Re-starting war not helping Yazidis, other Iraqis

This video is about the trillion dollar Iraq war.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Another war in Iraq won’t fix the disaster of the last

The Yazidis need aid, but military intervention by states that destroyed Iraq will deepen the crisis now tearing it apart

Seumas Milne

Wednesday 13 August 2014 20.42 BST

They couldn’t keep away. Barely two years after US forces were withdrawn from Iraq, they’re back in action. Barack Obama has now become the fourth US president in a row to launch military action in Iraq.

We’re now into the sixth day of US air attacks on the self-styled Islamic State, formerly known as Isis – the sectarian fundamentalists who have taken over vast tracts of Sunni Iraq and are carrying out vicious ethnic cleansing against minorities in the north.

The media and political drumbeat is growing louder for Britain to move from humanitarian aid drops to join the military campaign. France has announced it will be arming Iraqi Kurdish forces. There are already 800 US troops back on Iraqi territory.

Without a trace of irony, Colonel Tim Collins, who famously claimed on the eve of the 2003 invasion that British troops were occupying Iraq to “liberate” it, yesterday led the call for yet another military intervention.

If ever there was a case for another Anglo-American bombing campaign, some say, this must surely be it. Graphic reports of the suffering of tens of thousands of Yazidi refugees on Mount Sinjar and the horrific violence that has driven the Christians of Qaraqosh from their homes have aroused global sympathy.

The victims of this sectarian onslaught need urgent humanitarian aid and refuge. But the idea that the states that invaded and largely destroyed Iraq at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives should claim the cause of humanitarianism for yet another military intervention in Iraq beggars belief.

If the aim were solely to provide air cover for the evacuation of Yazidis from Sinjar, there are several regional powers that could deliver it. The Iraqi government itself could be given the means to do the job – something its US sponsors have denied it until now. In fact, the force that has done most so far to rescue Yazidis has been the Kurdish PKK, regarded as a terrorist organisation by the US, EU and Turkey.

But after decades of lawless unilateralism, any armed intervention for genuine humanitarian protection clearly has to be authorised by the United Nations to have any credibility. As the Labour MP Diane Abbott put it, that’s what the UN is for – and authorisation could be quickly agreed by the security council.

But of course it’s not just about the Yazidis or the Christians. As Obama has made clear, they’re something of a side issue compared with the defence of the increasingly autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan – long a key US and unofficial Israeli ally – and American interests in its oil boom capital Irbil, in particular.

The US is back in Iraq for the long haul, the president signalled, spelling out that his aim is to prevent IS establishing “some sort of caliphate through Syria and Iraq” – which is exactly what the group regards itself as having done.

The danger of the US, Britain and others being drawn again into the morass of a disintegrating state they themselves took apart is obvious. IS, then known as al-Qaida in Iraq, itself effectively arrived in the country in 2003 on the backs of US and British tanks.

The idea that the states responsible for at least 500,000 deaths, 4 million refugees, mass torture and ethnic cleansing in Iraq over the past decade should now present themselves as having a “responsibility to protect” Iraqis verges on satire.

The majority of Iraq’s million-strong Christian community was in fact forced out of the country under US-British occupation. The state sectarianism that triggered the Sunni revolt and rise of IS in Iraq – the ultimate blowback – was built into the political structures set up by George Bush.

Britain and the US – which didn’t want to “take sides” when Egypt’s coup leaders carried out one of the largest killings of demonstrators in a single day in history last summer – are the last countries on Earth to bring humanitarian relief to Iraq.

That doesn’t mean that they don’t have a responsibility to provide aid. But the record of western humanitarian intervention over the past two decades isn’t a happy one. In 1991, no-fly zones in Iraq allowed massacres of Shia rebels in the south and only functioned with thousands of troops on the ground in Kurdistan, followed by 12 years of bombing raids.

In 1999, Nato’s air campaign in Kosovo, also without UN authorisation, triggered a massive increase in the ethnic cleansing it was meant to halt. In Libya, in 2011, Nato’s intervention ratcheted up the death toll by a factor of about 10 and gave cover for rampant ethnic cleansing and indiscriminate killing. Its legacy today is complete state breakdown and civil war.

It might be said that the latest US bombing campaign in Iraq has greater legitimacy because the Iraqi government appealed for support. But it did so back in June, after which Obama stayed his hand until the prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, could be replaced with someone more acceptable to the US.

At the same time, US arms are now being supplied directly to Kurdish forces, independently of the central government, fuelling the disintegration of the Iraqi state. And IS – whose sectarian ideology is in reality only a more violent version of the Saudi regime’s, the west’s most important ally in the Arab world – is consolidating its hold on western Iraq and eastern Syria, where it is in effect allied with the US and its friends.

Its rise is a tragedy for both peoples. But another round of US and British military intervention would only strengthen IS and boost its credibility – as well as increase the risk of terror attacks at home. The likelihood is that it can only be overcome by a functioning state in both Iraq and Syria. That in turn demands a decisive break with the sectarian and ethnic politics bequeathed by a decade of war and intervention.

The urge to play the role of self-appointed global policeman retains its grip on the western world, but experience shows that will do nothing to rescue the people of Iraq. Far more important would be agreement between the regional powers, including Turkey and Iran, on a settlement to allow Iraq to escape from its existential crisis.

Selective humanitarian intervention without UN and regional authorisation is simply a tool of power politics, not solidarity. To imagine that the solution to the disastrous legacy of one intervention is to launch yet another is delusional folly.

20 thoughts on “Re-starting war not helping Yazidis, other Iraqis

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  12. HPG Commander: KDP as responsible as ISIS for Shengal massacre

    HPG Shengal Commander Cudi Rojhilat stated that KDP was also responsible for the ISIS massacre of Êzîdîs in Shengal in August of 2014.

    HPG Shengal Commander Cudi Rojhilat spoke to ANF on the third year anniversary of the August 3, 2014 massacre perpetrated by ISIS against the Êzîdî community in South Kurdistan.

    Commemorating all those who lost their lives during the Shengal resistance, Rojhilat stressed that capitalist-imperialist powers resorted to creating a gang organisation like ISIS in Kurdistan to realize their plans for the Middle East.

    Rojhilat said; “We are living on the Middle East lands on which America, Europe and some internal and external powers have plans. This is why capitalist-imperialist powers created the ISIS gangs within the scope of the Great Middle East project. They wanted to establish their system in the Middle East by means of a subtle policy.

    Kurdistan, a kind of heart of the Middle East, was the place where this project was meant to be realized. However, this did not work, upon which these powers went into a new tactics; forming the ISIS gang organisation.”


    Rojhilat pointed out that the main mission of ISIS was to make Kurdistan a present to capitalist powers, but the savagery and fear spread by ISIS gangs was defeated by YPG/YPJ forces. HPG Commander continued; “ISIS was given two major missions; to expose Islam in the Middle East and the all around the world; and to capture Kurdistan and hand it over to capitalist powers. This is why ISIS began all its attacks in Kurdistan and intended to establish its own system in Kurdistan. ISIS attacks began in Rojava Kurdistan and later spread to South Kurdistan. In Rojava, they faced the YPG/YPJ forces that represented the will of Kurds. These forces broke the savagery and fear spread by ISIS gangs. After facing this will in Rojava, the gangs later tended towards South Kurdistan and took Mosul, which brought about a great danger upon Shengal.”


    Rojhilat recalled that PKK faced obstructions from the KDP on intending to send guerrillas to Shengal after realising the massacre.

    HPG Commander said; “PKK wanted to intervene Shengal in line with the perspectives of Leader Apo who had already made evaluations on the situation there in advance. A 12-person guerrilla group was formed for this purpose and left for Shengal, place of Derweşê Avdê to break the threat directed towards the people, defend and prepare the people. However, KDP created obstacles and arrested three comrades of ours. By doing this, it kind of helped ISIS, and continues to do so. In this way, KDP played a role in the fall of Shengal by supporting the gangs. Despite all the troubles and obstructions, our comrades reached Mount Shengal. In other words, the attack on Shengal was not achieved by the gangs alone, it took place together with the KDP which handed Shengal over to the gangs by not defending its people, despite the presence of all those armed peshmerga forces. It even seized the arms people carried to defend themselves. KDP deceived the people by telling them that “We will defend you when ISIS comes. And ISIS won’t attack Shengal anyway”. When ISIS attacked Shengal, peshmergas left Shengal and fled, handing thousands of people over to ISIS. Such an incident did never occur in the history of Kurdistan and even the history of humanity. Kurdish history doesn’t consist of cases of surrendering its own people to the enemy. Kurds do not have such a culture. Yet, KDP did this. Peshmergas couldn’t flee into their own territory even, they took shelter in Rojava. The ditches dug by KDP to impose an embargo on Rojava people didn’t allow the peshmergas to flee.”


    Rojhilat remarked that YPG/YPJ forces that represent Kurdish will and culture defended and protected the Êzîdî people and peshmergas, and rescued them from the attacks ISIS gangs.

    HPG Commander went on, saying; “KDP is the only party responsible for this massacre. Our people in the villages of Gır Zerik, Siba Şex Xıdır resisted the gangs with their own means, whereas peshmerga forces did not resist and left the people into a massacre. The 12-person group of guerrillas organised the people after arriving in Shengal, led them to Mount Shengal and formed a defense system here. Mountains are of great importance for the Kurds. Mountains are what defend and protect them. This is why our people turned their face towards Mount Shengal where the guerrilla group assisted the people with restricted means. Many people died of thirst until YPG/YPJ forces opened a safe corridor. This is not something one can tolerate or accept in conscience. They were our own people and folk, they needed to be defended and protected, but they weren’t. Upon an instruction from our movement to protect and defend our people on Mount Shengal, and to liberate Shengal, guerrillas arrived at Mount Shengal to rescue the hostages held by ISIS and to not leave the Kurdistan lands to the enemy.

    Freedom fighters started to flock from free mountains to Mount Shengal to reveal the will and history of our Êzîdî people. They came, opened a corridor, rescued our people on Mount Shengal and transferred them to safe areas.”


    Rojhilat pointed out that Shengal was of different importance to Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan, saying; “Shengal is the place of resistance and it has a different history. This is why Shengal needs to be regained in real terms. Kurdistan freedom fighters did not come here only to open a corridor and rescue the people. They also came to reveal the self-force and will of the people, to form their self-defense and to make sure no massacre would happen once again. Their main goal was to transfer the people to safe areas, to liberate Shengal and then to form the self-force of Shengal. These plans were realized in the first phase, with major cases of bravery and martyrdom. Shengal was liberated with the resistance and efforts of our leader and martyrs, and the self-force of Êzîdî people, YBŞ/YJŞ, was established. These forces now strengthen their organised state and they base on Leader Apo’s ideology, philosophy and the self will of resistance.”


    HPG Commander Rojhilat ended his words with the followings; “The KDP that handed Shengal over to the gangs is engaged in dirty alliances and plans to weaken the YBŞ/YJŞ forces and hinder further participation in their ranks. These forces will grow bigger and stronger just like Leader Apo and six other people began this struggle that has reached millions today. It will grow stronger as long as it continues to flow. For this reason, our Êzîdî people should support these self-defense forces and make further participation to make sure these massacres do not take place ever again. They should not expect a hope from other forces and parties because they suffered the bitter reality of this failure on August 3. They should reclaim their own parties, assemblies and self-defense forces, and provide further support. If this goal is made real, neither ISIS nor KDP, or other forces and powers will be able to realize their projects on this folk and the Middle East. In consideration of this truth,, our people in four parts of Kurdistan, Europe, Caucasia and Russia should provide further support and further participation in the self-defense forces of YBŞ/YJŞ.”


    Large part of Manbij city center liberated

    As the Operation Martyr Commander Faysal Abu Layla which was launched on June 1 continues at full force, 90 percent of the Manbij city center has been liberated from ISIS.

    As the Operation Martyr Commander Faysal Abu Layla which was launched on June 1 continues at full force, 90 percent of the Manbij city center has been liberated from ISIS.

    According to reports coming through, clashes between ISIS gangs and Manbij Military Council fighters are ongoing in city center.

    ANF reporters on the ground report that 90 percent of the city center has been cleansed of ISIS gangs and Manbij fighters are advancing by checking all the streets and houses in the city.

    The operation to liberate Manbij, which was later renamed as Martyr Commander Faysal Abu Leyla, was launched on June 1. Dozens of villages outside the city center have been liberated from ISIS and thousands of civilians have been transferred to safe areas so far.

    Source: MANBIJ – ANF 05-08-2016


  13. Over 150 women from Manbij fight in the ranks of the Military Council

    More than 150 women from Manbij have joined the ranks of the Manbij Military Council to fight against the ISIS. Women partaking in the operation are preparing to form Manbij women’s battalion.

    Manbij Military Council member Xaliya Nimet who spoke to ANHA told that women undertake a leading role within the body of the Manbij Military Council. She said women have a strong participation in the Operation Martyr Commander Faysal Abu Layla, and fight against the ISIS on the front lines.

    Xaliya Nimet pointed out that women’s participation in the ranks of the Military Council increased not before but after the beginning of the operation to liberate Manbij. Nimet stated that more than 150 women are currently fighting in the ranks of the Military Council and more are joining the battle every day. She noted that they are preparing to form a women’s battalion at the moment as Manbij women will be mounting self-defense from now on.

    Xaliya Nimet pointed out that they were influenced and inspired by the YPJ combatants that supported the Operation Martyr Commander Faysal Abu Layla, adding; “We take strength from YPJ fighters when we see them in the battle field. Manbij women are joining the ranks of the Manbij Military Council thanks to the resistance waged by YPJ combatants.”

    Xaliya Nimet called upon all the women in and around Manbij to join the Manbij Military Council to defend themselves.

    Source: MANBIJ – ANF 10-08-2016


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