Outside forces fighting the Islamic State have no business criticizing Iraqi soldiers
Last week the world was stunned by the Islamic State’s victory in seizing the key Iraqi city of Ramadi. A major setback against the Islamic fundamentalist group that spawned from the US led war and occupation of Iraq.
Shortly after the defeat, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said “The Iraqi forces showed no will to fight, they were not outnumbered. In fact, they vastly outnumbered the opposing force and yet they failed to fight and withdrew from the site. That says to me, and I think to most of us, that we have an issue with the will of the Iraqis to fight ISIL and defend themselves.”
Canada’s Defence Minister Jason Kenney called the loss of Ramadi to Islamic State forces “a wake-up call” and says the Iraqi military needs “to do better.”
Those are pretty harsh words coming from Carter and Kenney, and while they may hold some truth, they have no business criticizing the Iraqi Military for a number of reasons. The least of which being that Canada and the United States don’t really have boots on the ground themselves.
First of all, the Iraqi Military is young and inexperienced, especially its leadership. The Iraqi army is only about 10 years old. Shortly after the American invasion in 2003, the Iraqi army was complete dissolved by Paul Bremer and his “de-Baathification” process. As a result, most of the leadership within the army found its way to the unemployment line.
What Iraq got instead was Vinnell, a private American corporation who got to start fresh and build a new Iraqi army. One of the new army’s first duties was to fight alongside the United States (the country that was now occupying them) against the insurgency in Fallujah. No surprise, they refused.
Fast forward ten years and the fight against the Islamic State, not much has changed. Iraqis still refuse to fight. I can’t say I blame them at all. You just have to see where they’ve been. In 1980, Iraq invaded Iran with America’s puppet at the time, Saddam Hussein. After eight hellish years of, a ceasefire was signed with Iran only to see Saddam step out of line with his American funded army and invade Kuwait.
What followed was Desert Storm, the Highway of Death, the Great Betrayal and four consecutive American presidents bombing the country, not to mention 8 years of military occupation… And we wonder why they still won’t take up arms on our behalf.
Barack Obama refuses to send ground forces into Iraq and/or Syria to fight the Islamic State, and who can blame him? After 14 years of war and a few thousand American deaths, they have battle fatigue. Well how do you think the Iraqis feel after 35 years of war with deaths in the millions?
I don’t want to see the US go back into Iraq a third time, but you can’t bitch slap someone for a generation and then expect them to fight for you and without you, then criticize them when they don’t. You can say this time is different, this time Iraqis are really fighting for their country. I would imagine they would argue they’ve been doing that all along.