The unlearned lesson

From The Telegraph:

Iraq crisis: the jihadist behind the takeover of Mosul – and how America let him go
The march of al-Qaeda-linked militants towarsds the Iraqi capital is a coup for the shadowy leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – a former US detainee
By Colin Freeman | 12:13PM BST 11 Jun 2014

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (inset) and fighters of the al-Qaeda linked Islamic State of Iraq (Photo: REUTERS) Click to enlarge.

The FBI “most wanted” mugshot shows a tough, swarthy figure, his hair in a jailbird crew-cut. The $10 million price on his head, meanwhile, suggests that whoever released him from US custody four years ago may now be regretting it.

Taken during his years as a detainee at the US-run Camp Bucca in southern Iraq, this is one of the few known photographs of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the new leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq and Syria, now known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (ISIS). But while he may lack the photogenic qualities of his hero, Osama bin Laden, he is fast becoming the new poster-boy for the global jihadist movement.

Well-organised and utterly ruthless, the ex-preacher is the driving force behind al-Qaeda’s resurgence throughout Syria and Iraq, putting it at the forefront of the war to topple President Bashar al-Assad and starting a fresh campaign of mayhem against the Western-backed government in Baghdad.

This week, his forces have achieved their biggest coup in Iraq to date, seizing control of government buildings in Mosul, the country’s third biggest city, and marching further south to come within striking distance of the capital, Baghdad. Coming on top of similar operations in January that planted the black jihadi flag in the towns of Fallujah and Ramadi, it gives al-Qaeda control of large swathes of the north and west of the country, and poses the biggest security crisis since the US pull-out two years ago.

More at the original.

Abu Bakr was held in Iraq, not in Guantanamo, and was released in 2009. The Obama Administration knew about Mr Bakr well before it negotiated the release of SGT Bowe Bergdahl, trading five top Taliban leaders, all of whom were known to be highly dangerous, for our captured soldier. The Administration knew to what releasing such men could lead, but they agreed to release the five Taliban anyway.

American embassy in Saigon being evacuated before the advance of the North Vietnamese, April 29, 1975

And now Iraqis are paying the price, in blood and terror. President Obama pulled out the last American troops from Iraq in 2011, so we won’t see Americans being killed there, other than, perhaps, some few who have stayed there. Of course, we do still have our embassy in Tehran, and, under this Commander-in-Chief, it’s not at all difficult to picture a repeat of the scene in Saigon in April of 1975.

It’s a good thing that we’re cutting and running pulling our troops out of Afghanistan by the end of the year, before the five Taliban leaders released by President Obama and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel can get really re-established and going, because these men, who should never have been released, are going to return to the wars and cause untold death and destruction. All that we can hope for now is that our troops are out of Afghanistan before that disaster hits.

Comments are closed.