Crises in the Middle East seem relentless, occurring simultaneously, repetitively, and endlessly. This time, though, we’re dealing with a militant group of such belligerence that even Al Qaeda has rejected association with them.
They’re known internationally as ISIS, The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, and they’re notorious for their brutality.
In this case, when we ask ourselves the question of intervention, most of us think of the United States promoting peace in Iraq for the greater good of humanity. However, I have a small confession on behalf of the government:
It’s our fault that ISIS has become so powerful.
After the 2003 invasion, U.S. troops left the Iraqi government to Nouri Maliki, the same leader who now plays sectarian politics, appointing exclusively Shiites to the government. His actions thus fueled the anger of the opposing party, known as the Sunnis. ISIS channeled these Sunnis by brainwashing them, hiding its true ruthless nature. In turn, the Sunnis bolstered ISIS, augmenting its manpower in hopes of taking over the current authority. In retrospect, if we had left Iraq with more inclusive policies, ISIS would never have aggrandized into what it is today. But the U.S. government wasn’t exactly empathetic towards the Iraqi people… was it? This leads me to my second little confession for the government, which most people are unaware of:
The war on Iraq was a war for oil.
A plethora of U.S. officials, including current defense secretary Chuck Hagel, admitted that the central reason for the invasion of Iraq was to be able to gain access to its vast reserves. We didn’t care half as much about the government, the people, or even the morality of the whole situation! The United States has been ignorant of what really matters, and the repercussions have arrived.
Aside from the fact that ISIS is almost directly violating the U.N. mandate against genocide, the document in which we vowed to never let Nazi Germany or Rwanda happen again, we need to make sure we amend the mistakes we’ve made in Iraq. Although President Obama has authorized airstrikes to aid the Yazidis, the French have provided refuge for select Yazidis, and Kurdish forces may be willing to provide troops, the United States will need to step up to the plate once ISIS starts retaliating. It’s not a question of justice, but rather a call for responsibility.