Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Mother of all Battles...

...never seems to end.  Hopefully what's going on in the Middle East is something less than Armageddon because we have a vacation planned later this month.

But there they go again, kaboom. Americans are pulling out, the Kurds and Iranians are coming in. Expensive toys are falling into the hands of the Saddam Fedeyeen, er sorry, ISIS. And the blame game is in full swing--Obama is working on his blame Bush strategy, or maybe his putting grip, while Hillary finally apologized for her vote.  Bad timing there, eh.  Biden is reportedly blaming Churchill for creating Iraq in the first place, which he saw on some old fireside chats of FDR from 1928.

But what about the wily old codger (and the most-wanted regime member on Iraq's wanted list) Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri? Is the old zombie behind any of this from afar or from anear? Well:
The Sunni insurgency that is storming Iraq towards the capital Baghdad reportedly includes Baathist military officers from the era of Saddam Hussein's regime. A former top military commander and vice president in the Hussein government, Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, has joined forces with the jihadists of the Isis (The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) with the aim of overthrowing the Shiite-majority government of prime minister Nouri al-Maliki.
A senior Baathist leader told the New York Times that the groups are "unified by the same goal, which is getting rid of this sectarian government, ending this corrupt army and negotiating to form a Sunni Region".
This is a part of why Zawahiri distanced himself from these guys--he knows who they are.  But the old Saddamites have never had a problem pretending to be AQ-aligned, which was part of the original problem considering the arsenal we thought they had.  This also shows that just because a president 'ends a war' doesn't mean the war is over.   That rhetoric is going to make it very hard for this administration to re-engage there--and those guys know it.


Here's the WaPo's Joby Warrick with a history of AQ in Iraq, aka ISIS, aka ISIL, talking about it's founding emir Abu Musab al-Zarqawi:
On the eve of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, a 36-year-old Jordanian who called himself “the Stranger” slipped into the suburbs of Baghdad armed with a few weapons, bags of cash and an audacious plan for starting a war he hoped would unite Sunni Muslims across the Middle East. The tattooed ex-convict and high school dropout had few followers and scant ties to the local population.
Warrick goes on to further describe Zarqawi's return from Afghanistan in 2001, admitting he came into Iraq but remained in the Ansar camp near Kurdistan, not reaching the suburbs of Baghdad until 'the eve of' the invasion.  But Warrick completely ignores a major element of his history:
He failed in this attempt and fled to Afghanistan and then entered Iraq via Iran after the overthrow of the Taliban in late 2001. From Iraq he started his terrorist campaign by hiring men to kill Laurence Foley who was a senior U.S. diplomat working for the U.S. Agency for International Development in Jordan. On October 28, 2002, Foley was assassinated outside his home in Amman. Under interrogation by Jordanian authorities, three suspects confessed that they had been armed and paid by Zarqawi to perform the assassination.
U.S. officials believe that the planning and execution of the Foley assassination was led by members of Afghan Jihad, the International Mujaheddin Movement, and al-Qaeda. One of the leaders, Salim Sa'd Salim Bin-Suwayd, was paid over $27,858 for his work in planning assassinations in Jordan against U.S., Israeli, and Jordanian government officials. Suwayd was arrested in Jordan for the murder of Foley.[24] Zarqawi was again sentenced in absentia in Jordan; this time, as before, his sentence was death.
Why leave out the fact he was convicted in absentia of ordering the murder of a US envoy--from his hiding place in Iraq?  Before the invasion?  The only plausible reason is because that was used by Colin Powell as part of the casus belli for removing Hussein.  Even if the Butcher wasn't blessing Zarqawi's presence or even aware of it, an AQ-linked emir was able to operate freely and carry out plots from Saddam's backyard.   

As this ugly, ugly story rears its ugly head again it's likely we'll see the media engage in various revisions or omissions when brandishing the past in their defense of Obama.  So keep an eye out.  That goes for all sides!


Debbie said...

We just got back from a 2 week vacation, we avoided as much news as possible. Got home late Wednesday night and just got a few snippets yesterday ... Does not look good in Iraq at all.

My first thought was all those American (and coalition) lives for what?

Right Truth

A.C. McCloud said...

My brother served some time over there as an NGO. He is not happy.