One Obama administration official said: “We’re going to go through and vet all the leaders.”
Nonsense. They can’t vet anything. They don’t know what to vet them for. They ignore and deny the jihad threat. They ignore and deny Iran’s manifest bellicosity and hostility. How are they going to turn around and vet people and see whether or not they hold to principles that they don’t even acknowledge exist?
“The U.S. is helping train Iraqi militias historically tied to Iran,” by Molly Hennessy-Fiske and W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times, December 14, 2016:
In a significant break with past policy, U.S.-led forces in Iraq have started arming and training hundreds of fighters belonging to Shiite militias historically known for having ties to Iran.
The sectarian militias are being trained for the operation to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul. While Mosul’s future remains uncertain, the cooperative effort is expected to strengthen the Shiite forces both militarily and politically.
The U.S.-led coalition has provided hundreds of guns and training to the fighters in recent weeks, indicating a new level of cooperation, although U.S. military officials quickly moved to downplay it, saying the fighters being trained have no ties to the Iranian-backed groups that targeted Americans in the past.
In response to The Times’ reporting, Col. John Dorrian, the U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad, insisted that “U.S. policy on this matter has not changed.”
“We only train forces we can vet,” Dorrian said. “You assess to make sure they don’t have association with terrorist groups, or groups associated with the government of Iran. They must be with groups that promote respect for human rights and rule of law.”
Dorrian acknowledged that some militias are still classified as terrorists by the U.S., but insisted those being trained had no ties to groups that have “American blood on their hands.”
But U.S. officials acknowledged the difficulty in fully vetting all members of the militias. And the senior leadership of the Shiite forces includes individuals who have been deemed terrorists by the United States.
After successfully fighting Islamic State elsewhere in Iraq, the militias received the government’s blessing to take part in offensives, including the one to reclaim Mosul, which was launched Oct. 17.
Experts estimated there are at least 40 of the militias with a combined 80,000 to 100,000 active members.
Mosul is Iraq’s second-largest city, with a diverse populace of more than a million people, and has been the biggest prize captured by Islamic State in its drive to create a “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria.
Its population is mostly Sunni Muslim, the sect that Islamic State claims to represent, and some human rights groups feared that allowing Shiite fighters to join the offensive would spark sectarian conflict.
But the Shiite militias — which have brought some Sunnis and other sects into their ranks — have promised to follow orders from Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi. Last month, the Iraqi parliament passed a law that made the militias a legal military corps. Their leaders resent being called militias, noting they have government backing.
Coalition forces are screening Shiite militia commanders using U.S. and allies’ law enforcement and intelligence databases to weed out those with ties to terrorist groups or to Shiite militias backed by Iran, according to U.S. officials who were not authorized to speak publicly about the training.
“We’re going to go through and vet all the leaders,” one official said….