Off the front pages, Yazidis threatened with genocide - again

As a metaphor for the Obama administration's war against Islamic State, there is none better than the plight of the Yazidis on Mount Simjar - the same place, the same people that precipitated our re-entry into Iraq just a few short months ago.

Once again, IS is advancing on their tenuous positions on the high ground. Thousands of Yazisis are at risk of being slaughtered. Thousands more have been sold into slavery by IS. There is still little food and medicine to go around. And what was once touted as a "success" by the Obama administration is about to become the biggest disaster of the war.

Daily Beast:

In August, the Obama administration intervened to stop what it called a pending genocide of Yazidi minorities in Iraq. Now the U.S. is gone, but the genocide continues.

Thousands of Yazidis remain stranded and starving on Mount Sinjar while thousands more have been sold off into slavery by ISIS, according to Yazidi leaders, several of whom are in Washington to beg for urgent assistance.

When President Obama announced U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq in early August, he said the mission was twofold: to protect U.S. personnel in Erbil and to save the ethnic Yazidis from ISIS, who had fled from their villages, chased by ISIS, and were stranded on the mountain with no food, no supplies, and no protection.

“People are starving. And children are dying of thirst. Meanwhile, ISIL forces below have called for the systematic destruction of the entire Yazidi people, which would constitute genocide,” said Obama. “And when we have the unique capabilities to help avert a massacre, then I believe the United States of America cannot turn a blind eye. We can act, carefully and responsibly, to prevent a potential act of genocide. That’s what we’re doing on that mountain.”

At first, international airstrikes and humanitarian airdrops somewhat alleviated the Yazidi crisis and opened up an escape corridor for many Yazidis to flee. But in October, the United States turned to other parts of the battle, leaving the Yazidis largely to fend for themselves. ISIS has now surrounded Mount Sinjar again, trapping approximately 10,000 Yazidis there. Meanwhile, ISIS forces are taking over Yazidi villages near the mountain one after another, killing the men and selling the women and children into the slave trade.

“The Yazidis are trapped on the mountain, surrounded by ISIS, and there is no pathway to reach them,” Nuri Khalaf Elias, leader of the Hababa tribe in Sinjar, told The Daily Beast. “There is a shortage of food, there is little aid, and they are in a dire situation.”

Recall that the president sent a high-profile team of experts to examine the situation of the Yazidis and declared they weren't so bad off after all. I wonder what they'd say now?

This news comes on the heels of the catastrophe in Syria where US trained Free Syrian Army troops surrendered to an al-Qaeda backed militia with some of them defecting. It has left our Syrian "strategy" in tatters and probably hastened the day when US troops will be fighting on the ground in that civil war.

There's no better example of the administration fighting a fake war than the current plight of the Yazidis. It's a half-assed effort with predictable results; disaster. The Kurds in Kobane are apparently now able to help themselves, which means they have a chance to hang on in that strategic border town.

Good thing they don't have to rely on the US for their survival. They might have ended up like the Yazidis on Mount Sinjar.

As a metaphor for the Obama administration's war against Islamic State, there is none better than the plight of the Yazidis on Mount Simjar - the same place, the same people that precipitated our re-entry into Iraq just a few short months ago.

Once again, IS is advancing on their tenuous positions on the high ground. Thousands of Yazisis are at risk of being slaughtered. Thousands more have been sold into slavery by IS. There is still little food and medicine to go around. And what was once touted as a "success" by the Obama administration is about to become the biggest disaster of the war.

Daily Beast:

In August, the Obama administration intervened to stop what it called a pending genocide of Yazidi minorities in Iraq. Now the U.S. is gone, but the genocide continues.

Thousands of Yazidis remain stranded and starving on Mount Sinjar while thousands more have been sold off into slavery by ISIS, according to Yazidi leaders, several of whom are in Washington to beg for urgent assistance.

When President Obama announced U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq in early August, he said the mission was twofold: to protect U.S. personnel in Erbil and to save the ethnic Yazidis from ISIS, who had fled from their villages, chased by ISIS, and were stranded on the mountain with no food, no supplies, and no protection.

“People are starving. And children are dying of thirst. Meanwhile, ISIL forces below have called for the systematic destruction of the entire Yazidi people, which would constitute genocide,” said Obama. “And when we have the unique capabilities to help avert a massacre, then I believe the United States of America cannot turn a blind eye. We can act, carefully and responsibly, to prevent a potential act of genocide. That’s what we’re doing on that mountain.”

At first, international airstrikes and humanitarian airdrops somewhat alleviated the Yazidi crisis and opened up an escape corridor for many Yazidis to flee. But in October, the United States turned to other parts of the battle, leaving the Yazidis largely to fend for themselves. ISIS has now surrounded Mount Sinjar again, trapping approximately 10,000 Yazidis there. Meanwhile, ISIS forces are taking over Yazidi villages near the mountain one after another, killing the men and selling the women and children into the slave trade.

“The Yazidis are trapped on the mountain, surrounded by ISIS, and there is no pathway to reach them,” Nuri Khalaf Elias, leader of the Hababa tribe in Sinjar, told The Daily Beast. “There is a shortage of food, there is little aid, and they are in a dire situation.”

Recall that the president sent a high-profile team of experts to examine the situation of the Yazidis and declared they weren't so bad off after all. I wonder what they'd say now?

This news comes on the heels of the catastrophe in Syria where US trained Free Syrian Army troops surrendered to an al-Qaeda backed militia with some of them defecting. It has left our Syrian "strategy" in tatters and probably hastened the day when US troops will be fighting on the ground in that civil war.

There's no better example of the administration fighting a fake war than the current plight of the Yazidis. It's a half-assed effort with predictable results; disaster. The Kurds in Kobane are apparently now able to help themselves, which means they have a chance to hang on in that strategic border town.

Good thing they don't have to rely on the US for their survival. They might have ended up like the Yazidis on Mount Sinjar.