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Who is fighting in Iraq?

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Fri, Jun 13, 2014

Iraq, War Dollars Home

  • Sharebar

By Farah Muhsin Al Mousawi

For the past five years I have dedicated my time and energy on politics in Iraq and its history. Throughout these years I have been asked to write a book or a long essay telling my life story and how I see politics from my perspective. I have always declined such requests for many reasons, including fearing for the safety of my family in Iraq.

My fears today remain the same, only this time they are growing by the hour as I witness through the news and social media posts the development of violence in Iraq. But what is really happening there and why does the world need to pay attention? While many Americans are sick and tired of hearing the same old story of civil wars in one of the countries in the Middle East, yet Iraq remains one of the vital parts of this planet and people must and should care about the escalation of violence in that region.

The origins of conflict date back to a long time in history, and it is beyond the idea of conflict over whose god said what first and what religion humanity must follow. It is rather a conflict over power and dominance using religion as a facade to mask the true intentions of the many power- hungry leaders.

The situation in Iraq today is

By Farah Muhsin Al Mousawi

 

For the past five years I have dedicated my time and energy on politics in Iraq and its history. Throughout these years I have been asked to write a book or a long essay telling my life story and how I see politics from my perspective. I have always declined such requests for many reasons, including fearing for the safety of my family in Iraq.

My fears today remain the same, only this time they are growing by the hour as I witness through the news and social media posts the development of violence in Iraq. But what is really happening there and why does the world need to pay attention? While many Americans are sick and tired of hearing the same old story of civil wars in one of the countries in the Middle East, yet  Iraq remains one of the vital parts of this planet and people must and should care about the escalation of violence in that region.

The origins of conflict date back to a long time in history, and it is beyond the idea of conflict over whose god said what first and what religion humanity must follow. It is rather a conflict over power and dominance using religion as a façade to mask the true intentions of the many power- hungry leaders.

The situation in Iraq today is a good example of such conflict as we see militants with military experience seize and take over Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq. Moreover, they are now in control of Tikrit and Kirkuk and on their way to Anbar. In a statement by these militants, Baghdad will be next. How soon? Well, seeing how fast the militants are moving, Baghdad could be taken over by the end of June However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they can claim victory over Baghdad just yet, and here’s why: Baghdad has the highest number of Shias in the central region of Iraq, most of them are in fact supporters of Nouri Al Maliki. Additionally, most of the military equipment and support is in Baghdad or close proximity to it, which means that if the Iraqi military confronts the militants, they can and will get whatever backup they need to overpower them.

The situation in Baghdad is unlike what happened in Mosul, where the militants were more powerful even if they had few weapons to use at the beginning, but after the military had dropped everything and left, militants now own more than they had before the confrontation. The Iraqi military fled the scene of the fight because they knew they could not stand a fight against Sunni fighters, whom are mostly members of the former Baath regime military, in a Sunni region, while Al Maliki’s military are mostly Shia with strong loyalties to Iran. Al Maliki military knew that they will be crushed and killed as they foresaw that the majority of the city fighting with these militants against them.

What the seizure of Mosul means is that this could either lead to yet another civil war in Iraq, or it could shift the country to a new Sunni leadership. This however cannot be fully determined yet as the identity of the militants is still a matter of debate among people in Iraq and the media. And, though the media claimed that these militants are Al Qaeda affiliated and go by Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) or known as “Da’ish” an Arabic, but the stories coming from Iraq say otherwise.

In an email conversation I had with some friends from Iraq, they swore that these militants are anything but Al Qaeda fighters. To prove it, these militant have insisted today that no one call them by “Da’ish” or ISIS, they are not dressed in long white gowns and don’t have long shaggy beards as most ISIS fighters or  Al Qaeda. They are also protecting government buildings and urging people to return to their daily lives.

So, could this be a nationalistic coup waged by Sunni insurgents most of whom are from the former Baath military to restore Iraq to the way it was before the invasion? Perhaps. Many have confirmed that those who were fighting in Mosul are former members of the Saddam military, and in many of the statements released they have confirmed that are working with Izzat Ibrahim Al Doury, Saddam Hussien’s former vice president.

Since the invasion, Izzat Al Doury fled his home in Baghdad and remained in hiding for the past 11 years. US and Iraqi militaries were unsuccessful in capturing him, despite the fact that they captured his family members, including his elderly wife who was abused in the prison that was set up in Baghdad Airport. Izzat has released many statements throughout the past 11 years condemning the US invasion and the Iranian intervention that followed it, turning Iraq into a slave state for the Ayatollah in Iran as witnessed by the cozy relationship that Nouri Al Maliki has with the Iranian leadership and the privileges he gave to Iran over the past eight years.

The reality of the situation in Iraq remains uncertain, no matter who is fighting the Iraqi military. The Iraqi government is weak, despite the weapons and gadgets it purchased from the US and Russia. The Iraqi military has no experience in fighting hardcore battles against experienced fighters. If it is determined to be true that those fighters are Al Qaeda affiliated, then this may lead to a war on a larger scale in the entire region between Sunnis and Shias. If they are Baathists trying to reclaim power and authority, then this means another civil war will erupt in Iraq and it could be more deadly than 2007.

What needs to happen is for Nouri Al Maliki to step down as a failed Prime Minister who exhibited time and again his lack of wise leadership and inexperience in controlling crises such as the one in Mosul. He also needs to stop calling for help from the US and the international community and obeying orders from Tehran. If Nouri Al Maliki was a true patriotic leader that is faithful and devout citizen of his country, he would not hide behind the walls of the Green Zone, but go out in the streets and ask Iraqis what do they really want? What do they really need? And how could he be of service to them? After all, isn’t that what democracy should be like?

The US is weighing whether it should interfere in Iraq or not, especially after the requests Nouri Al Maliki has publicly made in his statements, asking for US military help and specifically the use of drones to target ISIS fighters in Falluja and elsewhere. But such involvement in Iraq will only cost more damage to the current situation by enabling a weak and incompetent government that will continue to abuse its power to abuse its people.

I urge the US to not interfere in Iraq in any military shape or form. Stop funding the killer regime in Iraq, stop supporting them and definitely do not send your troops back. There is no question that if the US wants to interfere in a peaceful way it can and should when the time comes, but sending troops or arms to Iraq will only create a bigger disaster that will be too hard to control.

a good example of such conflict as we see militants with military experience seize and take over Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq. Moreover, they are now in control of Tikrit and Kirkuk* and on their way to Anbar. In a statement by these militants, Baghdad will be next. How soon? Well, seeing how fast the militants are moving, Baghdad could be taken over by the end of June However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they can claim victory over Baghdad just yet, and here’s why: Baghdad has the highest number of Shias in the central region of Iraq, most of them are in fact supporters of Nouri Al Maliki. Additionally, most of the military equipment and support is in Baghdad or close proximity to it, which means that if the Iraqi military confronts the militants, they can and will get whatever backup they need to overpower them.

The situation in Baghdad is unlike what happened in Mosul, where the militants were more powerful even if they had few weapons to use at the beginning, but after the military had dropped everything and left, militants now own more than they had before the confrontation. The Iraqi military fled the scene of the fight because they knew they could not stand a fight against Sunni fighters, whom are mostly members of the former Baath regime military, in a Sunni region, while Al Maliki’s military are mostly Shia with strong loyalties to Iran. Al Maliki military knew that they will be crushed and killed as they foresaw that the majority of the city fighting with these militants against them.

What the seizure of Mosul means is that this could either lead to yet another civil war in Iraq, or it could shift the country to a new Sunni leadership. This however cannot be fully determined yet as the identity of the militants is still a matter of debate among people in Iraq and the media. And, though the media claimed that these militants are Al Qaeda affiliated and go by Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) or known as “Da’ish” an Arabic, but the stories coming from Iraq say otherwise.

In an email conversation I had with some friends from Iraq, they swore that these militants are anything but Al Qaeda fighters. To prove it, these militant have insisted today that no one call them by “Da’ish” or ISIS, they are not dressed in long white gowns and don’t have long shaggy beards as most ISIS fighters or Al Qaeda. They are also protecting government buildings and urging people to return to their daily lives.

So, could this be a nationalistic coup waged by Sunni insurgents most of whom are from the former Baath military to restore Iraq to the way it was before the invasion? Perhaps. Many have confirmed that those who were fighting in Mosul are former members of the Saddam military, and in many of the statements released they have confirmed that are working with Izzat Ibrahim Al Doury, Saddam Hussien’s former vice president.

Since the invasion, Izzat Al Doury fled his home in Baghdad and remained in hiding for the past 11 years. US and Iraqi militaries were unsuccessful in capturing him, despite the fact that they captured his family members, including his elderly wife who was abused in the prison that was set up in Baghdad Airport. Izzat has released many statements throughout the past 11 years condemning the US invasion and the Iranian intervention that followed it, turning Iraq into a slave state for the Ayatollah in Iran as witnessed by the cozy relationship that Nouri Al Maliki has with the Iranian leadership and the privileges he gave to Iran over the past eight years.

The reality of the situation in Iraq remains uncertain, no matter who is fighting the Iraqi military. The Iraqi government is weak, despite the weapons and gadgets it purchased from the US and Russia. The Iraqi military has no experience in fighting hardcore battles against experienced fighters. If it is determined to be true that those fighters are Al Qaeda affiliated, then this may lead to a war on a larger scale in the entire region between Sunnis and Shias. If they are Baathists trying to reclaim power and authority, then this means another civil war will erupt in Iraq and it could be more deadly than 2007.

What needs to happen is for Nouri Al Maliki to step down as a failed Prime Minister who exhibited time and again his lack of wise leadership and inexperience in controlling crises such as the one in Mosul. He also needs to stop calling for help from the US and the international community and obeying orders from Tehran. If Nouri Al Maliki was a true patriotic leader that is faithful and devout citizen of his country he would not hide behind the walls of the Green Zone, but go out in the streets and ask Iraqis what do they really want? What do they really need? And how could he be of service to them? After all, isn’t that what democracy should be like?
The US is weighing whether it should interfere in Iraq or not, especially after the requests Nouri Al Maliki has publicly made in his statements, asking for US military help and specifically the use of drones to target ISIS fighters in Falluja and elsewhere. But such involvement in Iraq will only cost more damage to the current situation by enabling a weak and incompetent government that will continue to abuse its power to abuse its people.

I urge the US to not interfere in Iraq in any military shape or form. Stop funding the killer regime in Iraq, stop supporting them and definitely do not send your troops back. There is no question that if the US wants to interfere in a peaceful way it can and should when the time comes, but sending troops or arms to Iraq will only create a bigger disaster that will be too hard to control.

 

*This article was posted a day before Kirkuk became under the control of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces.

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  • Rebekka Bodine

    thank you for your account and your courage. individual voices are often lost amidst the loudspeaker of main media. i hope for peace and i will continue to call for u.s. nonintervention.

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