In Iraq U.S. Must Pursue Diplomacy, Not Further Military Intervention

Posted July 9, 2014

MP3 Interview with Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of The Nation, conducted by Scott Harris

iraq

Since June fighters with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, have captured dozens of cities and towns in northern and Western Iraq in addition to territory the group has seized inside Syria. The leader of the extremist Sunni group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has announced his intention to form a caliphate, or Islamic state, spanning both Iraq and Syria -- and demanded that all Muslims pledge allegiance to him.

Responding to the ongoing crisis in Iraq the Pentagon announced on June 30 that President Obama had ordered hundreds of additional U.S. troops to Baghdad along with helicopters and weaponized Predator drones. Administration officials say the second deployment since early June is being made to reinforce security at the U.S. embassy and provide trainers and advisors to the Iraqi military. According to a report from Al-Jazeera, this latest announcement brings to nearly 800 the number of combat-equipped American soldiers who have been sent to Iraq during the current crisis. Although President Obama has not yet launched U.S. airstrikes targeting ISIS forces inside Iraq, administration officials say they have not ruled them out. Meanwhile, Iraq has sought and received military support from U.S. adversaries Iran, Russia and Syria to battle ISIS insurgents.

The White, joined by world leaders and critics inside Iraq, have called on Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Malaki to step down from his post to make way for a more inclusive government. But Malaki is determined to win a 3rd term as head of state, as the Iraqi Parliament charged with forming a new government has deadlocked and adjourned until August 12th. Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of the Nation magazine, who discusses growing concern about the U.S. military role in Iraq’s current conflict with ISIS insurgents.

Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of the Nation magazine and author of the book, “The Change I Believe In: Fighting for Progress in The Age of Obama," For more TheNation.com.

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