Welcome To Fallujah (Again)

Fallujah…..a term that will strike many chords to many people….Fallujah has been the focal point of several major battles….especially in the 21st century…..

The first battle for Fallujah was in 2004 or Operation Vigilant Resolve…..was an operation to root out extremist elements of Fallujah and an act of retaliation to, as well as an attempt to apprehend the perpetrators of, the killing of four U.S. contractors in April 2004.

On 1 May 2004, the United States withdrew from Fallujah, as Lieutenant General James Conway announced that he had unilaterally decided to turn over any remaining operations to the newly formed Fallujah Brigade, which would be armed with U.S. weapons and equipment under the command of former Ba’athist Army General Jasim Mohammed Saleh. Several days later, when it became clear that Saleh had been involved in military actions against Shi’ites under Saddam Hussein, U.S. forces announced that Muhammed Latif would instead lead the brigade. Nevertheless, the group dissolved and had turned over all the U.S. weapons to the insurgency by September

The second battle for Fallujah……or shall we call it Operation Phantom Fury……it became one the bloodiest battles since Tet in Vietnam and the battle for Hue.

Nevertheless, the battle proved to be less than the decisive engagement that the U.S. military had hoped for. Some of the nonlocal insurgents, along with Zarqawi, were believed to have fled before the military assault, leaving mostly local militants behind. Subsequent U.S. military operations against insurgent positions were ineffective at drawing out insurgents into another open battle, and by September 2006, the situation had deteriorated to the point that the Al-Anbar province that contained Fallujah was reported to be in total insurgent control by the U.S. Marine Corps, with the exception of only pacified Fallujah, but now with an insurgent-plagued Ramadi.

After the U.S. military operation of November 2004, the number of insurgent attacks gradually increased in and around the city, and although news reports were often few and far between, several reports of IED attacks on Iraqi troops were reported in the press. Most notable of these attacks was a suicide car bomb attack on 23 June 2005 on a convoy that killed 6 Marines. Thirteen other Marines were injured in the attack. However, fourteen months later insurgents were again able to operate in large numbers.  (Thanx to Wikipedia)

Now the ISIS franchise has been in control of the city for a couple of years…..after many skirmishes the Iraqi Army is now attacking the city to re-gain control…

With the fall and virtual destruction of the Anbar Provincial capital city of Ramadi earlier this year, Fallujah is the major ISIS city that is closest to the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, and is the target of a new offensive announced by Iraqi PM Hayder Abadi this weekend.

Fallujah is actually the longesst-held ISIS city in Iraq, falling in January of 2014, when public protests against the Maliki government provided an opening for the ISIS forces to take over parts of the city. Iraqi forces have been surrounding the city in recent months, pending this offensive.

Iraqi military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasoul ordered all civilians to flee the city of some 200,000 people, adding that they are providing “corridors” to escape through. This call came in spite of weeks of Iraqi officials claiming ISIS wasn’t allowing anyone to flee.

The Army prediction is that it is only a matter of time before it falls to the Iraqi Army…..

ISIS is retaliating in the only way they know……

Isis execution squads have appeared in the streets of Fallujah, a city 40 miles west of Baghdad, with orders to kill anybody trying to flee or surrender as government forces advance towards this Isis stronghold. “Groups of Isis fighters are saying they will kill anybody in Fallujah who leaves their house or waves a white flag,” says Ahmed al-Dulaimi, a political activist who spoke by phone to relatives and friends in the city.

Iraqi army units started an offensive east of Fallujah on Monday morning after heavy shelling and airstrikes overnight. Mr Dulaimi said that Shia militias known as the Hashd al-Shaabi were joining in the bombardment with a home-made-rocket called “the Nimr”, named after the leader of the Saudi Shia minority, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, who was executed by the Saudi authorities in January this year.

Source: Isis unleashes death squads as Iraqi forces advance on Fallujah – The Unz Review

Now the tally is starting to filter out of the city from the news action to re-take it……Although the offensive was launched on Monday, Iraqi government forces have besieged the city and its suburbs for several months now, resulting in shortages of food and medicines.

At least 15 civilians have been killed so far during the offensive, sources told Al Jazeera.

At least 35 soldiers and allied militiamen have also been reported killed. More than a dozen Shia militias are taking part under the umbrella of the Popular Mobilisation Forces.

Source: Fallujah: Déjà vu all over again

The battle is under way….how will this end?  Will ISIS be removed from the city?  How many Americans are part of this operation?

 

If You First Don’t Succeed

The Pentagon has a new idea for fighting the “bad guys” in Syria…..not as moronic as the “moderate” rebels……nope it is far more idiotic than that…..

After their last attempt to recruit and train a whole new rebel faction for Syria ended in disaster, the Pentagon is angling to try again. US officials are bursting with confidence, saying they have more Arabs volunteering than they know what to do with.

Described as an “eclectic” group, the new recruits seem even less suited to the role than the last ones. One US military adviser described them as “raw, literally civilians coming off the streets,” which plays well to the US narrative of locals rising up to resist ISIS.

But the US training missions have struggled enough with training proper militaries and rebels with considerable existing experience. Carving a whole new fighting force out of untrained civilians is the very thing President Obama mocked as “fantasy.”

(antiwar.com)

They could hardly do worse than the last attempt, however, with the Pentagon’s previous training attempts not only ending with the “first class” of recruits wiped out in a matter of days, but with the second class defecting to al-Qaeda almost immediately with a large amount of US equipment.

The Pentagon is already trying to same scheme again so soon after such an embarrassment reflects the lack of realistic ideas among US officials on how to win the ongoing war, and continued pressure to “do something,” even if it clearly won’t work.

What was it that Einstein had to say about doing the same things over and over?

 Vietnam Offers a Roadmap for the Mideast

In my studies of conflicts (war if you will) I have always looked for alternate policies that would help remove the US from its massive troop build-ups and its interventions…..

We need a new plan for the Middle East……a re-think if you will….

The request by a U.S. Army captain to a federal court for a declaratory judgment about his constitutional duties regarding going to war is the latest reminder of the unsatisfactory situation in which the United States is engaged in military operations in multiple overseas locales without any authorization other than a couple of outdated and obsolete Congressional resolutions whose relevance is questionable at best.

Of the many ways in which the U.S. Congress has fallen down on the job, this is one of the more important ones. There are several reasons that Congress should take up without further delay the question of an authorization for the use of military force (AUMF). Getting out of the legal netherworld in which current U.S. military operations exist is one of those reasons.

Source: A Need to Rethink Mideast Wars – Consortiumnews

Is there a way of approaching the Middle East that does not involve intervention and war?  I found an op-ed that I rather like…..and I believe it could work….if only our leaders would try……

Just recently the US president has offered support to an old enemy….Vietnam….and that agreement could be a template to be used in the Middle East…..like it or not.

As President Barack Obama’s visit to Vietnam and the lifting of the arms embargo to that country represents his “pivot to Asia,” his simultaneous killing of Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour, the Taliban leader in Pakistan, and the U.S.-backed Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s announcement of an assault to free Fallujah in Iraq illustrate why the […]

Source: Trajectory of US Policy in Vietnam Offers a Roadmap for the Mideast – Antiwar.com Original by — Antiwar.com

There is no argument that we need to find people that can think outside the box that the M-IC has constructed…..armed conflict only makes their business more and more profitable……and afterall that is the American Way, right?

The women behind Sykes-Picot

This month is the 100 years anniversary of the Sykes-Picot Agreement and to many historians is a direct link to the problems the Middle East is suffering from today.

In honor of this milestone I have given a few historical posts about this agreement with the hopes that it will help people understand what is happening in the Middle East today….that is if they are interested but most had rather bitch and moan than learn something.

Most of us know the men that were involved but few know of the women that played an amazingly important role in the formation of the modern day Middle East…

And this is why I am here…..I am becoming notorious with my historical perspectives……(he said smilingly)….

British diplomat Mark Sykes and French diplomat Francois Georges-Picot garnered most of the attention in the retrospective commentaries published around May 16, the 100-year anniversary of the Sykes-Picot Treaty.

Other pieces referred to their contemporaries, such as the British agent T E Lawrence, who led the Arab Revolt during World War I, or the influential oil broker Calouste Gulbenkian.

These Europeans sought to shape the Middle East, yet for every discussion of a European man who engaged in this endeavour, there is also a story of a European woman who both made this region, and was made by the region.

Jane Digby, Gertrude Bell, or Freya Stark, just to name a few women, led lives as illustrious as their male counterparts in the Middle East.

Source: The women behind Sykes-Picot – Al Jazeera English

Another tale of the accomplishments of women pushed aside by male counterparts…..sad state of academia…..where gender was more important than the facts.

Women Take Up Arms

I remember when the Army allowed women into the Ranger training course and couple of them passed with flying colors…..there was a bit of a push back….mostly from those people that think that women should be at home bare foot and pregnant cooking dinner, having his slippers waiting when Papa comes home.  And then after that “set back” the news broke that women would be allowed to choose “combat arms” when entering the Army…..meaning they could be thrown into the conflict just like their male counterparts……and once again those people that think that women are only good to keep the “home fires burning” were back in force….railing about all that 17th century bullsh*t……

But I have written about women in the Middle East that are as much “freedom fighter” as their male counterparts……(but in case you missed my superb posts)…….

Source: The female guerilla fighters of the PKK | Middle East Eye – In Saner Thought

Objectifying female fighters | openDemocracy

With your memory sufficiently refreshed ….there is more on the women of the Middle East that are doing more than their part to defeat the forces of evil……

It is no exaggeration to say that a strip of land along Syria’s northern border with Turkey is home to the most radical experiment in democracy and gender equality, not just in the Middle East, but in the whole world. Western Kurdistan, or Rojava, ‘the land where the sun sets’, first entered popular consciousness in that lopsided way that news from elsewhere hits Western TV screens, when Kurdish women fighters liberated Yazidi women and children from ISIS on Mount Sinjar in August/September 2015. When the might of the US, the Free Syrian Army and the other regional armies in Iraq were unable to stop the advance of ISIS, young women in military fatigues and floral scarves defeated men who can barely tolerate fully covered-up women. Such film footage was undeniably eye-catching. Yet rather than leading to further information and analysis of the Rojava phenomenon, it was appropriated for the purposes of capitalist consumerism. H&M tried to sell a range of clothing based on the women’s uniforms, provoking outrage in the Kurdish community for trivializing their struggle.

Source: Military fatigues and floral scarves — New Internationalist

These women are fighting evil and the right for a freer democracy in their homeland….

These women are proving that they are just as capable as any man and in some cases more so……

It is the 21st century in case you were not aware that the 17th century has long since passed……

 

Defeating ISIS

Everybody knows who or what ISIS….or is it IS….no wait it is ISIL….no wait…..the subject is so confusing that there are very few that have any idea what this group is other than Muslims……and because they claim to be then ALL Muslims must be in league with this barbarous organization….this group is almost as confusing as using the term Terrorism…..it is all semantics with little knowledge….mostly regurgitation from lesser informed sources.

That is okay because these lesser informed dolts know how to defeat ISIS and none of their solutions take any thought or planning……just rhetoric for the peasants……

Personally, I would like to hear a plan for this defeat that we hear so much about…..I found one plan……

The islamic state poses a grave danger to the United states and its allies in the
middle east and around the world reports that it is not currently planning an attack against the American homeland are little comfort. its location, the resources it controls, the skill and determination of its leaders and fighters, and its demonstrated lethality distinguish it from other al-Qaeda-like
groups. Its ability to offer safe-haven and support to terrorists planning attacks against us is beyond any terrorist threat we have ever seen. The thousands of American and European citizens who are fighting alongside the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra in Iraq and Syria constitute an unprecedented threat to our security regardless of whether those groups intend to attack us. the
islamic state is a clear and present danger to the security of the United states. it must be defeated. Developing a strategy to accomplish that goal is daunting.
the situation today is so bad and the momentum is so much in the
wrong direction that it is impossible to articulate a direct path to an acceptable endstate in Iraq and Syria. American neglect of the deteriorating situations in both countries has deprived us of the understanding and even basic ground intelligence needed to build a strategy. We must therefore pursue an iterative approach that tests basic assumptions, develops our understanding,
builds partnerships with willing parties on the ground, especially the sunni Arabs in Iraq who will be essential to set conditions
for more decisive operations to follow.

Source: Defeating ISIS_0.pdf

America’s Long War to Control the Middle East

The US has had its eyes on the Middle East for decades…….and its policies turned sour after they decided that Israel should be recognized after the announcement by the Jews.

Of course the necessity for oil also has the US struggling to keep oil producers like Saudi Arabia, UAE and others in their pockets.

Nothing undermines the American belief in military force. No matter how often its galloping about results in resentment and mayhem, the U.S. gets up again to do good elsewhere.

The conviction that invasion, bombing, and special forces benefit large swaths of the globe, while remaining consonant with a Platonic ideal of the national interest, runs deep in the American psyche. Like the poet Stevie Smith’s cat, the United States “likes to gallop about doing good.” The cat attacks and misses, sometimes injuring itself, but does not give up. It asks, as the U.S. should,

Source: Andrew Bacevich and America’s Long Misguided War to Control the Greater Middle East

An interesting piece……the US has been massaging the “rulers” of the various countries since the beginning of the Cold War…..actually longer but that would require me to go into a long historical perspective and we all would rather I not do that, right?