…and by “it” I mean Iraq.
I am not saying that we need to “fix” it, but seeing as how our decision to remove Saddam Hussein and attempt to “install” a democracy has unintentionally turned that that nation into (in the words of Senator Rand Paul) a “jihadist wonderland” we have some obligation to help the Christians, Yazidis and other ethnic minorities that are being threatened with genocide by the forces of the group calling itself the “Islamic State” (i.e., ISIS/ISIL). I am saying this as a very firm non-interventionist that is often appalled by the hawkish rhetoric that comes from John McCain, Lindsey Graham and the rest of the “invade the world” caucus.
Let me clarify by saying that I fully recognize that Saddam Hussein was indeed a very bad guy (as was Qadhafi in Libya) but he at least kept the Jihadist hordes from murdering Christians. However, thanks to Neo-con arrogance, we removed the iron boot of Saddam from the necks of the jihadists and now Christians, Yazidis and any even other Muslims who disagree with their version of Islam are being murdered. Centuries old churches have been burned to the ground. Historic Christian lands have been abandoned. Thousands have been displaced. AND the jihadists are doing all of this with weapons that WE provided! I shudder when I think about it.
That said, we are where we are and we have to help those people. This video below of a Yazidi member of the Iraq Parliament begging for help against the Islamist hordes that are massacring her people broke my heart:
Watch Mark Arabo (an Arab Christian) speak about the crimes of ISIS against Christians in Mosul:
YES! He said that they are beheading CHILDREN!
The question is what to do?
In my humble estimation:
- Support a free and independent Kurdistan! Netanyahu already seems the wisdom of this. Cut the Maliki gov’t out and establish direct ties with the Kurds instead of going through the central govt in Baghdad. Allow U.S. companies to buy oil from the Kurds directly on the open market. Train and arm the Kurdish forces to protect themselves from the Islamic State. We can support their boots on the ground with air support in the effort to destroy ISIS.
- Covertly work toward dismemberment of Syria and Iraq into 6 or 7 smaller states. An Arab Christian state (similar to Israel) should be amongst those nations carved out to which the assorted persecuted Christians of other Arab countries can relocate. (I know this was tried in Lebanon once, but this time it has to be a stronger effort)
The Sunnis and Shia would have the benefit of ethnically purer states where they wouldn’t be victims of each others’ animosity. The smaller those nations the better. While we are at it, we should encourage the partitioning of Libya as well. Our long term goal should be the formation of as many smaller and gelded mini-states as possible.
Sadly that isn’t going to happen (at least not by our design) and we will likely continue with these asinine half measures that promote nation building and “installation” of democracy. Instead Christians will continue to flee the Middle East while getting raped, robbed and killed while Western governments simply watch. We will continue to inexplicably (and against our interests) continue to promote a “united Iraq” and a “united Syria” when fate has handed us an opportunity to simultaneously improve our position security-wise AND advance a more workable and peaceful Middle East for the foreseeable future.