Category Archives: Kurds

The Professor’s op-ed on the Middle East and the U.S.

In between honors classes one day, the Professor thought, “I just can’t stand it any longer. No one is telling the people the truth about the Middle East. Does the Obama Administration and the Clinton campaign think we are too dumb? Trump’s instincts are good, but he needs to bone up on the area. The Russians are not in the Middle East to fight ISIS and Putin is not about to make any deals that do not further his plan to hold a naval base on the Mediterranean and to be a major on the ground player in the oil patch. I just have to write an op-ed piece.”

He pulled his keyboard toward him, looked out over the bay, and began to write.

First, there are a couple of truths about our strategic past in the Middle East. Forget the lines and names drawn on maps of the Middle East. Think of the area divided between the Sunni Muslims and the Shia Muslims with the nation of Israel maintaining a stronghold in the midst of the struggle for dominance by the Shia and Sunnis. The Iranians are the leaders of the Shias and the Saudis, Arabs of the Gulf States and Egypt leading the Sunni opposition.

ISIS, al-Qaeda and their splinter groups are Sunni. The Obama-Clinton group has thrown American support to the Iranians, who want to use their new power to dominate the Middle East. President Obama always intended to follow the Shia/Iranian lead. That is why the abrupt pullout of U.S. troops from Iraq as soon as Obama came to power. The Iranians wanted the U.S. forces out of Iraq so that the Iraqi Shia could assume full control over the Iraqi military and economy and oust Sunnis from the military and government. (Remember, the Iraqi led Sunni government under Saddam Hussein fought a very bloody war against the Iranians.)

The Iraqi Shia government is now firmly allied with Iran. This is a government in name only. Iranians control all major moves in their drive to control a Shia empire of what is now Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. ISIS with all the terrible atrocities they have committed represented Sunni opposition to Iranian strategic goals. When they are destroyed, the strongest power on the ground will be Iran. When Mosel falls, it will be with the heavy involvement of Iranian weapons and ground forces. The Turks will stay within their territory and the only other viable fighting force, the Kurds, will be isolated with dreams of their own homeland shattered. With all of the talk from Washington about arming the Kurds, we never did. The Iranians and the Turks do not want the Kurds to be armed with modern weapons. All the arms we said were being sent to the Kurds went through the Baghdad Shia government that never sent them onward. The Obama Administration, of course, knew the Kurds would never receive the weapons. There is literally nothing the Iranians want that the Obama/Clinton group will not do their best to supply. Just look at the recent deal Obama made with Iran on their nuclear weapons program. While not called a treaty, that was what this deal is. Why take that route? Simply a way to avoid the need for Congressional ratification. We, the people, and Congress still have not seen all the pieces of this executive action.

On the Russian side, Putin is a modern day czar of Russia. His goal is to re-establish as much of the old Soviet Empire as possible. The weakness of the Obama presidency has given him a grand opening. For many centuries, Russian czars dreamed and planned to acquire a warm-water port for their navy. Without firing a shot or endangering Russian soldiers, he has acquired Tartus in Syria as a Russian warm-water port. That is now a fact. The fleet is there and weapons to defend it are in place. Putin will do what he must to support Assad. He is not in Syria to fight ISIS. Aleppo is the only evidence anyone should need. ISIS was not there but Syrian anti-Assad forces were. The city is now rubble as a result of Russian historic lack of concern for collateral deaths when their critical national interests are involved. Since Iran is the local protector and supporter of Assad and Syria, Putin will make any deal necessary with Iran to protect his naval base at Tartus and his new role in Middle Eastern oil. Obama’s plan for Iranian hegemony in the Middle East is on solid ground with both U.S. and Russia supporting Iran and the Shia Muslims.

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iraqAt best Iraq, is a small Shiite nation with a port on the Persian Gulf and with a rich heritage of Shiite sites and some oil fields. Its past history of being a Middle Eastern military power capable of challenging Iran is gone. Its military was largely made up of Sunni tribes and Kurds; it is now almost purely Shiite. The United States moved from being Iraq’s most powerful enemy to being its primary supporter.

As its enemy, America destroyed Hussein’s military and political infrastructure. As its supporter, we presided over Iraq’s demise and the rise of ISIS. The White House, the State Department and the Pentagon still call the area that Saddam Hussein controlled Iraq. But it no longer exists. It evaporated with the withdrawal of American presence years ago. When the Pentagon and the State Department speak of the progress of the Iraqi Army they support, they are talking about the Shiite Army under Baghdad control. Any success of the Iraqi army on the battlefield is dependent solely on American and Iranian forces.

The Iraqi Army could not take Fallujah and hold it without American and Iranian support. The same is true for Mosel. Iranian militias will continue to provide the Iraqi Army with thousands of Shiite ground troops. The only winner in what used to be Iraq will be Iran. When very weak but rich nations border powerful nations, they often end up being absorbed. The term Iraq may continue to refer to Baghdad and areas South, but it will most likely be a province of Iran. I believe the White House is totally prepared for Iran to absorb Iraq.

When America and its allies defeat ISIS, they must be careful not to let the entire area of Sunni Tribes and Kurds also be absorbed by Iran. You can draw up a scenario which shows an American led coalition victory over ISIS could end up adding territory, people and oil wealth to Iran. Neither the Kurds or the Sunnis, alone or together, can withstand Iran. Only U.S. forces can do that. Under this administration or a Clinton progressive follow on, American forces will not be deployed against Iran. The transformation strategy of the Obama era for the Middle East will have taken a giant step forward.


My latest novel, The Sub Rosa Manuscript, gives, I believe, a clear understandable account of the steady erosion of the personal and economic freedom we inherited from the sacrifices of those who went before us. It is now our turn to protect our inheritance by rejecting the empty promises of progressivism.

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Nov. 19, 2015: It is no secret U.S. military forces operating in Syria and Iraq are under very tight rules of engagement to avoid civilian deaths. The rules are so unrealistic that many planes return to base with their full load of ordnance. Fuel trucks carrying ISIS oil to sell for the money needed to finance their Caliphate were not routinely attacked. Critical ISIS ground targets were untouched. Does this president care that much about civilian deaths or exposing our warriors to danger from the restraints placed upon their actions? I don’t think so. There is another reason for ‘no boots on the ground’ and restraints on both air and grObama vs militaryound operations. Our leader does not want American power in the Middle East that would check the spread of the Iranian empire and curtail Iranian support to their Shiite allies in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, and Iraq. His transformation is not limited to America. If he were serious about destroying ISIS, we would have armed the Kurds with the weapons they have been requesting, conducted thousands of sorties per week against ISIS on the ground, and be leading an effective ground force of U.S. and coalition forces. Instead of NATO leading the way, Putin’s Russia is now the go-to leader in the Middle East while American power and will to act is suspect in the lands of friends and enemies. Judging by the erosion of American power over the last seven years, transformation is working on schedule.

Nov. 20, 2015: Of all the things that worry me in watching the president use his transformation process to drastically change America into a progressive, socialist nation, I am most concerned that more than half of the voters elected this man two times. Surely it was clear after his first term that he wasn’t either equipped or motivated to solve America’s problems. He has not brought the nation together. His actions have attempted to divide America along class lines. Maybe democracy cannot work without the rule of law and constitutional checks and balances limiting the actions of the majority. Today, we have the government we deserve.

Nov. 27, 2015: It’s TRANSFORMATION, DUMMY. The only way to understand this president’s actions and non-actions is to understand everything is about transforming America and its international objectives. Harping about climate change being our greatest threat is only because the details of climate change will amount to one of the largest redistributions of wealth in history. Redistribution of wealth is the main pillar of the transformation process. When you are wondering how any president could make a deal that enables Iran to spread power in the Middle East, allow Chinese and Russian expansion, cripple American industry, tie American energy production in spools of red tape, disrespect our traditional allies, and reduce our armed forces, think TRANSFORMATION. For it’s the president’s bottom line, all the time.

Nov. 30, 2015: How can any so-called group of world leaders meet to discuss “climate change” as the No. 1 threat to civilization when mayhem is stalking the world in the name of Islamic radicalism and Russian expansion? Most of them smell money in the form of dollars. A few are like our progressive president who want to spread wealth from the industrialized world to the developing world. The others just want the wealth climate control legislation will send their way. This group is sane. The others believe that under their management, big government can solve any problem, even those that do not exist. We all know climate change has occurred and will continue to occur. What only those who are privy to the ‘political science’ of progressivism know, is that people cause climate change by the release of ‘dangerous amounts’ of carbon dioxide by burning fossil fuel as an energy source. There is absolutely no evidence to support this belief. Instead, it is a perfect example of the insanity of depending on international bodies that progressives believe should prevail over all people regardless of their national citizenship.


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Advisor's vault doorBy his first comment, the Advisor could tell he had hit a presidential nerve. In an angry voice, the President said, “What do you mean I live in a different universe?”

“Simply judging by your last speech on the terrorism incident in San Bernardino, California. You focused on gun control, said don’t blame Islam, touted the success of your existing strategy against ISIS or ISIL and the effectiveness of your multination coalition, and the arming of Sunni and Kurdish forces with more Special Forces support and a continuation of the bombing of ISIS targets and the need for patience. Are you not aware that no one believes any of this?” The Advisor waved one of his arms across the table.

The President sat back in his chair. “You are so wrong. All my advisors, those who don’t live in a cave, tell me my speech was near perfect. I know my transformation program is going well. I’m close to closing Guantanamo Bay and issuing an executive order to strengthen existing gun regulations.”

The Advisor paused. “I don’t believe any of that has anything real to do with the threat from Islamic jihadists. Your statement that the Islamic religion has nothing to do with terrorist attacks is neither accurate nor believable by anyone living in the modern world. Of course, not all Muslims are terrorists, but nearly all of today’s terrorist attacks are carried out by Muslims in the name of Islam. Moderate Muslims are not speaking out against jihadists and are not helping to prevent the radicals from taking control of the Islamic world. What do you think the Caliphate ISIS is establishing is all about? Closing Guantanamo Bay and more gun control regulation actions make people wonder what you are thinking about and why aren’t you focusing on the real problem of terrorism being exported from Islamic safe havens?”

“Well, is this the real Advisor exposing his true beliefs? You just don’t understand. Your ancestors never suffered under British colonialism. My grandfather and father both lived under the British boot. They were persecuted for their beliefs.”

“I cannot give you the advice I think you can use without injecting my own set of values and historical information base. No, my ancestors did not suffer under British colonialism. My ancestors were slaves brought from Africa in American and European ships loaded with Africans captured and sold to them by Arab Muslims and some Muslim-Africans with Arab names.

“American blacks fought for and won legal and actual freedom. Freedom wasn’t given to us. We fought for it. That is something you don’t understand about black history in America. You and your Kenyan family never were part of the King crusade. I don’t know about your white mother.

“We blacks have and have had our problems with equality and opportunity in America but we are proud to be Americans. We built a large part of this nation and are just in the last generation coming into enjoying our share in the American dream. Islamic terrorism is not just a threat to wealthy white America, it is a threat to all Americans of all classes. Under rule by the Progressive Party, do you think a boy from your background could become president of the United States? Isn’t that a real example of social mobility between economic classes in America?”

Instead of answering, the President stormed out and slammed the old vault door.

The Advisor thought, he might not come back and at this point, I really don’t care. I’ve no more advice I can offer. It is probably time to make my last entries and close my journal. 




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Advisor's vault door

The Advisor knew the president wanted to talk about domestic policies on his next visit and that would be easy for him. He knew what the president wanted and how he was going about it. The president’s only problem with his domestic policies is that he is running out of time and losing influence in his party,  he thought. If you follow the news reports and are intelligent and skeptical enough to read between the lines, it is apparent the president, who is a political genius in the tactic of changing direction and misdirection, is turning to things he can do with or without Congress.

Hence the turn to ISIS, or ISIL, as the president prefers as it enables him to continue denying that the foundation for a radical Muslim state is already in place. The president’s basic plan will remain the same, even if the words change. His policy is to avoid the use of American military or economic power to achieve nationalistic objectives. In his mind, the world has seen enough of American dominance through capitalism and the use of military power to intervene in world events. The president seems to believe that his one great foreign policy or international accomplishment is in the prevention of American power to solve international problems. Like no other leader, foreign or American, he has driven the U.S. out of the Middle East. The remaining bastions of Western presence in the Middle East will gradually dry up and wither away, much like the last castle strongholds of the Crusaders. The president believes a progressive new world order will emerge to create a better life for all the victims of colonialism and racism. This much he has said right to my face in this very room.

The Advisor paused his musings long enough to pour himself a fresh cup of Sumatra roast coffee and sit back down at his desk. He took a long sniff of the fresh brew and sat back in his chair, the mug warm against his hand.

The president is not a dumb man but neither is he a wise one. His strength comes from his deep commitment to the redistribution of wealth and the destruction of American world dominance. His new strategy for ISIS will not be new. Just different  words. Nothing in his new strategy will adjust to ground-truth reality, but it will avoid even the slightest offense to Iran. The president knows what many of the Pentagon’s analysts have said, but he has no intentions of following any of their advice.

It is clear many foreign policy and military analysts know how ISIS can be controlled. First, Western statesman have to recognize that the Western creation of Iraq after the fall of the Turkish Empire has failed. Iraq has always been an artificial state held together by  vicious and cruel dictatorial leaders. Keeping the Kurds and Iraqi Sunnis individually weak pleased two Western Cold War allies, Turkey and Iran under the Shah. Even today, neither Turkey nor Iran want to see the United States arm and support either the Kurds or the Sunnis. But any American foreign policy that fails to arm and aid the Kurds and Sunnis will fail. The world has changed. Iran is now a deadly enemy and Turkey is becoming more and more driven by a radical Islamic fervor. Both of these old allies fear the establishment on their borders of a Sunni Caliphate made up of major parts of Iraq and Syria .

Rather than arm the Kurds and Sunnis with effective weapons, so far military aid to either of them has been in the form of words, the president will be guided by Iran and Russia’s alliance with Iran and not by what is in America’s interests. Give up on Iraq as a viable nation. Forget about bringing Iran into the family of nations. Let the Kurds and Sunni tribes establish their own borders.  Employ American air power at several times the current level and deploy 10,000 combat and support troops. By combining these changes with a real effort to arm the Kurds and move the Sunni tribes away from ISIS by immediate military and economic support could still be successful, but the president would have to turn his back on Iran and follow American strategic goals. That he will not do.

The Advisor shook his head and sighed heavily, then took a long sip from his mug. If only the president would listen, he thought.

The above is a fictional account of the writing of a legendary but fictional Advisor.

“ISIS: Quiet Justice,” a new Jack Brandon novel by Barry Kelly dealing with ISIS in America, is now available from your local book store, This is the fifth novel in the “Justice”series. Follow the author on Twitter @factsfictions80.

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Advisor's vault door

During one of the long intervals between presidential visits to The Advisor’s underground office, the Advisor thought to himself: if no one else will get history right and correct the false narratives circulating from the White House and the liberal press, my journals and my Facebook account will contain a clear report of what was happening during my term as the Advisor. 

The Bush regime won the war but paved the way for a failed Iraqi government when they destroyed the Iraqi army and the Bath party of Saddam Hussein. None of the existing infrastructure every government needs was left. To make matters worse, the Advisor thought, shaking his head, the Bush administration failed to understand a Shiite/al-Maliki government would never be a check to the Shiite nation of Iran. Instead, the Iranians ended up owning Maliki who preceded to further weaken the Sunnis and the Kurds. For all the American blood and treasure the Bush administration spent in Iraq, little was left for Obama to work with, especially given his primary motive to get out of Iraq as quickly as possible. I doubt President Obama, or either of his inept secretaries of state, ever saw the real geo-political problem a Maliki government would cause. You would think that President Obama, who leans hard in the direction of supporting Sunni Muslims, would have recognized the growth and consequences of Shiite power in Iraq. “Some would argue that he didn’t care about Iraq, his sights were set on using Iran to transform the traditional world order in the Middle East,” he said aloud to no one. “And I am one of them.”

The Advisor sat down at his desk and continued musing. You didn’t need timely intelligence, which Obama claims he never received, to see the Sunni Islamic radicals that joined the rebellion against Syrian Shiite President Assad could easily cross the border into Sunni areas of Iraq. The Sunni tribes alienated by Maliki were ready to provide support in the form of manpower, logistics, weapons, and money. Borders mean nothing if they are not defended.

The result of the ISIS invasion of Iraq is that tribal and religious areas no longer follow the lines drawn by western diplomats after World War I. All remnants of the Shiite/Maliki government are being forced to fall back into Shiite populated areas, primarily south of Baghdad. A realistic map of Iraq will soon show Sunniland, Kurdistan and Shiiteland. The Sunnis and the Kurds will never go back into a centralized Shiite-run government. That failed experiment is over. Only more American blood and treasure could delay the collapse of Iraq, and for what? Our government needs to stop believing an Iraqi centralized government is possible. It is not.

Our policy should be to support the Kurds with modern weapons and monetary aid until their own fighters get properly equipped and to persuade the outside Sunni world to help bring the ISIS under some restraint. In the meantime, use unfettered air power and required boots-on-the-ground to break the advance of ISIS and stop their atrocities against the Christians and other religious groups ISIS is now slaughtering. Some massive evacuations of endangered refugees may be necessary. All because two administrations failed to see the Middle East as it is. Hawks and doves are equally to blame.

With this president’s commitment to Iran. I don’t believe he will allow his administration to support the Kurds or Sunnis in Iraq. They certainly have not sent needed supplies to the Kurds despite their statements to the contrary.

The Advisor sat in silence for a few moments before picking up his pen and putting his thoughts down on a fresh page in his journal.


The above is a fictional account of the writing of a legendary but fictional Advisor.

“ISIS: Quiet Justice,” a new Jack Brandon novel dealing with ISIS in America, is now available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble in print form and nook and Kindle formats.This is the fifth novel in the “Justice”series. Follow the author on Twitter @factsfictions80.

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INSIGHTS 204 — The Advisor’s Core Facts of the Middle East

Advisor's vault door

The Advisor had no trouble putting together the realities of the Middle East, but he spent extra time deciding how to present a picture that would not cause the president to walk out on him during his presentation. The president was intelligent but had a very thin skin for such an accomplished political campaigner. Perhaps, he thought, it is because the truth had no place on his campaign trails. On the campaign, the ends for him clearly justified whatever needed to be done or said to weaken the opposition. The president had taken on board the Saul Alinsky rules totally. The issue is never the issue is his guidance for all his policies and speeches. The man is remarkably consistent and, for his followers, he is brilliant. He can avoid and ignore issues that any previous president would have believed he had to take on.

As he mused over his dilemma, the Advisor worked to stay within his historic guidelines. He had to advise his president to the best of his ability. The fact that he thought this president was clearly focused on destroying the political and economic structure he inherited was a problem, for his responsibility was to advise the president in his role to protect and improve the life of its citizens. If he could be just a little dishonest, he could rationalize that the president wanted to improve America. But in the process of socialization, great harm would be done. Freedom and the ability to rise above the norm would be lost as long as socialism, communism, or progressivism prevailed. He just couldn’t, or more honestly, wouldn’t follow that path.

At that moment, the Advisor’s only phone rang, with the only person he ever spoke to, outside the president, on the other line. Chris Hammond, the chief of the President’s Secret Service detail, said the president would late, somewhere near midnight. Good, he thought, that will give me time for a nap, a shower, and a frozen Indian curry dinner.

It was almost midnight when the Advisor put on a fresh pot of Sumatra dark roast. He was just getting ready to pour himself a cup when the faint alarm sounded and the president entered.

“Welcome, Mr. President. You must be able to smell fresh coffee brewing.”

The president chuckled. “When the coffee is as good as yours, I could smell it for miles, even when it is coming from an underground cave. Your existence is even more constrained than mine. I suspect you have learned to take pleasure in small things.”

“Yes, I have. That is very perceptive of you. There doesn’t seem to be much instant gratification in your life.”

“No, there isn’t. And I think I won’t get much in the next hour or so. Shall we begin? Surprise me.” The president sat back in his seat at the conference table, a cigarette already between his fingers.

“First, some basics. You know most of these but they are important in any discussion of the Middle East, no matter the subject.  The people of the Middle East have a past they are proud of and a present they are not. Tribal allegiance is still a very important factor. Mobility up the social chain is much harder than it is in America where education is the key to improved status. In the Middle East it is religion and revolution. For reasons beyond my understanding Asian and Middle Eastern people have a very long and usually patient view of the time/progress ratio. Americans are only comfortable with instant gratification plus a decade.

“Then, there is the history of religious wars and colonialism when troops from the West with superior weapons and technology subjugated people of the Middle East and attempted to impose Western culture and even religion in the conquered areas. As a result the people of this historic crossroad both admire and hate the West with its superior technology.

“After World War I, diplomats from the West drew national boundaries that failed to consider tribal loyalties, religious affiliations, and the hunger of people for their own homeland. The situation of present-day Kurds is an example. The destruction of  Saddam Hussain’s Iraqi ’empire’ created a vacuum that the Iranians are filling after noting the West had abandoned the region.

“Iran is the dominant single nation in the Middle East today. For decades, they have been working to take control of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen by creating and funding Shiite terrorists groups in all these nations. The West has been ineffective in thwarting the Iranian drive to hegemony in the Middle East. Now the Iranians want to solidify their gains and they need to be a nuclear power to do so. Unless they are presented with strong military and economic resistance, they will not be deterred in achieving nuclear status with an ICBM capability. They cannot be trusted to honor any agreement or treaty that stands in the way. Nor will they stop the funding and equipping of proxy terrorist organization to further their dominance of the Middle East. Nothing in Iran will change for the better in Western terms without a regime change. I know you have other reasons for negotiating with the Ayatollahs but there will be a terrible price to pay in human terms.”

The president sat still for a moment, then took a final drag on his cigarette before grinding it down on the table. “There were some surprises but you gave the speech I expected. I have to go, but this is interesting. I’ll give my response at one of our next meetings.” He left without another word or without a look back, per usual.

The Advisor found himself already impatient to hear the president’s response.

The above is a fictional account of a president meeting with a legendary but fictional advisor.

“ISIS: Quiet Justice,” a new Jack Brandon novel dealing with ISIS in America, is now available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble in print form and nook and kindle formats. Follow the author on Twitter @factsfictions80.


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