"Rampaging Islamic jihadists surged within 60 miles of Baghdad as the U.S. scrambled ... to airlift hundreds of Americans to safety." "...the Al Qaeda-inspired forces seized control of several cities — and warned the capital was next."
The U.S. ordered an aircraft carrier to head into the Persian Gulf as President Barack Obama weighs options on how to aid Iraq’s Shiite-led government in its fight against Sunni militants threatening to re-ignite sectarian conflict in OPEC’s second-largest oil producer." "...Obama said the country’s problems aren’t 'solely, or even primarily, a military challenge,' and called on Iraq’s leaders to unite." (Internet news sources.)
When we pulled out of Iraq, we left them with lots of money, but no defense, in 2011.) Ramifications: Iran could take over Iraq and Israel becomes a Sitting Duck.
Bottom line: We need to do whatever we can to support Israel, our ally.
Q. Is it a time of desperate need? The Iraqis want military assistance for about six months. What will happen if we don't send any?
Nothing much or something big?
Well if the answer to this "Hell of a question" is to do nothing, we have just the President.
Iraq was cobbled together as a country following WWI. The British took three ethnic and religious groups and formed one country. They have been fighting it ever since. Much like the US establishing Israel after WWII, the two have amazing comparisons where half are trying to separate while the other half just want them to go away and leave the land. Iraq was put together with the Kurds in the northeastern part. The Sunnis in the rest of the north and the Shiites in the south. Saddam Hussein was the tyrant that kept them all in check. That is why the US originally backed him. More money chasing bad. Let them define their own countries much like the British and the French let America define it's own boundaries. Did they step in when we massacred the Indians? The French made an effort early on but were convinced otherwise by us. This is the same thing.
I agree, except... times have changed since the Indians. A terrorists state of Iraq would be a serious danger to our national security.
So the part I take exception to is the part about letting them slug it out among themselves. That works for me until the victor looks like a terrorist state - then we need to just bomb/drone the hell out of the terrorists and let the rest of Iraq make their own decision to unite or continue killing each other.
I don't think so as the three separate states would concentrate their people in the countries of their choosing. The Kurds have long been very friendly to the US and have fought off outsiders including Al Qaeda. The Sunnis in the south have fought against the Shiites and have control of the oil fields in the south. Since they all would be concentrated in their particular areas, drone strikes on terrorists would be that much easier to locate. Let them hash it out, it is after all their country.
Unfortunately for me, the foundation of my opinions regarding Iraq and the Middle East, are less solid than ones that deal with U.S. history, but...
I really don't think the "separate nation-states" would work in Iraq. I can see the Kurds holding their own and surviving because of their historical tenacity, and I don't recall their region having anything, (like oil), others would be desirous of.
The other two, Sunnis and Shiites, are a different matter. One would have oil riches the other would covet, and they have a very long history of warring religious doctrines. So either they would be at continuous war until one decimated the other, or one would unite with a partner, (pick your own bogyman nation), and conquer the other.
Which could possibly pose a threat to the Kurds, which would.... Holy cow! History does repeat itself doesn't it?
You may have a point but constant war between two ethnic or religious groups is very normal. We have seen this in places such as Darfur and Kenya where civil war is constantly springing it head up. I say let the Iraqi people figure it out for themselves. Oh wait I forgot about the oil the Chinese are getting from the region through American companies. Scratch that lets bomb the hell out of them.
Personally I tend towards the "let them take care of it themselves" as well. Flood the area with guns (2 per person) and ammunition (100 rounds per person) dropped indiscriminately and without warning from the air, and let them have at it.
My bet would favor the normal man on the street, whether Muslim (any sect), Christian or Jewish. The people that just want to live and be left alone, in other words. The radicals would soon disappear from the face of the earth - a good thing for everyone.
I agree with letting them take care of it themselves but one step farther. Give them nothing. Let them hash it out whatever way they want. When they eat each other up and look outside their country for something more than war and violence, maybe we can help them out. But if they wish to take it (help on their terms via terrorism) then squash them like a bug. Look what 16 months of bombing did in Kosovo to the rebels. It takes time but I think it is best for them to handle it themselves.
......but there is that pesky problem of the oil that makes us look like the monkey who gets caught because he won't let go of the orange his hand has on the other side of the bars.
I may be naive, but I do not think oil has anything to do with this. I think this is a serious national security issue, for the U.S. primarily, but also for Britain and other first-world nations. I think Iraq is on the brink of becoming a terrorist state light-years beyond what we know now. (Syria, Lebanon, etc.)
And the downside is what? They all congregate in one area where we can spy and drone the hell out of them. You cannot reason with religious zealots especially when they wish to punish you for your unbelief. That is their cover but even they are not happy with the way the Shiite led government has distributed the oil wealth. The bitching is about religious freedom while the oil wealth distribution is knowing at their shins.
Exxon/Mobil spent billions lobbying and establishing an oil delivery system which they sell to the highest bidder. In this case it is China. Why is it going to China? Because they can get a premium price for it, keep it off the American market so they can keep the price high enough to extract oil from Canadian dirt. So selling fear and distrust is a good thing for the oil companies. If you don't see that the oil is a significant and possibly a driving reasoning for renewed US participation in Iraq, then the spin merchants have been very successful.
I agree with your first point. That is why I did not restrict our options to just overt and political actions.
But to your second point... you are partly right, the spin merchants do appear to have been successful, just not in the way you think.
Here is a good article explaining the current Iraq oil sales situation. (surprisingly it is from the N.Y. Times.
China Is Reaping Biggest Benefits of Iraq Oil Boom
"China already buys nearly half the oil that Iraq produces, nearly 1.5 million barrels a day, and is angling for an even bigger share, bidding for a stake now owned by Exxon Mobil in one of Iraq’s largest oil fields. "
"Chinese state-owned companies seized the opportunity, pouring more than $2 billion a year and hundreds of workers into Iraq, and just as important, showing a willingness to play by the new Iraqi government’s rules and to accept lower profits to win contracts. "
"Notably, what the Chinese are not doing is complaining. Unlike the executives of Western oil giants like Exxon Mobil, the Chinese happily accept the strict terms of Iraq’s oil contracts, which yield only minimal profits. China is more interested in energy to fuel its economy than profits to enrich its oil giants. "
Source: N.Y. Times article
This was dated June, 2, 2014 - before the current crisis blossomed.
And then a wall Street Journal story reports China's increasing stake in Iraqi oil production.
"Yet since 2012 it has seemed that Iraq might finally be turning a corner. Investment started to pick up, especially from China—Iraqi reserves constitute 26% of the oil assets of China's national oil companies."
So, it doesn't appear that in the post-Sadam era Exxon/Mobile would be the prime beneficiary of the U.S. re-entering Iraq militarily.
I agree with you that it looks as if the Chinese are the recipient but Exxon/Mobile is in negotiations to sell a 25% stake in its Iraqi oil holdings while still running the operation and holding a 35% stake in it. That means that they do really want to stick around and need protection in the process. The Chinese are gobbling up as much of Iraq's oil as they can but the American company is still throwing a wrench in the works by trying to capitalize on their investment.
http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-Gener … Field.html
Iraq is similar to Japan. Japan had a war freak leadership that prevailed; so did Iraq. We say that problems were not the people but the leadership although some of the people supported the leadership. When Japan was defeated it was rehabilitated by USA so that it could feed its people and it could serve as a defense buffer against China and USSR. iraq should be rehabilitated or enabled to come to stand on its own for the sake of the Iraqis. Of course, geopolitics cannot be discounted.
I hope you don't mind if this Curmudgeon steps through the door you left open....
Since history tells us that Japan was pretty much a one-culture, (homogeneous), nation, and Iraq is and has been a fractured nation of warring cultures - you comparison is a bit surprising. I don't see any real similarities. Japan surrendered, Iraq had to be conquered and force applied to keep it conquered. (Oops, guess that isn't working) - looks like another invalid comparison.
We have expended much more effort on Iraq, and it is still a failure. Other than an emotional "we gotta do something" response, I don't see any justification to do more than bomb the hell out of the rebels, and let Iraq stumble along until we need to massacre the next set of threatening terrorists/rebels.
Of course, I am using purposely forceful action verbs because the bottom line is we have already given Iraq our best monetary, military, and humanitarian efforts. The culture(s) of the people of Iraq is/are not like the people of the U.S. We cannot democratize them - they have to do it themselves.
We tried, we failed, and that is that. And forget geopolitics... our efforts now should be protecting our national security interests by putting the hammer down on any terrorists groups seeking to rule Iraq.
Israel is not really our ally. We call them that, but it was our own president along with other American politicians who asked Israel to give up their land for "peace". That is not how you would treat an ally. Yes that land was originally won in war, BUT could you imagine another country saying "give up Texas for the sake of helping lower illegal immigration". Americans would go into an uproar! So what should we do? I'm not sure but hell, if you can't fix things in that many years I don't see them getting fixed in 6 months. So unless those countries are going to start paying the total cost of what it costs our military to be there, I say leave them alone and dump that money into American's who need help!
Hmmm.. there is so much wrong with that statement that I think the simplest response would be a question.
Looking at the potential threat the Middle East is to U.S. citizen's and our national security now - can you imagine what that threat could be if there were no Israel in the middle of a continent full of America-hating nation-states for the last 65+ years?
I'm not saying I want to do away with Israel. My family line runs back there. I'm just stating the fact that we can call something an ally all we want but when we have consistently treated it like crap then chances are it's not actually a friend. Unlike you I don't ever see bombing as a fix. We've done our part, paid for far more than we should(which based on your previous post seems we agree on), constantly been in Iraq for how long now? My entire life! They hate us! Reality is a large amount of Israel hates USA also. Now if we want to have troops in Israel protecting them, well maybe I could see that, but not sending them back to Iraq. We've done all we can do there!
Since when Americans' interests are our government's interests?
Someone just informed me that Israel is a very tough and powerful nation. Can they go up against Iran? I asked. He had no answer. No matter what, they may need our help in the future. We need to stay in good with Israel for strategic reasons.
Send Seal Team Six into Syria and have them tell old whats-his-name to resign….
"The domestic Syrian opposition, the United States, Canada, the European Union and the majority of the Arab League have subsequently called for Bashar al-Assad resignation from the presidency During the Syrian Civil War, Assad was personally implicated in war crimes and crimes against humanity by the United Nations, and was the top of a list of individuals indicted for the greatest responsibility in war crimes for prosecution by the International Criminal Court. In late April 2014, Assad announced he would run for a third term in Syria's first multi-candidate presidential election in decades, amid serious concerns by the UN and other countries regarding the legitimacy of this vote and the effect it will have on peace talks with the Syrian Opposition."
As a matter of fact, "...the situation in Syria is to a certain degree comparable to Saddam Hussein’s strong Sunni minority rule in Iraq." Wikipedia
Oh, what to do?
It is a conundrum the west has to work out.
Firstly there are many factions fighting for different reasons, the militant Islamist's of ISIS have nothing in common with the Sunni's of Iraq, they are fighting for an Islamic caliphate based on extremist ideals, a great number of their group have been recruited from around the world. they seek no compromises, they do no want a portion of Iraq thay want it all and not only do they want Iraq they want the whole of the middle east.
If they ever achieve their dream they will annihilate Israel and its people. make no mistake take a look at how they are treating their so called enemies in Iraq and Syria.
Even Iran a far from moderate Islamic nation themselves understand and realise the threat these extremist pose to the region and Islam itself.
There is only one course of action we can take and I really don't understand why the ivory tower politicians aren't running head first yelling the battle cry.
Why can't those little red ants just stay in their holes. I hear a mixture of vinegar and baking soda works.
If only it was that easy Kathryn.
Firstly the activists who are against cruelty to ants would be portioning the president, then the liberal thinkers would be calling for a reduction in the ownership of vinegar and baking soda as it could be used as a threat and ants could be hurt. Of course there will be the usual uproar from the people for the protection of everything and of course religious leaders claiming that the red ants belong to their congregation.
in the mean time whilst all the warbling is going on the red ants have taken over the world.
Yup, hence my "bomb the hell out of them" comment. I do not think we can save Iraq from itself, but I think we must save ourselves, (and you other Western nations too), from the dangers of Iraq as a terrorist state.
My stance is so Politically and Morally Incorrect it is sure to be lambasted, but I think we should use every Overt, (bombing), Covert, (Seal Team Six-type), and extra-legal weapon we can get our hands on to stop the main culprit - ISSIS?, and every other group affiliated with them.
This is not a "maybe or if" danger, it is a "when" danger, and we must realize this. With the money they have robbed from Iraq, and the clout of national power, the supposedly "Hollywood" movie scenario of a terrorist nuclear event on a U.S. or other Western nation city, or even on the whole of Israel, is very real.
GA (the Warmonger Curmudgeon)
...well, thats for sure!
How about giving the Kurds the North portion of Iraq where the oil is and give the Sunnis and the Shiites their own separate territories in Iraq. This is Joe Biden's idea. ISSA needs to be handed over to the Kurds. They are our allies...(?) (I heard this on Coat to Coast. I also heard the Illuminati are behind all this.)
GA, We hate War. We are sick and tired of it. NO ONE wants to go to war anymore do they? If they do... WHY? Oh my gosh I am overwhelmed by all that is going on. I just heard there are pimps in the child sex trade here in US. We just captured more than 200 of these evil mutant creature/so called pimps via Project Cross Country (or something.) augh! Jesus is the answer. Blind obedience or not. Oh wrong thread.
Pretty soon we will be forced to worship Mohammed, anyway.
Let's reinstitute the draft and see how many of the rich oil tycoons want their children and grandchildren fighting in Iraq. I bet there would be quite an eye opening if this were to take place. Instead of share the wealth let's turn it around to let's share the misery.
And I hate war too. But that tired old adage that "Freedom is not free..." is a truism that history has shown to be undeniable.
If some bad people have to die in order to save a lot of good people, I am OK with that.
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