January 2, 2014

Parts of Falluja and Ramadi fall to al Qaeda-aligned fighters.

"Dressed in black and waving the flag of Al Qaeda, the militants put out calls over mosque loudspeakers for men to join their struggle in both cities in western Anbar Province, which were important battlegrounds during the American-led war in Iraq and remain hotbeds of Sunni extremism...."
For the United States, which two years ago withdrew its forces from Iraq as officials claimed the country was on track to become a stable democracy, Anbar holds grave historical significance — as a place for America’s greatest losses, and perhaps its most significant success, of the long war. Nearly one-third of the American soldiers killed during the war died trying to pacify Anbar, and Americans fought two battles for control of Falluja, in the bloodiest street-to-street combat American troops had faced since Vietnam.

78 comments:

Donald Douglas said...

Because Obama was gonna heal the world's religious rifts and ideological divisions, or something.

SteveR said...

Nobel Peace Prize Update

Female Genitalia Mutilation Alert

Hairless Young Male Caution

Meade said...

From Wikipedia:

Democratic position[edit]
After her party's victory then House Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi (who would a month later make clear her disdain for the "surge proposal"[15]) wrote an article entitled "Bringing the War to an End is my Highest Priority as Speaker". The article explained that after visiting wounded Iraq War veterans at the Bethesda Naval Medical Center, "I left there more committed than ever to bringing the war to an end. I told my colleagues yesterday that the biggest ethical issue facing our country for the past three and a half years is the war in Iraq. ...When the House reconvenes on January 4, 2007, Democrats will take power and I will take the gavel knowing the responsibility we have to you and to the country. The new Democratic Congress will live up to the highest ethical standard... [we] are prepared to lead and ready to govern. We will honor the trust of the American people; we will not disappoint."[16]

Strelnikov said...

Thank you, Husseins - both Saddam and Obama.

mccullough said...

If we're not willing to commit to 100 years of partial occupation, then we shouldn't do this. What are we still doing in Afghanistan? Iraq is England compared to Afghanistan.

Meade said...

“Meanwhile, I'll continue to press for my own plan, and work to find the 16 votes in the Senate to pass it with a veto-proof majority and bring our troops home quickly, safely and responsibly.”
- Statement of Sen. Obama on May 15, 2007, before voting to withdrawal US combat troops from Iraq within four months, with all troops gone by March 31, 2008
**
“The surge is not working.”
- Obama for American website changed in July 2008
**
"I think that the surge has succeeded in ways that nobody anticipated…It's succeeded beyond our wildest dreams."
- Obama to Bill O’Reilly in September 2008

dbp said...

For Obama it is never too late to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Crimso said...

Remember when the gold standard of fuckups was supposedly Michael Brown? I'm sure this will get the same press treatment.

DKWalser said...

Worst. President. Ever.

Big Mike said...

I guess the surge failed after all.

Tank said...

Well, this was unexpected.

Meade said...

"Worst. President. Ever.:

Funny, that's what the Bush haters always said about Bush. And still do!

chuck said...

Yes, Obama screwed up the withdrawal too, losing influence in the region in the process. We will be a long time recovering from the massive incompetence of this administration.

chrisnavin.com said...

How's that overall Middle East strategy working out?

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Thanks to Hope and Change,
They all died in vain.

Andy Freeman said...

That can't be correct. There's no al Qaeda in Iraq. Mesopotamia maybe, but not Iraq.

madisonfella said...

Obama should never have invaded Iraq in the first place!!1! We all warned him when he launched this war that it was a huge mistake, but he insisted that there were weapons of mass destruction & that Saddam was behind 9/11 and so he went ahead with his plans anyways.



El Pollo Raylan said...

Parts of Falluja and Ramadi fall to al Qaeda-aligned fighters.

This can't be true. Al Qaeda died with bin Laden.

El Pollo Raylan said...

Is the leader of the free world still dicking around in Hawaii?

donald said...

Fantastic.

Skyler said...

There comes a time when Iraq must fend for itself.

We erred, not in leaving Iraq, but in installing an Islamic government and not requiring them to adopt the Bill of Rights.

Unlike Afghanistan, Iraq has an educated population and some history with the rule of law. They had and still have a lot of potential. We betrayed them by protecting their religion over their individuals.

For now their fortunes will vacillate. It will be up to them to fix this.

But it turns my stomach. Forty-eight men in my battalion died to install an Islamic government there. I had hoped the benefits would be longer lasting.

RAS743 said...

Says the shitty Grey Lady. which, as much as any MSM outlet -- John Burns' reportage notwithstanding -- undermined support for the Iraq War. Bush, whatever mistakes he made in his original choice of generals and in mediating the mess between State and Defense about managing the post-invasion, at least had the courage of his convictions to try to set things right with the Surge. Now this. Wonder what all the military families whose loved ones sacrificed themselves there for their nation, think of this? Republicans are no heroes to me, but the next time some son of a bitch tells me there's no difference between them and Democrats I'm going to spit in his face and deal with the consequences.

SteveR said...

@madisonfella- Obama wanted the job so that doesn't mean he gets to fuck it up without any repercussions. That's called rising to meet the challenge. You can give him a pass but history won't.

Meade said...

"Obama should never have invaded Iraq in the first place!!1!"

Don't you mean Clinton… in the first place:

Transcript: President Clinton explains Iraq strike

CLINTON: Good evening.

Earlier today, I ordered America's armed forces to strike military and security targets in Iraq. They are joined by British forces. Their mission is to attack Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs and its military capacity to threaten its neighbors
.

But I'm sure you warned him not to.

Chef Mojo said...

Forty-eight men in my battalion died to install an Islamic government there. I had hoped the benefits would be longer lasting.

And eventually we'll have to return, because they will attack us. It's their nature. We'll have to return and recommence the slaughter, because our "leaders" can't fucking comprehend the concept of winning wars.

Humperdink said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Victor Erimita said...

Loss of American credibility. The rise of America's enemies. The in-your-face undoing of Republican accomplishments. All in all, everything is proceeding according to Obama's deepest desires.

PB Reader said...

Al Qaeda was on the run - to Falluja and Ramadi.

How can anyone defend this president?
How can this president not be impeached and stand trial in the Senate?

RecChief said...

heckuva job, Johnny and Hillary!

Original Mike said...

"Parts of Falluja and Ramadi fall to al Qaeda-aligned fighters."

Heck of a job, Barry!


Big Mike said...

How can anyone defend this president?

I dunno. Ask garage mahal. Ask Inga. Ask somefeller. Most of the rest of us live in the real world.

How can this president not be impeached and stand trial in the Senate?

Because stupidity and ineptitude are neither a high crime nor a misdemeanor.

EDH said...

Quick, get the guy who wrote the NYT Benghazi story to report there are no al Qaeda-aligned fighters in Iraq.

Problem solved.

PB Reader said...

I'm afraid the "real" world we live in is populated and led by people who are either very stupid about the failure of their policies or their policies are actually achieving the objectives. Stupidity or malice, hard to figure a third option.

garage mahal said...

Most of the rest of us live in the real world.

Yeah, the decision to invade Iraq and the Benghazi world the right lives in has been totally real dude. Keep keeping it real!

jono39 said...

The war in Iraq was another absurdity in the chain of errors we have made since 1945 BUT having accomplished something, not much, at huge expense and I am not referring to money, to watch Obama casually throw it all away was astonishing, That he paid no price is clear evidence to me of the indifference of American voters to how our nation is being managed. This is going to lead to an upheaval. The Tea Party is a very mild first step.

BDNYC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jono39 said...

The war in Iraq was another absurdity in the chain of errors we have made since 1945 BUT having accomplished something, not much, at huge expense and I am not referring to money, to watch Obama casually throw it all away was astonishing, That he paid no price is clear evidence to me of the indifference of American voters to how our nation is being managed. This is going to lead to an upheaval. The Tea Party is a very mild first step.

BDNYC said...

"al Qaeda aligned"

As we all now know, this is a hugely important distinction to observe. It really like totally matters that the actual organization involved here isn't al Qaeda central HQ, and since Osama has been killed that means we're kicking the ass of international terrorism. Obama is vindicated.

Michael K said...

" Ask garage mahal. Ask Inga. Ask somefeller. Most of the rest of us live in the real world."

Bill deBlasio is mayor of New York. All is right with the world !

Fallujah ! Where is that ?

What difference does it make ?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I feel like I should take a picture of myself holding a sign apologizing to the world.

Lucien said...

It was never the job of the United States to determine Iraq's future, and never in its power to do so(affect, yes, determine, no).

That said, if "parts of" two cities in one province of Iraq are controlled by people who are "affiliated with" Al Qaeda that doesn't necessarily portend the fall of the entire country to a non-state group of fighters.

somefeller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
somefeller said...

I dunno. Ask garage mahal. Ask Inga. Ask somefeller. Most of the rest of us live in the real world.

Ha! Named-dropped in a thread I hadn't commented in and didn't plan on commenting in. I'm flattered by the amount of space I apparently take up rent-free inside your head, Big Mike.

Anyway, in the real world, people see the invasion of Iraq as at best a mistaken attempt to set up Jeffersonian democracy in Mesopotamia or at worst an exercise in imperial power that largely backfired on the US. Recent events in Falluja and Ramadi are no surprise, were predicted by anti-Iraq War people a decade ago and are not the fault of President Obama.

But hey, why don't you spend your next Tea Party meeting agitating for the US to re-invade Iraq to take care of this problem? The response from the real world will be a bracing one, I'm sure.

SteveR said...

We all know Obama would have solved all these problems unlike BushI, Clinton and BushII, and so cleaning up the mess was not his responsibility.

Michael K said...

"But hey, why don't you spend your next Tea Party meeting agitating for the US to re-invade Iraq to take care of this problem? The response from the real world will be a bracing one, I'm sure."

No, I won't be attending a Tea Party meeting soon. And I'm sure they will be discussing your hero's health care triumph.

Some day, the consequences of your feckless posturing on foreign policy will be obvious. I'd just as soon not be here.

To quote Clinton's Sec State: "Of course we took terrorism seriously. We had meetings about it almost every week."

m stone said...

A lot of praise for the surge, but Iraq was, for a brief shining moment, a success until the retreat call was sounded by Obama to the roar of approval by far too many war-weary US citizens.

Few had the vision to try and cultivate a relationship with the Iraqi government and at least sustain stability. Baghdad was reviving in 2007---and al queda was simply waiting us out, as predicted.

Few, if any American lives would have been lost, with a continuing US presence. We Americans are short-sighted at this point in history.

My father was a native Iraqi who fled years ago from tyrants.

My sympathies for those who fought and for families who lost soldiers. Now, it seems, in vain.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Thanks for voting for him, Ann.

Henry said...

At a certain point, there's nothing left to say.

paminwi said...

The al-Qaeda that took over these cities - are they "core" al-Qaeda or the other al-Qaeda that really aren't al-Qaeda according to the NYT and the Obama administration?

Inform me, because, you know, if they aren't "core" al-Qaeda it doesn't really count, right?

Henry said...

"Short-sighted" isn't enough. "Feckless", "incompetent", "derelict". Not enough. As the liberals demonstrate in these comments, with their obsessive handwashing over a sequence of events (misbegotten or not) over a decade ago, and utter amnesia of all events since, what we are dealing with is a episode out of Oliver Sacks casebook.

And thus with all the reckless idiocies of this administration. Always there is the magnified antecedent, the crucial something-or-other that forced the administration to pour gasoline on the mattress; always followed by the the memory gap that makes the resulting conflagration a complete mystery to the faithful.

EMD said...

Wait, I think it's the "good" Al Qaeda that's in charge now.

Like Hodgkins or Non-Hodgkins, I can never remember which one is the "good" lymphoma.

Illuninati said...

The left never paid a price for cutting off aid to the South Vietnamese government after we left and thus ensuring a victory for the North Vietnamese Communists. The result was millions of civilian deaths and massive emigration to the USA of people fleeing the Communists. Rather than suffering politically, the left experienced a surge which has now swept an openly socialist if not outright communist into power in New York City.

This set up a template they have followed in Iraq where their new ally, the radical Muslims are surging forward now. They will pay no price for their betrayal of the American soldiers who died trying to set up something better in Iraq. Instead a defeat in Iraq will probably strengthen the left, especially if the resurgence of Al Qaeda causes a flood of Muslim refuges who seek asylum in the USA. Many of these refugees will bring their anti-Christian and anti-Jewish prejudices to their new country much to the delight of the left. This alliance between Islam and the left will strengthen the hand of the left in their war on our traditional Judeo-Christian culture and on Christians and Jewish people.

Curious George said...

Wait, were they showing that video in Iraq? Have we learned nothing?

hombre said...

"In Iraq, if you like your democracy, you can keep it!"

hombre said...

Period!

El Pollo Raylan said...

Recent events in Falluja and Ramadi are no surprise, were predicted by anti-Iraq War people a decade ago and are not the fault of President Obama.

I'm predicting a similar fate for Afghanistan right here today thanks to your vacationing leader.

Smilin' Jack said...

Nearly one-third of the American soldiers killed during the war died trying to pacify Anbar, and Americans fought two battles for control of Falluja, in the bloodiest street-to-street combat American troops had faced since Vietnam.


Fucking NYT commies. That should read "since the glorious American victory in Vietnam."

After all, we spend more on our military than the rest of the planet combined. We''re not gonna be defeated by a bunch of sand-eating camel-fuckers, any more than we were defeated by a bunch of gooks from the Stone Age.

jr565 said...

Thanks for giving up all we earned through much blood and treasure expended on our parts.
Note how when the anti war crowd wins it usually doesn't lead to less war.

jr565 said...

Now that Al Qaeda has taken over Iraq can we now FINALLY say that Iraq is part of the legitimate war on terror?
Thank, lefties.

David said...

Pretty much on schedule.

Nice going Barack.

Jason said...

Remember when Al Qaeda was on the run?

Good times, good times.

Valentine Smith said...

Seriously, this is all part of the plan.

cubanbob said...

Memo to Republicans-never get the US involved in a war because the Democrats will without fail find a way to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory.

Kirk Parker said...

"How can anyone defend this president?"

"I dunno. Ask garage mahal. Ask Inga. Ask somefeller."

But, but, but... Free Contraceptives!!!11!

Kirk Parker said...


Skyler,

Oh, we erred plenty in the way we left, too.

Look, for how many years dis we have bases in Europe, Japan/Okinawa, and Korea after those conflicts ended? A reasonable and helpful status-of-forces agreement leaving some numbers of US troops, mostly in an advisory basis, with prepositioned gear and a structure in place to quickly bring in more combat units if needed, would have been a Very Good Thing.

(Something similar with the British Army and Air Force is how the Kenyan government survived the coup attempt in the early 80's.)

Helen Wong said...

We erred, not in leaving Iraq, but in installing an Islamic government and not requiring them to adopt the Bill of Rights.

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Skyler said...

You're right, Kirk, but the bigger error was not in leaving. It was in what we created. We created our enemy by installing an Islamic republic. We need to recognize that Islamism is morally antithetical to individual freedoms.

Hammond X Gritzkofe said...

Don't blame Omama.
Don't blame Pelosi.

Look to a credulous, naive, and lazy electorate.

Kirk Parker said...

Skyler,

Can't argue with you there.

Will said...

Iraq is an absolutely giant and tragic failure by Obama and Clinton. It shows how unserious and unready to Lead both are.

Ignoring the advice and needs of your military, ignoring our allies, catering to our adversaries and enemies. What a disaster of incompetence.

Freder Frederson said...

a success until the retreat call was sounded by Obama to the roar of approval by far too many war-weary US citizens.

The retreat was called by Bush. Obama merely finished the plan Bush handed him. To argue otherwise is ridiculous.

We wasted thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars trying to fix a country that has been dysfunctional since the end of World War I. Failure was predictable and inevitable no matter how many lives and dollars we threw at Iraq.

Most of the people (and I salute the people here who actually did risk their lives in Iraq) on this blog, especially Professor Althouse, were unwilling to pay one cent or commit themselves, other than to write blog posts about how wonderful the war was, or their loved ones to the cause.

It is so easy, and disgusting, to support something so dreadful that you have no vested interest in.

Freder Frederson said...

Look, for how many years dis we have bases in Europe, Japan/Okinawa, and Korea after those conflicts ended?

The status of forces in those countries are entirely different than what was proposed for Iraq. Our troops in those countries have nothing to do with maintaining internal security.

n.n said...

They are Al-Qaeda in name only. A product of watching a single offensive video. In their defense, they are isolated and did not know about the million other offensive videos, or so the narrative explains.

Cedarford said...

Donald Douglas said...
Because Obama was gonna heal the world's religious rifts and ideological divisions, or something.

================
No, because Bush destroyed his Presidency believing that we would invade and create a Western-style democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan for the noble purple-fingered Freedom Lovers.

And women would shed their burquas and play soccer and go to universities and be the boss of the house.

The neocons told him that the Muslims were just aching to be ordered into a new culture and lifestyle..

They were wrong. Liberal interventionists like Obama and Samantha Power pursuing a liberal variant of that were wrong. The militarists like John McCain that saw bombing and "Heroes with boots on the ground" as the solution for liberating the Muslim masses from themselves were wrong.
Francis Fukushima was wrong.

Basil said...

Cedarford, how can you be so sure of your conclusion that Muslims reject the basic human longing for freedom? It may turn out to be true, but it's still a very open question.
Also, you reject the great benefit that they were given a chance to progress and to reject the martyrdom is the highest calling of life mindset of Islamic terrorism.
They may still become Syria or Iran, but they aren't yet. I am still hopeful that they will value their children more than killing their enemies children.

jr565 said...

Freder Frederson wrote:
We wasted thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars trying to fix a country that has been dysfunctional since the end of World War I. Failure was predictable and inevitable no matter how many lives and dollars we threw at Iraq.

Oh shut up already. When we left Iraq it was not a terrorist state with parts of it taken over by Al Qaeda. And it wouldn't have taken that much to maintain the peace. Now, the next president is going to have to deal with an ascendant Al Qaeda in Iraq, the very place we had pacified.
All that rhetoric about the diversion from the real war on Terror masked the fact that the left is going to cede all ground to the Talibans and the Al Qaeda's of the world. Saying we would fight in Afghanistan was the diversion. Obama and the libs will give up there too.
And the sad thing is we had won in Iraq after the surge. The only thing required was maintaining the victory.
What was the victory? Was it a perfect democracy? Far from it. But it wasn't an Iraq led by Sadaam Hussein that we needed to contain indefinitely. Nor was it an Al Qaeda hotbed that will become another terrorist state. And the indifference of the dems like Obama were what led to this.
You say it's not Obama's fault or responsibility. Yet the next president will need to deal with the mess that is Iraq. So, how then is it not Obama's Iraq at this point?
Do you think indifference still doesn't produce a result?

grackle said...

All that rhetoric about the diversion from the real war on Terror masked the fact that the left is going to cede all ground to the Talibans and the Al Qaeda's of the world. Saying we would fight in Afghanistan was the diversion. Obama and the libs will give up there too.

True words, I believe.

Trashhauler said...

Cedarford wrote: "...Bush destroyed his Presidency believing that we would invade and create a Western-style democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan for the noble purple-fingered Freedom Lovers."

Not quite. President Bush perhaps thought that the more modern Iraqis could create a democracy, but there is no evidence that he thought the same for Afghanistan. Under Bush, it was understood that the fledgeling Iraq state would need our post-war assistance. Whether the Obama team did not care or were just incompetent, that post-war assistance was abandoned with the failure in reaching a SOFA agreement.

In Afghanistan, most of the Bush term was used to knock the Taliban off their pins and building an infrastructure that might, someday, allow greater action. The Obama actions in "the war that must be won" were only possible because of the logistical infrastructure put in place by Bush. Even so, it was clear to us military types that the deadline for doing anything was completely divorced from any progress or lack of progress on the ground. What remains to be seen is if there will be some residual assistance to the Kabul government after NATO is officially gone.

We gave up in one we could have won and will pretend to win the one we couldn't.