(Breaking Update) One Thousand Reasons to Let Others Deal with ISIS
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Here is one ally who is not subscribing to the one thousand reasons to let others deal with ISIS.
The Guardian reports today (Sunday in Australia) that Australia will help deliver military equipment, including arms and ammunition to Kurdish fighters in northern Iraq in an effort to counter the threat posed by Islamic State militants.
“Royal Australian Air Force C-130 Hercules and C-17 Globemaster aircraft will join aircraft from other nations including Canada, Italy, France, the United Kingdom and the United States to conduct this important task,” the prime minister said in a statement on Sunday.
“Australia’s contribution will continue to be coordinated with the government of Iraq and regional countries.”
The Australian government is not providing weapons itself but will be delivering the equipment supplied by other nations.
[Prime Minister] Abbott said the decision, made by cabinet’s national security committee, followed Australia’s involvement in the successful international humanitarian relief effort that dropped supplies to the thousands of people stranded on Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq.
“The situation in Iraq represents a humanitarian catastrophe,” he said.
Abbott said the decision, made by cabinet’s national security committee, followed Australia’s involvement in the successful international humanitarian relief effort that dropped supplies to the thousands of people stranded on Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq.
“The situation in Iraq represents a humanitarian catastrophe,” he said.
The opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman, Tanya Plibersek, said the Peshmerga and others had been “the only effective fighting force” stopping Isis.
“Where you have an effective or reasonably effective fighting force on the ground being the only thing standing between [Isis] and civilian populations that are at risk of genocide or ethnic cleansing, then there is an international responsibility to assist those people to hold back [Isis],” The opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman, Tanya Plibersek told the [Australian Broadcasting Corporation] on Sunday.
Plibersek, who strongly opposed the 2003 Iraq war, drew a contrast between the circumstances then and the process now.
She said the 2003 invasion was “a disaster” and people would remember how “enthusiastic” the Bush, Blair and Howard administrations were.
“In 2003, the US and Australia and a few others went into Iraq without international support and without the support of the majority of the Iraqi population,” Plibersek said.
“The difference here is you’ve got the newly forming Iraqi government speaking with the international community. You’ve got an imminent humanitarian disaster. We have seen already that [Isis] are prepared to commit genocide if they can. So you do have a responsibility to protect from the international community and you’ve got a US administration that are taking a much more methodical and much more internationally inclusive approach.”
Read more here
American military planes along with Australian, French and British aircraft airdropped humanitarian aid to the town of Amirli in Iraq, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said in a statement issued today.
U.S. aircraft also conducted airstrikes against nearby ISIL terrorists in order to support the humanitarian mission, Kirby said in his statement.
Kirby’s statement reads as follows:
“At the request of the Government of Iraq, the United States military today airdropped humanitarian aid to the town of Amirli, home to thousands of Shia Turkomen who have been cut off from receiving food, water, and medical supplies for two months by ISIL. The United States Air Force delivered this aid alongside aircraft from Australia, France and the United Kingdom who also dropped much needed supplies.
“In conjunction with this airdrop, U.S. aircraft conducted coordinated airstrikes against nearby ISIL terrorists in order to support this humanitarian assistance operation.
“These military operations were conducted under authorization from the Commander-in-Chief to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance and to prevent an ISIL attack on the civilians of Amirli. The operations will be limited in their scope and duration as necessary to address this emerging humanitarian crisis and protect the civilians trapped in Amirli.
There are probably one thousand reasons for not getting involved in the genocide and other atrocities presently being perpetrated by a band of nihilistic, religious fanatics in the Middle East.
In a superb, well-researched, well-reasoned, logical and eloquent piece — and I do mean each and every one of these attributes — our Foreign Affairs correspondent Brij Khindaria discusses several of them.
Among the reasons for not “getting involved”:
• The centuries-old enmities among the various tribes and sects on the Arabian Peninsula and Levant will not, cannot, be resolved overnight.
• Our almost total lack of understanding of the roots of and the reasons for these enmities and conflicts.
• The superb military, political and pragmatic prowess, strategy and acumen of the wannabe Caliph of the world’s Sunni Muslims, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.
• The exculpating factor that America is not even to blame for the “religious barbarity and sectarian bigotry of the Islamic State…It emerges from the peculiarities of Islamic doctrines practiced only in the Arabian Peninsula and Levant.” In other words, while some may argue that the rise of the Islamic State is a consequence of our blunders in Iraq and elsewhere, it really is “an outcome of authoritarian rule, sectarian obscurantism and civil strife among tribes, sheikdoms, factions and rulers from Syria to Iraq, including Saudi Arabia and the Emirates.” No guilt trip necessary and, thus, no need to meddle.
• There is hope that the more humane and peaceful Muslims — in fact the majority of Muslims — will in time, on their own, “bring the Islamic State to naught by causing it to collapse from within,” without our meddling.
• The fact that the West is facing an enemy that in effect has nothing to lose: “If they die, they are guaranteed praise in Islamic heaven; if they win, they purify Islam and Muslims attracted by Western style ‘decadence.’ All other people, including non-practicing Muslims are expendable.” So, why get involved and risk our blood and treasure.
• The consideration that Al-Baghdadi’s central motive is not the destabilization of the U.S. or Europe, albeit some Europeans are getting pretty nervous about the ensuing terrorist threat on their homelands.
Finally, Khindaria rightly points out the reluctance of some Middle East leaders — notwithstanding their own excellent military capabilities — to fight their own battles, to defend and protect their own cultures and religions. They would rather “outsource the sacrifice and opprobrium to Americans.” Another great reason not to get involved “over there.”
There are more reasons for the United States not to get involved in another Middle East “quagmire”: The proverbial “slippery slope;” the fact that we have our own serious problems at home; let others do it for a change; the proposition that ISIS poses no threat to the United States — although Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has warned that terrorism will soon spread to Europe and the United States” unless it is quickly dealt with in the Middle East. However, that could just be another Saudi ploy to let the U.S. do their dirty work.
Yes, there are a thousand valid, logical, intellectual reasons for letting the IS thugs have their way in the Middle East.
The only problem is the deep sense of compassion, humanity, altruism some Americans feel and have for those hundreds of thousands of human beings who are being slaughtered, raped, tortured, made homeless and turned into refugees by these “religious” men.
They understand the reasons for not doing anything — or very little — for these wretched people. They understand the risks involved and, yet, they cannot just let the humanitarian catastrophe happen.
They remember our nation’s legacy of compassion, generosity for the millions who have suffered the ravages of war, natural disasters and how we have protected them, rescued them from persecution, even from certain death.
But they also remember the few times when a distracted, reluctant, even fearful-of-the-risks-and-consequences America did nothing…
We said every time, “Never Again.”
And some Americans are reminding us of those solemn promises.
Let us not ridicule them, let us not ignore them, but let us listen to them and perhaps, despite the thousands of reasons for not doing anything — or very little — do what America has always done best: Help those who no one else will or can help.
And, yes, as Secretary of State John Kerry says, “Airstrikes alone won’t defeat this enemy. A much fuller response is demanded from the world.” (Please read his eloquent opinion piece here)
Have a great Labor Day weekend.
Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for the truth.
~ Benjamin Disraeli.