President Sir Neville Chamberlain aka Barack Hussein Obama, has proclaimed that combat operations in Afghanistan are over – just as he did for Iraq. But apparently the enemy did not get his memo or tweet. For Obama, campaign promises are more important than strategic vision. The ability to sound off and say, “I ended the war in Iraq” is a nice bumper sticker, but it’s certainly not a strategic legacy, surely not a foreign policy success and simply untrue.
As the Washington Post reports, “Insurgents seized control of most of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Tuesday in a powerful demonstration of the threat posed by a rapidly expanding extremist army to the fragile stability of Iraq and the wider region.
Fighters with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), an al-Qaida offshoot, overran the western bank of the city overnight after U.S.-trained Iraqi soldiers and police officers abandoned their posts, in some instances discarding their uniforms as they sought to escape the advance of the militants.
Remember “al-Qaida has been decimated and is on the run?” The words of a delusional liar bent on winning an election, not accepting truth.
This is the Iraq where I and so many others served and won a hard-fought battle against Islamic terrorists — now a distant memory. This is without a doubt the future that will come to Afghanistan. If only Mr. “My Government” would surrender his arrogance and listen to military leadership, perhaps this terrifying situation wouldn’t be happening. It was after all then-Commander in Iraq, General Lloyd Austin, who recommended a residual force, denied by the brilliant military strategist Obama.
And what does this say about the credibility of the United States and our vision for victory?
The Post reports that tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians also fled the surprise onslaught, which exposed the inadequacies of Iraq’s security forces, risked aggravating the country’s already fraught sectarian divide and enabled the extremists to capture large quantities of weaponry, much of it American.
The speed with which the security forces lost control of one of Iraq’s biggest cities was striking, and it was a major humiliation for the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
The city of Fallujah was captured in January by ISIS and other insurgents, but Mosul is a bigger and more important prize, located at a strategically vital intersection on routes linking Iraq to Turkey and Syria. And worse, consider the untenable position that true allies — the Kurds and Assyrians –find themselves in Northern Iraq.
I know the news cycle will be completely absorbed by the defeat of Rep. Eric Cantor and the flooding of illegal immigrant children being dumped in Arizona and elsewhere. However, we are also seeing the complete collapse of Pax Obama.
In Baghdad, Maliki announced a “general mobilization” of the country’s security forces and asked parliament to declare a state of emergency, saying that the government would not allow Mosul to fall “under the shadow of terror and terrorists.”
I remember being in Iraq in 2003 when the 101st Airborne Division cornered and killed Uday and Qusay Hussein — long since forgotten. And now the Iraqi security forces have not been able to win back Fallujah, suggesting it may be even tougher to reclaim Mosul, a city of 1.5 million that was once held out as a success story for the U.S. counterinsurgency effort in Iraq.
The capture of a major city such as Mosul marks an “extraordinary strategic and symbolic victory” for the militants, one that suggests they are more powerful than had been thought, said Charles Lister of the Brookings Doha Center in Qatar. “It shows they are capable of taking a strategically vital city . . . and it all happened so fast,” he said.
And that doesn’t sound like core al-Qaida leadership has been decimated either.
“When the battle got tough in the city of Mosul, the troops dropped their weapons and abandoned their posts, making it an easy prey for the terrorists,” said Iraq’s speaker of parliament, Osama al-Nujaifi, who is from Mosul, at a televised news conference in Baghdad. “Everything is fallen. It’s a crisis,” he added, appealing for international and government help to retake the city, “Having these terrorist groups control a city in the heart of Iraq threatens not only Iraq but the entire region.”
Everything is fallen and is in crisis –but not only in Iraq. Thanks to Obama, the same is happening here.