Iraq

Maliki finally aids Kurds; will Obama?

Featured image The Iraqi government has finally come to the aid of the beleaguered Kurds in their fight against ISIS. Prime Minister Maliki, alarmed by a string of ISIS victories in the north, sent his air force to support the Kurds. The air force began by bombing targets Sinjar, the most significant town captured by ISIS in the region so far. It then expanded its operations to a broader area, before returning »

ISIS advances as Kurds run out of ammunition

Featured image Last month, I noted the parlous situation of Iraqi Kurds and the unwillingness of President Obama to assist them in their effort to combat ISIS. Iraq’s Kurds must defend a 650 mile border, thanks to the collapse of the Iraq army in the north. And they receive virtually no arms from Baghdad, thanks to its animosity towards the Kurds. Yet Obama refuses to help. Now, the Washington Post reports that »

Obama continues to give ISIS a free pass

Featured image The success of ISIS in Iraq has finally received the attention of the Obama administration. But ISIS is also making major inroads in Syria, where Team Obama continues to ignore warnings of its progress. Josh Rogin reports: Three weeks ago, a group of leaders from the opposition Free Syrian Army warned U.S. officials that a strategic city along the Iraqi border was about to fall to ISIS. It was the »

ISIS: A Backgrounder

Featured image If, like most, you wonder how the Islamic State of al-Sham (ISIS) came to prominence in the Middle East, seemingly overnight, terrorism analysts Ilana Freedman and Jerry Gordon offer a valuable primer. The rise of ISIS is rooted in the “Arab Spring”: The confrontations developing in the Middle East are the predictable outcome of the so-called “Arab Spring,” coupled with weak American leadership which has empowered Islamists throughout the world »

Voters Blame Obama, Bush Equally for Iraq Crisis

Featured image That is what Rasmussen Reports finds, anyway: Voters are evenly divided over whether it was the actions and policies of George W. Bush or Barack Obama that have contributed more to the crisis in Iraq today, but the current administration gets lackluster reviews for its response thus far. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 31% of Likely U.S. Voters rate the Obama administration’s handling of the situation »

The jihadi menace reaches a high water mark

Featured image “From the ruins of the Obama Administration’s Middle East strategy, the most powerful and dangerous group of religious fanatics in modern history has emerged in the heart of the Middle East.” So says Walter Russell Mead, the distinguished historian of American foreign policy (who reportedly has said he voted for Barack Obama in 2008). The fanatical group in question is, of course, ISIS. According to Mead, who cites analysts at »

Rand Paul lets Obama off the hook in the Middle East

Featured image Rand Paul said today on Meet the Press that he does not blame President Obama for the instability in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East; instead he blames President Bush. Paul told an undoubtedly delighted David Gregory: What’s going on now I don’t blame on President Obama. Has he really got the solution? Maybe there is no solution. But I do blame the Iraq war on the chaos that »

Obama’s pathetic Iraq adviser surge

Featured image The Washington Post editorial board sees a parallel between the “foreign-policy” disaster that President Obama confronts in Iraq and the one President Bush confronted at the end of 2006: [Bush] had ordered an invasion of Iraq without a sufficiently large force to occupy the country and without a well-considered plan for its reconstruction. Under his direction, the Iraqi military and government were dismantled with nothing to take their place, and »

So Happy Together…

Featured image It is remarkable how little it took for some observers to start recommending that the U.S. should cooperate with Iran in quelling the extremist takeover of much of Iraq. If you tried to follow the logic, you could get whiplash. Then there is the practical question: how, exactly, would such cooperation work? Michael Ramirez offers an answer to that question; click to enlarge: Well, why not, if the Mullahs are »

The “givens” of Iraq

Featured image George Will directs this question to Republican aspirants for the 2016 presidential nomination: Given the absence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, and given that we now know how little we know about “nation-building” and about the promotion of democracy in nations that need to be “built,” and given that Saddam Hussein’s horrific tyranny at least controlled Iraq’s sectarian furies, and given that Iraq under him was Iran’s adversary, and »

The world continues to confound our clueless president

Featured image Many of President Obama’s foreign policy failures are the product of his badly misguided ideology. But some flow simply from his inability to understand how the world works. (The two defects are, of course, related). Take the current crisis in Iraq. The country is disintegrating, Iraqi soldiers are deserting, some of those who aren’t have been executed barbarically, and Baghdad is under serious threat. What does Obama do? He urges »

McCain kicks his sidekick’s rear

Featured image Lindsey Graham is often wrong, but never in doubt. For example, Graham agrees with the Obama administration that the U.S. needs to work with Iran to help Iraq stem the tide against the current Islamist blitzkrieg. Graham told CNN, “The Iranians can provide some assets to make sure Baghdad doesn’t fall; we need to coordinate with the Iranians.” He added, however, that there will have to be “some red lines.” »

Obama’s partner, the Iranians

Featured image As I noted here, President Obama reportedly intends to open direct talks with Iran on how to counter the Islamist blitzkrieg by Sunni insurgents in Iraq. Yet, as Omri Ceren of The Israel Project reminds us, a mere six weeks ago, the State Department’s annual Country Reports on Terrorism concluded that Iran is actively working to undermine Iraqi stability through terror groups. Significantly, for present purposes, the report assessed that »

Inside ISIS: “Clanking of the swords”

Featured image The Wall Street Journal has posted its page-one report on the massacre by ISIS terrorists of captured Iraqi Shiite soldiers. The Journal’s report is out from behind the subscription paywall and based in part on photos posted yesterday to a Twitter account associated with ISIS. A reader directs our attention to the Dutch site GeenStihl that posted the ISIS propaganda video below (“Clanking of the swords, part 4″), complete with »

Obama seeks to leverage his Iraq debacle into rapprochement with Iran

Featured image In the post immediately below this one, I argue that President Obama now “owns” Iraq because his unwillingness seriously to negotiate a status of forces agreement led directly to Iraq’s current chaos. Obama, of course, doesn’t see it this way, but he is belatedly looking for ways to prevent the complete disintegration of Iraq. That’s the good news. The bad news is that, according to The Wall Street Journal, Obama’s »

Why Obama “owns” Iraq

Featured image The Islamist blitzkrieg in Iraq is the direct result of President Obama’s failure to maintain an American military presence there. As David French has shown, when Obama took office the Islamist extremists were a subdued and nearly defeated force. With a continued American presence, they would have remained subdued. Some Obama apologists argue that we could not maintain our military presence because the Iraqi government wanted us out, and thus »

Iraq before Obama

Featured image What was Iraq like at the end of the Bush administration. David French of NRO was there, in the roughest parts. Here’s what he says: I remember what Iraq was like in late 2008, when I left. My unit. . .had largely cleared out one of the last areas of al-Qaeda dominion in Iraq. At high cost we had taken thousands of square kilometers back from enemy control, broken the »