Christians and Yazidis in Iraq – and a World’s Indifference


yazidis-3For the United Nation’s (UN) and the international media, there is one standard for Palestinian people and refugees, and another for others. This can be deduced from the reaction to the plight of the Iraqi Christians and the Yazidis (a Kurdish ethno-religious group of people, concentrated primarily in the Nineveh Province in Northern Iraq, now occupied by the fanatical jihadists of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant [ISIL] now called the Islamic State – IS.)  The Yazidis practice a syncretic religion that fuses Shia and Sufi Islam along with indigenous regional folk traditions. They are considered infidels by the Sunni Muslim IS and the Gaza Palestinians.

There are no protest marches in European capitals or American cities on behalf of the Christians and Yazidis of Iraq like those recently held in solidarity with Hamas in Gaza. Nor has there been sustained media coverage of Christian and Yazidi suffering, as was seen during the Gaza war about the Palestinians.

At an August 12, 2014 press conference UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon bemoaned the situation of the Yazidis. “The plight of the Yazidis and others (meaning Christians) on Mount Sinjar is especially harrowing.” While devoting a few obligatory lines about the Yazidis in Iraq, Ban Ki-Moon failed to provide the “harrowing” dimensions of their tragedy, including the murder of 500 Yazidis by decapitation and live burials and the 300 Yazidi women who were kidnapped and forced into sex-slavery by the IS jihadists.

Ban Ki-Moon did, however, elaborate on the plight of the Palestinians in Gaza. He said, “According to preliminary information, nearly 2,000 Palestinians have been killed –almost 75 percent of them civilians, including 459 children…more than 300,000 people are still sheltering in UNRWA (United Nation Relief and Works Agency for Palestine) schools, government and private schools and other public facilities or with host families.  At least 100,000 people have had their homes destroyed or severely damaged. Most of Gaza’s households have little or no water supply. Hospitals meant to cope with disaster are themselves disaster zones. The new school year was scheduled to start in less than two weeks, but a great many of the buildings will not be ready or are totally unusable in their current state.”

The UN Secretary General failed to mention in his statement to the press that Hamas has fired its rockets and mortars at Israeli civilians from UNRWA schools, hospitals and private homes, as well as public facilities, including mosques and churches in contravention of international law. And, while it is regretful that Palestinian children might not be able to start school on time (courtesy of Hamas), Christian and Yazidi children in Iraq have no schools or hospitals to go to at all. At least 1 million Christians and 500,000 Yazidis had to abandon their homes and, with no shelter on the mountain, are completely exposed to the elements. The exact number of Christians and Yazidis killed by the Islamic State is hitherto unknown, albeit, a one day toll of murdered Christians stood at 1,700 in what amounts to a genocide. These numbers are likely to be far greater than the Palestinians killed in Gaza. Moreover, their deaths might bring to an end the existence of one of the oldest Christian (Assyrian) sects in the world.

The exact number of Iraqi Christians is hard to come by. The figure often mentioned is about 400,000 to 500,000 who live in the country, down from a total before the 2003 war of perhaps 1.5 million. Other observers think as few as 200,000 may be left. The majority of the remaining Christians live in the far north of the country. The IS capture of Iraq’s second largest city – Mosul, in northern Iraq, prompted thousands of Christians to flee, some to Erbil (capital of the Kurdistan Regional Government-KRG) and others to the Nineveh plains, a traditional stronghold of Christians and Yazidis. The Christians and Yazidis are safer in these areas because of the Kurdish Peshmerga protection – the only force in Iraq standing against the onslaught of the fanatical IS.

Unlike the Palestinians in Gaza, the Christians and Yazidis will not get the UNHRC (UN Human Rights Council) to investigate “war crimes” committed against them. Nor will they get a special refugee agency – UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine) with a budget of $1billion, to rebuild their lives. At best, the U.S. military, not the UN, will continue to deliver food and water for those stranded in the mountains.

The Palestinians, who enjoy a special status as “permanent refugees,” receive the highest per capita handouts from the international community and Western “Christian” states, especially the U.S. Both the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah and the Hamas-led Gaza regime are sustained by welfare checks received from abroad. The Gatestone Institute quoted from a recent study by the Jerusalem Institute of Justice that “The Palestinian people have received per capita, adjusted for inflation, 25 times more aid than did Europeans to rebuild war-torn Western Europe under the Marshall Plan after the Second World War.” It also qualified that “If the entire Palestinian Authority leadership lives off an international welfare check that arrives only because the conflict still exists, there isn’t much incentive for ending the conflict.”

Western governments including the U.S. are now clamoring to rebuild Gaza after the recent war called “Protective Edge” by Israel. Can the Christians of Iraq and Yazidis count on the same largesse from the international community or Western powers as has been showered on the Palestinians? It’s doubtful.

What is so tragic about the double-standard practiced by the international community is that right and wrong are no longer relevant. The Palestinians in Gaza elected the Hamas Islamic terrorist regime and most of its population supported the terror attacks against Israel, whether by suicide bombers during the Second Intifada (2000-2004) or the rockets fired at Israeli cities and its civilian population. Israel turned over the Gaza Strip to the Palestinians in August, 2005, along with ready-made hot-houses and orchards primed for exporting. Israel’s gesture of peace was met with the firing of more than 10,000 rockets.

Christians and Yazidis are true victims of Islamic intolerance, and the barbarism of the Islamic State. The Gaza Palestinians and their chosen Hamas regime cannot qualify as victims. They initiated hostilities with Israel, and now seek concessions from Israel and Egypt. In 1 Kings 21:19 the question is asked: “Have you murdered and also taken possession?” The Palestinians attacked Israel, and are seen as victims. They are, instead, victims of their own hateful aggression. Conversely, neither the Christians nor the Yazidi Kurds attacked their neighbors with rockets or suicide bombers. They truly are defenseless victims.

In a letter written by Rebecca Simon, an American of Assyrian Christian descent, to Colonel Allen West, she asked: “No doubt the kidnapping of 200 kids by Boko Haram being forced to convert to Islam was a tragedy. But equally tragic, if not more so, is the forceful conversion to Islam of at least 200,000 Assyrian Christians in Iraq. And where is the outrage by the Spanish bleeding hearts: Mr. and Mrs. Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz? In their delicate artistic mind, does a Palestinian child have more rights to life than an Assyrian Christian child?”

The Christians and Yazidis of Iraq deserve the sympathy and support of the international community. The Palestinians in Gaza, on the other hand, require scrutiny and condemnation.

  • Damaris Tighe

    but … but … we mustn’t be judgemental!

  • Keith

    It’s the Muslim culture…. How dare we westerners judge them by our standards

  • Habbgun

    No one to blame but ourselves. Why are we even in the UN?

    • Shekky Goldbergstein

      The Zionists demand it.

      • Habbgun

        I am a rather handsome zio-pig. You are the runt offspring of meth addicts. I am sick of white trash like you.

        • Shekky Goldbergstein

          There are no handsome Jews- they need big noses to store their good coins in.

          • Habbgun

            Wrong my man. Wrong. Listen. Give this up already. You are pathetically sick. If you believed a tenth of what you are saying you wouldn’t even bother commenting and riling people up. Why bother the Jews to prove to the goyim how bad Jews are? Makes no sense. You just want attention. How did I know you were effeminate in the first place? The desperate preening is so obvious. Give it up. Go to a disco. Find a “life partner”.

  • Shekky Goldbergstein

    Jews don’t give a rat’s a s s about anything but other Jews.

  • Frank Jackson

    This is one of many incredibly biased articles which brings into question the accuracy of the situation with ISIS in Iraq and its origins.

    A better question than the one presented in this article would be why “humanitarian missions” are being conducted by the US and Iraqi government for Yazidis and the like, yet the systematic attack of any symbol of social progress in Gaza (schools, hospitals, places of worship, playgrounds, market places and now a ZOO) is of no great concern to the same “humanitarians”.

    With over 2000 civilians dead in the past month in Gaza and some 40 Israeli civilians killed by rockets in the past 14 years, I think we can see where the true double-standard is and what tactics are being employed in articles like this one.

    • Kebert Xela

      Why is a proposal calling for action to save the lives of tens of thousands from being snuffed out at the hands of Muslims a quote-unquote humanitarian mission, while the humanity of those who are not concerned with the destruction of the schools, hospitals, mosques, playgrounds, market places and zoos that Muslims use to store ammunition or launch attacks with the intention of murdering non-Muslims also in quotes?

      There are the Muslims (Hamas and ISIL) whose aim is to exterminate the kafir, and those who seek to save the lives which Islam claims for Jahannam in the name of Allah. Even to the extremity of humanitarian missions to save Yazidis and Christians. Even to the extremity of giving the ‘martyrs’ of Islam the death they so loudly claim to love more than the kafir love life.

  • Sid Goldberg

    Us Jews only care about other Jews- not Christians- who cares about the goyim as long as they fight Israel’s wars for us.

    • Kebert Xela

      Anti-Semitic sock puppet.

  • Lanna

    In a word….Help the Peshmerga, they are capable, and will fight against Isis!

  • bbf

    - News From Antiwar.com – http://news.antiwar.com -

    Yazidis Weren’t Stranded, Pentagon Looks for Other Missions
    Posted By Jason Ditz On August 13, 2014 @ 7:44 pm In News | 27 Comments

    The 40,000 Yazidis stranded on the mountain. That was the pretext for US military intervention in Iraq, as set out by President Obama last Thursday. The air war was commenced, and officials were talking up sending ground forces for “rescue” operations as recently as this afternoon.

    But a funny thing happened when the US “advisers” got to Mount Sinjar. There weren’t 40,000 starving Yazidis stranded there. In fact, the indications are that there never were, and the Pentagon quickly dropped the “rescue” plan.

    What happened? It turns out there were Yazidis already living on the top of the mountain, and while there were some refugees who fled up there, the humanitarian crisis was never what it was made out to be, and an influx of Kurdish PKK fighters from Syria quickly broke the overblown siege.

    The Pentagon is trying to manage the narrative by simply saying the rescue mission “appears unnecessary,” but the fact that it was used to start a US war remains, and the State Department is doubling down, trying to spin the lack of a crisis as vindication of the war.

    “President said we’re going to break the siege of this mountain, and we broke that siege,” bragged Brett McGurk on Twitter, neglecting to mention that the siege was largely mythical in the first place. The Pentagon wasn’t nearly so daring as to take credit for solving a crisis that didn’t exist.

    Instead, the Pentagon is combing the countryside of northwestern Iraq, where their former casus belli was before it so rudely evaporated, and looking for other crises that they might use as a justification for continuing and escalating the war.

    Officials seem to be totally ignoring the obvious question: where the false story of a massive Yazidi crisis came from in the first place. In that regard, there are no easy answers, though the obvious beneficiaries of the new US war are the Kurdish Peshmerga, which are suddenly getting flooded with Western arms to fight ISIS, and eventually, to fuel their secession.

    The administration just seems grateful that they got an excuse to start a war they’ve been chomping at the bit for, and even if the excuse didn’t exactly pan out, they’ll quickly find another.

    Iraq’s New PM, Like Maliki, Defined by Years of Sectarianism – August 19th, 2014
    Neither Obama Nor Congress Eager for Vote on Iraq – August 19th, 2014

    Article printed from News From Antiwar.com: http://news.antiwar.com

    URL to article: http://news.antiwar.com/2014/08/13/yazidis-werent-stranded-pentagon-looks-for-other-missions/