Sunday, May 28, 2017

The End of the Beginning

Iraqi forces are beginning what could be the last offensive in Mosul to free the city from ISIL control:

Iraqi armed forces launched an operation on Saturday to capture the last Islamic State-held enclave in Mosul, according to a military statement.

This is not the end of the war in Iraq, of course. ISIL will still exist as an underground terrorist problem. But that is a far better problem to have than a caliphate that calls upon the human and financial resources of controlled territory to act as a proto-state.

And beyond ISIL, the fight to resist Iran's efforts to dominate Iraq--or to just dominate a decisive subgroup within Iraq to exercise veto power over Iraqi government decisions (like Hezbollah in Lebanon)--will need to be waged.

I assume we will wage this local fight against Iran given the broader fight against Iran that we seem committed to waging.

Which is why I want to make sure rule of law thrives in Iraq to keep the Kurds and Sunni Arabs--two reliable allies to resist Iran--within a single Iraq.

Westerners complain that we are in a long war. Many want us to unilaterally (responsibly?) end it.

But is the duration of the fight our fault or the fault of an enemy so committed to killing that even little girls at pink-hued concerts are considered legitimate targets?

How does one negotiate with such hatred? How does the West coexist with that?

Face it, we need to kill the jihadis and keep killing them until not even their twisted faith can rouse them to sure death and humiliation.

If they are a small enough population, the rest of Islamic society can de-legitimize that twisted faith and control them.

UPDATE: Modern war journalism is odd:

Tens of thousands of civilians in parts of Mosul held by Islamic State are struggling to get food, water and medicine, the United Nations said, days into a new push by U.S.-backed Iraqi government troops to take the northern city.

If journalists felt at war to defeat the ISIL thug-state that has ruled Mosul since mid-2014, they'd lead with the effort to finally wipe out ISIL defenders pushed into a corner in Mosul.

But no, civilians lack food, water, and medicine. Sure, that's news. But I get the feeling that the media would feel better about the humanitarian situation if ISIL ruled all of Mosul yet food, water, and medicine was in sufficient supplies.

Odd, they are. But I've wondered about their notions of compassion before.