Nick Bernabe | The Anti-Media
According to the New York Times, Iraqi and Kurdish officials say that US airstrikes have begun in northern Iraqi areas controlled by ISIS militants,
“Kurdish and Iraqi officials attributed the bombing campaign to American forces. An announcement on Kurdish television of what was described as an American intervention prompted street celebrations and horn-honking by residents of towns under siege by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.”
*UPDATE: US officials have now confirmed that the first American-led airstrikes have hit ISIS targets.
ISIS, now known as IS or the Islamic State, has been sweeping across wide swaths of Iraq and Syria; reportedly slaughtering civilians, Shi’ite Muslims, and other non-Sunni people living in occupied areas. The latest in this string of violence includes up to 40,000 people trapped on Mount Sinjar, surrounded by IS militants, facing death by execution or dehydration. Image credit: Ian Vaughan
While the rise of the Islamic State has been blamed on al-Maliki’s Shi’ite dominated government, the Iraqi regime has made no real concessions to appease Iraqi Sunni concerns about being excluded from representation, which has enabled IS’ rapid conquest of the area.
While many news stories such as this one today by CBS will seek to validate the use of military force — once again by the US — in Iraq, the fact cannot be ignored that the US is solely responsible for the rise of IS in Iraq and Syria, and therefore responsible for this unneeded blood shed. In fact, al-Qaeda did not exist in Iraq before “Operation Iraqi Freedom”, which saw the US overthrow Saddam Hussein and install a western backed puppet government. This unjust and brutal invasion created this power vacuum that has boiled over into a near civil war. Then, while the US attempted to overthrow the Assad regime, it had aligned itself with the Syrian rebel forces; providing weapons and training to what turned out to be ISIS fighters either directly or via proxy. With American weapons, training, and resources, IS has now become our enemy. Sound familiar?
America’s war of aggression in Iraq, which turned out to be based on false trumped up charges of WMDs, has caused not only the direct loss of life from our initial invasion, but a debilitating destabilization of the entire Levant. Decades of US intervention in Iraq has not helped the Iraqi people, it has hurt them. Now our foreign policy “experts” are seeking to “fix” Iraq again with just a few more humanitarian bombs, but rest assured, there will be “no troops on the ground“.
One piece of this story actually makes sense. Echoing President Obama’s assertions, Press Secretary Josh Earnest claimed in a press conference today that IS’ rapid rise to power is derived from al-Maliki’s non-inclusive government,
“[…] the dire humanitarian situation that exists on Sinjar Mountain is a consequence of a broader failure by Iraq’s political leadership to pursue the kind of inclusive governing agenda that would unite that country […]”
What he said makes a lot of sense. Unfortunately, he could have been saying the same exact thing about America’s divided and unrepresentative government; and if our politicians don’t look into the mirror soon, we could see the same kind of sectarian violence rip this country apart.