obama’s foreign policy doctrine has always been, take our hands off the wheel, do not become enmeshed in international politics. The administration’s hands-off approach determined our departure from Iraq, and our ensuing departure from Afghanistan. With this idea that the US should not involve itself in other countries’ issues, obama made his famous “Red Line in the sand” speech about Syrian use of Chemical Weapons, or Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs), and then subsequently backing off, further delineating what he means about lines.
Now that the world understands the obama foreign policy doctrine really means “We’re not helping anyone, but we will throw money at you because we feel guilty”, the terrorists known as the Islamic State of Iraq in the Levant (ISIL) as well as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has decided to declare itself the Islamic State. This is better known as the Caliphate, and the terrorists have declared Al-Baghdadi as the Caliph, and all muslims must swear to him. What does this mean? Simply this: Every nightmare scenario that can be thought of, pales to insignificance to the reality of a true caliphate.
Under a caliph, in a caliphate, no one who is not a muslim, is considered a citizen. Every christian, buddhist, you name it, is a second class citizen, if not considered a slave. Despite what the UN bleats from their safe haven in New York, in the caliphate, if you are not a true muslim, proven by your imam, you are not worthy of note. You can be bought and sold, and your children can be bought and sold. If you are not a slave, you will be taxed until all of your money is gone, and your goods and any personal items can be confiscated by anyone who deems you owe them anything. Your daughters can be raped, as well as your sons, and there is nothing you can do about this. If you protest, you can be beaten, possibly to death, and your family confiscated and sold as slaves to the greater glory of the caliphate. If you are muslim, your life isn’t much better. Women can be raped, if they are found outside without at least one male member of their family. And to prove they have been raped, they must produce four, count them, four male persons to verify this. If the woman cannot, she will be accused of adultery. This is actually sharia law, and the woman can be whipped, or stoned to death. A muslim man can divorce his wife by announcing in front of male witnesses “I divorce you” three times. An imam should be present, however, someone of high (sic) character can also be used to vouch for the man. Although adultery is frowned upon, a muslim man can have a quick marriage of convenience performed by an imam or mullah, to allow him to have his way with any young woman (and the ages can range as low as 8) he wishes. Homosexual sex is not condoned, publicly, however, young boys, especially blonde boys, are considered, in the caliphate, a particular desire.
Why am I detailing this? Because this is happening in Iraq and Syria now. With the declaration of a caliphate, millions of people in these areas are about to partake of a humanitarian disaster not seen since the collapse of the last caliphate. And how is this the fault of obama? Let us take a look at the path that he trod to this.
obama was elected in 2008 on a platform of hope and change. His role, as leader of the greatest nation, and the last superpower on earth, was to chart a path to stability for the planet. He immediately stumbled. After his coronation, excuse me, inauguration, obama made plans to go, not to Iraq to sit down with Maliki about the resolution of the war. He headed for Chicago to boost the city for the Olympics. obama began a tour of the world, meeting leaders. His message should have been, We are firm but resolute. Bush had laid a path, that any reasonable person could follow, in providing a secure foundation for democracy in the middle east. obama only had to secure a Status Of Forces Agreement (SOFA) to allow 10,000 US troops to remain in Iraq. This group would have been able to train the Iraqi military, shore up and support them in actions throughout Iraq, and work to establish a true democracy and setting for the growth of peace and stability in the region. Instead, obama toured the middle east, apologized for US agression in the area, promised to remove our troops as fast as possible, and ignored Maliki and the Iraqi government. The US State Department, the diplomatic arm of the US government, was supposed to work on the SOFA, and work to help stabilize the government, and was supposed to be working to make sure the Iraqi government was inclusive. The problem with this is that personnel in the embassy and the consulates seldom ventured out of either. With 5,000 people assigned to the embassy alone, there should have been an over abundance of assistance for the Iraqi government and the Iraqi people to be able to work through issues. The reality is, the embassy personnel didn’t provide a lot of assistance, or even little assistance, to either Iraqi government people, or to US business personnel trying to work with the Iraqi people. Business people I actually spoke to told me that they were told the embassy could not provide any direct assistance in meeting either Iraqi government people or Iraqi business people. I attended several meetings at the embassy, and this was borne out. The best the embassy people would offer is to try and bring someone that the group could meet. In contrast, the Chinese and Russian embassies provided direct connections between their industry people and the Iraqi government and industry personnel. And these embassies were not the only ones.
So, with a concrete effort to take all the US military out of the country, along with an embassy that wouldn’t engage with the fledgling government, the recipe for a disaster was there in the making. Nouri Al-Maliki, the prime minister, wasted no time in pushing out those who were not part of his sect of muslim faith. With Talabani, the one vice-president who could handle Maliki, suddenly ill with heart issues, and, for Maliki, safely out of the country in Germany, Maliki began his push to turn Iraq into a Shia-led country. With no real US counsel sitting next to Maliki, Maliki felt no problem about cosying closer to the Shia’s ultimate religious leader, the ayatollah of Iran. This led to more and more power being fed to Maliki’s supporters, and the Sunnis being more and more marginalized. The Kurdish people continued to build their area up, and reinforcing their own Peshmarga forces, in anticipation of a civil war with Maliki and his followers. What happened, however, is much, much worse.
While Iraq was busy fomenting itself into a sectarian civil war, bit by bit, across the border in Syria, a rebellion was gaining serious momentum. Moderate muslims began an attempt to overthrow the government of Assad, because of his barbaric tactics, and his not-inclusive government. Libya had already overthrown Gaddafi, and the Syrians were ready to follow suit. Unfortunately, unlike with Libya, obama refused to provide direct support. No missiles launched, no arms provided. Assad decided to up the ante, and still obama did nothing. The Syrian rebels were soon taken over by ISIL members, and then the rebellion really started getting ugly. ISIL declared any area they overtook to be under sharia law. Before anyone knew it, the extremists terrorists ran over the Syrian border, and ousted the Iraqi military. Since Maliki had the opportunity, and took it, to purge the military of any strong leaders, the military collapsed faster than a house of cards in a chicago wind. obama still had a chance to do something, by sending troops in to support the Iraqi military, but he held his hand back, preferring to ignore the middle east. Rapidly, ISIL/ISIS began taking over towns, developing their own areas, and “cleansing” the area. Read: beheading, killing, etc. With everyone demanding he do something, obama did: he went on vacation. And ISIS/ISIL kept moving forward.
Now that ISIL/ISIS have declared a caliphate, and anointed a caliph, what can be done? What must be done is to have a real US military division dropped in, have the Iraqi military attached to it, and begin the campaign to push the terrorists out. At the same time, the president must send a high-level person to Baghdad, and bring the heads of the three main groups, the Shia, the Sunni, and the Kurds, together and force an inclusive government. We must establish bases in Iraq, to protect the people until such time as they can truly have a safe government, push Iran back across the border, and insure free flow of commerce for the people. We must make sure that all understand that Iraq is one country, with many peoples living there, not three states, in contention with each other.
If we don’t do this, the match to ignite the middle east will not be lit by Israel. It will be lit by someone who decides he has the right and the moral authority to create one nation out of many, and rule as if he were a god. And heaven help those who try to turn a blind eye…
“We Must All Stand Together, Or Assuredly, We Shall All Swing Separate…”