A few hours ago the US started bombing Iraq. This is not something to be taken lightly. Obama is playing with fire and nobody knows for sure how this is going to turn out. So why on Earth would he take such a risky move? And why is it so risky? Here is a very simple explanation of what is going on. I hope by the end of reading this you can decide whether or not entering this new war in Iraq is a good idea.
Why did the we start bombing Iraq this time?
President Obama has wanted to bomb Iraq for a few months now. He has really wanted to bomb Iraq but us Americans are so fucking tired of war. We’re tired of the bullshit going on in Iraq and we just want to go home and party like it’s 1999 (or 1989 if you’re Republican.) Unfortunately that isn’t going to happen because it 2014. Judging by the current fashion trends most Americans refuse to admit that it’s 2014. But Obama knows what year it is and knows that the bullshit in Iraq is going to get bullshittier, unless something is done to stop it. His solution is simple: bomb the folks that are causing the trouble.
Last night Obama saw an opening into the Iraqi civil war and dove into it. In the past few days Christians have been threatened in Iraq. A lot of Christians. Actually, every Christian in Iraq is under threat. Think about that for a second. Tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians are running from their villages and homelands because they will killed if they don’t. Some are trapped. Where will they go? Will they be safe? By the way, while you were thinking about that Obama just started bombing Iraq.
The basic explanation of what’s happening.
There are three major things going on in Iraq right now:
The Iraqi Government and IS: Iraq is 40% Sunni and 60% Shia. The Prime Minister of Iraq, al-Maliki is Shia and has treated the Sunnis poorly. After six years of life under al-Maliki, the Sunnis rose up in mostly peaceful demonstrations and demanded al-Maliki stop his bullshit against the Sunnis. al-Maliki responded by shooting the demonstrators which the Sunnis regarded as a major dick move. In response to al-Malikis violence against them, increasing number of Sunnis began to support a Sunni militant group called “ISIS” or “ISIL.” Long story short, in the last couple months ISIL took over the Sunni areas of Iraq and declared them to be an new country. They named this country and themselves, the “Islamic State.” Or “IS” for short. Meanwhile, al-Maliki and the legitimate government of Iraq kind of flipped up and were unable to pull themselves together enough to fight of IS while they had the chance. Now IS is growing stronger and taking over things they shouldn’t be taking over (more on that later.)
The Kurds: Meanwhile the Kurds (a non-Arab ethnic group) of Iraq has benefited from all this fighting in Iraq. Ever since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Kurds have been able to have their own private little country in the North-Eastern part of Iraq. This almost-country is called, “Iraqi-Kurdistan.” While Iraq has been battered by war, corruption, and political upheaval since 2003, Iraqi-Kurdistan has remained safe, and grown economically into a beautiful young state. Here is a map of the three main sides from July 2014:
You don’t need to know all the groups this map is portraying. Just see how the Kurdistan is in the north-east of Iraq, while the Sunnis militant groups/IS are in the north, and the Iraqi government (al-Maliki’s government) is in the south-east.
In June 2014, ISIL/IS kicked out the Iraqi government. Chaos ensued, and the in the chaos the Kurds grabbed some territory that wasn’t exactly part of Iraqi-Kurdistan. On the other hand, a lot of Kurds lived in the newly-grabbed territory. The Iraqi government was pissed at the Kurds for doing this but the Iraqi government couldn’t do anything about it because they were too busy loosing their shit over what ISIL/IS was up to. For the next couple months, the Kurdish military sat around Iraqi-Kurdistan protecting their borders from IS, biting their thumbs at the Iraqi government, and congratulating themselves for surviving this whole situation unscratched.
At least, up until a few days ago. IS has grown stronger since June and has begun fighting the Kurds …and the Kurds are loosing. Iraqi-Kurdistan seemed infallible before. Now it looks like it’s going to become the newest victim of IS.
Iraqi Minorities: There are a lot of people in Iraq who don’t fall into the category of Sunni, Shia, or Kurd. Some of them are Christians, some of them are other minorities. These minorities have been able to live in Iraq for hundreds to thousands of years. Now IS is saying they are going to kill them all if they don’t leave their homes. The minorities are currently escaping to Iraqi-Kurdistan. Others are trapped in the mountains. Neither one of these places are safe from IS.
In summery, IS basically wants to kill every Kurd, and every Arab who is not a Sunni Muslim. So far they have been doing so without much trouble. “What poor values IS have,” you may say and then go about your day thinking that you are morally superior. But in northern Iraq IS is the real deal. They have the means and the will to wipe out entire groups of people, the whole time thinking that they are the morally superior ones. In this case it is not about who is morally right and wrong, it’s about if anyone else has the means and will to protect the Kurds and Iraqi minorities from IS.
The Kurds do not seem to have the will or the means anymore to protect themselves against IS. The Iraqi Government is even less capable to protect its minorities. So who does that leave? Who else is a player in Iraqi politics…?
Actually, you are. Whether you like it or not, and whether Iraqis like it or not, you have a say in Iraqi politics. That is because your country has been at war in Iraq and messing around with Iraqi politics for over a decade. Today Obama has thrown a few bombs at Iraq but a few bombs have never stopped IS. Actually, getting attacked by America makes IS a legitimate government in the eyes of many people.
It’s really up to you now, and us. If we don’t want to enter another war in Iraq, Obama will pull out. On the other hand, if we don’t do anything to counter IS soon, there might be a genocide in Iraq. This does not necessarily mean that war against IS is the best solution. There are other ways to counter IS, we just have to think of them and enact them quickly. In the mean-time, do we want our government bombing IS? Is it even possible for us to prevent a genocide Iraq? Is it worth entering another war to find out? It’s up to you to decide. The US government is the means, but WE are the will.