First, the progress of Isis, as reported by the leftist UK Independent.
In an offensive in Iraq launched on 2 October but little reported in the outside world, Isis has captured almost all the cities and towns it did not already hold in Anbar province, a vast area in western Iraq that makes up a quarter of the country. It has captured Hit, Kubaisa and Ramadi, the provincial capital, which it had long fought for. Other cities, towns and bases on or close to the Euphrates River west of Baghdad fell in a few days, often after little resistance by the Iraqi Army which showed itself to be as dysfunctional as in the past, even when backed by US air strikes.
Just a note about those air strikes – it’s just a political diversion. The actual number of sorties is 10% what were doing during the Iraq war. It’s just something so that Obama can say he is “doing something” about the beheading videos. It is election season, after all. And that drives foreign policy if you’re a Democrat.
Today, only the city of Haditha and two bases, Al-Assad military base near Hit, and Camp Mazrah outside Fallujah, are still in Iraqi government hands. Joel Wing, in his study –”Iraq’s Security Forces Collapse as The Islamic State Takes Control of Most of Anbar Province” – concludes: “This was a huge victory as it gives the insurgents virtual control over Anbar and poses a serious threat to western Baghdad”.
The battle for Anbar, which was at the heart of the Sunni rebellion against the US occupation after 2003, is almost over and has ended with a decisive victory for Isis. It took large parts of Anbar in January and government counter-attacks failed dismally with some 5,000 casualties in the first six months of the year. About half the province’s 1.5 million population has fled and become refugees. The next Isis target may be the Sunni enclaves in western Baghdad, starting with Abu Ghraib on the outskirts but leading right to the centre of the capital.
What caused all this mess? Obama’s decision to pull our troops out of Iraq. And Iraq is now begging for us to send our troops back.
As Islamic State troops move closer to Baghdad, Iraqi officials have issued a plea for American ground troops to return to the country.
A senior governor claimed that up to 10,000 Islamic State fighters were closing in on the capital, amid reports that forces had reached Abu Ghraid, a suburb of Baghdad, The Telegraph reported Saturday.
Iraqi officials are worried the Pentagon will not be keen to send U.S. soldiers back to an area once dubbed “the graveyard of the Americans” in Anbar Province. In 2004, U.S. troops fought the Battle of Fallujah in Anabar province, the bloodiest battle involving American troops since the Vietnam War.
Regardless, government officials believe that if the province were to fall to the radical Islamic Fighters, then it would be a strategic launching point for a full-force attack on Baghdad.
Nearly 1,500 U.S. troops are already stationed in Baghdad, training the Iraqi army.
So where is Obama?