"Some local veterans were right there when U.S. troops left. Josh Anderson was one of the last to leave Iraq after witnessing the training of its soldiers. "We got glimpses of the Iraqi Army and they didn't look too trained honestly to tell you the truth," he said." - Hannah Tran, "Local Veterans Weigh in on The Crisis in Iraq" KAALtv, June 13, 2014.
1. An excerpt from, "Iraq's Maliki: I won't quit as condition of US strikes against Isis militants" by Martin Chulov and Spencer Ackerman, The Guardian, June 19, 2014:
A spokesman for the Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, has said he will not stand down as a condition of US air strikes against Sunni militants who have made a lightning advance across the country.This fool thinks there is a military solution to this conflict. This type of mindset creates endless violence. Plus, relying on the US for military support is why the mainline opposition in Syria is going nowhere. And it will be the reason why the Iraqi government will fall. It will also fall because Maliki is stubborn as hell.
Iraq's foreign minister, Hoshyar Zebari, on Wednesday made a public call on al-Arabiya television for the US to launch strikes, but Barack Obama has come under pressure from senior US politicians to persuade Maliki, a Shia Muslim who has pursued sectarian policies, to step down over what they see as failed leadership in the face of an insurgency.
Maliki pledged that Tal Afar would be retaken by Thursday, and fighting late on Wednesday appeared to be tipping the battle in favour of Iraqi forces. However, the fear remains that nothing decisive can be achieved without international intervention.
"If we got US drones to hit Baiji, and jets to bomb Isis elsewhere, we could slow them down," said a senior Iraqi MP. "Without them we can do nothing. Without them we can't win."
2. An excerpt from, "Can Syria help defeat ISIS?" by Geoffrey Aronson, Al Monitor, June 19, 2014:
With the Iraqi capital now in the sights of a nascent Sunni army drawing its own map of the contested region reaching from Damascus to Baghdad, the most bitter fruits of supporting the revolt against Damascus cannot be avoided. Today Washington simply cannot lend its hand to a campaign against ISIS in Iraq, which poses an existential threat to a key US ally, while tolerating if not encouraging policies and alliances in Syria that (whether it likes it or not) are meant to have exactly the opposite effect.
To be true to the presumed American interest in preserving the integrity of Iraq and Syria requires a reconsideration of the rationale for supporting the Syrian opposition and regime change as US policy pivots to a "colorblind" regional strategy based on counterterror. The startling advance of ISIS to the very gates of Baghdad has focused Washington's attention on the contradiction long at the heart of its Syria policy in a way that the mayhem in Syria was never able to accomplish.
As expected Maliki declined to follow orders out of Washington DC and he is right to do so. Isn't Iraq supposed to be a sovereign state?
No says Washington. It is us who are choosing a new Iraqi prime minister:
Over the past two days the American ambassador, Robert S. Beecroft, along with Brett McGurk, the senior State Department official on Iraq and Iran, have met with Usama Nujaifi, the leader of the largest Sunni contingent, United For Reform, and with Ahmad Chalabi, one of the several potential Shiite candidates for prime minister, according to people close to each of those factions, as well as other political figures. “Brett and the ambassador met with Mr. Nujaifi yesterday and they were open about this, they do not want Maliki to stay,” Nabil al-Khashab, the senior political adviser to Mr. Nujaifi, said Thursday.This move lets arouse suspicions that the recent insurgency against the Iraqi state, with ISIS takfiris in the front line, did not just by chance started after Maliki's party, the State of Law Coalition, won in the parliamentary elections a few weeks ago. It had been decided that he had to go. When the elections confirmed him, other methods had to be introduced. Thus the insurgency started and is now used as a pretext for "regime change".
The U.S. media and policies again fall for the "big bad man" cliche portraying Nouri al-Maliki (Arabic for Ngo Dinh Diem) as the only person that stands in the way of Iraq as a "liberal democracy". That is of course nonsense. Maliki is not the problem in Iraq:
The most significant factor behind Iraq’s problems has been the inability of Iraq’s Sunni Arabs and its Sunni neighbors to come to terms with a government in which the Shias, by virtue of their considerable majority in Iraq’s population, hold the leading role. This inability was displayed early on, when Iraq’s Sunnis refused to take part in Iraq’s first parliamentary elections, and resorted to insurgency almost immediately after the US invasion and fall of Saddam Hussein. All along, the goal of Iraqi Sunnis has been to prove that the Shias are not capable of governing Iraq. Indeed, Iraq’s Sunni deputy prime minister, Osama al Najafi, recently verbalized this view. The Sunnis see political leadership and governance to be their birthright and resent the Shia interlopers.The U.S., with strong support from its GCC allies who finance the insurgency, now seems to again lean towards the Sunni minority side in Iraq and wants to subvert the ruling of a Shia majority and its candidate. Maliki doesn't follow Washington orders, is somewhat friendly with Iran and even wins elections. Such man can not be let standing.
So the program is again "regime change" in Iraq, now with the help of Jihadists proxies, even after the recent catastrophic "successes" in similar endeavors in Libya, Egypt and Ukraine and the failure in Syria.