ISIS' takeover of Mosul & Tikrit

Amal Saad: "There is no doubt that ISIS' takeover of Mosul & Tikrit requires an Iraqi-Iranian coordinated military response to prevent the fragmentation of Iraq, secure Iran's borders, and ensure that none of the hard-won military gains made by the Syrian Army & Hizbullah in neigbouring Syria are reversed. But any security strategy is doomed to fail so long as we remain oblivious to the fact that the Maliki government is little more than a mirror image of its Syrian opposition nemesis: sectarian, weak, corrupt, divided, treacherous, and above all, eager for the US to drone its enemies into submission. That 75 per cent of of Lebanese Shia respondents did not view the Shia- dominated government in Iraq as a legitimate national entity, according to an opinion poll I conduced with the reputable Beirut Center for Research & Information in 2007, testifies to this perception.

"If we are to learn anything from the circumstances which enabled 1500 ISIS fighters to overun a 52 000 soldier garrison, it is that Sunni (Baathist & Nashqabandi) sympathies for the attackers, both within & outside the army, can no longer be ignored nor can their long-held grievances, irrespective of the sectarian machinations of ISIS' Saudi backers. Just as Maliki squandered away Sunni tribal [Sahwa] support with his sectarian discourse & negligence, he has succeeded in alienating Sunni officers in the US-funded & trained army, and antagonized mainstream Sunnis with his oppressive rule & aggrandizement of power.

"At the end of the day, we in the Resistance Axis are strategically aligned with a regime born of the very same invasion & occupation we are attempting to thwart in Syria. While we can rationalize this alliance on strategic & pragmatic grounds, we need to call for its drastic reform, beginning with a new social contract between Sunnis & Shia, as Nasrallah proposed in the midst of the US invasion of Iraq. In the absence of such a contract, any military offensive risks degenerating into a full-scale civil war which will drag our region even further into the sectarian morass so desired by the US-Israel-Arab Gulf."

15 - Jun - 2014