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Is The Iraqi ISIS Crisis A Fait Accompli? A Unified Iraq Serves Whom? Partition Is The Solution!

The Iraqi ISIS Crisis in A Nutshell:
TheĀ SyrianĀ basedĀ jihadistĀ group, theĀ Islāmic State in Iraq and al-Sham [the Levant] (“ISIS”)Ā has joined forces with disenfranchised IraqiĀ Sunnisā€”including formerĀ Saddam HusseinĀ BaathistĀ regime military leadersā€”and overrun a huge swath of Northwestern Iraq. The conquered territory includesĀ Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city.Ā The Iraqi Army stationed across the northwestern cities abandoned their posts and equipment, improvingĀ ISIS capability and jeopardizingĀ Baghdad.

 

isis controlled land iraq syria map thumb 176x180 Is The Iraqi ISIS Crisis A Fait Accompli? A Unified Iraq Serves Whom? Partition Is The Solution! Additional Complexities:

  • U.S. support of the IraqiĀ ShiaĀ Government ofĀ Nouri al-MalikiĀ aligns the U.S. with our declared enemies ofĀ IranĀ and Syria’sĀ Bashar Al-Assad, both Maliki alliesā€”an absurd incongruity.
  • Nouri al-MalikiĀ has rejected a U.S. demand to assemble an inclusive new Government that would ease Iraqi Sunni and Kurdish disenfranchisement. Absent an inclusive policy commitment from Iraq, should the U.S. Ā support opposing what appears to be aĀ fait accompli?
  • TheĀ KurdsĀ in northern Iraq have taken advantage of the ISIS (Sunni) Shia conflict and secured the long coveted city ofĀ KirkukĀ (after the Iraqi Army left.) This likely isĀ positive however as Turkey is now supporting the Kurds, a recent change, but clearly the lesser of two evils.
  • There are millions of refugees streaming into the Kurdish region to avoid the conflict.
  • JordanĀ has already absorbed the brunt of the Syrian refugees, and new refugees from western Iraq could overwhelm Jordan’s capacity to cope.
  • TheĀ Kurdish Regional GovernmentĀ (“KRG”) has operated as a sovereign nation for the last 20 years. The Kurds have security, a thriving economy, and most importantly; a 200k+ standing army, theĀ Peshmerga,Ā an experienced, well equipped, battle-tested, and formidable force. ISIS will surely avoid direct confrontation with the Peshmerga. The Kurds want a formalĀ Kurdistan,Ā and it’s time to support their independence.
  • Russia now benefits from an inconsistent U.S.Ā Middle EastĀ policy (or a lack of any thereof) that has completely unravelled, hobbling credibility in Ukraine.
  • The U.S. continues to support a unified Iraq against all reasonā€”as Sunnis and Kurds both want outā€”raising the greatest question, a unified Iraq serves whom?
Facts: Sunni-Shia Schism & Incongruent U.S. Foreign Policy
The originalĀ Sunni-Shia SchismĀ originated in 632, the year ofĀ Muhammad‘s death, and is primarily a disagreement over proper succession of theĀ IslāmicĀ state leader, theĀ Caliph.Ā Sunnis believe aĀ Democratic process should apply to succession, where Shia believe succession is moreĀ lineal (based on bloodlines and/or family ties.) Over time their differences expanded.Ā After 1,382 years and untold tens of thousands of deaths, Sunni and Shia are clearly not going to resolve their differencesā€”so lets accept that they will not and stop hoping that they will. Moreover, lets support a non-violent reorganization that eliminates internecine friction.

 

The U.S. has consistently been inconsistent in their positions towardsĀ Sunni-Shia relations,Ā instead choosing to cherry pick sides based on short-term geopolitical circumstances. This reactionary and tactical approach prohibits strategic support of a long-term solution. Despite the violence, what we are now witnessing in Iraq is actually a more natural organization of peoples, determined by those same peoplesā€”evidenced most strongly by the Iraqi Army’s unwillingness to defend northwestern Iraq (historically Sunni) lands.

 

A Few Examples of U.S.Ā InconsistencyĀ Towards Sunni-Shia Disputes:

  • Throughout the late 1980′s, the U.S. supportedĀ Osama Bin LadenĀ and his SunniĀ MujahideenĀ fighters during theĀ Soviet War in Afghanistan,Ā anything to oppose theĀ Soviet UnionĀ and the spread of Communism.
  • The U.S. also supported Saddam Hussein and his Sunni majority Baath Party in the 1980-88 Iranā€“Iraq War, apparently not concerned with Saddam’s use of gas (at the time) against Iran and the Kurds (who had sided with Iran.)
  • Ironically, the U.S. (via their proxy in the region, Israel) supplied Arms to Shia Iran courtesy of Ronald Reagan and hisĀ Iran-Contra affair.Ā Reagan wanted the proceeds to support the Nicaraguan Contras, in direct contradiction of U.S. Congress and theĀ Boland Amendment.
  • Despite their support of Sunni Saddam Hussein during theĀ Iranā€“Iraq War, the U.S. then reversed their support during theĀ First Gulf WarĀ after Saddam’s incursion intoĀ Kuwait, eventually propping up the current Shia dominated Iraqi administration ofĀ Nouri al-Maliki.
  • And lets not forget, the U.S. protected the SunniĀ SaudiĀ Government after Saddam rolled his tanks into Kuwait (within easy striking distance of the Saudis) triggeringĀ Osama Bin Laden‘sĀ outrage at 100k infidel U.S. soldiers on sacred Saudi soil.

IRAQ Solution: Ceasefire Followed by a U.N. Negotiated Reconfiguration
The Ā best solution for Iraq is to further refine the territorial reconfiguration, and form agreements, on the hard violent partition that has already taken place. There is no point opposing the inevitable, as the Kurds have already stated they are not leaving Kirkuk, and the Sunnis are not all leaving northwestern Iraq. So why not help the three major factions to work out a fair and natural partition into Sunni, Shia, and Kurdish sectors?

 

Supporting a unified Iraq perpetuates the fighting, as neither Sunnis nor Kurds want a unified Iraq. Ā We must aid the current Iraqi government not to wage war against the Sunni’s, but to reconfigure Iraq to a consensus structure with natural ethnic, religious, tribal, and political boundaries. Ā  A global call and offer of reconfiguration could be floated to ISIS (with Shia and Kurdish consent) to initially get a formal ceasefire. A key condition to the ceasefire would be to agree on an Iraqi Reconfiguration team that would immediately set up meetings to hear all interested parties and to document all positionsā€”including demands, grievances, and suggestions.

 

The Iraq Reconfiguration team should consist of all countries with direct borders with Iraq (Tier-1), including the following, as well as the U.N. and any other parties (Tier-2) that can show enough value and interest to the proceedings. Tier-2 countries would take part only at the request of a Tier-1 majority. The U.N. should administer the reconfiguration process throughout.

 

Iraq Reconfiguration Team GovernanceĀ 

Iraq Reconfiguration Team : Tier-1 (Direct Borders)

  • Syria
  • Turkey
  • Iraq
  • Kurdish Regional Government
  • Iran
  • Jordan
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Kuwait

Iraq Reconfiguration Team: Tier-2 (No Border, Sufficient Value)Ā Ā 

  • TBD

Of course, there are many cities and areas within Iraq that are extremely diverse, Baghdad being the best but not only example. Do all these people really hate each other? Probably not, but they are all justifiably frightened and susceptible to mob action and violence. Do all these people want to live together? Some yes, some no.

 

If a formal ceasefire is achieved, then those that want to move to another area would be free to do so under no threat of violence. Over time people could migrate to an area that is safest and best for their future, further reducing the friction. A partitioned Iraq would at least have hope for so many that have been through so much.

Please scroll ā‡“Ā down ā‡“Ā to share your thoughts in the comments below!

 

Sincerely,Ā  Admiral RudolphĀ FlĆ¼gelhorn

Admiral Rudolph FlĆ¼gelhorn

admiral@gravitysailor.com


Sunni and Shia Geographic Distribution

islam by country Is The Iraqi ISIS Crisis A Fait Accompli? A Unified Iraq Serves Whom? Partition Is The Solution! The largest Shia majority countries are Iran, Iraq, Azerbaijan, and Bahrain; all are coloured in dark red. Green are Sunni (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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