Back in Iraq

by Ryan on August 10, 2014

in The Iraq Front,War on Terror

Iraq is a mess.

Unfortunately that line could have been described Iraq at any time since 1980.  Like Tito in Yugoslavia, Saddam was able to keep all the various factions in line, usually with brute force.  Remove Saddam from the mix and without proper planning and support, a mess could ensue.  And it did.

After the United States got Iraq stable enough to govern itself, we left.  It was not a strategic withdrawal, but a political one.

The two biggest problems the US inflicted upon Iraq, in my opinion, were

  1. the creation of the completely inept Coalition Provisional Authority in 2003 which used an American-style bloated bureaucratic governing structure that propelled Iraq into the drift that caused magnified sectarian strife and created a magnet for al Qaeda in Iraq, and
  2. leaving Iraq in December 2011 without a residual force in place just to keep an eye on things.

One was Bush’s fault, the other Obama’s.

Since we took too long to attack ISIS properly, the terror group has seized Mosul, oil fields, a major dam, and has started ethnic and religious cleansing of their territory.  Threatening thousands of Christians with starvation or execution finally got President Obama to take notice.  Ordering limited airstrikes on ISIS targets is overdue, but unfortunately not enough.  The Kurds need arming, and love or hate the Maliki government we cannot ignore them — remember that Iraq is now an ally in the Mideast!

Obama’s reluctance to do anything against ISIS underscores one of his faults — he needs to deal with the world as it exists, not how he wants it to be.  He campaigned against US troops in Iraq and brought them home.  OK, but now the situation has changed.  Who knows what ISIS would have done if 10,000 US troops and an airbase filled with US planes still sat in Al Asad Airbase in Anbar Province.  I think they’d still be in Syria or risk being obliterated in the dark by overt and covert joint-US/Iraqi operations.

But that’s not the world that exists.

Our world has a declared Islamic caliphate with uncontested territory, oil, money, weapons, and an intent to kill Americans, Christians, Jews, and Shiites.  It’s a pre-9/11 al Qaeda dream at the center of the most volatile area in the world.  Maybe we don’t send 10,000 troops, but a sustained bombing campaign for the next six months would seriously degrade ISIS and would give the Iraqi government and army time to regroup.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

rightonoz August 15, 2014 at 4:18 am

Apparently Australia may join in. We need to bomb the Sh.t out of them.

Thankfully Maliki has gone, leaving some hope of a reconciliation.

One minor point I notice the Republican side harp on about incorrectly, it was Bush that ordered to the pull out (not Obama) because the Iraqi’s would not give immunity from charges that might arise from errors (or criminal acts) by US troops. Obama continued that. I’d have to give BOTH Bush and Obama a fail on that.

We have just seen the obscenity of an Australian lunatic fighting for IS (He was on a ‘disability’ pension here) and having his son hold the head of a murdered Syrian soldier. Obama, please authorise a drone strike to take this stain upon Australia out.

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