but when I see the same expert being quoted by multiple news entities and his representations aren’t in line with other experts, I put that aside until I see at least two other verifications.

            I think his numbers are suspect for practical reasons but also because he doesn’t have an organization that could be doing the legwork needed…he’s just making an assumption from all I can see.

            Not trying to make this a big deal out of this but as the war machine seems to be roaring to life, experts like this who may be exaggerating the enemy and threat can end up being the one whose quotes are echoed by those rallying for a misguided war.

            I’m concerned that the success of our limited air strike war on ISIS could lead to a much larger and broader war that could turn out to be another disaster.

            And as we saw with Iraq, there’s never a shortage of experts who can serve the goals of war mongers in their quest for war.

            • MurphTheSurf3 says:

              Which is why I agreed to a different wording. The figure of 10,000 is the one that emerged out of Syria, the forces fighting Assad. Clearly it has grown since entering Iraq. But by how much? Thu my alternative wording which you are free to put into place. I have a new favorite quote a former Marine who is a current friend. He is from a Pakistani family that came to the U.S. when he was 15. The guy has a gift for languages and he spent time in both Afghanistan and Iraq….he was a “community relations officer”. I wrote this down: “Conquerorers, even those with the best of intentions, eventually fail because they are not OF the place which they now occupy. They cannot even communicate except through intermediaries….much less think and feel as native people do.” I think Obama and his crowd know that and believe it.

  4. RSGmusic says:

    OH Murph, brilliant article.

    Nice analysis of what needs to happen to defeat Isis.

    Have you every read “Dune” by frank Herbert ? If you have equate oil to melange. A spice that gives one long life and medically slows the bodies deterioration.
    1 The tactic are the same gain control of the spice (oil )
    2 In this case and the money that drives it.
    3 Gain control of the spacing guild and the transportation of the spice ( Oil )
    4 gain control of religious faction (The witches guild) Isis that controls the leaders of the Jihad. IN this case the different religions facing the area to stop the extremists.
    5 The military might the emperor has in this case Isis.

    They have been fighting this war for thousands of yrs. Your correct in solving the problem now.

    The important thing is to maintain the government that evolves.
    The winning factions can not separate to do the same thing as Isis.

    This is a deviation of ” Dune ”
    Suggestions as to what government that might be is a Parliament. The number of parties being at least 5. That would make them have to compromise to do the same thing. Of course the vestment of space gave each faction the own planets. In this case 5 areas to control the oil flow to world.

    Now how to do the military part without putting america troops on the ground. yep the Air strikes is the first step but the rest of the world will have to make up the ground troops along with the Iraqi military that evolves.

    Yes the best article yet.
    I looked up prior battles of the world but to get the full plan went to science fiction to confirm your 5 steps in the present time.

    I hope you enjoy the analogy.

    America may drop out if we have to put troops on the ground.
    This leaves England France and perhaps Saudi Arabia to do the Air strikes of your plan.

    Bravo Murph.

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      Now to respond to your ideas about the current situation.

      Your ideas are creative, interesting and applicable but no matter what is done it must be done at the local and regional level and not be us or our allies.

      I knew a marine, still do, who was from a Pakistani family that came to the U.S. when he was 15. The guy had a gift for languages and he spent time in both Afghanistan and Iraq….he was a “community relations officer”. I wrote these words of his down: “Conquerorers, even those with the best of intentions, eventually fail because they are not OF the place which they now occupy. They cannot even communicate except through intermediaries….much less think and feel as native people do.”

      That is something that George HW Bush understood and it is that knowledge upon which he acted in the Gulf War- a military intervention that I regard as a textbook model for how to do this kind of thing well.

      • RSGmusic says:

        Yes agreed Murph.

        That is why they need a Parliament government.
        The 4 or more sections of the Parliament must work together. In other words create communications within themselves.

        Saying from ( The child of nature )

        ” TO understand why things are done, you must communicate with how things are done. IN the middle is reason which must be in the WHY and the COMMUNICATIONS. A 4 sided object in 2 dimensions is the start of a stable issue. A 4 sided object in 3 dimensions is a stable issue. Both exist in the 4th dimension of time.”

        DO you know who ( The Child of Nature ) Is?

        A synthesizer can create any instrument made and others that have not been created yet.

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:


      Love it.

      Of course Herbert was doing just as you say.

      Set in the distant future amidst a feudal interstellar society in which noble houses, in control of individual planets, owe allegiance to the Padishah Emperor, Dune tells the story of young Paul Atreides, whose noble family accepts the stewardship of the desert planet Arrakis. As this planet is the only source of the “spice” melange, the most important and valuable substance in the universe, control of Arrakis is a coveted — and dangerous — undertaking.

      Dune has been called the “first planetary ecology novel on a grand scale.

      Lorenzo DiTommaso compared Dune’s portrayal of the downfall of a galactic empire to Edward Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire which argues that Christianity led to the fall of Ancient Rome. Many other “falls of empire” can also be seen in this story.

      Many words, titles and names (e.g. the Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV, Hawat, Bashar, Harq-al-Ada) in the Dune universe as well as a large number of words in the language of the Fremen people are derived or taken directly from Persian and Arabic (e.g. erg, the Arabic word for ‘dune’, is used frequently throughout the novel). Paul’s name (Muad’Dib) means in Arabic ‘the teacher or maker of politeness or literature’.

      Throughout the Dune series and particularly in Dune, Herbert employs concepts and forms borrowed from Zen Buddhism and Mystic Islam.

      • RSGmusic says:

        Yes you got it Murph like always.

        You even have the correct ending paragraph.

        Again congratulations on the article.

        Saying of ( The Child of nature )

        ” IN the sands of time, time flow over and over again. It
        Slides in back currents and the falling sands hide the future of the conflicts that occur to change history. ”

        A synthesizer can create any instrument made and others that have not be created yet.

        • MurphTheSurf3 says:

          Very welcome. Thank you for making the connection…I had not…..today’s middle east look much more like the Arrakis of Dune than it did in 1966 when Herbert published his first volume of the saga.

          • RSGmusic says:

            Yes I agree.

            Sayings from ( The Child of Nature )

            ” A gift from the giver is made by the giver.
            A gift from the receiver is made by the receiver.”

            The two gifts made may be of different values but it matters not in the exchange.

            A synthesizer can create any instrument made and others that have not been created yet.

  5. MurphTheSurf3 says:


    Halting ISIS Would Require Attacks in Syria, Top General Says

    WASHINGTON — The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria cannot be defeated unless the United States or its allies take on the Sunni militancy in Syria, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Thursday afternoon.

    “This is an organization that has an apocalyptic end-of-days strategic vision that will eventually have to be defeated,” the chairman, Gen. Martin Dempsey, said in his most expansive public remarks on the crisis since American airstrikes began in Iraq. “Can they be defeated without addressing that part of the organization that resides in Syria? The answer is no.”

    But both General Dempsey and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who appeared beside him during a Pentagon news conference, deflected questions about whether the United States military would pursue the Sunni militants from Iraq into Syria, an issue that many defense experts say lies at the heart any attempt to defeat ISIS.


  6. AdLib says:

    Murph, what a fantastic overview and background on ISIS and the conflict.

    It does seem that the formula to crushing ISIS isn’t so complex but it is difficult. It begins with Iraq’s new government being more inclusive and undermining anti-government support of ISIS by Iraqis. The Kurds are regrouped militarily and getting more support from the US and US air strikes have clearly been hurting ISIS. But the Arab nations supporting ISIS need to be stopped. They give legitimacy and backing that greatly strengthens them.

    A real complication is that Syria and Iran are also enemies of ISIS. Will other adversaries work with them at risk of undermining our policies against them?

    ISIS is an enemy of all civilized nations including most Arab nations. They have enemies in all directions, they are doomed as long as their destruction remains the focus.

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      Really good summary.

      Question…can you play this paragraph out a bit more. I think I know where you are going with this but I’d rather you spell it so I do not head down the wrong read. “Other adversaries of whom”- us, ISIS, the Syrian government, Iran?

      “A real complication is that Syria and Iran are also enemies of ISIS. Will other adversaries work with them at risk of undermining our policies against them?”

      I hope we get some others jumping into this discussion here. It is interesting. I have posted this a four sites and the discussion is limited. Looking at other posts on the topic, it is the same. Is this topic too fearsome, too complex, too nuanced, too foreign? That, in and of itself, is worth discussing. My sense is that many Americans hate what Isis is doing but they keep hoping that the Justice League of America or the The Avengers will how up and take care of them. Well this is as close as we are going to get to that.



      This is tough stuff and I am glad that we have The Commander in Chief we do.

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      Things seem to be moving rapidly in this area. PM Cameron has called for a meeting of NATO leaders with their Middle Eastern counterparts immediately.

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