President Obama stated on “60 Minutes” that intelligence had failed him on the size of the ISIS threat in Iraq and Syria. Whether that statement is true or not, the United States now faces a terrorist army that is within two miles of Baghdad where U.S. soldiers fought and died to liberate in 2003.
Islamic State militants are reportedly within two miles of Iraq’s capital city despite the air strikes President Obama told the American people would contain the “JV” army as Obama described them as earlier this year. Against the advice of his top generals and intelligence sources, it appears air power is not enough to contain ISIS despite the president’s wishes for that to happen.
Canon Andrew White, the vicar of St. George’s Church in Baghdad told Sky News there is an “immense fear among everybody. We are at a crisis point. People know ISIS is coming nearer.” The vicar is partially funded by the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East. The organization posted a desperate statement on Facebook Monday that read, “The Islamic State are now less than 2km away from entering Baghdad.”
At this point, the U.S. is ill-prepared to put combat soldiers on the ground, having wasted valuable time with air strikes, hoping a phantom coalition that President Obama conceived, would drive the army out of Iraq and Syria or at the very least contain them. Neither is happening. His advisers have almost unanimously opposed the president’s plan.
It now appears that the blood and treasure America sacrificed during its war in Iraq is about to be wasted in a matter of a few months of ISIS’s surge. The FRRME’s Facebook posting went on to say, “They said it could never happen, and now it almost has. Obama says he overestimated what the Iraqi army could do. Well, you only need to be here a very short while to know they can do very little.”
All of this frightful news coming after the White House has entered a damage-control mentality after Obama told CBS’ “60 Minutes” that U.S. intelligence officials had “underestimated” the ISIS threat. Suffice it to say the intelligence community refutes those claims adamantly, including a major piece announcing that opinion in the New York Times.
The vicar said to Sky News, “I’ve never known the city (Baghdad) like it is at the moment. Streets which are usually choc-a-bloc with traffic, cars and people are almost empty. People are too fearful to even leave their homes.” He further said that Baghdad is high on the Islamic State’s target list and that “I must be at the top of the list.”
White posted on Facebook Monday, “Over 1,000 Iraqi troops were killed by ISIS yesterday, and things are so bad. All the military air strikes are doing nothing. If ever we needed your prayers, it is now.”
Americans haven’t seen this sort of situation since April, 1975 when Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese in the only war the United States has ever lost. This war may be lost before Obama can even re-consider his disastrous strategy of containment so vilified by his military and civilian advisers.