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.
The 85-year-old Grand Ayatollah did not talk to me as if I'm Sunni or Shia, Muslim or non-Muslim but just as a human being. I left his reception fully confident that Iraq is currently in safe hands so long as it continues to have wise men like him. However, what will happen after Sistani departs a fragile Iraq?
Late last month, ISIS was driven out of the Syrian city of Kobani, thanks to over 100 days of US-led airstrikes and the actions of Kurdish fighters. But this could also be bad news for other parts of the country and potential targets abroad, as this Sunni extremist organization reorients its focus. What can we expect of ISIS in the coming months?
While these efforts are all necessary to the ultimate destruction of IS, sadly it is far from sufficient. As the George W. Bush administration failed to ask and answer the crucial "what next" question of what to do once Saddam Hussein and his army were overwhelmed, the Obama White House is repeating this act of strategic ignorance.
Critics of the coalition may see military action as a threat and think that it will only intensify the problem. However, such critics seem to be ignoring that it was the inaction towards the atrocities in Syria and the failed state in Iraq that resulted in the swelling of ISIS's ranks from a few hundred to nearly 30,000 according to the latest estimates.