If today's uprising is suppressed without addressing its grievances, and without building a government that represents all of the people equally, it will ensure the death of countless innocent people, destabilizing not only Iraq, but the entire world.
The United States and the other international powers should look beyond short-term strategies for reducing violence and combating terrorism, as the failure in their quest stems from disregarding the underlying issues.
Even before the current crises in Ukraine, Syria, and Iraq, criticism of the Obama administration's foreign policy had become so intense that it reached a boiling point over the past year.
Iraq once again illustrates the harsh reality that there are limits to what U.S. military force can accomplish despite the best intentions of its elected leaders, soldiers, and citizens.
It may not have solved everything, but dividing Iraq up at least had the best chance for success. It might have allowed what is happening now to have happened in a more organized fashion, with a lot less violence and death. Or, to put it another way, Joe Biden was right.
The current escalating sectarian violence between the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Iraqi forces and the unending civil war in Syria are now intertwined and neither can be resolved without the other, which requires a dramatic change in the political and military landscape in Syria and Iraq.
This time no one is talking about "boots on the ground" -- yet -- but starting with air strikes could easily lead to deeper U.S. involvement once it is clear that bombing is having no effect.
The challenge for both Muslims and the international community is to counter the hijacking of the Muslim identity by extremists and also to respond to the victimization of all, including Muslims who are targeted by bigotry as well co-coreligionists.
To praise Iran's president for his diplomatic successes means forgetting all too easily that the situation within the country has changed little, if at all, since his election.
Iran and Saudi Arabia are facing off across Iraq. Between them, Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia control the world's largest proven oil reserves. Already, ISIS are close to the oil reserves of northern Iraq. Already, the price of oil is rising.
People unfamiliar with Kurds may not see the significance of the Kurdish army taking the Iraqi oil city of Kirkuk, a rich oil city they've long wanted as part of Iraqi Kurdistan.
ISIS has effectively shown another way forward: to forget about Damascus and Baghdad for now, forget about the Sykes-Picot borders and create a new political space out of the parts of Syria and Iraq that their capitals do not control--a large and viable political territory with major historic cities, trade routes, oil resources and borders potentially abutting Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. For now, let's call it Syriaq.
What we are witnessing from ISIS is a full-on, blitzkrieg-like campaign leveraging conventional-style tactics forcing tens of thousands of scared Iraqi soldiers and police into embarrassing retreat.
The Za'atari refugee camp has become the gateway for the majority of the 600,000 Syrians that have fled their homeland since seemingly innocuous government protests escalated into a bloody civil war.
This week, as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) soldiers pushed into Iraq, seizing cities, U.S.-made war supplies, Central Bank cash and gold bouillon, oil prices jumped to almost $107/barrel.