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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
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To: Former Proud Canadian
I agree with the second one. He wants to give Isis and their moslum brotherhood/sunni backers a large piece of Iraq and all of Syria. He will allow Iran to take over in the southern Shiite areas of Iraq. It goes with his plans to weaken America at home and abroad.
21 posted on 06/24/2014 9:54:03 AM PDT by peeps36 (Save The Tortoise And Kill The People)
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To: PoloSec

When Iraq, in concert with their Iranian and Russian allies, finally clean out ISIS their next target will be the Kurds. Obama will not care.


22 posted on 06/24/2014 9:55:06 AM PDT by Mike Darancette (Do The Math)
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To: PoloSec
...the preponderance of the evidence is solid, obama is a Sunni!

Yes. Just compare where the Sunnis stand now compared to 2009 in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and, until several months ago, Egypt.

The Sunnis are making great progress under the "leadership" of Obama. Egypt was a setback. But be assured, the Caliphate is, slowly but surely, reemerging.

23 posted on 06/24/2014 10:01:07 AM PDT by InterceptPoint
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To: PoloSec

It wasn’t on TV so 0bungles didn’t hear about it.


24 posted on 06/24/2014 10:04:55 AM PDT by TigersEye ("No man left behind" means something different to 0bama.)
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To: PoloSec

Seems like JonF’nKerry b stuk in Iraqu.


25 posted on 06/24/2014 10:08:32 AM PDT by Paladin2
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To: PoloSec
I am thinking the US (AND especially the MSM) won't budge one way or another UNTIL/UNLESS the terrorists F with Jordan.

THAT will be the deal breaker... always assuming this administration is capable of making/holding to agreements of ANY kind with leaders IN or OUT of the ME!

HOWEVER, given the track record of this President, it is always entirely possible that, for whatever reason (or for NO reason at all) any perfectly sound and logical plan for US involvement/non involvement will be turned into a dog's breakfast by this a$# hat in the White House. This is what you get when you put treasonous and un vetted idiots in power.

26 posted on 06/24/2014 10:10:21 AM PDT by SMARTY ("When you blame others, you give up your power to change." Robert Anthony)
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To: qaz123

Thanks for that info—velly intellesting!


27 posted on 06/24/2014 10:31:22 AM PDT by milagro (There is no peace in appeasement!)
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To: PoloSec
. . .will fuel Republican charges that the Obama administration has been dangerously disengaged from the Middle East. . . .

obama is not disengaged, but probably working to help help ISIS behind the scenes any way he can, so I doubt there will be any serious military action that would, in reality, damage their cause. Whatever he does will be designed for public consumption so he can claim to be helping, while really doing nothing. We will probably see pictures of bombs harmlessly going off in the desert or on abandoned buildings. They are just trying to figure out how to stage the illusion.

28 posted on 06/24/2014 10:41:42 AM PDT by RatRipper (The political left are utterly evil and corrupt)
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To: PoloSec
The Kurds even offered to participate in a joint military operation with Baghdad against the jihadists.

The Kurds in Syria (separate from the KRG) already had "put together an impressive fighting force to defend its territory from . . . ISIS"

This has some interesting information about the current events in Iraq. IMO.

". . . Ankara has entered into energy deals with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), something which has infuriated the central Iraqi government in Baghdad but which has helped the Kurds further build a foundation for their independence [yes true that] Ankara has been so alarmed by the growing Kurdish autonomy [in Syria and tolerated by Syria, I believe] that it reportedly has provided support for [ISIS] in their fight against the Kurdish militia that controls the region [of Syria],which is affiliated with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)." [my emphasis]

more..

". . . the takeover by ISIS in recent days of Mosul and other cities . . . Ankara will likely not only have to deepen its relationship with the KRG . . . but also alter its approach to the Kurds in Syria"

more..

"Explains Lehigh University professor and Turkey expert Henri Barkey in an analysis piece on Al-Monitor website: The crisis may force the Turks to rethink some of their policies in Syria. To date, Ankara’s friendship with the Kurds stopped in Iraq; Erdogan and his government have taken an uncompromising position against Syrian Kurds led by the Democratic Union Party of Kurdistan (PYD), an offshoot of the Turkish Kurdish insurgent group the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The PYD has emerged as the strongest Kurdish group in Syria and has put together an impressive fighting force to defend its territory from both ISIS and the regime. The idea of another autonomous Kurdish region on its borders after the KRG has been anathema to Ankara. Paradoxically, the PYD’s armed elements are some of the only ones that have scored blows against the jihadists. In the face of the ISIS sweep, the PYD and the KRG, which have also had antagonistic relations, appear to be cooperating on defensive measures against ISIS. Turkey may have to reconsider its boycott of the Syrian Kurds to enlarge the anti-ISIS coalition." [my emphasis]

29 posted on 06/24/2014 11:00:21 AM PDT by WilliamofCarmichael (If modern America's Man on Horseback is out there, Get on the damn horse already!)
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To: PoloSec

While the origin and basis for the current strength of ISIS in Iraq can be laid squarely at the feet of the Iraqi prime minister, Maliki, due to the Shia partisan functioning of his regime and how it has helped young Sunni men and some Sunni tribal leaders to make alliances with ISIS, for now, it also shows ISIS understood the many weaknesses of the Iraqi government better than did the Obama administration of at least better than the Obama White House was willing to admit.

At this juncture I think there is only one set of people and forces the U.S. should aid in countering ISIS - the Kurds. The rest of Iraq ought to be left dependent on Arab Iraqi Shia and Sunni reaching their own accommodations, or not.


30 posted on 06/24/2014 11:19:40 AM PDT by Wuli
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To: PoloSec
That's why ISIS will NOT be insane enough to attempt to take on the Kurds in northern Iraq. The Kurds are like the Zulus in South Africa during the apartheid era--the last group you want to p*** off.
31 posted on 06/24/2014 11:53:01 AM PDT by RayChuang88 (FairTax: America's economic cure)
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To: Uncle Miltie

bkmk


32 posted on 06/24/2014 12:31:34 PM PDT by AllAmericanGirl44
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To: InterceptPoint

baraq: “my muslim faith”.

Guess he meant it.


33 posted on 06/24/2014 12:36:01 PM PDT by Texas resident (The democrat party is the CPUSA)
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; Lent; GregB; ..
Middle East and terrorism, occasional political and Jewish issues Ping List. High Volume

If you’d like to be on or off, please FR mail me.

..................

34 posted on 06/24/2014 6:06:24 PM PDT by SJackson (wish I had known more firsthand about...problems of American businesspeople as a Senator G McGovern)
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To: PoloSec

Politically and economically stable? Americans unlikely to get killed there? Kurdistan? It’s just in the whey.


35 posted on 06/25/2014 3:27:29 AM PDT by Eleutheria5 (End the occupation. Annex today.)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

Oh, but now they’re playing catch-up:

Kerry to Kurds: Help Save Iraq from Total Collapse
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/Flash.aspx/296405#.U6qkw4aQbQo


36 posted on 06/25/2014 3:31:08 AM PDT by Eleutheria5 (End the occupation. Annex today.)
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To: PoloSec

You don’t have to be an expert or even do a lot of studying to figure out that this is the way many, if not most, of the men in Iraq, and even in Afghanistan, behave. They quickly and easily change allegiances as a survival tool.

To say the WH did not expect this is laughable.


37 posted on 06/25/2014 3:36:56 AM PDT by savedbygrace (But God!)
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; Lent; GregB; ..
Middle East and terrorism, occasional political and Jewish issues Ping List. High Volume

If you’d like to be on or off, please FR mail me.

..................

38 posted on 06/25/2014 5:36:09 AM PDT by SJackson (wish I had known more firsthand about...problems of American businesspeople as a Senator G McGovern)
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; cardinal4; ColdOne; ...

Huge surprise, eh?

Since Zero and Plugs want to normalize relations with Iran, anything that potentially benefits Iran — like not actually supporting anyone trying to overthrow Assad, or like not doing anything to stop a new jihadist group attempting to destroy some others trying to overthrow Assad, or like getting 30 year old sanctions lifted and releasing billions to the mullahs, or like helping Iran’s client Hamas back onto its feet, or like a laissez-faire approach to Iranian nuclear bomb projects — shouldn’t come as any surprise.

Thanks PoloSec.


39 posted on 06/28/2014 9:37:24 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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