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Conservative Delusions About Islam: Yazidis Slaughtered During Surge, Too

The multi-ethnic Iraqi democracy project was a predestined failure even before Obama.

by
Andrew G. Bostom

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August 20, 2014 - 6:56 am
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Reading the latter [Koran] is one of the most … instructive things imaginable because the eye easily discovers there, by very closely observing, all the threads by which the prophet held and still holds the members of his sect. … [T]hat the first of all religious duties is to blindly obey the prophet, that holy war is the first of all good deeds … [A]ll these doctrines of which the practical outcome is obvious are found on every page and in almost every word of the Koran are so striking that I cannot understand how any man with good sense could miss them.

—Alexis de Tocqueville, March, 1838

Iraq’s Yazidis are an indigenous, ancient, pre-Islamic non-Muslim religious minority whose syncretic beliefs derive, in part, from Zoroastrianism. Over the past 3-weeks, world attention has riveted on the Yazidis’ (Yezidis’) horrific plight, targeted by the latest jihad rampages of the “Islamic State” (IS/IL) butchers, and subjected to massacre, rape, enslavement, and forced conversion to Islam.  Indeed, ever grudgingly, the non-Muslim world has been compelled to acknowledge IS/IL’s ghastly, murderous jihad rampages against both the Christian and Yazidi religious minorities of northern Iraq.

Per President Obama’s address Thursday evening, 8/7/14, the U.S. initiated both humanitarian air-drops to those Yazidi refugees stranded on Mount Sinjar, Iraq, and bombing runs against IS/IL positions outside Erbil, Kurdistan. Unquestionably, the Yazidis—and Christians—remain in a parlous state.

However, due to the efforts of the Kurdish PKK militia—a U.S.-designated terror group—some ~50,000 Yazidis were evacuated from the Sinjar Mountains within a week of President Obama’s announcement. Der Spiegel reported that PKK fighters who controlled the region on the Syrian side of the border, liberated the road to Sinjar, and established a network of refugee camps for the beleaguered Yazidis. The PKK’s successful evacuation undertaking prompted U.S. Special Forces—who landed in the Sinjar mountains last Wednesday (8/13/14)—to cancel their own plans to organize a rescue airlift for the (ostensibly tens of thousands of) stranded Yazidis.

Assessing these developments, last Friday, 8/15/14, mainstream conservative icon Charles Krauthammer sniped,

He [President Obama] declares victory with the Yazidis two days ago, and we hear about this horrific massacre [i.e., of 80 Yazidi men in Kocho, Iraq] today

Krauthammer’s self-assuredly mordant “take,” reflects a widely shared—albeit sham—mainstream conservative narrative dogmatically articulated by Iraq veteran, and another frequent Fox News contributor, Pete Hegseth, published 8/16/14 at NRO:

[T]he surge of U.S. forces in 2007 and 2008 created an environment in which a multi-ethnic, mostly moderate, and quasi-stable U.S. ally could (could!) flourish in the Middle East.

Last week also marked the seventh anniversary of a cataclysmic “mid-surge” jihadist attack on Iraq’s Yazidis—conveniently and unanimously ignored by Krauthammer, Hegseth, and all conservative “surge” romanticizers. August 14, 2007, when the surging U.S. had 166,000 troops on the ground in Iraq—not the mere one-fifth (or one-tenth) residual numbers pined for by those who insist the failure to secure a 2011 status of forces agreement with the al-Maliki regime sealed the undoing of Iraq’s “stability”—796 Yazidis were slaughtered, and another 1562 wounded, in one day, during four gruesomely synchronized jihadist bombings. (see here, here, and U.S. army confirmation of death toll, here). Veteran Middle East journalist Tom Gross provided this characterization of the events:

[T]wo tons of explosives detonated in four coordinated explosions in the northern Iraqi villages of Qahtaniya and Jazeera on August 14, 2007, the target was Iraq’s Yazidi ethnic and religious minority. 796 people died and over 1,500 were wounded as a fireball led to the collapse of mud and stone buildings on families trapped inside; many were then burned alive.

Such a glaring lacuna in honest, self-critical discourse, i.e., omitting all discussion of the 8/14/07 mass-murderous, “mid-surge” Yazidi catastrophe, is pathognomonic of a broader, much more disturbing ethical and intellectual travesty: ongoing attempts by mainstream conservatives to rationalize their uninformed, witless adherence to the utopian “Lewis-doctrine”-inspired “Islamic democracy” fiasco in Iraq. Born of sheer willful ignorance about living Islamic doctrine, and history, this deficient mindset begot a corollary dangerous absurdity: embrace of the Petraeus “COIN” theory, a see no jihad, see no Islam military strategy designed, perversely, to somehow “defeat” the ancient-cum-modern forces of global Islamic jihadism.

The current predicament of Iraq’s Yazidis, and Christians, past as prologue, illustrates, starkly, mainstream conservative ignorance and dishonesty about Islam, and the creed’s timeless sine qua non institution, jihad.

Iraq’s Yazidis and Christians Under “Tolerant” Ottoman Islam: Past as Prologue

Sadly, IS/IL’s bloody attacks on the Yazidis reflect a continuum of religiously-inspired, chronic Islamic oppression of this minority group, interspersed with paroxysms of violence no less brutal than what is now taking place.

Sir Austen Henry Layard (1817-1894) was a British polymath—archaeologist, author, politician, and diplomat—perhaps best known for his the excavations in northern Mesopotamia, contemporary Iraq.

Layard recorded the following, based upon first hand observations, and historical assessments, about the chronic plight of the Yazidis (Yezidis) under Islamic domination in his 1849, Nineveh and Its Remains. His focus, appropriately, given the time frame, was upon the depredations against the Yazidis during the allegedly “tolerant” Ottoman Muslim era: massacre, pillage, and deportation and enslavement of their male and female children, for “service” in the vast Ottoman slave institutions, including harem slavery.

They [the Yazidis] have the choice between conversion and the sword, and its is unlawful even to take tribute [jizya, per Koran 9:29, the deliberately debasing poll-tax, and related regulations imposed upon non-Muslim Christians, Jews, and  Zoroastrians subjugated by jihad] from them. The Yezidis, not being looked upon as “Masters of a Book,” [i.e., scriptures, “acknowledged,” at least in part, by Islam] have been exposed for centuries to the persecution of the Mohammedans. The harems of the south of Turkey have been recruited from them. Yearly expeditions have been made by the governors of provinces into their districts; and whilst the men and women were slaughtered without mercy, the children of both sexes were carried off, and exposed for sale in the principal towns. These annual hunts were one of the sources of revenue…and its was the custom of the Pashas of Baghdad and Mosul, to let loose the irregular troops upon the ill-fated Yezidis, as an easy method of satisfying their demands for arrears of pay.

This system was still practiced to a certain extent within a very few months of my visit; and gave rise to atrocities scarcely equaled in the better known slave trade. 

Layard described a series of specific Muslim depredations against the Yazidis that took place in 1832, near Mosul and Sinjar:

[Mosul] It was in spring; the river had overflowed its banks, and the bridge of boats had been removed. A few succeeded in crossing the stream; but a vast crowd of men, women, and children were left upon the great mound of Kouyunjik. The (Kurdish Muslim) Bey of Rowandiz followed them. An indiscriminate slaughter ensued…

[Sinjar] The inhabitants of the Sinjar were soon subdued after subdued by Mehemet Rashid Pasha, and a second time by Hafiz Pasha. On both occasions there was a massacre, and the population was reduced by three-fourths. The Yezidis took refuge in caves, where they were either suffocated by fires lighted at the mouth, or by the discharges of cannon.

Top Rated Comments   

Western civilization can spend the next decade ( if we last that long )
Trying to contain and defeat the Jihadist forces of Islam.
We can keep struggling in the quest for the Democratization of Islamic states which we already did and failed at after investing billions in money and blood.
We can try to strengthen the so-called 'moderate branches of Islam, if there is one. They're either being cowed Into silence or winking and nodding to their Islamist brothers.
We can continue to use drones and special forces and police actions but so far That hasn't been effective. The violent Jihadists reproduce faster than we can neutralize them.
We can try making nice with the organizations of 'Soft-Jihadists' who advance Sharia and Jihad through usually peaceful and legal
Means (like the Muslim Brotherhood Obama's been backing for
The last six years) but that backfired.
The problem of violent Islamic Jihad is more widespread and virulent today than it was even at the height of its glory days when Hordes of Jihadists Advanced on Spain and other parts of Europe, something happening again even at this moment. For Over 1400 years of Jihadist violence, of murder and enslavement, forced conversions, and abuse Of women and children ...and yet still In this modern day and age Islam remains more a retro-sixth century ideology of bloody conquest than anything resembling a religion of peace and harmony.
The world can't wait for this backward cult of Muhammad to somehow 'reform' itself.
Not when nuclear and chemical weapons of Jihad very soon will be within the reach Of religious psychopaths and end-of-days fanatics who yearn for martyrdom.
When a beehive is burnt the surviving bees are disoriented
And dispersed. Certainly there are many angry bees initially but then they lose their ability to sting and just Disappear and scatter into the countryside and soon die.
There's a lesson in this. The hive is in Mecca. It's called the
Kaaba. Or we can continue getting stung for the rest of history!


Yoelarry
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (11)
All Comments   (11)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
You can tell someone's backing a loser when form trumps function. The author is so unconfident in his thesis that he hopes writing with a thesaurus in his lap will distract his audience from lack of substance. Fact: the surge yielded a decrease in hostile actions against coalition forces and civilians. Citing a single last gasp in the midst of the ongoing surge then excluding the rate and numbers of hostile acts before the surge is dishonest. It's like saying the Battles of El Alamein, the Bulge and Midway proved that World War 2 made Italians, Germans, and Japanese more violent. From the surge's completion until Obama's reckless withdrawal, Iraq had successful elections, violence was down without dispute.

The author's more interested in condemning Islam and displaying bigoted Jewish supremacy than honesty. If you want to talk violence, refer to the Jewish terrorism committed against the same British troops in Palestine that had saved Jews from European Catholic Fascism. See the terrors of Jewish Bolshevism committed on Russian Christians. Where are the quotes from Jewish texts that deem all Gentile the rightful slaves of Jews?
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
lacuna in honest, self-critical discourse

lacuna? Srsly?
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
You can not force differing ethnic, religious and cultural groups to coexist without all concerned suffering a great deal of pain. Everyone, ever, on the planet belongs or did belong to a group (tribe). Civilization is the result of tribes living within their own boundaries and agreeing to live side by side peacefully with each other.

When you attempt to force others to give up their differences it creates hatred and animosity. When Negroes were brought to the US and subjected to slavery it created an underclass that lead to the Civil War and all of the race problems of today. America is suffering today for the sins it committed yesterday.

The Europeans, Middle East and the Asians are a collect of tribes that through the centuries have waged war on each other. Sticking your nose in their business is not going to turn out well.

Peace is an anomaly. It comes about when nations or bad actors have exhausted themselves on the battlefield and a clear winner emerges.

P.S. I did a little bit of rambling here. Working on reorganizing my thoughts.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
What has become obvious is the middle east nations have the governments they actually want. They want the strongman. They want the religious zealotry. They are returning to their natural state, much to our Jeffersonian horror.

The Christian in me wants to intervene.

The jaded realist in me thinks we've lost too many good people already.

Even with our best efforts, it will revert to what is being witnessed today.

So, I will pray and keep my powder dry.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
Exactly!
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
This may be too obvious but success and failure define themselves. They are not constructs visited on a culture from the outside. If folks in the Middle East could be or wanted to be successful in Western terms they already would be. If they wanted a democracy they've had two centuries as an example of how to throw off Ottomans or Hashemite Kings imported from S. Arabia. Hell, the Ottomans themselves would have had a functioning democracy after revolution swept Europe and the colonies.

It's not like our system of gov't is a secret. On the other hand, what is revealed by our system is the same thing revealed in the Middle East: if you don't trust in a thing it won't work.

Our liberal Dems literally do not go all in when it comes to rule of law. They obey it when it suits them and ignore it and create sanctuary cities when that suits. Dems importing people from other places and then preaching racims and distrust instead of assimilation are setting us up to be a fancier version of the Middle East. Ferguson is just one sign of our own gov't's institutional approval of Ferguson's gripe, which is BS.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
Muslims want to kill anyone who is not a Muslim and they have been doing it for hundreds of years. Conservative commentators or whatever just need to shut up about. Now, take that Charles Krauthammer. I am sorry Dr. Bostom but you were all over the place in this article and your point could have easily been made with a little less verbosity.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment

Western civilization can spend the next decade ( if we last that long )
Trying to contain and defeat the Jihadist forces of Islam.
We can keep struggling in the quest for the Democratization of Islamic states which we already did and failed at after investing billions in money and blood.
We can try to strengthen the so-called 'moderate branches of Islam, if there is one. They're either being cowed Into silence or winking and nodding to their Islamist brothers.
We can continue to use drones and special forces and police actions but so far That hasn't been effective. The violent Jihadists reproduce faster than we can neutralize them.
We can try making nice with the organizations of 'Soft-Jihadists' who advance Sharia and Jihad through usually peaceful and legal
Means (like the Muslim Brotherhood Obama's been backing for
The last six years) but that backfired.
The problem of violent Islamic Jihad is more widespread and virulent today than it was even at the height of its glory days when Hordes of Jihadists Advanced on Spain and other parts of Europe, something happening again even at this moment. For Over 1400 years of Jihadist violence, of murder and enslavement, forced conversions, and abuse Of women and children ...and yet still In this modern day and age Islam remains more a retro-sixth century ideology of bloody conquest than anything resembling a religion of peace and harmony.
The world can't wait for this backward cult of Muhammad to somehow 'reform' itself.
Not when nuclear and chemical weapons of Jihad very soon will be within the reach Of religious psychopaths and end-of-days fanatics who yearn for martyrdom.
When a beehive is burnt the surviving bees are disoriented
And dispersed. Certainly there are many angry bees initially but then they lose their ability to sting and just Disappear and scatter into the countryside and soon die.
There's a lesson in this. The hive is in Mecca. It's called the
Kaaba. Or we can continue getting stung for the rest of history!


Yoelarry
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
Exactly Right!
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think you might want to switch the headline and sub-head, this goes beyond the history of Yazidi massacres. Of course if you want to fill out this already lengthy screed you could include the treatment of the Jews from any Bernard Lewis or Oriana Fallaci book on the matter. These massacres of even "peoples of the book" Christians and Jews are a standard part of Islamic behaviors throughout history, their dhimmi status suffering sudden complete loss from time to time.

Of course then a good Muslim will bring out Old Testament stories about the Jews, or European history of religious wars and crusades against the Albigensians and such, and the US treatment of native Americans (sic), and Hitler's holocaust against the Jews (when the Muslims aren't busy denying it ever happened), and Ferguson, MO today.

But at the least, Western consensus society has been against such things since the Enlightenment while Islam continues right through today to enjoy and support them (see the Hamas charter), though perhaps a Muslim arguing carefully is going to score a few points anyway.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
Fairly significant difference.

Violence is descriptive in the Christian Bible.

Violence is presecriptive in the Koran.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
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