“...some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.” - The Dark Knight (2008/Warner Bros. Pictures).
There are reports that the same Sunni tribal leaders in Iraq who a few months ago pledged their allegiance to the ISIS terrorist group to show their displeasure with Maliki and drive the Iraqi army out of their provinces are now changing their tune.
They are thinking about making a deal with the new Iraqi Prime Minister because they want to have their own autonomous region and wrest centralized control from the Shiite-led government. There is nothing wrong with that. The Kurds have their own autonomous region, so the Sunnis should as well.
The problem is once you make a deal with the devil you can't just wipe the slate clean and pretend that you're still in charge. And the Sunni tribal leaders did make a deal with the devil by siding with the barbaric terrorists in ISIS.
These guys are not just going to pack up and leave, and they're much stronger than the greedy Sunni tribal leaders that sought to use them for their own advantage.
These Sunni tribal leaders remind me of the mobsters in The Dark Knight who turned to the Joker for help when things got desperate. They soon found out that they couldn't control him. They let loose a monster who brought the city to its knees.
And ISIS is the same. They want to see Iraq burn. They want to bring it to its knees. The Sunni tribal leaders won't be able to contain them even if they do decide to fight them. Baghdad has all the cards right now anyways. What is their main bargaining chip to get more concessions from the central government? Stopping the use of terrorism against Iraqi civilians and the Iraqi army? That makes them no better than ISIS.
A lot of people poured their hate on Maliki. Obviously he isn't an easy figure to like, but the reality is that the Sunni politicians in Iraq are also scumbags, in fact, they're bigger scumbags. Maliki deserves more respect than his Sunni political opponents. Read what Michael Rubin wrote in his article called, "Maliki’s Exit Doesn’t Change a Thing":
Politicians react to events; they are seldom consistent over time. That Maliki became more sectarian with time is indisputable. So too is the reality that he was pushed into a sectarian corner. Many analysts point to the arrest warrant for former Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi issued on Maliki’s watch as evidence that Maliki sought to pursue sectarian vendettas. The evidence against Hashemi was pretty overwhelming, though. To absolve him of guilt simply because he was Sunni and the prime minister was Shi‘ite is ridiculous.The only way to stop ISIS from burning Iraq down is to blow them to smithereens. A few airstrikes here and there won't do anything. But President Obama is not willing to become that Dark Knight and take out these terrorist jokers because it is U.S. policy to disintegrate Iraq, so ISIS still serves a purpose.
Indeed, too often it appears that Iraq’s Arab Sunni political leaders are the most sectarian in Iraq. The basic problem is that the majority of Sunni leaders refuse the legitimacy of any Shi‘ite-led central government. That Baathists and Sunni tribal leader colluded with the Islamic State is not so much the result of frustration, but rather of malice. They saw such collusions as a means to an end, the end being not winning greater compromise in Baghdad, but rather winning control in Baghdad.
It’s essential to realize that sectarianism in Iraq isn’t a Shi‘ite against Sunni phenomenon but is often more acute the other way. I have never met a Sunni politician who, after a couple hours of discussion and maybe a couple whiskeys, didn’t acknowledge that they sought to restore Sunni control over the Shi‘ite population.
The tragedy is that people who have done nothing wrong are being massacred, intimidated, terrorized, and driven out of their homes. They include Christians, Yezidis, Turkmen, and other religious and ethnic minorities.