‘There are no happy endings’: An in-depth look at the turmoil in Iraq

The Middle East is on fire. Israel and Hamas continue to trade rocket fire, while ISIS is on the march in Iraq. With a caliphate officially declared and a leader named, Glenn explained on Wednesday’s Glenn Beck Program that he believes the coming weeks and months will see a further devolution of the situation that ignites a Sunni-Shia war. That war will stretch from Pakistan all the way to Spain, and the implications will be global.

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“There are no happy endings,” Glenn said somberly.

When you consider the bloodshed and sacrifice the United States has already endured in the region, it is troubling to think it could all be for nought. How can we possibly sit by and watch our sacrifice “get flushed down the toilet”? At the same time, how can we possibly believe another dollar or another life can solve this problem.

As he has discussed before, Glenn believes it is time for the American people to come together and courageously declare: Not one more. No more money. No more bloodshed.

“Non-interventionist is not only best course of action but the only course of action,” Glenn said.

Instead, it is time to chart a new course, and Glenn said he is willing to give anyone who has a solution as to how best to deal with this turmoil a platform from which to share those ideas.

Later in the program, TheBlaze’s national security editor Buck Sexton was joined by American Enterprise Institute scholar Michael Rubin to war-game the possible outcomes in Iraq and the Middle East more generally.

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In this Red Cell: Iraq, Buck and Rubin looked at five possible scenarios and the regional and global implications of each. For those unfamiliar with the term, a Red Cell is a wargaming exercise that looks specifically at high-impact, low-probability scenarios – things that could happen and, if they did happen, would really make a big impact.

Below are the five possible outcomes that were discussed:

1. Baghdad falls to ISIS

Both Rubin and Buck agreed this is the worst-case scenario for both the Middle East and the West. Iran would inevitably get involved, and the entire region would, as Rubin described, be set “alight.”

2. ISIS sets up training camps and government apparatus

While the caliphate has been declared, it is not a formal state. ISIS has, however, already begun distributing passports and other documentation to residents of the Syrian and Iraqi regions under its control. Rubin believes further formalization will only increase the likelihood of a terrorist attack in the West, for the root of terrorist activity is not born of oppression but an unmitigated desire for conformity.

3. ISIS conducts external terror attack against the West

Despite the United States’ weariness of  war – especially another war in the Middle East – a terrorist attack on U.S. soil would undoubtedly lead to military intervention because the terrorists can more easily metastasize when the western forces are not in their way. As Rubin explained, without troops on the ground, there is much less actionable intelligence available.

4. Jordan falls

ISIS is already on Jordanian borders, and should the monarchy fall, the balance of power in the Middle East will be fundamentally redrawn in a way the world has not seen since World War II. Rubin believes that if Jordan fall, not only will Israel lose one of the few buffers it enjoys, but Saudi Arabia will likely face a similar threat.

5. Emergence of Kurdish state

The emergence of a Kurdish state in Iraq may very well be the best scenario for the West. While the Turks typically oppose Kurdish statehood – for fear their own Kurd population will revolt – the country has given its blessing (to some extent) to the Iraqi Kurds. Iran, however, will not be as welcoming of such a state. The Iranians have condemned and will continue to condemn such statehood for the minority group for reasons similar to Turkey.

  • Anonymous

    No more Beck for our family. We were BIG TIME fans of his (since 2010 ) until the teddy bear and soccer ball stuff. Then my husband who has been posting on The Blaze site since day one made some comments about it. He has now been DELETED and no longer able to give his opinion. SO LONG !!!!

  • Johnathan Read

    Giving your opinion is one thing, but breaking the rules for posting is another.

  • ken.

    our founding fathers were non-interventionists, it’s about time we restore our country back to their intentions. too many people confuse it with isolationist which is much different. no one can fix the middle east, it is a lost cause. we pay countries to not fight against us and/or each other with aid and/or oil (opec ) and they just give aid and support to countries and terrorist groups that do fight us and/or each other. they also continue to preach and teach hatred to all non-muslims and muslims that are not the same muslim as they are, even though the differences are very small. russia and china are also supporting those countries and terrorist groups to keep our military overextended and overworked not to mention keeping them overseas away from home. we need to bring our military home where they will soon be needed.

  • Anonymous

    Looks like Glenn agrees with Obama again! Obama opposed invading Iraq and appropriately got out as soon as possible. The US would be there forever in a peace-keeping mission. However, if ISIS threatens the US, we should covertly intervene. We should have a serious intelligence effort, which I guess we already do.

  • bananaman

    Who kitted ISIL out again ?

    The ridiculous situation exists that when in Syria : the Globalist forces (with help from the Gulf dictatorships) train and arm ISIL & Co.

    When they cross the Border into Iraq they’re the enemy. Back and forth.

    Now they’re threatening to take half of Europe, clever.

    Looks like the religious nuts might get the Holy War they so crave after all..