Category Archives: Iraq

Middle Eastern Silliness

There are moments when Middle Eastern conflicts reach the level of how children behave in life. There was a judo match between a Jewish Israeli and a Muslim Egyptian.  Islam El Shelby got beat by the Jew Or Sasson,and the norm in judo is for the two combatants to bow to one another and shake hands. But,  the Egyptian has high moral and religious views so he refused to shake the his opponent’s hand. There is no question this behavior demonstrates the ultimate ridiculous aspects of Middle Eastern conflict.

The Olympic Committee made clear, “the Egyptian’s conduct was contrary to   the rules of fair play, and against the spirit of friendship embodied in Olympic values.” So, they told him to get the hell out of Brazil and take his childish behavior back to the other kids back in Egypt. When will those in the Middle East reach the level of children aged twelve?

Of course, then again we have a presidential election here in America where the biggest child of all is Donald Trump.

ISIS Is Shrinking

Donald Trump and Republicans continue to demand the end of ISIS. So, what is the reality about ISIS. So far, ISIS has lost 40% of the area in Iraq it once controlled. It has been driven from Fallujah, and it has lost areas in Syria. Last week, the last stronghold in Libya, Sirte, was taken by anti-ISIS forces. Only remnants of ISIS soldiers are left in Libya.

But, the key fight is in Iraq. ISIS continues to control the major city of Mosul. However, Kurdish forces and the Iraq army are moving on this city. Kirkuk, which is close to Mosul is now witnessing hundreds of people who once accepted ISIS moving out of the city. Some are telling observers they would quickly accept amnesty from the Iraq government since they no longer believe that ISIS benefits them in any way. They report that ISIS soldiers are now selling goods they once seized from inhabitants such as stoves or record players or kitchen implements.

ISIS will lost Mosul by the early months of 2017 which means, in effect, they no longer have a presence in Iraq. So Donald, what is it that you want to do?

Republican Myths And Reality

I daily encounter people, including member of my own extended family who harbor the typical Trump nonsense about Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s records in the Middle East. So, let me put to rest the myths and realities of the Middle East.

1. President Obama “withdrew American forces too early, and this  led to the rise of ISIS.”

2. “President Obama refused to maintain US troops in Iraq”

REALITY: The date to leave Iraq was set by President Bush. Obama simply adhered to the Bush deadline.

President Obama offered to leave 10,000 American soldiers in Iraq. The Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki insisted that if US troops remained and an American soldier was charged with a crime against an Iraqi citizen, the case would be tried in an Iraq court. Naturally,no American president would ever agree to such a demand.

3.”Al-Qaeda was defeated by 2007″ and then when Obama took office, he allowed in to return.

REALITY: Al-Qaeda was virtually defeated by 2007 due to two factors– the American military effort in cities, and the rise of Sunni Awakening Councils. These were organized by Sunni tribal leaders who were tired of al-Qaeda. They were assisted by US troops, and played a key role in virtually destroying  al-Qaeda. However, President Bush allowed Shiite Nouri al-Maliki to gain power. Maliki proceeded to arrest prominent Sunni leaders, broke his promise to US Military leaders to integrate Sunis and Shiites in the Iraq army. Maliki antagonized Sunni leaders and this caused was a key role in the tis of ISIS.

Neither President Obama nor Hillary Clinton had any role in the rise of ISIS. Guess whose mistakes created that organization?

Islamic State Is Shrinking

Donald Trump is going to carpet bomb the hell out of ISIS, and get rid of any and all terrorists so once again, America can stand tall. Well, examine the record:

1. ISIS has already lost control of 40% of land it once held.

2. Town after town in Iraq has fallen to the Iraq government, and Fallujah no longer has any ISIS terrorists.

3. During the ISIS flight from Fallujah,an estimated 2,000 of their fighters was killed by air attacks. Oh,Donald, American pilots dropped bombs. OH,there was no need to ‘carpet bomb’ because ISIS fighters were out in the open.

4. ISIS slowly, but surely, is being forced from their positions in Syria. Everything  Donald promises to do, IS already being done!

5. The central issue which Trump does not even understand is -what is the strategy once ISIS no longer controls areas in the Middle East? How will ISIS then function? What will be the strategy once ISIS lacks a geographic area under its control?

Donald, do you even know what has happened to ISIS in the Middle East?

Just Another Day In Iraq

The good news from Iraq these days is that one knows the day before what will be the news from Iraq tomorrow. A majority of people in Iraq are Shiites and a minority are Sunni Muslims. Under Saddam Hussein, the Sunnis ran Iraq. Now, that he is gone, Shiites are making up for lost time with discrimination against Sunnis, including arresting Sunni political leaders. So, one can daily expect the following:

Yesterday in Baghdad, 67 dead and 87 wounded in a Shiite marketplace. Later in the day, a suicide bomber wearing a vest blew himself up and murdered 17 Shiites and wounded a few dozen. We can expect tomorrow that suicide bomber will blow himself up in a Sunni marketplace area.

And, so on, and so on, and so on. Will this madness ever end?

The Iraqi Army In Combat

TedCruz, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump and sundry others in the Republican party are furious that President Obama is not working closely with the Iraq army in order to defeat ISIS. They insist if only more time was spent training this group that is supposedly termed an “army” the ISIS threat would have been wiped out. Oh, if only George Bush was still president, and if only George Bush was still around to send more boots on the ground, ISIS would no longer exist.

Latest figures are that ISIS ground forces in the city of Ramadi constitute somewhere between 300 to 500 men. Surrounding them is a force of about 10,000 Iraqi soldiers. For some reason the Iraqis do not wish to attack until they have gathered more troops. Such is the Iraqi “Army” that Republicans want to send in to wipe out ISIS.

Donald Ready For Action

As I dimly recall during the war in Vietnam a young man whose name was Trump of something like that just did not see why a budding entrepreneur should waste time and money off in the jungles of that Asian land. So, he found some physical problem that enabled him to make gobs of money while young Americans were making gobs of wounds. I am not saying that Donald Trump was a coward, after all young Dick Cheney informed the draft board that he had better things to do than fight in some God forsaken foreign land.

Donald was on the Matt Lauer program when asked by the host about his thoughts of sending US troops into Syria to fight ISIS or into Iraq to restore peace and prosperity. Donald insisted that “now” he is ready to fight–of course,now he will not be fighting since young men will, once again do his fighting. Matt asked the audience their reaction to what Trump said about sending US troops into Iraq and Syria. There was complete silence and not a person shouted out a “YES” response.d

Donald shifted the focus onto Ben Carson and away from fighting. If there is one thing that Trump knows is–how to get the other guy fighting for his country. Anyway, you will be pleased to know that Donald is confused how this black dude is now ahead of him in Iowa.OH, he thinks Ben is a “nice person.”

So, What About Iraq?

We are now experiencing the resurrection of the triumphant trio of Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld. In the new Republican narrative, these men were not only responsible for the overthrow of evil, terrible Saddam Hussein, but they saved the world from the bad man’s nuclear or chemical weapons of destruction. It was due to the intelligence and bravery of George Bush that peace and prosperity were restored to the people of Iraq. Alas, then appeared the black dude from Africa, whose blunders led to the rise of al-Qaeda, ISIS, and you name the other evil people.

1. It was the dynamic trio who appointed Nouri al-Maliki to the position of Prime Minister. It was this man who transformed the Sunnis who had worked with American forces into the enemy of the Iraq government.

2. The success of the so-called, Surge, depended upon cooperation of Sunnis. Guess who ended that cooperation.

3. President Obama DID offer to maintain US forces. BUT, he refused to allow American troops to be subject to Iraq law. THAT was the reason they left.

I await Jeb Bush publicly saying he was ready to have American forces placed under Iraq law.

Blame It On George

Let me get straight the current Republican version as to what happened in Iraq:

After some blunders by President George Bush, he got things straight with the famous “surge” and al-Qaeda was ready to surrender. Then, this black dude assumed the presidency, and refused to support George’s successful ideas. The result was the current chaos.

General Ray Odierno, who was part of the Surge, but is now Chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has a slightly different version. According to the General, “I remind everybody that us leaving at the end of 2011 was negotiated by the BUSH ADMINISTRATION. That was always the plan. We promised them(Iraq government) that we would respect their sovereignty.” The Maliki government insisted that American troops would be subject to Iraq law. When, they refused to back down on this point, President Obama had troops leave.

I can just imagine the reaction of Republicans to President Obama allowing American troops to be subject to Sharia law!

ISIS Gains Power

It has become the common refrain of those who want to blast the hell out of ISIS that all it takes is a few bombs or, maybe the Marines to send the black hooded group of terrorists back to where they came from. Reality: There are an estimated 35,000 ISIS militants in Iraq and they are confronted by over 150,000 Iraq soldiers, Iraq planes,and about 20,000 Kurdish troops. So, the question remains–how can a band that is outnumbered about six to one beat the hell out of these guys?

Reality check:

1. ISIS is performing tasks that win favor of those in Iraq cities.

2. Most reports from those who have talked with Iraqis who spent time under ISIS rule, usually report the following: ISIS cleans up a city, it ends corruption which is the common way of life living under the democratic rule of the Iraq government,and it certainly performs normal functions such as cleaning the streets and ending crime.

3. The best way to defeat ISIS is the creation of an effective, honest, and hard working Iraq army. That would be better than the US Marines!