A highly interesting and instructive communiqué has drawn the attention of many Arabists. The office of the President of Iraqi Kurdistan issued a statement on June 24 saying that President Massoud Barzani met with the US Ambassador to Baghdad Stuart Jones, US Council General in Erbil Joseph Pennington and several military commanders. It was revealed that the Pentagon intends on placing units of US troops, including special elite forces, in the Autonomous Kurdish region. Western media reported that military technology, weapons and equipment will be delivered in Kurdistan to help in the fight against “Islamic State” terrorists, which will be used for the armament of Kurdish groups fighting the jihadists.
At first glance it seems like this is good news, indicating a certain “aspiration” of Washington to strengthen its allies in the region. However, it is curious that the negotiations on the deployment of military forces of brave American “warriors” are not conducted with Baghdad, as prescribed by international law, but with the Kurdish government of Erbil. Many foreign experts acknowledge that such White House decision was odd and does not meet with the “protocols” of international diplomacy. On the other hand, Iraq is split and one can hardly speak of traditional diplomacy. Furthermore, the Minister of Defense complained earlier that the official Iraqi army does not go out of their way to combat “ISIS” militants. Incidentally, this is not surprising as the composition of “ISIS” and the Iraqi army is the same. That of them being Sunnis and that they are not going to fight each other in order to strengthen the Shiite government in Baghdad and on behalf of the American “ally” whose occupation led the country to the split.
The talks in Erbil confirmed the idea that has been floating for a long time that Washington is not going to strengthen the Shia of Iraq and is fine with the country being divided on an ethno-religious basis. The exchange of views in the House Armed Services Committee of the House of Congress proved this idea correct when US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter stated that the Obama administration is ready to accept the disintegration of Iraq as an unified nation-state. “That is an important part of our strategy now on the ground. – declared the minister brazenly – If the government can’t do what it’s supposed to do, then we will still try to enable local ground forces, if they’re willing to partner with us, to keep stability in Iraq—but there will not be a single state of Iraq.”
The unscrupulous statement of E. Carter simultaneously underlines the danger of the interventional policy of the USA in the Middle East and also the infinite false pretexts used to justify their actions. Not so long ago the Obama administration announced that it will maintain its military operations in Iraq in the guise of protection from “ISIS” that is threatening its survival. For example, standing next to the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Obama announced at the White House that “the paramount interest of the United States, along with defeating “ISIS” is to respect the sovereignty of Iraq”. A few months later the American administration made it clear that it is not only indifferent to the sovereignty but even to the existence of this once prosperous and powerful country.
Many observers argue, not without reason, that the direct supply of weapons and transfer of US commandos in Iraqi Kurdistan are associated with plans to redraw the map of the Middle East. Iraq is divided into three parts: a Kurdish state with access to the sea, Sunni Iraq and the Shia state with its capital in Basra. “The policy of the United States is calculated on the total defeat of the Arab world – says the Iranian newspaper Kayhan – because the weaker the Middle East will be, the easier it will be for Washington to implement global policies, not only in the region but in the world.” Thus, it is possible to draw the conclusion that despite reducing their “defence” budget, and also the failure of the “shale revolution”, Washington isn’t going to leave the role of world “predominant force” and “gendarme”. Where is the notorious American “democracy” that is talked about, implanted by bombings all around the world. At this point in time remember the famous saying of the XIX century socio-political scientist Alexis de Tocqueville “Democracy is the rule of scum.”
In this regard it is possible to lead with the opinion of the very influential columnist of “Foreign Policy” Michael Knights: “The Middle East could see the collapse of state stability in a cross-sectarian, multiethnic country of 35 million people that borders many of the region’s most important states and is the world’s fastest-growing oil exporter,” he writes. “Any other country with the same importance and the same grievous challenges would get more US support.” He concludes: “Washington doesn’t have the luxury of treating Iraq as a special case anymore. ISIS has moved on since the days of the U.S. occupation and they have a plan. Washington should too. “
The last statement of the well-known columnist is not entirely right. Washington has a plan for fighting in the Middle East, but it is aimed at securing American dominance. In this regard, the Obama administration, condemns terrorism with words, but in fact, encourages and finances it in every way. According to the Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem, the United States have contributed a billion dollars to the militants of the extremist “Islamic State. With the newest weapons in the hands of these men that are now deployed in the areas of Syrian and Iraqi conflicts. At a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the head of Syrian diplomats Walid Muallem stressed that there existed so called double standards. The American elite demands a political settlement of the conflicts in the Middle East but in reality allocate billions to the armament of “ISIS” terrorists. According to the Foreign Ministry of Syria, for example, more than 2,000 well armed militants arrived in the south of the country just a few days before. And at the same time “the United States does not hide their support for “those terrorists”. ” – said Walid Muallem.
The change of US policy in the Middle East takes place, apparently, against the background of growing Iranian activity in protection of the government of Haider al-Abadi in the territory of which it still controls. Predominantly Shiite militias, aided by Iranian advisers, took the brunt to ward off “ISIS” breaching close to Baghdad and areas inhabited by Iraqi Shiites. Tehran’s efforts to save the Iraqi state, however, was condemned by A. Carter and the US military as “Iran’s pernicious influence.”
In a comment on the statement of Ashton Carter and the situation in the Middle East a “Washington Post” columnist Charles Krauthammer pointed to finding that are now propagated in US ruling circles. US policy towards Iraq and Syria, he writes, must begin to acknowledge that “it’s time for a new strategy in Iraq and Syria. It begins by admitting that the old borders are gone, that a unified Syria or Iraq will never be reconstituted, that the Sykes-Picot map is defunct. The Sykes-Picot Agreement is a loathsome conspiracy between England and France to split up and divide the Middle East at the end of the First World War. This led, in the end, after considerable bloodshed and colonial repression to the creation of national states – Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Kuwait. A century later, in the pursuit of their imperialist plans today, the United States is more than willing to once again break up these states.”
William J. Astor wrote in “The Nation” that the biggest mistake in American policy, foreign and domestic, including in the Middle East is this attitude of everything is a war. When military thinking prevails it selects weapons and tactics for you. This weakens the value of the debate even before it began. Such American reasoning leads to answering questions before they were even asked, and invariably leads to conflict.
The only thing that can be added is that the entire Middle East and Iraq in particular are places that at present exist only in times of war for the administration of Washington. The USA invade or attack, strengthen, spend resources without discrimination and “create a desert and then call it peace”. Afterwards American leaders are surprised that the problem keeps growing as an increasing number of countries are torn by American “democracy”.
Victor Mikhin, Corresponding Member of the Academy of Natural Sciences, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.