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June 12, 2014

As Iraq Disintegrates, the Kurds Seize Kirkuk as the Cowardly Federal Army Abandons Its Posts

An Army of Bergdahls.

Kirkuk is an oil-rich region which has long been contested by the Kurds and the Shiite-dominated government. Obviously both want it.

It turns out the Kurds want it more. If I'm reading this right, the Kurds marched on Kirkuk to seize it, and the federal army fled at their advance.

The Fiction of Iraq can't be maintained much longer. That means the foreign policy apparatus of the US will work trebly hard to maintain it.

Iraq was on the brink of disintegration Thursday as al-Qaeda-inspired fighters swept through northern Iraq toward Baghdad and Kurdish soldiers seized the city of Kirkuk without a fight.


The semiautonomous Kurdish government said its pesh merga forces took control of the Kurdish city of Kirkuk in northern Iraq, after Iraqi security forces there fled rather than fight.

The Kurds' declaration of their own state -- they haven't done that, but it's obvious that they now have their own state -- will anger Turkey. Turkey is determined that the Kurds in Iraq must live under the domination of a more numerous tribe, because they want the Kurds in Turkey to continue living under the domination of a more numerous tribe (that is, the Turks). They do not want the Turkish Kurds getting crazy ideas like declaring a secession of their own lands in Turkey and joining them to a free Kurdish state.

I'd personally really like to see the Kurds do just that, and the EU and US pressure Turkey into permitting it. (Actually I think Turkey could claim that as a NATO signatory we'd be legally obligated to help them murder Kurds -- but does anyone take our treaties seriously anymore?)


.... A top leader in ISIS, a radical Sunni Muslim group that U.S. forces spent eight years trying to defeat, urged fighters to press on to Baghdad, where he said there are “scores to be settled” with the Shiite-led government.

In an audio address posted on the Internet, Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, an ISIS spokesman, taunted Maliki. “What have you done to your people, o foolish one,” he said. “You lost a historic opportunity for your people to control Iraq, and the Shiites will always curse you for as long as you live.”

Adnani also vowed that ISIS would take the southern Iraqi Shiite cities of Karbala and Najaf, sites of two of the holiest shrines in Shiite Islam.

It's interesting to watch psychopathic minds in action. They're winning everywhere, and Shiites are laying down their arms rather than fight.

But instead of consolidating their gains, they're determined to do the One Thing that might inspire a vigorous counteroffensive by the Shi'ites.

I guess they don't care. Allah told them to do stupid, murderous things.

Meanwhile, in "comments" made (rather like a blogger ineffectually offers his comments) while sitting with the Australian PM, Obama is talking about this as if it's a "peace process." It may eventually become a peace process -- but only after the Shiites fight hard enough to at least stalemate ISIS and the militants. An Army which is moving through its enemy untouched does not negotiate for less than it can easily take by the sword.

The militants can be forced to sue for peace, but that word "forced" is critical.*

Nevertheless, President Cacophonous Drone is discussing this as if we're in the middle of six-party talks at a table in Geneva.

* This is why I keep saying that the nation needs to be partitioned. The Shiites cannot impose force on the Sunnis, and apparently aren't even game to try.

A nation that cannot control its own territory is not a nation.

The Kurds have only gone along with this fiction because, diplomatically, we got them to agree to a half-in, half-out "semi-autonomous" arrangement in which they were nominally part of Iraq.

The Sunnis never agreed to it, and apparently the Shiites aren't even willing to fight for it, even though they're the main beneficiaries of a Shiite-dominated Iraq.

So this isn't a country, and it won't be a country. There's no point trying to salvage it.

Contrived? Half of what the Kurds do is on the sly and covert, because Turkey demands that they do not declare their own state.

It's possible that the Shiite government actually arranged for the Kurds to "seize" Kirkuk, in order to free up their own troops to head south in defense of Baghdad, and who knows, possibly as an inducement for the Kurds to send their own irregular troops (the pesh merga) to assist them in that defense.

That's completely out-of-my ass speculation.

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posted by Ace at 12:41 PM

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