June 13, 2014 9:45 am -

902244-ab291fca-f237-11e3-8a62-ce6d4e05a259The surge is working!

Multiple insurgent groups are carving Iraq into pieces along ethno-religious lines thanks to the bloodthirsty incompetence of the guy the US left in charge a few years ago:

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, ruthlessly serving his narrow sectarian agenda, has made clear that Iraq’s Sunni Arab community has little stake in his Shi’a-dominated Iraq. His policies have made Sunni Arab push-back (in essence a revival of the post-2003 war insurgency) inevitable. Although a way out of this crisis is unclear, Maliki is not part of the solution.

The full post is worth a read for its chronology the moves Maliki made that pretty much assured war in Iraq.

Naturally, the blustering American right wing is doing their best to blame President Obama for the chaos, ignoring the rather ginormous role of his predecessor in triggering the mess, and spouting hooey without the least understanding of the complexities of the political and military situation in Iraq, let alone the outside players and inside factions who have an interest in the outcome of the sectarian war:

Though the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS [ISIL in some European sources]), a jihadi group that until recently was focused on fighting in Syria’s civil war, has been credited with leading the assault, reports from the ground make it clear that other disaffected Iraqi Sunnis – former Baathists, other Islamist militias – participated in the fight. In Mosul, which fell Tuesday, the Iraqi Army was widely disliked and seen as occupiers from the Shiite south

Persistent reports from Iraq suggest that members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard are already in Baghdad advising Iraqi government troops. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani indicated on state television today that his country is ready to get into the thick of the fight. “This is an extremist, terrorist group that is acting savagely,” Rouhani said of ISIS, adding that Iran would not “tolerate this violence and terror” in its neighbor. …

[The] Lebanese Shiite army Hezbollah [] is backed by Iran and has been fighting on the side of the Syrian government against ISIS and other rebels. Could it move into Iraq and help shore up Maliki? …

The United States spent roughly $2 trillion on the war in Iraq, and trained and equipped what US politicians and officers repeatedly said was a capable and professional army. That claim has been shown in recent days to have been, at best, overly optimistic. …

Gee, ya think?

Kurdish forces are now in control of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, which they’d like to annex into their autonomous territory, and are also providing aid and shelter to refugees fleeing Mosul, a short distance from the area of Kurdish control. Kurdish leaders has been locked into a dispute with Baghdad for years over control of oil revenues in northern Iraq, and will likely demand concessions from Maliki in return for helping him to regain Mosul.

Maliki has called for arming of civilians to fight ISIS – which probably means Shiite militias. The Iraqi parliament failed to reach a quorum for a planned vote on a state of emergency that would give Maliki almost unchecked power. Given that the government has routinely jailed and tortured political opponents with the powers it already has, alarm bells should be ringing. More power for Maliki could well mean more such abuses, and more fuel for the Sunni Arab uprising. Other Shiite politicians and militia leaders appear to be in the process of mobilizing followers.

In Baghdad’s sprawling Shiite Sadr City neighborhood, named after Muqtada al-Sadr‘s father, residents have been stockpiling weapons and getting organized. Sadr, a fiery cleric whose Mahdi Army repeatedly confronted the US and engaged in attrocities against Sunni Arab insurgents and civilians during the occupation of Iraq, called yesterday for the creation of what he called “peace units” to defend Muslim and Christian shrines in the country.

The fear is that should Shiite militias, either aligned with Sadr or other groups, enter the fighting, they would engage in the kind of sectarian reprisal killings that drove Iraq’s conflict in 2006 and 2007, when tens of thousands were killed. But with each ISIS success, this scenario looks more likely.

And with a strong possibility Baghdad could fall to ISIS and its allies very soon, the US is already pulling American contractors (read: yes, including mercenaries employed to protect American interests) out of the collapsing nation:

Three planeloads of Americans were evacuated from a major Iraqi air base in Sunni territory north of Baghdad, US officials said, and Germany has urged its citizens to immediately leave parts of Iraq, including Baghdad.

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

No responses to Iraq In Civil War And Careening Toward Even More Chaos

  1. fancypants June 13th, 2014 at 10:20 am

    In other words…The Iraq military never wanted to defend their country or establish a voting system that will work long term.
    Who are the real fools ? pic

  2. Jake June 13th, 2014 at 10:26 am

    I guess that’s what happens when you try to export American Exceptionalism.

    • granpa.usthai June 13th, 2014 at 3:04 pm

      well, we do manufacture some of the most exceptional non nuclear bombs in the world.

  3. fancypants June 13th, 2014 at 10:49 am

    WASHINGTON — The stunning collapse of Iraq’s army in a string of cities across the north reflects poor leadership, declining troop morale, broken equipment and a sharp decline in training since the last American advisers left the country in 2011, American military and intelligence officials said Thursday.

    Four of Iraq’s 14 army divisions virtually abandoned their posts, stripped off their uniforms and fled when confronted in cities such as Mosul and Tikrit by militant groups, principally fighters aligned with the radical Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, the officials said.

    The divisions that collapsed were said to be made up of Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish troops. Other units made up of mainly Shiite troops and stationed closer to Baghdad, the Iraqi capital, were believed to be more loyal to the government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, a Shiite, and would most likely put up greater resistance, according to the officials.Continue reading the main story Related Coverage

    Still, Lieut. Gen. John N. Bednarek, who heads the office of security cooperation at the United States Embassy in Baghdad, told a closed hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee that some of the Iraqi soldiers who guarded the Green Zone in the capital had come to work wearing civilian clothes under their military uniform, according to one senator. The implication was that the troops were prepared to strip to civilian attire and flee if they came under heavy attack

    Read more here..

    • granpa.usthai June 13th, 2014 at 2:52 pm

      -and why should the dictator of the Islamic Republic of Iraq order his faithful to stand and fight back when all he has to do is pick up the phone and order US Air Strikes that are sure to kill more than just the masses of ‘terrorist’ from the secret invisible nation of terrorist? Apparently the minority are as upset with the majority as they were when they placed Saddam into power. I just don’t think numerous US Airstrikes that will result in a whole lot of ‘war collateral’ (crispy fried men, women and children) will convince the opposition that we’re not picking sides. Maliki made his own bed of political enemies (against the protesting advice of the US) I don’t think it’s our duty to go make it up again for him.
      Even more innocent Iraqi blood dripping from the hands of Lady Liberty will do nothing but ensure that children of those who oppose Maliki’s despotism will merely learn how to fight back at a younger age.


      ‘operator, USA’

      ‘yes! -operator – this is the current despotic ruler of Iraq, I’d like to call in some more US Air strikes please’

      ‘certainly sir, and may we thank you for allowing the blood of the innocent to drip from our hands?’

      • fancypants June 14th, 2014 at 2:36 am

        unfortunately GU that’s all the cards Obama has left in his hand because our troops cant do 3 wars in 13 yrs especially when the Iraq soldiers are running away from any conflicts. No use giving them tanks or armored vehicles either. Im surprised the F-18s didn’t get sold to the terrorists yet ? or am I mis informed about that too….

  4. arc99 June 13th, 2014 at 11:39 am

    If you listen to the right wing noise machine, you will hear that this is all the fault of President Obama and the Congressional Democrats who voted for the war back in 2003.

    I find it truly stunning how the “party of personal responsibility” refuses to accept the consequences of the pointless war they so zealously defended a decade ago. Critics of the war were called traitors. Dixie Chicks records were destroyed. Side dishes in the Congressional cafeteria were renamed as a slap in the face to the “cowardly” French who had the good sense to keep their troops at home.

    Those weapons would be found any minute now we were told. The UN inspectors and Hans Blix were incompetent. Let loose the dogs of war, we will be welcomed as liberators, America will be safer, and the entire bill will be about $50billion. Hey right wingers whining about some people not not keeping their doctor, what about your f*cking $50billion war which turned into over a $1trillion?

    The cost was 35,000 dead and wounded military personnel, over a trillion dollars in direct costs to the tax payer, not counting the indirect costs of long term care for veterans, and a toll of 100,000 dead innocent Iraqis by the most conservative estimates.

    In some ways, what is happening in Iraq is a failure of President Obama. The President has failed to commit untold hundreds of billions of dollars and risk unknown numbers of American lives in a futile effort to remedy the catastrophic mistake made by the Bush administration. Any assistance to the current Iraqi government, as noted above, also means we are directly allying ourselves with Iran which is currently assisting the al-Maliki government.

    Sen. Barbara Boxer once said that her vote against going to war in Iraq was one of the proudest moments of her career. She and the other most liberal members of Congress who opposed the war got it right. The rest of you were dreadfully wrong. Chew on that for a while right wingers as the world watches events unfold in the nightmare you guys created.

    • Bunya June 13th, 2014 at 1:44 pm

      You forgot the only republican (at the time) who voted against the invasion of Iraq, Lincoln Chaffe. He took a lot of flak from the GOP for his decision. I applaud this man for his bravery.

      • arc99 June 13th, 2014 at 2:28 pm

        I agree. that is why I decided to include the full list of US Senators who made the correct decision. We should all remember each individual whose leadership would have prevented this catastrophe

        Former Sen. Chaffee’s name is the solitary “R” appearing on the list.

    • fahvel June 13th, 2014 at 2:41 pm

      thank you – they should certainly be remembered

    • granpa.usthai June 13th, 2014 at 3:26 pm

      my father always spoke very highly of Senator Daniel Inouye (D) Hawaii and the 442nd. Never could understand what all the RWNJ talk about him being a coward and a traitor was all about?
      Then again, didn’t see the need to try and go compare his service records with the likes of Limbaugh, Hannity, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the like.
      I just kind of figured, with so many proclaiming their ‘patriotism’
      well no need to waste time in looking up the obvious
      never did have cause not to trust or believe my father –
      guess it’s something folks should look into on their own

  5. mea_mark June 13th, 2014 at 11:59 am

    Iraq wanted us out, we left, this is their problem. After everything has collapsed maybe they will figure out that it is better to live in peace and cooperate with each other. Then again, maybe they will just want to fight each some more because they don’t know any better. Hopefully they will learn.

    • fancypants June 13th, 2014 at 12:09 pm

      too late now mm
      the cats out of the bag and we are far too short on military troops to pick up where we left off. I agree we were told to leave Iraq and if the rw cant understand all the above ? they should have grandstanded against invading Iraq in the first place.
      plenty of dunce caps to go around on this one

  6. Bunya June 13th, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    It’s a good thing we went in there when we did, causing chaos and killing thousands, and saved all that oil. Republican Jesus would be so proud!