London–I just want to introduce something rare: a fine and scary report out of Iraq.

Tribal Fighters in Iraq: But Who (And What) Are They Fighting For?

Fine, first, because it is rare these days to find a report that goes beneath the surface of the civil war there that is too often described as just a fight against the Islamic State. It is a tale about a Sunni Muslim family caught between ISIS and the incompetent and short-sighted Shiite-led government in Baghdad along with its vicious militias, some of which are sponsored and trained by Iran.

Scary, because the horrific details implicitly expose the fantasies about Iraq chronically put out by the Obama Administration, in the tradition of its predecessor, the Bush Administration.

Just the other day, Obama’s United Nations ambassador Samantha Power gave a lecture about American policy in the Middle East in which she said, “In Iraq…we have a capable partner, we are working by, with, and through the Iraqi government,” to fight the Islamic State. Does she mean by that a government whose military depends on vicious militias that have ethnically cleansed Sunnis from Baghdad neighborhoods? Does she also mean a government that has done nothing to protect and politically mollify Iraq’s Sunni minority? Probably not, but all that is left out of her narrative.

No matter. Reports of progress are staples of American governments at war and there are few reports available to counter them.

But here is one such report, a tragic tale from The Atlantic, that shows the problem in Iraq is not just ISIS.

Here is Samantha Power’s lecture, in which she ignores drone warfare as if it is not happening.



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