PARIS -- The fact that U.S. President Barack Obama is putting hundreds of boots back onto the ground in Iraq to protect American interests is the result of some bad decisions and missed opportunities to correct course. Except that Russian President Vladimir Putin had already staked out the proper course -- and the Obama administration seems intent on turning every action into a political spitball aimed at getting Putin's attention.
The administration's preoccupation with economic warfare against Eurasia has evidently come at the expense of other priorities, like terrorism. As a result, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a Sunni terrorist group, is overtaking Iraqi cities and executing anyone in its way en route to overtaking Baghdad, threatening to undo nearly 10 years of American blood, sweat and tears.
It's all the tragic result of misplaced priorities -- starting with Syria.
The U.S. government had been funding various Sunni jihadists to make trouble for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad -- a primary ally of both Russia and Iran. Destabilizing Assad would help destabilize the Eurasian economic sphere. Russia's interest in Syria is economic -- arms, energy and a naval port -- and Iran's is ideological, given that the Syrian and Iranian governments are both Shia Muslim.
Putin understood that anti-Assad forces were largely comprised of Sunni Islamic terrorist groups, and he warned America against supporting them alongside their Sunni state-sponsors Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Putin defended Assad's right to exterminate these terrorist forces inside his own country. Obama responded by threatening U.S. military action in Syria -- until Putin stepped in to take responsibility for chaperoning Assad and getting any chemical weapons under control, provided that America would promise to stop flooding the place with "assistance."
ISIS was one of the terrorist groups in Syria that benefited from U.S. cash and equipment. Now, it has an army trying to overtake Baghdad.
Who is America's inadvertent ally right now in saving Iraq? Syria. No, really.
Agence France-Presse reports that Assad's Syrian army has already been attacking ISIS bases bordering Iraq at the behest of Baghdad, helping America save its investment in Iraq even before Obama could even determine how to help. Maybe it's a good thing Obama listened to Putin and stopped short of bombing Assad, now that the guy is doing America a favor.
Not that Obama stopped pestering Putin after the agreement with Russia on Syria.