The people of Iraq and nearby states are faced with a stark choice, if the reports of the mass slaughter of former Iraqi army personnel are correct. That these soldiers can be lined up and murdered after surrendering, should pose a warning to the citizens of Iraq; just what will happen when these ‘insurgents’ gain more power and influence? They are reportedly on the outskirts of Bagdad and some large cities have fallen to them, with little resistance coming from the army.
We are belatedly hearing reports of resistance from the Kurds, who have indeed taken back some territory in the North and of the mass signing up of citizens to join the Iraqi army. It seems that it is either doing that or face an uncertain future with the ‘rebels’ calling themselves the ISIL. If the latter do manage to take control of Bagdad, the writing from the walls of the region will become a sad truth and the ramifications for regions far flung will be felt soon, most notably in the price we all pay for our ‘gas.’
It is this that drives the possibility of a response from the USA and its partners, not some deeply felt humanitarian reasoning that is often quoted as justification for an ‘intervention.’ We even have the most unlikely possibility of Iran supporting the USA in an effort to stop the spread of the ideology and influence of the ISIL forces. Who would have believed that such an ‘unholy union’ would be on the cards, given the difficult history between those two nations? It should come as no surprise though if one looks back at the history of the region as a whole and how the various nations came into being and the underlying religious, power and economic forces that play into alliances.
Iraq is at a crossroads. It either settles internal differences between the two main groups and come to a real power-sharing arrangement, of face a downward spiral whereby the ISIL forces take over and we witness a pariah state that will make anything we have seen from the likes of the ‘Butcher of Damascus’ or the regime of former leader or Iraq---the one who gave reason for the USA and its allies to invade a decade ago, look like a non-event. Has this all been for nothing? In the meantime, the borders of Iraq will leak misery as those trying to escape to a more peaceful life flee the advancing ISIL forces.