Down The Rabbit Hole Again
by Deacon Blues
I can't believe I'm actually writing this, but do we need to go back into Iraq? Get beyond the outrage over what Dick Cheney and George W. Bush did to this country with their criminal and irresponsible decision to topple a country for plunder. And get over the issue of whether or not Barack Obama fixated too much on his campaign promise to keep behind a small residual force to protect the Sunnis from Prime Minister al-Maliki. Does the United States now have a national security need to intervene and stop the dissolution of Iraq?
Consider a few things. Yes, the ISIS seem to be suddenly well-equipped and financed, as if Saudi Arabia created a new monster just like they bankrolled Osama Bin Laden back in the day. But do we want a well-financed terrorist group seeking to carve a caliphate across the region, now with a potential $425 million nest egg, to gain a foothold, let alone take Baghdad?
Of course we don't want to send boots back into Iraq, but are there other options to limited drone strikes or the insertion of American air force that should be considered? ISIS now has the money, and the animosity amongst the Sunni population towards the Shiite government in Baghdad to seriously threaten Iraq, and at the very least is already sounding ready to instigate an all-out war with the Shiites in the south, by openly threatening to destroy Shiite shrines.
Sure, some will say "it's not our responsibility", or "let Iran and the Shiites deal with it". Others will say "as long as the Kurds get what they want and can take care of themselves, let the Sunnis and Shiites have the final bloodbath." But there are shared interests here that can be served without us getting on the ground ourselves. Specifically, a Sunni caliphate terrorist base with access to oil and unending cash is the last thing that we, Syria, Turkey, Jordan, Iran, the Kurds, Israel, and the Russians would want (f*ck the Saudis). Put aside any knee-jerk rejection of working together here and ask yourself if there isn't some way these parties can cobble together a regional response that serves multiple interests.