The powers of influence, including the United States, have undercut Iraq’s “democratic experiment” and emboldened the war-torn nation’s most violent-prone minority group, the elitist Sunnis.
Americans can hope this is true: For now, the Iraqi-area terrorist combatants don’t possess the missiles, war ships or planes capable of cracking the U.S. protective shield.
There’s also hope that oil rich, heavily Sunni Saudi Arabia and Kuwait will live up to their mid-August agreement to honor United Nations’ Resolution 2170 calling for them to stop funding groups such as Abu Bakr al-Baghbadi’s super violent Sunni-led Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL).
Loose population figures for Iraq’s estimated 35 million people and its three major sects put the ruling Shiites at about 60 percent, Sunnis 20 percent, Kurds about 5-7 million, and smaller groups the remainder.
For ages, not just decades, the Sunnis ruled Iraq until the hawkish George W. Bush administration invaded Iraq in 2003, leading to the death of brutish, Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein.
Subsequently, the Iraq Sunnis couldn’t win national democratic-type elections, but they still wanted –at any cost – to rule. They started most of the inside-the-country violence – and are linked to Islamic State, a group so vicious al Qaeda broke with them in February.
The Iraq Sunni sect is the key minority those influential powers sought to pacify when they forced out Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, incredibly expecting his Shiite successor Haider al-Abadi to perform an unlikely unifying miracle.
It is a deadly dangerous gamble (one even Germany recognizes) to deny desperately needed war aid to Iraq government forces while waiting for that miracle.
The United States tried a similar thing before with such disastrous results that its outcome is still playing out on sundry battlefields.
In 2007, while U.S. forces were helping the elected Shiite government fight Sunni insurgents in heavily Sunni al-Anbar Province, the Bush administration “surged” in 28,000 to 35,000 new troops who hawkish backers insist helped do militarily what many thousands of U.S. and allied forces couldn’t.
Maybe the surge got legs when, over world-heard objections of Prime Minister al-Maliki’s government, the Bush administration started paying an estimated 100,000 Sunni fighters/allies, mostly in Anbar, $300 cash monthly to stop fighting.
It didn’t end with that inexplicable blunder, which shocked many observers, including some outspoken retired military officers.
Again brushing off objections of the Iraq government, the Bush administration insisted that huge numbers of Sunnis be inserted into the military forces, the police and other areas.
It was a disastrous fox-in-the-chicken coop maneuver.
When Islamic State fighters started their rampage in Iraq they rolled through heavily populated Sunni areas where those imbedded Sunni troops refused to fight, making it impossible for soldiers loyal to the government to deter the onslaught.
The Kurds, as a semi-autonomous region, never had so large a Sunni percentage in its more-unified military.
But Kurdistan’s vaunted military isn’t large enough to stand up to the Islamic Staters.
Only the strategic and effective use of U.S. airpower has made it possible for Iraq and Kurdish forces to stall the invaders’ march.
Unless President Barack Obama rushes planes into mostly Sunni Syria, in time U.S.-backed Iraqi and Kurdish troops can force Islamic Staters back into war-ravaged, not so wealthy Syria.
Obama’s cautious “plan” against quickly jumping into the Syria wars may not have inspired terrorist groups as much as did less than optimum U.S. success in places such as Vietnam and Korea.
The U.S. was timely in both places with plenty boots on the ground, plenty war fighting equipment and massive air support.
Surely the United States wasn’t late to Iraq; it started that still-out-of-control war on false claims about weapons of mass destruction being there. It was predicted to be over in a matter of months.
Iraq’s “democratic experiment,” as described by al-Maliki on his way out, was launched in an area where neighboring countries were led by dictators of some sort, including royal families.
As bad, all Iraq’s neighbors are majority Sunni except for Iran and Bahrain.
Reportedly, 85-90 percent of the world’s Muslims are Sunnis.
Are those figures coloring the picture for too many experts?
Moses J. Newson is a former executive editor of the AFRO.