Which story line sounds the more credible – that linking the rebel movement ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) to policies pursued by Iran or that linking the Sunni extremist force to Iran’s adversary Saudi Arabia?
Despite their ubiquity on television talk shows and newspaper op-ed pages, neo-conservatives and other hawks who propelled the U.S. into war in Iraq 11 years ago are falling short in their efforts to persuade the public and Congress that Washington needs to return.
Ten and a half years after invading U.S. troops ousted President Saddam Hussein’s Baathist regime, Iraq re-emerged here this week, if only briefly, as a major foreign policy agenda item.
Armoured vehicles and thousands of soldiers masked in black balaclavas guard the entrance to the city of Mosul, 350 kilometres northwest of Baghdad. Arriving here gives one the unmistakable feeling of entering a territory that is still under occupation – only this time, the Iraqi Federal soldiers, not the U.S. military, play the role of the occupying army, locals tell IPS.