Fallujah, Syria, and ISIS

The battle by Iraqi forces to retake Fallujah has begun.

The U.S. says it killed the iconic Abu Wahib, ISIS's military commander of the Anbar province about 10 days ago. He's been declared dead before, but not by the Pentagon, which claims to have killed him in an airstrike near Rutbah.

ISIS conducted suicide bombings in Syria today killing a lot of people. [More..]

ISIS spokesman al Adnani in his audio statement this weekend said losing geographic territories or leaders won't defeat ISIS. That's a bit contradictory to ISIS claim that it is a state. How does a state exist without territory to govern?

Nonetheless, Adnani promised ISIS won't disappear. It may just become an insurgent group for a while. I guess that means it will go underground, striking out when it has the opportunity, until it feels it can rise again.

Even if ISIS goes underground in Iraq and Syria, it's still encouraging people to launch attacks on the West. And it's still big in Libya.It released photos today of a recent operation in Tripoli. And it's not going away in Yemen, Afghanistan or Pakistan. Al Qaida's still around as well.

Just as it's wise not to exaggerate the threat of ISIS to the West, it's best not to prematurely declare ISIS obsolete or defeated. And whatever happens to ISIS, it's not the only extremist group out there.

The whole region is a quagmire. We should never have gotten involved again. We seem to be sinking our teeth in deeper every day. Mission Creep is alive and well.

< "Bitter Bernie" Loses "Halo" Among Progressives | Indonesia Readying More Executions of Foreign Drug Offenders >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    So what if they make attempts to (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Mon May 23, 2016 at 04:31:44 PM EST
    Target "the West"? They kill mostly other Muslims. Many of us see Islamic Extremism as mostly Islam's problem, and it is. And now we see signs that Islam is going to deal with it.

    I don't think that East/West thing is going to play much longer either. Our interconnectedness is getting rid of that too.

    Here's a columnist's contrary view (none / 0) (#2)
    by Green26 on Mon May 23, 2016 at 10:33:05 PM EST

    "If he [Obama] had attacked the Islamic State cancer early, Obama could have stopped it from spreading in the first place. But instead, he dismissed the terrorist group as the "JV team" that was "engaged in various local power struggles and disputes" and did not have "the capacity and reach of a bin Laden" and did not pose "a direct threat to us." He did nothing, while the cancer grew in Syria and then spread in Iraq.

    Now the cancer has spread and metastasized across the world."

    "...According to a recent CNN analysis, since declaring its caliphate in 2014, the Islamic State has carried out 90 attacks in 21 countries outside of Iraq and Syria that have killed 1,390 people and injured more than 2,000 others. The Islamic State has a presence in more than a dozen countries and has declared "provinces" in Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Post reported in 2015 that "since the withdrawal of most U.S. and international troops in December, the Islamic State has steadily made inroads in Afghanistan"

    "And while the Islamic State spreads and grows, al-Qaeda is making a comeback. Obama is touting the killing of Taliban leader Akhtar Mohammad Mansour as "an important milestone," but the truth is that the Taliban has made major military gains in Afghanistan -- and that has opened the door to al-Qaeda. The Post reported in October that "American airstrikes targeted what was `probably the largest' al-Qaeda training camp found in the 14-year Afghan war." Sounds good except for one small problem: There were no major al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan when Obama took office."

    "Overall, Gen. Jack Keane recently testified that al-Qaeda has "grown fourfold in the last five years."

    "We're lying to ourselves if we think that the violence we are witnessing is going to be confined to the Middle East . . . or South Asia . . . or North Africa . . . or Europe. It is only a matter of time before the Islamic State and al-Qaeda bring this violence here to our shores."

    Is it really news (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Mon May 23, 2016 at 10:44:54 PM EST
    When Dubya's and Donald Rumsfeld's speech writer blames Obama for Dubya's and Rumfeld's mistakes? Not in my book.

    I wondered who would be the first (none / 0) (#4)
    by Green26 on Mon May 23, 2016 at 11:13:26 PM EST
    to attack the author, and fail to address any of the points or have a discussion.

    And, almost 8 years later, it's still all Bush's fault.

    Is it really your view that the US should let ISIS, AQ and terrorism just grow unchecked, and that they should be able to freely prepare and fundraise for another 9/11 or something similar? Please don't bother with the it's not our problem, let them deal with their problem--because they haven't and won't.

    Hillary's past statements, at least regarding Syria and Obama, seem to agree generally with this columnist's general view.

    What would you do, or not do, with Libya? Or do you blame that on Bush too. Or Yemen? Or parts of Africa? Or Indonesia? Is that Bush too?


    Consider the source? (none / 0) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Mon May 23, 2016 at 11:22:43 PM EST
    OK (none / 0) (#6)
    by FlJoe on Tue May 24, 2016 at 05:39:05 AM EST
    Answer your own question
    What would you do, or not do, with Libya? Or do you blame that on Bush too. Or Yemen? Or parts of Africa? Or Indonesia? Is that Bush too?
     Are you advocating land invasions of all these places?

    We tried that it did not work. We are pushing 15 years in Afghanistan with virtually no progress, 2 trillion and counting spent in Iraq all for not.


    Joe, I am not advocating anything (none / 0) (#10)
    by Green26 on Tue May 24, 2016 at 10:23:18 AM EST
    in particular at this point. I merely asked some questions, hoping to stimulate a discussion. It's sometimes hard to have a discussion around here, because some posters just want to attack or discredit the source or call the poster a troll or claim the questions/comments are Fox News talking points. I am interested in learning more about what people think and having a discussion.

    Just because something similar didn't work in the past doesn't necessarily mean that it can't or shouldn't be tried again, or tried again with modification. It's much more complicated than that, and there are more options than saying "we went to the Middle East previously, and look how bad it was, so we shouldn't ever go to the Middle East again." Personally, I don't think what Obama has done in the past 7 or so years is working either, and many leaders like Hillary and past Defense Secretaries are critical of some of Obama's actions, or lack of action.

    While I know that the US can't and shouldn't do everything, and the US can't afford that financially, I don't believe in isolationism and do believe it is in the best interests of the US, and best interests of the world, to have the US exercising significant leadership in the world.


    "Just asking questions" (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue May 24, 2016 at 12:33:18 PM EST

    Who knew people still said that with a straight face.


    Capt, is there a way to have a discussion (none / 0) (#13)
    by Green26 on Tue May 24, 2016 at 04:33:55 PM EST
    without listening and asking questions? Guess I'm just old school.

    That's (none / 0) (#14)
    by FlJoe on Tue May 24, 2016 at 05:21:05 PM EST
    the problem, you are 'not advocating anything', you can describe no plan beyond  a vague
    something to tried again, or tried again with modification
    . Yet you never fail to criticize when others fail to come up with a "good" solution, a solution that might not even exist.

    I do think that Obama, along with the rest of the world, was asleep at the wheel and failed to recognize the strength of ISIS early on, but there was pretty much nothing to be done in the short run in any case.

    The long run, of course, is still being prosecuted, but there are definite signs that ISIS is losing ground, at least as a physical caliphate.


    Joe, you are not paying attention, or confusing (none / 0) (#17)
    by Green26 on Tue May 24, 2016 at 07:13:29 PM EST
    me with someone else. I don't criticize hardly at all. I criticized Obama over ISIS (and said he should have bombed ISIS as they were taking the weapons and Humvees from No. Iraq). I have said Obama is too timid. I have passed along the Syria criticism from others several times. I have said I believe the US should be more vigilant and more aggressive in some places and situations in the Middle East. The US should have been more on top of it in and with Libya and had more follow up. I have said the US should not have pulled out of Iraq. Lots of senior US government people have said the same thing.

    I don't follow the other countries/places where ISIS is taking root, so don't have specific suggestions. I do believe the US should be paying close attention to those countries/places. I believe they are. If I had to guess, Obama is probably being too timid in some of the those places too.

    ISIS has lost considerable territory in Iraq and Syria, but it has grown in numbers, has had good financing and has expanded to multiple other place/countries. I'd guess that is a net gain.

    I don't believe that avoiding the Middle East and its problems and hoping some countries in the Middle East will take care of those problems, is a viable or prudent strategy of the US.  


    That's the GoTo gas attack around here (none / 0) (#7)
    by Mr Natural on Tue May 24, 2016 at 07:20:40 AM EST
    Green.  The Libyan and Syrian fiascos are all on Clinton and Obama.  The sycophants wanted a legacy and he delivered.

    Is it really news? (none / 0) (#8)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue May 24, 2016 at 08:25:01 AM EST
    When a tree falls in the forest does it make a sound?

    What ever.

    The tree is on the ground.


    lol. the real problem, Jim, (none / 0) (#9)
    by Mr Natural on Tue May 24, 2016 at 09:00:20 AM EST
    is that the tree has taken root.

    Indeed (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue May 24, 2016 at 12:48:10 PM EST
    and yet we talk about it in the abstract.

    ISIS is indeed the JV team, does not have the (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by ruffian on Wed May 25, 2016 at 01:09:21 PM EST
    organization or reach of Bin Laden, and is not a real threat to the US. Yes, we could have taken them out earlier with a great influx of men and money, but to what end? The countries they are in are the ones that have to deal with them in the long run. I support Obama's position on this. The Iraqi forces are now fighting them in Fallujah - this is how it should be.

    Like pregnancy (none / 0) (#24)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed May 25, 2016 at 02:14:45 PM EST
    You can't be a "little bit."

    And I wish that I was wrong but they'll just keep coming until they are killed.

    And the states involved can't do it by themselves.


    They are going to keep coming no matter what (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by ruffian on Wed May 25, 2016 at 02:49:59 PM EST
    if they stop calling themselves ISIS, they will still keep coming in some other form. It is a above all a battle for regional dominance.

    Their home countries are not doing controlling them by themselves - we are helping them in many ways that do not include sending 10's of thousands of our own troops in there, which is counterproductive in the long run.


    At the very least (none / 0) (#27)
    by TrevorBolder on Wed May 25, 2016 at 04:16:36 PM EST
    Provide some substantial support for the (somewhat stable) countries in their fight against ISIS.
    Even if we have some disagreements with those countries. Stability in that region is in our best interest, it keeps us out of there.

    Right now it appears as if that that substantial support is troops embedded with countryless factions fighting ISIS.
    Time to grant support to those countries in the region and encourage them to up the ante.


    I wish I could buy (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 25, 2016 at 04:57:39 PM EST
    The strategic advise of you and ppj for what it's worth and sell it fir what you think it's worth.

    Green might buy it (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 25, 2016 at 04:58:23 PM EST
    I wish you were as smart as you (none / 0) (#30)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed May 25, 2016 at 05:40:19 PM EST
    think you are. You might find work as a TV critic.



    Was there something you missed (none / 0) (#31)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed May 25, 2016 at 05:50:00 PM EST
    in the Osama bin Ladin interview?


    It is a above all a battle for regional dominance.

    And yeah the names will change but they will keep coming because, as silly as we may think it to be, they believe they are destined to rule the world.


    That is All Total Nonsense (none / 0) (#15)
    by RickyJim on Tue May 24, 2016 at 05:47:39 PM EST
    If all the terrorists ISIS and al-Qaeda are wiped out, 10 new terrorists will arise for each one killed and call themselves something different.  They are taking their resentment outside Muslim countries because of what western foreigners are doing in those countries.  These people are not very bright since they end up killing many more Muslims than non Muslims.  The US is not as vulnerable as Europe is from its Muslims citizens since there aren't as many of them in the US and they are, in general, much more prosperous.  

    Unless we stop messing with them in the Middle East, they will continue to attempt trouble in Western Countries.  I would advocate complete hands off in the Middle East but I admit there is the problem of Israel, when pressed to the wall, unleashing atomic weapons all over; their "Samson Option".


    One word (none / 0) (#16)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue May 24, 2016 at 07:13:24 PM EST

    By 2030 Europe will be majority Muslim.


    One word (none / 0) (#18)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue May 24, 2016 at 07:14:56 PM EST

    By 2030 Europe will be majority Muslim.


    I give it (none / 0) (#26)
    by TrevorBolder on Wed May 25, 2016 at 04:10:53 PM EST
    Till 2050

    The other big problem with the hands off approach (none / 0) (#19)
    by Green26 on Tue May 24, 2016 at 07:18:40 PM EST
    is that it would likely allow terrorist groups to train, organize and grow in relative peace, and presumably launch bigger and more attacks on the West. Like 9/11. And blow up more planes. Etc.

    Personally, the argument that they would leave us alone if we left them alone, makes zero sense to me. I just don't believe it. I see no evidence to support that view. And the water passed under that bridge a long time ago.


    As Evidence, Consider Russia and China (none / 0) (#20)
    by RickyJim on Tue May 24, 2016 at 08:41:44 PM EST
    I don't think China has had any Muslim terrorism due to its foreign policy.  They do have a problem with their indigenous Uyghurs. The same is true for Russia until they started to meddle in Syria.  There are no analogues of Uyghurs and Chechens in the US.  McDermott's "Perfect Soldiers" goes into the motivations of the 9/11 hijackers and I find support there for my view.  They are not attacking us because they hate our freedoms or want us to convert to their religion.

    Okay, a starting point for a discussion (none / 0) (#21)
    by Green26 on Tue May 24, 2016 at 10:04:11 PM EST
    I will do some research. My initial guess is that it isn't easy to get into russia or china, so that would help protect them, or certainly would with china.

    Russia is bombing syria, or was. Don't know which way that cuts.

    Anyone know what it takes now to get over the border from the other former USSR states into Russia now? Like from the muslim areas in the south.



    Let's go back to see what (none / 0) (#22)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed May 25, 2016 at 10:25:22 AM EST
    the founder, Osama bin Ladin had to say about "left alone."

    The time is March '97 and the interviewer is Peter Arnett, then with CNN:

    "REPORTER: Mr. Bin Ladin, will the end of the United States' presence in Saudi Arabia, their withdrawal, will that end your call for jihad against the United States and against the US ?

    BIN LADIN:.....So, the driving-away jihad against the US does not stop with its withdrawal from the Arabian peninsula, but rather it must desist from aggressive intervention against Muslims in the whole world.


    I think the US is in the "whole world."

    As stupid as we may think it is and as impossible we think it is.... the radicals and some "moderates" believe that an Islamic Caliphate can take over "the whole world."

    The difference between the radicals and some moderates is "method" not goals.

    Muslim Americans reject Islamic extremism by larger margins than do Muslim minorities in Western European countries. However, there is somewhat more acceptance of Islamic extremism in some segments of the U.S. Muslim public than others. Fewer native-born African American Muslims than others completely condemn al Qaeda. In addition, younger Muslims in the U.S. are much more likely than older Muslim Americans to say that suicide bombing in the defense of Islam can be at least sometimes justified.


    Even more of a problem is the willingness of our schools and other institutions to break our Constitution in order to accommodate Muslim demands to be treated differently because of their religion. From foot washing facilities in MN to special prayer times in San Diego to teaching the 5 Pillars of Islam in TN, all of which violates the church/state separation clause we see a folding of government to pressure.