(Baghdad, Iraq) – In Iraq, what’s old is what’s new again, as it stands on the precipice of a new civil war.
Despite an eight-year presence in Iraq, which began as an invasion under false pretenses by President George W. Bush (R-TX), and ended as a unilateral withdrawal in 2011 by President Barack Obama (D-IL/Kenya), the country has never been truly stable – even after nearly 4,500 Americans died and over 32,000 were wounded.
In March 2003, the United States routed Saddam Hussein’s military and ousted him from power. He was subsequently captured (December 2003) and executed (December 2006).
With Hussein gone, his fellow Sunnis found themselves marginalized by the Iraqi Shiite government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s – the segment of the population that was systematically marginalized, tortured, and murdered by Hussein.
The United States pulled out of Iraq in December 2011 because a security agreement – which would have left thousands of American troops in Iraq – could not be reached with the corrupt Iraqi government.
Like Darth Vader, the Sunnis are now striking back, and al-Maliki’s government must now be having buyers’ remorse regarding the residual American presence.
“If you go to Best Buy and you buy a television, you can take out an extended warranty,” said a White House spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity and trying to explain the current state of Iraq like President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (D-NY) explained his “Lend-Lease” program of 1940 (enacted into law in 1941). “If you don’t take out the extended warranty, and the television dies after 90 days, do you blame Best Buy? You can, but it won’t work. If you don’t do everything in your power to protect your interests, you face the potential consequences. Iraq is now dealing with a television it can’t return.”
In the past few weeks, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) – a Sunni Islamic Fundamentalist group – has added to territory captured in Syria by capturing towns such as Aleppo, Fallujah, Mosul, and Tikrit, forcing the al-Maliki’s government forces to surrender and/or scatter.
ISIS, an offshoot of Al-Qaeda, is deemed too radical even by Osama bin Laden’s standards.
“They are just too radical,” said an Al-Qaeda spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “I mean, we’re into flying jets into buildings and bombing embassies. We like that stuff. But these guys are just plain nuts.”
The spokesman may have been alluding to recently posted ISIS photos purportedly showing a mass-murder of 1,700 Iraqi security forces. The incident is now being considered by the United Nations (UN) as a possible war crime.
As for the United States, President Obama announced just days ago that any plans to assist the Iraqi government would absolutely rule out American boots on the ground. In an apparent about-face, the White House today announced Obama was considering sending up to 100 Special Operations troops to Iraq in a training and advisory role.
Outraged Obama opponents called his proposal the “Gulf of Tonkin Resolution for the 21st Century” and demanded he reconsider his position.
“Obama needs Congressional approval, and what he’s doing is evading Congress – essentially lying to Congress – and returning to Iraq under false pretenses,” said a Congressional Republican spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “You’d never see a Republican do something like that!”
But Democrats, too, were furious with Obama. “We lost 4,500 soldiers in an effort to oust a tyrant and bring democracy to Iraq,” said a Congressional Republican spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Does President Obama really want to add to that total?”
And both Democrats and Republicans were even more furious when hearing that Obama might form an alliance with Iran to work against ISIS. The United States severed diplomatic ties with Iran in 1979 due to the 444-day Iran Hostage Crisis.
“What’s next?” asked a Congressional spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Maybe we should ask Al-Qaeda for help?”
But it may not come to that. Late word Monday night spoke of a potential peacemaker for the volatile situation. And, again, what’s old is what’s new.
The peacemaker? Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf. Yes, the Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf who served as Iraqi Information Minister under Saddam Hussein in 2003. Yes, the Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf known as “Comical Ali” and “Baghdad Bob” for issuing statements about Baghdad not being bombed by the United States – while buildings in the background were burning to the ground.
Since Hussein’s overthrow, al-Sahaf has been working in the United States as a spokesman for many entities, including some for the Federal government. He has called both the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the National Library of Medicine (NLM) home. He has also done some sideline work – such as working as spokesman for the Allwood Bakery in Clifton, NJ.
Al-Sahaf may be the only one capable of bridging the divide between Sunnis and Shiites. But, when asked, he denied he had been asked to step in and help
“I triple guarantee you, I am not going back to Iraq!” said al-Sahaf, speaking on condition of anonymity. “I can say, and I am responsible for what I am saying, that I am not going back to Iraq! Those who say that I am leaving for Iraq have no morals! They have no shame about spreading these lies and falsehoods! And those who lie and tell falsehoods will have their stomachs roasted in Hell!”