American Elephants

ISIS Advances, But the Kurds Have Run Out of Ammunition! by The Elephant's Child


Ob Sunday, ISIS, or the Islamic State as they prefer to be designated, drove Kurdish forces out of three towns in Northern Iraq and laid siege to Iraq’s largest dam. ISIS destroyed the Iraqi army in Mosul. Their success against the Kurdish peshmerga militia is an ominous turn. Kurdistan has been an area of peace and prosperity when compared to the rest of Iraq.

The U.S protected the Kurds from Saddam Hussein for a decade with a no-fly zone. After Saddam fell in 2003, the U.S. was invited to set up a permanent military base in their territory. The U.S. intended to supply the Kurds with military equipment in 2010, but Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki objected. He was a Shiite, and unable to consider Iraq as a whole country unsegregated into sects.

After Obama withdrew all U.S. forces in 2011, the U.S. has provided more than $1 billion in military aid and sold them more than $10 billion in hardware to Baghdad, but little reached the Kurds. Maliki also denied the Kurds their share of oil revenues, so the Kurds have sought to export their own oil, which the U.S. has tried to block.

The Kurds sent a delegation to Washington last month to seek military help. The peshmerga are a courageous and professional force, but under equipped. The administration claimed that American aid would be a green light to Kurdish independence and the potential breakup of Iraq. Another example of the brilliant foreign policy of the administration. Kurdistan has a 650 mile border which Iraqi Kurds must try to defend since the Iraqi army collapsed in the north.

ISIS has taken over Sinjar, blown up a Shiite shrine and ordered the residents to convert or die. Another town, Wana, has also fallen. The Kurdish forces reportedly retreated from Sinjar because they ran out of ammunition. They need help.

The whole problem is clearly exacerbated by Obama’s pride in “ending the war in Iraq.” How can he celebrate that great success if he goes back in? That seems to be the level of strategic thinking.

State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki, valley-girl, added “gravely” to her usual expression of “concerned.” (I am really offended by that woman.)  She stated that the United States is “gravely concerned” by the displacement of civilians and the loss of life. Team Obama should be gravely concerned by the growing wealth and equipment of these murderous terrorists. They should have been stopped before they equipped themselves with U.S. military equipment, most of the money in Iraq, and every oil field they and capture. If they capture the Mosul Dam, they will control the power supply and water for Iraq, and all bets are off.

This is not a bunch to pay much attention to the niceties. They are ranging through Iraq, murdering, beheading, crucifying. Women are told to turn themselves in for gynecological examinations and female circumcision. They are destroying centuries old shrines and holy places at random.

Maliki has apparently sent his air force to aid the Kurds. As Powerline said:

There is a huge disconnect in Obama’s Iraq policy. The administration’s rhetoric, and its behavior towards the Kurds, is all about avoiding partition of Iraq. But Obama has never been willing to do the hard work required to keep Iraq together.

By pulling completely out of Iraq, Obama lost the ability to influence policy there. Immediately upon our departure, Maliki began violating the constitution and alienating Kurds and Sunnis to the point that partition (once proposed by then Senator Joe Biden) became attractive, if not essential, to these groups.

Then, ISIS began its military drive. Obama’s response? None, until ISIS had already partitioned Iraq, with a large chunk of it now a terrorist state and that chunk becoming larger by the week.


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