Freda, 19, expected August 3rd last year to be a day full of household chores in Sinjar where she lived with her family. Instead, it marked the beginning of a horrific nightmare with the arrival of Daesh (ISIS). Fleeing was not an option for the family. It was too late. They were surrounded by Daesh before they could do anything.
Recently, I came across a young Ezdi, Nasser H. Kassow from Shingal (Sinjar) who is a student of English at a University in Zakho. Kassow had tweeted some of his impressionistic paintings on the state of Yazidis. As we engaged on social media, I interviewed him via Skype to know a little more about his work.
An anti-ISIS conference was held in Paris on June 2. The only armed forces that, so far, have stood up to the beheaders, the only ones capable of holding a front a thousand kilometers long, the only ones that have not yielded an inch of ground -- the Kurdish armed forces, the army of the Iraqi Kurds and its heroic Peshmerga -- were not invited.
People in the streets of Erbil are saying these days, "We are fighting three extremely difficult battles: We fight ISIS with poor and outdated weapons, we struggle to absorb the refugees that have increased our population by 28 percent, and we fight with Baghdad to get our money to survive." In a nutshell, all of it is quite true.
A civilian war leader conferring with uniformed military leaders. The president of the world's fifth-largest power, a member of the United Nations Security Council, listening intently to the generals of a great nation that is not yet a state, offering encouragement, promising France's redoubled support. It is a weighty and potentially decisive moment.
One of the brightest, loudest, flashing neon-style sign that humanity can indeed get along is the upcoming Middle East Now festival in Florence, Italy. Yes, Florence, where that original coming out of the Middle Ages happened hundreds of years ago, is the city I believe could also be at the epicenter of a new cross-cultural Renaissance.
American foreign policy is controlled by fools. What else can one conclude from the bipartisan demand that the U.S. intervene everywhere all the time, irrespective of consequences? No matter how disastrous the outcome, the War Lobby insists that the idea was sound. Any problems obviously result, it is claimed, from execution, a matter of doing too little: too few troops engaged, too few foreigners killed, too few nations bombed, too few societies transformed, too few countries occupied, too few years involved, too few dollars spent. As new conflicts rage across the Middle East, the interventionist caucus' dismal record has become increasingly embarrassing.