Tuesday, June 17, 2014
The Disintegration of Iraq & Syria
Second Front Opens in the Sunni-Shia War -Jonathan Spyer
[T]he warring Arab Islamic sects are set to continue to battle one another, with ready foreign help, over the ruins of the countries once known as Iraq and Syria. This war is just beginning.
Any attempts to portray either of the warring sides as "anti-terrorist" or "pro-western" should be stubbornly resisted. Acceptance of such definitions is the entry hall to new policy failures and wasted lives. ISIL and the Quds Force differ in organizational structure, but are similarly anti-western — and similarly vile.
They should be left to bleed one another white.
[Middle East Forum]
What does the fall of Mosul mean? -Daniel Pipes, PhD
The post-WWI European-created Middle Eastern system based on territorial states has been transformed into a regional battlefield with national governments controlling only portions of their territories.
The folly of George W. Bush's campaign to remake the Middle East is now fully exposed as the U.S. failed to invest the time and effort necessary to solidify its gains prior to the 2011 withdrawal.
Washington should protect its interests in the Middle East, not attempt to fix the region.
In the short term, it should let its adversaries and enemies battle it out among themselves with neither side winning. Over the long run, America should endeavor to end the kind of political systems that produced despots like Hafez Assad and Saddam Hussein.
The large territorial states built on the ruins of the Ottoman Empire have run their course and should be replaced with smaller ethnic states that are more in tune with regional realities. An independent Kurdistan in northern Iraq would be far less oppressive and aggressive than an Iraqi or Syrian state. So would an Alawite state in northwest Syria, a Sunni state in Iraq's triangle, and a Druze state in southwest Syria.
Until that happens, America should channel its energies to remedying the humanitarian disaster occasioned by the Arab upheavals and to diminishing the flow of arms from Turkey, Russia, Iran, and China. This may help turn the upheavals' tragic short-term consequences to a catalyst for a long term regional transformation.
[Middle East Forum]