Al Qaeda Surges Back Into Iraq, Situation in Syria Not Helping

Credit: Al Qaeda/wikimediaCredit: Al Qaeda/wikimediaUnsurprisingly, Al Qaeda are surging in Iraq since American combat troops left in 2011, taking advantage of a fragile security situation created by the war the U.S. and its participating allies started in 2003.

From the AP:

Al-Qaida has come roaring back in Iraq since U.S. troops left in late 2011 and now looks stronger than it has in years. The terror group has shown it is capable of carrying out mass-casualty attacks several times a month, driving the death toll in Iraq to the highest level in half a decade. It sees each attack as a way to cultivate an atmosphere of chaos that weakens the Shiite-led government's authority.

Recent prison breaks have bolstered al-Qaida's ranks, while feelings of Sunni marginalization and the chaos caused by the civil war in neighboring Syria are fueling its comeback.

The unfortunate reality is that Al Qaeda’s resurgence in Iraq can be attributed in part to the situation in Syria. In fact, the AP reports that the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is operating from Syria, where Al Qaeda-linked groups are fighting against the Assad regime.

The ongoing situation in Iraq, particularly the increased sectarian violence there, provides another reason why intervention in Syria is a mistake. If the Assad regime does manage to push back effectively against rebel forces in Syria there is the chance that rebels with links to Al Qaeda could come to Iraq and continue the bloodshed there with American weapons, which are reportedly already in the hands of some rebels in Syria (CNN reported last month that this had been denied by Syrian opposition groups). There is already the risk that weapons captured from the Syrian military, or supplied by some Arab states, could end up in Iraq. 

Earlier this month, The New York Times reported on a recent study from Human Rights Watch, which says that at least 190 civilians were killed by Islamic rebels in the countryside near the Syrian city of Latakia in an offensive that took place in early August of this year. According to Lama Fakih, a researcher for Human Rights Watch, Alawite villages were targeted during this assault. Bashar al-Assad is a member of the Alawite minority.

Watch a video of Fakih’s report below:


The War in Iraq has not resulted in the stable and peaceful country that some envisioned. Over a decade after the invasion of Iraq instability and sectarian violence remain a tragic reality for many Iraqis. Intervention did not bring peace to Iraq, and it would be naive to assume that meddling in Syria will result in any less of a failure.

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  • ||

    You know who else surged into a country after a Western power withdrew their security guarantee?

  • Almanian!||

    Mexicans?

  • Swiss Servator, Zurichmania!||

    Ostrogoths?

  • Killazontherun||

    +1 win of the historical literacy prize.

  • Spoonman.||

    Awesome

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    Weed?

  • Almanian!||

    I already said Mexicans

  • Killazontherun||

    hat's rac- [recall my Mexican metal head stoner cousins] uhm, accurate.

  • Almanian!||

    Yeah, my Mexican (well, half-Mexican) cousins are cool. And smoke pot :)

  • Paul.||

    The Tea Party?

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    The Imperial Japanese Army?

  • Ketogenic Paleo||

    Carthage?

  • XM||

    Vietnam

  • XM||

    Vietnam

  • Pro Libertate||

    Look, I've explained this before. There are three good solutions:

    * Restore the Ottoman Empire.
    * Restore the Byzantine (Roman) Empire.
    * Declare the fifty-first state of Kurdlahoma and build bases there.

  • Almanian!||

    The Duchy of Fenwick approves.

  • Paul.||

    So, an empire based on furniture, an empire based on confusing regulations, and the third one I totally don't get.

  • Almanian!||

    Steelcasetopia, Dyslexitopia and Enigmatopia - yeah.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Give the Kurds statehood.

  • Almanian!||

    That's the whey to go, fer sure.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Surprisingly, it will turn out that the Kurds are okay at American football, and the University of Kurdistan will join the ACC.

  • RBS||

    What happens to Corso when he picks against UK?

  • Pro Libertate||

    He'll only do that when the Fightin' Whey is playing FSU.

  • BakedPenguin||

    I think our Turkish NATO allies might have an issue with that.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Whatever for? We'll just become neighbors, with an American state right on their borders. With lots of military personnel to maintain stability in the region.

  • kinnath||

    Well, we can make them a territory first, like Puerto Rico. No need to give them official representation in the House and Senate just yet.

  • Pro Libertate||

    That's no fun at all.

  • kinnath||

    They need to pay us reparations before that can be full members of the club.

  • Pro Libertate||

    The Kurds? I dunno, not sure why they'd owe us anything like that.

    If you mean a cover charge for statehood, that's another story. That's what we should be doing--selling statehood.

  • kinnath||

    The Kurd can have a discount. The Sunnis and Shiites pay full price though.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    We should make America into a brand with franchising opportunities. Issue any country that wants in the rights to use the USA name, flag, etc. on the condition that they apply our Constitution and provide us with a yearly members' fee.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Yes, exactly. And failure to adhere to the franchising rules means removal of the franchise and a hefty liquidated damages clause.

  • RBS||

    And failure to adhere to the franchising rules means removal of the franchise and a hefty liquidationed damages clause.

  • RBS||

    * means liquidation damn it.

  • Pro Libertate||

    That's a bit harsh. We should have little trouble collecting the damages and preventing the country from continuing to use the America® brand, since we'll have military bases there.

  • Agammamon||

    No - don't you remember the civil war? The only way to leave 'The Franchise' is feet first.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Look, do you want to turn a profit or not? We've had management changes since that debacle.

  • kinnath||

    We need to forward this idea to Rand.

  • Paul.||

    on the condition that they apply our Constitution and provide us with a yearly members' fee.

    When do we start applying our Constitution?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Well, in the days of the Roman Empire, people in the provinces actually had it better than people in Rome, by and large. What's odd is that the reverse was true in the Republic.

    In other words, the franchises may do better than the corporate-owned states.

  • db||

    Just exact tribute.

  • Pro Libertate||

    No, no, no, that's the old way, the way that doesn't work forever. Franchising is so much better.

  • kinnath||

    Just so long as we don't get Reeboked.

  • db||

    Which is worse? That or being Repayned?

  • Ketogenic Paleo||

    The third one is based on cheesemaking, duh.

  • Swiss Servator, Zurichmania!||

    Kuuuuuuurd-lahoma where the Peshmerga go whipping down the plains!

  • Pro Libertate||

    My favorite of the three, despite the cool historicity of the other two. And yes, I think we know the state song. The tune, anyway.

  • entropy||

    The Ottomans are out because Turkey seems to be turning toward some sort of brotherhood-aligned Turkish salafism, and the Greeks are too bankrupt and exhausted to run Greece let alone anything else.

    So.. Kurdlahoma is your best hope.

    I think the better option would be to beg Putin to re-Sovietize and have at it all he likes. That, or give the MidEast to China.

    Then frack the fucking moon as soon as we're out.

  • Ketogenic Paleo||

    That won't work. The Loonies will revolt and throw rocks at us.

  • kinnath||

    We need to return the US military's mission to defense and/or conquest. Enough of these fucking police actions.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    What about Wheylahoma?

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's been some years since this was decided, but there's some thread where I declared it Kurdlahoma. You can't argue with precedent, dude.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Hey, what do you know, I found it. It even includes part of the hit show tune, "Kurdlahoma!"

    Wow, that was over five years ago.

  • Paul.||

    Is it about now that a scruffy hipster gets kidnapped whilst taking a backpacking trip across the middle east?

  • Almanian!||

    This would be a good time to remake "Midnight Express"

  • Killazontherun||

    I once told a barfly I had just got back from Turkey after serving a four year stint, the first thing she asked about was the buttrape. Worst pick up line ever.

  • Almanian!||

    that's - AWESOME!

  • William of Purple||

    needs moar milf sex

  • creech||

    The only way to make sure the 4,500 soldiers who died in Iraq did not die in vain is to oust from office and ostracize every politician who voted to go to war in Iraq. Every one of those deaths needs to be hung around Hillary's neck in 2014 and around the neck of any warmongering "invasion of the month clubber" that the GOP may nominate.

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    Never. That escapade has been covered with far too much of the Holy Blood of the Troops for politicians to ever admit that it was a fuckup.

  • Paul.||

    Unfortunately, there is no anti-war "party" left. That ship sailed with the election of BHO in 2008.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Al-Qaida has come roaring back in Iraq since U.S. troops left in late 2011 and now looks stronger than it has in years."

    Oh, yes, it's America's fault that Al Qaeda is resurgent in Iraq. It's because we left Iraq to its own devices!

    "The ongoing situation in Iraq, particularly the increased sectarian violence there, provides another reason why intervention in Syria is a mistake. If the Assad regime does manage to push back effectively against rebel forces in Syria there is the chance that rebels with links to Al Qaeda could come to Iraq and continue the bloodshed there with American weapons"

    So, I guess by "intervening", that makes Syria America's fault, too?! Is there anything we can do or not do that makes it so that what happens in the Middle East isn't America's fault?

    I suggest we just do what's in America's best interests and leave it at that. I don't care who's to blame so long as what happens is in the best interests of the United States.

  • Fluffy||

    It's a good thing we spent all that money and led all those men to their deaths.

    We produced a state that was marginally stable for two years!

    YAY!

    Check out the ROI! Wow!

  • Pro Libertate||

    Well, clearly what we needed to do was spend fifty times the money and men to get a full century of stability.

  • Agammamon||

    Naw - it'll cost 1,125,899,906,842,624 * times the money to get a century of stability.

  • Ketogenic Paleo||

    actually, it's possible that that 2 years of democracy could really sow the seeds of democracy. Eric Hoffer said something about mass movements springing up when people have a sense of hope, not when the situation is completely useless, which seems to be true. If the terrorists win the people will resent them and like the defeated Godwins in the middle of the last century, will teach their kids to become neo-democrats and neo-republicans

  • Almanian!||

    I'm totally good with "stay the fuck out of there".

    That was Almanian's foreign policy in the 2012 Presidential race, and will be my platform if I decide to run again in 2016.

    Hoping to more than double my vote total of ~100 from 2012 if I do run...

  • Pro Libertate||

    Ha! I got less than a million votes!

  • Paul.||

    Choose Biden as your running mate in '16 and I'll stump for you.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "If the Assad regime does manage to push back effectively against rebel forces in Syria there is the chance that rebels with links to Al Qaeda could come to Iraq and continue the bloodshed there with American weapons"

    I'm willing to entertain arguments suggesting that helping the Syrian people overthrow Assad isn't in America's best interests, by the way. I just don't see how blaming America for "bloodshed" is so bad that it would outweigh furthering our security interests in the region--especially in regards to Iran.

    In other words, you're not going to guilt me into not doing what's in America's best interests in the region--not when the outcome of the other options (including burying our heads in the sand) is probably much worse. Maybe the Syrian people prefer more bloodshed to living under Assad. Americans have sometimes preferred bloodshed, e.g. the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, etc.

    If we were living under a dictator like the people of Syria, I hope we'd prefer more bloodshed to living under Assad. At least, I'd like to think that well of my fellow Americans.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Oh, and if Al Qaeda rebels become a problem because of the rebellion in Syria, they would have been a problem whether they got their weapons from the United States or somewhere else. It's important to remember that the people of Syria didn't rise up against the Assad regime because the United States supplied them with weapons. They were fighting for a long time before we showed up with gifts.

    It's also important to remember that Iraqi insurgents and Al Qaeda were already quite effective against the United States in Iraq--and we weren't supplying them with any weapons whatsoever.

  • PapayaSF||

    The War in Iraq has not resulted in the stable and peaceful country that some envisioned.

    The end of apartheid turned out to be not so stable and peaceful, either, but does that mean it was a bad idea to end it? Saddam's Iraq was a brutal dictatorship of a Sunni minority over a Shiite majority. Yes, there are still Sunni deadenders who think they can rule again. They are wrong. If it gets bad enough, the Shiites will just exile or slaughter the remaining Sunnis.

  • DWC||

    Jeeze, Who'd a thunk it???

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