Friday, November 13, 2015

The no-win win

Isabel Coles (Reuters) reports, "Kurdish forces said they had secured strategic facilities in the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar on Friday as part of an offensive against Islamic State militants that could provide critical momentum in efforts to defeat the jihadist group."  BBC News adds, "Kurdish Peshmerga forces were filmed streaming into the town, walking through its rubble-strewn streets and putting Kurdish flags on buildings."

So when is a win not a win?

How about this one.

Even if this holds -- and Sinjar's been 'liberated' before or at the least the western press has declared a success and then walked away from the story -- even while Yazidis remained trapped on top of a mountain -- this doesn't qualify as a win.

The Peshmerga are Kurdish forces.

They have been trained by the Kurds, they are Kurds.

Meanwhile the Baghdad-backed forces still struggle to free Ramadi -- they're on a now six month effort.

So the KRG liberating Sinjar -- if that has happened -- in a matter of days?

No, it doesn't look good for Iraq as a whole.

This week, the US government made a claim many snickered at.  50,000 troops have been trained -- Iraqi troops -- by the US since August 2014.

The derision comes from those of us who sat through the recent hearing on training and heard about the Syrian fighters trained by the US -- how it was a handful after all the training.

The 50,000 assertion might have been an attempt to bolster Baghdad in case the Sinjar operation took days and not months.

If Sinjar is liberated, it's very humiliating for Iraqi forces who can't take Ramadi.

In addition, Sinjar is disputed territory.

It was claimed by both the KRG and the Baghdad-based Iraqi government.

Who really has claim to it now?

If the Peshmerga liberated it, in the eyes of the world, the KRG now has dibs.

If the Baghdad-based government couldn't or wouldn't take on an effort to liberate the city what right do they have to it?

There's another detail to the story.  Ed Payne (CNN notes:

According to a Pentagon spokesman, U.S. troops are in the field calling in airstrikes from positions in Sinjar.
"The Peshmerga forces are carrying this out with ... the support of coalition advisers," Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook told reporters. "There are U.S. personnel. My understanding is there are coalition advisers from other countries as well."

Watch the spinners try to ignore that reality.

On reality, a number of you are e-mailing the ridiculous column by a first class whore.  We'll take it on in the snapshot.  I'm hoping I'm in a calm state by then or else I'll really take on the 'sainted' dead wife of Mr. Grabby Hands.  Both the dead wife and Grabby Hands pimped the same lie.  It goes to character -- specifically, the lack of it.

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