human rights watch

söndag 27 juli 2014


President Obama famously failed to act when warned that ISIS was preparing to mount an offensive in Western Iraq. This left ISIS free to conquer, with virtually no resistance, city after city in the defense of which American soldiers have shed blood.

Now Obama is receiving new warnings, this time from the Kurds in Northern Iraq. In fact, according to the Washington Post, the Kurds are “pleading for U.S. military aid.”

Unlike the Iraqi government, the Kurds possess a viable military that is prepared to fight ISIS. Indeed, they are fighting ISIS, and fairly effectively.

However, the Kurds now have a 650 mile border to defend, thanks to the abandonment of the area by Iraq’s military forces. Thus, the Kurdish forces are stretched extremely thin.

The Kurds should be receiving a share of the weapons the U.S. is supplying to the Iraqi government. But that, of course, isn’t happening. Mansour Barzani, the Kurdistan Regional Government’s intelligence and security chief, told the Post that Baghdad hasn’t provided “a single bullet.”

Meanwhile, says the Post, the ISIS forces attacking the Kurds have seized weapons worth hundreds of millions of dollars from retreating Iraqi soldiers. In effect, Baghdad is supplying ISIS while providing the Kurds with nothing.

Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, the Obama administration has rejected Kurdish pleas for arms with which to fight ISIS. Its rationale is that assistance must come through the central government.

But the central government is (a) dysfunctional and (b) unwilling to lift a finger to help the Kurds in any case. In fact, the Iraq government’s unwillingness to “play nice” with the Kurds has been part of the Obama administration’s rationale for not doing more to help the government.

Unlike the government of Iraq, the Kurds are ready and willing to inflict defeat on ISIS. With assistance from the U.S. in the form of weaponry, the Kurds would probably be able to inflict that much-needed defeat.

It seems criminal for Obama to deny this assistance in the name of defending the interests of a central government that Obama has condemned for its dealings with the Kurds (among others).

ISIS is looking to establish a caliphate, and making good progress toward that end. Meanwhile, Obama dithers, using the Iraq government’s poor treatment of the Kurds as an excuse for not doing more to help it fight ISIS, and the Kurd’s natural animosity to the government as an excuse for not helping them.

It’s almost as if Obama is indifferent to the progress of ISIS and willing to embrace any excuse for standing idly by in the face of that progress.

This is not the first time the United States of America betrayed the Kurds. They did in 1975, the late 1980's, 1991, 2003, and now again.

In 1975, the Kurds managed to defeat 90% of the Iraqi Army. The Iraqi Army had ammunition left for only 1-2 weeks of battle. The United States hurried to make sure that the Kurds would not be victorious. The Algiers Treaty was signed, Iran closed its borders with 'Iraqi' Kurdistan, and Syria send in military support. Iraq gave the important Shat al-Arab sea route to Iran in return, which later lead to the Iran-Iraq War (when Saddam came to power, he wanted it back).

In the late 1980's, the United States was allied with Saddam's regime. They provided Saddam with chemical weapons, which he used against the Kurds. On March 16, 1988, over 5,000 Kurdish civilians were gassed to death in a matter of minutes (Poison Gas Attack on Halabja). The United States also closed an eye when the Iraqi Army started the Al-Anfal Genocidal Campaign, in which 5,000 Kurdish villages were destroyed, and over 182,000 Kurds were buried alive.

In 1991, George Bush called upon the Kurds to revolt. He promised air support. The Kurds revolted against Saddam's army, and the Kurds liberated an area of 72,000 square kilometers (42,000 square miles) within 2 weeks. The Iraqi Army suffered heavy casualties. The US didn't expect this to happen, so the promised support never came. When Saddam realized that the US was lying, he launched a brutal counter-attack in which over 50,000 Kurdish civilians died, and millions were displaced.

In 2003, Turkey refused to support the US invasion of Iraq in the North (Kurdistan). But the Kurds provided the much needed help for the invasion/liberation to succeed. Kurdish Peshmerga fought side by side with American troops. Not a single American soldier was killed, captured or wounded in Kurdistan since 2003, while over 4,500 were killed in the Arab parts of Iraq. Yet, the United States continues to support the Arab government in Baghdad, and denies the Kurds assistance in their fight against ISIS.

The Kurds have lost all their trust in the United States. A while ago, the Kurdish President Barzani cancelled his meeting with President Obama at the White House. And recently, Kurdish politicans said that they won't consider US interests anymore when making decisions. The Arabs, like always, continue to burn American flags, murder American soldiers, and threaten American civilians in the USA. The United States is crumbling. And it's all their own fault.


While Kurds wave with American flags, and even open American-themed restaurants in Kurdistan:

Click to view image: '33c_1406462446-Kurdflag1_1406463324.jpg'

Click to view image: '33c_1406462446-Kurdflag2_1406463325.jpg'

Arabs continue to burn American flags and kill American soldiers:

Click to view image: '33c_1406462446-americanflagburn2_1406463326.jpg'

Click to view image: '33c_1406462446-americanflagburn1_1406463325.jpg'

And the United States/Americans continue to support those who oppress and murder Kurds.

As a Kurd, I'll now have to say: fuck the USA.

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