Iraq at crossroads
As the US scrambles its dissociating armed forces once again to put up a resistance against the relentless advance of the militia belonging to the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (Isis), which after wrenching control of a number of northern cities like Mosul, Samarra, Jalawla, Dhuuiyah, etc from the Iraqi army, is fast advancing towards Baghdad, the cheerleaders of Iraq War are still insisting on the ethical rightness of the 2003 intervention. The moral morass, the diplomatic mess and the staggering humanitarian catastrophe aside, the current battlefield nightmare is going to prove extremely costly for not just the immediate West Asian neighbourhood but also the greater international fraternity. With Sunni-majority Isis militia butchering Shias all over the northern swathes of the country, which have been taken off from governmental control, the embattled prime minister Nouri al-Maliki is left twiddling his ineffectual thumb wondering how to defend the capital from the insurgents, who have so far won almost unopposed. In a vicious cycle of self-perpetuating miscalculations, Isis had fuelled the Syrian crisis and armed the rebels in their battle against Bashar al-Assad. Now, as if in a reverse engineering, the latter are adding bulk to Isis and facilitating the latest takeovers of northern Iraq. In fact, ironically enough, Iran has pledged help to bail out a faltering and dreadfully ill-equipped Iraqi army to combat the militants, who have already massacred thousands of Shias and forcing over 500,000 to flee to still untaken southern provinces.
The countless lives lost thus far and the great socioeconomic disaster notwithstanding, Iraq has been reduced to a graveyard of foreign policy. US-led military invasion, which was cheered on and actively aided by the likes of UK, has broken Iraq’s back and left it a wasteland with rival militias extracting their pound of flesh, occupying the oil-rich regions and giving the incapacitated Iraqi army the worst defeat since the 2003 war. Hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed as a result of suicide bombings, car blasts, armed encounters with militias using weapons stockpiled by the CIA, according to reports. If the situation is not brought under control, complete and irreversible collapse of Iraq would become inevitable.