It’s official. Iraq is having a party for all the sects in the Middle East, and we’re not invited.
Our Gulf allies were surprised to hear that we ever thought we were coming.
The Wall Street Journal reported on the awkward phone call, when the leaders of the Sunni Arab world met Secretary of State John Kerry with “expressions of bewilderment” about his plans to fight ISIS on behalf of the Iraqi government.
One diplomat said the United States may have misunderstood the purpose of the events in Iraq. “We felt the Americans were greatly misinformed,” the diplomat said. “The insurgency isn’t just about ISIS, but Sunnis fighting back against injustice.”
The leaders from the Gulf states, Egypt, and Jordan felt that since the United States had decided not to come to Syria at the last minute, they should not expect to be welcomed by Sunnis in Iraq.
The Shias do not want us to come either. This was slightly surprising, given the invitations for an outing to beat up Sunni terrorists we received last week, but Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khomeini has dismissed them as a summer fling. In fact, he did not mention them at all, and would probably prefer not to see us except at official state functions and nuclear arms negotiations.
Fine, Iran. We didn’t really want to “share information” with you anyway.
ISIS, the al-Qaeda offshoot, the largest and best-funded terrorist army in the world, would rather we left them alone while they set up an extremist Sunni state across Iraq and Syria. Unfortunately, ISIS has just finished up a wild weekend in Iraq during which it took the cities of al-Qaim, al-Walid, Rawa, Ana, Rutba, and Tal Afar, in addition to successfully isolating Baghdad from neighboring Jordan.
The one exception to the disinvitation is Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, but his opinion has been vacillating so frequently that it hardly bears consideration. He is still annoyed with us for telling him to share power with the Sunnis and Kurds in Iraq, but he requested the United States come, or at least send a few airstrikes with a card.
Anyways, a fellow Shia and leading cleric disagrees with Maliki completely. Nassir al-Saedi said the United States was an “occupier” during its previous stay in Iraq.
“We will be ready for you,” he threatened, and a fellow cleric said he was urging a Shiite militia to prepare to fight any U.S. troops who did arrive.
The Kurds, the only force thus far that has been able to prevail against ISIS in Iraq, have not weighed in on the matter. They might be too busy exporting oil from their newly conquered city of Kirkuk, or perhaps they feel that their previous statements insisting upon an independent and autonomous state make their message sufficiently clear.
The Iraqi Christian population has not commented either, as two thirds of them have already fled Iraq, and another 80,000 are living as refugees among the Kurds.