White House: ISIS Baghdad Attacks ‘Bolster US Resolve’

Attacks Another Excuse to Push for Further Escalation of War

The White House issued its usual statement of “condemnation” for the latest ISIS attacks in Baghdad, but along with it came comments that suggested the administration saw the attack as good for the war effort, “bolstering” US resolve to win.

The attacks were the largest in the country so far this year, with around 215 people killed. The larger of the two attacks took place Saturday evening, with a car bomb in a crowded marketplace, as the Ramadan fast was broken.

ISIS insisted the attacks targeted Shi’ite neighborhoods, as is usually the case. While many Baghdad residents saw it as yet another dramatic failure on the part of the Abadi government to provide any sort of security, the Obama Administration seemed eager to present it as a general positive to the war effort.

It also allows the US to continue with their narrative that the better the war is going, the more ISIS will resort to major attacks, a claim which positions the US to claim itself to be “winning” the war no matter how badly it is going.

But most of all, it provides another excuse to further escalate the number of ground troops in Iraq, with Sen. John McCain on Face the Nation to push for 10,000 US troops on the ground to win the war. Officially the US has “capped” the number of troops in Iraq at 4,087, though they have routinely had over 5,000 there recently, simply insisting that some are “temporary” deployments.

The White House has resisted major one-off escalations of the war, trying instead to reiterate its intention to have no “boots on the ground” while adding another 100 troops here or there, getting themselves up into the several thousand troop level without ever have a single deployment big enough to be publicly debated.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.