157 captures
15 Jun 2014 - 24 Feb 2021
About this capture
10.24.2014 | 30 Tishri, 5775
Kuwait bolsters secondary boycott of Israel
Across party lines, Congress seeks more details on Iran talks
Most Americans unclear on objective in ISIS fight
By MICHAEL WILNER \ 06/15/2014 03:30
Analysis: Arab Winter is coming to Baghdad
WATCH: Victorious jihadists in Iraq celebrate new reg...
The conquest of ISIS may be short-lived, but their success should be viewed in historical perspective.
Fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria stand guard at a checkpoint in the northern Iraq city of Mosul, June 11, 2014.. (photo credit:REUTERS)
lack flags over American tanks, Iraqi heads on public display and women threatened with death should they leave their homes – this is the new caliphate pseudo-state of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, perhaps short-lived, but, while breathing, the worst of all case scenarios for anyone invested in the Middle East.

If world powers knew in advance that a small, well-organized medieval Sunni militia was aiming to conquer major cities in Iraq, their leaders were evidently not prepared. And if Washington, London and Moscow did not know, then our intelligence capabilities are poorer than one would hope.

Indeed, as US President Barack Obama weighs military action against the group, administration officials suggest the US has so extracted itself from Iraq that Washington’s ability to strike targets with precision has been significantly diminished.

We know that ISIS’s current campaign, dubbed Operation Soldier’s Harvest, began in October 2013 with the explicit aim of cementing control of territory for the formation of a caliphate, erasing borders imposed by a colonial West and reimposing strict Shari’a law. With Ramadan approaching on June 28, we can expect ISIS will attempt a spectacular finish to this campaign phase.

At West Point, merely two weeks ago, Obama said global institutions were formed by the United States in order to enforce international norms – and to act as “force multipliers” for American interests. Certainly, the sovereignty of nations and the sanctity of borders – those between Iraq and Syria, or Ukraine and Russia, for example – constitute basic international norms that, by his own doctrine, must be enforced by international law for global order.

And yet the president is only considering a strike against ISIS, for the time being, to protect the Iraqi government – and therefore limited to its territory, officials said.

Once again bypassing Syria, where ISIS holds court in its “capital” al-Raqqa, the Obama administration is making clear its priorities in allowing a domino effect in the Middle East that it cannot control, with or without use of military force.

That is the lesson the Obama team learned from George W. Bush, when he first invaded Iraq as president in 2003 without acknowledging that the fall of Saddam Hussein, an iron fist for Sunni rule, would lead to sectarian strife across the country and a golden opportunity for Iran.

Indeed, Iran’s influence in the current Iraqi government, led by fellow Shi’ite Nouri al-Maliki, has emboldened its leaders and reinforced their ability to conduct terrorist activity worldwide, the very opposite objective of the Bush administration.

The former president has declined comment on recent developments in Iraq.

Yet this week, Obama’s former secretary of state Hillary Clinton said the current president’s foreign policy was a “pendulum swing” from the days of Bush. If Clinton is right, we are witnessing the legacies of Bush in Iraq and Obama in Syria convulse into one chimera of a crisis.

That convulsion is a nightmare in the foreign policy community: Bush’s devastating choice to crush the state of Iraq has led both to the disintegration of order in that country, and to a timidity in the United States to do anything about the consequences.

Such a resignation to powerlessness, a fatalistic approach to foreign affairs, has led Syria to the calamitous reality it is today – a country full of cities decimated, the ashes from which al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) has reemerged as ISIS.

Not even the most weathered experts can say how the Arab Spring would have unfolded in Iraq under Hussein.

Perhaps he would have fallen hard like Muammar Gadaffi did in Libya, fought diverse rebels as Bashar Assad has in Syria, or successfully crushed an uprising entirely.

But the current situation is clear: an Arab Winter for the region, borderless in its ruthlessness and facilitated by American action somewhere, inaction elsewhere. Now, Obama is forced to support an Iraqi government without any demonstrated interest in truly unifying its country, serving the policies of a neighbor that supports terrorist activity directed against Israel and the United States.

The world’s short-term interests may be aligned in preventing Baghdad from falling to ISIS. That fate, tactically, remains unlikely. But propping up al-Maliki’s government, and cooperation with Iran towards this objective, should be put in historical perspective. This is the true legacy of two presidents removed from the realities on the ground, from the realpolitik in Iraq and Syria, and the death taxes inherited.
Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger  
Your comment must be approved by a moderator before being published on Disqus users can post comments automatically.

Comments must adhere to our Talkback policy. If you believe that a comment has breached the Talkback policy, please press the flag icon to bring it to the attention of our moderation team.

Sign up for our newsletter
By signing up to The Jpost mailing list, I hereby
Accept the terms and conditions
Iraq Syria iraq news
Now Available
On iphone, ipad and android
Copyright © 2014 Jpost Inc. All rights reserved • Terms of UsePrivacy Policy
Ux Design & Strategy
Arab-Israeli Conflict Jerusalem alert level raised following second day of violence Israel shrugs off PA decision to delay UN Security Council plan IDF closely monitoring Hamas attempts to rearm Sinai smugglers’ attack on IDF troops a ‘game-changer’ Recording released of eyewitness emergency call from scene of Jerusalem terror attack Israel NewsPolitics & Diplomacy Court bars Olmert’s lawyers from hearing misplaced Zaken CDs Livni: Irresponsible Israeli politicians must stop stoking flames in Jerusalem Coalition crisis ends with forming of committee Netanyahu moves to tamp down new election momentum Health Rates of bariatric surgery have doubled since 2012 Doctors remove pen cap from boy's lung, warn of dangers of sucking on pen caps Ministry uploads comparative data on health funds MDA calls for blood donations after High Holidays shortage New-Tech Five scientific balloons to launch simultaneously Wednesday in Israel, Europe Tel Aviv U. launches fuel substitutes accelerator US agency gives $1 million to boost Israeli Arabs in hi-tech Israeli gas firm signs bid to sell natural gas to Egypt Israel surely in 'front line' for climate refugees, says expert Culture Renée Zellweger responds to Twitter’s shock at her current appearance Lord of the dance to play ‘Dangerous Games’ in Israel Blue-and-white on the silver screen Show Review: Cirque Eloize - Cirkopolis Sports Mac Haifa hosts Ra’anana hoping to get campaign on track Maccabi TA yet again outplayed in Moscow IFA punishes Sakhnin with NIS 15K slap on wrist for honoring Bishara Maccabi Tel Aviv poised for first real test at old nemesis CSKA Mac Haifa hosts Ra’anana hoping to get campaign on track Maccabi TA yet again outplayed in Moscow Court bars Olmert’s lawyers from hearing misplaced Zaken CDs Rates of bariatric surgery have doubled since 2012 Diaspora Pro-Israel German-language Jewish magazine launches Jewish leaders alarmed by UKIP’s new European ally Jewish leader compares eastern Ukraine to Gaza Israeli youth now eligible for work permits in Australia World Jewish Congress flips on Nazi pensions Middle East Kuwait bolsters secondary boycott of Israel Across party lines, Congress seeks more details from Iran talks Most Americans unclear on objective in ISIS fight European Rabbis worried over Mideast Christians Erdogan says agreement reached for 200 Kurdish Peshmerga fighters to enter Kobani Opinion Aliya’s historic shift – from rescue to free choice Column One: It’s time to beat the Jew-haters Parshat Noah: Caring as a remedy for corruption The library for Israel and the Jewish world Does Islamic State pose a threat to us? PremiumJpost EpaperThe Jerusalem Report Guarantor of the natural world The fierce estuary of memory Crossroad to nowhere Rescue Magazine What happened to Renée Zellweger? Staying honest in the ‘Wild East’ Book Review: Expectations and reality Book Review: Dancing with the Iranian devil In Jerusalem Granddad’s trees Grapevine: Synagogue spirit A very ‘Jerusalem’ chief rabbi race Staying put? Metro Grapevine: A worthy ‘Hatan Torah’ Transcending trends City Notes: Haifa holds viewing event in response to soccer ticket protest A long way from the countryside Experts Opinion Is Israel safer Than America? Sacrificing for a dignified life on Earth: Israel, justice and human redemption Shirt-fronting Putin can help eradicate Islamic State crisis How the media helps perpetuate a high cost of living IVRIT A song for TISHREI: 'A good word' סִימָנִים עַל הַחוֹל פֶסְטִיבַל שֶקְסְפִּיר הַבֵּינְלְאוּמִי פֶסְטִיבַל שֶקְסְפִּיר הַבֵּינְלְאוּמִי ‘Russia’s goal is to destabilize the EU and NATO’ The way we were? Speaking the same language Work and play BlogsNot Just News Grapevine: Music as a bridge Starcatcher Frontlines Podcast: Is there a 'silent intifada' in Jerusalem? Ask the Rabbi: Is revenge a Jewish value? Parshat Noah: The significance of the name Canaan Edition FrancaiseIsraël Un pied dans le monde du travail israélien L’incendiaire de la mosquée al-Aqsa « Tsahal sait très bien s’occuper de ses soldats » « Avraham ouvrait sa porte à tous » Art et culture 1909-1942 : onze femmes, un destin Depuis 30 ans, Haïfa fait son cinéma La fabuleuse histoire de Pitigliano Ein Mata, l’un des secrets les mieux gardés de la vallée d’Eila Diplo/Monde Netanyahou sort les griffes pour Jérusalem Coalition américaine contre l’Etat islamique : quel rôle pour les pays arabes ? Israël au pied du mur Retour sur l’opération Bordure protectrice : décryptage de la situation moyen-orientale Affaires palestiniennes Il est temps de changer de partenaire David Azrieli, 1922-2014 Dimanche 13 juillet Deux familles, une histoire Politique et social Une gauche en perte de repères Bennett : le vent en poupe Et tu choisiras la vie Les rêves déçus de Gabi 1909-1942 : onze femmes, un destin Depuis 30 ans, Haïfa fait son cinéma La fabuleuse histoire de Pitigliano Un pied dans le monde du travail israélien Christian News Pope Paul VI, first pontiff to visit Israel, moves closer to sainthood Dutch Christians boycott church over exhibit on Palestinian children Christian Pastor warns Ebola is God's Punishment for Obama dividing Jerusalem Evangelical support for Israel? Look to the east Vatican promotes military force in to protect Christians from Islamic Extremism Green IsraelCommunity Free Schach Distribution in Honor of Sukkot Covenant of Brothers, Covenant of Life Celebrating the New Year in KKL-JNF Parks and Forests International Cleanup Day in Ashkelon International Cooperation Central America Celebrates Independence at the Rabin Center European Parliament Member Bastiaan Belder Tours the Negev KKL-JNF Helps Chile Deal with the Gall Wasp Pest KKL-JNF and Fair Planet in Ethiopia–Seeds of Hope Ecology Cleanup Day Activities in Central Israel International Cleanup Day: Cleaning Together in Northern Israel Care of the Forests Continues Even in a Sabbatical Year Nevatim Celebrates 60 Years and Dedicates a New Reservoir KKL- JNF WorldWide A Successful Annual Fundraising Event for KKL Milan Der Wienerwald in Israel - The Vienna Woods in Israel AFTER DAYS OF WAR, GIVING KIDS A CHANCE TO BE KIDS European Leadership Conference 2014 - Brussels, Belgium Innovative Research Living Green in Israel: the Contest and the Winners Addressing Climate Change Conference Nurturing the Foresters of the Future Saving the Sabras A Successful Annual Fundraising Event for KKL Milan Der Wienerwald in Israel - The Vienna Woods in Israel AFTER DAYS OF WAR, GIVING KIDS A CHANCE TO BE KIDS Cleanup Day Activities in Central Israel