• Thu
  • Oct 23, 2014
  • Updated: 10:53am
CommentInsight & Opinion

The US can help, but it will take a united Iraq to defeat terror

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 August, 2014, 4:19am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 August, 2014, 8:40am

The barbarism of the extremist Sunni Muslim force rampaging across Iraq and Syria that calls itself the Islamic State knows no bounds. Only two choices are given to those its fighters encounter: Conversion or death. Ethnic and religious groups are targeted and hunted down for their beliefs, tolerance and mercy being alien concepts in the push for a caliphate governed by a harsh interpretation of sharia law. US President Barack Obama had every justification to order American air attacks and humanitarian food drops in the Kurdish north to protect Yazidis and other minorities from genocide.

Hundreds of Yazidis had already been killed by the Islamic State. As their villages west and north of the jihadists' stronghold of Mosul fell, they scattered to the Sinjar mountains bordering Syria, where tens of thousands have since been trapped with scant shelter and no food or water. It is a humanitarian calamity that fighters from Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region and the nation's demoralised military were unable to cope with. The US intervention, which also extends to arming Kurdish fighters, is timely and necessary.

Obama's action is no repeat of the mistake of the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 against Saddam Hussein. Nor is it similar to the Nato air strikes over Libya three years ago that helped militants remove Muammar Gaddafi. Iraq's government, its soldiers no match for the battle-hardened and weapons-rich Islamic State fighters, called on the US to honour an agreement for protection should the need arise. Obama has complied, but on humanitarian, not political, grounds.

Politics is in large part the reason the Islamic State has been able to so quickly gain ground. The ethnic, religious and tribal complexities of Iraq require a deft political hand. Shiite Muslim Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's freezing out of the Sunni minority with biased policies made it easy for the militants to court and recruit the disaffected. He has been sidelined by President Fouad Massoum, who has appointed the deputy speaker of parliament, Haider al-Abadi, to form a new and inclusive government. Maliki has vowed to stay in office, but his incompetence has caused the instability.

The US has intervened for good reason, but it has to remain focused. There is no justification for straying into politics, putting American soldiers on the ground or widening involvement beyond Iraq. But Iraqi leaders have an even more important role - to build a nation that treats all people equally.


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the scmp really has to stop acting like the ****piece of nsa propaganda. every nation touch in recent years by those earsling have been left wreaked.
the fact that they are intervening now is because the isis is at the gates of erbil, which also happens to be major oil center. look it up.
get your head out of nsa's rare end and do some actual research for once in your life.
How About
Where is the almighty UN representing most of 190+ countries on Earth when you truly need them? Why is America getting away with calling black white, bombing-n-kiling "humanitarian" in the 21C?
The reasons behind Syria ISIS and the Ukranian civil war is explained here www.counterpunch.org/2014/08/12/my-moneys-on-putin/, they are Thucydidean Traps, to ensure no one shall be stronger than the evil empire.
UN, or its replacement's first mandates should now urgently order:
1) The withdrawal of all US military 'advisors', halt all bombings and send in a peacekeeping UN force to ISIS enclave at Northern Iraq.
2) The withdraw of all financial and military support to the Ukrainian junta, and stop baiting Russia into another war.
3) Indict all Israel zionists administrations for trials at the ICC ICJ as the Nazis were in the Nuremburg trial.
4) Appoint an observer-nations to the G7 on energy related affairs.
5) Convene and reboot Bretton Woods.
6) Reveal and publicize all new sources of energy in the world, make it known to all, "globalize" future energy explorations, rather than to leave them to the Big Oils and MICC to topple governments for the sake of their own future gains.
May peace then prevail on Earth.
I Gandhi
The US in 2003 illegally invaded Iraq and overthrew the Saddam regime under the false pretext of WMD promising the Iraqi people "Peace, Freedom and Security". As in every other place the US is involved with, whether supporting oppressive regimes in South America or Asia, it is nothing more than an empty lie. Today's Iraq is a lot worse than Saddam's Iraq. The "Peace, Freedom and Security" promised to the Iraqi people is nothing more than a fantasy.
It is ironic that the US and her allies the Saudis, Qatar etc. supports the extremist Sunni Muslim forces in Syria giving them material and moral support, ISIS being one of them. In Iraq, since the ISIS invasion and establishment of the Islamic State, the same extremist Sunni Muslim forces is now being bombed by the US. US exceptionalism at it's best.


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