Friday, August 08, 2014

War or Genocide

I'm, generally, a pacifist. I've opposed US military adventures consistently since the Vietnam War of my youth.  I've seen very few wars during my life that I thought had to be fought. Two exceptions that come to mind are Israel in 1967 and 1973. In both wars, Israel had to fight and had to win or face annihilation.

The current war between the Kurds and ISIS in Iraq is another one. The closest parallel to ISIS in recent history is not the Taliban in Afghanistan but Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. ISIS has proven a willingness, even eagerness, to exterminate anybody who is not an ethnic Arab and not a Sunni Muslim and not an enthusiastic supporter of their brutality.

Left alone, ISIS will slaughter the Yazidi, every man, woman, and child. If they overrun the Kurds, the genocidal death toll will rival that of Adolph Hitler. ISIS will never be an existential threat to the United States but that is no excuse for idleness.
  • I support bombing ISIS. Not just a few A-18s dropping a couple bombs to send a message but eliminating any ISIS concentration of troops or artillery.
  • I support giving the Kurds whatever weapons they need to turn back this threat even at the risk of angering the Iraqi or Turkish governments.
  • I even support committing American ground forces to assist the Peshmerga.
Call it the "Pottery Barn Rule" if you want but the US created ISIS when it invaded Iraq in 2003 and armed al-Qaeda (before it was even called that) in Afghanistan in the 1980's.

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