Let Iraq Be Iraq

By Bill Maher

Before we send any more advisors to Iraq, maybe we should listen to some advice from Graham Fuller, the former vice chairman of the CIA’s National Intelligence Council:

“There is no way Washington should attempt to re-enter this Iraqi agony again. The US already destroyed the political, economic, and social infrastructure of Iraq, turning it into an anarchic free-for-all of every clan for itself…

“Most Iraqi Sunnis have little sympathy for the extremist ideology and tactics of the ISIS and its jihadi predecessors. But they also see it as a key instrument for restoration of Sunni power – if not to rule the country, at least to maintain a powerful traditional voice in governance…

“(W)ho do you turn to when the proverbial excrement – the destruction of your country – hits the fan? Most people revert to their core social identities – their clans, tribes, sectarian or regional groups – the only ones that can provide security against anarchy and enemies. There is no longer any state to provide protection…”

In other words, the problem with Iraq is people clinging to their guns and religion. 

Here’s Obama in 2008, talking about rural Americans:

"They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

Obama was right about America then. Graham Fuller is right about Iraq now. Here’s how Fuller wraps up: 

“Iraq, perhaps with help from its two neighbors, must come to terms with its own internal crisis. It can do so; sectarianism as a guiding obsession is not written in stone. Strong sectarian identity currently reflects the insecurities and fears of a complex society in chaos and political and social transition. US intervention, already once disastrous, can only delay the day when Iraqis must deal with each other again. We cannot fix it.”