Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Reuters, stringer

Reuters, stringer

Hey, Listen up!

While we’ve all been worrying about the Israeli/Gaza mess, which it appears that Israel will sort out just fine, other things are going on in the Middle East. Remember  ISIS/ISIL/IS, that outfit that is presumably too extreme for al Qaeda? Yeah, they’re back in the news and it ain’t good news either. From WAPO

Stranded on a barren mountaintop, thousands of minority Iraqis are faced with a bleak choice: descend and risk slaughter at the hands of the encircled Sunni extremists or sit tight and risk dying of thirst.

Humanitarian agencies said Tuesday that between 10,000 and 40,000 civilians remain trapped on Mount Sinjar since being driven out of surrounding villages and the town of Sinjar two days earlier. But the mountain that had looked like a refuge is becoming a graveyard for their children.

Unable to dig deep into the rocky mountainside, displaced families said they have buried young and elderly victims of the harsh conditions in shallow graves, their bodies covered with stones. Iraqi government planes attempted to airdrop bottled water to the mountain on Monday night but reached few of those marooned.

“There are children dying on the mountain, on the roads,” said Marzio Babille, the Iraq representative for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). “There is no water, there is no vegetation, they are completely cut off and surrounded by Islamic State. It’s a disaster, a total disaster.” 

Keep reading  Iraqi Yazidis stranded on isolated mountaintop begin to die of thirst.

It doesn’t get much worse than sitting on a mountainside, dying of thirst in preference to going down to get shot does it? And the thing is, our governments in the US and the UK have no intention whatever of doing anything about it. Us lonely bloggers aren’t the only one perturbed. Suzannah Lipscomb is a BBC History presenter and the head of history at the New College of the Humanities in London. I chose her Tweet but there are many others from people you may have heard of, the sad part being they are as unable to move the government as we are.

Here’s the Reuters report

(Reuters) – Kurdish forces attacked Islamic State fighters near the Kurdish regional capital of Arbil in northern Iraq on Wednesday in a change of tactics supported by the Iraqi central government to try to break the Islamists’ momentum.

The attack 40 km (25 miles) southwest of Arbil came after the Sunni militants inflicted a humiliating defeat on the Kurds on Sunday with a rapid advance through three towns, prompting Iraq’s prime minister to order his air force for the first time to back the Kurdish forces.

“We have changed our tactics from being defensive to being offensive. Now we are clashing with the Islamic State in Makhmur,” said Jabbar Yawar, secretary-general of the ministry in charge of the Kurdish peshmerga fighters.

The location of the clashes puts the Islamic State fighters closer than they have ever been to the Kurdish semi-autonomous region since they swept through northern Iraq almost unopposed in June.

Continue reading Reuters

In what will have to do for good news, it seems that the Kurds from Iraq, Syria, and Turkey are cooperating with each other, and are trying very hard to relieve the Yazidi refugees.

Hopefully it will be enough, but in truth, it is a mission that should belong to the west, especially the US and UK. But, once again we see them shirk the duty caused by the mess they have made, it seems to be becoming a way of life. I suspect it has to do with our societies electing people with no sense of personal responsibility or duty. Sad that it was only a hundred years ago this week that Great Britain entered the Great War because of a promise made about 80 years before, those politicians didn’t have much more vision than the current crop but at least they did recognize duty when they were slapped in the face with it.

Update: This is the mission

Ambassador John Bolton had a few things to say about it yesterday as well.

“[T]he only thing that is going to stop this growth of terrorism — as states deteriorate all over the Middle East — is an American involvement, with a coalition of others, who understand that the terrorist threat – the threat of extremist Islam, remains and is growing. And our policy the past several months has been passivity in the face of ISIS in Iraq and a whole series of other crises that we see developing too.”

More at the link and the video as well.


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8 Responses to Between a Rock and a Hard Place

  1. the unit says:

    I just read from Drudge @NYT Obama is weighing his next shot. Will it be for a birdie, a par, or likely bogey…or double bogey?


    • NEO says:

      It ain’t likely to be an eagle, at any rate!


      • the unit says:

        If it somehow was an eagle, he’d apologize.


        • NEO says:

          Yepper. 🙂


        • the unit says:

          Seriously though as to this situation, he has flexibility now. He could beg Putin to help out in this dire situation.


        • NEO says:

          Yeah he could, or do what he’s doing, waiting for the French. My thought was unannounced B-2s with cluster munitions followed by multi national C-130s escorted by A-10s. But that’s probably too decisive for him.


        • the unit says:

          I like that. Next best…arm the people and since they’re starving, and tell them about John “Liver-Eating” Johnson. With that determination ISIS might deliver the needed water themselves.


        • NEO says:

          That’d likely work as well. They should ask us!


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