Battle For Mosul: What Happens Next?

According to the US media, the battle for Mosul is key to Washington’s counter-ISIS strategy. What happens if a city of up to 1.3 million inhabitants is destroyed in the process? What about Aleppo? Will ISIS fighters be allowed to escape into Syria? We look into what the mainstream media is ignoring.

Ron Paul: Hello everybody, and thank you for tuning in to The Liberty Report. With me today is Daniel McAdams. Daniel, it’s good to see you.

Daniel McAdams: Good morning, Dr. Paul.

Ron Paul: I’m sure you’re aware of the battle going on for Mosul right now, and it’s been in the news a little bit, but not a whole lot. It seems to me that, from our conversations in the past year or two about what’s going on, this is really important stuff, especially since there has been a shift from removing troops from Iraq to building up. And here there’s a major battle going on, and the administration has staked out a lot of effort on this, and hoping that they can pull off a victory. Petraeus claims, “This is a new way to fight a war”, but I’m not so sure that is true. Obama is saying that what they’re doing in Mosul is using a technique that’s very important: defeat ISIS and not lose any troops, no troops on the ground. There are a lot of shortcoming in that argument, we’ll go over that and some of the fallacies about “no troops on the ground”.

It’s interesting to me, though, that some of the things that I look at early in the morning is how an event like this is portrayed in the media, as well as in the financial market. Well, it looks like it’s a non event. The only thing that’s important to the media, and that means they’re measuring what the people want to hear, or what they want the people to hear, and that is the only thing that matters is the sexual innuendos and accusations of Donald Trump, and how do we cover up some of the dishonesties and illegalities of Hillary Clinton. So, we have a struggle. But, to me, this is an important issue, and it’s an ongoing battle. We’ve heard about this preparation for months and months now, but here it is. Yesterday was the deciding moment for Obama to show that he’s tough on ISIS, he can win, he can beat ISIS. And if he can draw ISIS out of Mosul, this will be declared as a major victory.

But they’ve already conditioned the people saying, “Well, it’s a long hard struggle, we don’t know whether we can do it”. We wonder a bit about how this is going to play for the election and whether they are going to use that, so that’s up for grabs. But, there’s not much we can put a positive spin on what’s going on in Mosul, would you think?

Daniel McAdams: What’s interesting about Mosul is, first of all, it’s a big city, there are up to about 1 million to 1.3 million residents in Mosul. It’s a big city, and it’s been under siege from ISIS for a couple of years. We mentioned yesterday that some people are faring badly, but there’s also speculation that a lot of the local population welcomed the ISIS’ take over, because actually a lot of the ISIS fighters were residents in this city, so that’s going to complicate things. But if it’s done like we think it will be, it will be siege warfare. You will have the city of Mosul probably mostly destroyed; there is a precedent, Fallujah was destroyed, and Kobani in Syria was destroyed by the Turks. So it will be destroyed.

I was reading a piece by Robert Perry from Consortiumnews, who I like very much. He pointed out the hypocrisy of the U.S. media, and how they cover Mosul versus Aleppo. Eastern Aleppo has about 40,000 people in it, and it’s an absolute slaughter, it’s a scorched earth that the Russians are doing. In Mosul it is, “Got to get ISIS out, this is the battle we’ve got to win”. The fact of the matter is, both are occupied by extremists; Mosul is occupied by ISIS, and Eastern Aleppo is occupied by Al-Qaida. But the mainstream media is carrying water for Washington’s foreign policy rather than acting as an objective reporter of news.

Ron Paul: Yes, you’re talking about hypocrisy, but what about the hypocrisy of “no boots on the ground”. In the region, if you take the surrounding countries, we have 45,000 contractors along, and then 15,000 military people. They say, “Well, they’re not boots on the ground, they’re advisors, they fly helicopters”. They do things that aren’t shooting at people, they’re literally not foot soldiers, but they are vulnerable. They are moving closer to the frontlines, they are vulnerable. I would think that some of the enemy is going to come up with the idea that they’re not going to get away with this. This idea that we run this sterile war for Americans, that for some reason we won’t get blamed, but I think the people’s land that we have invaded and occupied, we get every bit as much blamed if we drop bombs out of the air or are on the ground shooting people and having tanks in there.

We still suffer the consequences of this, but this whole idea that this is the battle, this is key. This is how they’re painting this in a lot of the newspapers, not so much on TV. Here’s one from the Washington Post, “Mosul Battle a Key Test of the Obama Strategy”. They’re putting a lot of weight on this, so I think this is going to continue, but they’ve already conditioned, it might take longer than it should, but there’s going to be a lot of penalties. Yesterday we talked a little bit about this, and we asked, “Wonder who the winner is going to be?” You can ask, “Will the Kurds be the winners, will the Sunnis win”, and all this. I think the easier question to answer is, “Who are the losers going to be?” For me, that’s easy, it’s the American people, the American people taxpayers, the American financial system, and American national security, which a lot of people would challenge me about.

They absolutely believe this is a threat to our national security because the pretense that what we have to do to fight over there because they’re on their way over here, and therefore, we have to be there to protect our constitution and protect our liberties. That, to me, is the greatest threat, this pretense that we are on a holy war to save America’s great values and America’s exceptionalism and American economic system. Yet, we’re literally destroying it. Just think of the other things that these battles go on, because none of this would happen. Well, maybe they would, but not to the degree if we weren’t there. But what about the intended and unintended consequences of blowing up these places on migration? I think if I lived there, then I’d be awfully tempted to get the devil out of there or be a migrant, anything would be better than bombs coming down on me.

But others say there’s a conspiracy, they’re doing this deliberately. And then when you see Obama, he comes in and gives executive orders, he can say, “Oh well, we have to help these people, and my heart is with them, that’s why I want a different foreign policy”. But he with the executive order said, “Well, maybe we can take 10,000, or maybe we can take 100,000. We’ll give them a lot of money, we’ll feed them, and we’ll give them a place to live”. That means he doesn’t care about the rights and privileges and property of the American citizen. It doesn’t mean that you’re heartless, your opposition is to people destroying what we have. So there are so many things wrong with this, that it’s enough to make you a little bit annoyed with their total hypocrisy.

Daniel McAdams: If we didn’t blow up their houses in the first place, we wouldn’t have had to house them over here.

Ron Paul: Yes, right.

Daniel McAdams: You touched on something earlier that I think is an important point, and I hadn’t realized this until you mentioned before we started. Did you say 48,000 contractors?

Ron Paul: 45,000 contractors, not just in Iraq, but they’re in the region.

Daniel McAdams: That goes along with what you’ve always said, that this is a way of hiding a war. Because you also mentioned that these necessarily Americans, they’re recruited from everywhere.

Ron Paul: I think one-third are Americans, and they recruit them. I’m sure they’re going to get an easy road to citizenship. But, the other thing is, you know about war profiteering, it goes on, and you know the weapons industry. They might not be for war, they’re just for selling weapons, and that’s why they probably like stirring wars so Americans don’t have to die. They don’t even report contractors death, nobody knows how many are killed.

Daniel McAdams: They’re invisible.

Ron Paul: But there’s one thing they’ve been able to keep a little bit of tabs on, and not in great detail. The Pentagon puts out 285 billion dollars a year, and that was back in 2014, so it’s going to be more now because they’re going to depend more on contractors. That is huge, that’s probably bigger than the defense budgets of most countries. This is just part of the military budget, and it’s been totally privatized. It’s a mercenary army with war profiteering individuals. A lot of people who have been in the military, when they had terrible living conditions in Iraq and different places, then they go with a contractor and they stay in a hotel and they make a lot of money, ten times more than the soldier. It is just a rotten system, because it has nothing to do with national defense.

Daniel McAdams: It also goes to show you that for all the war and flag waving, I think the government understands that people don’t like war. So you have to hide it, and you hide it under contractors, you hide it under CIA and special forces. You hide it everywhere because I think they realize deep down Americans don’t want war and can’t stand war.

Ron Paul: Talk about the hypocrisy, we are now getting rid of ISIS in this area, but we also recognize that radical groups will still probably be in charge after the battle has been won, there’s not going to be a peaceful solution to this. But, at the same time, even yesterday there was another article making the point that we make, that funding from our country has filtered directly and indirectly to ISIS. I think Hillary Clinton’s hands are not clean on that, either, we’ve talked about how weapons get into their hands. At the same time, this major event is going on to try to get ISIS out of Mosul.

Daniel McAdams: Here’s an interesting way that they may be trying to get it out of Mosul, and this has been reported over a broad range of international media. Mosul is surrounded only on three sides, the only opening is towards the West, which would be towards Eastern Syria. There’s a lot of speculation that a lot of these ISIS fighters from Mosul are going to escape towards Dier ez-Zor in Raqqa in Syria, that’s where ISIS is centered. I know it’s just a coincidence, but just a few weeks ago, the U.S. struck the only Syrian army outpost in Eastern Syria in Deir ez-Zor. If indeed this influx of ISIS comes into Eastern Syria, they’ve just gotten rid of the frontline against this surge. The Russians have noted this, as a matter of fact, and even Sergey Lavrov, their foreign minister, said, “If the intention of the coalition is to chase ISIS out of Iraq and into Syria, then we will take majors against this”. This could really be the clash point in Eastern Syria.

Ron Paul: I’m sure the Kurds are very much involved, they’re hoping to get their homeland. The other country that hasn’t been talked about much, but they’re paying attention, is Turkey. Turkey has an interest in this, and I thought it was interesting that Erdogan just recently got involved in this by saying, “Mosul really belongs to Turkey”. He may have a good historical argument, the same way the Russians had an argument for some of the land in Ukraine, like Crimea. Erdogan argues that after World War I we know that we redrew the lines, but Turkey argued that the northern part of Iraq was part of Turkey, and they argued back and forth. But they were arguing with the British, and the British just happened to be a little bit more powerful at that time. And since the Ottoman empire was gone, they had no strong argument.

So it went before the League of Nations, and it was finally settled in 1926. Northern Iraq was part of Iraq and part of the British Empire, and that would be it. I don’t know what the final result was, but the agreement was that Turkey would always get 10% of the oil revenue. My guess is that they haven’t been getting 10%, because nobody even knows who’s getting the oil out of Iraq right now. Who knows, it may be ISIS, and I don’t know if ISIS would be sharing the revenues.

Daniel McAdams: Here’s the other thing that we touched on yesterday in our little teaser. The other issue is, okay, this is a great battle, it’s the most important battle, etc. So, if ISIS is defeated in Mosul, then what happens next? To be honest, the best assessment I saw of how complicated it will be even with a victory, came from Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister. If I can just read this, because I think he captures it: “The regional balance of powers affected by the rivalry over who would take Mosul on the ground. Would it be the Iraqi Army, if so, would Shiite troops take part, or part? What part would the Kurdish militia play? What part would Turkey play?” They have an expeditionary force there which Iraq is protesting against. So what will the final outcome be, how will we sort this out, even if we win?

Ron Paul: Well, it will be probably be beyond any one group’s control, and that’s what the fight is all about. But immediately after the first victory over Iraq, we’ve done this and we have a new government there, and it was Shiite. And I said, “This looks like we’ve just gone to war for Iran”, because they’re friends and they have more alliances than anybody else. So, this may be an extension, which, once again, doesn’t add up. It seems like they have a new strategy every single day, it doesn’t fit in one picture. It’s so much easier to have a principled foreign policy of minding our own business for the benefit of our own country, our own people, our own liberties, and our own financial system and for peace.

But they have this interventionist notion that, “Today we intervene here, and we can support over here. But over here, we have to kill them”. And, “Oh, today we’re going to have an election, and the CIA might be involved”. They talk about crooked elections in this country, but we’ve been involved in crooked elections around the world for ever. And then they have an election, and we don’t like them, and we get rid of them. This just goes on and on, and, of course, I believe, sincerely, this is going to end, and it’s not going to end smoothly, it’s going to end badly. But I’m optimistic on the end that our bankruptcy will be a blessing, in the sense that we won’t be able to afford all this. If we would just return the liberty to the individual to earn their money and keep what they earn, we would have so much prosperity, that it would be irrelevant. You don’t have to worry about how you rebuild America, where are you going to get the money? Just let the people work, and let the people keep their money, and quit dumping all this money overseas creating these problem, creating these migration problems and financial crisis in Europe.

You know what’s going to happen as it is right now, the financial conditions of Europe will get worse, and as long as the dollar is king, and they’re still accepting dollars, we’ll be bailing out Europe. We did it before, a lot of our money flowed over there during the financial crisis. The only way I can see the end to this is when the people come around to saying that we reject the dollar. Of course, our people are agitating for this because a lot of people understand dollar hegemony, and they’d like to change that. That’s why the Chinese would like to change it, Russia would probably like to do it, India would probably like to do it, but they’re not in a strong enough position to do that.

Right now, the dollar gets sort of a benefit from all this, because they’re not going to go and buy Euros, and they’re not going to buy Yen at the moment. They still support the dollar, and I’m sure behind the scenes, as much as we fight with all the people in the world temporarily, even though people are trying to stir up a fight with China, subtly it’s not in China’s interest to bring about the monetary crisis right now. They want to maintain a bit of stability and order.

Daniel McAdams: I think that’s right, obviously there’s a lot of profit in keeping up the same foreign policy, and I think that’s what they’re hoping they can continue.

Ron Paul: Very good, and I want to thank the audience for tuning in today. This is a very serious problem as far as I’m concerned, and I thought maybe it would have a significant impact on the election. But right now, it doesn’t look like most Americans care about it, even if the administration contrived it to be the big event and distract and show how tough he can be on ISIS and have a victory. So the problems are going to continue, I think the election will continue. It will be interesting to see maybe a question or two or a small discussion may come up in the debate this week. But, quite frankly, I don’t think there will be a serious debate on the crisis that are going on, because both candidates can’t outdo each other more so than by saying, “I’m tougher on ISIS than you are”. I happen to think some of this activity going on now by the administration is to show how tough they are on ISIS.

And yet, at the very same time, we pointed out in our conversation today, that the hypocrisy is that we support ISIS one day in one place, and then we pretend we oppose them in another place. The American people need to wake up and realize that we just don’t have any business over there, it’s very detrimental to our national security and to our financial system. The sooner we wake up, the better.

I want to thank everybody for tuning in today to The Liberty Report, please come back soon.