Friday, August 8, 2014

Attack on Christians in northern Iraq by ISIS seems unprecedented in its brutality

I know I am going to hear about the new persecution of Christians by ISIS (or ISIL), particularly in northern Iraq, at almost any Protestant church that I attend.  I don’t get involved with the idea of victimhood, either for myself or for others.  But the latest reports on ISIS sound almost unprecedented, as they have apparently swept through villages in northern, largely Kurdish areas of Iraq, and driven Christians out of their homes, executing those who will not convert to Islam.  The media has reported heavily a situation with several thousand trapped on a mountaintop, with the Obama administration ordering airdrops for humanitarian aid.  ISIS seems to be trying to drive Christianity out of areas where it flourished in Biblical times, shortly after the life of Christ.  John Kerry has called it genocide. 
The persecution concerns both Christians and Yazidis who actually practice a kind of "folk Islam", Wiki article here. So indeed, ISIS is going after other Muslims more than Christians.
The most detailed CNN story is here.  Fareed Zakaria and Chris Cuomo discussed the situation Friday morning.  Cuomo emphasized the scale of the slaughter. Zakaria said that it would make sense for the US to help the Kurds, who are pro-Western, because foreign interventions work with a “client” that wants to fight.  (That’s why South Korea turned out better than South Vietnam.)  Zakaria also criticized the “new” Iraq government’s Shiite leadership for failing to represent the Sunni’s, and talked about the dangers of an Iraq controlled by Iran. 


Potentially ISIS could gain control of one fifth of the world’s exports, although the US has become much less dependent on foreign oil because of new North American resources, although most of this is gas and shale.   The brutality of ISIS does make one concerned about what could happen if it turned attention to the West.  With it’s money, could EMP weapons be possible?  (See "Major issues" posting Thursday.)  There were comments on AC360 about western jihadists fighting with them who have sworn to come back for revenge.

Janes Jeffrey confirmed this notion on CNN Friday morning.   
Wikipedia attribution link for ancient Iraq map. 

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