ISIL has made Iraq’s Sunnis an offer they can’t refuse: sovereignty, territory, and oil fields, just like before Bush II. Actually, the Sunni take back started before ISIL, with tribal militias evicting government forces from Fallujah and other Sunni areas. In Syria, Sunnis want to rule over the minority Shiites for a change. Those ominous west-to-east arrows in the news depict ISIL movements, but Sunni discontent is indigenous throughout. Power rises from the roots, which are immune to airstrikes.
Bush II set up a show-democracy, in which all military and police were Shiites. After ethnic cleansings and erection of separation walls inside Baghdad, most of the bleeding was done by our national credit card. But when we left, the worthy Shiites gave up their shiny new weapons and fell back.
In President Obama’s first public comments on ISIL, he noted that Iraq’s Sunnis need to feel invested in a pluralistic democracy. Why don’t we just plant tulips in the desert, instead? Jihadism will become irrelevant to most Sunnis only after Sunni sovereignty, territory, and oil fields are recognized, even without reconquering the Shiite south.
Meanwhile, our president is ineffectually bombing those delicious ISIL villains to keep up appearances. Terrorists will probably pay us a visit for that. Then we’ll reinvade Iraq (watch for the phrase “temporary measure”), which will bleed us, to the great delight of the cunning terrorists. A future president will have to pull the plug on it, if only to prevent economic collapse. Or would she?