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Sometimes being right sucks.

Sometimes being right sucks.

That isn’t something you’ll hear many people say, but it’s true. Sometimes you look at things and you know how it’s going to play out, so you make a prediction. Sometimes it’s good to be right, other times it sucks. This is one of the times when being right sucks. See, nobody wins over me being right on this issue and it has done nothing but proven just how utterly screwed we all must be. I know what you must be saying “But Revanchist, what were you right about?”.

Well, to be simple, everything I talked about last week. You see, not only is the war in the Ukraine revving up once more with reports that Russia is moving heavy weapons and troops into Eastern Ukraine again but a report from the Pentagon came out that says the U.S Mission to combat Iraq would most likely require boots on the ground in Iraq again.

Sure, Obama said he wouldn’t put troops on the ground but I’m sure we all knew that was going to fly out the window sooner or later. We pushed ISIS but no matter how hard we pushed them with the air campaign, it wasn’t enough to stem the rising tide. Can we ever stem this tide? I don’t think so, I think we made a mistake in 2003 when we first invaded Iraq. I was right in that regard, as well. Without the Tyranny of Saddam holding the country together the only thing our foray into Iraq has given us is a new breed of jihadists. How did it happen? Well, alot of the people that joined ISIS were just children when the United States invaded Iraq. Right or wrong, those Children grew up in the worst possible of environments and they had a clear name to point fingers at for why their world sucked so bad.

Was eliminating Saddam necessary? Probably,  but I do not think it was the right course of action to take. We eliminated the lesser of two evils, it seems. Sometimes the devil you know is better than the one you don’t, I’m not sure how we thought this would somehow be different, that after we toppled Saddam the entire country would forget about centuries old grudges and ethnic ties. You cannot impose a western mentality on a country like Iraq, where loyalty lies more to ones tribe than it does to a unified concept of a country. How could we expect them to see that we were the right ones when all those young children saw was the devastation brought by American bombs and American soldiers?

So, while I was right, I take no joy in it. American citizens are once again going to spill their blood in a foreign country. In retrospect, it is kind of absurd. Today, people who were just children when the Iraq war began are getting ready to pick up the fight. Over ten years have passed since we invaded Iraq in what was a conflict that was supposed to end in just a month — a fact that seems almost like a joke eleven years down the line, when an entirely new generation of Americans are going to be dying for a war that was started by their fathers.

When Herbert Hoover said “Older men declare war. But it is the youth that must fight and die.” I don’t think he ever predicted that it would come to a situation like this. On one side, we have the disillusioned youth of Iraq and Syria who watched their country torn to shreds by foreign interests who picked up the flag of rebellion and religious extremism versus the children of the conquerors. Much as the conflict in Palestine continues to breed new generations of religious zealots, I have no doubt that the continued conflict in Iraq will continue to create new generations of Jihadists.

As of this moment, the war against ISIS costs $300,000 an hour to fight and that is before we actually deploy any sort of real manpower. We all knew from the beginning that this war was going to be one we could not win with air power alone, and anyone else who thought otherwise I would call hopelessly optimistic. There is still hope, though. Write your congressmen, tell them you are opposed to another ground war in Iraq. It might work, but I doubt it — America has already made their vote when they elected warhawks, I only hope that they made the right one.

Speaking of voting, it isn’t even like a majority of American’s voted the Republicans in on principal. The truth of the matter is that the country only had a 36% voter turnout, the worst this country has had in nearly 72 years. That is the problem with our country, it isn’t that we cannot make the right decisions just that we no longer care enough to try. To those of you who believe your political apathy does not hurt the country, I can only shake my head at you and sigh. You do yourself and your country a great disservice when you do not vote — it is by majority that these people are supposed to be elected, not by 36%. So, maybe we won’t actually end up with another war in Iraq, because at this point I’m hoping that I’m wrong.

– The Revanchist

War

War

Si vis pacem, para bellum. An ancient saying which, for those of you unaware, translates to “If you want peace, prepare for war” and unfortunately, it seems that war is once again starting to rear its ugly head. To be frank, we’ve never really gotten a break from war. With the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq finally drawing to a close after so many years and so many deaths it seems that American’s are willing to once more send our troops unto the breach.

How so? Well, conflict in Iraq is revving up with the addition of a Syrian problem that President Obama had desired to end before it began (only to be shut down by popular opinion, Russia, and the Republicans) and now it is his fault that ISIS spawned out of it. To be fair, there wasn’t alot he could do though he did seem like he was ready and willing to pull the trigger at one point. Of course, Russia has proven to be a most hilarious and belligerent member of the world community with their recent foray into Ukrainian politics in a most uninvited manner.

So what changed? Well, you can probably start preparing for the inevitability of boots on the ground because the War Hawks are in power and their mouths are salivating with glee. I find it most humorous that when the POTUS was willing to act on Syria, the American public was almost entirely against it but now that ISIS has appeared as a direct result of the Syrian conflict and American’s have died because of it the public finds themselves upset that the POTUS did not do more to stop it. What did you want him to do? He wanted to intervene in Syria and you all sent him a clear message that you didn’t want it — he acted upon the will of the people at the time and because of that we now have the fustercluck of the century brewing on our hands. So, what is he to do now? Send troops in? Probably.

While I remain a firm moderate, something more happened this election day than just the republicans winning. No, American Exceptionalists saw a greater victory this election than anyone else. What are American Exceptionalists? Well, they are known by many names but primarily they are the War Hawk Neocons of the Republican Party such as good old John McCain. These are the same people with so much campaign money tied up in defense industry lobbyists that they can want nothing more than war. They will achieve their goals, hell, it’s almost inevitable at this point. John McCain who is expected to become the next chairman of the senate armed forces committee has already expressed his desire to send weapons to the embattled Ukrainian government as well as to look into broadening the war against ISIS.

In the short time I have been actively studying the politics in America I find an almost amusing trend in how people vote, assuming they even vote. They often yell and scream about how they want change before ultimately reverting to the same style of government they had before they fought so hard to change it, but beyond that, when America wants to go to war it seems that we always elect Republican. For instance, October saw a rise in the willingness of American’s to send troops on the ground in Iraq in Syria, up to 45% vs the 38% of September. Likewise, 71% of American’s polled believe that we should send ground troops in if ISIS attacks any America facilities in Baghdad.

As we see the public consciousness drift more toward accepting of a future war, we also saw them vote in surprising numbers for Republican candidates who had war hawk tendencies. I am no psychic, so I cannot predict what the future holds but the incoming Hawks have already pledged to ramp up that good ol’ Nationalism we all used to know and love from the days of yore. Indeed, McCain has not only spoken about sending American weapons to the Ukrainian Government and broadening the efforts to combat ISIS but there has also been talk about China and its incursions into the South China Sea. While I am a moderate, I am deeply worried that the effort we expended over the past six years to repair the image of our country is going to be flushed down the drain. The sending of weapons to Ukraine will escalate tension between the United States and Russia, and sending ground forces into Iraq and Syria once more will only reignite a war we had finally closed the books on. Infact, I can go so far as to wager that sending American troops into Iraq and Syria would only bolster the ranks of ISIS because Iraqi tribal leaders have, for the most part, made it clear that they do not want American’s to be fighting in Iraq again.

I am not sure what it is with the American fascination of returning to the same things we fought so hard to change, like a battered spouse that returns to their abuser we seem willing to repeat the same mistakes in the hope that the outcome will somehow be different. Call me a sensationalist, but the ramp-up of propaganda lately has been quite noticeable. No longer do the United States Marines encourage you to ‘run to the sounds of chaos’, but rather to essentially run to help those who cannot help themselves, a clear change in tone given the ongoing conflict against ISIS as well a justification that any combat we do is precipitated by the need to defend innocent lives. I wasn’t kidding when I said you could expect American soldiers to be deployed back into Iraq in the next 10 years. I have already heard reports from individuals within the military that I am friends with who have stated essentially that their units are being prepared to possibly deploy to Iraq.

So, that is my rambling for the day. I cannot predict the future, but I know the signs of a country revving up to go to war and with the public’s opinion gradually shifting more toward accepting it you can pretty much bet your bright stars that the war hawks we’ve recently elected to power will be more than happy to capitalize on it.

So yeah, I am the Revanchist. Same bat place, different bat time. Sorry if you’ve missed me, I had a bunch of bullshit going on in life that we’re just not even going to talk about. Until next week.

Sic luceat lux.

State of the Union: Today is a sad day…

So here’s the thing: I have so little hope in people, it’s a wonder I thought things would turn out any differently. I am choosing to believe that it isn’t so much that young people, Black people, women, underemployed, poor, and other disenfranchised citizens of this nation didn’t show up, but that the Fox news watchers showed up in greater force. I’m choosing to believe that all of the old, rich white dude clubs got together and carpooled to the polls. I’m choosing to turn down the voices in my head that are screaming injustice and obscenities in favor of A Sad Daythe voice of Reason (coming soon to wddij.net) that reminds me to have faith and be patient… or some other spiritual stuff that Angry Reign just doesn’t want to hear…

Consider this the introduction to my sabbatical from politics people. No one likes to listen to a bitter bitch say “I told you so!” every chance she gets, and I’m fairly certain you won’t want to read it either… because I know that’s exactly how the next two years are going to go. In stead, I’ll be sharing some of my more personal insights with you. We’ll be working on ourselves as individuals; getting in touch with our inner geeks, and learning the true meaning of the word: Namaste. Yeah, I probably won’t be able to stop myself from ripping into the world of current events, but I think the first step to solving this problem in time for Election Season 2016 is to get you people on the right track mentally. I mean, I can’t expect you to do the right thing on a communal scale if you aren’t even acting right in your personal lives now can I?

..  ..  ..

GreenSo I’ve decided to paint the accent wall in my room a happy color of green. I read somewhere that green is a color of inspiration and creativity. I’m not going to go with a neon green, anything too dark, or that will look like Santa Clause tossed his cookies on my wall. Something that says nature… Something that will gently whisper in my ear “Welcome home Reign, set your roots down here.” I believe it is important to have your personal, external environment mirror the environment of your soul. Since my current color pallette reflects a version of myself that is not in alignment with who I want to be, I am going to fix my reflection.

Here’s your assignment: What color, if you could or were going to make a change, would reflect the best version of yourself. Share your choice with the class.

Namaste.

Politics & You: Election Day 4 Nov 2014

Nightmare Before Election Day 2014

‘Twas the week before election day and all through the land
There were protests, debates, and politicians shaking hands.
All throughout the season, distractions ran a muck.
One thing after another proving that our local elected officials suck.
There was Furguson, and Isis, and now we’ve discovered Ebola too
But Reign’s here to remind you that none of this is something new….

 

.   .   .  

NYS Voter Reg Form

So here’s the thing… while all the other teenagers were all angst about turning 16 so they could get their driver’s licenses or 21 so they could drink, I could barely wait to turn 18 so I could mail in my Voter Registration Form. I used to hear people complaining about politicians and policies that don’t serve the people. I attended City Council and Board of Education Meetings and remember hearing foolishly proud people proclaim “… this is why I don’t vote!” Even as a child I thought;

“… but maybe if you had voted, you wouldn’t be dealing with the idiot who got elected?”

So that folks is what this post is all about…

Obama  Romney

Politicians pander to the largest group of their voter base. President Obama, a Democrat, panders to women and young people; wage equality, education debt forgiveness, the Dream Act. Mitt Romney, a Republican, pandered to rich people, and multi-billion dollar corporations; the makers and the takers, and the age-old “Trickle Down Theory” from the days of Ronald Reagan. When we vote, we tell them who to pander to. When politicians “pander,” they fight for the legislation, policies, and values that will make their base more likely to keep them in office, and get their friends into office. Voting encourages them to pander according to your preferences. You should vote.
What do I vote for?Short Memories
I vote for my right to not be judged by my race, gender, creed, or someone’s skewed statistics of my potential. I vote according to my right to make my own decisions about my body, my future, my goals, my dreams, and most importantly, your right to make your choices according to your values too. I vote for education, gainful employment, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I vote for civic duty, personal responsibility, and the village it takes to make everything work. I vote for community. I vote for justice. I vote for diplomacy over irrational warmongering. I vote for innovation. I vote because so many who came before me couldn’t. I vote because so many after me might lose that right.

Trickle Down Theory

Get to know your local politicians. Vote for the ones who will fight according to your preferences. If you don’t want to see more police getting away with murder: vote. If you don’t want your employer to be allowed to pay you the least while keeping the greater share of their profits to themselves; vote. If you realize the trickle-down economics isn’t the right way to go; vote. If you don’t want corporations getting tax breaks while your family struggles to make ends meet; vote.

Vote for the things that will make an immediate difference in your life.

Do More. Require Better.

The World Today

A Return

It feels like it’s been forever, doesn’t it? Some of you might be wondering where I had been, but that’s a complicated answer. Life got pretty busy for awhile and with everything I had going on there just wasn’t any way I could meet all of my deadlines on time and working toward my degree simply takes priority. But, that was then and this is now — I’m back, as you might have been able to guess and today we are going to be talking about a subject near and dear to the heart of all of us; the world we live in today. I warn you now, this  post is likely to jump tracks alot but it is an analysis of the sum of all that we have become in the year 2014, and you’ll probably stop and wonder how it even got this far.

Homeland Security

If I had told you in 1999 that by 2014 we would be living in a world where the police looked more like an invading army and going through the airport meant having a machine pervasively blast you with radiation to see beneath your clothing, would you believe me? Probably not, because the idea would have seemed absurd. That is the reality of the world we have come to live in today. People say that everything changed because of 9/11, and that is only true because we allowed it to change everything. We played those images over and over again and allowed them to become ingrained in our memory.

Two wars later, and the terrorists have won. I know, shocking, right? But look at it realistically, the entire point of a terrorist is to create fear. That is literally its one and only job, and that is why terrorists target civilians or perform heinous crimes like the ISIL have been committing in Iraq, because fear is their weapon. If I had told you in 1999 that there was going to be a super computer hub in Utah where the government stored tons of information on our citizens and that people were mostly fine with it, would you have believed me? That is the power of fear, it is like a weed that chokes at the roots of the tree of liberty. We signed out rights away and gave it to the government on a silver platter and because why? Because we were afraid, but who wouldn’t have been…It was a perfectly natural reaction to what had happened.

However, was it worth it? Probably not. Sure, we killed Osama, but at what price? We sacrificed the very freedoms that made America so unique in order to protect those same freedoms without even realizing or acknowledging the fact that we had already signed them over without so much as a whoopsadaisy. It seems to me counter intuitive that the argument most used for these egregious violations of our personal liberty is that it is necessary in order to protect our freedom. Is living in a state of perpetual fear really freedom? Are we truly free when we tacitly surrender our fundamental, constitutional rights in order for a specter of protection? By the way, those full body scanners at the airport? They don’t even work, they basically just exist to inconvenience travelers and give people the illusion of safety. Don’t get me wrong, the terrorists suck and we’ve kicked al-Qaeda’s ass, but did we have to give up so much in order to do it? Probably not.

So how is my local sheriff owning a vehicle designed to withstand mine attacks in Iraq protecting my freedom, exactly? I understand the Pentagon has a surplus of stuff lying around after the pullback from Iraq, but at one point in time did a school district need grenade launchers? I’m not going to question the semi-automatic M16 variants, because school shootings happen and some of the perpetrators have been fairly well armed, but I cannot recall in my mind an instance in the world where a school district police officer would require a grenade launcher. What contingency were they planning for with that one? An Iraqi invasion of California? Perhaps China? Russia? Hipsters, maybe? There is a lot to be said about the state of our world when we feel that school district police officers need grenade launchers. If the goal of terrorism is to instill fear, I have to say that the terrorists won that one.

 

ISIL

…Which sort of brings me into my next point. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant — what a fucking bunch of guys these are. Just when it seems like the war against al-Qaeda is going well and that we could even possibly be rid of them for good, these group of schmucks step right on up. The funniest part to me about all of this is how in the past few months there has been an outcry that the POTUS hasn’t done enough to stop ISIL and that it’s his fault and that he left us unprepared for this…..and to that I must say, slow your roll folks. Did you forget in 2013 when Obama wanted to bomb Syria, and the same people complaining now were the same people screaming no? Because I remember that. ISIL would have never gained the ground it did if the people would have just allowed Obama to go through with his original plan of launching strikes on Syria.

The Assad regime would have been toppled and the mostly moderate rebels would have been able to sweep in and probably stabilize the country instead of leaving it wide open as a breeding ground for religious fanatics. Of course radicalization starts to look appealing when your own government is using nerve gas on you and all the international community does is shake their finger at them and call them a bad boy for doing it. It isn’t hard to see why they would turn toward an extremist movement that not only hates the Assad Regime but also the Western nations that did literally fuck all to help them. The fact that al-Qaeda has been on a steady decline resulted in a power vacuum that needed to be filled and ho boy did ISIL ever step up to that plate.

So, 13 years later and what do we have to show for our trouble? A brand new war on terror, except this time a War on ISIL, whereupon the POTUS used the same legislation he condemned  Bush for using to sanction his own little wartime excursion….But what does that tell us overall about the War on Terror? After 13 years of bloody fighting we managed to break al-Qaeda down to the point that it was so irrelevant….that a more fanatical and extreme group had to rise up in its place. Great. Now we have a brand new enemy that was birthed out of the United States invasion of Iraq. So now you have people ramping up the propaganda machines and telling us all about how ISIL is essentially al-Qaeda on steroids and we need to take them down,.

And then what? What comes next? It is starting to look to me like declaring War on Terror was a fundamentally flawed decision, because it’s like fighting a Hydra — you can cut its head off, but it just grows back more of them and becomes an even stronger beast. I’m not trying to say we don’t need to fight ISIL, or that we shouldn’t actively try and stop terrorism but is a war of eradication going to work? Not at all. We aren’t fighting an enemy country or something concrete, we are fighting an ideal, an entire belief system which they have corrupted to their purpose, but a belief system none the less. It is not a war we are used to fighting, it is a war which we cannot win because with every stray bomb and every stray bullet that takes the life of an innocent civilian in collateral damage, we simply create more enemies for ourselves.

So, why didn’t we attack Syria before? Well, there were the obvious complaints from the American people and the usual talking heads, but there was one more reason — Russia. Russia is one of the Assad Regime’s biggest supporters and we did not want to risk a confrontation with Russia by getting involved in the Syrian civil war, so why did that change? We have the situation in the Ukraine to thank for our sudden bravado in how to deal with Syria without concern about what Russia thinks. Misstep after misstep in the handling of Crimea and the Eastern Ukraine have shot Russia’s credibility so far down that it is nothing short of a joke when the Russian ambassador to the U.N demanded that the United States must respect Syria’s sovereignty. Sure, they can block us at the Security Council and stop America from getting the United Nations involved by that doesn’t matter.

Why doesn’t it matter? Because we got the dream team back together, baby. That’s right, the coalition of the willing has decided to come back together for a reunion tour, except this time they’re kicking the ass of ISIL instead of Iraq, though that still essentially boils down to more bombs being dropped on Iraq….Though this time in a surprising turn of events, we have Iran basically supporting us which is funny considering as Iran is one of those countries big on the ‘death to America’ agenda.

ISIL are pretty bad guys, don’t get me wrong…They need to be stopped. What bothers me, however, is the thought of what foul beast will arise out of the darkness to take its place once we wear ISIL down the same way we have worn al-Qaeda down. The only real way to stop the extremism is to stop leaving so many people feeling disenfranchised and marginalized. Stopping the oppression of the Palestinians would be a big step forward on that goal, but perhaps I’m just being a dreamer again.
Anyways, that’s my rant for the day — take it or leave it. I have had bronchitis for the past week, which has made my life a living hell and I didn’t even actually feel like writing much of anything, but I did promise the bossman that I would deliver something for him while he was on vacation.

The Letter Series: Dear White People…


I don’t feel sorry for you. I know that you are not responsible for what your ancestors did. I know that you are probably good people who just want to live life and enjoy your personal pursuits of happiness. You are on the other hand responsible for how you act and fail to act now. You are responsible for the injustices that are allowed to continue now. Your freedom to move on with your life unaffected and oblivious to your neighbor’s struggle comes at a very high price that you will never be required to pay… because it has already been paid in blood, strife, poverty, and the inequity suffered by people of color all over this country, and the world.

I’m not going to beat you over the head with gimmicky titles like “White Privilege,” or even gut punch you with what a few bad law enforcement officials have done. I just want you to take a moment to consider what you have actually done to contribute to the state of affairs right now. Have you personally engaged anyone in a conversation that acknowledges this nation’s problem with race? Have you spoken up when someone you know said something racially repugnant when there weren’t any people of color around? Have you stopped clutching your purse or feeling for your wallet when you’ve found yourself alone and in proximity of a person of color? Have you stopped assuming that every Black person has to listen to and enjoy rap? Have you stopped ending statements you think are complementary with “… for a Black girl/boy…” and not thought it either? Have you even thought about the things you do that might be offensive to any of your 5 black friends?

You see, like many other people of color, I have spent my life trying to ignore the injustices and inequity. I have applied and interviewed for jobs. I have had the quality of my work and content of my character questioned. I have been wrongly accused by people I thought were my friends. I have been backhanded by statements meant to be complimentary…

I was taught in junior high school that I was not allowed to be a statistic. which meant that I wasn’t allowed to have children out of wed lock; not because of religion or standard of propriety, but because that’s all that You would expect of me. I wasn’t allowed to not go to college; not just because education is important, but because I am Black, and Black girls aren’t expected to make it that far. I wasn’t allowed just be average; not just because I could do better and be more, but because being average as a Black girl meant that I would never even come close to being able to compete with an average anyone else, and thus I needed to be extraordinary just to be even with the average not Black girl.

Extraordinary Black Woman

Dear White People,
I do not feel sorry for you, and I don’t feel sorry for myself either. I am extraordinary… ok, so maybe I do feel just a bit sorry for you. I’m sorry that your capacity for ignorance has been fostered, coddled, and encouraged one generation after another, while Black people have been forced to bear burdens and strife that has made us stronger and more resilient to adversity, one generation after another. With every back-handed compliment my skin gets as thick as it is Black, and I get better, smarter, and more brilliant every time you force me to act like your ignorance is a non-factor to my continued existence. With every feigned smile and false praise, I get to be that positive representation of what a Black person really is; I get to help one more of You shed one more ill-conceived notion. I get to be that extraordinary Black girl whom you met that one time… one of Your 5 Black friends… one of the good ones…

I just hope that one day You will acknowledge what Your ancestors did; that You will claim Your privilege, and that You do take a moment to think about the things You do that might be offensive to any of Your 5 black friends… that You might one day require more and better of Yourself, because You finally realize the price of Your blissful ignorance is just too high.

Do More. Require Better.

Iraq Part II

 

 Iraq Revisited

As you may or may not be presently aware, America has taken a sudden policy change in the past day regarding the situation in Iraq. Our original plan was one of simply allowing the local militias and the Iraqi Army to do what they could to organize and push ISIS back, while giving the Iraqi Government the chance to, well, form a functioning government as they have been long overdue in doing. It seemed like a good plan, it wasn’t America’s fight anymore after Iraq had specifically asked the United States to essentially depart the country.

This policy changed yesterday — even while the Christians in Iraq were being persecuted, their holy places being destroyed; while the Shiites and others who did not conform to ISIS will suffered, America remained staunchly divested in getting involved in the conflict. There wasn’t enough popular support to warrant Obama dedicating any real military force to Iraq, especially not after leaving Iraq was one of the hallmarks of his presidency. So what changed? Well, ISIS began to encroach upon Kurdistan and the Peshmerga, for the first time, tasted defeat at the hands of ISIS.

The Peshmerga, for the record, is the defense force of Kurdistan who are nominally considered of higher quality than the forces of the Iraqi Army due to the fact that the Peshmerga have essentially existed as a standing army since the early nineties and never went through the dramatic upheaval that Iraq’s military did in the wake of the United States invasion — infact, the Peshmerga helped us invade Iraq by pushing down from the North.

Now, defeated, the Peshmerga retreated and left some odd 200,000 people fleeing…50,000 of which are the ethnically Kurdish members of the Yazidi religion, who are considered apostates by ISIS. Now, The Yazidi faith is something sort of original to Iraq, as it is neither an off-shoot of Christianity or Islam, but essentially a religion all of its own.  The Yazidi religion is marginally linked to Zoroastrianism and is essentially pretty unique considering its position in Iraq, and it is a faith practiced mainly by the Kurds.  These 50,000 Kurds retreated into the Mountains where they were encircled by the Islamic militants and left without food or water, which resulted in this stirring little number:
15997_10152412444474442_7515641352644815642_n

 

Evidently the people of Gaza are the wrong shade of brown for the American government, who suddenly cannot turn a blind eye to the imminent massacre facing the Kurdish people — but at relatively the same time, have no problem with supplying the means with which Israel waged its devastating war upon Gaza. A little fact about Gaza, it is one of the most densely populated regions in the world and it is nearly impossible to avoid civilian casualties with the types of military exercises that Israel conducts against the Palestinians, while similarly the rockets which Hamas launches at Israel are typically ineffectual due to the various means of defense that Israel maintains. It is a disproportionate response, really,  and there is no way to truly justify the extent at which Israel chooses to wage its war.

The Importance of Kurdistan in Iraq

So why the difference? Well, mainly because of political ties. President Obama has authorized U.S Airstrikes on targets that begin to approach Erbil, and there is a very simple reason for that. I hate to sound like a broken record with this all, but when it comes to Iraq Kurdistan is essentially America’s step-child. They were stabilized before the rest of Iraq was and have recently begun means to increase their oil output greatly. President Obama’s choice of words, however, were bound to be lampooned when he has thus far ignored every other massacre taking place in Iraq and even basically helped support the prolonged violence in Gaza by funding the Israeli’s and not taking a strong stance against them.

Why would he do all of this? Well, if I were him, I would honestly do the same thing. Kurdistan, for what it is worth, generally loves America. We enforced a no-fly zone in order to protect them from Saddam and we have given them the means to lift themselves up as well. But, in the long run, American policy makers likely see Kurdistan as the last bastion of stability in Iraq. There isn’t much that can be done for the rest of the country, as American’s are leery about helping al-Maliki after he accepted help from Iran, whom America has essentially engaged in a massive vendetta with over certain issues include taking hostages in the seventies.

It makes sense, then, that when the militants were threatening to encroach upon Baghdad that the Americans hardly shrugged, but when the prospect that the Peshmerga might not be able to hold ISIS off became a reality that America would suddenly become more actively involved. You would do well to notice that these authorized airstrikes basically say nothing about the rest of Iraq, only the Kurdish capital of Erbil.  So what is the big deal? Well, the rest of Iraq can essentially go to hell in a handbasket for all America cares. If the region remains destabilized, the Islamic extremists will be too busy fighting over there to bother come fight us on our own territory. We’d rather fight them abroad than deal with another attack on American civilians.

Kurdistan, however, is something America cannot afford to lose. We will defend about with the same zeal we would likely defend Israel, but for different reasons. If Iraq does indeed continue down the path of sectarian divide that it is heading, it is important for America to align itself with probably the best situated regional power. Kurdistan is already stabilized, and any state established by the Islamic State would never be recognized by the United States, and we don’t seem keen to deal with a Shiite dominated Iranian Puppet government — but Kurdistan is, and has always been, our steadfast friends. They have oil which is shipped through a pipeline through Turkey, also America’s friends.

You can see where this is leading, right? We protect Kurdistan because Kurdistan is our best bet in the region. The imminent massacre was just a convenient rallying cry to give them the excuse necessary to move in and begin to protect Kurdistan. After all, Kurdistan is already stable, we have good ties with them, and they produce Oil. There’s no point in trying to cozy up with whoever makes it out ontop of the Civil War in Iraq when we’re already cozy with Kurdistan…Except we can’t remain cozy with them if ISIS overruns Erbil and absorbs Kurdistan into their ‘caliphate’.

Life is all about business.

Where does that leave Gaza? Still up shit-creek without a paddle, really. America doesn’t have any real interest in protecting innocent lives, its just a colourful lie that our politicians sell the people of the country in order to get their approval rates up. It’s all about business, and America’s biggest business is with Israel. There are so many lucrative arms deals happening between America and Israel that it is an entirely different can of worms all together.

Where does this leave Iraq? In an interesting position — the only reason ISIS moved toward Kurdistan is because the Iraqi military had succeeded nominally in finally rebuffing their advances toward Baghdad due in part to the help of the Mahdi Army, the Iranian advisers, and Sunni tribal leaders who got sick of ISIS. If America blocks ISIS’s advance toward Kurdistan via sustained aerial bombardment, their only avenue of approach is to go for the rest of Iraq again…Which generally doesn’t spell good things for the future of the rest of Iraq.

Sorry it’s shorter than usual, but I’m tired. I’ve had a long week personally getting ready for class and helping my sibling move into a new place.

Until next time.