The crisis in Iraq can be resolved quite easily. All we have to do is master time-travel.
There are differences of opinion on whether or not history has to be reversed back to 2003 or 1914, but either way, the ability to go back into the past is key.
If time-travel can be accomplished through an act of will, we can remain hopeful that this great challenge will soon be surmounted. After all, there is a growing movement of people who clearly want to re-live the past, so maybe we can all soon get back there, reverse the mistakes which were made and reset history on a more reliable course.
Meanwhile, just in case the time-travel solution happens not to bear fruit, it might be worth considering some kind of Plan B.
Among young Americans — those whose interest in the future can be assumed to be far greater than their interest in the past — the World Cup is apparently almost twice as interesting as events in Iraq. Maybe the 2018 World Cup in Russia will be a game-changer on the geopolitical landscape.
Maybe the assessment that the danger posed to America by ISIS is now greater than that posed by Al Qaeda in the summer of 2001 is an overstatement. After all, while Al Qaeda’s focus was on provoking and challenging American power, ISIS is much more intent on establishing and expanding its caliphate than in seeking military engagement with the U.S..
The fact that ISIS has already drawn the support of hundreds of Westerners flooding initially to Syria, does not necessarily mean many of these individuals will be returning to their countries of origin to engage in terrorism. After all, one of their favorite ways of declaring their commitment to their Islamic state is to destroy their passports. With a measure of realism, they seem to be showing that they have already arrived in the place where they expect to fight and die.
Among critics of the war in Iraq there seems to be far greater concern about the danger of the U.S. once again becoming militarily engaged in Iraq, than there is concern about ISIS. Indeed, few seem to want to say much about the group other than assert that it wouldn’t have come into existence had it not been for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. True. But the invasion did happen and ISIS does now exist and is growing in strength — and the clock cannot be turned back.
Claims that ISIS poses a threat to the world may be viewed with some justified skepticism, but when Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says that the group now threatens every state in the region, that sounds to me like an accurate assessment.
Military intervention by Russia and Iran might save Maliki yet destroy Iraq.
That an Iranian general has already promised to use “the same winning strategy used in Syria” sends a chilling message to Iraq’s Sunni population as a whole.
Americans who imagine that so long as our borders are secure, we can ignore what happens elsewhere in the world are living in denial about the interconnected planet on which we live.
Anti-interventionists who imagine that the only issue that matters in relation to Iraq is that the U.S. not get sucked in, are unwilling to confront the fact that ISIS will have to be confronted.
If you want to place your confidence in Russia and Iran, then remember Grozny and Aleppo and picture what might become of Mosul.
ISIS could not have advanced this far without the support of a wider Sunni insurgency and rather than the Russians, Iranians, Maliki’s security forces, Shia militias, or the U.S., it is the Sunnis who need expose the fact that this newly constructed Islamic state has no real foundations. But this isn’t going to happen without Iraq’s Sunni population receiving a tangible reward. The longer that takes to materialize, the less chance there is that it’s going to happen.