A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Juan Cole on the Ramadi Campaign

Juan Cole asks a useful question: "If Defeating ISIL/Daesh is so important, why isn’t Ramadi Campaign all we’re talking about?"

He notes:
The end of Daesh militarily can be envisioned. But unless the Iraqi government becomes more inclusive and politics successfully with Iraqi Sunnis (and spends some of its billions in oil income to rebuild their cities), then radicalization will remain a threat.
Meanwhile, critics of President Obama’s plan, set out 18 months ago– which involved training of Iraqi troops and rebuilding the Iraqi army. and the offer of close air support to them– may have to eat some crow. That is, they may have to if US cable news bothers to notice that out there in the real world, Daesh is facing another major setback, after its losses of Tikrit, the refinery town of Beiji, and the Kurdish area of Sinjar.
I suspect part of it is thatmost US journalists are based in Erbil and find it easier to report Kurdish advance, and some of it may be that the Iraqi Army''s Shi‘ite militia allies and IRGC advisers don't fit the preferred narrative. (No one is paying much attention to the Asad regime's successes in Homs, either, though not against ISIS.) But it's a valid point.


David Mack said...

Ramadi campaign does not get attention of most U.S. media because of the following:
-- It is slow news, taking place gradually.
-- Other than the disappointing pace, it is good news.
Slow news and good news do not grab the attention of the U.S. media. When Ramadi suddenly fell to Daesh, it happened suddenly and it was bad news. Hence, it got lots of attention. Chances are, when Iraqi forces aided by U.S. airpower, intelligence and other "unique capabilities" do retake Ramadi, the U.S. media and Republican political leaders will complain it should have taken place a long time ago, and they will look for any flaw they can find, such as reports of civilian casualties. Such is the sate of news in the U.S. media.

Anonymous said...

Such is even more sadly the state of politics in the US.