With some of the same idiots who urged restraint in Syria now urging strikes against in Iraq on behalf of Maliki and Iran, against a Sunni insurgency that is far from being dominated by ISIS, as all and sundry is willing to argue, it is important for some of the remaining rational voices out there to push for the adoption of a clear policy objective and a clear endgame vis-à-vis current developments in Syria and Iraq, and throughout the region. Inaction premised on fear of potential consequences that soon become self-fulfilling prophecies on account of said inaction, drone attacks and air strikes without political follow through, and kneejerk reactions continue to be the main ingredients for disaster. The U.S. cannot afford any more of this. The peoples of the region cannot afford any more of this.
A U.S. intervention in Iraq at this stage without launching a major regional political process meant to address the situation in Iraq and Syria will put the U.S. squarely on the side of Shiite militias and forces in their battle against aggrieved Sunnis. The U.S. will be taking sides in an increasingly violent sectarian conflict that has not yet peaked. It does not matter if the primary target at this stage is ISIS. Action ISIS in the absence of a political process that is meant to address the all too real Sunni grievances and their palpable existential fears will have major reverberations within the wider Sunnis communities, even within secular circles.
Let’s not forget here that the rise of ISIS was helped by the Assad regime and Iran. Yes, ISIS, as I have argued before, is not being run by pro-Assad and Iranian intelligence services, but I also said that some measure of coordination is taking place, and that both sides are doing their best to focus public attention on ISIS and are exaggerating her role, in order to obtain Western sympathies.
“Without committing much by way of resources and manpower, the U.S. is already in the thick of things, backing a specific camp, losing allies and potential allies, ignoring if not enabling genocide, all while pretending that this is somehow wise and rational policy-making.”
I also argued recently that, in my opinion, President Obama is willing to see the entire region go to hell, rather than intervene in any serious manner again, but, considering the increasing pressures on him to do so, and perhaps by way of further coaxing Iran regarding her nuclear program, he might just end up doing stupid again. He failed to act in Syria, and continues to fail to act in Syria, but when push came to shove, he seems about to act in Iraq, and in both cases, Iran and her allies, that is, the Shia Camp, benefited or seem poised to reap the benefits. Without committing much by way of resources and manpower, the U.S. is already in the thick of things, backing a specific camp, losing allies and potential allies, ignoring if not enabling genocide, all while pretending that this is somehow wise and rational policy-making.
There is something that isn’t right here: a certain lack of consistency, or a certain consistent folly, that is acting to rend the fabric of the region apart. We are the ultimate fodder, and we seem to have embraced that role.