As the situation in Iraq descends into chaos, The Guardian reports that, "The US is sending an aircraft carrier and two guided missile ships into the Persian Gulf, bolstering sea and air power before a possible US strike on the Jihadist army in Iraq in the coming days."
Also, Secretary of State Kerry stated yesterday that air strikes on the ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and Levant) are an option. He also stated that cooperation with Iran to battle ISIL is a possibility. Even the super-hawk Senator Graham who has been advocating bombing of Iran for years, said in TV interviews on Sunday, "We need to work with Iran to save Iraq." He also told CNN, "Why did we deal with Stalin? Because he was not as bad as Hitler."
There were reports yesterday that President Obama is planning to send several hundred "special forces" to Iraq for training Iraqi forces and to bolster the defense of the American embassy in Baghdad. The embassy is the largest in the world but it has become more like a prison and there have been plans to reduce its size considerably. It was built at the cost of $750 million, to a large extent a total waste of money.
The prospect of the U.S. getting involved again militarily in Iraq is disheartening. Apparently, the 2003 invasion of that country and over 12 years of war in Afghanistan have not taught the politicians in Washington anything. Military action by the U.S. in foreign countries seldom results in a beneficial outcome. Years of drone bombings in Pakistan have only increased the animosity towards this country. Estimates are that for every so-called "militant" that drones kill, numerous innocent people are also killed.
But, the key reason that the U.S. should avoid military action in Iraq is that Iraq must be able to stand on its own two feet, so to speak. Iraq has an army of about 800,000 active and reserve troops. How is it that a few thousand ISIL fighters have taken over the second largest city in the country, Mosul, plus other towns and are now threatening to march into Baghdad? Of course, no one believes that Baghdad will fall anytime soon. But, if the Iraqi army cannot defeat ISIL on its own, what happens after the American bombings stop?
Thus, the only solution is for the U.S., Iran and other friendly countries to help Iraq defeat these radicals. Otherwise, Iraq will forever be dependent on foreign forces to defend itself.
Another issue that is not being discussed in the Western press is that ISIL came to existence because of the turmoil in Syria. It is well-known that Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been funding the rebellion in Syria that has now spread to Iraq. If President Obama had used his influence to stop the disastrous destruction of Syria, the turmoil in Iraq would not have happened. In particular, Saudi Arabia has been funding Jihadist fighters all over the world. Yet, President Obama continues the long-standing tradition of American support for this medieval monarchy, where women still cannot drive.
An even more radical idea than "talking to Iran," is cooperation with President Assad of Syria to fight these barbarous Jihadists who are committing mass murder in both Syria and Iraq. In fact, the U.S. should stop all support for the so-called "rebels" in Syria. While President Assad is not an angel, he is far better than any of these barbarians who are being supported by Saudi Arabia and Qatar with help from Turkey. President Obama should admit his mistake in saying, "Assad must go." Assad is the only person who can bring stability to Syria in the near future.