More than a decade after former President George W. Bush launched the war in Iraq, the country is spiraling into turmoil, and nobody in D.C. seems to want to talk about it.
Over the past few days, militants from the al Qaeda splinter group ISIS have seized control of the Iraqi cities of Mosul and Tikrit, and are now en route to Baghdad — which has been left open to attack after troops fled the capital city.
The New York Times reports that Iraqi leaders have feared the brutal takeover for some time, and repeatedly asked the U.S. — which pulled out of the country in 2011 — to interfere:
Hoshyar Zebari, Iraq’s foreign minister, last year floated the idea that armed American-operated Predator or Reaper drones might be used to respond to the expanding militant network in Iraq. American officials dismissed that suggestion at the time, saying that the request had not come from [Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki].... In a May 16 phone call with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., Mr. Maliki... suggested that the United States consider using American air power. A written request repeating that point was submitted soon afterward, officials said.
But Washington did not step in, and officials have commented more recently that it has no intention of doing so. Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John F. Kirby said that “ultimately, this is for the Iraqi security forces, and the Iraqi government to deal with."