By Soumya Priyadarshini
Edited by Liz Maria Kuriakose, Associate Editor, The Indian Economist
This isn’t the first time that Iraq has been in the global headlines. In 2003 also, the UK government sent British troops to the country in a US-led invasion.
But, the current situation in Iraq is much more dangerous as the people are under immense threat and this may have catastrophic repercussions on the development of the country. The Islamist extremist group called Isis, has taken control of several cities in the country. Lakhs of people have left these areas to avoid conflicts, which is getting closer and closer to the capital city, Baghdad.
Recently, the Iraqi army found counter offensive techniques to fight more effectively after the Sunni insurgency began. According to local channels, thousands of government soldiers with warplanes and tanks had recaptured Tikrit. Preparations were on track for government forces to move north towards Mosul. Sources said that more than 50,000 Christians were forced to run away from the villages near Mosul after the insurgents attacked. They sought shelter in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, which is now an independent entity.
Daily riots and fights are common news to the Iraqi population and the rest of the world which thinks that despite the fact that a lot is going on within, Iraq hears only 50% of it. A spokesperson for the Sunni insurgents fighting primarily against the Shia forces supporting the government of Nouri al-Maliki claimed that the attack had failed, and also reported continuous battle. Insurgents have secured power over large swathes of the territory to the north and west of Iraq.
The Obama administration made a delayed move against Maliki. It called upon his State of the Law coalition and his opponents to form a government of national salvation approving Shia, Sunni and Kurdish parties.
This equates to a demand for Maliki to go—a move considered a precondition for ending the insurgency by the Sunni tribes.
Maliki on the other hand has also begun parley for the return of more than 100 Iraqi planes detained by Iran from the Iraqi pilots during the 1991 Gulf War. A top Iraqi intelligence official told the Guardian that Iran was secretly supplying huge destructive weapons in large numbers. Maliki has also secured planes from Russia and Belarus to counter the failure of the US.
According to the information available over the internet, the US response to the extrication of its previous Middle East policy seems incoherent. Consider the Syrian case, where for years it supported ISIS and other Al Qaeda-linked forces. Washington has officially provided $287 million to the Syrian opposition since 2011 and has trained its fighters in the camps in Jordan.
There is no way to determine where US weapons would end up, especially as the FSA is a much less effective and influential force than the Islamic Front coalition.
There is confirmation of a degree of US cooperation with Iran as well.
Obama sees to it as Iraq needs support to break the momentum of extremist groups and that he may take military action if required. But military advice and support won’t accomplish much if Mr. Maliki and other Iraqi leaders refuse to join together to save their state. Whatever action Obama decides to take, it must be grounded in a larger political strategy considering all the dangers that are developing in the region.
Because of the persistent violence by the Sunni militants, it seems less probable that Iraq might become a unified state.
Events in Iraq are an upsetting denunciation of the role played by US there and throughout the Middle East. The rapacious aims of the US risk a combat that could engulf the entire region. Hence, the role of US is very uncertain in insurgency and this ongoing rebellion in the Middle East. Since Iraq has failed as a state, the UN should intervene as they did in Afghanistan. Only, if peace is seen as the last resort and nothing else, only then the situation can ameliorate. Hence, there should be an extensive modern educational program in Iraq, Iran and similar states to curb the orthodox Islamic organizations’ attempts to rope in youngsters of the region.
There should be job opportunities and foreign investment. Instead of the sanctions posed on these countries which kills jobs and alleviates the violent situation, more financial assistance should be provided. There should be democratic elections moderated by the UN and not the US as was the case in Afghanistan. In the latter case, it becomes the case of puppet governance by the US.
For women empowerment, propaganda should be run with examples like that of Malala Yousafzai. The UN can help and improve the condition of Iraq unlike any other ally.
If that happens, we can hope that the people living there will get a huge relief. But till then we can just pray for peace and raise our voices to support the poor innocent common people suffering in Iraq.
Soumya is currently pursuing B.Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering. She holds prior experience as an editor at Srijan (her college’s annual magazine). She is a brilliant singer, an avid reader and she spends most of her time pondering over various issues which often inspires her to write. Usually she can be found surfing the internet and reading almost any impossible thing in the world right from biology to astrology. She wants to serve the nation and she feels that writing is the most effective and the easiest way to work on all problems and eradicate them. She believes in learning something new from whatever she experiences. She is extremely excited about writing for a large number of enthusiastic readers here and she promises to deliver her best. She really appreciates constructive criticism. You can reach her at her blog (hearabuzz.blogspot.in) or her email id ([email protected]).