Wednesday, March 25, 2015

About That History Lesson

A Western diplomat, amidst rumors that we will soon provide air support to the Iranian-led Iraqi offensive on Tikrit, took a lesson from World War II to justify American-Iranian cooperation against ISIL. Let's expand the history lesson, shall we?

We appear to be ready to provide air support for the Tikrit offensive. And this makes sense, one of our diplomats said:

"Iranians fighting alongside the coalition is not a bad thing," the diplomat said, comparing the potential U.S.-Iranian alliance against Islamic State to the Western allies and Soviets battling Nazi Germany in World War Two.

"Strange bedfellows, isn't it?" he said. "What did Churchill say? 'I would sup with the devil himself if it defeated Hitler.'"

Just remember that the devil doesn't stop being the devil just because he helps us defeat one evil.

And after that "supping" in World War II, that particular devil, Stalin, gobbled up all the land where his troops stood, and ushered in a Cold War with the threat of nuclear war hanging over the entire post-sup era.

If we work with Iran now against ISIL, let's not become confused and believe Iran is suddenly our partner.

Iran's mullahs still call us the Great Satan, recall. Projection. Look it up.

UPDATE: The Iraqis are starting to question their scream and leap tactics that they have used in the Tikrit offensive:

The Iraqi forces’ progress has put them closer to the doorstep of Nineveh Province, where the city of Mosul looms as the most important battle against the Islamic State. But the hard lessons of the Tikrit offensive, with a heavy cost in casualties for the Shiite militiamen and soldiers involved, have Iraqi officials thinking more cautiously about their next steps.

And the Iraqis are thinking that securing their western flank in Anbar is more important right now:

To that end, officials say, their next goal will be securing the western province of Anbar, in part to keep Islamic State fighters there from ambushing and harassing the main Iraqi force to the east.

“We will secure Anbar first, and then move on to Nineveh,” Iraq’s defense minister, Khaled al-Obeidi, told reporters recently. He added that new army troops were still training for Mosul, where Islamic State militants were constructing berms and trenches, preparing to “destroy the city to defend it.”

As Anbar has deteriorated, that's been my view. ISIL is too close to Baghdad where they are now and could push suicide bombers and other attackers into the capital as Iraqi forces push north.

It also gives Jordan the opportunity to really engage ISIL if they are serious, by striking ISIL in Anbar from the west.

And watch the Iranians. No good can come from "supping" with them.

NOTE: I corrected the first sentence to indicate a Western diplomat of nationality not-stated made the comparison. I knew that, but wrote American.

UPDATE: Our air strikes begin:

"I can confirm that the government of Iraq has requested coalition support for operations in Tikrit," Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steven Warren said.

"Operations are ongoing."

We fight to the last smart bomb. Iran fights to the last Arab.