And once again, the spark of ‘shock and awe’ in darkness as the US started its bombing campaign against ISIS, the initial strikes aimed at command centers in Syria: “This is the punch in the nose to the bully that we talked about on the playground,” former Delta Force officer James Reese said. “ISIS is the bully, and we just punched him in the nose.”
(Illustration found here).
Of course, the US has been bombing the shit out of ISIS in Iraq — sounds good to the war whores, but the reality…
Not so good — yesterday, via the New York Times:
After six weeks of American airstrikes, the Iraqi government’s forces have scarcely budged the Sunni extremists of the Islamic State from their hold on more than a quarter of the country, in part because many critical Sunni tribes remain on the sidelines.
Although the airstrikes appear to have stopped the extremists’ march toward Baghdad, the Islamic State is still dealing humiliating blows to the Iraqi Army.
On Monday, the government acknowledged that it had lost control of the small town of Sichar and lost contact with several hundred of its soldiers who had been besieged for nearly a week at a camp north of the Islamic State stronghold of Falluja, in Anbar Province.
By midday, there were reports that hundreds of soldiers had been killed there in battle or mass executions.
Ali Bedairi, a lawmaker from the governing alliance, said more than 300 soldiers had died after the loss of the base, Camp Saqlawiya.
The prime minister ordered the arrest of the responsible officers, although a military spokesman put the death toll at just 40 and said 68 were missing.
Another open-ended war in the Middle East — and this one with no real strategy. (The 2003 Iraqi invasion also had to real strategy, other than ‘shock and awe.’ And we know how that plan of action played out, and we’re still feeling the effects).
Currently — probably since the dawn of man — the Middle East is a firestorm of horror. In Iraq, the same old Sunni/Shite conflict, while in Syria, there’s so many forms of rebel fighters it’s hard to keep them apart without an appropriate program.
And there’s the rumor swilling across the region, the US plots with ISIS — Marcy Wheeler has a good post on that bullshit: Moreover, our ongoing actions feed such suspicions. Consider the way the Administration is asking for Congressional sanction (at least in the form of funding) for an escalated engagement in the region, without first briefing Congress on the stupid things it has been doing covertly for the last 18 months?
One of the best in reading the Mid-East tea leaves is Patrick Cockburn of the UK’s Independent. He writes the only true hope in all this mess is a cease fire in Syria, first and foremost, everything else is just bullshit.
US policy has an Alice in Wonderland absurdity about it, everything being the opposite of what it appears to be.
The so-called “coalition of the willing” is, in practice, very unwilling to fight IS, while those hitherto excluded, such as Iran, the Syrian government, Hezbollah and the PKK, are the ones actually fighting.
A truce between the government and moderate rebels in Syria would enable both to devote their resources to fighting IS, as they need to do quickly if they are to avoid defeat.
Which is the real result of this new mission creep.