Category Archives: Iraq

UPDATED: Masada on Mount Sinjar (ISIS Crisis Continued)

Ancient History, Europe, History, Iraq, Israel, Jihad, Media, States' Rights

“Masada on Mount Sinjar” is the current column, now on WND. An excerpt:

Purportedly, forty thousand refugees, among them 25,000 children, were said to be stranded on the parched terrains of the Sinjar, in scorching heat, without sustenance. That is until Barack Obama broke up the gathering. Overnight. “That’s enough, Yazidis. Go home, now. The crisis is over.” Yes, the president and his minions have pronounced the catastrophe on the Sinjar Mountains over. However, just because the Obama machine declares it so, does not make it so. I would point BHO believers to Channel 4 veteran reporter Jonathan Rugman, who questions—even mocks—the administration’s rapid, fact-finding methodology:

Crisis, what crisis? The Americans have ruled out a military airlift of Yazidis stranded on Mount Sinjar on the grounds that the situation is not as bad as previously thought. … Are the Americans saying that the refugees are not spread out any more but have either been shepherded or moved into a concentrated area where they can be counted?

Let us, then, stick with Mr. Rugman’s findings, shall we? As the courageous correspondent has discovered, the Kurd-coordinated airdrops are executed by only four helicopters (one has since crashed), allotted by Baghdad. Emergency supplies are available in abundance at various nodal points; not so the means to deliver them. Priorities set by the central government do not include “rescuing a little known Yazidi minority in Kurdistan, a region which wants to break away from Iraq and become its own country.”

The Kurds assisting those marooned on the mountains would like to secede from the morass that is Iraq. Alas, the master puppeteers in Washington have hitherto been wedded to a unified (at the point of a gun) Iraq, dominated by a strong (sectarian and corrupt) central authority. This White House, and the one before it, fetishizes Iraqi national unity. It believes that to succeed, Iraqis should be like Americans, forever imprisoned in an arranged, unhappy political marriage. …

Read the complete column. “Masada on Mount Sinjar” is now on WND.

UPDATE (8/15): If there is one constant you can trust it is that he lies. They all lie. “Break it up, Yazidis. Go home, now. The crisis is over,” Obama announced to the world, Thursday. I guess the president was attempting to will a new reality with words. The American media bought it and scattered. I was quite comfortable that “Masada on Mount Sinjar” was closer to the truth than Obama’s agitprop, even though it was submitted before his “Yazidis disperse” injunction.

Indeed, the ISIS crisis continues. Thirty miles from Sinjar, on Friday afternoon, reports BBCNews, “Militants in northern Iraq … massacred at least 80 men from the Yazidi faith in a village and abducted women and children.”

MORE.


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‘Humanitarian Corridor’ Requires Heroic Efforts

Christianity, Foreign Policy, Iraq, Religion

They are “cultural anomalies,” wrote Washington Monthly correspondent Laura Rozen, with respect to Qubad Talabani and Kurdistan, the region he represents. “His most distinctive attribute may be that he represents perhaps the sole triumph to emerge from postwar Iraq: a relatively peaceful region free of foreign troops, eager for American protection and open for business.”

Similar information was imparted in “Bush Betrays The Kurds,” back in 2007:

The Kurds are the only sect in Iraq that has been consistently loyal to America—the Peshmergas assisted American forces in the north during the invasion. Not one American soldier has been killed in that region. Kurds are also the only group to have made good on their newly found freedom. Monocultural Iraqi Kurdistan is an oasis in the democratic desert that is Iraq, “where business is booming and Americans are beloved.
“When visiting Kurdistan,” … “one can see nation-building wherever one looks—Kurds are building their country day by day. There are more cranes here than minarets and there’s a run on cement.” No wonder the constructive Kurds want nothing to do with the destructive Iraqi Arabs, who’ve persecuted them in years past and have now turned on one another.

Talabani, a most affable and intelligent Kurdish statesman, spoke to CNN simpleton Wolf Blitzer. Refusing to harp on legalistic definitions of genocide, Talabani stressed that absent assistance, the Yazidis, who’ve “maintained pre-Christian beliefs and practices from Nineveh and Babylon,” would be doomed (as has been the fate of the Christians of Iraq).

It would be essential to fashion a humanitarian corridor through which to facilitate a safe passage for the besieged on Mount Sinjar, advised Talabani.

Where are the Europeans in all this? The Israelis? The head of the Vatican? (Another simpleton, the new Holy See is no match to his predecessors. In fact, Jorge Bergoglio is more of a bumpkin than expected. Still, people love a populist, socialist fool.) Can’t the Vatican afford to cobble together a private army of crusader-mercenaries to pave the way out—and off the mountain—for these Iraqi innocents?

Fabricating a “humanitarian corridor” to allow the Yazidi safe passage will require the heroic efforts of other human beings.


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Updated: Israel Should Help Its Kurdish Friends

Iraq, Israel, Jihad, Middle East, Religion

I hope the following unconfirmed rumor is true. Accordingly, “Israel may be attacking positions held by the terrorist Islamic State, or ISIS, militia,” in Iraq.

Israel is the region’s superpower, not the US. It should save its friends the Kurds, who’re besieged—dying or soon to die—in the north. The Kurds have been loyal friends to Israel, and vice versa. (See “Why Israel Wants an Independent Kurdistan.”)

For its part, “The United States military launched a humanitarian operation in northern Iraq Thursday night,” reports National Journal. “The military air-dropped food and water for thousands of Iraqis who have been under attack by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). That drop is now over, and the aircraft that conducted it is out of the area, says the official.”

“Nearly all the displaced are members of the Yazidi sect,” seconds McClatchy, “ethnic Kurdish adherents to a religion that combines Islam and ancient Persian pagan beliefs and is considered heresy by the radical Sunni Muslims who make up the Islamic State. Since Islamic State militants took control of Sinjar on Sunday, there have been widespread, though unconfirmed, reports that Yazidis who failed to escape the takeover have been executed, tortured and raped.”

The United Nations said this week that at least 40,000 people, including 25,000 children, were in the Sinjar Mountains with no shelter, food, medical supplies and, most crucially, because of the brutal Iraqi summer heat, drinking water. While the mountains’ remoteness and barren terrain offers some protection from the Islamic State, the militants control all approaches to the area.

Local news outlets have reported that dozens of children and elderly already have died from dehydration and that thousands more could succumb if massive amounts of aid are not delivered. Efforts to confirm those accounts by dialing the cellphones of people believed to have fled into the mountains failed, most likely because after days without electricity the cellphones’ batteries have died.

This is the face of real religious persecution; this is what authentic refugees look like. Let us hope Israel rescues its Kurdish friends.

UPDATE: Do I want Israel to be involved militarily in fighting for the Kurds? No. It can drop supplies and air lift those poor people to safety. They should. They did this before for roughly 36,000 Ethiopian Jews, who were lifted to safety in a series of daring operations initiated by successive Likud governments headed by Menachem Begin and then Yitzhak Shamir. It’s hard to imagine an American government doing the same for say, white, persecuted, Christian farmers in South Africa or Zimbabwe, who are no less oppressed than these Ethiopian Jews were by the brutal Marxist-Leninist Col. Mengistu Haile Mariam, at the time.

Will I shed tears and twist into ideological pretzels over Israeli counter-aggression in the service of the Kurds? No.


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GOP Should Grow A Brain, Join The Peace Train

Foreign Policy, Iraq, Left-Liberalism, Military, Neoconservatism, Old Right, Republicans, War

“GOP Should Grow A Brain, Join The Peace Train” is the current column, now on WND. An excerpt:

… Texas Gov. Rick Perry was not the only Republican warbot to pile on Sen. Rand Paul. “In the past three days alone, recapitulated Politico, Perry used a Washington Post op-ed to warn about the dangers of ‘isolationism’ and describe Paul as ‘curiously blind’ to growing threats in Iraq. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) accused the Kentucky senator on CNN of wanting a ‘withdrawal to fortress America.’ And former Vice President Dick Cheney declared … that ‘isolationism is crazy,’ while his daughter, Liz Cheney, said Paul ‘leaves something to be desired, in terms of national security policy.’

Like McMussolini, the vampiric father and daughter duo are a spent force, easily dismissed by a young turk. But can Rand stand up to the Joint Chiefs? Military movers and shakers are heavily vested in the sunk-cost fallacy—the irrational notion that more resources must be committed forthwith in Iraq (and elsewhere), so as to “redeem” the original misguided commitment of men, money and materiel to the mission. To that end, repeated ad nauseam is the refrain about our “brave men and women of the military,” whose sacrifice for Iraqi “freedoms” will be squandered unless more such sacrifices are made. The Skeptic’s Dictionary dispels this illogic: “To continue to invest in a hopeless project is irrational. Such behavior may be a pathetic attempt to delay having to face the consequences of one’s poor judgment. The irrationality is a way to save face, to appear to be knowledgeable, when in fact one is acting like an idiot.” Besides, it’s time the military heed its paymasters, The American People, a majority of whom “don’t want to send U.S. soldiers back into Iraq.”

Read the complete column. “GOP Should Grow A Brain, Join The Peace Train” is now on WND.

Our German readers can now follow this column and other worthy writers in the JUNGE FREIHEIT, a weekly newspaper of excellence.

Editors wishing to feature the “Return to Reason” column in their publications, pixel or paper, please contact Bookings@ilanamercer.com. Or, ilana@ilanamercer.com


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Bill Clinton Correct About Cheney

Foreign Policy, Hillary Clinton, Iraq, Neoconservatism, War

Just as I was beginning to harbor some hope that Mark Levin would ditch neoconservatism, the broadcaster galvanized rhetorical firepower to defend Dick Cheney, this week, from Bill Clinton’s coruscating attack. Levin went so far as to scold Genghis Bush for not helping Cheney out. After all, said Levin, Cheney was a sickly man battling the administration all alone over Iraq.

Hopeless.

Admittedly, Bill Clinton has given voice to the truth late in the day, but everything he said about Cheney is correct.

Meet the Press’s David Gregory had asked “Bill Clinton about the current crisis in Iraq and whether Dick Cheney is a ‘credible critic’ in going after the Obama administration for ISIS taking over major cities there. Clinton chuckled and said, ‘I believe if they hadn’t gone to war in Iraq, none of this would be happening.’”

A no-brainer.

How, however, will Bill cover for wife Hill, who has “refused to atone for her role in the prosecution of an unjust war.” As detailed in “Confess, Clinton; Say You’re Sorry, Sullivan”:

During the Democratic presidential candidates’ debate in New Hampshire, Clinton was asked whether she regretted “voting to authorize the president’s use of force against Saddam Hussein in Iraq without actually reading the national intelligence estimate, the classified document laying out the best U.S. intelligence at that time.” Her reply: “I feel like I was totally briefed. [Expect the “I-feel-like” locution to proliferate if a woman is ensconced in the White House.] I knew all the arguments. I knew all of what the Defense Department, the CIA, the State Department were all saying. And I sought dissenting opinions, as well as talking to people in previous administrations and outside experts.”

Back to the humdrum truth Bill uttered to Gregory about Cheney:

Gregory brought up Syria, which Clinton didn’t deny is a problem all on its own, but “what happened in Syria wouldn’t have happened in Iraq” if the Bush administration hadn’t taken the country to war and Iraq wouldn’t have been so “drastically altered.”
Clinton also found it “unseemly” that a former vice president is “attacking the administration for not doing an adequate job for not cleaning up the mess that he made,”


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UPDATED: Don’t Know Shiite From Shinola (From Figurative Crucifixion to Cookies)

Bush, Foreign Policy, Iraq, Islam, Terrorism, War

“Don’t know Shiite From Shinola” is the current column, now on WND. An excerpt:

Almost unanimous on the right is the mystifying notion that a reduced American footprint in the world, President Barack Obama’s doing, has brought about the “sudden” eruption across Iraq of a particularly savage faction of Sunni fundamentalists called the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). This small band of zealots has conquered a third of Iraq, including the metropolis of Mosul, from which 500,000 residents have fled. Tikrit too is under ISIS control. Fallujah fell in January.

Odd too is the idea that ISIS, currently barreling toward the capital, Baghdad, is somehow a new killer on the block. While the gang, led by newcomer Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is not as ancient as the Egyptian goddess by the same name—ISIS was previously known as Al Qaida in Iraq (A.Q.I.), reflecting its earlier, more modest mission. A.Q.I. was the brainchild of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, described aptly in the New Yorker as, “A Jordanian who had been a convicted thief and sex criminal before turning to radical Islam.” Commensurate with its morphing, expansive ambitions, A.Q.I. changed its name to ISIS. Whereas “Al Qaida was originally envisioned as a kind of Sunni foreign legion, which would defend Muslim lands from Western occupation,” writes New Yorker staffer Lawrence Wright, “Zarqawi had a different goal in mind. He hoped to provoke an Islamic civil war.” George W. Bush’s invasion primed Iraq for Zarqawi’s purposes. “There was no better venue than the fractured state of Iraq, which sits astride the Sunni-Shiite fault line.”

So savage and extreme is ISIS, always has been, that it had been “booted out of the Al Qaida consortium,” attests Wright. Remember the “Dear Al (Zarqawi)” letter penned by Ayman al-Zawahiri to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, in 2005? In it, Bin Laden’s Capo Bastone (Zawahiri) had asked the lieutenant (Zarqawi) to reconsider the wisdom of slaughtering so many Shia civilians in Iraq. Al-Z no. 1 broached the topic by counseling Al-Z no. 2 about the wisdom of bringing “the Muslim masses to the mujahed movement.” To that end, killing so many of them was probably unhelpful. Yes, the Shia are a handful—theologically problematic—conceded Zawahiri. Suspect too was the Shia’s history of “connivance with the Crusaders.” But while Zawahiri didn’t give a dried camel’s hump about his Shia brethren, he thought better of slaughtering them, preferring to forgive their “ignorance.” Besides, added Zawahiri as an afterthought, it’s impossible for the mujahedeen to kill all Iraq’s Shia.

While Zarqawi rejected Zawahiri’s soft approach, his personal odyssey has a happy ending. Zarqawi died, killed by Americans in 2006. But his legacy, like that of Bush’s invasion of Iraq, lives on in ISIS. Shia Iran, once a bitter enemy of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, now has pride-of-place in the Iraq that Bush built. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has been galvanized to the aid of the Iraqi army. But it is not the 930,000 members of the Iraqi security forces that the Revolutionary Guard aims to rouse. Despite the princely sums ($25 billion) Americans spent to train and prepare it, in Mosul, this inorganic, artificial creation of the Bush brigades fled before 1,300 ISIS fighters. To fight the marauding Sunnis, the Revolutionary Guard will likely corral well-motivated, tribal Shia militias. (In Iraq, Shiites make up about sixty percent of the population. Sunnis comprise less than twenty percent.)

It is this cauldron of sectarian strife that Saddam Hussein kept from bubbling over. …

… Read the complete column. “Don’t know Shiite From Shinola” is now on WND.

Our German readers can now follow this column and other worthy writers in the JUNGE FREIHEIT, a weekly newspaper of excellence.

Editors wishing to feature the “Return to Reason” column in their publications, pixel or paper, please contact Bookings@ilanamercer.com.

UPDATE (6/20): From (Figurative) Crucifixion to Cookies. One-Upon-A-Time They Crucified Me for what I would write about Iraq. Now I get a cookie. I’ll take the cookie. This reader calls his comments, “Thoughts while shaving.” His are regular quips at “Comments.” Funny. He writes:

ramblindon • 5 hours ago “Thoughts while shaving: While some contributors to WND are tedious at best, Ilana Mercer is not to be counted among them. With first cup of coffee in hand it just about jumped out of hand when reading the ‘Don’t know Shiite from Shinola.’ You get a ‘cookie’ Ilana Mercer! Period! End Report!”


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