WASHINGTON (Christian Examiner) -- According to the White House, the Islamic State's conquest of Ramadi -- the capital of Anbar Province where so many U.S. Marines and soldiers died during the Iraq War -- is a "setback" for Iraq and the United States.
But according to Col. Oliver North, who spent significant time as a FOX News war correspondent there, the White House is not just downplaying the impact of the loss. It is lying about how devastating it actually is.
North told Greta Van Susteren on her program Ramadi is the key to holding the Euphrates River Valley, and the only control point of ingress to and egress from Syria all the way to the Iranian border. It is also the heartland of Iraq's Sunni population.
"What you've just heard from this White House is a bald face lie," North said. "It is a catastrophe of unparalleled proportions because they're not going to be able to retake Ramadi without serious American help."
When asked by Van Susteren for his opinion on White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz's comment that the momentum of ISIS had been "blunted," North responded they the White House was just "making things up."
"That's the kindest thing you can say about what they're saying. These are lies. The fact is, it is a strategically important city. It was then, it is now and it will be tomorrow."
"Number two, the Obama legacy is going to be a bloodbath of unprecedented, biblical proportion in Iraq because this is setting up the ultimate Shiite-Sunni gunfight. That's where we're going."
North said the Islamic State's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, had been purposefully documenting mass murders and the work of death squads in places like Ramadi because he had proclaimed himself the savior of Sunni Islam against those who now occupy Tehran, Damascus, Beirut, Baghdad and Sanaa in Yemen.
"So what is happening is a genocide that rivals what happened in Rwanda in 1994 under Bill Clinton," North said.
"This is disastrous for our foreign policy, for the government in Baghdad, and ultimately for the Sunni population because they're going to be under the gun .... They're going to call in the Iranian-armed, -backed and -controlled Shi'ite militias to try and retake this city."
Christian Examiner reported last week on the request from tribal leaders in Anbar Province for assistance from the Shi'ite militia in Baghdad. Nearly 60,000 Shi'ite militiamen are prepared to fight ISIS in Baghdad. At least 3,000 are near Ramadi preparing for a counterattack. Among those militias are Iranian advisers.
North said he had spoken with his former interpreter in Iraq, who said 36 of his family who lived in Ramadi are known to be among the more than 500 citizens executed there since ISIS took the city. As bad as that is, North said things are about to get a lot worse.
If nuclear negotiations with Iran are "successful," the county will receive an influx of cash, which could be used to fund a showdown between ISIS and Iran, which North called two of the greatest terrorist entities that have ever existed. They will then likely divide Iraq, he said.
More than 1,300 U.S. troops died securing Anbar Province during the Iraq war and during the Sunni insurgencies that followed there. Shi'ite insurgents also launched a campaign against U.S. forces in Fallujah, which was beaten back with considerable losses of U.S. personnel.
Ramadi is roughly 40 miles from Baghdad.