Let us pretend for a moment that you and your family are amongst the Forty-five-thousands or so civilian residents remaining in Fallujah and you want to survive; what does one do? If you remain in the city, the unmerciful shelling and other indirect weapons will eventually strike your home destroying it and your terrified family. If you try to leave, both sides will do what it takes to get you killed. The Islamic State desires two things from the Sunni citizens of Fallujah; they want you murdered using the most horrific means possible such that you and your family can be shown in Facebook and in the media who are stanchly supporting the story line and as human shields once the fighting commences. What story line is that, pray tell? Well, that depends again on whose telling the story. The Western coalition will tell the story of your family’s death as a horrific price being paid to free the city from the Islamic State which placed your family in harm’s way. The Islamic State and Muslim Brotherhood will use the horrific and tragic death of your family as proof of the horrific cost of this war brought down on the rightful rulers of Fallujah by Iran and the Shiite militias who are nothing more than blood thirsty mobs of subhuman scoundrels of the worst kind. The Syrian supporters of Bashir al-Assad will claim that the tragic death of your family simply proves what they have claimed from the start, that they are simply fighting against these same Sunni terrorist forces and the world simply does not understand the situation because if they did they would be backing Assad, not bombing them. The Druze and Kurds would likely claim to put a pox on both your houses as all they want is to rule their own little plot of lands free from the slaughtering forces of both sides which have routinely murdered their families in the name of liberating or defending them literally since the end of World War I and the disaster that Sykes-Picot brought down on the region by its design. These guys may be the only ones with clear vision and also the ones who see the sole path to enlightened behavior, give each tribe or even family their own fig tree, orange tree, a few grape vines and a dozen sheep per adult male and everybody go home. Unfortunately for you, your family and anybody still in Fallujah; ain’t never gonna happen!
Apart from the obvious tribal divides and the religious Sunni-Shiite divide, there is another overarching problem; only one side will be left standing at the end of the day still seeking to rule the world and the world does not want anybody ruling the entire world except for their sacred and Heaven chosen leaders. In Iran that is the Supreme Leader whoever is currently in that position which right now is Ali Khamenei. Those with the Islamic State want their Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Ask the Western Leaders and they just want to have the old order restored and everybody at each other’s throats but leaving that to killing those within their national border within reason or they will remove you from power and the next idiot they leave in charge will start killing those within the border until it gets ridiculous at which point the Western militaries will come in and replace them with another opposition leader thus keeping the region forever embroiled in petty intra-fratricidal schemes and fighting instead of making any progress towards a modern cohesive society which can compete with Europe in any means of production and resorting to the only other thing they can do for currency, sell the raw materials within their borders to the Europeans who will then make the goods to sell to you and your people who are the chosen sect of the month.
Almost nowhere on the face of the planet is there actually nations whose leaders and people desire for all the rest of the world to do well and also desire their people and nation to be free to pursue that which benefits all their people the best and most rewarding way possible by the best available means. Often where one has a leader who appears to desire, there are those groups within the nations who desire to wrest power from that leader by any means necessary and not always within the structure of the society even be that a democratic style of governance with actual fair elections as elections can be so messy and your ideas are all about order, instilling and keeping order, order as you see fit to define it. Where you have a people that desire that the leader inevitable sees some injustice or place in the world where things are not being done in a proper manner as defined by their views, then they must put together a coalition of the willing and sometimes the not so willing and repair that problem until it no longer can bother them. This is sometimes done in a civilized manner otherwise called a trade war. Right now the civilians of Fallujah would welcome a trade war and settle for there being no leader anywhere with a say in their business, not even from amongst their own fellow Fallujahittes. We have to face it that Fallujah had it not so terribly awful under Saddam Hussein as there were plenty of other eggs to crack and/or fry before they came under his attention, never a good thing. Then saving the day came the Americans and their coalition of the willing under George H. W. Bush to free Kuwait and put Iraqi Dictator Saddam Hussein back to Baghdad preventing him from turning south and taking Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States thus gaining a monopoly on much of the world’s oil. Many question if it was worth the price as he remained in power which caused yet another destructive war whose costs are still not ended piling up.
Row 1) F16s Flying Over Burning Oil Fields Immediately After Set Alight by Saddam Hussein
Row 2) Israeli civilians in shelter from rockets (left) aftermath attack in Ramat Gan, Israel (right)
Row 3) Destroyed Iraqi civilian and military vehicles are left sitting on Highway of Death.
Row 4) Aerial view of destroyed Iraqi T-72 tank, BMP-1 and Type 63 on Highway of Death.
Row 5) Kuwait Oil Fields Ablaze, Sky and Ground Blackened as Camels Desperately Forage
The cost of a war is impossible to gauge until far after the ramifications are complete. By that standard the initial push by Persia into Greece which eventually led to the conquest of Persia and beyond by Alexander the Great which brought on Rome which fell into a morass of tribal fiefdoms and the Byzantines which fell before the Caliphate and finally knocked out by the Ottomans who fell in World War I leading to Sykes-Picot which leads to so many wars as well as World War I leading to World War II and the current mess we call the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and the refugees flooding into an already bankrupt and financially desperate Europe and spilling into Canada and the United States where the race for the Presidency will be Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and the beat goes on, and the beat goes on…
Beyond the Cusp