Screen shot from an ISIS Twitter account video
In the past week things went south in Iraq. A terrorist militia group once aligned with Al Qaeda has been rolling through Iraq, after terrorizing Syria, chasing Iraqi Army members and repurposing the Iraqi Army’s equipment, including their weapons. “Repurposing” (I like that term) because the Iraqi Army has been running away from the invaders so fast they didn’t want to be encumbered with things like uniforms and guns.
The government of Nouri al-Maliki is freaking out, understandably, as they watch whole divisions of their troops turn and run from what amounts to no more than a few companies of invaders riding through the Iraqi frontier in the beds of mid-size pick-up trucks.
Most of these terrorist fighters can’t afford any large pick-ups, like Toyota Tundras or a Ford F-250. These guys get these beat up old Nissans and Isuzus and go bouncing past their video cameras joyously waving their weapons like Alabama frat boys celebrating the Crimson Tide’s latest win over the Auburn Tigers. Of course ’Bama frat boys don’t drunkenly wave around AK-47’s and intentionally kill people while careening around the streets of Tuscaloosa — not usually anyway. You know that there will be that one guy who decides to be the exception to the rule.
At any rate, this low rent terrorist organization — that got kicked out of Al Qaeda — is making a mockery of the Iraqi Army our military allegedly trained.
The best part (for them) is: they don’t have to pay arms dealers for new equipment, like motor vehicles. They just switch from the beat up old Nissans and Isuzus to the Humvees and deuce-and-a-halfs abandoned by the Iraqis who are fleeing the marauding half horde … quarter of a horde — at best.
A “deuce-and-a-half” is a big ass truck that weighs two and a half tons empty and is used to transport stuff, in particular troops. We’ve been using them nearly 50 years as I can tell. This is one of those few times our military leaders said, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
- They update the design from time-to-time, but it’s basically the same truck my fellow Marines and I rode from here to there so we could hurry up and wait to do it again.
- We gave hundreds of them to Iraq as we trained them to stand up so we could stand down and go home.
That is the situation in Iraq at the moment. This group, called ISIS or ISIL, has about 15 percent of Iraq and a nice chunk of Syria in their control and they are advancing on Baghdad. The quarter horde deftly avoided Iraqi-Kurdistan because those dudes are armed and willing to fight against any armed intruders. War gets a lot different if the enemy is ready and willing to fight back.
The Ayatollahs in Iraq are exhorting all able-bodied men to take up arms against the invaders and protect their towns, culture, religion and families. Fight for God.
The TV screens here in America are filled with video showing these young men, pistols and automatic weapons in hand, riding off in civilian pick-up trucks to fight either with or against ISIS.
Then there is Iran, pledging support and boots on the ground for the Iraqi government, which has been closely aligned with the current leaders in Iraq since … well, since we installed them as the current leaders of Iraq.
“Bloodletting,” as it was called on TV last night, has begun in earnest as piles of dead bodies are photographed and tweeted around the world in a few nanoseconds. The Marauding invaders kill hundreds or thousands of Iraqis at a time and show their cheering photos and video on Twitter to followers who are equally as giddy about the carnage.
The Shia majority of Iraq responds by hunting down Sunni Iraqis and killing them en masse, tweeting those joyous photos around the world to cheer up their side. “Yay us!”
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, the man who pushed Sunni Muslims out of the government, sits by as the carnage explodes, asking the U.S. to step up because Iran is not as technologically advanced with the eye-in-the-sky weaponry so … “C’mon buddy! Show us some love! Send a few of those AWAC’s and drones our way! We never stopped loving you, we just found a hairier dance partner!”
And while you’re at it a few divisions of battle-tested (and weary) U.S. Marines and Army Airborne. Those guys are really, really good with insurgents.
Neo-Cons Looking to Restart Iraq War
Here in these United States the president has taken a measured approach to the civil war that has now erupted in Iraq. In the GOP bubble, thoughtfulness is considered weakness. So we get knuckleheaded responses from the Right, like Texas Senator John Cornyn’s absurd tweet: “It took nearly 4,500 American lives to win freedom for Iraq. It took one president to lose it.”
- Cornyn is a chickenhawk who never served a day in the military, but he’s real eager to send others off to war.
Freedom? From what? A brutal dictator? Is the government of Nouri al-Maliki so much better? The Sunni population will give us a resounding “No!” if asked.
Baghdad, the capital, is now walled off into different religious neighborhoods that have their own police forces patrolling. Car bombs have been going off steadily throughout Iraq since we invaded in March 2003. That hasn’t abated much and in fact has increased since the U.S. left in 2011.
The Iraqis couldn’t wait for U.S. troops to leave so they could get the ethnic cleansing started.
Sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shia’s isn’t new; this conflict has been brewing for 1,322 years. Now with the Middle East strongmen gone, the two sides can get to it; have this fight over who is the rightful heir to the Prophet Mohammed.
The Shia would lose of course. They make up only 10 percent of the Muslim population in the world, which still amounts to about 120 million people. So, they wouldn’t get wiped out as a culture, just decimated in the Middle East.
The irony — the insanity — of this (if the idea of two populations going to war over religion isn’t insane enough) is that the very same people who were so eager to invade Iraq the first time, the people who told us invading Iraq wouldn’t cost our nation a dime because Iraq’s oil would pay for it; the people who got everything about fighting in Iraq so very, very wrong, are trying to push President Obama into sending more troops to Iraq.
Senator John McCain, for instance, was on nearly a dozen news programs lamenting, “We had it won!” Then President Obama, bound by the treaty his predecessor signed with the Iraqi government in 2008, pulled all U.S. troops out of Iraq by the end of 2011. And McCain added, “I told you so.”
When, at any point, was the Iraq War “won”? Iraq has been in a constant state of war and bloody turmoil since we invaded. Does Sen. McCain think we solved the Shia-Sunni issues in Iraq? What did we “win”?
Everyone from Paul Wolfowitz and Dick Cheney are savaging the president for pulling our troops out of Iraq — even though it was them and their administration that signed the agreement with the Iraqis to pull all of our troops from Iraq.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney is the most appalling. He and his loser daughter, Liz, started yet another group (HERE) to bash President Obama. To get it started they did a video and penned an Op-Ed for the Wall Street Journal, in which the Cheneys tried to channel Sir Winston Churchill. They wrote, “Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.”
Please Mr. Cheney, please tell us you at least examined the … irony (at the very least) … of that statement. You, Mr. Cheney, the guy who knowingly went on television a number of times and lied to the American people about why you were so adamant we go to war in Iraq, avoiding the obvious personal benefits of your company, Halliburton, making nearly 50 billion dollars as a result of the lies.
After Cheney knowingly went on Face the Nation and told the lie that Great Britain had proof Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was buying yellow cake uranium from Niger, the Bush Administration was called out publicly for that specific lie, in an Op-Ed penned by former Ambassador Joe Wilson. In retaliation, Vice President Dick Cheney’s office unveiled the identity of a CIA operative, Valerie Plame, Wilson’s wife, potentially endangering her life and the lives of all the people she came in contact with when in the field.
Now that very same Dick Cheney has the temerity to make the claim about President Obama, “Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.”
Dick Cheney is the ultimate war criminal and he still walking free is a blot on our nation’s reputation. One of the great errors of the Obama Administration was deciding to not prosecute the members of the previous administration who lied and pushed our nation into an unnecessary and ultimately illegal war in Iraq.
Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Scooter Libby, Bill Kristol, Paul Bremer, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice — these are just a few of the people responsible for the mess that is unfolding in Iraq, not the current president. He did us a great service by honoring that 2008 treaty signed by President Bush that got us out of the quagmire by the end of 2011.
The nation of Iraq was doomed to this end the moment when, in early 2001, the Bush Administration made the decision to find a reason to invade Iraq and depose Saddam Hussein. The Iraqis have been in a constant state of war since March 20, 2003 when U.S. forces began the systematic destruction of that country.
Not just our military, but the political leaders that dismantled the government and national infrastructure of Iraq in a Bush Administration-sponsored political cleansing that removed any kind of control over society. Historical artifacts, kept in Iraq’s museums, were either stolen or destroyed; public utilities were looted and destroyed. Teachers were kicked out of their jobs for having ties to the Ba’ath Party.
- “Freedom’s untidy, and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things.” — Donald Rumsfeld, when asked about the looting shortly after U.S. troops entered Baghdad.
That was all part of the systematic destruction of Iraq, perpetrated by Dick Cheney and his cabal, the very same people who are now pushing the president to re-escalate the Iraq War.
It begs the question to the news media: why are you giving these warmongers a platform?
So I join the rest of the sane media who don’t believe these people need a platform to again peddle their BS; the rest of the sane media that is telling Dick and Liz Cheney, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, John Cornyn, William Kristol, Mitt Romney and every other war-mongering, right-wing ideologue Neo-Con this one message:
SIT DOWN AND SHUT THE FUCK UP!
Tim Forkes started as a writer on a small alternative college newspaper in Milwaukee called the Crazy Shepherd. Writing about entertainment issues, he had the opportunity to speak with many people in show business, from the very famous to the people struggling to find an audience. In 1992 Tim moved to San Diego, CA and pursued other interests, but remained a freelance writer. Upon arrival in Southern California he was struck by how the business of government and business was so intertwined, far more so than he had witnessed in Wisconsin. His interest in entertainment began to wane and the business of politics took its place. He had always been interested in politics, his mother had been a Democratic Party official in Milwaukee, WI, so he sat down to dinner with many of Wisconsin’s greatest political names of the 20th Century: William Proxmire and Clem Zablocki chief among them. As a Marine Corps veteran, Tim has a great interest in veteran affairs, primarily as they relate to the men and women serving and their families. As far as Tim is concerned, the military-industrial complex has enough support. How the men and women who serve are treated is reprehensible, while in the military and especially once they become veterans. Tim would like to help change that reality.