Reposted From CLUBORLOV blog
If you've been paying attention to the news, the US is bombing Iraq again, this time to avert a humanitarian crisis: a group of Yezedis is stranded on top of a mountain, driven there by those Daashing lads from the Islamic State (the Arabic name for them is “Daash”).
Now, if your reaction on hearing these news was “Who the heck are the Yezedis?” then you are in good company. This is a very obscure, fairly small, incredibly ancient cult, and few people have heard of them. I have, and so my reaction was “Oh no, they are killing the devil worshipers!”
Now, I am not especially sympathetic to devil-worship, but I happen to be a connoisseur of tiny separatist communities that abide for thousands of years, and the Yezedis are just the sort of group I generalized about in the book Communities that Abide. I will be very sad if they are exterminated in their homeland (there are a few diaspora groups, so, chances are, they will abide regardless).
The Yezedis are separatist and endogamous (only marry their own kind), plus they have a strict caste system that restricts who can marry whom, and so they have been in-breeding for a few thousand years now. As a result, they have become quite peculiar. For instance, it has been reported (I haven't tried it myself) that if you seat a Yezidi on the ground and draw a circle around him, he will be unable to get out of the circle and just sit there and starve. Furthermore, he will suffer severe physiological damage if you try to drag him out of it.
The Yezidis are quite secretive about their very complicated religion and its myriad compulsive rituals and superstitions, but it is known that they worship a deity known as the Peacock Angel, which, correctly or incorrectly, has been interpreted to be Satan. Consequently, the Yezidis have been persecuted as devil worshipers with gruesome consistency. There is no doubt that the boys from the Islamic State consider them to be the worst kind of heathen, and, since their policy is to behead first and ask questions later, there is little chance that they can be shifted from this position. Spin it any way you like, but everyone in the region knows this group as “the Yezedi devil-worshipers.”
As soon as they started getting bombed by American F16s, representatives of the Islamic State announced that they will be targeting Americans in general, and American embassies (like the gigantic one in Baghdad) in particular. This by no means a positive development; nobody in their right mind would want to pick a fight with the berserkers of the Islamic State without a really good reason.
Preventing genocide and ethnic cleansing is generally considered a pretty good reason to start a fight. But the Obama administration seems quite selective in this regard.
For example, the Ukrainian military has been creating a humanitarian disaster of vast scope for weeks now, shelling residential districts with artillery, rockets and the forbidden white phosphorus, causing a refugee crisis that has grown to over half a million people, sending their soldiers into battle without proper equipment, food or water with the result that they are getting killed by the thousand and stacked like firewood. Obama's response is to provide the Ukrainian government with over a million dollars of military aid and all sorts of political support while denying that there is a humanitarian crisis.
Another example: the Israelis have been shelling UN schools and hospitals in Gaza, killing lots of women and children, using live ammunition against protesters and shooting them to kill or maim. Obama's response is to send John Kerry over to embarrass everyone with his brainless prattling. US military and political support for Israel is never called into question.
Note that in the above two cases it would be possible to discourage genocide and ethnic cleansing without putting American lives at risk, while bombing the Islamic State to protect the lives of a group of devil worshipers carries huge risks. And yet that is what Obama decides to do. You can't make this stuff up!......