WASHINGTON, August 19 (RIA Novosti), Lyudmila Chernova - The US' strengthening of extreme jihadi forces and weakening the traditional governments in the Middle East in recent years is now the main problem in Iraq and the region, Martin Sieff, a veteran American foreign correspondent, told RIA Novosti Tuesday.
“Although President Barack Obama made clear in his speech that he understood the United States could now only play a limited role in Iraq, the problem is that the United States has recklessly strengthened extreme jihadi forces throughout the Middle East in recent years and it has systematically weakened the traditional governments in the region," Sieff said.
"Al-Qaeda, ISIS and other extreme forces are now taking advantage of these irresponsible policies," the journalists asserted. "A wave of air strikes will not be enough to solve the problem.”
The US military conducted some 15 airstrikes around Mosul dam on Monday. A new round of air strikes was in support of Iraqi and Kurdish forces near the dam fighting against ISIS militants. The dam fell under control of Islamic State (IS) rebels earlier this month. However, the reports coming from the area of who is in control of the dam, government forces or IS, have been contradicting in the past few days.
Sieff warned about a real danger that an extremist Caliphate will be established in the Iraq-Syria region.
"Alternately, the current jihadi forces may be defeated but then radical Shiite forces backed by Iran could establish an even more radical regime," he said.
"The collapse of the Maliki government and the gains made by Islamic fundamentalist forces in Iraq expose the bankruptcy of US nation building policies in the country over the past 11 years," Sieff stressed.
He underlined that although Obama and his administration have been taken totally by surprise by the collapse of the Iraqi army and the civil government in Iraq, they shouldn't have been.
“This is the inevitable consequence of the bungled attempt at neocolonialism masquerading as ‘building democracy’ that was attempted by President George W. Bush and his team of Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and their deputies," he explained.
“The British tried the same trick in Iraq, when they set up a sham democracy in 1925 and tried to pull the strings," the journalist went on to say. "After several military coups, many rebellions and even genocide against the Assyrian Christians, the British were finally driven out and the monarchy they had set up was toppled in 1958. The Americans have repeated all their mistakes.”
Obama tried to coast along on the Bush mess he inherited in 2009, but now he faces a great dilemma, Sieff noted, that the president can use air power effectively in the short term, but the regime in Baghdad he is trying to prop up has no true credibility and it never did.
"Democracy cannot be forcibly imposed from outside the way that Bush’s people tried to do in Iraq. It must be allowed to develop naturally from within a society,” he emphasized.
“The United States should work closely and responsibly with Russia and with responsible Arab governments in the region to try and reestablish stability and order in the region,” Sieff concluded.