|‘Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri|
Over the past several days, multiple press reports have said that ‘Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri, the longtime number two man to Saddam Hussein and the only senior Ba‘athist of the ancien regime still alive, free, and active, is not just allied with ISIS but may be serving as an operational commander with their current offensive. Now ‘Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri is a longtime Ba‘athist with a commitment (presumably) to pan-Arab secular nationalists.
Yesterday I noted that the seizure of Kirkuk by Kurdish peshmerga might mean they were there to stay; if Iraq collapses the KRG, which already enjoys near-de facto independence,might simply opt for de jure. Also yesterday I noted Maliki's call for re-mobilization of the armed Shi‘ite militias of the civil war era, and reports that Iranian force were also engaged. The circle seems to be closing.
A hat tip to retired Colonel Pat Lang, US Defense Intelligence Officer during Desert Storm, for calling my attention to this.
I have never believed that Iraq's dissolution into Sunni, Shi‘ite and Kurdish regions was inevitable. But I don't think I ever said it was impossible. The way it seems to be happening is appalling and alarming, and not just for Iraq.
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
— William Butler Yeats, The Second Coming