In a matter of days, a tiny, rag-tag group of militiamen have changed the map of Iraq.
Calling themselves (oddly enough), ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), (odd because ‘isis’ is the Grecian name of an ancient Egyptian goddess). They have used pick-up trucks, automatic rifles, no air power and little more than will to take over a dozen Iraqi cities, chief among them, Mosul – the country’s second-largest city.
They have seized oil refineries, and robbed banks – but more importantly, they have completely intimidated the national army -which would rather run than fight.
Confident, mobilized, and motivated, they are going from victory to victory, from strength to strength – with only token resistance.
What does this portend for the future of Iraq?
Civil War? Partition?
The destruction of Iraq as a Shia – ruled State?
No one knows.
Two weeks ago, who knew they existed?
War, the old adage goes, is the mother of all things.
We shall see.