The United States again engaged in military operations in Iraq as reports of the suffering of religious minorities and Shia Muslims came out of the fractured nation. This time the U.S. targets were the black flag flying “terrorists” known as ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, which the Obama administration said had cornered innocents on a mountain in Northern Iraq.
The civilians had fled other areas, like the major city of Mosul, as ISIS made military gains and took territory–often as the U.S.-trained Iraqi army turned tail and ran. ISIS is said to be composed of Islamic militants and military men who once served Saddam Hussein, the executed Iraqi ruler who went from U.S. partner to pariah.
The administration said air strikes were initiated against ISIS Aug. 8 and the United States would back Iraqi and Iraqi Kurdish forces trying to halt the continued spread of ISIS, a group the U.S. declared was worse than Al-Qaeda at the height of the War on Terror.
But ISIS would not be around if not for the support of U.S. allies, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar. ISIS was a buffer to stunt Iranian influence in the region, a tool to help topple Iran’s ally Bashar Assad in Syria and a force to widen Sunni-Shia Muslim friction and conflict in the region, analysts note.
ISIS fought against Mr. Assad, who was condemned by America and her allies, has taken territory in Syria and Iraq and declared the establishment of a modern caliphate.
Again America has backed one group to checkmate another only to see her “ally” become an enemy. It happened with the Taliban in Afghanistan and Osama bin Laden and the mujahedeen warriors who fought the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. They were praised as freedom fighters by President Ronald Reagan. These fighters were later labeled enemy number one by America and former hero bin Laden was recast as the devil.
Military action in Iraq has deepened divides and animosity, eliminating hope Iraq could find peace. Here is more proof of how ludicrous the neo-con vision of a remade Middle East was under President George W. Bush. If the mission was to keep instability and fighting alive in Iraq, the mission has indeed been accomplished.
The country’s disintegration has also been blamed on Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, a Shia Muslim. He has been criticized for running Iraq as a Shia state, alienating and even targeting the majority Sunni population. ISIS has support among some Sunnis who suffered under the rule of America’s man in Iraq.
“It was the intervention of the United States in Iraq and the U.S. and its partners in Syria, which laid the groundwork for the ISIS organization to develop. In 2010-2011, remember they said they carried out six actions in the whole year,” anti-war activist Brian Becker told RT.com.
“They were practically defunct until the United States and its allies supported the armed opposition inside Syria and gave an opportunity to this organization to develop and come back into Iraq,” he said.
“This gut-wrenching situation in Iraq does not justify the U.S. escalation of the civil war, entailing certain if unknown disastrous unintended consequences, as we’ve seen before in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and elsewhere,” said Kevin Martin of Peace Action.
“Last month, the House of Representatives passed H. Con. Res. 105 stating clearly there is no legal authority for U.S. military involvement in Iraq without express Congressional approval. While a similar measure has not yet passed the Senate, polls still show Americans opposing a new war in Iraq,” Peace Action added.
“We applauded President Obama for doing what he said on his first presidential campaign trail, bringing the troops home from Iraq. It’s time to remember how he got elected to the White House; his opposition to the Iraq War. Americans want the Iraq War finished, not started anew,” said Paul Kawika Martin, political and policy director of Peace Action.
Peace Action noted, “the U.S. will continue to pay the costs of the war with debt and honoring our commitments to our veterans bringing the total cost of the Iraq War to over $3 trillion. Dropping humanitarian aid is a wise investment in humanity. But we cannot afford the likely bad consequences of bombing Iraq again,” concluded Mr. Kawika Martin.
Despite the loss of thousands of lives, the spending of trillions of dollars and over 20 years of on again-off again war in Iraq, little has been accomplished and peace has not come.
“Obama says the United States has fired missiles and dropped food in Iraq– enough food to feed 8,000, enough missiles to kill an unknown number (presumably 7,500 or fewer keeps this a ‘humanitarian’ effort). The White House told reporters on a phone call following the President’s Thursday night speech that it is expediting weapons to Iraq, producing Hellfire missiles and ammunition around the clock, and shipping those off to a nation where Obama swears there is no military solution and only reconciliation can help. Hellfire missiles are famous for helping people reconcile,” wrote David Swanson, a longtime opponent to war in Iraq Aug. 8.
“Obama went straight into laying out his excuses for this latest war, before speaking against war and in favor of everything he invests no energy in. First, the illegitimate government of Iraq asked him to do it. Second, ISIS is to blame for the hell that the United States created in Iraq. Third, there are still lots of places in the world that Obama has not yet bombed. Oh, and this is not really a war but just protection of U.S. personnel, combined with a rescue mission for victims of a possible massacre on a scale we all need to try to understand.
“While the United States locks Honduran refugee children in cages, it proposes to bomb Iraq for refugees. While Gaza starves and Detroit lacks water, Obama bombs Iraq to stop people from starving. While the U.S. ships weapons to Israel to commit genocide, and to Syria for allies of ISIS, it is rushing more weapons into Iraq to supposedly prevent genocide on a mountaintop–also to add to the weapons supplies already looted by ISIS,” said Mr. Swanson in a piece published on counterpunch.org.
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has warned against warmongering in Iraq from the outset of the conflict, going all the way back to the 1990s. His guidance has been consistent and his warnings prescient. American presidents, however, have ignored these warnings and the country has suffered loss and death has been pervasive in Iraq. But the results are predictable when divine guidance is ignored and a nation’s arrogance outweighs principles of justice.