i do not understand what everyone from kerry to the military mouthpieces think they're accomplishing by pretending all day every day that everything is going fine against isis, even as they get their ass kicked again and again. truly, perhaps they are deluding themselves in order to enhance their self-esteem? or perhaps they have taken on board the profound postmodern insight that appearance is everything, that confidence wins the battle, and that the world outside their fluffy little heads is a story that they can win through re-narration. isis prefers munitions. or perhaps they think that acting like they live in a hallucination will win them public support. no, on the contrary, they ought to be painting a dire picture instead of waving off massive defeats as little setbacks. that really might martial some public support if they intend to continue at all. meanwhile, they are degrading and defeating themselves, as well as talking jive all day.
the strategy is entirely incomprehensible: they are sending in iran with air support to re-take ramadi. it's quite as though they are trying to touch off a sunni/shia war to engulf the whole region, which is what is actually happening. i would like to hear what the government of saudi arabia is saying about this, and it would hardly be surprising if the saudis are more or less supporting isis in various ways. they have to read this as part of iranian expansion through the whole region and they have to be working on stopping it. one would think that the saudis are pleased if aqap controls large swathes of yemen, e.g. meanwhile the us is blowing up iran with "war rhetoric" as they also try to negotiate a deal on nukes with them and use their "militias" as the shia ground force to conquer the sunni bits of iraq. there is nothing - really, nothing - in this scenario that could count as a victory. they are fucking themselves from all angles at once (sorry, i've been watching veep), and their strategy is to act like they're enjoying it.
now i realize that it is a difficult situation, presenting no obvious solution. but this is just insane. the goal appears to be total defeat by definition and maximizing total corpses. seriously, what counts as winning? iran de facto taking anbar and killing everyone? their actual strategy is only to yap in a positive mode. but even these people with their pollsters and communications experts are going to be broken, thoroughly and deservedly, by reality.