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ISIS: A Perspective from the Metropolis

By Geoffrey Cook, TMO

San Francisco–From your author’s perspective — on the eastern shore of the Pacific Rim –Mesopotamia is looming large.  What follows is what I hope shall be considered opinion.

As we in both Dar al-Islam and al-“Harab,” are all in “shock and awe” at the raise of ISIS (the “Islamic” State of Iraq and Syria) from an irregular terrorist (a technique of eliminating civilian support of their opponents through fear) guerrilla-based organization into an organized army controlling a great swathe of territory, that is beginning to resemble a proto-State.

I do not think the Iraqi army can hold off DAASH (the acronym from the Arabic, Dulat al-Islam fi al-Iraq wal-Sham, or ISIS as translated into English), are now almost at the doorsteps of Baghdad — although in Syria it appears the government will prevail.  

Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards have at least 2,000 boots on the ground fighting alongside Iraq’s army ostensibly to protect the numerous Shia sacred sites in their neighbor’s territory.  While tens of thousands of Shiite Iraqis – many of whom are former militiamen – have volunteered their service to the nation, simultaneously, the United States has re-deployed 275 servicemen to presumably guarantee the safety of their citizens within the ancient Babylonian boundaries with yet another 300 Special Forces’ military advisors being deployed to aid the Iraqi national army, and an aircraft carrier poised off the Persian Gulf Coast with two missile-capable ships to provide air support if clear targets can be delineated as Iraqi Prime Al-Malaki asks for U.S. air intervention and Obama is considering unleashing America’s air might although Baghdad’s own air force has made significant headway against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant which, hopefully, make Western intervention unneeded. 

Strangely, the U.S. and Iran have met on the sidelines of their seven country nuclear talks in Vienna (Austria) this past week.  The American President Barrack Obama (who, by the way’s, middle name is Hussein – named after a paternal [Kenyan] Islamic uncle, and the current President has lived in Indonesia, which has the highest number Muslims on the globe, in his adolescence) of all American presidents, therefore, has the best grasp of the hopes and aspirations of Islamic peoples worldwide; has approved of Iran’s entry into the fight socce voce.  Further, as I write (U.S) Secretary of State John Kerry proclaim of America’s help if Iran can unite.

ISIS has grown out of the old al-Qaeda in Iraq who were mainly foreign mercenaries that came to fight the American Imperium.

Turkey’s national interests coalesce over Iraq, since a portion of Turkey’s Eastern topography, ISIS has affirmed to be part of their own turf.  If Turkey is attacked or becomes involved to prevent that Republic from being attacked, being a member of NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization), its European and North American allies would have to come to its aid in a supportive role as NATO did after al-Qaida, who were ensconced in Afghanistan, lingering after the Second Afghani-Russian War (the first was in the Nineteenth Century) in response to the attack upon New York City and Washington (D.C.).  Furthermore, both Iran and Turkey have excellent relations as Turkey, also, has with the United States.  If at all, NATO’s role would be logistical rather than direct military confrontation with ISIS.  (Turkey’s role, additionally, is bond by how its actions would affect its Kurdish issue – positively or negatively.)

Furthermore, the United Kingdom, who was on the edge of rapprochement with Tehran, was pushed over that precipice by the rapid advance of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (SyrIraq’s) army.  Britain announced recently that they will be re-opening their embassy in the Persian capital.  Can the District of Columbia (D.C.) be far behind?  Yet, for Washington to make full rapprochement, the Americans would have to attempt to suppress Saudi support for the more violent “fundamentalist” segments of the Sunni denominations, and, further, enforce a settlement on the Arab-Israeli imbroglio — i.e. to, finally, thrust the albatross of Israel off its neck.  Your essayist believes this process must be begun for an Iranian-American rapprochement to go fully forward.

The U.S.A. has a moral obligation to the Mesopotamian peoples for being the catalyst to this present humanitarian disaster by their aggression of 2003. 

It is the opinion of many in the establishment within the Beltway (D.C.) that we must cooperate with Iran and Turkey if they intervene to protect their and Iraq’s foot soldiers; to relieve the suffering of the majority of the Iraqi citizenry through Washington’s overwhelming Air Force.  Moreover, air superiority is the only option that the White House has in that the American public does not have much “stomach” for more foreign forays of indeterminate duration after the stupidity of the Bush years.

ISIS has been reported to have overrun the major oil refineries in Iraq and approaching Baghdad as this is written.  Oil still greases the economies of the West South and East Asia and the Middle East itself.  For that reason (a religious-based) radical-right control of those resources not only has the potential for regional, but for worldwide war as well.  This is a very serious situation for the region as well as the world at large that calls for co-ordination by area hegemons, but the major external powers as well.

The salvation for the Iraqi people may depend, curiously, on the rapprochement and military co-operation between Washington and Tehran for the two have become “natural allies” in the redemption of the Middle East from the anarchy of that “state” that has moved out of the remnants of the non-State, actor, al-Qaida.

It is not only advantageous to the United States to protect the native people of the Twin Waterways from the foreign Salafi/Takfiris insurgency, but it is, also, the States’ moral duty to the Iraqi nation-state.  It is, additionally, in the U.S’ present concerns, to prevent a larger regional Sectarian War and to sustain the Middle East’s natural resources flowing across the continents that grease the economies both at the source and at the end user point.  It is Iran’s interests, also, to protect their Sectarian cousin’s resources, and it is, moreover, in the NATO-allied Turkey’s advantage to prevent a region-wide Sectarian War. 

Although it was the Obama government’s goal to end the violent entanglements the previous regime created, Iran, the U.S., Turkey and the latter’s NATO alliance partners must enter the power vacuum now – only if it is require.


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