Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Party's Over!

The party's over. The fat lady has sung. The horse has left the barn. And any other analogy that you can come up with. It comes down to this. Obama came to a fork in the road and he took it. He wanted to abandon Iraq, and he did. There was no status of forces agreement negotiated. There were no troops left behind to help stabilize the new democracy. There was no one to see that Nouri al Maliki lived up to his promises. He has to realize, you can't put the toothpaste back in the tube. 

In the two years since we pulled the last of our troops out, Iraq has degraded. The Middle East is a complicated place. The universal religion of the area is also the universal political framework for the area. There is a constant push-pull where the political frames the religious and the religious frames the political. But within each group, there are sects, and within each sect there are sub-sects. 

The two largest sects in Islam are the Shia and the Sunnis. For years Iraq was brutally controlled by the Sunnis. Al Maliki is Shia. More than that, he lived in Shia Iran for many years. He is not a fan of Sunnis or Kurds and, contrary to his promise, left them out of his government. Bitterness ensued.

Due to this, the Sunni militias joined together and formed ISIS. They organized and trained and became a fighting machine. They took over towns and cities and expanded their territory even over into Syria. In their hearts they believe that they have created the base of the Islamic Caliphate. The traditional capitol of the Caliphate is Baghdad. Their army is now within forty miles of Baghdad. They have American Humvees and Stinger Missiles. Their ranks grow with each mile they go forward. If they take Baghdad, there may be no stopping them.

Al Maliki would like some help. He cannot be trusted. I believe that the best thing that we can do right now is to pull all Americans out of the country. To get between the Sunnis and the Shia will turn out badly. The Shia live for the return of the Twelfth Imam. A figure that they believe will come forth when the world is in turmoil, leading Jesus and Moses to convert the world to Islam.

They believe that to die in this quest is a high honor that will transport that jihadi immediately to Allah's presence to receive his rewards and his glory. To get in the middle of a battle between fanatics is a suicidal plan. America has already spent to much blood and to much wealth to aid those that hate us and will always hate us. 

Sometimes the best thing to do is to sit on the sidelines for a while and see how things shake out. No matter what we do we will have no control. Although some reasonable assistance to the Kurds may be useful. This is like a cop going into a domestic dispute between a husband and wife. While he is trying to do good, suddenly both turn on him and he is the enemy. To Muslims, we are already the enemy. Now is the time for thought, not action.

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