Foreign policy on Iraq and Syria is a total car crash. This tends to be what happens when you go hurtling off on half-baked, wildly optimistic adventurism.
If you think back to the heady days of 2003, Tony Blair, he of the whiter than white government was in office. He told us Saddam was dangerous and was developing nukes and other WMD, Brits were 45 minutes from doom and all. The vile Ba’athist regime of Saddam said “no, we don’t have any” But would you trust a murdering sociopathic liar?
I am ashamed to say, I did believe the JIC report (the last time I ever did) but had a problem with the strategy. As the Western tanks rolled into Baghdad, I thought “surely Saddam HAS to fire the WMD’s” that after all is their strategic role. We were told he was ‘warned’ not to. But given that we had already declared war, I wasn’t sure how meaningful that was.
Total chaos and death followed the overthrow of Saddam, not the enlightened democracy we were promised. A few years, much cash and many deaths later, our troops withdrew from Basra – defeated.*
The Iraqis voted on entirely sectarian lines and the minority Sunnis were booted out of power, something they had enjoyed for nearly 1300 years. This pissed off the Saudis and Qataris, but overjoyed Iran. Western intervention utterly destroyed the Iraqi army and the Taliban as a serious military force in Afghanistan making Iran the regional geo-political power: now it had gifted them a friendly government next door.
Meanwhile in Syria, intelligence agencies from the West and arms dealers from Saudi Arabia concluded that de-stabilising the Assad regime might isolate Iran making them easier to deal with. So merry hell was let lose, as all manner of unknown anti-Assad groups were armed and funded. After all, it wasn’t like we’d just had experience of the total fucking carnage that follows when you de-stabilise and attempt to kick out a Ba’athist regime (or indeed Gaddafi in Libya). The Russians thought this a very bad idea and gave Assad some advanced anti-aircraft and anti-shipping missiles. This made western intervention tricky. Dead soldiers are one thing, you don’t see the photos, but crashed planes or sinking ships – bad media.
In August of 2013, 272 MP’s thought the very best course of action was to go to Syria and start killing yet more people, ideally people loyal to Assad. 285 thought it a bad idea and by a majority of just 13, we did not take the field alongside ISIS fighters – sic. (More on them in a moment).
Having turned Syria into a hellish bloodbath, the always admirable Saudis** started funding a group of Sunni co-religionists called the Independent state of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). They set about butchering people they regarded as apostates. This makes about as much sense as having a murderous dispute about the names of Santa’s elves, so clearly these are the people to give nearly a billion dollars and weapons to.
ISIS then took on the Iraqi army. You will recall we stayed in Iraq for years training this elite fighting force. This was the justification du jour when it became obvious there were no WMD’s. Predictably enough, the Iraqi army lasted about as long as the Afghan national army will when the Taliban want to take over again.
So now we had a problem, our nearly allies in Syria were being jolly naughty chaps in Iraq, so should we bomb them or deploy? Immediate engagement in Iraq is about as welcome as a cup of cold sick, so it is left to the Iraqis to re-supply planes from … Russia. Yep, in just a few days, Russian planes will be blowing ISIS to hell apparently. Of course you can’t just buy a modern jet fighter, jump in and fly it, so I guess the pilots must also be Russian? Perhaps NickM could advise?
If this works, the Iraqi government will say a big thanks to Vladimir Putin.
The Iranians meanwhile have had a huge sense of schadenfreude. Western governments, notably the USA, after calling them the empire of evil etc. for twenty years, now go cap in hand for help with ISIS.
Meanwhile Obama now wants to spend $500 Million to train and equip ‘moderate’ Islamic murderers in Syria (but not ISIS, oh no!) because it’s not like we have recent experience of that type of adventure being utterly infiltrated by fundamentalists and rendered pointless. Even if you could identify moderates (whatever that means) how can you propose this shit with a straight face? But hey, it will mean more debt slavery for our kids and still more killing.
Never fear, the very worst is yet to come.
Assume Maliki’s government in Iraq is real struggling and the Iranians get him to ask for formal military assistance. The Iranians can then send their powerful army to occupy the southern oilfields and basically set-up Arabistan in the South. This gives total control of Iranian and Iraqi oil to Tehran and if they can get an invite to go in, it wouldn’t even be something the UN could scream about very much.
And what the hell would we do then? Appeal to our friends the Saudis, go back in and kill yet more people, spend more money we don’t have?
Yep, all things considered after all the murder and money, all the shattered lives and fatherless children, all the chaos, this is what our elite leaders have delivered.
Remind me again why we need these murderous cunts?