Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Reciting Iraq -- don't mistake it for reporting

On CNN this morning, Barbara Starr gossips about Iraq.

I don't see how to call what she did reporting.

It may not have even lived up to gossip.

Maybe 'recitation' would be the better term?

She recited.

What the Pentagon wanted her to.

At least she didn't pretend that the Iraqi forces were gearing up to retake Ramadi.  To her credit, she saw this as the latest Ramadi phase.  That's good because other outlets pretend otherwise -- as if the six or so months of failed attempts haven't been happening.

Starr recited two numbers.


That was one of the numbers.  That's how many Iraqi forces are going to be used in this latest battle.

The other number was 500.

That's how many Islamic State fighters are thought to be in Ramadi.

So that's 20 Iraqi fighters for every 1 Islamic State-er.

These are not unusual odds in Iraq.

Yet the Iraqi forces have a history of retreating mid-battle even with those numbers.

They need 10,000 to begin trying to enter a city that they expect to have 500.

Let that sink in because Starr didn't emphasize it, didn't treat the vast difference in numbers as anything worth remarking on.

She also wanted to insist that Iraq has responded to US offers of military support on the ground with no thank you.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has signaled to the US government that he himself is willing to have US forces on the ground in combat.  He's also said this would be a hard sell.



Are the Kurds wanting the US out of Iraq?


Okay, then the Sunnis?


The Sunnis have been wanting more US involvement for years now.

The why of that goes to the hard sell.

Sunnis have argued more US involvement could end the persecution of the Sunnis.

Persecution by whom?

Hard line, radical Shi'ites.

Such as the one who leads the Bard terrorists -- popularly referred to as the Badr militia or Badr brigade.

(And let's all pretend we've never heard of the Badr brigade's death squads.)

I don't want US troops on the ground in Iraq.

And reasons for that desire include that this is Iraq's battle and the US government needs to stay out of it (and stop propping up the figure head government that they have imposed).

But Shi'ites like Hadi al-Amiri don't want US forces on the ground for a different reason.

Their actions in 'liberated' areas have been destructive -- to put it mildly.

They have carried out attacks on Sunni civilians in the name of 'revenge' (the Islamic State is a Sunni organization).  They have burned Sunni homes, they have looted.

And they have killed for sport.

The videos are all over the internet.

Briefly, they were of momentary interest -- remember that?

ABC News was reporting on them much to the displeasure of the White House -- and then the story was disappeared.

If Barbara Starr wants to recite, put her in pigtails and in a school auditorium.

Maybe someone will applaud that garbage.

But if she wants to report, she needs to be noting a heck of a lot more than she (briefly) offered on CNN.


Though there to talk of Iraq she wanted to go off to Afghanistan where at least 6 US troops have been killed in an attack.

Of course, she just wanted to recite there as well.

She didn't want to question the ongoing nature of that war any more than she wanted to question the never-ending Iraq War.

Heaven forbid anyone point out that Saint Barack has failed -- year-after-year -- to end either war.

  • Yesterday, the US Defense Dept announced the following:

  • Strikes in Iraq
    Attack, fighter, bomber, ground-attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 12 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

    -- Near Beiji, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL rocket-propelled grenade, an ISIL heavy machine gun, seven ISIL vehicles, two ISIL caches, and an ISIL fighting position.

    -- Near Mosul, six strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units, an ISIL weapons storage facility, and an ISIL weapons cache and destroyed two ISIL heavy machine guns, an ISIL mortar tube, three ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL checkpoint, two ISIL vehicles, and suppressed an ISIL light machine gun.

    -- Near Ramadi, four strikes struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed eight ISIL buildings, eight ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL staging area, an ISIL command-and-control node, an ISIL tactical vehicle, three ISIL heavy machine guns, and denied ISIL access to terrain.

    A strike, as defined in the CJTF releases, means one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative effect for that location. So having a single aircraft deliver a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against a group of buildings and vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making that facility [or facilities] harder or impossible to use. Accordingly, CJTF-OIR does not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.

    No, it didn't end ISIS.  It never has.  A year and a half later, these bombings have done nothing but terrorize the Iraqi people, tear up the country and kill and wound a large number of civilians -- and more recently, Iraqi troops.   But when the country has reciters -- like Barbara Starr -- and not reporters, who bothers to think that far beyond the next CNN lower screen crawl?

  • The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.