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article imageOp-Ed: Administration ignores Iraq as democracy subcumbs to extremism

By Larry Clifton     Aug 4, 2014 in Politics
Baghdad - Tens of thousands of U.S. and coalition troops who fought in Iraq to give that country a shot at representative democracy must now look on as militants of the Islamic State, Taliban, jihadists and Kurds rip the fledgling democracy apart.
The US administration is largely ignoring Iraq as it disintegrates, much as it has throughout Pres. Obama’s tenure.
Militants of the hardline Islamic State launched a bloody three-pronged attack over the weekend to capture Haditha Dam, an energy complex with six power generators adjacent to Iraq’s second-largest reservoir. Militants are simultaneously battling for control of Mosal Dam, Iraq’s largest dam which is located in the north.
If the Islamic State militants managed to capture both dams, or even one of them, it means they control the most urgently needed commodity in the country, drinking water and the second most important one, the electrical grid. Such power over the people will boost the militant Islamic’s support throughout much of the country.
The U.S. military made great sacrifices to plant the seed of democracy in Iraq during George Bush’s administration. However, Mr. Obama has done little to help democracy bloom in the troubled country. After nearly six years, radical Islam festers in Iraq like an inoperable national cancer.
With Sharia laws and lawless militants replacing any pretense of representative democracy, women’s rights are trampled first. The rape rooms will return as the radicals secure cities and villages and pillage government resources. Women will be tortured and killed in the name of culture as the West looks on.
Controlling the dams would be a particularly powerful weapon for the Islamic State. By flooding terrain downstream the militants could disrupt the lives of Iraqis and distract the beleaguered Iraqi army. The militants have already shown their willingness to do that with a smaller dam in the Baghdad region.
Jihadists are also fighting to take Mosal Dam which is located north of Iraq's second-largest city, Mosul. The city itself fell under the control of militants on June 10, however battles between warring factions and government forces intensified on Sunday after nearby villages of Zumar and Sinjar were overrun by militants.
Sadly, a total of 4,486 U.S. service members were killed in Iraq between 2003 and 2012 along with hundreds of coalition troops who sacrificed their lives to build the tiny democracy in the midst of dictators, Islamic extremists and thousands of warring factions in surrounding countries.
Many more Americans and coalition troops went home maimed and suffering from battle-related disorders.
As Iraq falls into the abyss of extremism, women will once again become the property of their male family members and thousands will die as the current civil war rages on. The world takes another step backwards.
However, it is important to remember that those Americans and all of the coalition troops who died trying to free Iraq from dictatorships and Islamic extremists, succeeded. They allowed a fragile democracy to take hold in the violent Middle East.
The White House can ignore Iraq as the latest flavor of Islamic extremism crushes that small island of democracy that so many gave their all to create.
However, the American people know that this administration’s failures in Iraq are not on the U.S. military or any of the coalition troops who served there.
Still, it is disrespectful that this administration will do little more than look the other way as the democracy so many sacrificed all to create is dismantled the Islamic State
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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