Ali Khedery writes: It took the fall of Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul, for Western elites to finally begin to understand what many of us saw firsthand in the years since 2003:
The Iraqi government is hopelessly sectarian, corrupt, and generally unfit to govern what could be one of the world’s most prosperous nations. Washington’s response to the Islamic State’s (IS) advance, however, has been disgraceful: The United States is now acting as the air force, the armory, and the diplomatic cover for Iraqi militias that are committing some of the worst human rights abuses on the planet. These are “allies” that are actually beholden to our strategic foe, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and which often resort to the same vile tactics as the Islamic State itself.
The dictatorship of Saddam Hussein was branded the “Republic of Fear” due to its wanton disregard for the sanctity of human life. Saddam’s abuses were legendary: The invasion of Iran in 1980, where his forces employed chemical and biological weapons; the genocide of more than 100,000 Kurds during the Anfal campaign; the invasion of Kuwait in 1990; and 1991’s massacre of Shiites in Karbala are only a few examples of his gruesome handiwork.
Post-2003 Iraq was supposed to be different. Throughout the past decade, however, countless NGOs and international news organizations have borne witness to the accelerating pace of abuses. The Republic of Fear is being reborn. [Continue reading…]