Wednesday, August 13, 2014

United in opposition against ISIS

How Obama can show he is serious about helping Iraq

By David Ignatius — August 12 at 5:47 PM WashPost

When Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared his terrorist Islamic State, he ignored a warning from Osama bin Laden that jihadists should be cautious about establishing a caliphate too quickly. In torching a firestorm in Iraq and Syria, Baghdadi has united his enemies and given them a target to attack, just as bin Laden predicted.

Baghdadi’s bloodbath has achieved the impossible: He has provided a common adversary for Saudis and Iranians, Turks and Kurds. He has united many of Iraq’s Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish politicians behind an inclusive new government. He has forced a reluctant President Obama to come halfway off the bench in authorizing airstrikes for “limited military objectives” in Iraq.

The counterattack against the Islamic State that began last weekend could last “months if not years,” in the vague phrase used by U.S. and Iraqi officials. U.S. power will be essential in this rollback, but Obama was right to warn Monday, “There is no American military solution to the larger crisis in Iraq.”

(More here.)


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