Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Dogs Of War

As usual, a good job by Ezra Klein explaining complicated issues in a brief space.

The dynamics of ISIS/ISIL are directly rooted in the Iraq War, as Klein notes.  And while ISIL is not especially popular among Iraqi Sunni, they are more popular than the execrable al Maliki.

The push by ISIL into Kurdistan will hopefully be a case of overreach.  But the US clearly overestimated the abilities not just of the Iraqi Army but of the Peshmerga.  The current plan of airstrikes and humanitarian aid seems an acceptable middle ground, but they need to be considering alternatives if it is insufficient.

This seems an opportune moment to use this leverage.

The key is the Kurds.  They want independence, but they are currently playing a waiting game largely because of Turkish objections, which the US has been sympathetic to.

The US should go to Turkey and ask for troops to attack ISIL or else we will have to recognize Kurdish independence.  The Turks should be concerned about ISIL (everyone should be) and keeping the US from recognizing Kurdistan could be the boost to get them off the sidelines.  One would also think that Turkic minorities in Iraq are being persecuted by ISIL.

ISIL is the new Khmer Rouge.  The world did nothing when a US war created a force of pre-modern savagery the last time.  We shouldn't make that mistake again.

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