The U.S. military and U.S. tax dollars are already deeply entangled in Middle Easterners' lives (and deaths), and President Obama is under pressure to get further involved in the wars in Iraq and Syria. But what advice would our nation's founders give the 44th president this July 4?
The ambitions of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria are darker and more extreme than those of Mr. al-Maliki. But they are the logical result of a cultural norm that compels religious obedience and criminalizes dissent -- a norm held throughout the Arab and Muslim world.
Thirteen years later, the American public is very sick and tired of war; but for Cheney, it's just getting started.
As Iraq tumbles into a yet another civil war, it is important to remember how all this came about, and why adding yet more warfare to the current crisis will perpetuate exactly what the "Great Loot" set out to do: tear an entire region of the world asunder.
What we have called "Iraq" since the British and French carved up the old Ottoman Empire after World War I is obviously over. So why are President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, in the midst of the unfolding Gulf War III, wasting time pretending they might save the old carcass?
Criminal networks are robbing from our past to fund their terrorist activities, intimidate and undermine already struggling countries. This global crisis requires a global solution, and the United States is well-positioned to lead this charge.
The current situation in the Middle East is proof that ignoring a wound doesn't make it go away. Over three years of neglect from the international community with regards to Syria has destabilized that nation and its neighbors.
This past week, to absolutely no fanfare whatever, the last declared chemical weapons left Syria. (Isn't it interesting how the drums of war earn endless media coverage, but the dove of peace flies unnoticed?)
The ultimate folly is the belief that people are infinitely malleable, that Americans have been anointed to shape and mold humanity against its will, and that there is nothing which cannot be achieved through a few bombing runs, an occasional invasion, and a thorough military occupation. Real leadership means being prepared not to get involved. Real leadership means not being flattered into war by other states proclaiming America's indispensability in solving their problems. Real leadership means allowing, indeed, expecting, others to take control of their own destinies. Foreign policy is a difficult business. In practice the administration has been foolish and feckless, often blundering along even when it has made the right decision, such as not to attack Syria. And its desperate desire to do something risks drawing it in by increments, a serious danger in Iraq today.
The intensifying war in Iraq has surprised the world. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a terrorist group, has taken over a large part of Iraq's territory and is still advancing toward other areas. Western and Middle Eastern governments are concerned about ISIS. How can we understand such developments?
In this troubling and complex world it still feels good to have simple answers, to place all the blame on particular individuals whom we have learned to despise and fear. When ancient societies felt pressures similar to this they commonly engaged in the practice of human sacrifice.
The series of events that led to the creation of an ISIS state has led to a flurry of pundits and policy makers spewing three common myths about Iraq. Attributing the current crisis to any of these misconceptions not only ignores the history of the region, but has resulted in flawed policy proposals, particularly from Washington.
The loss of a child is perhaps the most devastating loss a human being can suffer. The short and long term effects of the pain which affects a parent after the death of a son or daughter are unfathomable.
Failure to stabilize Iraq in the short term by engaging with security council members under the auspices of UN Resolution 1618 and consulting regional security experts could lead to the 'mother of all blowbacks' and tarnish Obama's legacy way before the next U.S. presidential elections in 2017.
We should not trivialize the sacrifices our fighting forces made on account of a lost war, but rather we should actively prevent those lives from being lost in vain by ensuring that the lesson we learned is retained and applied.
The big unreported story of the Iraqi crisis is the failure of American intelligence agencies to foresee the ISIS campaign. Indeed, the ISIS phenomenon from its emergence two years ago until now has largely passed under the radar of the CIA, NSA et al.