While we’re reading the typical horse-race accounts of the battle for Mosul–which forces are where, who’s getting closer, who’s winning, who’s losing–there’s a much bigger threat just 25 miles away–the Mosul Dam. I discussed this issue a few minutes ago with host P.J. Maloney on KQV News Radio in Pittsburgh.
The dam is nine times as long as the Hoover Dam, which supplies electricity and water to southern California. The dam itself is OK, but it’s built on porous,
unstable rock, and it needs constant maintenance to the tune of two tons of concrete a day.
If this dam collapses–or , unthinkable as it might seem, if it’s sabotaged, the Tigris River stretching 20 miles back from the dam could flood a whole area of Iraq, and millions could be killed. That would be one of the worst disasters, or the worst terrorist attack, in history. It should be a priority, and I believe this is well understood, to keep this from happening.
While we’re at it, the superficial coverage on the basis of who’s winning and who’s losing in Mosul follows the outdated assumption of World War II-era conflicts that there’s always a clear winner and a clear loser. That won’t happen this time, as my friend and ace reporter Nancy Youssef points out in this article, noting that top US army commanders seem to get that, even of the Secretary of Defense doesn’t. She tells us that ISIS is getting ready for a guerrilla war, which would bring us practically full circle to the situation we faced in 2004. That’s progress…