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Recorded: Ninawa Province, east of Mosul,

From the Vietnam Era’s evening newscasts from the killing fields of that war to this: having enough of a social network to be directed to a URL, one, however, that may raise more questions than can or will be answered: where was the above clip made?  What happened to the children the soldier was carrying?  What happened to military personnel assembled at that location?  How many were killed in that battle?  How many are missing in action today?  What was gained?  What was kept?  What was lost?

This blog has a correspondent in Iraq, and with a little bit of difficulty in the language, this, nonetheless, is what he has had to say about Mosul recently:

 . . . unfortunately I’m not sure about what happened to those kids but many of those who ran away got killed by those terrorists, but mainly the people of Mosul are happy and they are celebrating in the entry of ISIS and consider it a liberation, and the ISIS are really good with them now and I guess it will last untill the Iraqi and Kurdish armies try to enter the city and go deep , then they will kill many of those who welcomed them and film them to say that the Iraqis and Kurds killed them

It appears that the Sunni-Shiite division that runs through Iraqi society plus the exigencies of war half a million of Mosul’s residents to flee and left the remainder in place to be pleasant, genuinely so or not.

The paragraph’s a little garbled at the end but I’m not going to mess with it.

. . . . cause they are against them and most of them are Sunnis along to Christians and other minorities (since it’s a Sunni province) , and they hate them but Mosul is known in Iraq as a real hater for the Shiites (my mother studied at the University of Mosul and she saw that even though it was over 25 years ago and now they hate the Shiites more than ever… and let’s say that 1 million are just staying cause they are scares of running and think they are safe cause they are sunnis then that leaves us more half million aiding and supporting them and the Iraqi army had to keep its presence as minimum due to the hate of Mosul’s people against them, and the continues attacks by the people of Mosul more like the attacks that the IDF often have in the West Bank..

My distillation:  Mosul is predominantly Sunni and by that along partially aligned against Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s perceived Shiite-friendlier government.  As happens often in politics, it may not be true, but if it’s believed, it’s treated as true.  Those politics play in the field to leave state forces exposed to Sunni extremists, i.e., not engaged positively with state forces.

The soldiers who ditched their uniforms are mostly cops from the city (sunnis) and they are 52,000 And the army had to ran away cause their leaders (the Sunnis that were put cause the Governor of Mosul asked to since he didn’t want a Shiite or Kurdish general in the city) Then the soldiers had to leave their spots and far more they didn’t even have ammunition and they fought in the road to secure the people of Mosul who ran away

If for western readers the image of the state’s resistance in flight has made out Iraqi military and paramilitary forces a paper tiger, the reality relayed to me would seem to describe a very practical decision process predicated on 1) Sunni identification with Sunni force come to town 2) an ambivalent military not completely welcomed in Mosul and running low on ammo.

Time to skedaddle.

Recorded today, June 11, 2014, probably by Sunni bystander today: Round Street, Tikrit, Iraq.  About that provenance, my correspondent says, ” . . . and at the end he said “exclusively for the Iraqi great revolution” which is a Sunni Iraqi term not ISIS way.”

We’re going to see a lot of this.

This one: yesterday, driving around:

My source: “They meant liberated by the ISIS and the police vehicles moving in the streets are in the hands of ISIS.”

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