July 9, 2017

"The victory could have been sweeter, though, as the Iraqis were denied the symbolism of hanging the national flag from the Grand al-Nuri Mosque and its distinctive leaning minaret..."

"... which was wiped from the skyline in recent weeks as a final act of barbarity by Islamic State militants who packed it with explosives and brought it down as government troops approached."

From "Iraqi Prime Minister Arrives in Mosul to Declare Victory Over ISIS" (NYT).

49 comments:

Curious George said...

Heckuva job Hill and Barry.

Mattman26 said...

Gotta turn something good into something bad, dontcha, NYT!

David Begley said...

Why would an Islamic organization destroy a mosque? Hateful.

EDH said...

the symbolism of hanging the national flag from the Grand al-Nuri Mosque and its distinctive leaning minaret...

...which reminded men everywhere of waking up in the morning after a sound sleep.

Sebastian said...

So much winning.

It is also a fitting reminder of one of O's more insidious lies, that we had to leave Iraq precipitously for lack of an immunity deal with the Iraqis, when we returned soon to fight ISIS--with not a word about what had supposedly triggered the departure (which created the power vacuum ISIS quickly exploited).

Paco Wové said...

Silver linings. Now Trump can offer the Iraqis some good Western technological assistance to help them build the damned thing plumb this time.

JaimeRoberto said...

Would a national flag ever be raised atop a minaret? That sounds like something that would be frowned upon in the Muslim world.

Michael K said...

It was Petraeus' 101st Airborne that held the city back in 2003 after the invasion. Petraeus division learned how to cooperate with the Iraqis and win the war.

Before Obama threw it all away.

His orders were simple -- to work out agreement between local sheiks and Iraqi customs officials to restore trade with Syria. What was unusual was that the decision had been initiated not by the State Department or civilian administrators in Baghdad, but by Maj. Gen. David H. Petraeus, the commander of the Army's 101st Airborne Division and the dominant political figure in Mosul and the surrounding areas in northern Iraq.

Three months later, there is a steady stream of cross-border traffic, and the modest fees that the division set for entering Iraq -- $10 per car, $20 per truck -- have raised revenue for expanded customs forces and other projects in the region.

A five-day trip through the 101st Division's large area of operation showed that American military, not the civilian-led occupation authority based in Baghdad, are the driving force in the region's political and economic reconstruction.


All thrown away by a leftist ideologue.

J2 said...

Reminds me of the fall of Baghdad when US soldiers hoisted the American flag instead of the Iraqi flag.

Etienne said...

The best thing we can do for Iraq, is to send them some of those bulldozers and dump trucks they use in the strip-mining industry. Those things are as big as a house, and can make short work out of clearing off what used to be a city.

Then they can build a proper fiber communications, subway, sewage, and water infrastructure.

Oh yea, and have a building code that is enforced. Make it a crime to climb a power pole and just connect your own wires.

whitney said...

"He describe the destruction of the mosque as Isis' final Act of depravity."

No, there will be more

Michael K said...

This was another example of the fecklessness of State which never staffed the hardship posts.

The Army ran Iraq while Bremer threw away the chances of success.

I have never understood why Bush put Bremer in charge instead of Jay Garner who had had great success with the Kurds since 1991.

T Rex cannot clean out that nest of vipers fast enough for me.

Drago said...

Remember, according to the leftists, ISIS culture is superior to the West.

And anyone arguing otherwise is a racist.

Owen said...

Michael K at 10:25: "This was another example of the fecklessness of State which never staffed the hardship posts."

As a thought experiment, what would happen if State were required to staff its posts with engineers? You know, people who work with "stuff" rather than "words"? With reality rather than bullshit?

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

ISIS destroys historical artifacts. Inspired or inspirational?

Michael K said...

"what would happen if State were required to staff its posts with engineers?"

Interesting thought experiment.

My daughter is an FBI agent. Many years ago, the FBI only accepted applicants with law degrees or CPAs.

Now, they take a lot of cops and former military. A lot of Special Forces guys and gals have language skills. Maybe State should recruit some and make them FSOs.

They could not do worse.

Yancey Ward said...

I have a distinct memory when the push for Mosul first started all the way back to the end of last Summer- it was claimed at the time that Mosul would fall in weeks, and I thought that was done to try to boost Hillary!'s chances. Better late than never.

bagoh20 said...

Over the last 8 years, we (all humanity) lost all those historic treasures, and so many thousands of innocent men, women, and children viciously and disrespectfully murdered, not in the fog of war, but after the battles were over out of pure degenerate selfish evil - an army of pathological serial killers. No group of criminals ever needed to be resisted and wiped out more than ISIS, but we not only let it happen we opened the door for it.

None of it had to happen, but our people voted for it out of a fatigue that was, to a large part, manufactured by the media and Democrats for political reasons. You won an election, and a lot of people lost everything for it. All of us lost something irreplaceable.

bagoh20 said...

I hope the Iraqis learn a lesson. Defend yourself. Do it early - do it hard. The price only gets higher if you don't.

buwaya said...

Traditionally diplomats were educated in the classics (whatever the classics of their culture were).

It was also a job for adventurous gentlemen.

It was this sort of person who could be trusted with the affairs of the nation in a semi-independent role, where he had to exercise judgement.

This ancient way does not suit the civil-service, careerist systems, where diplomats on the spot are under close but underinformed and unsubtle supervision from HQ. The modern systems misuse modern communications in an attempt to control what they cant.

Hagar said...

The bottom levels of Islam is at war with everybody else, including all established Moslem governments.

buwaya said...

Note that ISIS/ISIL took Mosul against ten times their number of defenders, utterly routing them. They took prisoners several times their number and slaughtered them like sheep. And, reinforced, survived a siege of eight months against ten times their number of besiegers, causing heavy casualties to the reformed Iraqi military.

There are few better illustrations of Napoleon's "the moral is to the material as three is to one" - in this case, it was ten to one. I wonder what the balance of numbers is in Syria today on the anti-ISIS front, without even considering the technological force multipliers of US and Russian sensors and weapons.

Movements like ISIS can be, unwisely, dismissed due to their small size and unpopularity, but size alone is not decisive, and neither is popularity. A fanatical Islamic movement in a European country lacking patriotism, morale and cultural cohesion, would have an easier time taking it over than most assume.

Oso Negro said...

Blogger Owen said...
Michael K at 10:25:
As a thought experiment, what would happen if State were required to staff its posts with engineers? You know, people who work with "stuff" rather than "words"? With reality rather than bullshit?


There are good potential roles for engineers in government, Owen, but I don't think that State is one of them. I am a chemical engineer, mind you, I operate an international consulting company, and I have worked with engineers around the world in the course of my affairs. Here is a fact - no one goes to engineering school because they are interested in people and people problems; they go because they are good at math and science and want to make a decent living. On occasion, you will meet engineers who excel at people issues, but it really isn't their thing, generally speaking. Political matters, in particular, are particularly frustrating for good engineers. And by good, I mean engineers who excel at the application of science and technology to solve practical problems by cost-effective means. On the bright side, the work processes in the State Department could be shined up in short order, there would be much better cost-benefit analysis, and better risk analysis.

Quaestor said...

Thanks to their founder Muslims have an idiotic habit of using mosques as armories, which since the 13th century has meant explosives as well as swords and spears. Following the prescripts of the Hadith, the Turks used the Parthenon to store gunpowder, which accounts for its current state of repair.

Those ISIS imbeciles might have blown up the Leaning Minaret deliberately as yet another act of cultural genocide, or they may have just been careless with their munitions.

Michael K said...

I agree with Oso Negro.

There is an engineer mentality that does not work well with the problems that FSOs will face.

I was an engineer before medical school.

steve uhr said...

If only "I know more than the generals" had been president the battle for Mosul would have been over in 48 hours.

Achilles said...

Michael K said...
This was another example of the fecklessness of State which never staffed the hardship posts.

The Army ran Iraq while Bremer threw away the chances of success.


State is staffed by democrats.

Democrats don't believe in freedom or liberty.

Ergo Democrats want the US to fail.

This was done on purpose.

Michael K said...

"or they may have just been careless with their munitions."

It would be too much to ask that the Nork dictator Kim pay the ultimate price for smoking next to a missile being fueled.

Oso Negro said...

Blogger buwaya said...
Note that ISIS/ISIL took Mosul against ten times their number of defenders, utterly routing them. They took prisoners several times their number and slaughtered them like sheep. And, reinforced, survived a siege of eight months against ten times their number of besiegers, causing heavy casualties to the reformed Iraqi military.

There are few better illustrations of Napoleon's "the moral is to the material as three is to one" - in this case, it was ten to one.


Buwaya, the West is not incapable of unrestrained cruelty, but it has been some time since we have chosen to practice it. The capture of Mosul was not entirely our affair, and not entirely at our direction. I don't rate the ISIL fighters at ten to one.

Achilles said...

steve uhr said...
If only "I know more than the generals" had been president the battle for Mosul would have been over in 48 hours.

Indeed Obama was one of the worst presidents we have ever had. The only way he could have been that bad was on purpose in my opinion.

Michael K said...

"This was done on purpose."

I'm not sure it was on purpose but my complaint is why Bush would choose Bremer over Jay Garner, who had worked well with the Kurds for almost ten years?

Even Wikipedia wonders why he was replaced.

When Garner was replaced in his role by Paul Bremer on May 11, 2003, there was quite a bit of speculation as to why he was replaced so abruptly. It has been suggested that Garner was moved aside because he did not agree with the White House about who should decide how to reconstruct Iraq. He wanted early elections—90 days after the fall of Baghdad—and the new government to decide how to run the country and what to do with its assets. Garner said "I don't think [Iraqis] need to go by the U.S. plan, I think that what we need to do is set an Iraqi government that represents the freely elected will of the people. It's their country ... their oil."

I don't know if it would have worked but what replaced him was a disaster.

Petraeus and a couple of other generals pulled the chestnuts out of the fire until Obama threw them back in.



Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Compare and contrast ISIS with the Occupy movement.

bagoh20 said...

ISIS success is not so much proof of their capability as it is proof of their opponents lack of it. As we saw in our invasion of Iraq, the Iraqi arm is not exactly tough and determined. I wonder if due to all the years of war they just simply lost most of their brave men. ISIS continues to be manned by crazy homicidal fetishists, many of whom come in from other places. Knowing the consequences for losing to ISIS, I don't understand the Iraqi lack of resolve to win at all costs. Losing just can't be an option. You would think they would fight like the Japanese, becuase losing means certain death anyway.

bagoh20 said...

"Compare and contrast ISIS with the Occupy movement."

Occupy wants to destroy everything holding a free society together. ISIS realizes they need to kill you first to get away with that.

Kevin said...

Glad to clarify the whole "you can't destroy a mosque" was just civility bullshit all along.

traditionalguy said...

Mad Mohammedan Cultists versus Mad Mohammedan Cultists. That is a never ending market for the Armaments Industry. Lucky Trumpkins just hyper-stimulated American jobs again.

WWF memes uber alles.

gadfly said...

I see that the al-Nuri Mosque minaret lean was caused by prevailing winds for over 900 hundred years and until Iranian bombs landed near the mosque, breaking water and sewer lines during the 1980's Iran-Iraq War, further weakened the structure. Nobody cared until the UN happened to calculate that the minaret was leaning 8.3 feet off perpendicular in 2012 and would surely fall. Finally, in 2014, a stabilization program was announced in conjunction with the provincial government of Nineveh - but it remained in its leaning state until ISIS fighters took fate into their own hands.

Expect ISIS members in Pisa to resolve the lean there.

Owen said...

Oso Negro and Michael K: thanks for the feedback. It was just a question to provoke some debate. I grant that good engineers deal with things differently; and that State has to schmooze and temporize and work things very differently. But sometimes I wonder if State becomes hostage to its sympathies for the "other guy's story," for "the way things have to be." Maybe a little more muscle would help.

Maybe.

And buwaya, I agree that the moral is to the material as X is to 1, where X can be large. So I do not dismiss ISIS one tiny bit. But rather than try to deal with ISIS 1:1 where our moral power is critical, I would look to the terrible power of democracies like the US, in full War Mode, to simply summon the technology needed to obliterate ISIS and everything within the nearest 1000 kilometers, and call it a good day's work. We really don't want to go there. But ISIS, stuck in its individual heroic mode, may not understand that.

SukieTawdry said...

Congratulations, Iraqi troops. And congratulations to the troops who trained them.

Michael K said...

"I wonder if State becomes hostage to its sympathies for the "other guy's story," for "the way things have to be." Maybe a little more muscle would help."

This is a well known phenomenon in diplomacy. "Clientitis" is sometimes the term used.

The British foreign service was made up largely of "Arabists" and this contributed to the hostility toward the Jews in the 1930s. Arab atrocities toward Jews go back to the 1920s and before. The British looked the other way,

Before 1920, the Ottoman's ruled the area that became the Mandate but things were no better for Jews after 1920 there than under the Ottomans.

Hagar said...

IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, al Shabaab, Boko Haram, al Qaeda in Whatever, Abu Sayyaf, etc., and so on are just local names wherever the underlying disease has erupted.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Did the New York Times blame Sarah Palin?

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Leftists lie - ISIS lies. hmmmmm.

n.n said...

The Obama administration and Press colluded to coverup the collateral damage from premature evacuation and elective wars that forced global refugee crises. The latter undertaken by the DNC, civil rights organizations, and reformed/progressive religious organizations, in order to manufacture an appearance of clean wars, Democratic leverage (e.g. gerrymandered districts), and redistributive change (e.g. welfare profit sharing). Now, we are seeing the non-refugees and damage left behind.

Presumably, the journolistic narratives -- yarns, really -- were concocted while colluding with the DNC in order to distract people from scrutinizing the progressive corruption and fallout from Obama's political opportunities and global wars, while simultaneously defaming, denigrating Europeans and Americans as pro-native (allegedly anti-immigrant), pro-diversity (allegedly anti-[class] diversity including racism, which people of good conscience are).

The inconvenient truths are anthropogenic and progressive, which explains the DNC-affiliated journolists and activists working overtime to tend their ball of yarns.

Mountain Maven said...

The ME in a nutshell.

Kirk Parker said...

Buwaya,

"Traditionally diplomats were educated in the classics (whatever the classics of their culture were).

It was also a job for adventurous gentlemen."


Indeed. Check out this biography of one such adventurous gentleman in Sudan.

Kirk Parker said...

Owen @ 10:47am,

Yeah, not gonna work. A very big part of a diplomat's portfolio is deploying bullshit, so being able to work with words is a job requirement.

The problem you and I both see, rather, is that we have to many wordsmith/deployers-of-bullshit who aren't doing so on behalf of the nation for whom they work.

Kirk Parker said...

Owen,

"We really don't want to go there."

Speak for yourself. There's a YUUUUGE percentage of the population that is tired of all the posturing and "nuance" and just wants to settle the matter.

Bye bye Mecca?