Robin Wright's article has a link to a 2009 article that shared insights from one of the ablest diplomats America has ever produced: Ryan Crocker. That article (which I tweeted out as a "Blast From The Past") underscored the profound strategic mistakes the United States made that began with the infamous Axis of Evil Speech that scuttled the momentum that was at hand right after 2001. I would go as far as underscore the fact those very strategic mistakes--including rejecting Iranian overtures at the time--set back the cause of peace in that part of the World and gave rise to 8 disastrous years of an Administration that left Iran in ruins that has been noted throughout the write-ups here. The current Iranian President, Mr. Rouhani, has been trying to do what he can to transform Iran despite overwhelming odds.
It is gratifying to have seen President Obama commit to degrade, shrink and destroy ISIS as he noted in his interview with The US Network NBC News. It is also of note that the subtle cooperation between Iran and the United States has continued which has been underscored recently by comments from former President Rafsanjani. The need to cooperate is ever so crucial to be able to eradicate the ISIS Cancer that continues to be the menace at hand. John Kerry has left for the region to forge the coalition.
What is of profound concern is the current Iraqi Government. The Iraqi Government has been formed. But the key ministries of Defense and Interior are yet to be chosen. This is as some former power brokers are back in Government. The one that was frankly shocking to see Ahmad Chalabi back in Government. He was one of the main culprits that created the very "Perfect Storm". As the drama in Baghdad continues, bombings continue and ISIS continues to be at the gates of Baghdad. The Kurds, in the meantime, are at the forefront of the fight as various Kurdish factions (Including the PKK from the Turkey and the PYD from Syria) have entered into the fight. It was quite an eye opener to see one of the key officials quoted on the situation on the ground: Qubad Talabani. He is the son of the Former Iraqi President who served as the de-facto Kurdish Ambassador in the United States at the height of the Iraq War and got more airtime on US Television that the nominal Iraqi Ambassador. Kurdistan is gearing up for independence--which is a dream that the Barzani Family and the Talabani family have had for the past 50 years. As the struggle continues, the ordinary Iraqi continues to suffer which was brilliantly noted by this young Iraqi Christian. Fred Abrahams of Human Rights Watch underscored this in his tweet as well:
As the war continues in the heart of the Middle East, there is another war brewing: a political war for the future of the United Kingdom. There has been a massive shift to the "Yes" vote for Independence. It has caused a massive sense of uncertainity which will not bode well for the future of the United Kingdom as we know it. Alex Salmond, the Scotland First Minister, spoke of the desperation by the "Westminster ELite" as George Osborne announced new devolution powers upon a "No" vote. Prime Minister's Question time was cancelled so that David Cameron and Ed Miliband go up to Scotland to campaign. What is also just as critical is the position of the UK in the World Stage. What will happen to England? What will happen to Wales? Will the Northern Ireland peace process fully unravel and pressure for a United Ireland once again be prevalent?
What must also be noted is that The United Kingdom is one of the five permanent members of the Security Council and its' status will be brought into profound question. It was striking how David Cameron noted how he "wants desperately want Scotland to stay". Even if "No" wins, bringing the country together will present a profound challenge. Why did David Cameron and Ed Miliband wait this long?