Disclaimer: This blog is a little more emotional than usual. Sorry.
I recently posted a blog about the coming bloodshed in Iraq, but I never expected it to come so soon. The Islamic State has taken over the town of Sinjar – a historical Yazidi home – forcing all in the town to flee for their lives or get beheaded, just like they did in Mosul, only this time, there was nowhere to run to. 40,000 people are now dying of thirst and starvation on the side of a mountain, surrounded by Islamic psychotics, and we sit here doing nothing.
I’ve had it with the dithering. Our damn government is literally trying to decide the pros and cons of delivering water and food to the people about to starve to death. 40,000 men, women and children begging for help. Genocide in the making. What in the world is our problem? There IS NO CON. Start dropping supplies, NOW.
I am ashamed to say I’m an American, while we stand by and allow these people to be slaughtered. I cannot believe we are sitting on our hands while the Islamic State rampages about. It’s time to eradicate them, and I don’t say that lightly, like an armchair blowhard yelling “Kill’em all!” The Islamic State is an abomination to every civilization on earth. They are the pinnacle of evil, and the only language they speak comes from the barrel of a gun. I mentioned in another blog that they were comparable to the motorcycle gang in the Road Warrior, and the more I think about it, the more apt that seems. They are insanely bloodthirsty killers that behead everyone who doesn’t believe like them – literally. It’s like World War Z – and they’re the zombies. They have no diplomacy, no nuance, no redeeming qualities. They have no business walking the earth, yet we still dither. Why? Is it because it’s in Iraq? Hell, pretend it’s in the non-governed badlands of Mexico. Because it very well may be there soon.
I know the talking heads will continue discussing how “complex” the situation is, and that there are “no easy solutions.” I get that. I truly do (Read some of my other blog posts if you think I’m a frothing at the mouth ideologue), but sometimes the answer really isn’t that difficult. Yes, helping the Kurds could engender them to attempt to break away and claim independence. Yes, using airpower with the Maliki government could be seen as us taking sides in a sectarian war. Yes, working with the Iraqis could mean passing intelligence to Iran. Yes, attacking IS could give cover to Assad in Syria, leaving him on the world stage saying, “We’re doing the same thing as the United States.” Yes, the administration will have to look in the mirror and realize that fleeing Iraq didn’t end the war. Yes, yes, yes, to the next fourteen “what ifs” that might happen. At the end of the day, there is one constant: NO OUTCOME WILL BE WORSE THAN THE ISLAMIC STATE. None.
We used the United Nations Responsibility To Protect doctrine to intervene in Libya, and that was based on a paltry 1000 civilians that MIGHT have been killed. We entered that conflict with the President saying, “I refuse to wait until images of slaughter and mass graves appear before taking action.”
And yet here we sit while the Islamic State slaughters with wild abandon. Where’s the R2P doctrine now? Is that only when the decisions are low cost and we can “lead from behind”? Or is it a true doctrine?
Our paralysis reminds me of training for combat trauma. When encountering a severally wounded soldier, it can be hard to determine what to do first, but some things are more critical than others. The guy could be bleeding out from multiple wounds, but what will kill him first is if he can’t breath. Our foreign policy is staring at Iraq and seeing all the wounds, then doing nothing but waving our hands about. The Islamic State has blocked the airway. Fuck all the blood, deal with that first, or the patient will die.
Saudi Arabia – the Sunni focal point – will applaud the decision. Iran – the Shiite focal point – will applaud the decision. Hell, Al Qaida will applaud the decision. The Islamic State is a disease that is the most forbidding thing I have seen in over thirty years of studying war, terrorism and insurgency. It’s time to quit dithering.
The other day, the Islamic State posted a tweet of six men just before they were beheaded. The caption read, “Kill them wherever you find them.”
That’s the only thing IS and I will agree on. Kill those Islamic State sons of bitches wherever you find them. Starting now.
UPDATE 2100 7 AUG 2014
News reports are saying we’re finally dropping supplies. Wow. That must have been a tough decision trying to figure out how those life-saving flights would affect the poll numbers.
UPDATE 2130 7 AUG 2014
President Obama has promised airstrikes “if ISIS continues its march on Irbil. We have started humanitarian assistance to the people on Mount Sinjar….” WTF? “If” they move towards Irbil? What about the Kurdish terrain they already own? So are we going to continue airdrops on a mountainside, giving the people there the life of a caveman for the forceable future? This sounds like another false red-line. Break the damn siege. At least crack open a lane to let them flee. He spent so much time trying to convince the American public of the necessity of action it made me wonder if I was the only Soldier in the United States who thought the fight was just. He mentioned the greater political struggle inside Iraq, which is the bleeding I I talked about earlier. Iraq is a hard, hard Rubic’s cube, but the Islamic State is NOT. Kill them. Now. The entire town of Sinjar has fled. Anyone looting on the streets of that town is the enemy. Kill them. Break the siege.
I appreciate that we, as a nation, are war-weary. Trust me, after nearly a decade at it, I get that, but the enemy gets a damn vote. At the end of the day there’s a reason we are the United States. It isn’t about polls, it isn’t about opinions. It’s about leadership. I applaud President Obama for initiating operations, but I wish it were more. Foreign fighters are flooding into Iraq because all they see is success. Give them some pain. Force a future foreign fighter to decide if it’s worth it. All they see are tweets with IS men holding the heads of a Shia or Christian.
The President said, “I will not allow us to get dragged into another war in Iraq.”, but that’s not completely in our hands. The enemy has a vote. As he said at a press conference earlier, “We don’t control the world.” We do control something, though. Give the Islamic State an alternate future.
One where they’re a smoking body.
UPDATE 1400 8 AUG 2014
It looks like Kurdistan is now going on the offensive against IS. Before, they were in a defensive mindset, but Massoud Barzani, president of the Kurdistan region, released a statement after losing Sinjar, in which he said, “we decided to go beyond the defensive position and fight the terrorists to the last breath. We have ordered the Peshmerga forces to attack the terrorists and the enemies of the people and the land of Kurdistan with all their power.” Welcome news. Now, if we’d only help him do it.
That would be even more welcome.