Middle East

Aug 12, 2014

Rundle: Iraq on the brink will change the world, for good or ill

Crikey's writer-at-large ponders the next stage in the crisis unfolding in Iraq -- a situation where the world will not come out as it went in.

Guy Rundle — Correspondent-at-large

Guy Rundle


The dissolution of Iraq came a step closer today — and Syria, and maybe eventually Jordan as well. With the first American airstrikes taking place in the corridor between the advance of IS troops and the Kurdish northern Iraq autonomous province, the collapse of the country’s sovereignty and very territoriality has now been acknowledged in the most dramatic means possible. By the same token, the airstrikes — which, it has been announced, will continue for months — have re-affirmed the de facto independence of Kurdistan, an extraordinary development.

It does not appear to be an outcome that Obama particularly wants. While airstrikes are being rolled out, the Kurds are not being directly armed by the United States — all arms requisitions are going though Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government. Or what was the Maliki government — as he appears to have been deposed by the Iraqi supreme court, with Iraqi President Fuad Masum asking the deputy speaker to form a government. Whether Maliki’s departure was a matter of genuine judicial process or a condition imposed by the US will presumably become clearer in the coming days, but for the moment they are sticking to the fiction that Iraq exists.

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13 thoughts on “Rundle: Iraq on the brink will change the world, for good or ill

  1. klewso

    The Right – blaming Obama – in their one size fits all transferable transitory guilt?
    God help civilisation if this fetid carcase could be traced back to their Neo-con portals?

  2. paddy

    Always hard to write sense about a chaotic situation.
    But that’s a pretty good attempt Guy.
    “Interesting times” for all concerned.
    Poor bastards.

  3. Liamj

    GR jumps the shark, Iraqs fragmentation is not new or unexpected, tho the US arming the communist Kurds has its lulz – lucky they’ve got oil eh? The murder of Iraqs xtians is sad but no sadder than same in Syria & Ukraine, and pity the poor bloody Palestinians who can’t even run away. Cui bono: did the Kuwaiti & other Arabian Gulf donors to ISIS (back when they were “freedom fighters” in Syria) know that it would lead to less conventional but more black market oil?

  4. ianjohnno

    How is Turkey viewing all this? Is Erdogan feeling frisky after his election?

  5. Jaybuoy

    why is our leader(no I don’t mean Rupert) overseas when the two most powerful US politicians after the president are out here for meetings…meanwhile he’s chasing cadavers in the Hague and no doubt meeting Geert Wilders to discuss his problems with certain brownish citizens in Australia….ohoo and then its off for a quick visit to the country he really thinks is home… wtf..

  6. rhwombat

    Venise: “I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative.” John Stuart Mill 1866.

  7. Ken Lambert

    You can’t blame Obama for the hospital pass thrown to him by the F***witted frat boy George W Bush.

    But when Empires collapse lots of shite happens. When Empires appear weak and loathe to act, ISIS happens.

    There seems little risk in Obama conducting an air war against ISIS in what appears to be pretty open country where targeting should be good.

    I am sure the Israelis have some good intelligence which they might share with the US against ISIS. Arming the Kurds to defeat ISIS seems like a pretty low risk option too. But Obama is almost a lame duck President, so seems inordinately risk adverse.

    Who wants to be the President who lost both Iraq and allowed the rampage of ISIS – the worst of the Islamist crazies?

  8. MJPC

    As you stated, under Sadam Christians had the freedom to worship without interference from the Government or other faiths. Now, Bush and co (and don’t forget Howard’s part in the war crime of invading Iraq) changed the power base and the country is a basket case and innocent’s are being murdered for the cause of religion.
    Iraq: No WMD’s, no peace and no hope…the right has a lot to answer for in the US, UK (Blair was a neo-Labour, read more right than left) and Australia.
    Jaybuoy (5) the classic was this AM where our PM; now overseas strutting the world stage; had to speak to David Cameron on the telephone because he is on holiday. I think we have telephones in Auistralia.

  9. Venise Alstergren

    RHWOMBAT: I like that a lot, and, damn it, it is so gut wrenchingly true.

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