Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Very interesting to hear that Saudi Arabia somehow "participated" in the attack on the Islamic State in Syria, since, as we noted on Sunday, IS was originally a project of Saudi intelligence. More confirmation of that here. Of particular note is John McCain praising the Saudis even as Bush family pal Prince Bandar was financing and organizing ISIS.McCain is the single individual in the United States who is most ignorant of world affairs. That's why he gets to talk about the subject so much on TV.

According to the linked article by Steve Clemons, King Abdullah has apparently decided this wasn't such a good idea after all and has relieved Bandar of the intelligence portfolio. All I can say is at this point, you poke a hornet's nest, you should know what to expect.

The fact is the Arab states that are said to have "participated" in this action probably just lent their names to it, like the honorary committee on the stationery. They're still expecting the U.S. to clean up their messes and the result is just going to be an ever bigger mess. The U.S., with an occasional extra kaboom from France, has been bombing IS in Iraq for a few weeks now, and while the activity has helped the peshmerga hold on to territory and recapture the Mosul dam, that's about all it's accomplished. There is no comparably effective and credible proxy force in Syria as of now, so this is unlikely to have any substantial territorial consequences for a long time to come.

Whether King Abdullah can stop his 247 half, quarter and 8th brothers from writing checks to IS, and whether the Turks can shut down the black market in IS petroleum, remains to be seen. Those are the only measures that are likely to matter. Oh yeah. John McCain needs to STFU.

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