In case you missed it…Iraq has returned to an all out war zone as Sunni and Shia resume centuries of bloody civil war.
Anti-government militants led by the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL), an Al Qaeda splinter group, have swiftly taken control of large swaths of the country including the key cities of Mosul and Tikrit. Iraqi military and police forces, trained by the US to protect the government from just such an uprising, have fled en mass; throwing down their weapons and stripping off their uniforms to more easily blend into the crowds.
Why is this happening?
Sunni and Shia sects have been in one form of civil war or another for centuries. They hate each other. Sunni’s controlled Iraq and terrorized Shiites for thirteen centuries until the US toppled Saddam and installed the current Shia government. Under the watchful eye of Paul Bremer and his band of US overseers, the US backed Shia government placed their boot on the throat of the Sunni’s. Sunni’s were removed from positions of power and authority and replaced by Shiites. Without a US military presence to keep the lid on, the bad blood that had been boiling under the surface has boiled over once again. The resulting bloodshed is part of an attempt by ISIL to
create a large Islamic territory that includes Iraq and Syria.
Critics are naturally blaming this situation on the president. This would not be happening they say, had the president left US military forces in place in Iraq. They say his wrongheaded decision has undone all that we had accomplished in the region.
To lay the current uprising at the feet of this president is nothing more than disingenuous partisan political nonsense.
The bloody unrest in Iraq was as predictable as it was inevitable. The civil war in Iraq was going to resume whenever we pulled out our forces. Whether that day was 5, 10, or 20 years from now the civil war would have begun anew. The only way to prevent that from happening would be for the US to occupy the country in perpetuity. 1300 years of history made the obvious case. The only surprise here is that the geniuses that took us into this war failed to understand the obvious.
4,500 US troops were killed in the Iraq war. 32,000 wounded. $3 trillion borrowed American dollars spent.
Was it all for nothing?
PS: In a few short years we’ll be writing the exact same story about Afghanistan.