The democratic Iraq George W. Bush dreamed of has turned into a nightmare…
- No, it’s not Groundhog Day. Iraq is once again at the center of a regional war in the Middle East as the Sunni jihadist group, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), seized Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city and Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit. The fanatical group is backed by thousands of Islamist fighters in Syria and Iraq and it appears to be surpassing al-Qaeda as the world’s most dangerous jihadist group led by the shadowy and well-educated Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
- The ISIS is philosophically aligned with al-Qaeda yet its legitimacy rests upon that terror group’s enemy, former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. (The swift rise of the ISIS came about because the Iraqi Sunnis protested their political and economic demotion since the fall of Saddam Hussein.)
- For folks who are too young to recall the 2003 invasion of Iraq (lucky you), George W. Bush’s attempt to infuse a shot of egalitarianism into the Republic of Iraq cost more than $3 trillion while lamentably 4,000 U.S. soldiers died.
- There may be oil, oil everywhere, but there won’t be a drop for our gas-guzzling SUVs to drink as Sunni extremists invaded the country’s largest oil refinery on June 18. Now Iraq, one of the world’s key oil producers, may no longer be able to keep global petrol prices from rising too high.
- Obama told lawmakers he would not seek Congress’s formal approval should he decide that military force is necessary to “strengthen the capacity of Iraq’s security forces” in their fight against Sunni Muslim insurgents. Iraq wasn’t good for Bush II, and it won’t be good for Obama either.
- Warships have steered closer to Iraq and security is beefed up at our embassy in Baghdad. If we send special forces into the region to help train Iraqi military and boost intelligence, such influence would be negligible at best.
- Efforts to turn Iraq into a functioning multi-ethnic democracy historically fail, and will flop again, because there is a major religious division with a strong majority (Shiite) and a desolate minority backed by Syria (Sunni) along with a population still living largely along tribal lines.
- Even conservative pundit Glenn Beck admitted on his radio program that liberals knew over a decade ago that “we shouldn’t nation-build, and there was no indication the people of Iraq had the will to be free.”
- Saudi Arabia and Iran, presumably our “friends” despite all the backstabbing evidence to the contrary, will continue to see Iraq as a battleground to check the other’s influence in a Sunni-Shia war. Iraq: The Sequel will be a strategically successful enterprise for America – said no one.
And the #1 thing you need to know about the crisis in Iraq is…
1. The diplomatic policy of restraint is highly underrated, much like Seth MacFarlane’s performance in dramatic roles. If placing tangible limits on our involvement in Iraq keeps us from entering another unwinnable war, so be it.