Ramadi has fallen to ISIS. Ramadi was really where the Anbar Awakening began,”the movement,” Max Boot said, “started by Colonel Sean MacFarland in Ramadi in 200, to mobilize Sunni tries against AQI.” (al Qaeda in Iraq)
After having lost hundreds of American soldiers in Ramadi and its environs since 2003, US efforts finally appeared to have paid off. AQI had been routed of the capital of its self-proclaimed caliphate, and would soon be routed out of the rest of the Sunni Triangle. Victory was in sight.
It is all the more heartbreaking, therefore, to read now that the Islamic State—AQI’s successor organization—has seized the government center in Ramadi. Islamic State extremists detonated a series of suicide car bombs on Thursday to punch their way through fortifications protecting the government headquarters. Reports were that, after the headquarters fell, black-clad fanatics were going to door-to-door, executing tribal fighters who opposed their onslaught. Government security forces and many civilians were fleeing in panic. As Michael Auslin of the American Enterprise Institute points out, it’s as if the Marines, having taken Iwo Jima, had abandoned it and the Japanese had lowered the stars and stripes on Mount Suribachi.
“Leading from behind” is a bad enough strategy when America’s allies take the lead. It is an utterly ruinous strategy when America’s enemies take the lead. But that s what is now happening in Iraq.”
Obama has authorized fewer than 3,000 trainers who are confined to base and not allowed to recruit, train or arm Sunni tribesmen. Nor are they allowed to personally call in airstrikes. They have to depend on Iraqi security forces who are dominated by Iranian security forces to tell them what to bomb. In the guise of fighting ISIS, Iran is taking over most of Iraq.
Obama has illusions of becoming partners with Iran, the world’s greatest terrorist-sponsoring state, and assigning Iran the task of managing the Middle East. AQs yet, he is utterly unable to explain to the American people just where the war effort stands and what he plans to do differently. The Arab states are begging for American leadership, but that seems not to be what Obama does.
The West’s war against ISIS puts the U.S. and Europe tacitly on the side of Assad, the Iranians, and their joint Lebanese proxy Hezbollah for the simple reason that we’re all fighting ISIS at the same time while leaving one another alone. Tehran can hardly contain itself. “One of the world’s leading state sponsors of terrorism,” Weiss and Hassan write, “now presents itself as the last line of defense against terrorism.” The idea that a state sponsor of terrorism could ever be a reliable partner against international terrorism is ludicrous.
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