This is an ongoing conversation between President Obama and the Secretary of state Mr. John Kerry.
President: John, do you think that it is a good idea to talk to the President of Iran? After all we have a shared common interest in Iraq.
John : I don’t think it will be easy to have a meaningful dialogue with the president of Iran. We have already called his country “axis of evil”. The middle easterners are strongly emotional. They will remember our remark for a long time. Sir, we need to really look into the intentions of Iran before we talk to them. Our dialogue needs to be carefully calibrated to understand where they come from.
President: Where do you think they come from?
John : Sir, I have this hypothesis. In the middle-east religion and its practice occupies foremost and the country comes only after that. The middle-eastern people are mostly Shias, Sunnis and Kurds. Their infighting is always related to creating a caliphate, a state where their religious practices could be continued without the others bothering them. The Shias and Sunnis haven’t seen eye to eye on any issues over their long history. They are born fighters and will sacrifice their life for the cause of their religious belief. Now why is this relevant?
The Sunnis (ISIS) are coming after Mr. Maliki, the current Prime Minister of Iraq who is a Shia. Mr. Maliki, since in office for the second term has treated the Sunnis badly and expected them to be meek. Yes they were for a while. After all Saddam Hussain, a Sunni was their leader and he bestowed all good things to them. We killed Saddam, destroyed his party Baath and installed a Shia leader. We dismembered the army and created a new army committed to preserving the Shias majority. But these soldiers had mixed feelings about their role and so was not seriously committed to defending the country. They ran for their life when attacked and gave up their military postings. Sir, you see the Sunnis onward March to Baghdad is intact and so we can expect a big battle in the next few weeks.
President: You mentioned about Kurds. Who are they?
John : Sir, Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) manages rich oil fields. They earlier seized power and captured Kirkuk, a major city in Baghdad. Mr. Masoud Barzani, the KRG President has long coveted Kirkuk which is seen by many Kurds as their Jerusalem. After Saddam Hussain, they bickered over how to share the ostensibly federal wealth. However most of Iraqi’s valuable oil fields are located in the South and currently controlled by Shia.
President: You are adding a new dimension to the Sunny Shia conflict.
John : Kurds story involves Turkey. Turkish Kurds, a very large number want to be a player in the dialogue is if there is any between the Sunnis and the Shias. Mr. Ahmet Turk, a Kurdish nationalist, a major of the border forces, wants to have a tête – a – tête with Mr. Maliki regarding the share of land and resources.
President: As I see it, there are many countries involved directly or indirectly with this resurgency.
John : Yes sir. The players with whom we need to discuss have different agendas and they have strategies to achieve them.
President: It is late in the evening and so we will continue this conversation as I need time to assimilate it. Good night.