Sunday 15 June 2014

The Beginning of the End of Iraq?

This article of the same title is in response to both the new situation we find in the aftermath of ISIS taking over large swathes of territories in Northern Iraq including Mosul and in response to the article here referenced by Michael J. Totten.

The best article yet for assessing what is happening in Iraq and how it got into the mess it finds itself.  "Arab governments complain when we intervene, and they complain when we don't intervene. They complain no matter what".  How true! That is typical for blaming the other for the mess they create.  If it is not left to “inshallah” but for America to solve.  When America tries and fails, it is blamed for doing the wrong on purpose.  This negativity is what predominantly ails the backbone of Arabism today.  

Below is a bottom-up perspective of a failed country dating back from its inception.  A state that is inorganically drawn up by Sykes/Picot with mainly straight lines and some say shoving of elbows for the squiggly bits to give the drawing some authenticity.  As President Obama says “this is a wake-up call” so it may also be break-up call for “Inshallah” a better future may lie ahead.  As in the Balkans breakup is not so hard to do!

In my opinion, the title of Totten's article is spot on and quite frankly exactly what my family predicted following the July 1958 revolution which also marked out our final exit from the country we love.  This indictment on a country that never looked after its own so much so that an Iraqi citizenship was discredited by almost its entire population equally so by most of the world.  Iraqi Nationality became a heavy burden engrossed in oppression, coercion, and subversion.  Causes for the diaspora of the people of this once immensely wealthy country rarely attributed to economic hardship or religious dissension but its population left in droves to escape the cruel nature of its rulers.  No wonder the Iraqi population abandoned this once beautiful country where culture abounded but now finds itself intellectually bankrupted and ravished by all manner of atrocities.  Indeed, in tune with the colour of new flags, it is a Black period for all the freedom loving and peaceful people of Iraq of whatever religious persuasion.  It is a hefty price for a once proud nation to dishevel among its ruined societies and where the value of life is lost in political quagmire becoming the standard debris of religious sectarianism.

The position today is that ISIS proliferation in Iraq is the making of the Iraq regime by Maliki’s own religiously aggressive and increasingly divisive government.  Their insistence against inviting the Sunni representative into the government weighed heavily on Sunni Leadership.  Besides, Maliki also imprisoned a number of Sunni front liners and tried some in absentia on trumped up charges accusing them of subversive activities rather than inviting them to join his government as coalition partners.    Despite all the bombings in Baghdad and elsewhere for the last ten years or so he failed to get the message.  Winning a democracy fair and square, as he has done, is not enough when considering the deep religious fissures that exist among an already severely stratified society. Viewed from a historical point of view it is evidently right to bathe in euphoria and seize the Shia moment after centuries of Sunni domination. However, it is not the time to indulge in browbeating the opposition or abnegating rational judicial Prime Ministerial duties.  Instead, it is time for political compromises that will undoubtedly carry mileage towards the road of Nation building.  It is imperative to reconcile religious belief of all sections of Iraqi society with the secular government for effective parliamentary, sourced from bicameral balancing, for an active State to take hold.

Helped by the porous borders between Iraq and Syria it did not take much effort, together   To hold the advance of ISIS in Syria means America inevitable siding with the Shia and by implication with Assad’s regime and Iran.  We could yet see American airstrikes helped by Iranian and Iraqi forces sharing the same cause.  For now, there is no other option it seems.  Over to the other side, of course, with such infiltration into Iraq by possible Saudi-backed insurgencies is increasingly proving to be an effective force for hitting and hurting Iran’s military and economic underbelly.  At the same time if it finds success in detaching the infidel Farsi Nation it would succeed in actually reducing if not erasing any Iranian significance over the Arabs; virtually fraying its sphere of influence. With Iran’s current International political isolation over its highly covert Uranium enrichment programme, gaining support from the West will be in short supply for certain.  On the other hand, it becomes inconceivable for a religiously motivated Saudi Arabia to become the hegemonic power in the region.  Its impartiality and totalitarian regime, although for now blanketed, it nevertheless when news does come out, albeit in trinkets, speaks volumes.  Isolation at this point is not an option for Iran. Effectively it will need to sleep with the devil to reassert its authority and decouple the moderate Iraqi Sunni factions from their loose ties with Saudi Wahabism.  In the meantime whatever America decides will eventually be wrong so the devil if you do and the devil if you don’t. With arguably Wahhabi Saudi finance, for ISIS to spill over from the swathes of territories they hold in Syria. The International options that can stem this flow, however, are limited.

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