Sunday, August 10, 2014

Obama risks American lives to save the devil worshipers

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!

I propose three alternative explanations for this truly bizarre behavior.

1. Obama is secretly a devil-worshiper (makes total sense, right?)
2. Obama is trying to cause as many international crises as he can to generate lots of excuses for the entire financial house of cards collapsing under its own weight and the US economy shutting down
3. Obama is an idiot

Please take your pick.

23 comments:

Robert Beckett said...

Would someone please draw a circle around (select name from any of the feckless purportedly in charge)to test hypothesis 1.

forrest said...

Clearly we are fighting against the Islamiciststatists because 'we' want to.

Why would the wee which leads our Unitedstatist ship forward into trouble -- want to do this? Clearly this formerly-ours Islamistic gang has gotten out of hand with agendas of their own, become uppity, can no longer be relied on to enhance US foreign policy goals.

Hence, no more deliveries of armaments, just opportunities to consume them in person. How long their Designated Bad Guy status will last is anybody's guess, depending much on whom our wee wants offed & whom it doesn't.

Anotherplayaguy said...

None of the 3 choices regarding Obama is mutually exclusive of the other two.

I choose 2 and 3.

J2P2 said...

IMHO, I doubt the spin on the humanitarian angle that is being feed to the public. It's more likely about avoiding another Bengazi situation. The US embassy in Erbil is less than an hours drive from the ISIS front. A second embassy getting overrun wouldn't look to good on the Obama "presidential record" so to speak...

Jim R said...

Oil.

And to a lesser extent, gas and coal.

That's the whole reason to conquer Iraq. It's the reason to wish for ownership of Iran. It's a convenient excuse to strafe those naughty moooslums, who might fetter Shell and BP and Exxon and such. The strategerists probably classify the Yezedis as 'Kurds', with whom we can deal.

And even in Ukraine -- it's the reason -- to disrupt those pipelines. They need to be under 'our' control. Also to poke Putin with a stick, because they just hate him. For taking away 'our' Russian oil company.

Candace Moore said...

Thank goodness I just read your last few blogs and realized I am not the only one who suspects our leadership is distracting us. I thought I was extremely paranoid...in fact I am, it just doesn't mean I am not right. I suspect that the US leadership and oligarchs are stoking the fires of as much distracting catastrophic conflict around the world as possible. I suspect some, realizing the economic house of cards they are sitting atop, have adopted a war based growth model...as in let's bomb some peoples back to the stone age, then we will make money as we supposedly generously reconstruct them. We will also make money because we have killed off a lot of the competition, in some cases literally, or encouraged them to waste all their resources on weapons. Some people are so stupid they probably can not imagine a way to grow economies without a big war. I hope we, the regular people, can build more and more resistance to this wave of militarism...none of the profits of these conflicts will come to us, but we may literally be the losses.

DaShui said...

The us, Israel,and the Saudis support Isis because it divides (Russian supported) greater shi'a stan (Iran, Syria, Iraq) in half -look at the map.
Much like the union took the Mississippi river in order to divide the confederacy in half.

Razer said...

Speakng of escaping from circles earlier I posted a comment at Juan Cole's site where the RFE/RL puff piece about the Yezidis was re-published...

http://www.juancole.com/2014/08/intervened-again-yazidis.html

"They sound A LOT like the Kurds of the early 1900s as George Gurdjieff wrote in his autobiography. The description here is “mystical”. Gurdjieff claimed the Kurds he met at the turn of the 20th century believed in ‘magic’. If you drew a circle around the person they were trapped and would go into convulsions if forcibly removed."

Colin Brace said...

Option 4: Obama is bored. President of the US... been there, done that. The nitty-gritty of politics is just plain tiresome. All these crises erupting everywhere are making him look bad. He wants to move on to serious matters, like building the Obama Presidential Library, establishing his own World Peace Foundation, and giving speeches at $150,000 a pop. Oh, and not to forget getting a start on his Presidential Memoirs, for which he'll also get a hefty advance of 10 or 20 million. If Bill Clinton can have it all, why can't he as well?

forrest said...

Now a motive(?)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/08/11/how-isis-finally-became-obamas-enemy/

philebersole said...

Dmitry,I agree with your main points - that the Obama administration has an ulterior motive in Iraq and that, even if the administration's motives were good, any further intervention would be counter-productive.

And I am aware that religious persecution in Iraq, including persecution of Christians, is not something that began overnight.

Even so, I really, really dislike your sneering at a harmless group of people who are targeted for murder by violent fanatics because of their religious beliefs.

I don't think they are any more bizarre, to people who don't share their beliefs, than believers in other religions.

And of course the Yazidi are not the only ones. What's left of the age-old Iraqi Christian community also is targeted.

Larry Menkes cSBA said...

Can we move away from reductionistic interpretations? I know that positing a comprehensive response to the interlocked great crises we face is daunting. My take on energy, environment (climate), and the economy is that individually they are highly susceptible to relatively small perturbations that could trigger more intense reactions in one or both of the remaining predicaments. So the Yezedis, the Palestinians, the Ukrainians seem to be bit players in the collapse game. As many have already said, the US government knows more than most of us about the possibility of "collapse" and has a general plan that takes it all into account. Of course, this "general plan" must favor the oligarchs and factor in the 99.9% of us like Yezedis. I think there are enough smart people in the sustainability or whatever we call ourselves to come up with a couple of possible scenarios before it gets obvious what's going on. There is a lot of high ground even if the entire Antarctic melts, and enough energy to keep a million or so cool enough to survive the 3 degree syndrome. Who's game? I't can't be as simple as A World Made by Hand, The Village, or a federation of Transition Towns. Or has this scenario already been written?

Walter said...

Since the IS are now using captured US weapons, at least our soldiers will know what they are up against in the firepower department when they get back to the 'Raq.

Robert Beckett said...

Russia has announced a humanitarian relief convoy into separatist areas of East Ukraine with Red Cross and Kiev's agreement.
A refugee crisis of over 800,000 already displaced and how many more surviving under deteriorated conditions: ample reason for Russia to negotiate this initiative.
Let's see how this plays out. If Kiev forces are insane enough to attack the convoy - they do have an air force, and the SU-25 is a ground support fighter - ideal for strafing an unarmed convoy - then all hell will break loose.

Mister Roboto said...

Well, when asking a question about American motivations, it's best to remember the ubiquitous and relentless spoiled-child narcissism that characterizes American society. In light of that, I would go with Option Number Two. Option Number One sounds like some kind of Tea Party conspiracy theory. And as for Option Number Three, Obama was smart enough to game the system to get into Oval Office without the benefit of family connections enjoyed by his predecessor, so I can't write him off as entirely stupid.

Red Shia said...

It is about the oil near Irbil, American companies and staff there!
IS(IS) is a Mossad/CIA construct, read about the 'Hornest Nest'....
Akram
S.Africa

cuplachnathair said...

philebersole,

"Even so, I really, really dislike your sneering at a harmless group of people who are targeted for murder by violent fanatics because of their religious beliefs."

Harmless, huh? You must be unaware of the video (see youTube) that some of these 'harmless' people took of their stoning of a 17 year old girl, for allegedly converting to Sunni Islam. If you have a weak stomach, you can read the Wikipedia article -- very easy to find.

Chris said...

The thing about Yezidis not being able to leave a circle drawn around them is rather peculiar, that is generally what is said about demons. When witches summon a demon, they draw his/her sigil into a circle to ensure that when he/she appears during the ritual, they won't be able to leave and harm the person summoning them. And yes, some people still practice witchcraft, strange as it may seem in the 21st century. I've met some of them in London.
As for the Yezidis, they deny that their deity Melek Taus, the peacock angel, is Satan, but theistic Satanists believe Melek Taus is in fact Him, and accept the black book of the Yezidis as authentic Satanic scripture.

Ed-M said...

I pick 4) - None of the above. You see, Obama is really only a figurehead. The real decisions are made these days by the Unitary Executive, or to put it into another term, the Deep State: the out-of-control golem created innocently enough under Harry S Truman to keep vital US interests from falling into the orbit of the Soviet Union. The rest is History.

Larry Menkes cSBA said...

How about a "both and" approach? Except Obama is not stupid and knows the limits of his actions. I think he finds great importance in being the first "black" President. If he's taken out it cannot be a conventional assassination. I think he's vulnerable. BTW as I understand it, in America the President IS the Unitary Executive, and a fairly strong one, per Art. 2 of the Constitution. The Deep State appears to be a separate concept more than a discrete entity. (See: http://billmoyers.com/2014/02/21/anatomy-of-the-deep-state/.

My sense of this all is that the USA is, for all intents and purposes, and oligarchy. "From the Dept. of Academics Confirming Something You Already Suspected comes a new study concluding that rich people and organizations representing business interests have a powerful grip on U.S. government policy." John Cassidy (New Yorker, 4/18/14) Although I am uncomfortable speculating, if I had several billion dollars I would probably do my best to look after my family and friends even as (and before) I profess to be helping everyone. Would I mention "collapse"? Don't be silly. So what's new about the richest and most powerful people being most influential decision makers. It's only an issue if collapse is impending. When things were "good" for the middle and (promising for the) lower classes, who cared? Remember, the fat lady hasn't yet sung.

Nicholas Colloff said...

You will be pleased to know that the literal encircling of a Yezedi is an anthropological 'myth'. I tried it in Turkey a number of years ago, my Yezedi companion played along with it just long enough for me to be convinced before collapsing in laughter! Needless to say they do not worship devil(s) either.

Cathy Jones said...

Dmitry again good article. Piece of insider info: US=ISIS. We began funding the Taliban in 19957911 (when they were referred to predominately in the press as the mujahadeens. The US had a 12 yr proxy war with the USER in order to facilitate/espedite its economic collapse. The ISIS support began directly by this administration in the form of arms training and money since 2011. As the "moderate rebels" of the syrian civil war. (This is all very similar to isreal funding hamas as a diluting force against the PLO.
So. Similar to the Ukrainian mess we started there for gas and other resources (like cola in the east Ukraine) this is most assuredly a division strategy resource strategy and destabilizing strategy in this region especially as it related to russia and nato. Interesting read for all is US Senate Bill 2277.

Brian Robinson said...

My understanding is that the Americans bombed IS emplacements mostly to protect Americans in Erbil, and did very little to help the Yazidis. Instead, it was PKK fighters from the Kurdish Workers Party who did the legwork, protecting them and leading them to safety. It's difficult for American jimps (journalist impersonators) to admit this, because the PKK is listed as a “terrorist” organization, mostly because they are militant separatists in Turkey, and Marxist-Leninist into the bargain. Here's something from the Washington Post, which touches on some of the above, but not all of it. (I read too much, and on too many different devices, so can't come up with a more suitable source, but will if I stumble across it again.)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/08/11/a-u-s-designated-terrorist-group-is-saving-yazidis-and-battling-the-islamic-state/