Iraq

Biden’s false claim about his position on the second Iraq war

Featured image In 2002, Joe Biden voted to authorize going to war with Iraq. A decade earlier, he had voted against doing so. The war Biden opposed liberated Kuwait with very little loss of American life. The war Biden supported proved far more problematic. Now Biden claims that “immediately, th[e] moment [the second Iraq war] started, I came out against the war at that moment.” This claim isn’t true, as we’ll see »

Report: ISIS is gaining in Syria and Iraq

Featured image The New York Times reports that ISIS is gathering new strength and conducting guerrilla attacks across Iraq and Syria. Observers are confident that ISIS won’t reclaim anything like its former physical territory, a “caliphate” that was the size of Britain and controlled the lives of up to 12 million people. However, if it continues to gain strength, ISIS may soon become a force to be reckoned with and could control »

Pompeo’s thankless visit to the Middle East

Featured image Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in the Middle East trying to assure friends, allies, and non-adversaries that the U.S. isn’t walking away from the region. He claimed that progress has been made in addressing Turkey’s objections to Kurdish militants in northeastern Syria and that Turkey has provided “commitments” that Kurds who fought with U.S. forces against ISIS will be protected when the U.S. leaves Syria. The only public commitment »

Trump visits troops in Iraq

Featured image President Trump visited the troops in Iraq at Al Asad Air Base on Christmas. Sarah Sanders announced on Twitter: “President Trump and the First Lady traveled to Iraq late on Christmas night to visit with our troops and Senior Military leadership to thank them for their service, their success, and their sacrifice and to wish them a Merry Christmas.” President Trump himself tweeted out the video below. I’m sure we’ll »

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 »