Friday, June 13, 2014

Why Iraq is Blowing Up -- Bush and Maliki set up failure. There is no putting Humpty Dumpty Iraq back together

Over 55,000 men in the Iraqi army woke up in Mosul in northern Iraq a few days ago to discover that their generals had left them alone in the night, and had fled. Without their leaders, the troops decided sticking around in Sunni land wasn't worth it, discarded their uniforms and abandoned American tanks and equipment and started walking back to Baghdad.

Why did this happen?

Three reasons. The biggest reason is because Iraq's Prime Minister Mr. Al Maliki is a Shiite (aka Shia) who has frozen out the Sunni's (the religion of ISIS and Al Qaida) and Kurds from sharing power in government, despite demands by President Obama (and Bush before him) to include them in his government.

In short, Maliki is the main problem that is causing Iraq to unravel. The chickens are also coming home to roost from a bad decision made by an American President in 2002.

Joe Biden once caught hell for suggesting Iraq should be split into three parts: one for the Kurds in the north, one for the Sunnis and a final piece for the Shia like Maliki (who is supported by Iran, who is sending 500 troops to "help"). Biden made a good point since Iraq is an historical accident. It was formed at  the end of WWII when the British drew boundaries for Iraq (and other countries) with the purpose of making it unstable so it had to be run by a "strong man" like Saddam. It's that old 'divide-and-conquer' mentality the British used as they colonized countries.

The second problem is Syria. It's the unstable next door neighbor that Congress didn't want to get involved in when moderates rebeled against "President" Assad. Syria, another country intentionally designed by the British to be unstable, took over from Iraq as a big training ground for ISIS -- a group so radical even Al Qaida kicked them out!

Now, ISIS controls large sections of TWO countries, western Iraq and northern Syria as shown on this map:

Bottom line: We are in this mess because of three things:

(1) Bush invaded Iraq when it was not involved in 9/11, (
2) Bush's handpicked Iraqi leader Mr. Maliki (a Shia like the majority religion in Iran) has refused to power share with the Sunni's, and
(3) Congress, which refused to allow the President to help the Syrian moderates fighting Assad as he bombed his own citizens into dust. That failure allowed the radicals like ISIS to grow in influence.

At this point, we have few choices. Americans will not support sending American troops back into Iraq. Even if they did it would not solve the problem of Maliki acting like a dictator and his generals being so weak and corrupt that they abandoned American equipment to ISIS.

Yes, we can launch air strikes, but without a political settlement among Iraqis that won't fix it either. Air wars don't win land. Troops do.

Possibly the best option will be to fall back on Joe Biden's comments of long ago - and allow  Iraq to be divided into three parts - one for each ethnic group. That could be avoided if Iraq had cut a power sharing agreement, but it is probably too little too late for that to happen. It is the beginning of the end of Iraq.

So it all gets back to a bad decision in 2002 by a President to attack Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 and had no weapons of mass destruction.  That decision, made on phony evidence, has cost us trillions in treasure and blood --over 4400 American lives lost along with countless Iraqis.

As you can see from the headlines, Iraq is an ongoing nightmare created by a Congress and former President that is haunting this one. No one listened to my advice that war with Iraq was wrong and not going to go well, and no one listened to Joe Biden.

Maliki hasn't listened to anyone. We can't bail him out if he continues freezing out power sharing. He needs to act fast because he has already lost the country to the ISIS.

There is no putting Humpty Dumpty Iraq back together again.

To see what I saw in Syria and my experiences with Saddam and Iraq, check out "Better Times Ahead April Fool"

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