Monday, August 4, 2014

ISIS has the Kurds on the ropes

I have often said that the two most important elements of a military operation are information and communications. Obviously, though, you need other things as well, like troops and ammunition. The Kurds, who have been acting as sort of the good guys in the brewing civil war in Iraq, have plenty of the former but are running out of the latter. So, will Obama send them ammunition to stop the manifest evil that is the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria?

Of course not:
President Obama famously failed to act when warned that ISIS was preparing to mount an offensive in Western Iraq. This left ISIS free to conquer, with virtually no resistance, city after city in the defense of which American soldiers have shed blood.
Now Obama is receiving new warnings, this time from the Kurds in Northern Iraq. In fact, according to the Washington Post, the Kurds are “pleading for U.S. military aid.”
Unlike the Iraqi government, the Kurds possess a viable military that is prepared to fight ISIS. Indeed, they are fighting ISIS, and fairly effectively.
However, the Kurds now have a 650 mile border to defend, thanks to the abandonment of the area by Iraq’s military forces. Thus, the Kurdish forces are stretched extremely thin.
The Kurds should be receiving a share of the weapons the U.S. is supplying to the Iraqi government. But that, of course, isn’t happening. Mansour Barzani, the Kurdistan Regional Government’s intelligence and security chief, told the Post that Baghdad hasn’t provided “a single bullet.”
Meanwhile, says the Post, the ISIS forces attacking the Kurds have seized weapons worth hundreds of millions of dollars from retreating Iraqi soldiers. In effect, Baghdad is supplying ISIS while providing the Kurds with nothing.
Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, the Obama administration has rejected Kurdish pleas for arms with which to fight ISIS. Its rationale is that assistance must come through the central government.
It’s almost as if Obama is indifferent to the progress of ISIS and willing to embrace any excuse for standing idly by in the face of that progress.
And now it's getting much worse:
[...] ISIS has made its first significant inroads against the defenses of the overstretched Kurds. They have punched through to the northern town of Sinjar. Another town, Wana, has also fallen, leaving ISIS within striking distance of Mosul’s hydroelectric dam, the largest in the country.
In Sinjar, ISIS promptly blew up a Shiite shrine and ordered residents to convert or die.
The Obama administration, through State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, stated that the United States is “gravely concerned” by the displacement of civilians and the loss of life. What’s next, a #SavetheShrines campaign?
This is where the true Obama has come out:
Why hasn’t Obama supplied the Kurds? Apparently, it has something to do with the niceties of Iraq’s constitutional framework. Obama, it seems, has more regard for that framework than he does for ours.
If Obama is prepared to ignore the U.S. Constitution to grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants who face virtually zero chance of deportation, he should be willing to overlook Iraqi formalities in order to help the Kurds defend themselves against our most implacable and barbaric enemy — a group that even Eric Holder finds “more frightening than anything.”
But Obama’s mission is the transformation of America, not so much its defense.

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