Saturday, March 14, 2015

Pro-government forces press into Tikrit

Michael L.

Erin Cunningham in the Washington Post tells us:
iraqBAGHDAD — Iraqi troops clashed with Islamic State militants in the northern city of Tikrit on Friday, as pro-government forces tightened their grip on the extremist stronghold, officials said. But tensions flared between security forces and locals in the area, adding to fears of intensified strains in this deeply polarized country.

Pro-government troops — the bulk of whom are Iranian-backed Shiite paramilitaries — took over most of Tikrit this week following a mammoth offensive, officials said. The assault marked the first major push by largely Shiite forces into Iraq’s Sunni heartland, where the jihadists had seized large areas. The fall of Tikrit is a substantial blow to the extremists, whose raison d’etre is capturing land to build an Islamic caliphate.
Questions.  There are always so many questions.

Here are a few:

If the bulk of pro-government Iraqi troops are actually "Iranian-backed Shiite paramilitaries" this raises the obvious question of the future of Iran's presence in Iraq?

Is the United States now partnering to such a degree with the theocratic-authoritarian government of Iran that it is, basically, giving Iraq to the ayatollahs?

So, now, instead of a minority Sunni dominated government in Iraq oppressing the Shia majority, we will have an Iranian-backed majority Shia dominated government in Iraq oppressing Sunnis?  Sounds like a terrific improvement!

There is little doubt in my mind, however, that part of what we are seeing in Iraq is the normalization, or legitimization, under the Obama administration, of Iranian imperial ambitions in the Middle East.

The Obama administration is not merely pushing for a toothless deal with Iran that will see it with a nuclear bomb within a few years, it looks as if it is actively helping Iran expand its sphere of influence throughout the region.

In any case, eliminating the Islamic State needs to be high on the priority list.  These people are going around destroying invaluable pieces of cultural heritage and history - not to mention the fun that they have with actual human beings - and they must be stopped in the name of human decency.

Nonetheless, Netanyahu was right to point out that when it comes to Iran and the Islamic State, the enemy of your enemy... is your enemy.  The Obama administration, and much of the western Left wants détente with Islamism, which means not only consigning millions of people to live as second and third class citizens under al-Sharia, it also entails throwing the notion of universal human rights into the historical-cultural trash dumpster.

The price the West must pay for the privilege of sitting at the card table with the mullahs is the abandonment of its core values.

One cannot, after all, support an Isamist regime and still claim to be supportive of western values.

Islamism and the liberal western political tradition are entirely incompatible because the former is a Muslim Supremacist political movement with no interest in substantive democracy.

I am happy to see what looks like the beginnings of the route of Abu Bakr's Islamic State forces, but I sincerely hope that it does not come at the cost, with American complicity, of an emboldened and empowered Iran.


  1. Nice to see the stupid idea that the Islamic State were some sort of invincible juggernaut inevitably destined to overrun most of the world thoroughly discredited. That self-reinforcing, media-driven mystique did unfortunately help fuel the perverted death cult with plenty of international recruits and little girls, though.

    There is no question that they would cease to exist by Wednesday if a plan for doing so was launched on Monday.

    Agreed that less (or preferably, none) footsie-playing with the mullahs would also be nice.

  2. "The price the West must pay for the privilege of sitting at the card table with the mullahs is the abandonment of its core values."

    In Obama's case those core values may have been compromised long ago. It was one thing to have a detente with the Soviet Union, as it was already a nuclear power. What's the Great Compromiser's excuse for having one with a country that's only in the development stage of nuclear and regional hegemonic ambitions?

  3. One would hope IS can be defeated. They could be if there existed the political will to do so.
    What is troubling is the degree to which they have metastasized.
    The 12 year-old boy in the video showing the shooting of an Israeli-Arab, has been identified as a child who attended a school in Toulouse. He is probably the stepson of the IS man in the video. That man is the step- brother of Mohamed Merah, who killed 7 people in France ( 3 policemen, 4 Jews) exactly 3 years ago. The video is now thought by French Intelligence services to have been released as a "stunt" to mark the 3 year anniversary of those attacks.
    There will be thousands of former IS fighters, either already returned to their home countries, or who will be returning. Our security services are having difficulty monitoring them. That will only get worse.

    Iran will gain from all this.
    How that works out for the people of Iraq is impossible to say.

    Do the International left mind about trading the values of the Enlightenment for an alliance with political Islam? Not so you'd notice. They gave up on the notion of universal human rights a long time ago. When they embraced cultural relativism.
    See Amnesty / Cage, for example.

    1. Precisely.

      I have been arguing this for a long time.

      There has been an unspoken contest in the west among progressives between the values of universal human rights and that of the multi-culti ideal and that latter has won out.

      Nobody ever discusses it, tho.

      Almost never.

      I wonder why?

    2. Mike,

      Re: above

      And "nobody ever discusses it..." :

      The following links might be interesting.

      Some of the embedded links are out of date due to age of article. Most linking to Guardian should be fine.
      If you click on link in " In a culture of cultural equivalence" that will take you to the next article re this subject.

      Am including separate http link address for that just in case.

      Will email links in case of any errors on my part.

      ( I can bore you to death on the subject, anytime!)

    3. If any of you guys want to do a little interesting reading, k's second link above represents what almost looks like "classic" reading on the subject of multiculturalism and moral relativism, from way-back-when in 2007.

      I suspect this is something that many of us are struggling with and, I know for certain, that it is something that I struggled with for years and continue, in some measure, to do so.

      From the second link:

      Last week, during a conversation about the ‘cartoon jihad’ uproar, I used the phrase “emotional incontinence.” This did not go down well. I was promptly told, in no uncertain terms, that I mustn’t “impose” my own cultural values. Apparently, to do so would be a form of “cultural imperialism”, an archaic colonial hangover, and therefore unspeakably evil. I was, apparently, being “arrogantly ethnocentric” in considering Western secular society broadly preferable to a culture in which rioting, murder and genocidal threats can be prompted by the publication of a cartoon.