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As Al Qaeda Takes Falluja: Iraq War, the Sequel? | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

As Al Qaeda Takes Falluja: Iraq War, the Sequel?

Zahra Naaim, 4, center, and Balqes Youssif, 6, left, stand next to a destroyed vehicle in the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City in Baghdad, Iraq. (AP Photo)

Yes, it’s the era of the blockbuster movie sequel—but are you ready for a blockbuster war sequel?

On Thursday, The New York Times startled many—and should have outraged and depressed many more—when it reported that Sunni militants aligned with Al Qaeda were starting a serious uprising in Anbar province in Iraq and threatening to take over Ramadi and Falluja.

You remember those cities—scenes of so much bloodshed in the years after our trumped-up 2003 invasion. In fact, one of three American lives lost in the ten-year war expired in “pacifying” Anbar. Then there are the tens of thousands of Iraqi lives lost in that province, and the utter devastation of Falluja (and lingering health defects). What a tragedy, what a waste, even as war criminal Bush draws praise for his paintings of dogs and Cheney earns applause on Leno. The Times reported:

The violence in Ramadi and Falluja had implications beyond Anbar’s borders, as the Sunni militants fought beneath the same banner as the most hard-line jihadists they have inspired in Syria—the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS. That fighting, and a deadly bombing in Beirut on Thursday, provided the latest evidence that the Syrian civil war was helping breed bloodshed and sectarian violence around the region, further destabilizing Lebanon and Iraq while fueling a resurgence of radical Islamist fighters.

Then yesterday came word that Falluja has fallen to the Al Qaeda rebels and also the key town of Karma (yes, that’s the very apt name). One senior police official in Anbar said Saturday that “Falluja is completely under the control of Al Qaeda.”  Helluva job, Bushie.

Then, this morning, Richard Engel of NBC tweeted: “Both US and iran offering to help baghdad fight off al-qaeda in western Iraq. If attack on area comes, could be start of s/t big.”  All that's missing is Thomas Friedman predicting it will all be over in...six months.

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Secretary of State John Kerry claims: no boots on the ground, this time. But at minimum US activities there are sure sure to surge. And it would make little sense for America to drone-strike alleged Al Qaedas around the world and somehow not get deeply embroiled in a new stronghold. Senator Lindsay Graham and John McCain are already blaming the White House—the Obama White House, not the Bush White House—for contributing to this crisis.

Greg Mitchell’s book on how Bush, and the media, failed on Iraq, is titled So Wrong for So Long.

Read Next: Tom Engelhardt on how the US has bombed at least eight wedding parties since 2011.

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