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Iraq: the chickens come home to roost « Previous | |Next »
June 16, 2014

Is anyone surprised by the sectarian civil war in Iraq? Or that Sunni Islamist fundamentalists---Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), an al-Qaeda offspring----are settling old scores with Nouri al-Maliki's heavy handed Shiite Government by capturing the cities of Mosul, Ramadi, Fallujah and Mosul? This is the legacy of the American decision to invade and occupy Iraq in 2003.

A radical and brutal Islamist insurgency, which now controls large tracts of territory in northwest Iraq and northeast Syria, is a violent legacy of US policy in the Middle East. The Iraq-Syrian border no longer exists for most practical purposes.

RowedIraqvIraq.jpg David Rowe

These advances by Isis would not be happening unless there was tacit support and no armed resistance from the Sunni Arab community in northern and central Iraq because of their hatred of Iraq’s Shia-dominated government. Sunni Muslims have decided that the jihadists are preferable to persecution by the official Iraqi army.

It's regional conflict in the Middle Eastern sparked by the strong repression of Sunni Islamist paramilitaries by the Nouri al-Maliki's government in Baghdad. This Sunni-Shia conflict in post-Saddam Iraq does not affect Australia's national security or its national interest. It has little to do with the US/UK, Australia alliance's titanic battle against “Islamofascism” after 9/11, which they lost, even if they claimed victory.

The Americans, whose military intervention into Iraq under false pretences, are a primary cause of the recent sectarian conflict in Iraq, are in no position to dictate to other states how they should behave. Even if they still seem to see al-Qaeda, and its offshoots, as akin to a second coming of the Communist International, there is very little domestic support in the United States for new, large-scale American troop deployments in Iraq.

No doubt a weakened US will provide more drones and helicopter-gunships to the Nouri al-Maliki's government to help it fight the civil war and stay in power, and it will do so in order to prevent ISIS from creating a safe haven eventually stretching beyond parts of Iraq and neighbouring Syria. That help will probably not be enough as the civil war is turning into a general uprising of the Sunni community in Iraq, which is five or six million strong and mainly concentrated in the north and west. Will the West be happy to see these great Muslim powers fighting each other?

Iran is moving to stop the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) from capturing Baghdad and the provinces immediately to the north of the capital. Will the US, Britain and their allies such as Saudi Arabia and the Sunni monarchies of the Gulf object to Iranian involvement in Iraq? Maybe what we are seeing is the end of the 1918 imperial Sykes-Picot division of the old Ottoman Middle East into Arab statelets---Syria, Iraq, Lebanon or Jordan, or even mandate Palestine, created by the British and French--- controlled by the West.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:54 AM | | Comments (14)


The Iraqi security forces, which were almost a million strong, including 14 army divisions, crumbled after attacks from an enemy force that has been estimated at between 3,000 and 5,000 strong.

"These advances by Isis would not be happening unless there was tacit support and no armed resistance from the Sunni Arab community in northern and central Iraq because of their hatred of Iraq’s Shia-dominated government. "

In Sunni areas the Iraqi army and security forces behaved as an occupation force and were consequently much feared and hated.They may be wary of Isis but terrified of what a vengeful Iraqi army will do if it retakes the city of Mosul.

Tony Blair is still arguing that Saddam Hussein might have used weapons of mass destruction, despite the evidence he had given up such devices. He is still arguing that Iraq was a better place for the removal of Saddam.

Blair continues to ignore that Isis is funded by Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

Abbott’s decision to allow himself to be photographed wearing an enormous hat while in Texas whilst on his overseas trip, means that Abbott will now be likened to George W. Bush.

So how will Australia provide assistance in any new offensive in Iraq this time around?

Another legacy of America’s war in Iraq is that the Americans left behind an Iraqi state that was not able to stand on its own.

It will be the same legacy in Afghanistan.

The position of the Abbott Government is that America will lead and Australia will follow.

Iraq has become a critical part of a regional arena for a Saudi-Iranian proxy conflict. Tehran is supporting some powerful Shia groups and Riyadh is backing the cause of the Sunnis, who have felt marginalised and discriminated under Maliki's leadership.

It is highly unlikely that former US president George W Bush and his two international allies at the time, Britain's Tony Blair and Australia's John Howard, will publicly admit that their invasion of Iraq was totally misguided and detrimental to the Iraqi people and that their war legacy is a terrible and bloody one.

The legacy of Bush, Blair and Howard for their own people is the expansion of surveillance of their citizens --not increased security.

Let them fight... when they get to Israel they will nuke them. Problem solved.

Abbott is starting to beat the drums of war when he says that Australia stood ready to support the US should it go back into Iraq.

I cannot see how the terrible violence in Iraq and Syria has anything much to do with Australia’s national interest.

Tony Blair reckons its all not so..he reckons he and Bush were just Good Samaritans and we all know Tony never lies.

Witless scum the reactionaries are..

Julie Bishop, Australia's Foreign Minister, is running around the country saying that the Sunni insurgency constitutes a terrorist organization and that Australia supports the Nouri al-Maliki’s Shiite-dominated government.

Hers is a simplistic goodies and baddies scenario that works with George Bush's eternal war against terrorism. In supporting Australia supporting Nouri al-Maliki’s Shiite-dominated sectarian government against the Sunni insurgency Australia aligns itself with Iran, one of the George Bush's axis-of-evil powers that encourages terrorism.

Julie Bishop thinks in terms of slogans, just like Abbott.

I doubt that the Sunni insurgents are planning to march on Israel.