Heavily armed extremely brutal fanatics threaten and take concrete steps to massacre members of religious minorities. Those who have the power to stop them, wealthy democracies, dither until the actual massacre begins. At the same time, a brave and peaceful small country is in danger of being eradicated by the same monsters. Then the armed democracies suddenly take necessary but insufficient military measures to stop the fanatics. Wait a minute; I have seen this movie before. That was around 1940 and immediately thereafter.
I am not talking about Nazis, Jews, and Czechoslovakia, of course but about the so-called Islamic State in northern Iraq and in Syria (ISIS), about Iraqi Christians and about the Yazedi minority there. And, I am talking also about the de facto state of Kurdistan in northern Iraq. Don’t blame me for using a cliché, a tired comparison. It’s not my choice; it’s imposed on my mind by reality. Also, underlying the current Western inaction is the same collective state of mind that allowed Nazi Germany to rise from its ruins, to attack its neighbors, to prevail upon them and to make them die in large numbers. It’s the same Western mentality that made the insane but deliberate slaughter of the Jews of Europe finally conceivable and doable. Our societies are emotionally castrated. They don’t have even the primitive vigor of a male baboon coming to the aid of a bullied younger member of its band.
This is not politically correct language, of course. Let me add: Fuck feminism! It’s played it insidious part in our moral debacle.
There are reports that the ISIS monsters have kidnapped hundreds of Yazedi women. “To take them as wives,” a dingbat (female) main TV channel commentator added. Normally, I would dismiss the report as typical war propaganda. I won’t in this case because the ISIS scum are orthodox Muslims. I believe Islam explicitly allows the practice. The example comes from on high. The Prophet himself “married” the wives of his defeated enemies. How they must have enjoyed themselves being penetrated by those who had killed their husbands, their brothers, their fathers the same day or they day before! There is so far not a single feminist voice to affirm publicly that what’s going on over there is mass rape. I guess, they can’t do it because it’s a different culture and all cultures are equal.
I am not one of those who will reproach President Obama for finally doing the right thing and sending the US military to intervene. The president is a slow learner but it’s better than being a no learner. As I write, he ordered three airstrikes on ISIS military positions and two air deliveries of emergency supplies to refugees threatened with massacre on a mountain top. One of the strikes was against a (A) mortar position. I believe a dozen planes at most were involved in all flights over Iraq. We have hundreds of planes in the area. We could have thousands in a week if we wanted to. The Western allies have more. The ISIS forces move along roads and parade in columns of trucks and captured American armor. It could be a turkey shoot if we had the willpower. Those people need killing the way SS divisions needed killing between 1939 and 1945. And yes, Americans might die, members of the military all. That’s their job. That’s what they signed up for whether or not ISIS is currently a threat to the US. (I don’t know if it is. It has the potential and the ideological motivation though.) And please, don’t tell me that I don’t have any valid military idea because I did not serve. I did serve in a military, on an aircraft carrier, actually. I am familiar with how easy it is to send many well armed planes into the air and to retrieve them safely. Of course, I refer to an era when there weren’t even cruise missiles nor drones.
The persecuted minorities of northern Iraq deserve to be saved, whatever their immoral beleaguered government (our past creature) does or does not do in this respect. Autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan, this haven of peace an safety, of tolerance and of prosperity in an ugly neighborhood deserves to be saved from the ISIS barbarians. Incidentally, many Americans don’t seem to know that Kurdistan is the best result of our best efforts in that part of the world. It’s really an American protectorate. Letting it suffer would again signal to our friends and to our enemies worldwide that America is spent, finished. I am thinking, as I write, not only of Islamist fanatics but also of authoritarian. gangster-run Russia, and, behind it of ever-expanding totalitarian China. Incidentally also, the Kurdish men have demonstrated much bravery in the past, military skills, and a willingness to die to defend their homes and their families. We couldn’t wish for better local allies.
In this case, there should be no moral dilemma even for liberals. Killing the men with the guns to protect the lives of children is ethical by all religious and humanistic standards. Destroying the beast in its infancy is not only recommended, it’s required. All Americans should push for the president quickly to escalate the number and destructiveness of the attacks on ISIS and to multiply by ten the mercy flights for its victims until the food and water thus deliverfed actually goes to waste.
“We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm” (Winston Churchill.)
Kurds are a large minority in Iraq and in Turkey, a smaller one in Iran and an even smaller one in Syria. Although most of them are Sunni Muslims, they have a distinct historical identity maintained over the centuries by a linguistic boundary, by the fact that their language is unrelated to Arabic or to Turkish. It’s a little related to Farsi, the main language of Iran; it’s an Indo-European language like Greek, English and French, for example. I have read widely about that part of the world. I can’t remember examples of Kurdish religious fanaticism. Saladin, the Muslim leader who finished off the Crusader Christian kingdoms of the Middle-East was a Kurd. He was reputed for his tolerance and his kindness toward his vanquished enemies.
The Christians of Northern Iraq have been there ever since there was a Christianity. They are also known as “Chaldeans” and “Assyrians.” The Muslim powers who ruled the region since about 700 let them be mostly unmolested. (The Prophet Mohammed recommended tolerance toward Christians who submitted.)
I don’t know what the Yazedis believe. Many Yazedis are reported to not know what they believe because they keep no written religious texts. What’s important is what they are not. They are not monotheists. As such, they can claim nor formal protection under Islamic law. They are this legitimate targets for booty, including sex booty, enslavement and persecution.