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الثلاثاء، 2 سبتمبر، 2014

Condemning demands for US help in Iraq

Those who cannot confront ISIS in Iraq by means of the Iraqi people and all its living forces will not be able to confront it by inviting the US air force. All they do is make matters worse.

Munir Shafiq

All those who used to rightly denounce any call for US intervention in the internal conflicts of any Arab or Islamic country, irrespective of the causes and pretexts should pay attention.
The matter is one of principle and no double standards are permitted under any circumstance. A mere exception would erode the principled reference point in any other circumstance. Subsequently, each case would be deemed dependent upon circumstances and whatever is provided in the form of causes or pretexts whether for or against.
This would embarrass all those who condemned asking for US help, in certain cases, as a matter of principle. Some went as far as invoking the charge of treason.
This call for caution imposed itself from the first moment when Nouri Al-Maliki asked the United States for military intervention in Iraq against ISIS. There emerged those who went along justifying this in the name of the existence of a treaty. Others justified it claiming that the request was a tactical stance or a manoeuvre aimed at embarrassing the US.
Hence began the relinquishing of the principled stand vis-à-vis inviting the US to intervene militarily in Iraq. The treaty is not an acceptable pretext by Al-Maliki. It should draw condemnation even if the US, too, were to attempt to exploit it in order to intervene. As for the story of the tactics or the manoeuvres, this too is no less incoherent and no less a scandal.
In the beginning, the US refrained from intervening and using its air force giving internal as well as external, objective as well as subjective, reasons. It was content with dispatching military and security experts and advisers. It sought to justify its refusal in the name of the necessity of achieving internal Iraqi unity, as if to embroil all Iraqi parties in requesting its direct military intervention.
Yet, upon the shift by ISIS towards a clash with the Peshmerga in the Kurdish region and upon achieving some advance, the US rushed into military intervention with the use of the air force with the aim of bombing ISIS.
That was blatant US intervention that could only be called aggression and that should not be treated with indifference just because it is an action against ISIS.
The US military intervention, even if just in the form of air strikes, should be treated as aggression against Iraq and an infringement of its sovereignty even if it came in response to a request from Al-Maliki or from Massoud Barzani. It should be treated in exactly the same way as the US aggression against Yemen is treated, as an infringement of its sovereignty through the use of war planes to strike Al-Qaeda.
The pretext of fighting terrorism is unacceptable. No other pretext whatsoever is acceptable to justify asking for US military intervention against a domestic enemy or foe, no matter how dangerous this enemy or foe happens to be. Such threat should be confronted locally, primarily, or with the aid of a brother.
As for the US, it should be treated as a red line. There are many reasons for this. Every time US intervention was requested it ended up either with territorial occupation or with the establishment of military bases in the region or with a disastrous situation of division and deterioration. An internal enemy or foe would have been a lesser evil indeed. This is what we have seen of the US since the second Gulf war, let alone going back to earlier times in history and let alone invoking what the US did and is doing in support of the Zionist entity and what its planes are doing today in the Gaza Strip.
As such, a reading of the practical experiences associated with each US military intervention would not permit relinquishing the principled position of rejecting any call for US intervention, of denouncing it and of considering it a red line.
Those who cannot confront ISIS in Iraq by means of the Iraqi people and all its living forces will not be able to confront it by inviting the US air force. All they do is make matters worse. Instead of abandoning the erroneous policies that allowed ISIS to get to where it is today they are making an even bigger mistake by seeking US help.
For this reason, there should be a decisive stance from within Iraq as well as from outside of it, at the level of the Arab and Islamic worlds, against the US aggression that is striking Iraq's territories from the air. Such aggression should never be justified under the pretext of resisting ISIS or terrorism. Otherwise we will be setting a serious precedence.
Translated from Arabi21, 11 August, 2014

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