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US Must Change Policy In War Against ISIS

The civilised world has united in its condemnation of the barbaric beheadings of innocent Western aid workers and Egyptian Coptic Christians and the horrifying burning to death of the brave Jordanian pilot by the so-called Islamic State. Their rapid expansion from Syria across vast tracts of Iraq and their subsequent murderous campaign against Christians, Yazidis and anyone who did not fit with their perverted vision of Islam, has shocked the world. Demands for revenge against the perpetrators of such incomprehensible acts of inhumanity have been universal.

But it has been admitted that U.S. and allied airstrikes against ISIS cannot and will not lead to the defeat of the Islamic State. They are designed to bolster the fight on the ground by the Iraqi military, the Peshmerga and more ominously, the Shiia militias. The Peshmerga, as a Kurdish military force is contained in Northern Iraq. They are being armed and supplied by the West and are fighting courageously to reclaim territory lost to ISIS. The Iraqi army, on the other hand, is in a state of virtual collapse. Riven with dishonesty and fraud, it mirrors the chaotic and rampant corruption of the Iraqi government in post-Saddam Iraq.

These circumstances have provided the perfect conditions for the Shiia militias to thrive. There are dozens, perhaps hundreds of these militias. They are trained, financed and often led by the terrorist Iranian Quds Force. They are Iranian proxies. So the US and allied air strikes are actually aiding and abetting Iran in achieving its ultimate objective, which is total control of Iraq. Iran is now well on the way to extending its hegemony across the entire region; huge posters of Iranian generals, who are leading the fight against ISIS, now adorn the streets of Baghdad.

The West must wake up to the fact that any cooperation and alliance with Iran to fight ISIS is extremely dangerous and will turn this war into a sectarian war between the Shiites and Sunnis. To overcome the Islamic state, it needs a cultural and religious alternative that can defy the violent, fanatic and extremist view of Islam, be it of the Sunni type like ISIS or of the Shiia type like the Iranian regime and its affiliated groups.

The world now looks to the new Iraqi Prime Minister Dr. Haider al-Abadi to take control and restore order inside Iraq. He must begin by rounding up the savage Shiia militias associated with the Iranian regime such as the Badr, Asaib and Kataib terrorists, as well as other criminal gangs that have played a significant role in former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s rule and instigated the sectarian war in Iraq. He must purge the army of Iranian mercenaries and all those that Maliki recruited under his sectarian policy, restoring patriotic officers and turning it into a professional and national army. Only such an army, supported by the tribes and the people will be able to confront extremist and terrorist groups like the Islamic State.  More

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