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.
The ISIS term "management or administration of savagery" in fact refers to that hiatus which occurs between the waning of one power and the consolidation of power of another. What is being assumed here is that a certain chaos will pertain, and that the disputed territory will be ravaged by violence as power oscillates back and forth between the "old" power and its incoming successor (the Islamic State). The author of the "Management of Savagery" treatise bluntly states that there is no room for "softness": "Softness" is the ingredient for failure: "our enemies will not be merciful to us, so it compels us to make them think one thousand times, before they dare attack us".
The 100-year anniversary of the most important event in the 20th century passed recently with predictably scant notice in the American media.
Not for the last time in the Middle East would disaster come from the blundering ignorance and blinding arrogance of foreign intruders convinced by magical thinking of their own omnipotence and righteousness. How soon we forget. How often we repeat.
Before embarking on another adventure to pacify the region, the United States must understand several basic facts that seemed to have eluded the architects of the war of 2003 -- an invasion that ultimately set Iraq up for its present dilemmas.
What kind of world are we in when the most powerful nation on the planet is incapable of convincing anyone, even allies significantly dependent on it, of anything?
Americans should ignore these Sirens of Death. Attempting to forcibly transform Iraq never was Washington's responsibility. Having botched the job once, U.S. policymakers should not try again. There certainly is no public support for new military adventures in Mesopotamia.
What does success against jihadist terrorist groups look like? For all the talk of a Forever War, we might just have an answer now.
Behind every country that erupts into civil war, falls victim to famine or flubs in respond to a natural disaster is a government that has failed to protect its citizens.
Iraq, with its prominent Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish populations, is looking more and more like a country split into three.
After long-simmering sectarian tensions exploded in Iraq a few weeks back, critics from the right and left have had a field day taking their shots at the Obama Administration's Iraq policy, or lack thereof.
Peacemaking is among the good deeds incumbent on Muslims during the holy month of fasting and prayer. Distribution of charity and food, customary at Ramadan, is needed especially by people displaced by conflict. How, then, will Ramadan be celebrated in the countries worst affected by the latest Middle East crisis?
The real danger represented by ISIS on the Middle East and the world, is not in slogans, nor in its dogma, not even in the desire to re-form the map of the region. It is the pragmatism that allows it to adapt to changes and attract the sympathy of the local population it seeks to control.
Why is it that the real shock value in random acts of racism comes more from the source out of which it comes, than the statements themselves? It's always comes from someone you never think. And maybe that's why it's so shocking.
While you ponder whether to join John Boehner's lawsuit, take our Week to Week news quiz to see who else is mad at the week's newsmakers.
President Obama has promised not to send "combat troops" to Iraq, but it's hard to see how the U.S. military personnel he is sending there can avoid combat, given that they are being dropped into the middle of a civil war.