World View: U.S. and Iran Move to Help Iraq's al-Maliki Stop ISIS

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Iran and Iraq's al-Sistani call for sectarian war in Iraq
  • Obama caught be surprise, discussing military options in Syria
  • U.S. State Dept. confirms Russian tanks in Ukraine

Iran and Iraq's al-Sistani call for sectarian war in Iraq

The "blitzkrieg" attack by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) on cities and villages across Iraq is panicking residents of Baghdad as the fighting draws near. Most of the cities captured by ISIS so far have large Sunni Muslim populations that are disaffected and furious because of the contemptuous treatment they've received from the government of Shia president Nouri al-Maliki, and because of their abandonment by the US forces that they worked hard with to drive out Al-Qaeda in Iraq during the 2007 Anbar Awakening. 

Now that those same Sunni populations are joining with ISIS, to the extent that even Sunni soldiers in Iraq's army are deserting their posts, Shia populations in Baghdad and eastern Iraq are panicking. On Friday, the Iranian-born Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the most powerful Shia cleric in Iraq, issued a statement calling on his followers to fight ISIS. The statement was delivered in a sermon by his spokesman Sheikh Abdulmehdi al-Karbalai: 

"All citizens who are able to bear arms and fight the terrorists in defense of their nation, people and holy sites should volunteer and join the security forces to achieve this holy aim. 
Iraq is facing a grave and significant challenge and the terrorists aim not only to control some of the provinces but instead they stated that they are targeting all the provinces, especially Baghdad and Karbala and Najaf. Thus the responsibility of stopping them and fighting is the responsibility of all and is not restricted to any one creed."

The statement added that anyone who sacrifices his life "in defense of his country, people, and honor, will be a martyr." 

Reports indicate that young men from Shia communities have begun to mobilize and form militias, although Iraqi Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr is calling on followers to wait for further instructions. 

At the same time, there are reports that Iran is sending weapons and advisers from the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) to aid the Shia government. IRGC leader Major General Qassem Suleimani is in Baghdad to meet militia leaders and tribal chiefs defending the capital. 

Iran's president Hassan Rouhani promised that Iran would "not allow the supporters of terrorists to disrupt security and stability of Iraq through exporting terrorism to Iraq." 

This is essentially a call to sectarian war between Sunnis and Shias within Iraq. These is already a sectarian war next door in Syria, and this effectively joins the two together. LA Times and BBC and International Business Times

Obama caught be surprise, discussing military options in Syria

According to an unnamed U.S. official in President Obama's administration speaking to CNN, they were caught off guard by the speed with which the ISIL forces moved across Iraq: 

"We've been watching the intelligence continually and the fractures in Iraq that have grown as a result of the underlying political environment and lack of inclusive governance. If anything was surprising, it's only the speed at which the situation continued to deteriorate over the past few days and the apparent ease at which the (Iraqi security forces) abandoned their units and positions."

On Friday, President Obama made his second statement about Iraq in two days: 

"Yesterday, I convened a meeting with my National Security Council to discuss the situation there, and this morning I received an update from my team. Over the last several days, we’ve seen significant gains made by ISIL, a terrorist organization that operates in both Iraq and in Syria. In the face of a terrorist offensive, Iraqi security forces have proven unable to defend a number of cities, which has allowed the terrorists to overrun a part of Iraq’s territory. And this poses a danger to Iraq and its people. And given the nature of these terrorists, it could pose a threat eventually to American interests as well."

He said that the administration would be preparing military options, but emphasized that no troops will be sent into Iraq. Analysts have suggested that these options include drone surveillance and air strikes, and possibly limited actions by special forces. 

He added that the government of Nouri al-Maliki would have to do its part to set aside sectarian differences: 

"So we have enormous interests there, and obviously our troops and the American people and the American taxpayers made huge investments and sacrifices in order to give Iraqis the opportunity to chart a better course, a better destiny. 
But ultimately, they're going to have to seize it. As I said before, we are not going to be able to do it for them. 
And, you know, given the very difficult history that we've seen in Iraq, I think that any objective observer would recognize that in the absence of accommodation among the various factions inside of Iraq, various military actions by the United States, by any outside nation, are not going to solve those problems over the long term and not going to deliver the kind of stability that we need."

In response, al-Maliki blamed President Obama for flip-flopping on Syria and allowing the Syrian civil war to spill over into Iraq. 

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, I can guarantee that this kind of "accommodation" among the Sunni and Shia faction will NOT occur. So what will Obama do then? Answer: Faced with an increasingly powerful ISIS, the U.S. military will get more heavily drawn into Iraq and Syria. 

It was almost ten years ago that I predicted, based on a Generational Dynamics analysis, that Iran and the U.S. would become allies in the approaching Clash of Civilizations world war. I've repeated that prediction dozens of times. Ten years ago that prediction seemed intuitively ludicrous, but now we see that it's coming true. For two years, America has been pulling away from its old ally, Saudi Arabia, and coming closer to its new ally, Iran. 

This is how these trend predictions work. Ten years ago, all I could tell you was the trend. I could not have predicted any of the details, such as ISIS succeeding in a "blitzkrieg" attack across Iraq that caught the Obama administration by surprise. But that's how it always happens. It's like a pressure cooker on a stove. You can identify the trend -- that the pressure was getting higher and higher. You could predict that, at some point in the future, the pressure will be so great that the pressure cooker has to explode, but you can't say when. Then when it finally happens, there's no time to do anything, and if you happen to be standing next to it, then you're dead. 

The same is true of many other Generational Dynamics predictions that I've posted over the years. I can tell you with 100% certainty that a major financial crisis and stock market crash are coming, but I can't tell you when. But when it happens, almost all your stock market savings will be lost. And the crash will happen so quickly that you won't be able to do a thing about it. Only the bankers who caused the financial crisis in the first place will get their money out quickly. Everyone else will lose. CNN and Washington Post

U.S. State Dept. confirms Russian tanks in Ukraine

As clashes continue in east Ukraine between Ukraine's security forces and pro-Russian separatists, video have emerged of Russian tanks and weapons coming across the border from Russia. On Friday, the U.S. State Dept. confirmed this: 

"In the last three days, a convoy of three T-64 tanks, several BM-21 or Grad multiple rocket launchers and other military vehicles crossed from Russia into Ukraine near the Ukrainian town of Snizhne. This is unacceptable. We are confident that these tanks came from Russia."

AP

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Iran, Nouri al-Maliki, Ali al-Sistani, Sheikh Abdulmehdi al-Karbalai, Moqtada al-Sadr, Islamic Emirate in Iraq and Syria/Sham/the Levant, ISIS, ISIL, Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, IRGC, Qassem Suleimani, Hassan Rouhani, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, Russia 

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