What If Baghdad Falls?

 

With Iraq spinning out of control, and the outcome of the new Iraqi coalition government uncertain, the United States and it allies might be arming the Kurds in anticipation of losing Baghdad to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, also known as “ISIS.”

It’s just a guess.  I don’t have any special information, but so far only the Kurds have had any success in fighting the ISIS army on the ground.  Consequently, if Baghdad falls to ISIS, the Sunni dominated ISIS army might then face a war on at least three fronts, with the freshly armed Kurds, possibly assisted by U.S. and EU air-power from the north, Shiite Iraqis to the south, assisted by the Shiite Iranian military from the east.  Elements of the Iranian military are are reportedly already in Iraq and have been there for some time.

ISIS, would face a war on at least three fronts.  Four, if you consider that the fight against ISIS and other rebel groups has been going on in Syria for months and that Iran has been sending military aid to Syria through Iraq.  Syria’s leader, Bashar al-Assad, subscribes to the religion of Alawite Islam, which is different from but aligned with the Shiites – which is why Iran, has been sending him military aid, and why he might be eager to join Iraq and Iran in a combined fight against the Sunni-dominated ISIS.

It might be the end of ISIS, but leaving what?  A new giant Iranian/Iraqi/Syrian Shiite-Alawite alliance in the south and a rebuilt Kurdistan in the north, supported by the U.S. and the EU, with the Sunnis left to pick up whatever they can in the middle once the shooting stops?

It’s an interesting possibility, in that it would leave the region divided into three regions defined by religious beliefs, which is what those who understood the region’s history said would happen when they advised the United States not to go to war in Iraq, way back in late 2002 and early 2003.  The United States should have listened.   British officials should have listened as  well, when T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia”) told them the very same thing in 1918.

If you don’t care to read, you can always rent the movie.  Peter O’Toole, is terrific as Lawrence.

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