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Blowback. Bush's unprovoked invasion of Iraq, followed by 8 years of US occupation created a lot of resentment, especially among Sunnis who lost their long dominance of Iraq to the Shiite majority. For many Sunnis the US was seen as siding with Iraq's Shiites, as oppressors of the Sunni minority. A persistent Sunni insurgency sprang up to resist the US occupation, and was brutally suppressed by US forces largely subduing it temporarily, creating more simmering resentments.

Then after the US withdrew its forces in 2011 the Maliki government rejected becoming more inclusive for Sunnis, and stepped into the US role of occupier in Sunni areas of Iraq.  

Now it appears the the US is returning to its former role in Iraq, appearing to side with the Shiite dominated government and once again taking on the despised mantle of "Crusader" for Sunnis in Iraq. This may prove to be another blunder by the US judging by some recent reports in the media. ISIS tightly controls information coming out of their so called "Islamic State" (which I and many Muslims think insults Islam) but intelligence is still flowing out of ISIS controlled areas.    

ISIS has 100,000 fighters, growing fast - Iraqi govt adviser

“[The] Islamic State didn’t come from nowhere,” according to Hisham al-Hashimi, who advises Iraq’s intelligence services and analyzes raw information gathered on the ground. He has studied the group’s progression for years.

The organization “is an extension of groups that existed before – historically and ideologically,” al-Hashimi told Mashable.

And with the capture of Iraq’s Mosul – a Sunni stronghold – in June, the group gained access to thousands of new recruits, among them former officers from Saddam Hussein’s army, vehemently opposed to the current Shiite-majority government. Those who didn’t join up voluntarily were forced to do so, al-Hashimi says.

More worryingly still, its growth is being spurred along by American airstrikes.

Recruitment has never been easier, according to al-Hashimi. The organization’s leader, “Baghdadi carries now the flag of the jihadi against the crusader.”

Crusader meaning the United States of course.
A recent rise in Shiite militias has also contributed to sectarian fear and some joining up with the IS (formerly ISIS/ISIL) as a result.

“Most of those who joined — and I know them personally — are either former army officers or their sons,” said another expert and former intelligence officer, Salem Aljomaily.

A third specialist in the field, also an intelligence officer, Ibrahim al-Sumaidei, backs al-Hashimi’s assessment, giving a grim forecast.

“The Islamic State’s members have multiplied in a very dangerous way… Having plenty of arms and funding has made the Islamic State swallow the fighters of the other Sunni insurgent groups,” he said.

ISIS: Slick PR, great wealth and strategies to rival any corporate machine

Perhaps surprisingly, this extremism does not put everyone off.

“These beheadings on TV are a way of trying to get Western military intervention,” said Dr Jones. “You’d think that wouldn’t be what [ISIS] want, but when young Muslims see this treatment of their ‘brothers’ it creates a camaraderie, and they want to fight.

Here's how ISIS characterized the Kurds and Obama:

"the slaves to secularism and agents of the Freemasons appealed to their Crusader master, the Black of Washington, to save them from the assaults Knights of the Khilafah, who have become very close to capturing their capital (Ibril), and eradicating their malice from the land of Muslim Kurdistan.

So the dog of the Romans thrust his air force into a new dilemma; and entered into a military pact with the agents of yesterday, the Kurds, to commit the same stupidity that he has not awakened to, even until now!"

Could US airstrikes be counter-productive over the long run in the same way the invasion of Iraq was? I have great sympathy for the Kurds but what if our intervention on their behalf results in strengthening their enemy ISIS, and posing an even greater threat to Iraqi Kurds in the future? I should also mention Iran is now sending the Kurds military equipment.

There seems to be remarkably little debate or opposition to this latest US intervention in Iraq. I think its time to start considering the consequences of where we're headed in Iraq. Please share your thoughts on renewed US intervention in Iraq.


US Airstrikes against ISIS are

51%22 votes
27%12 votes
13%6 votes
6%3 votes

| 43 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (6+ / 0-)

    "The Democrats and the Republicans are equally corrupt where money is concerned. It's only in the amount where the Republicans excel." ~ Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 12:02:10 PM PDT

  •  Short-term good, long-term bad (3+ / 0-)

    We've got to stop making these stupid cowboy foreign policy mistakes, or this issue is going to get bigger than we can handle.

    "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

    by gjohnsit on Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 12:31:25 PM PDT

    •  No-brainer when thinking in the short term (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gjohnsit, Cartoon Peril

      "The Democrats and the Republicans are equally corrupt where money is concerned. It's only in the amount where the Republicans excel." ~ Will Rogers

      by Lefty Coaster on Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 12:34:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't think Obama makes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BvueDem, charliehall2

      "stupid cowboy foreign policy mistakes". He has access to vastly more information than we do. I trust him to do the right thing. So far he has kept a cool head and made good judgments overall.

      Voting is the means by which the public is distracted from the realities of power and its exercise.

      by Anne Elk on Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 01:37:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Libya is looking loverly this time of year.... n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

        by YucatanMan on Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 02:17:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It wouldn't be quite so lovely (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          had Gadaffi been able to massacre the large number of people in the eastern part of the country, as he and his sons loudly proclaimed they would do. The violence and instability in Libya came about not as a result of our limited bombing of Libyan forces heading to Benghazi to kill everyone, so much as the fact that after decades of nothing but a personal dictatorship there was no organizing principle to keep things together. Perhaps you would prefer Gadaffi and his sons to have remained in control, but most people - and that includes most Libyans - are happy that the regime was overthrown. I think perhaps that the best historical parallel might be the French Revolution. The overthrow of an essentially feudal monarchy was followed by chaos and terror as France tried to work out how to build and run a State. Of course, the rise of Napoleon was an unfortunate consequence, but would you really have preferred the French monarchy to have been maintained indefinitely even if you knew what would come after? So it's easy to make wisecracks about the Libyan aftermath, but the troubles Libyans are going through now don't indict our assistance in Gadaffi's overthrow.  

          Voting is the means by which the public is distracted from the realities of power and its exercise.

          by Anne Elk on Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 03:11:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This is from back in March. It's only become (0+ / 0-)

            worse since then:

            A striking feature of events in Libya in the past week is how little interest is being shown by leaders and countries which enthusiastically went to war in 2011 in the supposed interests of the Libyan people. President Obama has since spoken proudly of his role in preventing a "massacre" in Benghazi at that time.

            But when the militiamen, whose victory NATO had assured, opened fire on a demonstration against their presence in Tripoli in November last year, killing at least 42 protesters and firing at children with anti-aircraft machine guns, there was scarcely a squeak of protest from Washington, London or Paris.

             Militias hold 8,000 people in prisons, many of whom say they have been tortured. Some 40,000 people from the town of Tawergha south of Misrata were driven from their homes which have been destroyed.

            Read the whole article. Obama ignores the chaos into which Libya is descending. His good judgment got rid of Gaddafi, but had nothing in store to replace the evil dictator.

            Flinging bombs and walking away is never a good answer. In fact, it is almost always a terribly bad answer.

            How many have died in the chaos of Thunderdome-like murder taking place between warlords, fundamentalists, fanatical militias since Gaddafi's death?

            Sometimes, when there are no good options, the best choice is the one which does not involve US Killing People. Obama has yet to learn that lesson.

            "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

            by YucatanMan on Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 07:41:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  But the point is that the bombs and (0+ / 0-)

              the chaos are not directly connected. It was always going to happen. As soon as Gadaffi was gone, however he was, all this would have transpired. You are making the usual straight line between anything America does and anything bad that happens. We acted to stop a massacre, but the revolution to overthrow Gadaffi would have happened anyway, except another 100,000 people would have died to get there. Personally I think the President did what needed to be done.

              Voting is the means by which the public is distracted from the realities of power and its exercise.

              by Anne Elk on Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 09:00:47 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  In fact, this was actually quite doubtful, until (0+ / 0-)

                the USA and allies bombed Libya repeatedly and in widespread attacks throughout the country:

                the revolution to overthrow Gadaffi would have happened anyway
                There was a revolt, but it was losing badly.  The USA turned the tables.

                And walked away.

                When all the choices are bad, the one to chose is the one which does not involve US - we, the USA - killing people.  And creating the conditions under which people continue to die to this day.

                By your reasoning, George W Bush is not responsible for the chaos which enveloped Iraq after he deposed Saddam Hussein.  Clearly, Bush was responsible.

                As is Obama. Actions have consequences.

                "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

                by YucatanMan on Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 09:37:28 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Was this from three years ago? (0+ / 0-)

            Or last Sunday:

            Five weeks of bombardment by grad rockets have devastated parts of the capital, which is suffering cuts to power, water and petrol. Hospitals are running short of vital drugs and thousands are fleeing the city as fighting rages on

            The battle leaves Libya in a state of civil war, with fighting also raging between Islamist brigades and nationalist forces of a former general, Khalifa Hiftar, raging 400 miles away in the eastern city of Benghazi. There were reports that jets from Hiftar had struck and sunk a ship from Misrata trying to bring ammunition to Islamist brigades in the city.

            "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

            by YucatanMan on Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 07:47:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Drat those Freemasons! Where's Nicholas Cage (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BvueDem, Lefty Coaster

    when you need him?

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 12:59:19 PM PDT

  •  I think this operation is good. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BvueDem, amyzex, Anne Elk, charliehall2

    A genocidal group like ISIS has to be stopped.

    Also, the US imposed significant pressure on Maliki to leave, and there is some chance that a more inclusive government will be formed.

    •  And we need to buy the new government (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BvueDem, charliehall2

      some time. I think the Obama policy at this stage is merely to contain ISIS rather than smash it. That will keep pressure on the Iraqi government to be less sectarian. There is no guarantee that this is going to work out, but I don't see any real choice right now. ISIS is beyond the pale.

      Voting is the means by which the public is distracted from the realities of power and its exercise.

      by Anne Elk on Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 01:40:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Maliki was as bad as Saddam Hussein (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      just with less ability to do evil. I suspect that most Iraqis are glad to see him gone.

  •  No, it's wise of the US to bomb ISIS/ISIL/AQ. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    These are evil people, dedicated to a despicable ideology, committing atrocities across the region, terrorizing innocent people, and with genocidal instincts (against Yazidis, Alawis, Ismailis, and others).

    They may try to use the Crusades (among many other strategies) to paint the US -- hoping it will advance their cause -- but they won't succeed. We should crush them, and bring to the light those who fund them (especially wealthy Saudis, Qataris, and other Sunnis).

    The deeper challenge if one wants to end the bloodshed is to convince Saudi Arabia (and Qatar) to stop fanning the flames of Shia-Sunni conflict. In particular, they (and their citizens) must stop funding Sunni clerics who consider Shiites as blasphemers, non-Muslim, etc., and who spread this hateful message. (One of the reasons that Khomeini's Shia brethren in Qom are so anti-Israel is that they hope it solidifies their identity as Muslims and their role throughout the broader Ummah. Otherwise, they have no personal affinity with the largely-Sunni Palestinians.)

    The House of Saud is far weaker than it thinks. Its military is dependent on foreigners. It has no experience in modern warfare. It has fault lines running within in, and it will soon face a succession crisis. But its arrogance knows no limits. That combination is a recipe for disaster and subsequent implosion.

  •  I voted "Too soon to tell" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BvueDem, Lefty Coaster

    but you know you're dealing with dangerous people when 40% of Kossacks want to bomb them!

    The Stars and Bars and the red swastika banner are both offerings to the same barbaric god.

    by amyzex on Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 01:35:56 PM PDT

  •  More likely to make us into heroes (0+ / 0-)

    The Libyans I know consider Barack Obama a national hero for ridding them of Ghadafi -- even though Obama didn't really have much to do with it. ISIS is even worse, and this could really help the US image in that part of the world.

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