Hagel characterized the Islamic State as “beyond just a terrorist group.” “They marry ideology, a sophistication of strategic and tactical military prowess. They are tremendously well-funded. This is beyond anything that we’ve seen. So we must prepare for everything,”
In the Washington Times, Monica Crowley reports, “…the jihadists’ stunning success includes conquering wide swaths of territory across Syria and Iraq, seizure of U.S. and Russian-made weapons, including possibly surface-to-air missiles, and control of oil fields generating an estimated $2 million per day in revenue…”
And while it is a hopeful sign that some officials in his inner circle seem to instinctively know that all-out victory is what must be done to stop this building threat from IS, every American should be worried that this president will revert to type and try to find an “off-ramp” to disengagement or a way “to lead from behind.”
The War Between IS and the West Has Only Just Begun
Given that the U.S. has already attacked IS from the air, some adults in this administration need to somehow convince this president that half measures are now off the table. Any appeasement will surely embolden the largest, best-funded, most ruthless terrorist organization ever faced by the West. Moreover, as the thirteenth anniversary of 9/11 approaches, various media outlets are reporting that “chatter” emanating from known terrorist-linked sources speak of an “imminent attack.”
High-level federal law enforcement, intelligence and other sources have confirmed to Judicial Watch that Islamic terrorist groups are operating in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez and are planning to attack the United States with car bombs or other vehicle born improvised explosive devices (VBIED). A warning bulletin for an imminent terrorist attack on the border has been issued. Agents across a number of Homeland Security, Justice and Defense agencies have all been placed on alert.
Even the Saudi King, Abdullah, seemed to know something he wants Obama to hear. “If we ignore the Islamic State, I am sure they will reach Europe in a month and America in another month,” he said at a welcoming ceremony for new ambassadors, including a new U.S. envoy to the Kingdom.
Create a Free Kurdistan to Save Obama’s Legacy
Perhaps Dempsey, Hagel and what other adults are around this president can appeal to Obama’s arrogant self-absorbed nature and make him know that appeasement now may well result in a real catastrophe. Or perhaps they could let him believe that waging anti-jihad will build for him a legacy and that it’s all about him.
They could start by explaining that the Kurdish diaspora contains an estimated 40 million Kurds and forms a vast arc of lands stretching from Eastern Turkey, Eastern Syria, Northern Iraq, and most importantly, Northwestern Iran. Over the last century, the Kurds have struggled, sometimes violently, to gain their own homeland. But unlike the Palestinians, they are a distinct people and retain their own culture and language. They occupy a semi-autonomous region of Northern Iraq which contains an estimated 45 billion barrels of oil, the world’s sixth largest reserve. They continue to carefully invest their oil revenues and create a broad-based prosperity. Moreover, the Iraqi Kurds have demonstrated themselves to be not only a loyal and trustworthy ally of the United States but of Israel as well. The significance of this latter fact cannot be overestimated.
This June, Israeli Prime Minister, Netanyahu declared that he supported Iraqi Kurds “aspirations for independence.” Positive relations began in the 1960’s when Iraqi Kurdish rebels sent emissaries to Israel to plead for help in fighting their mutual enemy—the Arab government in Bagdad. Eliezer Tsafrir, a Mossad agent, headed Israel’s covert operations in Kurdistan from 1965 to 1975. His special op’s command supplied the Peshmerga (Kurdish freedom fighters) with weapons and training. The Kurdish military heroically reciprocated during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war by launching an offensive against the Iraqi army during the 1967 Arab Israeli War, tying down troops that would otherwise have been attacking the Jewish military. Tsafrir has stated he is certain that an independent Kurdistan would be an ally of Israel.
If Obama could be convinced to offer the Kurds not just all necessary military support but also U.S. recognition when they choose to declare their independence, it seems probable that he could negotiate a robust status of forces agreement in free Kurdistan. In this way, the allies, the U.S., Israelis, the Kurds, and others (possibly some moderate Sunni States, the Jordanians and Saudis, etc.) could achieve numerous historic geopolitical victories that have completely eluded this president during the first six years of his failed foreign policy.
The first is a historic military victory. If Obama can be convinced that it is in hisinterest to totally destroy IS (not just contain it), the U.S. and allies based in the Kurdish North of Iraq could begin by starving IS’s forward armies, cutting off their supply lines into central Iraq and end with the total destruction of the IS command and control structure in both Iraq and Syria. It seems that even this faculty-lounge Marxist should be able to figure out that a military victory that liberates terrorized foreign populations is good for his place in history.
Then there is the “Obama-as-humanitarian” victory. Obama could take credit for stopping genocide and the destruction of an enemy which beheads little children.
Then for Obama, there is the potential of a “hearts-and-minds” PR victory. The destruction of IS with Jewish and Muslims allies offers this president a chance to finally demolish the tired, worn-out paradigm which holds that it is the Palestinians’ plight that creates the hatreds and myriad crises embroiling the Middle East. Instead, in defeating the evil Islamic State, the U.S., under Obama’s leadership, can demonstrate that he is a historic broker of peaceful relations between Muslims, Americans, and American allies, even the Jews.
In soundly defeating IS while simultaneously creating a free Kurdistan offers Obama the opportunity to take credit for creating a great cultural awakening in the Muslim world, something that he so clearly hoped would be part of his legacy. Certainly some people around this president can help him grasp the benefit of securing a new sovereign homeland for an oppressed and threatened Muslim people. Clearly it would have the potential to change the Middle Eastern chess board in a way favorable to West and its “sometime” Arab allies, while at the same time salvaging Obama’s foreign policy legacy.
In Part IV, read how the creation of a free Kurdistan can lead to the liberation of Iran and begin the reformation of Islam.