President Obama realizes that U.S. military involvement in Iraq will not solve the political problems that that people in that nation must confront themselves. Iraqi citizens are not free and lack security to solve the problems themselves, so some outside assistance is required. The best source for that is the United Nations.
It appears that military and State Department assessors have determined that part of the problem stems from insurgents from Syria. One question is who are providing the resources for ISIL insurgents to wage their fight?
Fox News reported yesterday that insurgents have confiscated weapons and materials left behind by Iraqi soldiers, much of which was provided to them by the U.S. military. Yet, that alone does not count for the financial backing behind the insurgency in Syria. Americans have provided humanitarian aid to Syrian rebels fighting the Assad government. Is the U.S. somehow arming all sides in this war? Who else is involved?
Disturbing is the possibility that American involvement in Iraq has just made a bad situation worse.
What if the U.S. just stands down? What other powers will become transparently engaged?
The actors include:
- Iraqi Sunnis
- Iraqi Shia
- Iraqi Kurds
- Iraqi ISIL
- Syrian ISIL
Are the Saudi’s involved? Is Iran involved? Who else?
The Europeans are dependent upon the oil from Iraq. How are they involved in this situation?
News several days ago about mass executions by ISIL insurgents evoked a response from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who condemned them. Yet, what action has he suggested might be taken by the UN to intervene? He welcomes clarification and guidance from religious leaders. That is insufficient. How about direct communication with Nouri Maliki and his government by parties other than the U.S.? How about a coalition approach with more stakeholders?
The precedence for problem solving must serve the greater need for a solution to violence in the Middle East.
“UN condemns mass executions in Iraq, urges leaders to prevent sectarian reprisal
16 June 2014 – The United Nations human rights chief today condemned the reported “cold-blooded” mass execution in Iraq in recent days, while Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged that the perpetrators of those crimes be brought to justice while also calling on Iraqi leaders to prevent sectarian reprisals.
Navi Pillay, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that UN staff and other sources on the ground reported the executions of hundreds of Iraqis following last week’s capture of Mosul and other population centres by forces allied with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), including disarmed soldiers as well as religious leaders and other civilians.
“Based on corroborated reports from a number of sources, it appears that hundreds of non-combatant men were summarily executed over the past five days, including surrendered or captured soldiers, military conscripts, police and others associated with the Government,” said Ms. Pillay.
“Although the numbers cannot be verified yet, this apparently systematic series of cold-blooded executions, mostly conducted in various locations in the Tikrit area, almost certainly amounts to war crimes,” she stressed.
She said that those reportedly executed by ISIL include the Imam of the Grand Mosque in Mosul on 12 June and 12 other local imams on 14 June.
In a statement released last night, Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said the reports of mass summary executions “are deeply disturbing and underscore the urgency of bringing the perpetrators of such crimes to justice.”
He added: “The Secretary-General warns against sectarian rhetoric that could further exacerbate the conflict and carry grave implications for the entire region. In this regard, he welcomes the important clarification statement on the need for Iraqi unity of His Eminence Sayed Ali Al-Sistani, who represents a deeply influential voice of wisdom and reason.””