The present problems of Iraq are 100% down to our murderous invasion and occupation. The idea that further western bombing will make things better is so deluded as to beggar belief.
I was surprised to find during my Burnes research that the imperialist powers of Britain and Russia were explicitly exploiting Sunni and Shia divisions to further their conquests of Islamic lands as early as the 1830’s. This has been the major tool of the neo-con Middle Eastern gameplan for some time, spreading disunity and crippling war throughout the Middle East, with the hope that this will benefit the interests of Israel.
The peculiar result has been that in general the West is very actively supporting Sunni armies and miscellaneous forces, but in Iraq is supporting the Shia. ISIS – which is heavily backed by the Saudis, who hate al-Maliki – brings this paradox into sharp relief. The current US and UK strategy is to persuade Saudi Arabia to get ISIS to reconcentrate their efforts against Assad, on the understanding they will be allowed to keep the Sunni areas of Iraq (the old neo-con plan of dividing Iraq is firmly back on the agenda).
The BBC News this morning said that ISIS would not be capable of using the billions of dollars of sophisticated western armaments they have captured. I think you will find the Saudis remedy that one quite quickly. It is quite possible we will see some token airstrikes to kill civilians in Mosul, in order to appease Obama’s domestic backers who are never happy if Americans aren’t killing enough people, but only after agreement has been reached with the Saudis that no serious harm will be done – except to the ordinary people neither Obama, the Saudis or al-Maliki care in the least about.