People can be wrong -- on small matters, on important ones. Doesn't make them a bad person or evil. But when you're that wrong, you need to demonstrate proof that you've learned something from the experience.
"ISIS Is Losing in Iraq. But What Happens Next?" is an attempt at a column for the New York Times. It is not, however, an attempt to reassure the public that Kenneth Pollack 'gets it' or that he's learned from his past mistake.
In what sense is the Islamic State "losing" in Iraq?
Mitchell Prothero (McClatchy Newspapers) reports this morning, "Jordan executed two prisoners early Wednesday morning to avenge the burning alive of a Jordanian fighter pilot in a move that seemed likely to thrust the usually peaceful country into the front lines of the battle against the Islamic State."
The Jordanian government has just carried out a very public response to the Islamic State.
For Jordan it is.
The kingdom in Jordan is in a precarious place and has been for some time. This would be more of an issue were it not for the governmental abuses in Saudi Arabia.
Kenneth Pollack still doesn't grasp what's going on, he still doesn't 'get it.'
The Islamic State's goal is to take over Syria.
Iraq is a by-product. Jordan stands a chance of becoming one now as well.
Sunni grievances in Iraq are real -- even Pollack acknowledges that -- and they allow the Islamic State to take root in Iraq.
But Pollack, like too many idiots, is convinced that the Islamic State's goal was and remains to take over Baghdad.
Based on what?
They've not tried to do so.
The government in Iraq has created a climate where the Islamic State can thrive.
And being seen by extremists as helping Sunnis in Iraq allows IS to continue to recruit despite some of the most brutal murders being carried out and then publicized via recordings of them.
And it allows for non-stop bombings in Iraq -- from the air. By the US government and other governments.
And this hurts them in Syria how?
For IS, Iraq is a p.r. campaign that shows their 'support' for the Sunni brothers and sisters while not diverting significant real assets (fighters and equipment) from Syria.
Jordan should have been counseled to step very lightly.
Instead, it's being encouraged to stomp. If the Islamic State finds sympathy among Jordanians, Barack's nervous nelly view of the Islamic State's power in the region just might come true.
Pollack declares IS to be losing and the best he can offer is that they've been unable to seize Baghdad. But that's always been a belief lacking any credible backing. Nouri al-Maliki, in his final months as prime minister of Iraq, insisted Baghdad was the target as he screamed for other countries to provide military support.
But IS never moved on Baghdad.
And why would they?
Their actions in Iraq are basically a trickle.
They just have to do enough to make it appear that they're supportive. That's why Syrian fighters have not flooded Iraq the way they very well could have.
American military officials in Iraq tell me they are confident that a smaller, revamped Iraqi Army will be ready to begin big operations to retake Iraq from the Islamic State in the next four to eight months.
It's so good when Kenneth Pollack takes at face value what US officials tell him, right?
That's how he made that 'wise' choice regarding the Iraq War, right?
Blind faith in officials?
He's not learned a damn thing except how to look even more ridiculous in public.
The Islamic State took Mosul in June. They still control Mosul.
In August, Barack began the bombing campaign.
The Islamic State still controls Mosul.
All these months later.
But because some US officials insist Iraq will be "ready" -- "in the next four to eight months" -- to retake Mosul, Kenneth declares a "win."
Is there anyone more deeply insane than Kenneth Pollack?
It's a shame because he does have some real suggestions and some observations worth offering.
And maybe he's just whoring to get attention for those?
Maybe he feels he has to lie and cheerleed to get the other stuff noted?
Who knows what goes on his mind?
But his blind faith in officials ensure that he remains the joke in the world of analysts and demonstrates that he still hasn't learned what a fool he was in 2002 and 2003. To the contrary, the column suggests that he's even more stupid today because we all make mistakes but a refusal to learn from them will always be the basis for ignorance.
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