At A Trek Stop: A Vigenette on Iraq

mideast-islamic-stateI woke to the news today about the nation that was relatively stable until we adopted it and since that time has acted our prodigal and disobedient child.

We supporting putting Maliki in charge of this nation but we now want him out. (Shades of Vietnam) “He ain’t going to be prime minister,” a high State Department official said.

Maliki himself was always in favor of the U.S. imposed democracy as long as he could remain as its leader. Now that despite our disclaimers we are squeezing him out of office he’s squealing like the pig he is and calling in his army to support him. Iraqis special forces have come into Baghdad and taken up positions in the capital. When I read that I was ready to throw up. It encapsulates the whole American benighted policy with Iraq and the Middle East.

Maliki’s country is in a fight for its life and its special forces and other elite army units are hanging around Baghdad. Why aren’t they off fighting the Islamic State, ISIS, which has captured a wide swath of Iraq between Baghdad and the Kurdish north including Mosul and now the Mosul Dam which if it decides to destroy may cause up to 500,000 deaths.

It’s reported that if Malaki leaves his successor is going to be Haider al-Abadi. He is deputy prime minister under him and a spokesman for Maliki’s Dawah Party. The other day he said: “We are waiting for the Americans to give us support. If US air strikes [happen], we don’t need Iranian air strikes. If they don’t, then we may need Iranian strikes.” He’s willing to go over to Iran in a New York minute.

Haider al-Abadi is no change from Maliki? Iraq’s is playing Three Card Monte with us. The Bush/Obama policy on Iraq has given rise to widespread terrorism, the destruction of minority religious groups, and utter madness. It’s time for a change but we lack the leaders and leadership in America to get us out of this quagmire.



8 thoughts on “At A Trek Stop: A Vigenette on Iraq

  1. The only way to effectively defeat ISIS is by attacking its main area of command, which is in Raqqa, Syria. ISIS is currently fighting a war with at least 6 enemies, most likely many more; the Syrian Army, the Free Syrian Army, Iraq, the United States, to some extent the al-Nursa front, as well as the Kurdish Pershmerga in Iraq and the Kurdish YPG/PKK militia in Syria/Turkey. IS wages war not only against the Iraqi and Syrian governments, but also the moderate Free Syrian Army and their allies (which are much weaker and poorly funded due to the Western govts’ lack of wholehearted support), as well as the less-extremist Islamist militants the al-Nursa Front (the official al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria). US Special Operators and British SAS forces inside Syria and Iraq have said that IS is a very well trained group, and fights with special ops TTPs (tactics, training, and procedures). They most likely received this type of training from the Chechen Islamists who fought the Russians in the late 90’s (and who have also been found fighting with separatist units inside of Ukraine). I have read that Bashar al-Assad has refrained from conducting air strikes in the IS controlled areas in order to allow IS to become the dominant militia in Syria and defeat the other rebel forces. Once IS gathered its strength and invaded Iraq, Assad then began a bombing campaign in IS held territory in order to curry favor with the U.S. and have the West look at his regime as the lesser of 2 evils. However, his strategy of not attacking IS seemed to have backfired as IS forces recently overran Assad’s last airbase in the region and beheaded and killed about 120 of his men. IS is far more organized, larger, better armed and equipped, and exerted control over more territory than al-Qaeda ever has.

    1. Dave:

      Thanks for the information. I’ve been following the rise of IS as you have set out. The problem you present is that it has to be destroyed at his headquarters in Raqqa but no one is willing to go in and do it. That city has almost a quarter million people living there which is a little more than Fallajah in Iraq. Look what it took us to conquer the latter city and the force IS has is better trained, equipped and motivated than those who resisted us in Fallajah.

      The air war is a temporary expedient not designed to win anything. One major problem we have is we can’t align ourselves with Assad and there seems no other party that is capable of dealing with IS. The US can’t be expected to send ground troops in to fight them. Imagine the reaction at home if IS did to some US troops what it did to the Syrian army. I’ve never seen anything so brutal as marching the 200 + out into the desert in their underwear and then gunning them down. It’s as bad as seeing the head of Foley on his back after he was beheaded.

      IS is in Lebanon where it has beheaded a Lebanon soldier and it has beheaded a Kurd soldier. I’m sure that is causing great panic among those armies since that is something that is surely terrifying. It should embolden them because they know they have to die fighting rather than surrender but I’m thinking they think neither is an alternative. Our initial policy must be that those states immediately affected by IS must fight it but I’m afraid the will is not there. It’d be nice if Israel would step up but it has just finished with Gaza and is not in the mood at this time for another fight.

      So what’s left, we have to encourage the Turks and some Arab countries to come in with their armies. Or, perhaps the European nations in NATO will take up the challenge but my sense is they also are not up to it. Obama rightly described it as a cancer and it has to be eradicated. But how is that to be done?

    1. Patty:

      The Globe was in the forefront on the issue of priest abuse of children. It is amazing how much was revealed across the nation and around the world about that issue. That it pushed the issue resounds to its credit. It’s motive in going after the Church though was not because of concern with the children but a part of its anti-Catholic philosophy.

  2. Matt:

    Maliki is toast and has been so for a while. If you are awakening to ISIS atrocities in Iraq only this morning then we will just have to consider this a Red Letter Day. Look forward to your posting about ISIS blood frenzy ( including graphic pictures) in Iraq with the same democratic zeal with which you have underscored the Israeli / Palestinian …. quagmire. I am certain now that you will.

    1. John:

      The absence of posts on ISIS does not indicate an unawareness. I do think though I have posted on them in the past or intended to do so when they chased all the Christians out of Mosul. I perhaps have more zeal in going after Israel because I believe it is a civilized country that can be convinced by argument; as for ISIS, all that will convince it is the barrel of a gun.

  3. “It’s time for a change but we lack the leaders and leadership in America to get us out of this quagmire.”

    Uh, we are not in a quagmire here. For the current government of Iraq, things have not necessarily gone to their advantage. Since ISIS has shown no hesitation in killing those who oppose them or get in their way, even after their capture, then 500,000 may die without the use of the dam. So much for the religion of peace.

    1. Ed:

      You can’t judge Islam by these radicals. They have been going from place to place with one message: convert to Islam or die. Hardly a peaceful message but most of the people of that religion live in peace with others but they do have restrictions on others in the countries they control that are not imposed upon them by Western nations.

      My complaint is we don’t seem to have a far reaching policy dealing with radical Islam. What has happened since we’ve began to be involved in Iraq is that the radicals have come from nowhere. Why weren’t some able to anticipate this and have in place programs to deal with it.

      Bush set up the deadline for us to leave Iraq; Obama got all the troops out. Now we are back in there. How is this a policy. I’m reading a book that just came out = the diaries of George Kennan – it gives a good insight into the way our government runs its foreign policy – well worth picking up at the library.

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