The Silence Of The Sand

Inkwell Institute

Middle East Desk

I have noticed that the Arab League is suspiciously silent on the Gaza violence….and I got to thinking why would they be so passive?

You would think that Arabs would stick together in this time of conflict….but not this time….what could be so toxic that the League would basically look the other way while Israel destroys so many lives, both physically and materially?

Then I ran across a piece that tries to explain this muteness……

(Newser) – As Palestinian bodies pile up in Gaza, where is the outrage from Arab leaders? Unlike during previous Israeli offensives, countries including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan have failed to condemn Israel and push for an end to the fighting, and fear of the political Islam that Hamas represents appears to be the reason why, the New York Times reports. “The Arab states’ loathing and fear of political Islam is so strong that it outweighs their allergy to” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, says former Middle East negotiator Aaron David Miller.

“I have never seen a situation like it, where you have so many Arab states acquiescing in the death and destruction in Gaza and the pummeling of Hamas,” Miller says. “The silence is deafening.” Egypt has continued to blame Hamas for Palestinian deaths, and it and other Arab states now find themselves on Israel’s side not just against political Islamic movements, but against Iran, analysts note. Meanwhile, the commissioner-general of the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees calls the Israeli shelling of a UN school yesterday a “serious violation of international law,” the Guardian reports. “Children killed in their sleep—this is an affront to all of us, a source of universal shame,” he says. “Today the world stands disgraced.”

Basically, the League will forgo so many decades to struggle of the Palestinian people because they are worried about their own little power base.  Apparently change is not on the agenda of countries like Jordan, Saudi and others.  When they do break their silence and condemn the atrocities they seldom name the perpetrator.

The rise of radical Islam has driven these regimes into the arms of the West and most notably Israel……..for the fear of losing their stranglehold on power has made them make a decision that will ultimately be their downfall…….

Never Ask What Else Could Go Wrong!

Iraq had Saddam to deal with…..then along came Gulf War 1…….and Iraq had to deal with war and then more od Saddam……and then came Iraqi Freedom (which is the most preposterous title ever!)……then there was the occupation and the violence……along came Obama and the troops went home…..enter more violence and a political system that was so screwed up that it was nothing more than a bunch of dudes making money off the US…..and the violence returned……and one morning Iraqis woke up with ISIS breathing down their necks……and the army went on the lame and ISIS started committing crimes against Iraqis unchallenged… the Kurds ride in to become the savior of the country from the monsters in ISIS……now the airstrikes return and the fighting is a reminder of days gone by…..and all the time there has been a steady flow of refugees going in one direction or the other…….and someone some where just had to ask the question…..what else could go wrong?

And the answer is………

Newser) – Tense times in Baghdad: Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki deployed troops at strategic locations in the Iraqi capital amid a power struggle with newly elected President Fouad Massoum. Maliki accuses Massoum of carrying out “a coup against the constitution and the political process” by failing to nominate him for a third term, despite having the largest bloc in parliament. The New York Times says Massoum will most likely appoint someone from Maliki’s bloc, but not Maliki himself. (Update: He did just that.) “The risk is, if he clings to power, he will control the country by force,” says an unnamed Iraqi politician of Maliki. “This would be a military coup.” More:

  • Maliki is facing many calls to step down, but “it’s not in his DNA to go without a fight,” a CNN analyst says. “This is a man who’s really feeling besieged at the moment. He’s cornered on all sides, if you like. He’s got ISIS on his doorstep, in a military sense. He even had the Grand Ayatollah the other day saying politicians should not cling to their posts. But this is a guy who seizes onto power. He holds it.”
  • John Kerry says the US stands with Massoum and urges the people of Iraq to stay calm amid the political crisis. “We believe that the government formation process is critical in terms of sustaining the stability and calm in Iraq,” he said in a statement. “And our hope is that Mr. Maliki will not stir those waters.”
  • In the north of the country, meanwhile, some 20,000 of the Yazidis trapped on a mountain by fighting have managed to escape as the effects of American airstrikes on ISIS militants became apparent. Kurdish fighters supported by American drones and fighter jets went on the offensive against the militants and managed to recapture two towns, the New York Times reports.
  • Beyond air power, the US has also started directly supplying Kurdish forces with weapons instead of merely aiding deliveries from the Iraqi government, officials tell the AP. It’s not clear which US agency is supplying the weapons.

More agony for the Iraqi people…..something they do not deserve.

Will Maliki go or will Maliki stay?  If he fights this political swing….things will get messy.

My thought is he can be bought…..and that is what the US does best… politicians.

The moral of this post is…..never ask what else could possibly go wrong?

Iraq: Why O Why?

By now every red blooded neocon is sitting in the corner and jerking off on his iPhone and by now we all know that we will return to Iraq….at least from the air….now now.

So much has happened in Iraq in the last couple of months….the rise of ISIS, all the sectarian bloodshed and the Kurds moving loser to independence…..with all that occurring….why did Obama pick this moment to re-start the air war in Iraq?

Good question, right?

Newser) – President Obama gave the green light last night for the US military to launch airstrikes in Iraq, but why now? Some explanations:

  • Two-fold mission: The US has already dropped food and supplies to Iraqis trapped on Mount Sinjar by extremist fighters from the Islamic State, or ISIS, and it may drop more. As for the airstrikes, targeted ones may be necessary near the mountain to “break the siege” there, says Obama, and allow more help to arrive and avert a “genocide.” The bigger reason for the possible airstrikes, however, seems to be to halt the advance of the extremist fighters in the north.
  • ‘Line in the sand': Though the US did not intervene as the Islamic State swept across much of Iraq in recent weeks, the city of Irbil in northern Iraq “appears to be a line in the sand,” writes Dan Lamothe in the Washington Post. It’s the Kurdish capital, and the US has diplomats and military advisers stationed there among the American allies. (The Islamic State also reportedly controls the country’s largest dam, in the northern city of Mosul.)
  • How far? “The question arises: How far is Mr. Obama willing to go?” writes Peter Baker in the New York Times. Obama said “there is ‘no American military solution’ to the Iraqi insurgency, pointing again to the need for a new politically inclusive government in Baghdad. What he might do if that fails he did not say. And while aides stressed this is a narrow mission, they acknowledged scenarios in which it could expand.”
  • Reversal: “The return to military engagement in Iraq is a reversal for Mr. Obama, whose early opposition to the war that toppled Saddam Hussein, and his promise to end it, fueled his long-shot campaign for the White House,” write Carol E. Lee and Felicia Schwartz at the Wall Street Journal. “It also puts a spotlight on what has become a familiar feature of the Obama presidency, in which the leader of the most powerful military in the world has become defined by his reluctance to use it.”
  • Unity after all? “Ironically, ISIS’s campaign against the Kurds may end up helping unify the Iraqi state,” writes Joshua Keating at Slate. The Kurds have long been at odds with Nouri al-Maliki’s government, but now he’s ordering his air force to help them. “Iraq’s various factions, as well as Baghdad’s odd-couple patrons, Iran and the United States, may be forced to work together to confront the most serious threat the country has faced since the worst days of the Iraq war.”
  • Full text: Read the president’s statement here.

Is this the beginning of a whole new chapter in the continuing story of America: Between Iraq and a Hard Place?

Gaza images – Google Search

I know with everyone’s busy life they just do not have the time to pay attention to the world and all its glory….but take some time and see just what is happening in Gaza….



Gaza images – Google Search.

Is This That Slippery Slope?

The clock is ticking and winding down……what will the US do?  What will the rest of the world do?

Newser) – Both passive and active options are on the table as President Obama decides how to handle the humanitarian catastrophe developing at Iraq’s Mount Sinjar, says a senior administration official who spoke to the New York Times. The passive alternative: Airdrops of food and much-needed medicine to the 40,000 Yazidi religious minorities said to be dying of hunger and thirst, according to the Washington Post. The more active option: conducting airstrikes against the Islamic State extremists who’ve camped out at the base of the mountain. A decision from the Oval Office is expected “imminently,” says a second White House source, adding, “this could be a fast-moving train.”

Obama reportedly instructed the Pentagon to draw up a game plan for possible military action during a meeting with his national security team today, notes NBC News. Iraqi airdrops to the refugees earlier this week fell short, with water and milk bottles smashing to bits, according to the Post. “Is help coming?” one of the trapped Yazidi asked the Post when contacted on his cellphone. “I’m standing here next to an old lady and a child lying on the ground. They are not dead, but we fear they are dying.” UNICEF says it has received reports that 40 children have perished already on the mountain.

Waiting for the pin drop.

Who will step up?

Iraq: Will Yugoslavia Be The Example?

Inkwell Institute

Middle East Desk

I am an old guy and have witnessed a lot of history in my time……and I am always looking for cycles in the international arena….now I think that maybe I found one when it comes to the future of Iraq.

Back in the 80’s the former communist regime of Yugoslavia started disintegration with the death of Tito……each of the federated states within the country started stretching out for freedom and independence and unfortunately it involved years of fighting one faction against another…… erupted into the Yugoslav Wars beginning in 1987 first it was in Croatia and then it moved to a more serious conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina….resulting in  thousands of deaths mostly along ethnic lines….in essence a race war.  Eventually, the US and NATO had to intervene to prevent the ethnic cleansing and by 2000 the region was in relative peace but not before NATO had to bomb it into submission in 1999…….the UN stepped in and administered Kosovo until 2009.

Sorry but that is as simply put as I could without boring you guys into a coma.

My point is that Yugoslavia took a while to sort out it’s differences and yes it was bloody for a time but since those dark days the region is relatively calm.  Could this be a template for Iraq?

If it is it would require the US and its NATO friends to intervene…..but then the question is….on whose side?

But before they make that decision maybe they should spend a little time analyzing the situation…..and I do not mean from some Ivy League educated academic that is a lifer in the US diplomatic corps……these people may be knowledgeable but they lack a comprehension of the region.  Years behind a desk in DC does not mean they have a grasp on the situation other than cables from other Ivy League academics.  Without first hand knowledge any attempt to solve this conflict will be WRONG!

The options are very limited……the Arab states around Iraq will do very little for most of them are having problems of their own and cannot risk making their situation worse.  Without them who does that leave?  UN, NATO and of course the US.  As much as I would like to see the Iraqis work this out for themselves…..I am afraid it is looking more like some sort of intervention will be needed.  And as usual the US will have to lead the way.

The US biggest problem as I see it is that they have this unyielding desire to see countries stay intact even if it means more trouble down the road….in other words what is good for the US……maybe now is a good time to see what is best for the people of Iraq and make a determination from that line of thinking.

The hard truth is Iraq is three separate entities… the problem is to see just how a three can be made peaceful and prosperous.

As much as I may dislike the conclusion….the US may be the key to a stable Region.