The rapidly escalating situation in Iraq has certainly made some strange bedfellows recently. Megan Kelly on FOX "News" criticized Dick Cheney - to his face. Glen Beck said the Left was correct when we raged against starting a war with Iraq. Cheney has popped up wherever he can to criticize president Obama. The president is not polling very well
on how he is handling the situation, even though what he is doing (and not doing) aligns with the desires of the majority of the public. What would they have him do differently - wave a magic wand and undo centuries of tribal, religious, and ethnic hatred and rivalries?
Because that is the crux of the problem. Iraq is an artificial country comprised of three distinct regions. If not for the iron fist of Saddam Hussein, it would have collapsed into anarchy years ago. By breaking the power structure and leaving nothing in its place except for a bad copy of American democracy in a region that doesn't understand it, we guaranteed this outcome.
This is all blowback from our hubris. We thought (and by "we", I mean the Bush Administration, the neocons, the chickenhawks, and all the rest) that we could force our government style down their throats, and they'd happily swallow it. The certainty and naivete of this cabal of war mongers has created a destabilization of a region that has never been very stable to begin with.
John McCain is prime example of this. McCain supported "Prince Bandar"
and the Saudis as they propped up a group of militants in Syria, as that country continues to struggle with civil war. Out of that came ISIS, which is the group in Iraq:
Senior White House officials have refused to discuss the question of any particular Saudi officials aiding ISIS and have not commented on Bandar’s departure. But they have emphasized that Saudi Arabia is now both supporting moderate Syrian rebels and helping coordinate regional policies to deal with an ascendant ISIS threat.
Like elements of the mujahideen, which benefited from U.S. financial and military support during the Soviet war in Afghanistan and then later turned on the West in the form of al-Qaeda, ISIS achieved scale and consequence through Saudi support, only to now pose a grave threat to the kingdom and the region.
The bombing of the World Trade Center can be traced directly back to our supporting the Taliban because they were the enemy of our enemy (the USSR). Once the USSR was no longer our enemy, the Taliban was no longer our friend.
The Middle East is not ours to mold or control. We cannot "fix" anything there with military action. There is too much oil money floating around, and they are much more committed to driving us out than we are committed to staying put. It is the height of foolishness to try to pick and support "winners", and take sides, because yesterday's friend is tomorrow's enemy. If we provide money or weapons or training, it will inevitably be used against us. Violence will only beget more violence.
Rather than military, our focus should be on facilitating peace talks and arbitration. Again - we cannot force peace on them, but we can be a neutral 3rd party that helps bring the different factions to the table and have a discussion, and let them work out the details of what will encourage them to stop destroying themselves.
Jimmy Carter brokered a peace deal between Israel and Egypt. If that is possible, then it seems possible to get different Islamic sects to come to a consensus and stop the violence.