The New Flag of Sanity in Iraq and Syria
It is the time now for the Kurdistan people to determine their future-Massoud Barzani (HT:Gatewaypundit)
What makes a nation? Having more powerful world leaders break out a bottle of their favorite sauce and draw your borders on a napkin? Does it involve an over-empowered dictator killing off dissidents with poison gas? Does it involve people who despise one another forced into involuntary coexistence at the point of a bayonet? The rhetorical questions are usually pretty easy. Luckily for us; Americans rarely face any of these sorts of “false choices.” In other parts of the world, such as Northern Iraq, people are not so blessed with freedom, wealth and mobility. Under more trying constraints, an effective nation may well require what Amerika.org lays out below.
Organic identity comprises three major factors: culture, values and heritage. The three shape each other and depend on each other. Culture arises from a sense of being “a people,” which necessarily involves a sense of some unity and uniformity in heritage, and values arise from the aesthetic determinations made by culture.
This brings us to where our Vice-President Joe Biden actually had a point other than the one on the top of his head. He actually proposed a system that would have effectively portioned Iraq into three separate entities back in 2007.
Biden, then a senator, championed a more federal system explicitly allowed by the Iraqi constitution (at the insistence of the Kurds), devolving power from the central government in Baghdad to the provinces. Although Biden denied it at the time, his proposal would almost certainly have led to the de facto soft partition of Iraq into three autonomous regions dominated by Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds. (HT: Defense One.com)
Now extraordinary claims, such as Joe Biden shopping 7-11 and buying a clue, require extraordinary evidence to vouch for their verity. I think a compare and contrast between the performance of the Kurdish Peshmerga versus the ISIS and that of Nouri al-Maliki’s ISF gives you all the extraordinary evidence that you need. Three major factions of Iraqis have armies in the field in what is rapidly escalated into an Iraqi Civil War. The Sunni ISIS is represented by the jihadist band commanded by Abu Bakr al-Baghdad. The Shiite recognized government of Iraq fields the US trained and equipped ISF. The Kurds continue to defend themselves with the Peshmerga.
The ISIS has been on the offensive and has attacked both opposing armies with different levels of success. ISIS forces are overrunning the ISF on a daily basis. They are capturing equipment we gave to the ISF and are actively trolling President Obama without remorse over this. Retired General David Barno described the current state of the ISF.
“The fact that al-Maliki and the Iraqi government quickly called up the Shiite militias to defend Baghdad and looked to help from [Shiite] Iran, making this into an unmistakably sectarian crisis, speaks volumes about the lack of confidence in Iraqi Security Forces. That is very, very troubling.”
Things have gone differently for ISIS when they’ve tangled with Kurdish regulars in both Syria and in Iraq. The Kurd Forces feel strongly enough about the people they defend to die in battle against ISIS. The ISF soldiers clearly do not. One army is fighting Abu Bakr al-Baghdad, the other cannot seem to be bothered.
Thus, the Kurds have taken things into their own hands. They have successfully waged war with the militant Shiites, and, more importantly, they have successfully waged diplomacy and trade with their former enemies, The Turks. They are shipping oil through Turkey to the port of Ceyhan and do not seem to care that Iraqi President al-Maliki does not approve. It was, after all, the Peshmerga that chased ISIS out of Kirkuk. If they have to do al-Maliki’s job for him, they will not be willing to accept his diktats.
So I’ll score one for Joe Biden. Iraq has truly split into three. Kurdistan has arisen and is acting more responsibly, more capably and in far more a civilized manner than either the official government in Baghdad or the sadistic butchers fielded by the ISIS. Thus, as Iraq and Syria both disintegrate into failed states, and Iran and Saudi Arabia make poor choices as to which faction to support, Turkey has surprisingly gone against prior biases and backed Kurdistan as the sanest bunch in the region. All political factions in the US should give Joe Biden his Quatloos on this one and follow the prudent example being set by The Turks. Hopefully President Obama will give Biden as much credit as I’m willing to.