President Obama said June 19 that he is prepared to send up to 300 US military advisors to Iraq to help government forces beat back the ISIS militants that have seized up to a third of the country. In a national address, Obama said the US team will assess how best to "train, advise and support" Iraqi forces—and that the new advisors will be "prepared to take targeted and precise military action if and when we determine the situation on the ground requires it." But he emphasized: "American forces will not be returning to combat in Iraq, but we will help Iraqis as they take the fight to terrorists who threaten the Iraqi people, the region and American interests as well." (Chicago Tribune, ABC, June 19) We noted at the time that the supposed US "withdrawl" from Iraq in 2011 was largely fictional, with thousands of military contractors and hundreds of "advisors" to stay behind. While news accounts have not made clear how many "advisors" are already in Iraq, Obama referred to the new force as "additional military advisors." (AP) The phrase "targeted and precise military action" makes clear that the distinction between "advisors" and "combat forces" is also largely fictional.
Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari on June 18 made a public call for the US to launch air-strikes on ISIS-held territory. A spokesman for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki meanwhile said he will not step down as a condition of US military back-up. Obama has not actually broached this, but Washington figures to his left and right alike have done so. Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Senate intelligence committee, told a hearing that Maliki's government "has got to go if you want any reconciliation," while Sen. John McCain openly called for air-strikes but urged Obama to "make very clear to Maliki that his time is up." (The Guardian, June 19)
On the same day as Obama's address, Syrian warplanes launched 23 air-raids on Mleiha southeast of Damascus, held by the Nusra Front—an ISIS offshoot and rival in the Qaedist movement. (Daily Star, Lebanon, June 19)
We feel more and more vindicated in our assessment that the real threat of US military action in Syria is not intervention against the Damascus regime but intervention against al-Qaeda—and that a growing faction of the Beltway elite have their money on Bashar Assad. This again highlights the schizophrenic position of the Idiot Left in the West, which cheers on ISIS in Iraq as heroic anti-imperialist freedom-fighters while hating ISIS and the Nusra Front in Syria as jihadist pawns of imperialism…