What if America Won a War and No One Cared?
The announcement came on Saturday. Just three days before the Alabama special election that transfixed the nation, and on the same day that President Trump fact-checked the Washington Post’s Dave Weigel, Iraq’s prime minister declared victory in the …
As ISIS Falls, Don’t Forget the Lessons of the Recent Past
I’m having a strong sense of déjà vu. Let’s rewind the tape to 2008. My unit, the Second Squadron, Third Armored Cavalry Regiment, had finally crushed al-Qaeda resistance in our battlespace. Suffering from immense losses in our province …
Impromptus: Say it ain’t so, Kyrie, &c.
Kyrie Irving is a basketball star, late of the Cleveland Cavaliers, now with the Boston Celtics. He made a splash early this year when he said that he believed the earth is flat — not round (or spherical, should we …
Iraqi Christians Look to Reclaim Their Ancient Homes — It’s Now or Never
It was the night of August 6, 2014. Fresh from their capture of Mosul, ISIS fighters swept through the Nineveh Plains and overnight drove more than 12,000 Christian families from their homes and ancestral lands. The families fled, quite literally, with only the …
Kurds, Voting on Independence in September, Want Stability and Democracy
‘The people of the Kurdistan region overwhelmingly or almost unanimously want independence,” former U.S. ambassador Peter Galbraith told a symposium in Washington, D.C., on July 28. His speech was one of many at the event, which highlighted Kurdistan as “…
Today, I have a piece about Vian Dakhil, a Yazidi member of the Iraqi parliament. The Yazidis are an ancient and small community, menaced by majorities for centuries. Lately, ISIS terrorists have rounded on them, killing and enslaving them. ISIS, …
Bulletin from Mosul — the Mission Is Still Far from Accomplished
‘Something’s going on in the Old City,” said the Iraqi fixer, jumping off the phone with another fixer already in Mosul.We were a two-vehicle SUV convoy, mostly journalists and fixers, headed into the city, where, on Sunday, Iraqi …
10 Things That Caught My Eye This Week
1. Lord have mercy.
UPDATE: Death toll rises to 28 after gunmen attack bus carrying Coptic Christians in Egypt https://t.co/U69w8IkTt6 pic.twitter.com/Z3CGPdWbjZ
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) May 26, 2017
God protect the Coptic Christians.
2. “My friend …
In 2004 Fallujah, a Lesson for 2017 Mosul
Every day the coalition conducts air strikes in Mosul. Those strikes support Iraqi and embedded U.S. coalition ground forces by destroying Daesh (ISIS) personnel in their redoubts. Nearly all the bombs hit their targets without any civilian loss.
Slow Progress in Mosul Is Harming U.S. Interests
All things are ready, if our minds be so.
— Shakespeare, Henry V
Iraq’s battle for Mosul is not going well.
Hundreds of Iraq’s most elite military personnel have been killed in action and thousands more wounded. Daesh — also …
The Fall of Raqqa Is a Marvelous, Bipartisan American Victory
In a different time the collapse of ISIS resistance in Raqqa would be a headline-dominating occasion for national celebration. While the war continues, and ISIS still exists, the loss of its capital marks an unmistakable, undeniable reversal for the caliphate. …
Will America Finally Do the Right Thing in Iraq?
Editor’s Note: On October 3, 2017, Kenneth Pollack testified before members of the House Affairs Committee on American policy in Iraq. The following is adapted from his testimony with permission.
Every year since 2003, knowledgeable Americans have been warning that the current …
High Turnout as Kurds Vote for Independence
Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq — The day after the Kurdish independence referendum, people have left the ink they used to stamp their ballots to dry on their fingers. It is a symbol of their desire for independence. Many have waited …
Two Million for Teleskov, Karamdes: Knights of Columbus Take a Lead in Rebuilding Christianity in Iraq
St. Louis, Mo. — The survival of Christianity in the Middle East hangs in the balance, Carl Anderson said today at the annual convention of the Knights of Columbus he heads. “They have every right to live. And we are …
Facing Extinction, Iraqi Christians Look to America
In March 2016, the Obama administration, with the encouragement of a unanimous vote in the House of Representatives, declared that ISIS was committing genocide against religious minorities in the Middle East. Secretary of State John Kerry observed that the terror group “…
A Brave Lady’s Fight Against ISIS
There are millions of videos floating around the Internet, of various kinds. Like you, I have seen many of these videos. And I suppose the most moving one I have ever seen is of Vian Dakhil, a Yazidi member of …
Iraqi Christians Detained by ICE Shouldn’t Be Deported
Legend has it that Abgar V, “the Black,” ruler of the small Mesopotamian kingdom of Osroene, was incurably ill when a wanderer anointed by the miracle-worker, Jesus, appeared. The stranger’s name was Addai, or Thaddeus, numbered among the Seventy …
In Fiercely Contested Iraq, Erbil Offers a Model of Stability
Seventeen-year-old Khalid shuffled into the room, his baggy brown pants pulled up to his ankles. Three months ago the Iraqi army liberated his town from the Islamic State. Then Shia militias allied with Baghdad showed up. When they did, “I …
America’s Misnamed Mad Dog
The defense secretary, Jim Mattis, flew to Iraq. And he talked with reporters about the idea of seizing Iraq’s oil.
President Trump, the day after he was sworn in, said this at the CIA: “We don’t win anymore. …
Two Battles Are Reshaping Iraq and Syria
Donald Trump is about to inherit a changed strategic situation in the Middle East, for better and worse. I’ve written extensively about the battle for Mosul. As the fight continues — and American and allied forces continue to push ISIS …