Sunday, January 5, 2014

Iraq War: March 2003 — U.S. Combat Ends August 2010 — Oops

Fallujah Back in al-Qaeda Hands

Update (January 5, 2014): Main posting follows this update from here (NBC world news):

Secretary of State John Kerry told journalists as he left Jerusalem for Jordan and Saudi Arabia: “We will stand with the government of Iraq and with others who will push back against their efforts to destabilize. We are going to do everything that is possible,” then he quickly added, “This is a fight that belongs to the Iraqis ... We are not contemplating returning.”

al-Qaeda fighters back in Fallujah

I totally agree with Kerry's statement - and we must hold true to it. 

If the Iraqis are not ready to face this and restore order, then our troops reentering that area again won't help ... aid to them, yes; troops on the ground? Nope - not any more unless Iraq were faced with a full-fledged invasion from Iran or Syria (only exception I would support).

Original Post Starts Here: The headlines like here from the Washington Post is the same from other media. None of it is pretty:

“A rejuvenated al-Qaeda-affiliated force asserted control over the western Iraqi city of Fallujah raising its flag over government buildings and declaring an Islamic state in one of the most crucial areas that U. S. troops fought to pacify before withdrawing from Iraq two years ago. The capture of Fallujah came amid an explosion of violence across the western desert province of Anbar in which local tribes, Iraqi security forces and al-Qaeda-affiliated militants have been fighting one another for days in a confusingly chaotic three-way war.” 

Continue the story at the link.  Some background is in order at this point, and not more “Mission Accomplished” rhetoric. 

That expression comes from former President George W. Bush in his now infamous “2003 Mission Accomplished Speech” from the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln during his televised address on May 1, 2003, wherein he told the world that major combat operations in Iraq had ended, and that we had prevailed. Were that statement true. U.S. Forces actually fought two battles to free Fallujah, which was the bloodiest since the Vietnam War as noted below and well after that speech:

•  First Battle of Fallujah, in April 2004
  Second Battle of Fallujah, in November 2004

Naturally this news is not pretty as I said on so many levels not even counting the fact that al-Qaeda is on the move again in Iraq. This area is on the main road right into the heart of Syria, too. And, that is by chance I think. Syria would love to protect their national right flank, and having friends like al-Qaeda in control of Western Iraq can't be bad for them.

Stay tuned. Next up I suspect will be to see and hear the U.S. reaction to this. Obviously Iraqi forces were not prepared to take control of their nation's security. 

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