Friday, May 22, 2015

Ramadi: A "Setback", "Reversible" or a Catastrophe?

Now that ISIS, who President Obama once called a "JV team", has captured Ramadi and the Iraqi troops once again have abandoned the vehicles we gave them and run, I am struck by the cavalier response of our administration. It is a "setback". John Kerry, who is currently in Korea on another world tour says that Ramadi is merely a "target of opportunity", and it can be reversed,

Wasn't Ramadi the center of the Surge, which turned the tide against the post-invasion insurgency and led to the country being stabilized when President GW Bush left office? Remember that the Surge was opposed by then Senators Obama and Clinton, the latter of whom implied that General David Petraeus was lying when he testified before Congress.

As I write this, ISIS is once again massacring civilians in the streets. This is a city that American troops died fighting in.

To be honest, our relationship with Iraq has been loaded with mistakes. Big mistakes. With the benefit of hindsight, we can say that since there were no WMD in Iraq, it was a mistake to invade that country and set loose all these horrible events. But virtually every intelligence agency of note in the world insisted that Saddam Hussein had them. So we went in, toppled Saddam, and fought against an insurgency that cost us greatly in blood and treasure. Under Obama, we pulled out and the rest has been history.

I am so torn about what to do. Part of me says no more American lives should be sacrificed to try and bring democracy to places like Iraq and Syria. Part of me says let the Arab states send their armies against ISIS. Surely, if combined they should be able to prevail, right? (OK, don't answer that.) Part of me says let them all kill each other. Then they won't be directing their killing towards Israel and us.

But we know that we are on ISIS' hit list. They are calling for strikes in the West. Western-based Muslims are joining the call by the thousands. Some of their fighters have already gone back and struck in Europe. They claim credit for inspiring the attack in Garland, Texas.

And I certainly care about what's happening to the Christians in Iraq and Syria. Are we to sit back and watch a genocide in the Middle East?

So that takes me back to Ramadi. We were hitting ISIS in and around Ramadi with air strikes. If so, this pretty much shows that the only way we are going to defeat ISIS is with ground troops. Should we have to do it alone? No. That's what we have NATO for. (You remember NATO, don't you? I've always wanted to see what those Dutch could do with guns in their hands.)

Let me conclude by saying that I don't have the answer. I do think this, however. Either we go in full bore and kill every last one of those bastards or we do nothing and let them kill each other. The latter means we build a big wall around the Middle East. Nobody gets in and nobody gets out.

Oh yeah. I forgot about Israel. We stand by them, of course-once Obama is out of office. I have no use for the Palestinians, and I don't support their cause.

But what about Egypt and Jordan?

So I welcome the ideas of our readers as to what we should do. Me? I'm just a blogger. I don't get paid to figure these things out.

That's what we have John Kerry in Korea for.

1 comment:

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Most of us are in as much of a quandary as you are, for the obvious reason: there are no good options. It wouldn't be hard to say "Look, ISIS are really bad guys and we HAVE to go in and take them out, no matter the cost. But, remember that whenever there are American boots on the ground, we become the issue. There was a brief moment when an American marine was the hero of the Palestinian refugee camps for holding off an Israeli tank with his pistol. But it didn't take long for the marine barracks to be blown up.

So it seems we do more harm than good when we put boots on the ground. IT was touch and go whether we could take Europe back from the Nazis, and that was when we had entire populations welcoming us as liberators (including a good part of Italy).

Incidentally, we were pulling out of Iraq before Obama ever took office, because al-Nouri's regime refused to sign a status of forces agreement with the Bush administration...