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 It is a repeat of the Mount Sinjar situation, except a different minority group threatening to be wiped out by ISIS.

  The United Nations has called for a concerted effort to end the siege of Amerli, a town 110 miles north of Baghdad, which is home to 18,000 Shia Turkmen.
   The town has been encircled by jihadists from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) for the past two months. The majority of the residents of Amerli are part of the Turkmen ethnic group, who are descendants of Ottoman Turks and make up roughly four per cent of Iraq’s population. As Shia, they are directly targeted by Isil, who consider them apostates.

 “It is a humanitarian disaster,” said Dr Ali Albayati. He told the BBC: “Twenty-thousand people in Amerli are fighting off death. There are children who are only eating once every three days. I can’t describe the situation. I just don’t know what to say.”
 The town of Amerili has no drinking water and little food or medical supplies.
 On Friday, the most influential Shia cleric in Iraq, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, expressed concern over the plight of the town's inhabitants.
   Residents say they have had to organise their own resistance to the militants and no foreign aid has reached the town since the siege began.
Like Mount Sinjar, this town is also near Iraqi Kurdistan. So if they will be rescued, it will probably be the Kurds who do it again.

  It occurred to me the other day that this part of the world has a common enemy (other than America and Israel) for the first time in centuries.
  ISIS wants to kill ethnic Turkmen, so Turkey will eventually see them as enemies. They want to kill Shia, so Iran and Baghdad and Hezbollah see them as enemies. They want to kill Kurds, so various Kurdish communities see them as enemies. They want to kill Americans, so they are our enemy. They want to overthrow Assad, so they are the enemy of the government of Syria.
   Plus they scare the governments of Jordan and Lebanon, and even the Sunni tribes in Iraq and Syria have no love for them.

  My point is that a common enemy can make an opportunity to help resolve other long-standing grievances. Just as an example, Iran offered to help take care of the ISIS problem yesterday.

 Iran is ready to join international action against jihadists in Iraq provided the West lifts crippling sanctions, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Thursday.
Iran then proceeded to deny this, but I'm willing to bet that the denial was less sincere than the offer.
  ISIS also provides an opportunity for Baghdad and Iraqi Kurdistan to work through their long-standing problems.
  Not to mention Turkey and their kurdish problem.

  Who knows? If there was leadership with actual vision, maybe this disaster could all be turned into an opportunity.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Wow. That's a whole 'lotta mess right there. (9+ / 0-)

    The only hawk I like is the kind that has feathers. My birding blogs: http://thisskysings.wordpress.com/ and canyonbirds.net

    by cany on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 12:32:32 PM PDT

    •  Those who created mess should've been called to (9+ / 0-)

      account.  The problem w/ "look forwards not backwards" is that it allows those who committed bad deeds in the past to commit new bad deeds in the future.

      I don't really care whether any of the neocons who lied and bullied us into an unnecessary and disastrous war ever faced criminal charges.  I do care that there never were any Congressional hearings spotlighting the neocons' venality, duplicity, and incompetence.  As a result, those who thoroughly trashed the Pottery Barn and never bothered trying to help clean it up are taken seriously as they recommend further means of trashing it.

      Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

      by RFK Lives on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 01:05:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A few well placed air strikes (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        annieli, BlackSheep1

        This group is making itself unpopular throughout the region. But there is no cover, no place to hide. Take them out.

        A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

        by onionjim on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 01:13:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Who DID create the mess of ISIS? (10+ / 0-)
        There are extraordinary elements in the present U.S. policy in Iraq and Syria that are attracting surprisingly little attention. In Iraq, the U.S. is carrying out air strikes and sending in advisers and trainers to help beat back the advance of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (better known as ISIS) on the Kurdish capital, Erbil. The U.S. would presumably do the same if ISIS surrounds or attacks Baghdad. But in Syria, Washington’s policy is the exact opposite: there the main opponent of ISIS is the Syrian government and the Syrian Kurds in their northern enclaves. Both are under attack from ISIS, which has taken about a third of the country, including most of its oil and gas production facilities.

        But U.S., Western European, Saudi, and Arab Gulf policy is to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, which happens to be the policy of ISIS and other jihadis in Syria. If Assad goes, then ISIS will be the beneficiary, since it is either defeating or absorbing the rest of the Syrian armed opposition. There is a pretense in Washington and elsewhere that there exists a “moderate” Syrian opposition being helped by the U.S., Qatar, Turkey, and the Saudis.  It is, however, weak and getting more so by the day. Soon the new caliphate may stretch from the Iranian border to the Mediterranean and the only force that can possibly stop this from happening is the Syrian army.

        The reality of U.S. policy is to support the government of Iraq, but not Syria, against ISIS. But one reason that group has been able to grow so strong in Iraq is that it can draw on its resources and fighters in Syria. Not everything that went wrong in Iraq was the fault of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, as has now become the political and media consensus in the West. Iraqi politicians have been telling me for the last two years that foreign backing for the Sunni revolt in Syria would inevitably destabilize their country as well.  This has now happened.

        IMO, there needs to be an investigation who is funding ISIS. I have read that they have grown out of the Syrian rebels that the US trained and gave weapons, just like when the US trained and funded AQ in the 80's.
        I can't keep track any more who the terrorists are. Friend or foe, or both?  
        Either way, there is a lot of money being spent on the Middle East blowup, while many starve here in the US.
        The US sure seems to have its hands in many areas of conflicts around the world.
        The US spends about $30 million a year training other countries soldiers, who then go on to commit a lot of atrocities  
        I need a score card to keep track of who is friend or foe these days.

        "I find it incredible that Keith Alexander can sell secrets and is free to make a huge profit without being slammed with Espionage Act charges and Snowden is stateless" Jesselyn Radack.

        by snoopydawg on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 03:00:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not only have they not been called to account, (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis, Lujane, gjohnsit, RFK Lives

        But the lead architect Dick Cheney, is an honored guest on the teevee, where he's allowed to insult the current Administration in scathing terms, and then have his comments spread far and wide as though he were an important, valuable part of the decision-making process.

        "It ain't right, Atticus," said Jem. "No, son, it ain't right." --Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

        by SottoVoce on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 03:57:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  They even pissed off Al Qaeda (13+ / 0-)

    It does not get more extreme than ISIS.  They are setting a new standard for evilness.  They are getting everyone to work together to defeat them.  Kurds, Iranians, Turks, Shias, Assad's Syrians and even Sunni, everybody.  And they want this.  

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action. UID: 9742

    by Shockwave on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 12:47:35 PM PDT

  •  Drone their asses RIGHT NOW. ISIS jelly. (4+ / 0-)
  •  The IS(ISIS) attacks on the Turkmen in Iraq (15+ / 0-)

    have been going on for two months and the UN and media notice it this week.

    But this is probably because the situation in and around Amerli has gotten worse recently as IS has shifted fighters from other areas (Mosul Dam and Erbil probably) to the Amerli and Jalawla areas.

    The Iraqi Turkmen have been complaining that the Peshmerga are ignoring the IS attacks on them. This might by true but it is more likely that the Peshmerga have been busy elsewhere.

    The world is bad enough as it is, you have no right to make it any worse.
    Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

    by InAntalya on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 12:58:06 PM PDT

  •  It's our fault but we should do nothing. (3+ / 0-)

    There, I saved that school of thought the trouble, so they can get back to watching the Simpsons marathon on FXX.  Which is one thing I have in common with them.

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 01:02:39 PM PDT

      •  I thought progressives like restorative justice! (0+ / 0-)

        I guess we like restraining orders, too!

        It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

        by Rich in PA on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 02:09:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  not sure what you mean by that (0+ / 0-)

          I just think there's a lot of space between doing nothing and sending more bombs and weapons. "Restorative justice" typically isn't hastily unilateral or constructed around foreign security interests, either.

        •  We've been bombing Iraq for 23 years (5+ / 0-)

          We started bombing Iraq before many of the kids in our military were even born.
             Iraq just gets worse, nor better.

           It's time to change strategies.
          We should look at what little has actually worked in Iraq.

          "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

          by gjohnsit on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 02:17:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Bombing has actually worked. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bear83

            It got Iraq out of Kuwait, it got Saddam's regime out of power, now it's beating back ISIS.  The problem is that in doing those things, it permitted other bad things.  The question isn't whether bombing works in accomplishing immediate goals--it obviously does--but whether there's some alternative that works better and so far I haven't heard one.  If there isn't one, the real decision is between bombing and doing nothing, which means letting stuff happen.

            It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

            by Rich in PA on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 02:24:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Bombing destroys things (7+ / 0-)

              It destroys cities, buildings, bridges, weddings, arms, legs, and most of all, lives.

               That is the limitation to what bombing can accomplish.

              We've been bombing things in Iraq for 23 years, and we've destroyed a lot of stuff.
                Eventually the bombing ends and unless you killed everyone (and maybe that is our End Game), you need to plan for more than just blowing sh*t up.

                That's why Iraq is such a sh*thole right now.

                It would be nice if we just skipped past the bombing part (which we've been stuck at for 23 years) and moved onto the next stage.

              "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

              by gjohnsit on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 03:20:28 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Now that we have created bombs... (4+ / 0-)

                and weapons with the Almighty power of the universe, the power to destroy our world, the power of a human-made ELE, we are required to find a way other than bombs to solve our differences...or else.

                Our past bombings, for the most part, have done nothing but create more terrorists.  Degrade people, treat them as less than human, kill them, and they are very apt to get angry and turn on us.  It is completely understandable that one of these enraged persons might pull the trigger on the nuclear winter inferno bomb; Then we have created our own (and other species') extinction.

                Bombing is counter-indicated.

                “…violence is mimetic, one act of violence sowing the seeds for the next.” Jules Fraser

                by dharmasyd on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 03:49:07 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  So what's the next stage? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mogolori

                There's a real shortage of ideas around here.

                Cynicism is what passes for insight among the mediocre.

                by Sky Net on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 04:29:24 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Woodrow Wilson had a good answer (0+ / 0-)

                  almost a century ago called the League of Nations and FDR tried to reinforce his idea with something called The United Nations.

                  An International Organization committed to peace that could enforce the rule of law fairly.

                  How about we reject the idea of a Security Council in the UN and implement an organization that applies and enforces international law?

                  -9.50/-7.59 - "Why are the missiles called peace-keepers when they're aimed to kill?" -Tracy Chapman

                  by Situational Lefty on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 10:27:40 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Your post reminds me of the nursery rhyme about (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gjohnsit

              the old lady who swallowed a fly.

        •  Restraining orders aren't worth a damn if (0+ / 0-)

          not enforced.

          You enforce a restraining order with somebody who can outdo the asshole against whom the restraining order is given by the court.

          In this case, you enforce the restraining order against ISIL with the great-grandchildren of the ARC Light.

          LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Steve Earle, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Jim Hightower, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

          by BlackSheep1 on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 03:39:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  No, we should lock up Cheney. That will fix (0+ / 0-)

      the whole ISIS thing immediately...once they see it happen, they will return to their homes and become farmers...especially those who are teenagers leaving European countries to fight for ISIS who were in grade school during the Iraq invasion and occupation.

      While you dream of Utopia, we're here on Earth, getting things done.

      by GoGoGoEverton on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 04:36:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's been a long long time without this (5+ / 0-)
    If there was leadership with actual vision
    Like, for decades. Maybe the King of Nepal with his "Gross National Happiness" idea for measuring a nation's well-being and the accessible healthcare for everyone. But it seems like the ruling classes, like everywhere, are immune to doing the obvious and right thing. Everyone playing for petty advantages and big money.


    A government is a body of people usually notably ungoverned. -- Firefly

    by Jim P on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 01:28:55 PM PDT

  •  We can actually blame the .01% for ISIS. (8+ / 0-)

    Supposedly they have 2 billion dollars. They are not keeping it in a mattress in a cave. BANKS hide money and transactions for the very rich, otherwise we could know who is funding them.

    HSBC was caught laundering money and got a fine. If the rules were not rigged to help the ultra rich hide money, then we could make it much harder for these groups to get funding and to move money to buy arms....they might have to trade chickens for pickups.

    "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

    by merrywidow on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 02:07:30 PM PDT

  •  I'm Amazed (4+ / 0-)

    At how quickly all the "pacifists" have suddenly become war/bomb happy hawks.

    "I" didn't break it, so I have no urge to "fix" it. Send Dick, Paul, George W. and all the other Neocons over with an M16 if that's the logic.

    No more US wars for Corporate, Petro, MIC Dollars.

    There are tons of humanitarian problems all over the world, we only like the ones we can throw bombs at. Anyone pressuring Pharma to produce vaccine to solve the Ebola problem in Africa? How about we say goodbye to the ME, and Petrol, and ergo climate change, a Huge humanitarian problem?

    All this drum beating and sabre rattling makes me ill.
    My solution is keep our noses out of it! Haven't we lost enough? We're hooked on war like crack, we just can't say no!

    You have your right to your opinion, I will grant you that, but do not denigrate my right to mine!

    by MrQA on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 02:58:40 PM PDT

    •  Mr QA -- there are women, kids, (0+ / 0-)

      Kurds, and minorities over there. Do we just let ISIS murder freely?

      I would hope not.

      LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Steve Earle, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Jim Hightower, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

      by BlackSheep1 on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 03:42:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How Many (3+ / 0-)

        hundreds of thousands of Iraqi women & children have we already killed with our past wars?

        NOW, we're suddenly deeply concerned about the humanitarian horror??

        When we step in to stop the new bogeyman aka ISIS, how many more innocents will be collateral damage??

        Give me a break.

        Death justifies death, justifies more death..ad nauseum. Just say no....

        You have your right to your opinion, I will grant you that, but do not denigrate my right to mine!

        by MrQA on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 03:52:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Apples and oranges...this isn't the Iraqi army ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BlackSheep1

          Apples and oranges...this isn't the Iraqi army of even Hussein past. It is a band of murderous thugs who need to be turned into a fucking crater for what they are doing to the innocents over there.

          There is a time for peace and a peace that can only be found when pure evil is eradicated. If President Obama strikes HARD, I will support him.

          •  + infinity, Love Me Slender. EOM (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Love Me Slender

            LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Steve Earle, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Jim Hightower, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

            by BlackSheep1 on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 04:45:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  OK (2+ / 0-)

            I guess you (and BlackSheep) are emotionally vested in causing more death and destabilization in a region where we've already caused plenty of both, based on the "enthusiasm" and forcefulness of your position.

            I'm sad that so many buy into the concept of continuous, and never ending war, and start marching so quickly.

            There are non-lethal alternatives, but I guess they're not as "satisfying" perhaps?

            http://fcnl.org/...

            It's good to know that Grumpy McCain has KOS supporters!

            You have your right to your opinion, I will grant you that, but do not denigrate my right to mine!

            by MrQA on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 07:04:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  ...and you resort to personal attacks... (0+ / 0-)

              ...the true and telling sign that your side of the argument has lost in spectacular fashion.

              Have a terrific day.

              I have never been fond of holding my nose and doing anything...even when someone farts in the elevator.

              by Love Me Slender on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 05:57:40 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Does anyone think Isis will turn into a party with (0+ / 0-)

    which one could discuss and negotiate, with which one could come to some kind of understanding or reconciliation?

    I certainly do not. Isis is a criminal organization of Islamist extremist mercenaries quite literally gone berserk. As such it will have to be "taken out" sooner or later, and the sooner the better.

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 03:57:29 PM PDT

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