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August 11, 2014

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Ultimately, I think the ISIS is far more akin to the first iteration of the Klan than the North Vietnamese--and that their ambitions are very similar to those who did the Wilmington Coup d'Etat.

It's just too black and white to say that Maliki isn't inclusive of Sunnis. A big part of the problem was always the rather entitled (and thus somewhat murderous) attitude that Sunnis have versus the rest of Iraqi society. They are marginalized, and that's bad, but there are concrete reasons for their marginalization. Not respecting the violent history that generated those reasons are going to lead to missteps--because we're going to see difficult-to-resolve problems as something more reconcilable than they truly are.

Installing a character like Haider al-Abadi is almost certainly irrelevant to the concerns of Sunni, because these policies are enacted with a whole lot more support than just al-Maliki alone. They'll mouth conciliatory tones for the Western audience, as Arabs there are wont to do, and do what they were going to do anyways. Given the sheer snake-pittery of Iraqi politics, I have strong doubts that al-Abadi is going to be any more cooperative than the last guy we selected.

The only real means, ultimately, of forwarding Iraqi (and Syrian, and Afghanistani) state development (in our favor) is ditching KSA and GCC as allies. We don't have all that common goals with them any more, in terms of MENA geopolitics, and the effort to have our cake and eat is is fueling discord as contradictory diplomatic and policy aims clash destructively, such as what happened in Egypt. The situation with ISIS is just much worse, though. The funding that KSA and their friends do of such violent groups forces expensive commitment of US assets and demonstrates weakness of US resolve.

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