Today, the UK Parliament, following a long and occasionally passionate debate, decided to back British participation in air strikes against ISIS in Iraq. MPs voted for military action by 524 votes to 43. It is said that six RAF tornados will take part, but many expect this can vary as operation develops.
David Cameron initially argued that "…this international operation is about protecting our people, too, and protecting the streets of Britain.", and in his aid, Margot James (MP) quoted Salisbury as “Our first duty is towards the people of this country…to maintain their interests and their rights; our second is to all humanity.”
David Cameron insisted that it is going to be legal, as Britain is responding to a direct request of the President and the Prime Minister of Iraq. He was, however, contradictory when he tried to define Iran's role. On the one hand, he condemns the Iranian regime for "support for terrorist organisations", and on the other hand he invites the Iranian regime to "play a role in helping to bring about a better government in both Syria and Iraq".
David Cameron, knowingly, denies the hard fact that the boots on ground that pushes ISIS back, and helps Kurds to defend themselves better is the Quds (Iranian Revolutionary Guards) led by Gen Soleimani, who was reported to have stationed himself in Baghdad, as early as June, planning a strategy to curb the military advances of ISIS. Soleimani is not only active in Iraq, but also in Syria, training the Syrian National Defence Force (SNDF), which is formed of volunteer militia.
Although the number of countries that support military actions against ISIS increases, the real and bitter fact is that none of the co-sponsors have allocated any foot soldiers for this operation. This entails a doomed outcome, and will mean that the third war on Iraq will end up as the first and the second one.
Having said all this, one may look at this whole ISIS fiasco, from a totally different perspective.
Reports indicate that the Pentagon is planning to build three military bases in the Sulaimaniya of Iraq Kurdistan; one in Erbil and the other two close to the capital city- perhaps Hareer, a town north of Erbil, or Atrush, a town close to Dohuk, near the Turkish border. Reports suggest that the Atrush base would be used for Apache Helicopters. This unconfirmed report, together with what David Cameron replied to Dennis Skinner (MP), opens the gates to West military presence in the Middle East for many years. The British Prime Minister warns "Let me answer that very directly: this mission will take not just months, but years, and I believe we have to be prepared for that commitment ".
Arriving to this point, one wonders whether ISIS is just an excuse for initiating a long term strategy that could end up with the remapping of the Middle East into smaller countries, and whether the Middle Eastern people will tolerate this, or will it enlighten a spark that can lead to yet a bigger flame than ISIS.
The 9-11 terrorist operation which initiated the "Shock and Awe" strategy seems to have surfaced again in 2014, but in a different shape, though in the same nature. In 2001, the human collateral damage to initiate that strategy was the lives of over 3000 people. This time, the shock and awe needed to be more horrifying than that of 2001. The "Shock and Awe" of beheading journalists, rape and massacre of hundreds of Kurds and Yezidis regardless of their gender or age, was fed in by the media. The world needed to be horrified in order to support a military operation that had historically been proven to be doomed to fail.
Ali Behrooz (Dr)