Educating Charles Krauthammer About the Plight of Iraq’s Yazidis and Christians (Long) Before—and After—“The Surge”

The introduction to my full essay posted at PJ Media, today (Wednesday, 8/20/14) Conservative Delusions About Islam: Yazidis Slaughtered During Surge, Too, is included below. Sadly, once again (see four previous posts from 5/8/09, 3/12/10, 10/12/11, and12/27/11), the ubiquitous mainstream conservative icon, Charles Krauthammer, has used his high-profile platform at Fox News to promote a “narrative” redolent with basic ignorance, and intellectual dishonesty about Islam, and the uniquely Islamic institution of jihad.

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Reading the latter [Koran] is one of the most … instructive things imaginable because the eye easily discovers there, by very closely observing, all the threads by which the prophet held and still holds the members of his sect. … [T]hat the first of all religious duties is to blindly obey the prophet, that holy war is the first of all good deeds … [A]ll these doctrines of which the practical outcome is obvious are found on every page and in almost every word of the Koran are so striking that I cannot understand how any man with good sense could miss them.

—Alexis de Tocqueville, March, 1838

Iraq’s Yazidis are an indigenous, ancient, pre-Islamic non-Muslim religious minority whose syncretic beliefs derive, in part, from Zoroastrianism. Over the past 3-weeks, world attention has riveted on the Yazidis’ (Yezidis’) horrific plight, targeted by the latest jihad rampages of the “Islamic State” (IS/IL) butchers, and subjected to massacre, rape, enslavement, and forced conversion to Islam. Indeed, ever grudgingly, the non-Muslim world has been compelled to acknowledge IS/IL’s ghastly, murderous jihad rampages against both the Christian and Yazidi religious minorities of northern Iraq.

Per President Obama’s address Thursday evening, 8/7/14, the U.S. initiated both humanitarian air-drops to those Yazidi refugees stranded on Mount Sinjar, Iraq, and bombing runs against IS/IL positions outside Erbil, Kurdistan. Unquestionably, the Yazidis—and Christians—remain in a parlous state.

However, due to the efforts of the Kurdish PKK militia—a U.S.-designated terror group—some ~50,000 Yazidis were evacuated from the Sinjar Mountains within a week of President Obama’s announcement. Der Spiegel reported that PKK fighters who controlled the region on the Syrian side of the border, liberated the road to Sinjar, and established a network of refugee camps for the beleaguered Yazidis. The PKK’s successful evacuation undertaking prompted U.S. Special Forces—who landed in the Sinjar mountains last Wednesday (8/13/14)—to cancel their own plans to organize a rescue airlift for the (ostensibly tens of thousands of) stranded Yazidis.

Assessing these developments, last Friday, 8/15/14, mainstream conservative icon Charles Krauthammer sniped,

He [President Obama] declares victory with the Yazidis two days ago, and we hear about this horrific massacre [i.e., of 80 Yazidi men in Kocho, Iraq] today

Krauthammer’s self-assuredly mordant “take,” reflects a widely shared—albeit sham—mainstream conservative narrative dogmatically articulated by Iraq veteran, and another frequent Fox News contributor, Pete Hegseth, published 8/16/14 at NRO:

[T]he surge of U.S. forces in 2007 and 2008 created an environment in which a multi-ethnic, mostly moderate, and quasi-stable U.S. ally could (could!) flourish in the Middle East.

Last week also marked the seventh anniversary of a cataclysmic “mid-surge” jihadist attack on Iraq’s Yazidis—conveniently and unanimously ignored by Krauthammer, Hegseth, and all conservative “surge” romanticizers. August 14, 2007, when the surging U.S. had 166,000 troops on the ground in Iraq—not the mere one-fifth (or one-tenth) residual numbers pined for by those who insist the failure to secure a 2011 status of forces agreement with the al-Maliki regime sealed the undoing of Iraq’s “stability”—796 Yazidis were slaughtered, and another 1562 wounded, in one day, during four gruesomely synchronized jihadist bombings. (see here, here, and U.S. army confirmation of death toll, here). Veteran Middle East journalist Tom Gross provided this characterization of the events:

[T]wo tons of explosives detonated in four coordinated explosions in the northern Iraqi villages of Qahtaniya and Jazeera on August 14, 2007, the target was Iraq’s Yazidi ethnic and religious minority. 796 people died and over 1,500 were wounded as a fireball led to the collapse of mud and stone buildings on families trapped inside; many were then burned alive.

Such a glaring lacuna in honest, self-critical discourse, i.e., omitting all discussion of the 8/14/07 mass-murderous, “mid-surge” Yazidi catastrophe, is pathognomonic of a broader, much more disturbing ethical and intellectual travesty: ongoing attempts by mainstream conservatives to rationalize their uninformed, witless adherence to the utopian “Lewis-doctrine”-inspired “Islamic democracy” fiasco in Iraq. Born of sheer willful ignorance about living Islamic doctrine, and history, this deficient mindset begot a corollary dangerous absurdity: embrace of the Petraeus “COIN” theory, a see no jihad, see no Islam military strategy designed, perversely, to somehow “defeat” the ancient-cum-modern forces of global Islamic jihadism.

The current predicament of Iraq’s Yazidis, and Christians, past as prologue, illustrates, starkly, mainstream conservative ignorance and dishonesty about Islam, and the creed’s timeless sine qua non institution, jihad.

Please read the entire essay at PJ Media.

Andrew G. Bostom is the author of The Legacy of Jihad (Prometheus, 2005) and The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism ” (Prometheus, November, 2008)

You can contact Dr. Bostom at @andrewbostom.org

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