Don’t ask NBC’s foreign correspondent Richard Engel to paint you a rosy picture of what is happening against ISIS. In a segment on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough began the segment by repeating some of the “good news” we’ve been hearing over the last few days about how the fight against ISIS is proceeding. Victories being trumpeted by the governments of Iraq and the USA and being repeated by the media are many… but they may be misleading, especially if Richard Engel is to be believed. Engel broke the bad news to Joe Scarborough that we shouldn’t be buying the government and media spin on the fight against ISIS.
I would not be overly optimistic that ISIS are “back on their heels,” frankly. There have been some advances in Baghdadi that the government is talking about, the Kurds who took that strategic supply route a couple of weeks ago are still advancing, and there is a Shi’ite militia massing on the edge of Tikrit. I don’t know if you consider that progress.
ISIS still control the main cities of Raqqa and Mosul, and ISIS just broke out into Libya, it is effectively taking over a new country, so if that is defeat, of ISIS, or on the road to defeat, I would hate to see what success would look like.