Iraq

Iraqi protesters torch Iran’s embassy in Basra

Featured image Protesters in Basra stormed the Iranian Consulate yesterday and set the building on fire. The protesters, who also set fire to headquarters of pro-Iranian militias as well as many government buildings, chanted “Iran out.” They also trampled portraits of Iran’s ruler, Ayatollah Khamenei Basra is a majority Shiite city. Thus, as the Washington Post says, the attack on the consulate. . .upended notions of solidarity between Iraq’s Shiite heartland and »

Anti-Iran protests rock southern Iraq

Featured image I wrote here about an emerging strategy to undermine the Iranian regime. A key element is making the regime pay for its regional adventurism, which has become quite unpopular with the Iranian population. This can be accomplished by making Iran’s adventurism increasingly costly and humiliating the regime by thwarting its ambitions. As Jonathan Speyer explained it: A strategy seeking to contain further Iranian gains and then to roll Iran back »

The emerging strategy to undermine the Iranian regime

Featured image Several sources report an Israeli attack on a military airport in central Syria, an area where Hezbollah militias are located. There are conflicting reports about whether the attack was successful. Syria claims that its air defense system thwarted the attack. Syrian rebels say Israeli missiles destroyed that air defense system. The Israeli government has yet to comment. Jonathan Spyer, writing in the Jerusalem Post, provides context for the growing number »

Bad news about Iraq’s election

Featured image Last week at this time, relying on a report by the Washington Post, I wrote that Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is the front-runner in Iraq’s national elections. This was good news, I said, because Abadi had worked closely with the U.S. in the fight against ISIS, was campaigning on a message of national unity, and seemed to enjoy support across sectarian lines. The frontrunner Abadi may have been. However, it »

Good news about Iraq’s upcoming elections

Featured image The Washington Post reports that Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is the front-runner in Iraq’s national elections to be held next weekend. Abadi is a Shiite, but according to Post reporters Tamer El-Ghobashy and Mustafa Salim, he is popular with the Sunni population in cities like Mosul. And why not? Abadi helped orchestrate the military campaign that liberated Mosul and other Sunni cities from ISIS. In doing so, he kept a »

Brothers in arms

Featured image On Saturday the Wall Street Journal published Michael Phillips’s devastatingly sad story about twin brothers Chris and Mike Goski. Both served with distinction in the armed forces following 9/11. Michael’s story is “Brothers in arms.” While the story is behind the Journal’s paywall, it is accompanied by an embeddable video with the following preface: Chris Goski was born on May 1, 1981. His twin brother Mike followed a few minutes »

Fireworks for ISIS

Featured image The U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition struck the terrorist group 37 times on July 4. So reports the Daily Caller, citing a statement by Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR). The majority of the strikes took place in Syria, in support of the Syrian Democratic Force’s (SDF) push on ISIS’s capital of Raqqa. They hit ISIS oil infrastructure, as well as 17 fighting positions in or near Raqqa. Backed by U.S. air strikes the »

Iraq omitted from new travel order. Why?

Featured image John discussed the Trump administration’s revised travel order in a post below. He says it looks bullet proof, and so it does. However, I can’t help but suspect that if the same judges who reviewed the original order rule on its successor, the outcome might well be the same, with new concerns providing the basis for an anti-administration ruling. This time around, though, I’m confident the administration is prepared to »

Trump’s three generals

Featured image The New York Times notes one thing that the generals President Trump has appointed to top administration positions have in common. Gen. Jim Mattis, Gen, John Kelly, and Gen. H.R. McMaster each, at one point or another, “strode the sands of Iraq, fighting on the unforgiving battlefield of America’s costliest war since Vietnam.” Now “all three will sit around the table in the White House Situation Room, steering a new »

Trump still sees Putin and Bush as morally equivalent

Featured image Last night, I caught part of Bill O’Reilly’s interview with President Trump, including an exchange that drained the moderate amount of enthusiasm I’ve been able to muster for the new president. O’Reilly asked Trump whether he respects Vladimir Putin. Trump said he does, but that this doesn’t mean he will get along with him. No major problem so far. In a sense, I think you have to respect what Putin, »

Assault on Mosul begins, presaging another defeat for ISIS

Featured image Iraqi forces have commenced an offensive to retake the city of Mosul, ISIS’s last main stronghold in Iraq. According to the Washington Post, the battle will be waged by tens of thousands of Iraqi troops, perhaps as many as 80,000. The forces will consist of Kurdish peshmerga soldiers, Sunni tribal fighters, army, police, Shiite militias, and elite counterterrorism units. The U.S. will back their effort with air support and “advisers” »

Iraqis Were Bribed to Allege Torture

Featured image Part of the propaganda campaign against the Iraq war was the claim that coalition troops were torturing captured Iraqis. Those claims made a pretty big splash in the United States, and probably even a bigger one in Europe. Now it turns out that large numbers of Iraqis may have been paid by British lawyers to make false claims of torture: One of the country’s leading human-rights lawyers faces a criminal »

Report finds Blair didn’t lie about WMD; MSM ignores the finding

Featured image If you relied on accounts by the mainstream media of the Chilcot Report regarding Britain’s decision to participate in the toppling of Saddam Hussein, you might easily conclude that it supports the “Bush-Blair lied, people died” narrative so cherished by the left. You wouldn’t know that the Report actually rejects this claim. This account by Steven Erlanger and David Sanger of the New York Times doesn’t say so. Neither does »

Where Are the Fact Checkers When We Need Them?

Featured image By now you probably have heard about Donald Trump’s latest venture into fantasy, his claim yesterday that Saddam Hussein was somehow anti-terror: [Saddam] killed terrorists. He did that so good. They didn’t read ’em the rights. They didn’t talk. They were a terrorist, it was over! If you substitute “opponent of his regime” for “terrorist,” you have a true statement. Otherwise, as Jay Nordlinger reminds us, Trump’s claim is absurd. »

ISIS Testing Chemical Weapons In Iraq

Featured image From today’s Telegraph: The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) is reported to have set up laboratories in built-up neighbourhoods in the heart of its so-called caliphate to avoid being targeted by coalition air strikes. Learning from the Palestinians. The terror group is known to harbour chemical and nuclear ambitions, and is trying to manufacture weapons not only for attacks within Iraq and Syria but also the West. »

Obama still clueless in Iraq

Featured image Over the weekend, protesters stormed into Baghdad’s Green Zone, chasing out Iraqi officials. The MSM has portrayed this as a huge blow to the Iraqi government, putting in doubt its prospects for surviving and putting in jeopardy the war against ISIS in Iraq. I’m not sure how reliable these assessments are. I also question whether the reporting, which treats the protests as mainly a reaction to government corruption, gets at »

Who says Clinton accomplished nothing in the Senate?

Featured image Dianne Feinstein came up empty when asked by the San Francisco Chronicle what Hillary Clinton accomplished during her time in the Senate. Feinstein couldn’t recall any “bills [Clinton] authored.” However, she noted that “there are things outside of bills that you can do.” There are, indeed. A reader directs my attention to three such things Clinton did in the Senate. First, she voted to authorize invasion of Iraq. Later, she »