The United States began air strikes against the ISIS militants last week in order to protect Kurdish and Yezidi refugees fleeing from the harsh Sunni regime. At the same time the U.S. and several allies (mainly Turkey) began humanitarian action to aid the refugees.
Martin Lewis, one of our textbook authors, and the force behind our sister blog, GeoCurrents, provided important background—along with his own views—on this tragic situation in a recent post. His first paragraph follows. Read the whole post here.
“It is increasingly clear that the situation faced by the Yezidis of the Sinjar region in northern Iraq can only be described as genocidal. Thousands have been slaughtered and tens of thousands are facing death from starvation and thirst, if not from the bullets of the so-called Islamic State (or ISIS, as it conventionally designated), as they hide in remote reaches of Sinjar Mountain. Christians and members of other religious minorities are also at a heightened risk of extermination in the expanding ISIS-controlled territory. Thus far, the government of the United States has conducted a few humanitarian air-drops for the Yezidis, although reports are now circulating that that has begun or is at least considering military strikes against ISIS, actions that the Pentagon currently denies. But more to the point, by having previously thwarted the ability of the Kurdish Peshmerga to defend its territory and fight the militants, the government of the United States bears some responsibility for these horrific developments. Such U.S. actions and inactions stem largely from its vain insistence on trying to revive the moribund Iraqi state, which in turn is rooted in the discredited ideal of intrinsic nation-state integrity