Taking Baghdad

I don’t know who wrote the headline to Jamie Dettmer’s column in The Daily Beast, but they ignorant of history and/or didn’t bother read the dang column. It reads, “The ISIS Caliphate’s Coming Blitz of Baghdad,” even though Dettmer correctly states no further down that the second graf that IS/Caliphate won’t take Baghdad in a blitz. “Blitz” is lightning warfare designed to mass mobile forces at a point of decision away from cities, where fighting bogs down immediately.


Hitler’s Wehrmacht marched into Paris unopposed, after destroying the Allied position in the countryside. This is basic history.

Anyway — enough of the Beast’s ignorant headline writer and on to Dettmer and the 21st Century-style siege of Baghdad:

Until recently, Islamic militant action around Baghdad appeared sporadic, uncoordinated, and lacking a clear strategic purpose. But analysts at the US-based think tank the Institute for the Study of War, who have been plotting the locations and types of attacks in the recent flurry of blasts buffeting the Iraqi capital, have noted a clear pattern developing. They say it suggests the Islamic State is building up to something big and is no longer just focused on consolidating its grip and developing governance in the lands it now controls.

The institute’s analysts predict the caliphate may be readying for an onslaught, possibly timed for the end of the holy month of Ramadan on Monday or during the Eid holiday celebrations this week. The aim would not be to seize Iraq’s capital, which has a very large Shia population with every incentive to fight to the death against an organization that slaughters Shia prisoner en masse. The purpose of the Islamic State offensive would be to sow mayhem and to keep Iraq’s state apparatus from recovering from its stunning defeats in June, when it lost control of Mosul, the second largest city in the country.


If IS/Caliphate takes Baghdad, it will be years or maybe decades before the city is governable again. Minus a very nasty religious cleansing, that is.


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