"Milestone" Fantasies and How "The Surge" Boondoggle Launched AQI into ISIS | THE POLITICUS

"Milestone" Fantasies and How "The Surge" Boondoggle Launched AQI into ISIS

"Milestone," "Mile Post," and "Turning Point" are key markers for Perpetual War sales pitches. There's also "turn the corner." "A new day" comes up as well, applied to Iraqi politics.

If they had to stick with the historical record, no one would believe a word.

So it's one invention, one "new" project after another. And rewriting history. For example, the current Perpetual War Party story about Iraq is that "The Surge" beat  Al Qaeda in Iraq in 2007/2008 and won the war. Of course that victory was screwed up later on, after Bush and Cheney had left office.

That is utter madness.

The Perpetual War Party have no hands-on experience evaluating military strategy. Not one of them. Or tactics. Not even one professional day among them, including Bush43 who did not believe in details. They're cheerleaders.

They also lack experience with what it takes to build military alliances, which is both possible and necessary in the Middle East.

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So now we get to a wonderful web site: These folks have spared us the dog work. Here's their list for the major perpetrators.  

Lies are to the Perpetual War Party as rotting flesh is to "Walking Dead" zombies:

“This month will be a political turning point for Iraq,” Douglas Feith, July 2003

“We’ve reached another great turning point,” Bush, November 2003

“That toppling of Saddam Hussein… was a turning point for the Middle East,” Bush, March 2004

“Turning Point in Iraq,” The Nation, April 2004

“A turning point will come two weeks from today,” Bush, June 2004

“Marines Did a Good Job in Fallujah, a Battle That Might Prove a Turning Point,” Columnist Max Boot, July 2004

“Tomorrow the world will witness a turning point in the history of Iraq,” Bush, January 2005

“The Iraqi election of January 30, 2005… will turn out to have been a genuine turning point,” William Kristol, February 2005

“On January 30th in Iraq, the world witnessed … a major turning point,” Rumsfeld, February 2005

“I believe may be seen as a turning point in the war in Iraq and the war on terrorism.” Senator Joe Lieberman, December 2005

“The elections were the turning point. … 2005 was the turning point,” Cheney, December 2005

“2005 will be recorded as a turning point in the history of Iraq… and the history of freedom,” Bush, December 2005

“We believe this is a turning point for the Iraqi citizens, and it’s a new chapter in our partnership,” Bush, May 2006

“We have now reached a turning point in the struggle between freedom and terror,” Bush, May 2006

“This is a turning point for the Iraqi citizens.” Bush, August 2006

“When a key Republican senator comes home from Iraq and says the US has to re-think its strategy, is this a new turning point?” NBC Nightly News, October 2006

“Iraq: A Turning Point: Panel II: Reports from Iraq.” American Enterprise Institute, January 2007

“This Bush visit could well mark a key turning point in the war in Iraq and the war on terror,” Frederick W. Kagan, September 2007

“Bush Defends Iraq War in Speech… he touted the surge as a turning point in a war he acknowledged was faltering a year ago,” New York Times, March 2008

“The success of the surge in Iraq will go down in history as a turning point in the war against al-Qaeda,” The Telegraph, December 2008

“Iraq’s ‘Milestone’ Day Marred by Fatal Blast,” Washington Post, July 2009

“Iraq vote “an important milestone,” Obama, March 2010

“Iraq Withdrawal Signals New Phase, But War is Not Over,” ABC News, August 2010

“Why the Iraq milestone matters,” Foreign Policy, August 2010

“Iraq Milestone No Thanks to Obama,” McCain, September 2010

“Hails Iraq ‘milestone’ after power-sharing deal, ” Obama, November 2010

“Week’s event marks a major milestone for Iraq,” Council on Foreign Relations, March 2012

“National elections ‘important milestone’ for Iraq,” Ban Ki Moon, April 2014

“Iraq PM nomination ‘key milestone,’” Joe Biden, August 2014


"The formation of a new Iraqi government was 'a major milestone' for the country." Secretary of State John Kerry, September 2014

And unavoidably I googled up another one:

"...the situation would improve as Iraq strengthened its own police forces, especially with the new international support for the new prime minister, Mr. Abadi. I think this is a turning point for Iraq.” Iraq's Interior Ministry spokesman Saad Maan, September 2014

All sizzle, no steak. Not one of these claims panned out.

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The Worst

"The Surge." The McCain entry from 2010 is the most egregiously head-screwed of the lot.

"The Surge" of 2007-2008 had been constructed from the start to pacify Baghdad as a backdrop for domestic politics. At northwest Baghdad and Fallujah and other sites, "The Surge" battle plans provided the Jihadis of Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) with open lines for retreat. And retreat they did.

"Run away" was encouraged.

Navy Admiral William Fallon had replaced Army General John Abizaid as CENTCOM commander. Simply put, Fallon was useless for ground warfare. Fish out of water. And the operations commander was COIN expert, General David Petraeus. Between the two of them, Fallon and Petraeus, there was no chance that the United States would adopt surround-and-annihilate tactics.

No effort was made to eliminate AQI.

Instead, Fallon and Petraeus minimized American casualties. Political chops, don'tcha know. They let the AQI Jihadis reform in northwest Iraq and in Syria.

Long term "The Surge" accomplished less than nothing. Great tactics for the politics of ambition. Shxt for war.

AQI got very large sums of money from Sunni Salafi Arabs and eventually took control of most of Syria. Invading Iraq in 2014 followed in due course. ISIS used bribery to ease their taking of Mosul, then bribery again to induce the mass betrayal of some 500 to 700 Air Force cadets. ISIS slaughtered these cadets to the man.

Of course for the Perpetual War Party, David Petraeus remains a national hero.

McCain is still pumping "The Surge" today. In his version of events this was the milestone of victory in Iraq. That perfection was ruined subsequently by Liberal Bed Wetters and Surrender Monkeys as led by President Obama. Sure thing.

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Truth vs. Truthiness

So how do we know when something is real? Any markers there?

We do have one fine example: that is SoS Kerry saying last week that forming an alliance with Iran against ISIS is "a possibility." This leads to an additional functional definition for the words "a possibility."

Maybe, just maybe this phrase is the new PWP jargon for "it's real."

The alliance of the U.S. with the Suleimani coalition force out of Samarra and Tikrit has been operating for 90 days so far. General Suleimani of Qods Force had arrived in Baghdad early June with 250 QF professionals, right after Mosul fell to ISIS. He moved directly up to Samarra and the Al Askari shrine.

Immediately after the Iraqi Air Force cadet slaughter was confirmed, U.S. Special Forces set up liaison with the Suleimani coalition. That coalition is Iraqi Security Force, Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq (AAH) and other militiamen, a couple dozen Hizb Allah experts at fighting in cities, some fraction of the 6,000 Quds Force regulars in country, and a couple hundred local Sunni tribe army men. The latter contribution indicates that  anti-Salafi morality among Iraqi Sunnis has overwhelmed the prior Sunni/Shi'ia differences.

The dead Air Force cadets included more than 100 Sunnis.

"A possibility" is now confirmed to include a working relationship. That facilitated wiping out 400 ISIS raiders in the sweep and counterattack at Amerli. The coalition goes with surround-and-annihilate tactics. That's all. It is what works against the likes of AQI/ISIS.

Total body count for the Suleimani coalition and their (Quds Force supported) Kurdish allies goes to 2,000 ISIS raiders since middle of June. The ISIS raiders wanted a religious war and they got it. (As a note: on paper a majority of Kurds are Sunni. Not religious fanatics, ever. Not uncommonly Kurds also like an after dinner whiskey.)

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So.... Let's go with Keep It Simple, Stupid:

-- "Milestone," "Mile Post," and "Turning Point" mean they're lying. "Turn the corner." And "a new day" are the same crapola.

-- "A possibility" can mean that what's described is real. In truth, well established.

The sample size for "milestone," "mile post," and "turning point" is depicted here in the dozens. It's really in the hundreds or maybe the thousands. The sample size for "a possibility" is no more than a half-dozen. Seeing SoS Kerry click for the Suleimani coalition is tempting.

"A possibility" could be new Perpetual War Party jargon.

We'll see.

And it is not good news for the PWP that ISIS has lost 2,000 raiders. The Kurds killed 170 of them in a couple days using mostly assault rifles. The 400 around Amerli got the total up over 2,000.

How is the PWP going to get perpetual war going, where all they've got to fight for them are psycho terrorists? Here the PWP had all of Syria and Iraq in its hands and now, suddenly, their war winds down to a few psychopaths going after Kurdish villagers up by the Turkish border ???

Is that all they've got?

ISIS holds nothing more than what they had after taking Mosul. For nothing much ISIS  has lost a third of their invasion force in Iraq.

How's about sending another $500,000,000 in arms to Syria ???

Stir the pot. Let John McCain pick who gets what !

The Perpetual War Party better damn well hurry. Daily weather in Iraq has broken from the earlier 110F to 118F peak temperatures of their mid-summer down to a manageable 90F range. And the Suleimani coalition has 40,000 combat troops ready to go, plus another 500,000 troops for civil defense and some 200,000 reliable Iraqi Security Force troops.

Get things rolling and they can field 250,000 troops to carry out the surround-and-annihilate system. General Suleimani adopted surround-and-annihilate at al-Qusayr in Syria in 2012. He beat the Jihadis badly. Same as Tikrit in July and then Amerli.

That $500,000,000 better get in there fast.

No dumb money, no war. Not for long anyway. And that, Dear Hearts, is a turning point.