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The New Mess in Mesopotamia

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Aurion, Jun 15, 2014.

  1. Aurion

    Aurion Headmaster

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  2. TRH

    TRH Seventh Year

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    Just based on the CNN report, Maliki needs to hang for treason. Seriously, he couldn't be helping the insurgents more if he tried.
     
  3. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I see partition as the endgame. The sectarian political divides are so strong now that it seems one of the only possibilities, with the options that are on the table now. ISIS is successful in Iraq because Sunnis are tired of being under the thumb of Maliki and the Shi'a majority. The central government is responding by bringing the Shi'ite militias into the bed with the Iraqi Army, who abandoned their posts in the northern and western parts of the country because the populace supports ISIS. Iran is throwing its support behind Baghdad (more importantly, Basra) and sending Revolutionary Guard advisers to talk with their former nemeses. Kurdistan is staying the fuck out of it. And we're not going to go back full-force, which is what it would take.

    We gave them their chance, and they blew it.
     
  4. Aurion

    Aurion Headmaster

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    The Kurds aren't precisely staying out of it; they've already moved troops into Kirkuk. Which is interesting for all sorts of reasons.

    It'll definitely be interesting to see how much patience the Sunni tribal contingents and the MCIR ex-Baathists have for ISIS/ISIL/whatever the hell you want to call them grandstanding.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2014
  5. Genghiz Khan

    Genghiz Khan Auror

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    It is supposed to be the capital city of Kurdistan.

    The peshmerga is going to be worth watching out for. It's probably the once force in the region which can do something about this crisis. However, from what I understand, Kurdistan itself is safe from the militants. ISIS mostly has a problem with Nouri al-Maliki. So for the Kurds to really get involved in this, they would need some huge payoff. 'Cause fighting in Baghdad for the Shias isn't going to be without losses. Maybe they can negotiate for Kirkuk being legally integrated into the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in exchange for their help with ISIS?
     
  6. Aurion

    Aurion Headmaster

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    Yes, that is one of the things I was alluding to.

    At the very least, the KRG apparently has assurances from the MCIR that the KRG's boundaries will be respected.

    It'd have to be a Godfather offer from Baghdad, and I'm not sure they have the ammo for one. Offering to reverse Saddam's Arabization policy by itself and handing the province over to the KRG won't be enough, considering that was kind of already supposed to be happening (there was supposed to be a return of expelled Kurds, the return of Arab settlers to the south, and a referendum regarding joining the KRG) and Maliki's government failed to deliver.

    Also, there's really no reason to expect that Maliki or whatever successor government exists will do any better than this. Not a lot of reasons for the Kurds to do anything other than what they're doing now...at least until they feel confident enough to go through with independence.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2014
  7. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Which is why they're staying on the sidelines of this fight between ISIS and Maliki. They're waiting for the point of maximum weakness in Maliki's position. They want ISIS on their border as much as anyone does...i.e. not at all. They won't back that horse.
     
  8. Genghiz Khan

    Genghiz Khan Auror

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    So well, this just in, the bad guys (ISIS) have $2 billion in cash. The richest terrorists in the world being opposed by the most pussy-whipped army in the region in a place just waiting to explode at the drop of a grenade. Lovely.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/15/iraq-isis-arrest-jihadists-wealth-power

    Isn't the US supposed to intervene when something of this sort happens? Why isn't Lindsay Graham whipping Obama into shape yet?
     
  9. Aekiel

    Aekiel Angle of Mispeling Prestige DLP Supporter

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    If Obama sent the troops back in he'd face riots on the streets back home. It'd be the Vietnam War all over again. That's why the US hasn't intervened.

    As it is it looks like Iraq is going to either split apart into countries based along religious lines or end up under the control of ISIS (or another organisation like it).
     
  10. Genghiz Khan

    Genghiz Khan Auror

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    Well, the problem is that this is a disaster almost as bad as 9/11, if not worse. Granted, it's not on American soil. Granted, it hasn't caused American fatalities yet. But still, ignoring this is akin to the famous "let them eat cakes" by Marie Antoinette. If you allow ISIS to become a state, you allow a lot of (not half-)trained Jihadis take up posts in a government and get official passports to go where they wished. ISIS is not exactly the Taliban, these guys are so radical that Al-Qaeda disavowed being with them. They're so radical that they're causing Iran to try to ally with the States (Iran's other motivations to do so are a completely different matter, let's not bring them up). They're so radical that the greatest Shia Cleric alive has asked Shia Muslims around the world to help them if the militants take Karbalah and Najaf. This is not a problem like Iran, which is self-contained, in a way. This is a problem the likes of which Saddam Hussein was en route to becoming.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2014
  11. Sechrima

    Sechrima Disappeared

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    Wut? I agree with your post in general, but I don't see how Saddam's fairly well-contained regime presented much of a threat. He was a typical twentieth century dictator, not a fanatical Islamist. Back in Saddam's day, Iran was a far more revolutionary nation than Iraq.
     
  12. Genghiz Khan

    Genghiz Khan Auror

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    He was going there. He was getting belligerent. Dubya was there for more than oil, you know.

    Note: I am probably damn drunk.

    Note 2: Scratch the probably.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2014
  13. True Story

    True Story Third Year

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    GWB and his team were so dumb. So, so, so, so dumb. So incredibly dumb. Frankly I'd respect them more if they had lied to go into Iraq. The alternative being: they were tricked by a dude that had a grudge against Saddam. So dumb.

    Regime change/war isn't some one dimensional thing - you can't predict how it's going to end up playing out years later. So dumb.
     
  14. Erandil

    Erandil Headmaster

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    I believe you guys overestimate the staying power of ISIS. They have no real chance of taking Baghdad, considering that it has a mostly Shia population, but have become so much a nuisance that even Iran and the US are talking about cooperation.
    ISIS is still a very small movement, most of their support from the Baath/Sunni front will change sides if offered the right incentive.

    And US staying back may be the smartest idea that the US had in relation to the Iraq in the last twenty years. Anything else would just fuel the propaganda and recruiting machine of any semi-competent terrorist organisation. Suddenly they would not only fight against another Muslim "sect" and their government, no they would fight against a government allied with the devil himself, a government that is clearly a puppet of the heathen, foreign, Koran burning United States of America. That would end really well.
     
  15. Aurion

    Aurion Headmaster

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    You mean the incentives that Maliki can't offer them without losing his job, that they'd have no reason to believe in to begin with given how the Iraqi government has utterly failed the Sunni Arab parts of the country for the last several years?

    It's a demon entirely of the the Maliki government's creation.
     
  16. Genghiz Khan

    Genghiz Khan Auror

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    @Sechrima - Well, Saddam was a pretty belligerent guy. The US had gone to war with him multiple times in the past, and he had also affected a ceasefire against Iran which, mind you, was unilateral. Saddam was becoming more and more of a liability than anything else because he had become a kind of destabilising force in the region. The region is already shaky enough without a guy like Saddam being thrown into the mix. From what I remember, invading Iraq had come up in the Clinton Administration and shot down. So in essence, that is what I want to say about an ISIS state in the region. It would be an extreme destabilising force in a different way than Saddam was, but with arguably similar results. What makes it worse is that unlike Saddam, who was more of a dictator than anything else, this is a militant outfit which hates Western Liberalism with every fibre of its being.

    @True Story - I'm posting a quote by Bill Clinton I found somewhere: β€œThe community of nations may see more and more of the very kind of threat Iraq poses now: a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction, ready to use them or provide them to terrorists. ... If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow.” He said this sometime during the 1998 bombing of Iraqi military facilities. Dubya acted on it. It had been a major foreign policy concern for the US since Kuwait in 1990.

    @Erandil - I agree with Aurion here. While ISIS does have a good chance of losing support because of their brutality (there are signs it's already beginning to happen) I'm not sure you can leave something of this sort to chance. They've already managed to get a lot of fighters under their aegis and the al-Maliki government is, above all, partisan and against Sunnis. In addition, if ISIS manages to succeed, which seems more probable than not, then it is a major blow against the US and a huge win for Iran.
     
  17. Lion

    Lion Denarii Host DLP Supporter

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    Well Obama is sending 275 soldiers into Iraq, but they're only there to protect the U.S. Embassy.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2014
  18. Darth Disaster

    Darth Disaster The Waking Sith Prestige DLP Supporter

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    And that's exactly how it should stay.

    If he actually deploys a significant numbers of troops to Iraq without much, much greater reasoning to do so besides 'Yet Another Religious Massacre in The Middle East', well, that will be the final straw as far as I'm concerned.

    At this point I honestly don't care. If the people were sick and tired enough of the bullshit that all these religious groups pull, they'd do something about it.

    But they don't. They'd rather be good little sheep.

    It will, however, be interesting to track the international political reaction to this as the story develops.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2014
  19. Joe's Nemesis

    Joe's Nemesis High Score: 2,058 Prestige

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    It's a damned if you do, and damned if you don't scenario. Frankly, despite the whining, the US should have left troops in there for quite some time. You can't establish a democracy overnight, or even over single decade in a region that has very little historical understanding of such things, and an even a lesser grasp of the ideals behind democracy. Can it be done? Yes. See Japan, post WWII. But also note 1. complete and utter surrender, 2. a strong unity of religion/culture, and 3. sixty plus years later, the US still has military there.

    Whether we should establish a democracy or not aside, IF it is to be done, there has to be a multi-decade commitment. And that just isn't going to happen anymore.
     
  20. Zennith

    Zennith Pebble Wrestler Prestige

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    Yeah, you clearly just don't understand the circumstance. Obama COULDN'T leave troops, under a treaty that your favorite Bush signed. Anyone suggesting US military action here is a dumbfuck. Sorry I can't be any less crass, but really, if you're advocating for another fight you deserve it.