Seriously, what did Reuters expect was going to happen?
On April 1, the city of Tikrit was liberated from the extremist group Islamic State. The Shi’ite-led central government and allied militias, after a month-long battle, had expelled the barbarous Sunni radicals.
Then, some of the liberators took revenge.
Near the charred, bullet-scarred government headquarters, two federal policemen flanked a suspected Islamic State fighter. Urged on by a furious mob, the two officers took out knives and repeatedly stabbed the man in the neck and slit his throat. The killing was witnessed by two Reuters correspondents.
Of course the groups sacking the city publicly executed anybody who was, or looked to be, Islamic State. Of course the city got looted. Of course bodies were dragged through the streets. Anybody who knows anything about warfare knows that such things are the default when it comes to a city being captured, or recaptured. It shouldn’t happen. It’s not moral or ethical to let it happen, either. And it will still happen, anyway, unless you are prepared to stamp on it from the start.
Unfortunately for everyone concerned, the military forces that could have prevented Tikrit from being sacked – heck, kept it from being captured by Islamic State death cultists in the first place – were stood down from Iraq by Barack Obama in 2011. With, might I add, the tacit corporate approval and support of Reuters. And now we see why that retreat was such a bad idea. But, by all means: tell me how much better off Iraq was, once we left. I’m sure that all those people in Tikrit who are on the wrong end of a grudge right now will appreciate the Obama administration’s moral preening over pulling out of the country.
Mind you: we’re just going to end up going back.
Moe Lane (crosspost)