Thomas Wictor

Mistakes aren’t important. Learning from them is what matters

Mistakes aren’t important. Learning from them is what matters

Last night I wrote about Sunni military advisers helping the majority Shia Iraqi security forces (ISF) in Fallujah. Well, today I discovered that the Iraqis’ predicament was much worse than reported. They made a lot of mistakes when entering Fallujah.

But that isn’t really a major problem. When the Iraqis found themselves in terrible trouble, they accepted help. They learned from their mistakes. And they won. Impressively.

This is an amazing story on many levels.

Mistakes based on oppression

I blame Saddam Hussein and the Iranian mullahs for the mistakes that the Iraqis made. Saddam killed all soldiers who showed individual initiative. In addition, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corpsanother highly centralized organization—has interfered in Iraqi affairs since 2003. The mullahs’ lackeys are cold-blooded murderers.

Now, let me tell you what happened in Fallujah on June 16, 2016. Below is the scene of the battle at the overpass where the Islamic State hanged Mustafa al-Athari.

The Iraqi armored column came up this side street.

All the fighting took place at the arrowhead. The majority Shia ISF were jubilant. They’d arrived at the scene where terrorists murdered a brave man simply because of his religious sect.

Due to their emotional state, the majority Shia ISF lost focus. As a result, the entire mission came close to disaster. Islamic State terrorists knew that this place meant everything to the Shia. Therefore the terrorists set a very effective trap.

Mistakes are only human

About ten light armored vehicles of the Federal Police and Counter Terrorism Services advanced up the side street to the overpass.

When the ISF arrived at the end of the street, they began giving interviews. Instead of keeping an eye on their surroundings, they celebrated prematurely.

That’s when the Islamic State set off the first improvised explosive device (IED) and poured heavy sniper and machine-gun fire on the Iraqis.

The terrorists used at least seven IEDs.

They set off house borne improvised explosive devices (HBIEDs). Entire dwellings filled with explosives became the equivalent of air strikes.

The Iraqis had to retreat all the way down the street. Every time they tried to advance, the terrorists detonated more explosives.

Mistakes cost lives

For some reason the Iraqis had parked a Humvee across the end of the side street.

Terrorists destroyed it from behind with an antitank guided missile (ATGM).

Then the vehicle became a barricade, preventing the Iraqis from breaking out.

I knew that only one Humvee could not give off so much smoke.

Well, today I discovered that other video shows that the terrorists destroyed at least five armored vehicles.

Below is where all the wreckage is.

The Iraqis were taking enormous losses.

Mistakes can be rectified

Now we know why this adviser was so angry.

Seven IEDs, ATGMs from behind, five armored vehicles destroyed, possibly dozens killed.

There’s a famous video of an American soldier telling Iraqi police that they’re doing a terrible job. Arabs are not children who must be coddled. However, I think that extremely hard-hitting, face-to-face criticism from foreigners never works. The adviser above got results. Iraqis could accept his anger because they knew that it came from a position of outrage, not contempt.

My guess is that there were no more than twelve Sunni combatants attached to the Iraqi unit. This Eritrean exposed himself to snipers so that he could locate and kill them.

An extremely fit non-Arab ran down the street to fire a Pakistani RPG-7AP at point-blank range.

The machine gunner below is almost certainly African. Most Afro-Iraqis are not so dark skinned.

Since the next man has an RPG-7AP, he’s probably Pakistani.

And of course the tank crew.

The Arab League and its allies put great emphasis on what’s called “interoperability.” Every man in every strategic special force can operate together. This is a brilliant plan. Instead of each nation having to send hundreds or thousands of soldiers, you can fly in a handful. The twelve Sunni combatants attached to this ISF formation in Fallujah were probably from twelve different countries.

If they all speak Arabic, they can function as one unit.

Learning from mistakes

The Iraqis were pinned down. Therefore the Sunni combatants took action until the Iraqis could regain the initiative. Yes, one young man screamed his head off, but it was necessary. Watch the background of the video below. An Iraqi police officer tries to tell his comrade that wearing two hand grenades on his chest is dangerous.

Nobody likes criticism. But when people are dying, sometimes you have to throw a fit. After the tank cleared the way, the angry Sunni adviser began avoiding the cameras again.

The Iraqis had learned. There was no need for the adviser to call attention to himself.

Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Brigadier General Ahmad Gholami was brought out of retirement to serve as senior military adviser for the operation.

He led the Iraqis into a catastrophic ambush. A month later, Gholami was killed in action in Syria.

The Iraqis had clearly asked him to take his “expertise” elsewhere.

Nullifying mistakes

Somebody dropped an enormously powerful aerial munition on Islamic State terrorists at the overpass. It wasn’t the US, Europe, or Iraq.

This is the slowest aerial munition I’ve ever seen.

And it created a massive shock wave. Dust puffed from the window of the building in the foreground.

The slowness and explosive power of the munition aren’t what’s the most amazing thing about the video.

Below is a full-sized aircraft.

My guess is that it’s piloted. Why? Because it would be FUN.

It’s another Israeli Arab League invention. Even though it’s traveling about 3400 miles per hour (5514 kilometers per hour) or Mach 4.5, it produces no sonic boom due to its size, weight, and configuration. And other factors we don’t know about.

At such high speeds, the pilot would fly the aircraft with his mind. He’d wear an electroencephalographic helmet that would connect his brain to a control system. The Germans proved the concept in 2014.

That means the Emiratis put this aircraft into production in about 2011.

When the Iraqis were on the verge of losing the battle, the commanders of the operation beckoned to the young officer of the Eritrean 525th Commando Division. The Iraqi brigadier general wanted input.

Below is a very moving screen grab. After so much strife, a hand is held out. A man steps forward because he wants to help. It’s his job.

Note that the Eritrean waited until the Iraqis asked. The Eritrean had the empathy to not force himself on the Iraqis. For their part, the Iraqis had the courage to say, “We need you.”

A brief moment that represents so much.

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