Sunday, June 15, 2014

Civil War Comes to Iraq

To be honest with you I'm surprised it took this long for the civil war to get going.

The radical Sunni Islamic group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) have plunged the country into chaos, captured Mosul in the north and claim to have killed 1700 government troops as they march toward Baghdad.

Influential Shiite clerics have called upon Iraqi militia to come and defend the capital. Reports say "thousands" of Iraqis have responded but I'm not sure what that means.

In the meantime the Kurds are taking advantage of the situation to carve out a piece of the country for themselves.

So far the American trained and equipped Iraqi "Army" appears only good at surrendering its weapons to the ISIS insurgents.

In September of 2007 I said "It appears that the only thing preventing all out sectarian war and the accompanying horrors is the American presence on the ground...If there is going to be a war, at least it will be a war that the Iraqi’s choose for themselves and not one thrust upon them by us."

Of course the Shiite Iranians aren't thrilled with the idea of a radical Sunni force on their doorstep and appear ready to "help out." It's unclear to me exactly what that means as well.

Some wars have to happen. The American Civil War had to happen and I suspect the Iraqi Civil War has to happen as well.

Anyone miss Saddam yet? No, I suppose not. This was always the danger but I suspect Saddam's time was limited in any event. Iraq is an artificial colonial construct. The British Mandate of Mesopotamia set up by the League of Nations ignored the region's ethnic and religious groups. This war has been brewing for a hundred years.

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