This link is to a PBS NewsHour interview that was broadcast Saturday on Panhandle PBS.
It lasts a little more than 3 minutes and the interviewee, Gideon Rose, editor of Foreign Affairs magazine, tries to lay out the scenario that’s playing in Iraq.
His conclusion: Oh, brother, it’s highly complicated.
Perhaps the most chilling comment Rose makes during the interview with PBS NewsHour’s Alison Stewart is that ISIS — the Sunni Muslim group leading the insurgency against the Iraqi government — has been disavowed by al-Qaeda because, get this, ISIS is deemed to be too violent.
Too violent? For al-Qaeda? Wow!
Rose notes as well that much of the land seized so far by the Sunni insurgents is desert territory that isn’t of great strategic importance. That, I suppose, can be seen as some form of “good news” in this conflict.
The bad news — of which there is plenty — is that U.S. diplomats led by Secretary of State John Kerry are trying to persuade Iran to stay out of the conflict in support of the Shiites while trying to juggle several interests competing for influence in Iraq. The Kurds in the north, Sunnis in neighboring countries such as Jordan and the Shiites in Baghdad and their friends next door in Tehran all have some stake in the outcome of this fight.
My head is still spinning after watching this brief interview.