Monday, October 13, 2014

U. S. Options in Iraq are Few and Far Between — None Are Very Good

ISIS/ISIL: Tons of Captured U.S. Equipment, Weapons, and Supplies
(Iraqi forces abandoned it)

ISIS/ISIL Controlled Areas
(Eye on Baghdad)

The flip side of the horrible mess in both Syria and Iraq – some highlights:

Secretary of State John Kerry said recently that while US-led strikes would weaken ISIS-ISIL it was still ultimately up to the Iraqis to fight the group off. He said in part:  “It is Iraqis who will have to take back Iraq. It is the Iraqis in Anbar (province who will have to fight for Anbar.” (Note: Anbar is the largest province in Iraq on the western side leading straight into Baghdad).

Related: Turkey has offered support to the campaign against ISIS by now granting the U.S. access to its air bases.

Here's what I see developing politically, which is not the way I want to see it:

1. The U.S. remains adamant about sending ground combat troops back into Iraq.

2.  Iraq government officials do not want U.S. combat troops back either.

3.  If the situation gets so bad, so awful, and so nasty and shows up on world screens, then …

4.  The U.S. will say “We have no choice, we must recommit to saving Iraq and ridding the region of ISIS/ISIL. We have no other option. There are no other choices. We hope the American public will see the danger of ISIS/ISIL not only to the region, but the stability of the entire Middle East.” Or, something along those lines I foresee. Let’s face it, ISIS/ISIL will not relent – they must be defeated on the ground.

That is the way I read it, and sadly it is a pathetic way to read it. I hope I am wrong, but I don't think so; at least that is what my gut tells me.

Let’s face it: ISIS/ISIL has a great PR game and they know how to play it with the best. They are milking the possibility of the U.S. reentering Iraq and that is precisely what they want, then they will further fine-tune their message to the Arab world and say: “See we told you the United States has always had its eye on us and our mission in life. We are the only ones you can trust on our way to meeting Allah’s mandate. Trust and have faith in us. Praise Allah.”  /s/ ISIS/ISIL

How cynical is that – considerable, but sadly I think it’s also true.

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