A Mind Infinite

Infinity: The Views of a Dreamer

Accountability: The Western Story

Accountability: The Western Story

Written by Aaron Peterson

Is there not a recognizing of irony in the White House when speaking of the ongoing situation in Iraq? The Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS/ISIL) have taken control of several cities including Mosul according to sources. In reaction to the news of ISIL’s ‘lightning campaign’ as described by networks such as CNN, nothing has been mentioned to the effect that what is happening in Mosul has been ongoing in places like Homs for nearly 3 years. Needless to say, in Syria the militants have received clear Western support and justification for their actions, even an underplaying of the extremist element involved in sectarian violence in Syria. In Syria, such force is legitimate and recognized as a necessity by various governments comprising what is known as the global West. The main player in the support of militants in Syria has been the United States, the same power which continually finds itself arguing against a tide of it’s own hypocrisy; foreign backed rebellion in Syria is legitimate, rebellion in Ukraine however is not has been one of the key talking points of officials such as John Kerry and Barack Obama. Kerry who had the mouth to say that in the 21st century ‘countries do not behave like they did in the 20th and act on false premises.’ If this is the case, where has the accountability been for the situation in Iraq and Syria? It seems threats of military action and red lines are the only points shouted out.

The first question that needs to be asked in relationship to Iraq, is why Iraq? How have the militants in Iraq, especially the extremist forces of ISIS/ISIL found themselves able to at such a momentum topple security forces that have been built with US force and money over the course of years? One needs only to look at the government that was created during the occupation for a firm answer. Foreign backed parties that had been in exile and mainly financially supported by the United States were propped into place. The parties put into power including Maliki’s party were predominantly Shi’ite Islamist. In the aftermath of ‘de-Ba’athism’ undertaken by the United States in Iraq, Sunnis were alienated from the government and forced into the sidelines. Opening up a course for radical religious armed movements to engage in jihad.  In the absence of a national solution to the question for Sunni Arabs belonging to a greater Arab nation, religious fundamentalism quickly sprouted. Notably, the clash between Shi’ites and Sunnis took place beginning in 2006 in which is noted as the Iraqi Civil War, which lead to Sunnis and Shi’ites having engaged in direct slaughter against the other due to the boiling point having been reached.

Alienation caused the creation of a balkanized Iraq on religious grounds. It caused Iraq to cease to be a product of Arab nationalism that united the people together, instead to an occupied and divided nation. Remaining to this day from the unequal power structure that began with the failure of the Iraq War has been the same government in place. A government that has been in the past deemed massively corrupt and lacking representation for many groups. The United States did not facilitate mediation in Iraq, rebel groups which actively waged warfare against the government predominantly Sunni groupings which were not under the banner of al-Qaeda were never consulted or brought into negotiations to form a new government in order to maintain peace in Iraq. Instead, the United States left Iraq as nothing could be further done, the situation had reached it’s inevitable conclusion. The United States ever so reluctant for the idea of negotiations with former militants which fought against it, refused to bring the government into negotiation with the groups.

So the situation remained, even though for a time the casualties reached lower numbers and the news was quiet about the ongoing situation in Iraq, as it was old stale news.  The situation remained a low-priority and simply tit-for-tat violence until the funding of militancy in Syria. The rise of jihadist groups in Syria, the “Free Syrian Army”, Islamic Front, al-Nusra and ISIS gave a new empowerment to militancy in Iraq. It brought fresh funding in from states such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and gave groups such as ISIS tremendous propaganda support which had been lacking. It allowed these groups to re-organize and continue their fight against the government of Baghdad and ultimately cause the present crisis that threatens the current government of Iraq.

For the past 11 years since the initial invasion the call has been to use the gun and the bomb to put down undesirable changes in Iraq. Yet again, the United States and other parties question using the gun and the bomb again to put down the ongoing crisis. But in the past 11 years since the beginning of the conflict, it has not been learned that using the gun and the bomb will only ignite the fire further. The lack of accountability for each parties responsibility in creating the disaster that is post-invasion Iraq is what has been holding the nation of Iraq back for the past 11 years. It has been the inability for the government and the United States to negotiate with more moderate elements of the Iraqi insurgency to bring an agreement about and solve the situation that has been caused by alienation and foreign occupation. And so, Iraq stands on a hot skillet waiting for more never ending violence with the ordinary Iraqi people being caught in the crossfire. The same people that will remain in the crossfire indefinitely while the same social situation remains in Iraq and the problem is dealt with the politics of the gun alone.


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