Chaos in post-Saddam Iraq
After the toppling of Saddam, the power was offered constitutionally to the Shi’ites in Iraq as a reward for services rendered but, on the other hand, the Americans indirectly punished the Sunnis for their support for the Iraqi dictator. Realizing suddenly that they are a minority, the latter displayed openly their enmity to the Americans and resisted their master plan for dismembering Iraq along sectarian lines.
The insurgency of the Sunnis started in 2003 and is still going on today. It has climaxed with the Fallujah resistance to American troops in 2004, which was quelled in blood. The resistance continued with Abu Musab Zarqawi, the emir of al-Qaeda that gave the Americans hard time before he was eliminated by an American drone strike.
Chaos in Iraq is to stay for many decades to come. It is in the North which is under the control of the Kurd Peshmerga but, also, in central Sunni Iraq and southern Shi’ite Iraq. Chaos is reigning supreme because of the enmity between Sunnis and Shi’ites that might break into a sectarian war that would engulf the whole Middle East anytime. The unfortunate sectarian and irresponsible policies of Nouri El Maliki, who acts more like the head of Shi’ite party than a national Prime Minister with responsibility for all religious groups and for all Iraqis, are fanning the flames of such a future war.
Chaos will, also, thrive in Iraq for a long time to come due to the actions of terrorist groups from either side or from political parties and from the government proper because there is so much bad blood between the different opponents and very little disposition to national willingness for forgiveness and unity. Last but not least, chaos will thrive in this country because of the sectarian strife in Syria, which is not showing any sign of abatement for the time being.
For Allen Pizzey from CBS News, Jihadist-bred chaos is spreading in Mideast in, general, and Iraq in, particular, and nothing will be able to stop it, for now, at least:
“In Iraq, the government is losing significant ground to al Qaeda militants. On Sunday, fighting in Anbar province killed 22 Iraqi soldiers and 12 civilians. This is happening as Syria’s civil war is spilling into Lebanon.
Ongoing chaos in the Middle East is creating what nature abhors and fanatics love: a power vacuum.
Al Qaeda affiliated gunmen have taken over the streets of Fallujah, a resurgence of the civil war that the U.S. invasion of Iraq sparked off.
In what now looks like a wasted effort, more than 100 U.S. Marines lost their lives in Fallujah in 2004 in a fight to drive the militants out and hand control to the Shiites who now run Iraq.
Today, the U.S. has no leverage other than backing the Iraqi government.
Secretary of State John Kerry, mired in the increasingly problematic Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, offered the Iraqis moral support.
“We’re not contemplating putting boots on the ground. This is their fight, but we’re going to help them in their fight,” Kerry said. “This is a fight that is bigger than just Iraq.””
Chaos in Syria
The Syrian discontent started in March 15, 2011, in the wake of the Arab uprisings, which were labeled as Arab Spring. Initially, the protestors demanded more freedom and democracy from the Sh’ite Alaouit minority represented by the Ba’th Party of Bachar al-Assad. The government reacted violently killing dozens of protestors and by April it became a nationwide movement of revolt.
From a protest movement, the situation morphed into a military uprising and a political rejection of the Assad regime. The opposition coalition made of a myriad of political groups fielded a military resistance. Initially, the resistance scored many victories with the help of Saudi Arabia and the West. When everybody thought that the Assad regime was about to fall, the Russians provided military help in 2013 because his demise would mean for Moscow the end of its presence in the Middle East. This much-needed help came at the right time to give the regime a lease of life.
According to the United Nations, the death toll surpassed 100,000 in June 2013, and reached 120,000 by September 2013. In addition, tens of thousands of protesters, students, liberal activists and human rights advocates have been imprisoned and there are reports of widespread torture and terror in state prisons.
Realizing that the fall of Assad would mean the loss of their last outpost and would put them directly in the fire line of America and Israel, the Iranian government instructed the fighters of the Lebanese Hizbu Allah and their own Revolutionary Guard to bolster the defenses of their Sh’ite ally Bashar al-Assad. In the meantime, the latter committed a grave political error by using his chemical weapons on his own people.
Outraged by this unpardonable war crime, Saudi Arabia called on America to strike out of existence Bashar and his clique. But sensing a change of heart on the part of Tehran over the nuclear issue, America preferred not to punish Assad, Iran’s protégé.
The American move gave Assad confidence in the survival of his regime. His negotiators at the Geneva II summit of January 2014 showed that they were not ready to envisage a Syria without Assad, the sine qua non condition of the opposition. As result, chaos will continue in Syria reaping lives of innocent people and more Syrians will flee the country.
To read part I click here
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