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Thursday, June 12, 2014

The end of the Iraq war? Will Jordan be next?

No, the picture at the top of this post isn't from Baghdad... yet. It's from the US embassy in Saigon nearly 40 years ago, and it's an image that's etched into my mind and into the minds of anyone who watched television in America in 1975. It's an image of Vietnamese who had worked for the United States attempting to escape before the North won the war, and being pushed away by embassy staff. It's an image that's so well remembered that Mark Steyn's piece about Iraqi cities falling to ISIS - a group that's too 'militant' even for al-Qaeda - is called Helicopters on the Roof.
Three years on [from the Bin Laden assassination], just one malign al-Qaeda progeny, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, now commands more territory than ever - from Aleppo in western Syria to the gates of Baghdad. It has all the tanks and weaponry abandoned by the Iraqi "army" we trained. It has the cash reserves of the second largest city in Iraq, and control of the northern oil fields.
Meanwhile, the White House has apparently canceled its cable subscription and daily newspaper. On Tuesday, as half-a-million Iraqis were fleeing Mosul, Administration flacks were talking up Hillary's Greatest Hits:
Earnest was asked by a reporter at the daily press conference to describe Clinton's accomplishments while she was Secretary of State.
"Ending the war in Iraq and winding down in a responsible fashion the war in Afghanistan, and doing that after the success of our our efforts to dismantle and destroyed Al-Qaida core that had established a base of operations in the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan," Earnest answered.
Obama and Clinton ended the war in Iraq by losing it. They "pivoted" from Iraq to Afghanistan, and wound up losing both. Hillary crowed over Gaddafi's corpse - "We came, we saw, he died" - and then sat by as her ambassador and best friend "Chris" was devoured by the mob: He died, she sat by, we're gone. The Arab Spring that Zakaria claims "crippled" al-Qaeda delivered Egypt to the Muslim Brotherhood and a military coup, Tunisia to soft Islamists, Libya to ever harder Islamists, and much of Syria and Iraq to jihadists too hardcore for "mainstream" al-Qaeda.
Events are moving fast on the ground. As I said on Fox News on Tuesday night:
In Iraq, the al Qaeda flag flies in Fallujah on buildings American troops built. And as we have just heard, al Qaeda has taken hold of Mosul, the second-largest city in Iraq, earlier today.
On Wednesday, they took Saddam's hometown of Tikrit, where in the spring of 2003 I strolled with gay abandon. Where next?
Iraq Militants, Pushing South, Aim at Capital
And not just Baghdad says Khaled Abu Toameh. ISIS is threatening Jordan, which would put them on Israel's border.
The terrorists, who belong to The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [ISIS -- known as DAESH in Arabic] and are said to be an offshoot of al-Qaeda, are planning to take their jihad to Jordan, Lebanon, the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula -- after having already captured large parts of Syria and Iraq, the sources said.
The capture this week by ISIS of the cities of Mosul and Tikrit in Iraq has left many Arabs and Muslims in the region worried that their countries soon may be targeted by the terrorists, who seek to create a radical Islamist emirate in the Middle East.
According to the sources, ISIS leader Abu Baker al-Baghdadi recently discussed with his lieutenants the possibility of extending the group's control beyond Syria and Iraq.
One of the ideas discussed envisages focusing ISIS's efforts on Jordan, where Islamist movements already have a significant presence. Jordan was also chosen because it has shared borders with Iraq and Syria, making it easier for the terrorists to infiltrate the kingdom.
Jordanian political analyst Oraib al-Rantawi sounded alarm bells by noting that the ISIS threat to move its fight to the kingdom was real and imminent. "We in Jordan cannot afford the luxury of just waiting and monitoring," he cautioned. "The danger is getting closer to our bedrooms. It has become a strategic danger; it is no longer a security threat from groups or cells. We must start thinking outside the box. The time has come to increase coordination and cooperation with the regimes in Baghdad and Damascus to contain the crawling of extremism and terrorism."
The ISIS terrorists see Jordan's Western-backed King Abdullah as an enemy of Islam and an infidel, and have publicly called for his execution. ISIS terrorists recently posted a video on YouTube in which they threatened to "slaughter" Abdullah, whom they denounced as a "tyrant."
Some of the terrorists who appeared in the video were Jordanian citizens who tore up their passports in front of the camera and vowed to launch suicide attacks inside the kingdom.
Security sources in Amman expressed deep concern over ISIS's threats and plans to "invade" the kingdom. The sources said that King Abdullah has requested urgent military aid from the U.S. and other Western countries so that he could foil any attempt to turn Jordan into an Islamist-controlled state.
Urgent... military... aid.... Like in Iraq? Or the non-Islamist Syrian rebels? Or Libya? It's so bad that even the Washington Post - which helped to get Obama elected - is starting to get it - slamming Obama for his total withdrawal from Iraq and for his efforts to implement the same policy in Afghanistan. 
In Syria, where for three years Mr. Obama has assiduously avoided meaningful engagement, civil war has given rise to “the most catastrophic humanitarian crisis any of us have seen in a generation,” Mr. Obama’s United Nations ambassador Samantha Power said in February.
In Libya, Mr. Obama joined in a bombing campaign to topple dictator Moammar Gaddafi and then declined to provide security assistance to help the nation right itself. It, too, is on the verge of civil war.
In Iraq, Mr. Obama chose not to leave a residual force that might have helped keep the nation’s politics on track, even as the White House insisted there was no reason to worry. Denis McDonough, then deputy national security adviser and now White House chief of staff, told reporters in 2011 that Mr. Obama “said what we’re looking for is an Iraq that’s secure, stable and self-reliant, and that’s exactly what we got here. So there’s no question this is a success.”
No question it's a success? For whom? Well, apparently, for a lot of foolish Americans. Here's Steyn again.
And yet 67 per cent of Americans regard Hillary as "a strong leader" - presumably for her success in "ending the war in Iraq" and "destroying al-Qaeda". Who needs Pravda when a free people are happy to live at this level of delusion?
Out there in the rest of the planet, the soundbites - "bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive" - are a tougher sell. Here's what I wrote over seven years ago:
If you happen to live in Ramadi or Basra, Iraq is about Iraq; if you live in Tehran, or Cairo, or Beijing, Moscow, Pyongyang or Brussels, Iraq is about America. American will. American purpose. American credibility.
To the people who cheered when those towers tumbled 13 years ago, there is no Bush, no Obama, no Clinton. There is only America. And when the black flag of al Qaeda is raised in Baghdad it will be seen, correctly, as an American defeat. We have told the world something about ourselves, and the world will conduct its affairs accordingly.
As to the suggestion that it doesn't matter because we should "come home" to a domestic Green Zone, ask those seven-year-old moppets pouring across the southern border how impressed they are by "Fortress America".
And Jordan won't be the end of it either. Guess who's the real target (aside from Big Satan).... Abu Toameh:
ISIS is a threat not only to moderate Arabs and Muslims, but also to Israel, which the terrorists say is their ultimate destination. The U.S. and its Western allies need to wake up quickly and take the necessary measures to prevent the Islamist terrorists from achieving their goal.
Failure to act will result in the establishment in the Middle East of a dangerous extremist Islamist empire that will pose a threat to American and Western interests.
In World War II, it took Pearl Harbor for many Americans to realize that what's going on in the rest of the world makes a difference for them too.  I'd say that I'm hoping for another Pearl Harbor (not that I want to see Americans killed - but I do want to see them awakened to reality) but it's only been 13 years since 9/11 and already so many have forgotten, wallowing in their political correctness.

What could go wrong?

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At 7:51 PM, Blogger Supreme said...

Hi Carl,
I really like your article, i can see a lot sense in it.
i am a modern Muslim in Jordan, and i can see your point of giving access to Jordan from Syria and Iraq can make our security very fragile. but then again is there any proof that they are not strategically arranged by any other threatening countries like Iran and supporters?

At 7:52 PM, Blogger Supreme said...

Hi Carl,
I really like your article, i can see a lot sense in it.
i am a modern Muslim in Jordan, and i can see your point of giving access to Jordan from Syria and Iraq can make our security very fragile. but then again is there any proof that they are not strategically arranged by any other threatening countries like Iran and supporters?


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