This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Back to Square One in Iraq

"Honourable Iraqis, your land has been completely liberated. The liberation dream has become a reality. We achieved victory in difficult circumstances and with God's help, the steadfastness of our people and the bravery of our heroic forces we prevailed."
"The flag of Iraq is flying high today over all Iraqi territory and at the farthest point on the border."
"I urge everyone to refrain from returning to the inflammatory and sectarian discourse that empowered gangs to occupy our cities and villages. Our people have paid a dear price. We must turn this page forever."
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi

"All Iraqi lands are liberated from terrorist Daesh gangs and our forces completely control the international Iraqi-Syrian border."
Lt.Gen. Abdul-Amir Rasheed Yar Allah, Iraqi military commander

"[The United States offers] sincere congratulations to the Iraqi people and to the brave Iraqi Security Forces, many of whom lost their lives heroically fighting [Daesh]."
Heather Nauert, U.S. State Department spokesperson
Iraq forces stage victory parade to mark defeat of Islamic State
Members of the Iraqi forces flash the victory gesture as they ride in the back of a pickup truck on a street in the southern city of Basra on Sunday amid victory celebrations after Baghdad declared victory in the war against the Islamic State (IS) group. | AFP-JIJI

Three years ago the courageous Iraqi military fled in panic as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant jihadists neared Mosul, their fiercely barbarian reputation for atrocities preceding them. In their desperate haste to leave the city of two and a half million people to fend for itself, they left behind a treasure trove of American-supplied military vehicles and arms caches for the jihadis to take advantage of. ISIL was also, in the absence of the Iraqi military, able to loot the Mosul main bank of a billion dollars to advance their agenda.

Mosul's Sunni population initially might have welcomed the Sunni terrorists feeling living under them could not be any worse and might improve on the oppression they lived with under the Shiite government. They were soon to learn otherwise, as ISIL turned to enforcing life in their version of Sharia upon the majority Sunnis in Mosul, once they had finished with the Shias, the Christians and the Yazidis and the city became accustomed to capital punishment meted out in public squares to any deemed to be delinquent in their ISIL-type Islamism.

Prime Minister Abadi's conciliatory words to Iraqis, his urging that sectarian differences not flare up again is no doubt aimed at Iraqi Sunnis and at Kurds; with his now-secure alliance with Iran and the Iran-backed Shiite militias and the re-empowerment of Syria's regime with its Hezbollah back-up, there is obviously no need of remediation of the ruling Shiites in their persecution of the Sunnis. A situation which led to the former Saddam Hussein-era military commanders becoming ferocious ISIL leaders.

The Prime Minister's speech was notable for the deliberate absence of any mention of the Peshmerga. It would be strange, that omission, since it was the Kurdish Peshmerga whose fighting spirit and courage protected Iraq's minority populations, and who were in the forefront of the fighting, meeting ISIL in battle that the Iraqi forces shrank from, but not viewed through the lens of denial of sovereignty. Without the U.S. air power nothing would have been accomplished in ridding Iraq of the terrorists. And without the Peshmerga forces the United States would have been absent a fighting ally they could depend upon.

The Kurds had their reward when they assumed that after all their sacrifices and their proven record in establishing an egalitarian and welcoming society based on universal human values along with their heritage traditions and their sheer ethnic numbers augmented by their aspirations to have their ancestral homeland finally recognized for the sovereign nation it is, the Iraqi Prime Minister sent in those brave Iraqi troops backed by Shiite militias to quell the hopes raised high after a referendum that saw the vast majority of Kurds voting for independence.

Baghdad's central government is determined, like that of Erdogan's Turkey, al-Assad's Syria and the Ayatollahs' Iran to deny the 40-million Kurds in their collective territory the recognition they deserve.
To that end, Abadi snubbed the Kurds entirely, praising in his speech the Iranian trained and backed Popular Mobilization Forces loyal to Iran, prepared at the drop of a hat to persecute Iraqi Sunnis, and not averse to threatening Kurds, while withholding any mention whatever of the peshmerga's role in defeating ISIL, a backhand slap at the Kurdistan Regional Government.

NabihVerified account @nabihbulos
#Kurd-ish troops cheer when they see an explosion among the #Iraq-i ranks. A sad day for what's left of the country's unity.
In his speech the Iraqi Prime Minister deftly laid out another position which no doubt has been the cause of much discussion in the Shiite cabinet, that the state should have a 'legitimate' monopoly on arms: "Weapons should only be in the state’s hands. The rule of law and respect for it are the way to build the state and achieve justice, equality, and stability". That would have great resonance with Iraqi Kurds in their recall of the devastation that Saddam Hussein carried out with his deadly chemical attacks on Kurdish towns and villages.

"The joy of victory is complete with Iraq’s unity after it was on the verge of division. The unity of Iraq and its people is the most important and greatest accomplishment", he waxed self-congratulatorily, the man responsible in large degree for the rise of the terrorist opposition of Sunni Iraqis left out of any positions of equality in the sectarian atmosphere of traditional suspicion and hatred between Iraqis.

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