ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Responsibility for Iraq

The wages of the US invasion, occupation and meddling are now being paid by the people of Iraq.

The spiral into a civil war in Iraq is an outcome that should not surprise anyone. Events in the country since the US invasion more than a decade ago were always leading in that direction. Yet, that it would take such a turn where a radical extremist force like the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) would come to acquire control over so many cities and towns in northern and central Iraq and so quickly could not have been anticipated by many. The coming together of the ISIS with remnants of the Baathist forces and other Sunni groups is what has given a formidable edge to the new insurgents in a country that has been torn asunder by sectarian violence over the past decade.

The government in Baghdad led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has sought the help of its original backers, the Americans, to help restrain the ISIS. The Americans have not yet made up their mind though they know fully well how irresponsible they were in invading the country in the first place. But even if they did provide help, the proposed use of air power and “shock and awe” against the ISIS in its areas of strength only promises more civilian casualties and deaths without affecting the ground forces of the ISIS and its allies. The job of taking on the radical Sunnis is something that the radical Shia forces in Baghdad and southern Iraq seem rather willing to do on their own. The re-mobilisation of the various Shia militias – such as the Mahdi Army led by cleric Moqtada Al Sadr – is further exacerbating sectarian tensions in post-Saddam, post-war Iraq. Iran, which feels directly threatened by the growing strength of the ISIS, is reported to have sent in its Quds (Revolutionary Guards) forces to help the Shia majority government regain parts of the embattled city of Tikrit, a stronghold of the former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

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