Sunday, August 10, 2014

"U.S. Pursues a Military Middle Road in Iraq"

The above is a headline in a New York Times article today about the actions that the Obama administration is finally taking in Iraq  It may be just a headline writer's view, but it is not without merit.  The article does not mention the fact that Obama was completely aloof from this "road" until all of a sudden it appeared to his extremely politically astute consciousness that ISIS could create another and much more consequential Benghazi in Irbil, Kurdistan's capital where many U.S. diplomats reside within the consulate and elsewhere, and U.S. expatriates doing business there make Irbil their home.  Just prior to the November elections, a negative event there would almost guarantee a Republican controlled Senate.

In the summer of 2004 I spent time in Texas and some of the people that I met there had a saying, "If you are in the middle of the road you will get run over."  It was good advice to me, not always followed.  That certainly may apply here.  This comment is not meant to seek more American soldiers going to war in Iraq, not at all, but to suggest that Obama's late and naive response to what has happened needs to be serious and consequential for this renegade band of terrorists and people who dare to call themselves Muslims when they represent almost nothing of which that religion truly represents.  They are just violent misognist and nihilist bands of criminals with no morality whatsoever.  They want to rid the Arab world of any authoritarian regimes but have no plans other than immediate violence against ordinary citizenry.

Obama's actions now are certainly welcome, even if too late.  There seems to be little way to save the lives of many of the thousands of Yazidi people in the mountains near Sinjar, and there is realistically no way now to create a functional Iraqi army, something that Obama suggests as political cover.  He must know that it can't be done. The Iraqi soldiers just wanted the pay, food, and  benefits and had no commitment to the state, always depending on U.S. soldiers to do the job.  They felt no support whatsoever from the corrupt, brutal, and divisive al-Maliki government that the U.S. has still not officially denounced.

This is a really big and serious crisis, and one could think Obama still just wants it to go away.  Maybe and hopefully his bombs will help, but that will unlikely be the answer in the longer term, or even short term.  This is his problem that maybe he ignores because he views it as Bush legacy event.  Obama has been president for almost six years and there is no legacy. 


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