NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- I was talking to Jim Cramer today about the latest from Iraq, where Sunni fighters have attempted a raid on the largest Iraqi refinery. It is clear that the fighting in Iraq is widening.
Early successes from ISIS forces in taking the city of Mosul and Tikrit have not moderated in the second week of fighting. It appears now that this will be a long struggle.
With financial aid coming from the Saudi government and with ISIS forces equipping themselves with U.S. arms confiscated from the Iraqi military, hope is disappearing that this brutal force of insurgents will be quelled quickly. And that does not bode well for the region and oil prices.
This is no longer a civil struggle for the control of Iraq, if it ever was one. It is quickly becoming a holy war between Sunni and Shiite religious sects, looking to establish hegemony over the region. The translation of ISIS is loosely the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, but the Syria they refer to is a greater Syria before borders were redrawn after World War I. This greater Syria includes all of Lebanon, parts of Israel and Turkey and Cyprus as well, in which the ISIS forces are trying to install a new Caliphate under Sharia law.
Such aspirations, when accompanied by ample money and arms and the brutal conviction that these thugs display, has the potential not only to destabilize Iraq, but the entire region, should it be allowed to continue to gain strength. This is something I do not believe the U.S. will be able to ignore or allow.