Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Report: Kurds offered to help stop ISIS months ago ó but didnít hear back from the White House
Hot Air ^ | June 24 2014 | Allahpundit

Posted on 06/24/2014 9:19:07 AM PDT by PoloSec

It’s not some shadowy anonymous source from the peshmerga’s middle management who’s claiming this, do note. It’s Nechirvan Barzani, the Kurds’ prime minister. That’s the second time in four days that a major foreign official has accused Obama’s America of being a fickle, disengaged ally.

Thoughtfully considering the Kurds’ offer and declining so as not to get sucked back into Iraq would be one thing, but that’s not what happened according to Barzani. Apparently, we simply didn’t respond.

The Kurds became especially alarmed at signs that ISIS had already formed a shadow government in Mosul, weeks before initiating the carefully preplanned takeover of the city 10 days ago. According to the same Kurdish military sources it was accomplished with ease and without serious fighting after local Iraqi commanders agreed to withdraw.

The prime minister of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, Nechirvan Barzani, says he warned Baghdad and the United States months ago about the threat ISIS posed to Iraq and the group’s plan to launch an insurgency across Iraq. The Kurds even offered to participate in a joint military operation with Baghdad against the jihadists.

Washington didn’t respond—a claim that will fuel Republican charges that the Obama administration has been dangerously disengaged from the Middle East. Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki dismissed the warnings, saying everything was under control.

The Kurds’ intelligence head, Lahur Talabani, says he handed Washington and London detailed reports about the unfolding threat. The warnings “fell on deaf ears,” he says.

Those ears weren’t really deaf, though. Remember, even American intel officials were sounding alarms about ISIS last year. Obama knew the threat existed. He just declined to address it, either because he thought there was nothing the U.S. could do to stop ISIS or because he badly misjudged the Iraqi army’s willingness and ability to repel the jihadis themselves. I’ve got to believe it’s the latter; if it’s the former, that America was powerless to damage ISIS, why on earth is Kerry hinting about U.S. airstrikes now when ISIS is stronger and richer than it was before? Logically, the time to start bombing was before they became entrenched in Mosul and started eyeing Baghdad, not after.

There’s a third possibility: Maybe O knew ISIS was a major threat, thought a joint U.S./Iraqi/Kurdish operation could do something to neutralize it, but decided he wasn’t going to get involved in Iraq again unless and until the country faced an existential crisis — and even then, he’d do the bare minimum. (Says one Special Ops vet of the 300 troops being sent in, “These guys are being given an impossible mission. What are they going to do? Host a dinner party?”) His genesis as a national figure was his opposition to military action in Iraq; he’s not going to spend his last two years as president cleaning up a mess he didn’t personally make, whatever responsibility his country may have had in making it. Except that … he did help make this mess, whether he realizes it or not. Read Peter Beinart’s indictment of O for refusing to do anything over the past five years to pressure the Iraqi government to reconcile with the Sunnis and Kurds. This is a guy who swept to office in 2008 promising that he’d use diplomacy and economic levers — “smart power” — to achieve America’s goals, yet when it came time to put a little diplomatic pressure on Maliki, he passed on every opportunity.

For the Obama administration, however, tangling with Maliki meant investing time and energy in Iraq, a country it desperately wanted to pivot away from. A few months before the 2010 elections, according to Dexter Filkins in The New Yorker, “American diplomats in Iraq sent a rare dissenting cable to Washington, complaining that the U.S., with its combination of support and indifference, was encouraging Maliki’s authoritarian tendencies.”…

The decline of U.S. leverage in Iraq simply reinforced the attitude Obama had held since 2009: Let Maliki do whatever he wants so long as he keeps Iraq off the front page.

On December 12, 2011, just days before the final U.S. troops departed Iraq, Maliki visited the White House. According to Nasr, he told Obama that Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi, an Iraqiya leader and the highest-ranking Sunni in his government, supported terrorism. Maliki, argues Nasr, was testing Obama, probing to see how the U.S. would react if he began cleansing his government of Sunnis. Obama replied that it was a domestic Iraqi affair. After the meeting, Nasr claims, Maliki told aides, “See! The Americans don’t care.”

Obama even looked the other way at Iraq’s tainted election four years ago, brokering a settlement that kept Maliki in power while doing nothing to ensure that the secular Shiites who were supposed to receive cabinet posts in the deal actually got what they were promised. The next time you see him on TV wheezing that Iraq’s problems can’t be solved militarily but only through sectarian reconciliation, ask yourself why he didn’t give a wet fart about nudging Maliki on reconciliation until ISIS was at the gates of Baghdad. His disengagement made it easier for jihadis to seize Anbar province, which means we’ll be dealing with terror camps in Iraq for years to come. (Here’s a sneak preview from across the border, although there’s really no meaningful border at all anymore.) That’s what Obama is “America’s done with Iraq” policy has produced. We’re less “done” now than we were after withdrawal. Why didn’t he at least pressure Maliki to accept the Kurds’ offer of joint operations with Baghdad against ISIS when they offered?

In lieu of an exit question, read the entire Daily Beast piece on what the Kurds told Washington and London. There’s an interesting digression in there about Assad’s role in creating ISIS, even though they’re desperate to kill him and every other Shiite in Syria. Per Jamie Dettmer, Assad went easy on ISIS at first and focused his military attention on Syria’s more “moderate” rebels instead. His thinking, I guess, was that if the most insane jihadis took over Syria’s Sunni areas, the local Sunnis might conclude that rule by Assad wasn’t so bad by comparison. Or maybe Assad thought that the more ISIS succeeded, the easier it’d be for him to argue to the west that the Sunni “rebels” in Syria were really the same sort of Salafist cretins that knocked down the Twin Towers. Either way, Frankenstein’s out of the lab now.


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Israel; News/Current Events; Russia; Syria; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iraq; iraqmeltdown; isis; israel; kurdistan; kurds; lebanon; maliki; turkey
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-39 next last

1 posted on 06/24/2014 9:19:07 AM PDT by PoloSec
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: PoloSec

Kerry and Barack were too busy opening the (back?) door to homosexuals into Ambassadorships.


2 posted on 06/24/2014 9:22:15 AM PDT by Uncle Miltie (Radicalized via the Internet)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PoloSec

Obama’s foreign policy screws it up yet again.


3 posted on 06/24/2014 9:24:15 AM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Haven't you lost enough freedoms? Support an end to the WOD now.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PoloSec

Well hell ... we all KNOW the State dept is useless ... maybe y’should’a called Ted Cruz


4 posted on 06/24/2014 9:26:37 AM PDT by knarf (brooklyn bridge)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PoloSec
"Yo Vlad, Can This Thing Get Me To Hawaii?"


5 posted on 06/24/2014 9:27:19 AM PDT by TexasCajun
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PoloSec

Polls aren’t in yet...


6 posted on 06/24/2014 9:27:25 AM PDT by bigbob (The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly. Abraham Lincoln)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PoloSec

Obama to make a statement that the White House did respond, via email, but the cheap government computers lost them.


7 posted on 06/24/2014 9:28:05 AM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lost my tagline on Flight MH370. Sorry for the inconvenience.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PoloSec

Like with the Tsarnaevs, this poshitus sure likes to give our enemies elbow room and peace and quiet to work.


8 posted on 06/24/2014 9:28:12 AM PDT by txhurl (2014: Stunned Voters do Stunning Things!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PoloSec

The Kurds deserve their own country a LOT more than the so called palestinians ever did....


9 posted on 06/24/2014 9:28:15 AM PDT by GraceG
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PoloSec
...a major foreign official has accused Obama’s America of being a fickle, disengaged ally.

That's because Obama has been a fickle, disengaged President.

-PJ

10 posted on 06/24/2014 9:28:17 AM PDT by Political Junkie Too (If you are the Posterity of We the People, then you are a Natural Born Citizen.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PoloSec

I remember Christopher Hitchens (famous atheist and Iraq-war supporter) saying from the beginning that the Kurds were the only reasonable actor in that region, and that from the end of the First Gulf War in 1991, they were the only ones who were naturally developing a relatively normal system of government that wasn’t based solely on Islam or the utterings of some crazy Imam.


11 posted on 06/24/2014 9:30:03 AM PDT by PGR88
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PoloSec

yeah yeah yeah but lets stick to important things like what has the administration done for homos and homo marriage lately


12 posted on 06/24/2014 9:30:49 AM PDT by crusadersoldier
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Blood of Tyrants
There are only two answers, or a combination of these two.

1. Obama and his entire administration are totally incompetent.

2. Their foreign policy is working according to plan.

Pick 'em.

13 posted on 06/24/2014 9:31:10 AM PDT by Former Proud Canadian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: PoloSec

I worked PSD in Iraq for a few years. Used to take folks to see Barzani and other high ranking Kurdish officials. The differences between the Kurds and the arabs were ridiculous. They were so hospitable and friendly. Of course, all the Kurds were guarded by the Peshmerga, who’d chop your head off just as quick as they’d offer you some chai. But, they saved all that aggression for the arabs. When we went to the other Iraqi compounds it was gross.

They took offense to foreign PSD teams having visible weapons, so teams were required to leave their rifles in their vehicles and had to conceal their pistols. As far as the Peshmerga was concerned, they could and did handle their problems.

What’s interesting, is that right before I gave up working over there, three of the big hotel chains were in the process of building hotels in the Kurdistan. The Kurds are normal and want normal relations with the rest of the world, unlike the savages/idiots to the south.


14 posted on 06/24/2014 9:32:09 AM PDT by qaz123
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: qaz123

bttt


15 posted on 06/24/2014 9:33:12 AM PDT by ConservativeMan55 (In America, we don't do pin pricks. But sometimes we elect them.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: PoloSec
I hope now that the Government can make a difference.
16 posted on 06/24/2014 9:35:37 AM PDT by eizverson22
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Nachum

ping


17 posted on 06/24/2014 9:39:49 AM PDT by Loud Mime (arguetheconstitution.com Check it out.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: PoloSec
I didn't get past this:

"That’s the second time in four days that a major foreign official has accused Obama’s America of being a fickle, disengaged ally. "

Obama may be fickle. But that is not why he ignored the Kurds. He is a Sunni. He is pulling for the Sunnis. ISIS is Sunni.

Connect the dots. There are dots in Syria. There are dots in Egypt. There are dots in Libya. There are dots in Afghanistan. And now there are dots in Iraq.

This is not Rocket Science.

18 posted on 06/24/2014 9:40:54 AM PDT by InterceptPoint
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PoloSec

If ISIS is more radically moslem than the kurds, then obama will back ISIS. he ALWAYS supports the most radical, most anti-American side in any conflict


19 posted on 06/24/2014 9:41:02 AM PDT by John O (God Save America (Please))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: InterceptPoint
"But that is not why he ignored the Kurds. He is a Sunni. He is pulling for the Sunnis. ISIS is Sunni."

I had not thought about that, and you are correct, the preponderance of the evidence is solid, obama is a Sunni!

20 posted on 06/24/2014 9:47:37 AM PDT by PoloSec ( Believe the Gospel: how that Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose again)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-39 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson