Showing posts with label Iraq. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Iraq. Show all posts

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Shopping for boots

Boots to put on the ground that is.  Other than Americans, we have the Iraqi Army, the Kurdish Peshmerga, and some shadowy Syrian rebels.   Our Prez doesn't want to use Americans for political reasons.  The Iraqis haven't fought well since Saddam Hussein's early days.  They put up a good fight during the Iran-Iraq war on the 1980's.  That war lasted 8 or 10 years.  The Iranians had a larger population, a lot of good US equipment left over from the Shah's regime, and a scary level of fanaticism on all levels, from Ayatollah Khomeini right down to the teen age Iranian soldiers who conducted human wave attacks on Iraqi positions.  But when faced with the Americans in 1990 and 2003 they crumped.   Iraqi units didn't fight much, or very hard, and a lot of 'em just deserted under fire.   After a good ten years of rebuilding under American guidance, they aren't even as good they were in 1990.  ISIS was able to brush them aside with ease. 
   The Kurdish Peshmerga fighters have a decent rep.  They fight hard and they don't run.  Trouble is, there aren't all that many of them, and they lack heavy weapons, mortars, artillery, tanks, armored personnel carriers, even trucks and jeeps.  We could help out there, but the  Baghdad government thinks that Kurdistan is still a province of a greater Iraq, and refuses to give  the Kurds any weapons, lest they use them to declare independence from Baghdad.  And Baghdad gets huffy with us when we suggest shipping arms direct into Kurdistan. 
   Then we have the Syrian rebels.  They have little to no rep.  They have been fighting for years to drive out Assad with little success.  They have been able to stay alive, and prevent Assad from offing them all, but that ain't much. 
   And then there are the Iranians.  Lots of 'em, close by, and they have a pretty good rep.  Trouble is, they are bad guys, trying to go nuclear and nobody wants that.  Iran is Shia, and Iraq is split Sunni Shia.  All the Sunni Iraqis would rather die than allow Shia Iranian soldiers into Iraq.
  Bottom line.  There ain't no good boots to put on the ground in Iraq.  (except ours of course).

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Presidential leadership

Or lack thereof.  The TV news is calling for "presidential leadership" on the matter of ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State. By which they mean Obama coming on TV and explaining to the voters why we need to kick some ass in ISIS.
    The newsies have a point.  The voters are anti war, and won't change their minds without the president  expressing a need and a reason for going back to Iraq.  Until he does, the electorate isn't going to go along. 
    And, I think it is safe to predict that Obama is never going to call for military action in Iraq.  Neither is the Congress.  The Republicans and Democrats in Congress are having so much fun trashing each other, they couldn't get behind a single resolution on Iraq or on anything else for that matter. 
   Even worse, there is some doubt in my mind that the voters would  follow Obama's leadership.  His standing in the polls is abysmal.  He has given so many speeches full of motherhood and apple pie, but totally lacking in substance, that few people bother to listen to him anymore.  His constant output of  Pablum is boring. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Community Organizer never learned Poker

Poker,  an old American card game, which everyone used to know.  One of the things you learn in poker is a poker face.  You don't let the other players know what your cards are.  If they think your cards are weak, they will bet heavily, and when your strong hand wins, it will win real money, rather than just penny antes.  You never smile as bets are going down.
   "Negotiation" with the IS terrorists is like poker.  Never show your cards.  When they don't know, they will worry about what might happen to them.  You never say "No boots on the ground".  That merely weakens your bargaining position.  Most Iraqi's have painful experience with American soldiers who could kick their asses in every engagement.  There is some useful fear there.  As soon as our President says " No boots on the ground" that useful fear is canceled out.
   Obama is saying "no boots on the ground" to please his left wing US voters, not to help negotiations.  He clearly puts domestic politics above asserting American power abroad. He would clearly rather let the terrorists win in Iraq than offend his left wing base at home.   And that is shameful. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Drain fishing

After the place slides down the drain, attempts to fish some part of it back up.  We pulled our troops out of Iraq, the place slide down the drain, and now we are trying to fish out some refugees starving on the site of Noah's ark. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Don't rule things out while cutting a deal

With Iraq falling to terrorist, Obama  publicly declares we won't sent troops, and just now declares we won't fly airstrikes.
  Dumb and dumber.  You don't tell the enemy what you will or won't do.  Better to let them worry about what might happen to them. 
   Obama's lefty peacenik base may love this, but it doesn't help to preserve Iraq from Islamic terrorists.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Ya run what ya brung

Old car racing adage.  Sense of which is, once you get the car to the track, it's too late to soup it up.  There comes a time when more tinkering at the last minute either won't do any good, or worse, break something. 
  Iraq is like that.  The enemy is at the gates, to survive, the Iraqi army must fight off the terrorists with what they have, now. There is no time for training, more US equipment, political reforms, anything.  When the enemy is at the gates, the only thing to do is fight, and win.
  All the Sunday pundits were full of ideas for reinforcement, re equipment, training,  air support, you name.  Sorry. It's too late for that.  Iraq will stand or fall on the fight the Iraqi army can put up.
   The only thing we can do, now, that will work, is send a division of US troops.  They might get there in time. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Bob Beckel inserts foot into mouth

Beckel, the token liberal on Fox News's Five, said something really dumb last night.  He trashed Bush for not using enough troops against Iraq.  Really Bob.  The force we sent overran the country, seized the capital, and drove Saddam Hussein  into hiding, all with in a matter of weeks.  That's a crushing victory by anyone's standards.  Which means we sent enough soldiers to do the job. 
   I'll grant that we didn't handle victory as well as we should have, but that's not a matter of boots on the ground, that's a matter of heads up and locked. 

Monday, October 15, 2007

General Ricardo Sanchez vs the MSM

General Sanchez was supreme commander in Iraq back in 03-04. Abu Ghraib happened on his watch. That was sorta the end of his army career, he didn't get promoted again and he didn't get a top level pentagon job, instead he retired. He is probably still sore about that.
He was invited to speak at a press club meeting. I caught a rerun of the general's talk on CSpan. The bulk of Gen Sanchez's remarks trashed the media up on side and down the other. He accused them of ignorance, political bias, slanted coverage, and outright lying. Then he delivered some more choice remarks about congress, politicians, and destruction of American unity in the face of the enemy. At the end of his talk, in order to be an equal opportunity bad mouther, he slammed Rumsfield and Bush.
Then came the question and answer period. Long pause, after the general's harsh remarks about the press, few reporters in the room had the gumption to ask anything.
Needless to say the NYT and the WashPo reported the general's remarks slamming the administration and ignored his criticism of the press, Congress and politicians.