The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.
So we want an Islamic state where Islamic law is not just in the books but enforced, and enforced with determination. There is no space and no room for democratic consultation. The Shariah is set and fixed, so why do we need to discuss it anymore? Just implement it! – ISIS Leader Abu Bakar Bashir
We’re definitely not losing in Iraq – Barack Obama
In a very short time the Islamic State has become the most compelling and attractive organisation for Muslim fighters around the world, more so than al-Qaeda ever was – Sunny Hundal, Al Jazeera
This week’s winning essay, Joshuapundit’s – Ramadi Falls To ISIS In A Major Victory – And Why It’s Important, is pretty much about what the title implies it is… an analysis of how and why ISIS won a huge victory in Ramadi, Iraq and what it means.
Here’s a slice:
On Sunday, Islamic State forces captured Ramadi, routing the Iraqi army, many of whom literally fled from the scene, those that could. Over 500 Iraqi soldiers died in the assault, and the debacle came so quickly that substantial pockets of Iraqi troops were trapped there after taking heavy casualties. They aren’t expected to hold out very long and I’ve already received reports that some of them have already been captured and executed by ISIS.
Hundreds of civilians fled along with the Iraqi troops.
ISIS is using some fairly innovative tactics against fixed defensive points like Ramadi. First they seek to control the ingress and egress via outlying areas, to prevent or delay reinforcement and resupply. The next step in Ramadi was to break the defensive line using car and truck bombs, after which ISIS fighters stormed into the breach.
Many Americans may recall hearing the name Ramadi before, and some might recall that quite a few American lives were spent in securing it. Here’s why Ramadi matters.
Look at the map above. Ramadi controls all of the traffic on the Euphrates River. It is only 68 miles (110 Kilometers) from Baghdad and opens the road to that city from the west, just as Fallujah, which ISIS also holds does from the east paving the way for a two-pronged assault. Also, ISIS captured the town of Jubbah in this new offensive, next door to Iraq’s biggest air base at Al-Ansar. That’s where US soldiers, AKA advisers are trying to train Iraqi troops to fight ISIS, which so far hasn’t been particularly successful.
ISIS has also surrounded the oil-producing town of Baiji near Ramadi, where a small Iraqi army force of a few hundred soldiers is trying to hold out. It’s probably only a matter of tie until they’re forced to surrender or are wiped out.
Our Secretary of State John Kerry announced from a news conference in Seoul, South Korea that as far as he was concerned Ramadi was ” a target of opportunity” for ISIS rather than a carefully planed strategic offensive.
“I am convinced that as the forces are redeployed and as the days flow in the weeks ahead that’s going to change, as overall (they) have been driven back … I am absolutely confident in the days ahead that will be reversed.”
Let’s examine that.
Exactly what forces is Secretary Kerry talking about? True, the Iraqi government announced that “major military reinforcements” were being deployed to halt the advance of ISIS. The problem is that between Ramadi, the recent ‘victory’ in Tikrit (about which more later) and an attempted counterattack on Fallujah that went horribly wrong, the Iraqi army has very little strength to ‘deploy’ between ISIS and Baghdad right now. They’re a badly defeated army that is incapable of an offensive against Islamic State right now. The only thing keeping ISIS away from Baghdad is a series of 19 U.S, airstrikes near Ramadi over the past 48 hours.
Much more at the link.
In our non-Council category, the winner was Sultan Knish with De-Islamization Is The Only Way To Fight ISIS submitted by Joshuapundit.
Here are this week’s full results. Only the Right Planet was unable to vote this week, but was not subject to the usual 2/3 vote penalty:
- *First place with 4 votes! – Joshuapundit – Ramadi Falls To ISIS In A Major Victory – And Why It’s Important
- Second place with 1 1/3 votes – The Glittering Eye – They Wrote What They Saw, Memorial Day, 2015
- Third place *t* with 1 vote – The Noisy Room – Di Blasio’s “Contract For Communism”
- Third place *t* with 1 vote – Nice Deb – Ralph Peters: Release of Bin Laden Docs Timed To Divert Attention From Ramadi Embarrassment
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Ask Marion – EPA Supports Monsanto Roundup
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Bookworm Room – Feminist claims that bad consensual sex equals rape victimize women just as surely as the McMartin trials victimized children
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Don Surber – Stephanopoulos made the Clinton Foundation dirty
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote – The Independent Sentinel – Words Matter: Michelle Obama Refers to the US as a Constitutional Democracy at Oberlin
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote – The Razor – Islamic State a Leftist Nightmare
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote – The Right Planet – How Democrats ‘Celebrate’ Memorial Day
- Fifth place *t* with 1/3 vote – VA Right! – Bill Janis Unleashes the Flying Monkeys!
- Fifth place *t* with 1/3 vote – Rhymes With Right – Be Kind To Wheelchairs
- *First place with 2 2/3 votes! – Sultan Knish – De-Islamization Is The Only Way To Fight ISIS submitted by Joshuapundit
- Second place with 2 votes – Mark Steyn – Nothing Another 42,000 Airstrikes Can’t Fix submitted by The Noisy Room
- Third place with 1 2/3 votes – Victor Davis Hanson – Disasters At Home And Abroad submitted by Nice Deb
- Fourth place *t* with 1 vote – The People’s Cube – Stages of the Progressive Agenda submitted by The Right Planet
- Fourth place *t* with 1 vote – Robert Tracinski/The Federalist – Why Does the Left Kowtow to Islam? submitted by The Watcher
- Fourth place *t* with 1 vote – NewsBusters – Bob Woodward: Wrong, Bush Did Not Lie Us Into Iraq submitted by The Watcher
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Walter Russell Mead/Via Meadia – Obama, Anti-Semitism and Iran submitted by The Razor and The Glittering Eye
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Quin Hillyer/NRO – At Sea in an Alien Culture, Where ‘Normal’ Is Defined as ‘Deviant’ submitted by Bookworm Room
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – The Daily Beast – With Help From ISIS, a More Deadly Boko Haram Makes a Comeback submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – TeaParty.Org – Pamela Geller Plans Muhammad Cartoon Bus Ads for Washington D.C. submitted by VA Right!
See you next week!
Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the week’s nominees for Weasel of the Week!
And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.
It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere and you won’t want to miss it… or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.