Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Kerry's dangerously naive request to Iraq's quasi autonomous Kurdish region

Secretary of State John Kerry made a visit to Iraq's Kurdistan leader to ask them to join in the battle against ISIS, presumably with all military strategy still under the overall control of Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki.  By the way, the Kurds detest Maliki, who has an ongoing habit of threatening them and instigating, so far, minor border assaults.  Certainly, representing the Obama administration, it was a completely selfish attempted act of face saving by the U.S.

As an aside the Kurds are in the majority moderate Sunni's that were not followers of Saddam, and their age old ethnic background is Indo-European, not Arab.  

Without going through lots of history, Kurdistan declared itself quasi autonomous from the Iraq central government after the first Gulf War, the war that to a limited extent was intelligently managed by the first President Bush to kick Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait after he had brashly decided to take over that country.  With enough problems on his hands dealing with massacring huge numbers of Shiites in southern Iraq that went unprotected after the Americans encouraged their common alliance and then left, Hussein let the Kurdish independent stance stand for some time, and finally turned his attention to them, but only after they had the time to organize a reasonably effective government and build up a small but competent military.

Hussein then began to attack the Kurds with traditional military assaults, successful in causing tumult but not successful enough to take over the region.  Then he began his unbelievably heinous poison gas assaults on towns in the region, before world opinion became aware enough of the situation to finally, after an inexcusable delay, begin to put pressure on Hussein to stop the type of carnage that had not been seen since WWI.  The shock of seeing blond haired children, a minority still retaining Indo-European physical characteristics, deadly gassed probably was a compelling and important  reason for the West to act.

Since then, Iraqi Kurdistan has recovered and managed its own affairs for the most part, doing its best to keep its distance from any substantial involvement with Baghdad and limit their cooperation to efforts to reinvigorate the overall country's oil industry. 

Now the Obama administration represented by Kerry has the audacity to ask for the Kurds to join in with the under-trained and mostly uncommitted Iraqi army, combined with the completely untrained but highly committed but disorganized Shiite militias, to participate in this calamitous turn of events led by ISIS, and fomented in great measure by the autocratic, mean, and exclusionary behavior of Maliki that has been enabled by the Obama administration.

It can be certain that Kerry came bearing gifts, with the promise of money and military treasure.  One can also be assured that he suggested that the U.S. would guarantee Kurdistan's continued autonomy.  From Kurdistan's point of view, it can almost be certain that these words were quietly met with insulted astonishment and had no integrity whatsoever.  If fact, most thoughtful observers of this conflict on all sides would question "integrity" as a word that could apply to anything Kerry might have said.

What an embarrassing and humiliating display of foreign policy by the Obama administration.

Why this large amount of white space is here is unknown to me.  


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