From The BBC:
As many as 500,000 people have been forced to flee the Iraqi city of Mosul after Islamist militants effectively took control of it, the International Organization for Migration says.
Troops were among those fleeing as hundreds of jihadists from the ISIS group overran the city and much of the surrounding province of Nineveh.
ISIS has now reportedly taken Baiji, home to Iraq's largest oil refinery.
PM Nouri Maliki has asked parliament to declare a state of emergency.
So, a bunch of leaders who never fought a war don't know what they're doing when there's an uprising? What a surprise.
This was always my problem with Iraq - the amount that people prize their freedom and the skills they acquired to get that freedom are an important part of building a nation. Many leaders of post-revolution countries were the war leaders of those countries (this is certainly true with Cromwell, Washington, de Gaulle, Tito, Lenin and leaders of countries like Morocco). They know, if nothing else, how to run the military, how to watch the enemy, because they've led a military force. They create the institutions of the reformed country, a large amount of the mythology and as the war was fought by the people rising up, the people want this new country. Sometimes they turn out to be bastards and themselves get turned over, but at least you've got some stability.
If the people of Iraq didn't care enough about their freedom to pick up some weapons and have Saddam swinging from a rope, why should we? That doesn't mean you don't fund groups or leave caches of weapons where rebels can find them, but it's up to them to do the shooting.
Wednesday, 11 June 2014
From The BBC: