No better advice.

When “Shrubya” left office, he had said of the American narrative, “We left too many people behind” (perhaps not before exploiting them — or doing a lot of business with the tyrants who represented them).

In any case, weak states invite an audacious violence, and today, it appears to Iraq’s turn to be a state so weak as to have its military flee the arrival of the worst of the worst — the baddest ever — of Islamist shock troops.

Forget about the loot, although coming into a cool half-a-billion bucks of someone else’s money inside of a day is a pretty good heist for a barbarian, the same will have access to Iraqi military uniforms, equipage, and materiel.

There will be a blood bath.

One correspondent suggested yesterday that the “big picture” was to draw Shiites into battle within a larger (certainly vicious)  Sunni environment and destroy it.

To a modern ear, it sounds implausible; to a medieval spirit, it might just be on track:

Shiite religious leaders, including Iraq’s top Shiite cleric, used Friday prayers to call on the faithful to take up arms against the radical Sunni Muslim insurgents. In the Shiite holy city of Karbala, a representative of Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani urged anyone who can carry a weapon to “defend the country, the citizens and the holy sites.”

Morris, Loveday and Liz Sly.  “Volunteers flock to defend Baghdad as insurgents seize more Iraqi territory.”  The Washington Post, June 13, 2014.


Come forward of our respective ethnic religious positions.


Global challenges and issues : global innovation and response.



I have followed the Islamic Small Wars for some years now, but with the blessing of the Ukrainian Revolution, Euromaidan, one realizes the true axis of conflict throughout the world is not Islam but simply The Despotic vs The Democratic.

Political mafia has their good thing going on one side while political idealists struggle to get good things going on the other side.

Here: liberal communitarian.  Better public policy : improved benchmarks in qualities of living.

Through chat this morning with a conversational partner 220 kilometers south of Baghdad, two signal nouns — among much else — surfaced in the course of the talk.

First was the suggestion that to Iraq’s Sunni community, events of the moment signal a Third Battle of al-Qaeisiyyah, the first, of course, taking place in 636 CE with the Islamic conquest of Persia and the second represented by Saddam Hussein’s assault on Iran.  Here again comes an essential Arab Sunni expansion of territory.

Item two: the idea that the granddaughter of King David, a Jewess, gave birth to al-Mahdi, the disappeared 12th Imam expected to return to mankind as the Messiah, a note signalling the Jewish heritage involved in Shiite Islam.

In response, I noted that for institutional development, the base — 🙂 — in reality may have been the compassion, ethics, and decision making methods laid out by Hillel the Elder, the older and near contemporary of Jesus (Hillel appears to have lived between, approximately, 35 BCE and 10 CE).  Then: Jesus-Paul-Constantine (not quite at the same time) to be followed centuries later by General Muhammad.

With access to Judaism blocked by Jewish ethnicity and varied histories of enmity — it’s no secret, however, that the first Christian were Jews, as was Jesus Jewish — the authors of each New True Religion would set out to destroy the Old, but that old time religion

has proven the “good religion that it used to be”.

The United States contains multiple — thousands of — separate cultural, ethnic, and religious communities with each their influence in local, regional, and state politics beneath the aegis of a Federal system that maintains the autonomy and security of each in its (this with apologies to Native Americans) fairly obtained and settled place.  This heightened level of the political integration of many cultures — and kinds of people — into a unified representative polity seems practically unknown in the middle east.

In that inability to appreciate and enjoy differences is a root feeding energy to conflict without end.

The psychological reality: language programming and scripting sustained in the only seemingly attractive legacy of lore and legend compels proofing through violence, and so there they are in Syria and Iraq reveling in cruelty, murder, and plunder, believing with justification that they represent the best and most noble of Islam.

Captivated, energized, powered up, and speeding along at full throttle, such as ISIS cannot channel themselves out of the state — the mentality — in which they first soak and then drown themselves and others insensate in blood.

As with “malignant narcissists” of other type — Bashar al-Assad’s a fine example today — there is no “off button”: in their heads, their program is working just fine.

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