During the Bush years, when our troops were fighting terrorists in Iraq, our nation was torn between the liberal antiwar crowds and libertarians and the “neo-con war hawks”. In the middle were our troops who did their jobs honorably, many giving their lives to give Iraqi people a taste of freedom that we take for granted here in the west. The Iraqi people needed the US for help in maintaining fragile peace and strengthening their forces so they could stand on their own.
For the past year, some of us have been watching the events unfolding in Syria and Iraq and the activities of Obama and John McCain among others in arming and training terrorists. We warned of the resurgence and strengthening of terrorist groups. Why didn’t anyone listen?
During Obama’s speech on December 14th, 2011, he said, “Indeed, everything that American troops have done in Iraq –all the fighting and all the dying, the bleeding and the building, and the training and the partnering –all of it has led to this moment of success. Now, Iraq is not a perfect place. It has many challenges ahead. But we’re leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq… In handing over responsibility to the Iraqis, you preserved the gains of the last four years and made this day possible…”
Reading the full speech given at Ft. Bragg is heart wrenching. While I know there are legalities in war, which agreements between our countries were laid out, the fact is, we cut and run. Not our troops, but Obama, because people here in America were “war weary” and Obama had a campaign pledge to keep.
Since, Obama has used his Islamic ties and influence to tear down sovereign governments and prop up others, much to the detriment of the people throughout the Middle East. They attempted to topple the Assad regime in Syria as well, but when that didn’t happen, we continued to arm the “freedom fighters”, who are made up of al Qaida members and other terrorist organizations, including members of ISIS.
One would have to be completely blind not to see the horrors happening in Syria and Iraq now. ISIS is now a self-professed Caliphate “nation” within Syria and Iraq. They have a highly structured army, control of gas and oil fields, millions of dollars and American military weapons and vehicles which were left to the Iraqis when Obama pulled our troops out.
Obama and the mainstream media blame Iraqi President Maliki for the failure of working closely with Sunni tribes, and call it sectarian. As blogger/War Correspondent and Film maker Pat Dollard tweeted recently, it is “not sectarian- it is jihad.” It was enabled because Obama wanted to keep his campaign promise.
The Kurds have retaken two towns near Erbil and with help from targeted airstrikes from the US, have been able to make a way for thousands of Yazidis to make it across the river into Kurdish-controlled parts of Syria. They have been fighting and fending off ISIS, who have American weapons and vehicles while they themselves have little more than AK-47s and a few old tanks. They have been begging the US for years to allow them to buy US weapons, but neither the US under Obama nor the Iraqi government want the potential of an independent Kurdish state. Both Obama and the Iraqi governments promised to get weapons to the Kurds, but Iraq hasn’t and the Pentagon says it will only sell weapons to Baghdad.
Retired General Michael Barbero who ran the training mission for the Iraqi military recently said, “The only way to confront this threat is to arm Iraqi security forces and Kurdish forces, and yet we’re doing nothing to support either one of those… It just doesn’t make sense to me. It’s an existential threat, so why we are not in there at least equipping and arming them?”
Many experts believe it will be extremely hard to achieve Obama’s mission there without more Americans on the ground. According to an article in the Military Times, U.S. advisers who are already on the ground could support the Kurdish forces fighting the militants, but U.S. commanders may need to expand their intelligence effort on the ground.
Retired Army Col. Peter Mansoor, who served as executive officer to David Petraeus during the 2007 surge in Iraq recently said, “You’re talking about a 10,000- to 15,000-soldier effort to include maintenance, and medevac and security… But that is the price you’re going to pay if you want to roll back [Islamic State]. You can’t just snap your fingers and make it go away.”
Not only are military experts worried, according to news reports, so is Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder. According to reports, jihadists’ members from ISIS may be working with Yemeni bomb makers. Add to that, thousands of European, American and Australians have gone to support to the jihadists. I reported a few times that Westerners were travelling to Turkey pretending to be tourists, but joining the Jihadists and going into and through Syria to join in the fighting. Now Holder has apparently voiced “extreme concern” that the volatile mix could spread to Western shores… “It’s more frightening than anything I think I’ve seen as attorney general,” he told ABC News.
The article goes on to list ways which ISIS could affect us in the US, because they could train those from Europe and the US to come back and commit terrorist acts in their home countries.
Hundreds of Yemenis have traveled to fight in Syria, and officials worry that Jabhat al-Nusra and other jihadist groups are joining forces. With more focus now on ISIS and by gaining more recruits, some fear that al Qaeda affiliates may try to restore their relevance by planning another attack.
What I find inconceivable is that while the threats are real and becoming more likely, our government is still negligent about stopping the huge flood of illegals from South America and others pouring in through our southern borders. We know that it’s not only children pouring in. When terrorists come through the southern border, it’s to set up sleeper cells in the US.
Meanwhile, with terrorist threats and war raging now in two countries, an independent panel appointed by the Pentagon and Congress said last week that Obama’s strategy for downsizing our military and shrinking US armed forces, are a “serious strategic misstep on the part of the United States.” The forces’ numbers spelled out in Obama’s Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) are “inadequate given the future strategic and operational environment.”
The panel made up of outside experts and also co-chairmen picked by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel also said,
“Not only have they caused significant investment shortfalls in U.S. military readiness and both present and future capabilities, they have prompted our current and potential allies and adversaries to question our commitment and resolve… Unless reversed, these shortfalls will lead to a high-risk force in the near future. That in turn will lead to an America that is not only less secure but also far less prosperous. In this sense, these cuts are ultimately self-defeating.”
ISIS and others have taken to social media; especially twitter warning the US of attacks and terrorist threats, using hashtags #AMessageFromISIStoUS and #CalamityWillBefallUS.
Abu Mosa, a spokesman for ISIS told VICE Media in a video interview posted online August 7th, “I say to America that the Islamic Caliphate has been established… don’t be cowards and attack us with drones. Instead send your soldiers, the ones we humiliated in Iraq… We will humiliate them everywhere, God willing, and we will raise the flag of Allah in the White House.”
People are being forced from their homes. Even after forced conversions, people are being executed. Babies are being beheaded. Women and little girls are being taken and given to jihadists as sex slaves or forced marriages. Iraqi and Syrian military and civilian men are being executed or beheaded.
So what is Obama’s plan for Iraq? After watching everything unfold for the past 6 years, I am furious because whatever it is, Obama’s plan for Iraq is too little too late and his policies have erased every good thing our troops did, in essence wasted every precious drop of American blood shed there.
I imagine the Iraqi people, who counted on us, are beyond war weary. What he has done in transforming our country and military, during times of war, while allowing hundreds of thousands of people to enter our country illegally, and still talking about amnesty- I hate to think Obama’s plans for Iraq is what he’s done everywhere else. Just enough to fan the flames, and then go golfing while the world burns.