Some Wednesday Links-Islamic Militants, Mosul And Tikrit

Mosul, Iraq, has been taken over by militants, and now Tikrit:

Michael Totten:

‘The Al Qaeda group that took the city is ISIS—the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

The Syrian war has been exploding beyond its borders for some time now. I see no reason why that should stop or even slow down. Soon we might stop thinking of it as the Syrian war and refer to it as the region-wide war that started in Syria’

Walter Russell Mead:

‘If the Obama administration has a strategy for dealing with this situation, it has been very successful at keeping any sign of it hidden from the world press. The human tragedies unfolding in this arc of crisis are harrowing; neither an end to the suffering nor a political solution to these conflicts looks likely anytime soon. Look for more mayhem and more death; the dogs of war have slipped the leash’

Whatever your thoughts on the U.S. Iraq invasion, and ousting Saddam, the region is reaching new levels of chaos and the current U.S. administration…well…

The U.S. has decided to remove itself from current conflicts and end its position as influencer and guarantor of some stability throughout the Middle-East, with little in the way of what to do next in terms of policy, the Islamic resurgence and the militant Islamists and their aims.  Not only that, but a lot of the negotiating has been handled badly.

From a previous post to get some sense of what’s going on at ground-level:

Rojava is in Syria’s northeast, where Kurdish fighters from the YPG try and control their territory during the chaos.  From Jan 2nd, 2014.  Many Christians have simply fled, while remaining Arabs, Kurds and even some Alawites must figure out how to protect their own, including the threat from non-Syrian militias and radicals from around the Muslim world.


Basically, everyone with a home, connections, family, some stability and something to protect either faces the prospect of organizing to fight or fleeing to safety.  The humanitarian crises ripple across the region.

ADDITION: Dexter Filkins at the New Yorker chalks it up to 3 reasons:  The ongoing war in Syria which is now almost entirely sectarian, Maliki’s rabidly sectarian Shia leadership, and the failure of the U.S. to properly oversee any sort of stable transfer of power.

This blog is sympathetic to the condition of the Kurds, and especially Iraqi Kurds, who like Syrian Kurds are surrounded by Islamic militants and must tend to their own security.

***A pretty damned good overview of Syria for the non-initiated, including what’s been going on since 2011 and the backstory at the thehowardbealeshow.

Keeping An Eye On Syria-From Vice: ‘Rojava-Syria’s Unknown War’

Related On This SiteMore Syria-From Via Media: ‘Congress on Syria: Going In On A Wing and A Prayer’From Slate: ‘In Aleppo, Syria, Mohamed Atta Thought He Could Build The Ideal Islamic City’

Longer odds, lots of risk: Adam Garfinkle At The American Interest’s Via Media: “The Rise Of Independent Kurdistan?”From Reuters: ‘Analysis: Syrian Kurds Sense Freedom, Power Struggle Awaits’

Adam Garfinkle At The American Interest: ‘What Did The Arab Spring Really Change?’

Liberal Internationalism is hobbling us, and the safety of even the liberal internationalist doctrine if America doesn’t lead…Via Youtube-Uncommon Knowledge With Fouad Ajami And Charles Hill

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