History will come to see the Bush-Blair invasion of Iraq as an Axis of Evil.
The developments in Iraq are clearly showing the way for what is going to happen in Afghanistan. Barack Obama’s risk aversion and his desperation to disentangle the US from the quagmire that Bush led them into, is increasingly looking like an abdication. If the Bush-Blair objectives for the sexed-up invasion of Iraq were
- to redefine the country,
- to help create a new Kurdistan,
- to permit Sunni extremists to establish an own state – Sunnistan,
- permit an Iran backed Shia state to be Iran’s buffer against the Sunni and
- to get hundreds of thousands of people killed (including many thousands of US and allied troops,
- to create a precedent and a vision for Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia
then the entire adventure has been a spectacular success with the final phases being completed by Barack Obama. If the purpose was to combat modern terrorism then it has been an abject failure. In fact Bush and Blair and Obama have done more to increase terrorism than any rabid Mullah could have.
Turkey better get used to the idea loosing a chunk of Eastern Turkey to an integrated Kurdistan. Iran will be reshaped and Pakistan will have to accept a new state of a Free Baluchistan in the west. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will splinter into many pieces.
As Ralph Peters wrote in his Blood Borders article for the Armed Forces Journal:
A just alignment in the region would leave Iraq’s three Sunni-majority provinces as a truncated state that might eventually choose to unify with a Syria that loses its littoral to a Mediterranean-oriented Greater Lebanon: Phoenecia reborn. The Shia south of old Iraq would form the basis of an Arab Shia State rimming much of the Persian Gulf. Jordan would retain its current territory, with some southward expansion at Saudi expense. For its part, the unnatural state of Saudi Arabia would suffer as great a dismantling as Pakistan.
A root cause of the broad stagnation in the Muslim world is the Saudi royal family’s treatment of Mecca and Medina as their fiefdom. With Islam’s holiest shrines under the police-state control of one of the world’s most bigoted and oppressive regimes — a regime that commands vast, unearned oil wealth — the Saudis have been able to project their Wahhabi vision of a disciplinarian, intolerant faith far beyond their borders. The rise of the Saudis to wealth and, consequently, influence has been the worst thing to happen to the Muslim world as a whole since the time of the Prophet, and the worst thing to happen to Arabs since the Ottoman (if not the Mongol) conquest. ……
…….. True justice — which we might not like — would also give Saudi Arabia’s coastal oil fields to the Shia Arabs who populate that subregion, while a southeastern quadrant would go to Yemen. Confined to a rump Saudi Homelands Independent Territory around Riyadh, the House of Saud would be capable of far less mischief toward Islam and the world.
Iran, a state with madcap boundaries, would lose a great deal of territory to Unified Azerbaijan, Free Kurdistan, the Arab Shia State and Free Baluchistan, but would gain the provinces around Herat in today’s Afghanistan — a region with a historical and linguistic affinity for Persia. Iran would, in effect, become an ethnic Persian state again, with the most difficult question being whether or not it should keep the port of Bandar Abbas or surrender it to the Arab Shia State.
What Afghanistan would lose to Persia in the west, it would gain in the east, as Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier tribes would be reunited with their Afghan brethren (the point of this exercise is not to draw maps as we would like them but as local populations would prefer them). Pakistan, another unnatural state, would also lose its Baluch territory to Free Baluchistan. The remaining “natural” Pakistan would lie entirely east of the Indus, except for a westward spur near Karachi.
The abdication of Barack Obama ensures that all the lives lost in Iraq will have been in vain. And that Afghanistan will go the way of Iraq.The Middle East is going to keep the world on tenterhooks for the next 50 years at least.