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It bears repeating: whatever the rights or wrongs of the decision to go to war in Iraq, once there, the U.S. not only had a vital strategic asset, but a responsibility to the people of that country. It was clear years ago that the hasty withdrawal favored by candidates Obama and Hillary Clinton would lead to genocide. And so it has.
And those who declared a "Responsibility to Protect" the city of Benghazi are failing to answer a more urgent call.
In studies of the Holocaust, historians divide people into victims, perpetrators, and bystanders. The moral position of bystanders is always an ambivalent one: at what point does failing to intervene actually become culpability in the atrocities?
Arguably, the Obama administration is moving dangerously close to that point--where Obama's strong and selective desire to remain a bystander in the Middle East is actively encouraging genocide.
(Reuters) - Pope Francis appealed to world leaders on Thursday to help end the crisis in northern Iraq after a sweeping advance by radical Islamic state militants forced thousands of residents of Iraq's biggest Christian town to flee their homes. "His Holiness addresses an urgent appeal to the international community to take action to end the humanitarian tragedy now underway, to act to protect those affected or threatened by violence and to provide aid, especially for the most urgent needs of the many who have been forc
The question of control is a critical one for the millions of Iraqis who live downstream of the Mosul Dam all the way down the Tigris to Baghdad, because if the dam was taken over, ISIS would be in control of what could effectively be a major weapon of mass destruction – one that the U.S. military said in 2006 was, without the help of brutal jihadists, already “the most dangerous dam in the world.”
Islamic State militants, widely seen as more hardline than al Qaeda, storm into villages armed with machine guns and give Yazidis a simple choice: convert to Islam or die.
Witnesses have said most of their hundreds of victims were shot dead at close range, while others including women and children were buried alive. Women who avoided death were rounded up and taken away as slaves, witnesses said. The threat to the Yazidis was one reason cited by U.S. President Barack Obama when he launched U.S. air strikes against Islamic State in parts of Iraq earlier this month.
The Islamic State video, which the group called "Hundreds of Yazidis convert to Islam", gives no indication of the bloodshed that prompted tens of thousands of people to flee.
In the film, Islamic State fighters say they are misunderstood as they sit on a wall in Mount Sinjar, the Yazidis' ancient homeland.
Jan 17 (Reuters) - Islamic State freed around 350 members of Iraq's Yazidi minority on Saturday, delivering them to safety in the country's Kurdish north.
Almost all those released were elderly, disabled, or unwell, and included several infants with serious illnesses, according to a Reuters reporter who saw them arrive in the Kurdish-controlled city of Kirkuk.