Iraq: great power convergence against ISIS
Days after declaring a new "caliphate" and formally renaming itself simply the "Islamic State," to emphasize its pretensions to world domination, ISIS has claimed possession of at least one Scud ballistic missile. The militant group published photographs of what appeared to be a Scud paraded on the back on a truck surrounded by masked men in the Syrian city of Raqqa—the proclaimed capital of their "caliphate." The missile was presumably seized from either Iraqi or Syrian military forces. In a voice-over with the video message, "caliph" Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi issued a worldwide call to jihad, beseeching Muslims to rise up and avenge wrongs committed against their faith from Central African Republic to Burma. (Al Arabiya, July 2)
President Barack Obama has ordered Predator drones armed with Hellfire missiles into Iraq to help beat back ISIS. (The Telegraph, June 27) The Baghdad government meanwhile said that Russian experts have arrived in Iraq to help the army get 12 new Moscow-supplied warplanes into the battle against ISIS. (NYT, June 29) Iran is also said to be sending surveillance drones into Iraq and supplying Baghdad's forces with tons of military equipment and other emergency supplies. (NYT, June 25)
A lovely irony of the US strategy of grooming the Shi'ites as proxies in Iraq, exploiting their grievances in the Saddam-era order that favored the Sunnis: It has ultimately driven Washington into at least a de facto alliance with its imperial rival Russia and official enemy Iran. But we want to know how the Idiot Leftists who have been avidly rooting for Bashar Assad square it... The Sunni insurgents in Iraq are heroic freedom fighters while the Sunni insurgents in Syria are jihadist pawns of imperialism... so, now that ISIS threatens both regimes and has officially abolished the border between Iraq and Syria, they are... what, guys? Russian and Iranian aid to Damascus is OK, while US aid to Baghdad is imperialist... so, now Russian and Iranian aid to Baghdad is... what, fellas? We want to hear from you...