The unraveling of Iraq continues to dominate the headlines. It's not hard to understand why. A ruthless breed of Islamic radicals is taking the country by storm, creating a geopolitical nightmare and a humanitarian crisis.
The ISIS Islamic State of Iraq and Syria took control of yet another Iraqi city. On Monday, the al Qaeda offshoot seized the town of Tal Afar in Northwest Iraq. This adds to the growing list of towns and cities the group has seized including Mosul, Tikrit, Kirkuk and Fallujah.
The United States government has started evacuating some of its staff from our embassy in Baghdad and sent in Marines to protect it. However, Barack Obama made it clear last week that we will not be sending ground troops into Iraq.
Complicating matters is the fact that Iraq has sent in support for the Iraqi government. As the United States and the world continues to painfully negotiate on Iran's nuclear developments, we may now be leaning on them to assist in Iraq. Former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell says it would be a mistake for us to work with Iran: I do not believe it is in the interest of the United States to work with Iran. There is a long-term struggle going on in the Middle East between Iran and our allies, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the moderate Gulf states, a fight going on for influence. I dont think we want to give Iran a foothold in Iraq, so we need to help the Iraqis. The moderate Gulf states need to help the Iraqis. We need to keep the Iranians out of this.
That leaves us to try and flex our waning influence in other ways. John Kerry says that we'll give "a very thorough vetting of every option that is available," including working with Iran and drone strikes.
There are a few other disturbing facts that we've come to learn surrounding the situation in Iraq.
Kerry Picket over at Breitbart reports that a member of Obama's Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council, a man by the name of Mohamed Elibiary, Tweeted that it is inevitable that a 'Caliphate' returns.
The Washington Times reports our commander in Iraq recommended to Obama that we leave as many as 23,000 troops in Iraq, but apparently a deal was never reached and Obama simply brought all of them home. So Obama basically ignored our military's advice on how best to prevent exactly what we are seeing unfold in Iraq.
New information reveals that ISIS may be more rich and powerful that originally assumed, carrying a possible net worth of $2 billion.
Pictures have surfaced of ISIS militants holding Iraqis captive at gunpoint and reports have been confirmed of the mass murdering of Iraqi soldiers. Explosions are now killing people in Baghdad. According to a January 21st audio message from ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the stated intention of his group is to march on Baghdad and move into direct confrontation with the United States: Our last message is to the Americans. Soon we will be in direct confrontation, and the sons of Islam have prepared for such a day. So watch, for we are with you, watching.
It doesn't get any more direct than that. The New York Times reports that the quick takeover of Iraqi cities by ISIS shouldn't be that shocking, because this has been years in the making.
But if you ask the New York Time's Paul Krugman, he believes that 2014 will go down in the record books as one of those years when America took a major turn in the right direction. He cites healthcare and climate change as his main reasons, failing to recognize that those achievements cannot exist in the vacuum of liberal utopia. Obama's credibility is crumbling on virtually every front, and nowhere is that more apparent than on foreign policy. Between domestic scandals, economic stagnation and foreign incompetence, it's hard to imagine how Obama is turning America in the right direction.