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American intervention is a ‘duty’ in Iraq but ‘forbidden’ in Syria

The possibility of international intervention to end the massacres of the Syrian people led to a lot of anguished hand-wringing. Those who were against intervention have fallen silent over the issue of America stepping in to save Iraq’s Nouri Al-Maliki. None of Iraq’s officials or leaders have any issues with US forces going back, even though the Shiites believe that the country’s holy sites must be protected from desecration by the greatest devil of all.

In the grotesque dance of death around the Iraq question, Iranian President Rouhani, Al-Maliki himself and “resistance” media call scandalously on the US to strike at “terrorism” in Iraq and Syria. Then there are the ambiguous supporters of limited US intervention, asking for American experts, advisors and air strikes. Whichever side they are on, none of them believes that Al-Maliki and the resistance front is able to protect Iraq.

Over $25 billion has been spent on the sectarian Iraqi army, as well as the Quds Force, the Mahdi Army, Hezbollah, Qais al-Khazali insurgencies and the Houthis. All of these forces are supposedly able to defeat Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi and his Islamic State in Iraq and As-Sham (ISIS), and the remnants of Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath Party.

This is not the first time that US intervention has been called a duty or obligation. During the 2003 US invasion and occupation of Iraq, this was made evident through the pictures taken by satellites monitoring the Iraqi army; this also happened during the Iran-Contra affair in the eighties. In addition to this, after the occupation of Kuwait, the imposition of the no-fly zones in the south was also considered a duty; as was the use of American aircraft that were on a sacred mission to protect the sanctities at the time in order to complete the liberation of Kuwait. The American intervention was also a duty in the case of the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, in cooperation with Iran.

When the British tanks and Americans desecrated the holy sites, no one called for resistance against them. Nor did we see anyone volunteer to defend Zaynab bint Ali’s grave in Syria, as if “Ahl al-Bayt”, the Prophet’s family, reject the Americans in Syria but welcome them in Iraq.

According to a saying of the Prophet, peace be upon him, the lives of the people are more sacred than Makkah. The demise of the heavens and the Earth is less evil than the shedding of blood. The world should have intervened to protect the people of Syria from the regime’s crimes, which have even included chemical attacks. If the world had done so, then none of these militant factions would have emerged, including ISIS, which was established after the world not only failed Syria but also got involved in the killing of Syrians.

ISIS was born after over 100,000 Syrians were killed at the hands of the sectarian regime and its allies, which include Hezbollah, Al-Abbas Brigade and the Houthis; and after the world abandoned the Iraqi Sunnis, who have also been subjected to a sectarian war.

Today, ISIS is celebrating the US statements supporting Al-Maliki and is waiting for the Americans to return to Baghdad. According to the US media, when Baghdadi was released from US custody 10 years ago he said, “I’ll see you in New York”; today he is meeting the Americans again in Iraq.

This throws up an interesting question. If a senior member of ISIS with a price on his head crossed from Iraq into Syria, would the US drones follow him? Is it permitted for them to be killed in Iraq but not in Syria? Perhaps the Islamic scholars bought and paid for by the sectarian government would care to issue a fatwa on this.

Translated from Al Ghad newspaper, 25 June, 2014

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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