Thursday, March 19, 2015

That non-request request

As the Baghdad - Tehran offensive in Tikrit continues to be an embarrassment, Reuters notes, "Iraq has not requested air support from the U.S.-led coalition for its campaign to retake Tikrit from ISIS insurgents, a senior military official in the coalition said Thursday, as the assault on the city remained on pause for nearly a week."

Hopefully, there's a longer article which notes the truth.

They did request it.

They did so publicly.

They whined.

They bellyached.

This was all recorded by the press in real time and Reuters briefly acknowledges it in a minor way.

But the US didn't respond and say, "Yes, we will do air strikes!"

They can't.  Not because of the human rights abuses (War Crimes).

The White House has willingly and gladly looked the other way on that.

But they would be in serious trouble if they let the joint Baghdad - Tehran operation call in strikes.

The US Congress was worried, prior to this alliance with Tehran for the assault on Tikrit, about the Sunni population being targeted.  Knowing that the Iranian government is involved (and their long hatred of Sunnis) alone makes it impossible.  When you add in that you have an Iranian male on the ground with the forces who is also on the US terrorist list, there's no way that air strikes are coming.

No, Baghdad never made an official request.

Not after their days and days of public whining and begging -- all carried by the press -- resulted in no change from the White House.

Reading the room, Baghdad officials now try to save face with a technicality -- 'We never made an official request.'

Yesterday, we noted the rumors that the Islamic State had dug trenches and moats around Mosul. Rudaw reports today, "Islamic State militants in their self-proclaimed capital Mosul have begun digging trenches and erecting other fortifications for the defense of the city, Iraq’s defense minister has said." And they offer a photo of what this looks like.

Meanwhile, Patrick Cockburn is working hard to strip Jane Arraf of the title of Whore of Baghdad.  He may accomplish that with this paragraph:

The fact that so many Sunnis are alienated from or terrified by Isis should present an opportunity for Baghdad, since Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s government is meant to be more inclusive than that of his predecessor, Nouri al-Maliki. Increasingly aggressive sectarian policies pursued by Mr Maliki during his eight years in power are now blamed for turning peaceful protests by Sunnis into armed resistance and pushing the Sunni community into the arms of Isis. This is an over-simplified version of recent history, but with the new government lauded internationally for its non-sectarian stance, the Sunni hoped they would face less day-to-day repression. “Isis has shocked many Sunni by its actions,” says Mahmoud. “But instead of the government treating us better to win us over, they are treating us even worse.”

The Arab hating Cockburn has had to redo his approach in the last months because his one-sided reporting has been rebuked on Arabic social media and that rebuke has gone viral and far beyond just Arabic social media.

The oversimplifying in the paragraph above is by Patrick Cockburn who likens the protesters to the Islamic State.

That's a blood libel and Patrick Cockburn will be rebuke for it.

It's not a surprise that the man who whored for Nouri al-Maliki and ignored the suffering of the Sunnis is now repeating Nouri's blood libel (Nouri called the peaceful protestors "terrorists" repeatedly).

We'll cover it more in the snapshot later today.  And, yes, we will cover it.  Some are asking about the Saudi Arabia aspect.  I'd said -- on Monday? -- we'd cover it.  We didn't.  I was asked by a State Dept friend if I could wait until later in the week and I said yes because we had other things to cover and it was nothing that important that we'd be noting on it.  There was a conference in Berlin and in Baghdad that I said we'd wait until after to note it.

The following community sites -- plus and the House VA Committee -- updated:

  • The e-mail address for this site is