Friday, 12 September 2014

CNN publishes most amateurish commentary on Iraq


Here is another example of people writing an article without having the slightest idea about the situation, only mantra is write anything to attack the Government. Came across this master piece on CNN website.
She gives a 4 point resolution master plan for Iraq.

Obama can fight ISIS without bombs
Pro-military hawks must be pleased with President Obama's speech on Wednesday night about attacking ISIS. We're sure to hear many of them -- the same voices that have been hounding the President to take military action in the first place -- call for more extensive strikes and even American troops on the ground.

Let us discuss what Sally Kohn's 4 point formula is:

1) Cut access to guns and money.
Madam how does Obama cut access to gun and money when borders are controlled by nations with various interests and groups within those nations with different ideologies(some love ISIS, some hate them). Only way to seal borders is to use military. If you remember, outsourcing border duties to Pakistan came back to haunt the Americans later.

She mentions "US allies", which one is she talking about Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey......? Most of the so-called allies are instrumental in setting up this organisation and propping it up to break the Shia arc.

Turkey has opened its borders for ISIS to operate freely and helps in transportation of fighters from Syria to Iraq.

2) Fix Iraq's political rifts.
How does a foreign power fix the internal politics of a country. This is exactly what got Americans into trouble. They tried to fix Saddam Hussein and invaded Iraq. Unless political parties and different parts of the society in a country is willing to change, how can a foreigner do it. Remember Mr Paul Bremer's and Rumsefield understanding of Iraqi internal situation. Asking a country to play politics in another country smacks not only of  foolishness at best but a superiority complex at worst.

Iraqi society does not comprise of just whites, blacks and Hispanics with majority Christians(all variety).  Had that been the case, yes a simple nudge or a summit at camp David would have sufficed. Unfortunately as we have seen Iraq is a melting pot of different factions and they must have a secure environment with safety guaranteed to at least start thinking about unity. At the present moment due to the utter chaos, it is every man for himself.

3) Provide humanitarian assistance.
Please be kind enough to explain how do you send "humanitarian" assistance to Irbil or Mount Sinjar or Allepo when it is surrounded by heavily armed barbaric militia. What do you do airdrop food from the air, we all know that kind of strategy only works on a large area where accuracy is not important. Next is use helicopters to do the same for better distribution, but what about the mad mullah with a RPG sitting on a mountain top.

Even in an area as Kashmir, air-force had to scale down its operation after its helicopter's were stoned(not RPG). Same was the issue with Naxal affected areas, unless the ground troops could provide a sanitized area it was impossible for the choppers to operate. 

How many UN peacekeepers are needed to distribute supplies in Africa?

Therefore madam your assertion about "Humanitarian" assistance without proper military force and air-cover is not only pipe dream but a sure way to hand over billions of dollars of supplies to ISIS.


4)Lead a truly international response.
Another point which shows that the author is truly unaware of the situation. How do you get UN members to agree to fight for America. As she herself mentions that the  mess was created by the Americans and Obama in particular, thus going to UN would mean asking Russia and China to help clean America's mess. Good luck with that.

  • Relations with Russia at the present moment are touchy to say the least and after the Serbian treachery it is very hard for the Russians to believe anything USA says.
  • China has a stout policy of no interference.
  • Saudi is a sunni country and there troops in Iraq means  Shias would be up in arms.
  • Reports are that Saudi's are pumping in millions of dollar in a new Sunni outfit called Jais-E-Islam with the hep of Pakistan.
  • UAE is the hub of fundraising for Al-Nusra and the likes.
  • Turkey will not lift a finger to help the Kurds.
  • Qatar and Saudi will try their best to use ISIS against Shias, plus destabilize Assad and Iran, thus there are no chances of them playing fair.
  • Direct Iranian involvement would mean handing ammo to Sunnis for sectarian conflict.
  • European countries are struggling with economy and some would shy away after the the original Iraqi blunder.

Does the author seriously believe that countries like Indonesia, Burma, Thailand, Japan, Australia, France, Egypt etc would commit troops/material for another US led misadventure?
Firstly getting a resolution for action passed in the security council is bleak possibility, secondly sending NATO troops is not really an international coalition is it?

So madam, please write a follow up explaining to us, how is your 4 point formula different from the Rumsefield era power point presentations.

With ISIS on ground and being a cohesive military unit, it is impossible for Iraq and Syria to stabilize and unless Obama gives up his favored "Get Assad" policy, resolution of any kind is bleak.

On the other hand recent tactical withdrawal by ISIS under air attack and ground offensive shows the limitation of its capabilities and a pointer towards the way forward.