My must read of the day is "Unlikely Allies Aid Militants in Iraq," in the Wall Street Journal:
Sunni tribal leaders say mistreatment by the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has sparked protests and militancy among their ranks that created fertile ground for the al Qaeda offshoot to emerge victorious.
"This is a revolution against the unfairness and marginalization of the past 11 years," said Sheikh Khamis Al Dulaimi, a tribal leader in the Anbar Military Council of Tribal Revolutionaries, a group that has led protests against Mr. Maliki for the past year and a half.
Officials from the U.S. and Iran, which both back the Maliki government, signaled Monday a willingness to work together to halt ISIS's momentum—though with no military coordination, the White House stressed—during talks in Vienna over Tehran's nuclear program.
On Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) argued that while working with Iran makes him uncomfortable, it was necessary.
"Why did we deal with Stalin?" Graham asked, "Because he was not as bad as Hitler. The Iranians can provide some assets to make sure Baghdad doesn't fall. We need to coordinate with the Iranians."
Iran is not a nation we would ever feel very comfortable working with, everyone knows who they are, but it’s more than just remembering who Iran is—it’s what they support in this particular situation. Iran and the United States have fundamentally different desires for Iraq.
Iran supports Maliki's sectarian approach to governing and his exclusion of Sunni's—the United States does not. If we side with Iran in Iraq we’re siding with the Shias. That would not help the situation that provided the breeding grounds for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (also known as ISIS) to advance.
This is a disastrous situation that has no good options, but siding with Iran seems to defy every notion of common sense.