Headlines have focused on the atrocities committed by ISIS on the northern Iraqi front. The leading stories seem almost expressly written by the Onion to make fun of political correctness. Crucified by the Caliphate monsters: Iraq descends into apocalypse as Islamic State fanatics seize towns and tell terrified Yazidi ‘Become Muslims by noon today… or we kill all of you’. Then there’s Islamic militants ‘buried alive Yazidi women and children in attack that killed 500′. Try topping: Anglican Vicar of Baghdad: ‘Child I baptized cut in half by ISIS’.
How about this lead paragraph? “BAGHDAD (AP) — Hundreds of women from the Yazidi religious minority have been taken captive by Sunni militants with “vicious plans,” an Iraqi official said Friday, further underscoring the dire plight of Iraq’s minorities at the hands of the Islamic State group.” Vicious plans is the 21st century journalistic equivalent of the Victorian phrase, “a fate worse than death”.
This eyewitness account is pretty close to the best reportage, however. “On board Iraqi army helicopter delivering aid to the trapped Yazidis, Jonathan Krohn sees a hellish sight”.
Mount Sinjar stinks of death. The few Yazidis who have managed to escape its clutches can tell you why. “Dogs were eating the bodies of the dead,” said Haji Khedev Haydev, 65, who ran through the lines of Islamic State jihadists surrounding it.
On Sunday night, I became the first western journalist to reach the mountains where tens of thousands of Yazidis, a previously obscure Middle Eastern sect, have been taking refuge from the Islamic State forces that seized their largest town, Sinjar.
I was on board an Iraqi Army helicopter, and watched as hundreds of refugees ran towards it to receive one of the few deliveries of aid to make it to the mountain. The helicopter dropped water and food from its open gun bays to them as they waited below. General Ahmed Ithwany, who led the mission, told me: “It is death valley. Up to 70 per cent of them are dead.”
The story adds, almost superfluously, that ISIS is attempting to shoot down aid deliveries. They would do that, wouldn’t they? Yet all this time the world was assured there was nothing to worry about in the hundreds of radical mosques, the thousands of militants eagerly received into the West and creeping sharia law in its institutions. The dangers, they were told, all lay in the Tea Party and elusive militia groups holed up in a cabin in the Ozarks.
But if the calamities in Kurdistan were all it would be a good week for the Obama administration. Now tanks are reported in the streets of Baghdad. “Security forces have encircled the residence of the Iraqi President – Sharqiah News”. Other reports allege its a coup being staged by Maliki to establish himself as dictator. It now appears that Maliki is suing the Kurds for not supporting him in office.
That’s not the end of it. The Washington Post writes “Libya crumbles as the United States looks the other way”. Libya, the crown jewel of “responsibility to protect”; the epitome of Zero Footprint has now blown up into fragments.
Three years after U.S. and NATO forces helped liberate Libya from the dictatorship of Moammar Gaddafi, the country is beginning to look a lot like another nation where an abrupt U.S. disengagement following a civil war led to chaos: Afghanistan in the 1990s. In Libya, heavily armed militias are battling for control of Tripoli and Benghazi as well as the international airport. The United States, France and other Western governments involved in the 2011 military intervention have evacuated their diplomats and abandoned their embassies. A U.N. mission that was supposed to help broker political accords also left.
ISIS, not content with its forays into Saudi Arabia and Jordan is now setting its sights on Lebanon — the better to get at Hezbollah. The Institute for the Study of War Syria covers the Battle of Arsal. “For the first time, large-scale fighting from Syria has spilled into Lebanon. The Lebanese Armed Forces is currently battling rebels affiliated with Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and Jabhat al-Nusra (JN) in and around Arsal, a Lebanese town 13 km west of the Syrian border in which a massive influx of refugees and rebels has long made the area a lawless enclave in a relatively weak state.”
The border battles may ultimately break up the Lebanese state as the Lebanese Sunnis are coopted by ISIS. Then it will be civil war all over again with ISIS pitted against Hezbollah with a supporting cast of dozens of militias. “The Institute for the Study of War assesses that a large portion of the rank-and-file of the LAF are likely Sunni. Long-term fighting may lead to defections if Sunni LAF members are increasingly ordered to crack down on Sunni-dominant areas such as Arsal.”
There’s worse to come. Obama’s negotiations with Iran are in shambles. The Telegraph reports that “Vladimir Putin signs historic $20bn oil deal with Iran to bypass Western sanctions”. How long before Iran gets the bomb? How long before everything is so bad that nobody notices Iran has the bomb? It’s almost a parody re-imagining of World War 2 with an Axis but no Allies.
Or rather there are Allies but Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin are on vacation and unavailable for comment.
The military historian Max Hastings basically accused Obama of phoning it in when he fulminated over “barbarians, genocide and a terrifying lack of Western leadership”. He added that “professor Sir Michael Howard, Britain’s most distinguished historian and strategist, now 92, lamented to me last month the tottering, if not collapse, of every pillar that has supported international order through his lifetime. By that he means the UN, Nato and a strong America.” The fish rots from the head, and the head’s not been this rotten in all of Sir Michael Howard’s long memory.
The Middle Eastern crisis is no longer a regional crisis. It has now become part of a global crisis, a link in a great chain of blunders engineered by the Great Golfer, whose most profound utterance is now, ‘who me?’ That explosive sequence includes but is not limited to the tensions in Eastern Europe, the continuing crisis in Southwest Asia and the ever-growing danger in the East as the Chinese dragon stirs. That clamor can now be heard even in Western streets, yet it beats like noiseless rain upon the glazed glass panes of the White House. The most amazing sight is not the catastrophe itself but the seeming paralysis of the Western institutions. Prominent newspapers may issue warnings, former high military officers might wring their hands, congressmen even threaten impeachment, yet but only momentary awareness flits across the dull countenances of the bovine LIVs as they await their next dose of spectacle and reality TV.
CBS gushed, “MARTHA’S VINEYARD (CBS) – Beautiful weather greeted the First Family on Martha’s Vineyard on day one of their vacation.”
The First Family’s motorcade pulled into their secluded island getaway with the First Couple and daughter Malia. Younger daughter Sasha will join later. Neighbors watched as the fleet of vehicles rolled in. “It was great fun,” said Linda Lundblad of Milton, who’s renting a home just down the street. Shortly after arriving, the President turned up at the Farm Neck Golf Club.
The former head of the British Army, Lord Dannatt pleaded with David Cameron to reconvene parliament and cancel his vacation: “now was not the time for political leaders ‘to be on holiday’ and [he] demanded they return to Westminster.” Translation: don’t just stand there, do something! Yet what earthly good could returning politicians to work do when it is the politicians themselves who are defective, as was underscored by president Obama’s assertion that withdrawing from Iraq was not his decision.
“Mr. President, do you have any second thoughts about pulling all ground troops out of Iraq?” the reporter asked. “And does it give you pause as the U.S.–is it doing the same thing in Afghanistan?”
“What I just find interesting is the degree to which this issue keeps on coming up, as if this was my decision,” Obama said, indicating he does not believe it was his decision as commander in chief of U.S. troops in a congressionally authorized action in Iraq to decide whether the troops should stay or leave.
What will it take to get him off the links? More to the point, do people really want him off the links?
The Western left has finally manufactured a world that it likes, led by the object of their adulation. How could they have known it would be this way? They are like the dog that caught the car and found the occupants liked dog meat. And now we are about to witness a clash between the “how could we know” PC elites and a resurgent militant Islam. What can those caught in the middle do? Many are simply stupefied. The remainder seem to lack to tools to return to their previous homely, but familiar lives. The Yehzidis found there was no way back; no way forward either except through the slave market or the mass grave. Can the rest of the world still roll back events? Or do they let the monsters fight and scurry beneath their trampling feet?
Unless the citizenry of the world can get their destinies back from the crazy elites and crazy headchoppers, they can only watch the destructive spectacle and hope to survive as the monsters wreck civilization.
Recently purchased by readers:
A Blacksmithing Primer: A Course in Basic and Intermediate Blacksmithing
Build Your Own Metal Working Shop From Scrap (Complete 7 Book Series)
The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World
A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History
Smartphone/Cell Phone Charm Adapter Plugs And Black Straps (10 Sets)
The Story of Philosophy
The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World from Scratch
A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World
Samsung Galaxy S5, Copper Gold 16GB
SAS Survival Handbook, Revised Edition: For Any Climate, in Any Situation
Did you know that you can purchase some of these books and pamphlets by Richard Fernandez and share them with you friends? They will receive a link in their email and it will automatically give them access to a Kindle reader on their smartphone, computer or even as a web-readable document.
The War of the Words for $3.99, Understanding the crisis of the early 21st century in terms of information corruption in the financial, security and political spheres
Rebranding Christianity for $3.99, or why the truth shall make you free
The Three Conjectures at Amazon Kindle for $1.99, reflections on terrorism and the nuclear age
Storming the Castle at Amazon Kindle for $3.99, why government should get small
No Way In at Amazon Kindle $8.95, print $9.99. Fiction. A flight into peril, flashbacks to underground action.
Storm Over the South China Sea $0.99, how China is restarting history in the Pacific
Tip Jar or Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the Belmont Club