Tag: Islamic State in Iraq and Syria

The Case Against Hoda Muthana, the ISIS Bride Who Wants to Return to the US

 

A few days ago I posted an exhortation on not allowing ISIS bride Hoda Muthana, who claims to be an American citizen, back into the country. PJ Media created a timeline of events that surround Muthana. It’s called “The Chilling Timeline of the ISIS Bride Who Wants to Return,” written by Claudia Rosett. Someone had to do it. Most of the mainstream media don’t follow up on things that might upset liberal constituencies. I thought this passage struck home on the media’s lapse and deserves quoting:

In the media coverage of this case, all that bloody record of deliberately inflicted human agony seems to have faded into some remote and misty past, summarized in maybe a sentence or two — or symbolized on the TV news by short video clips of ISIS fighters waving black flags and shooting guns, with no obvious target. As far as I’m aware, no media outlet has so far juxtaposed an interview of Hoda Muthana with such signature ISIS footage as videos of American hostages, on their knees, about to be beheaded by ISIS; or that young Jordanian pilot burned alive in a cage.

How to Help Yazidi Girls and Women

 

Turkey SE7(Note: These are photos of southeast Turkey, in 2013.)

Two weeks ago, The New York Times’ Rukmini Callimachi wrote an article about the systematic rape and enslavement of Yazidi girls by ISIS. If you haven’t read the article, and even if you think you know the story already, read it:

The Islamic State’s formal introduction of systematic sexual slavery dates to Aug. 3, 2014, when its fighters invaded the villages on the southern flank of Mount Sinjar, a craggy massif of dun-colored rock in northern Iraq.

ISIS and Horror

 

We all laugh at The New York Times, but Rukmini Callimachi’s reporting reminds me of its ability to be a great newspaper. Her story today on the front page is so sickening that even the Times’ loyal readers — to judge by the comments — are beginning to grasp that some problems in the world are morally more important than others:

The Islamic State’s formal introduction of systematic sexual slavery dates to Aug. 3, 2014, when its fighters invaded the villages on the southern flank of Mount Sinjar, a craggy massif of dun-colored rock in northern Iraq.

Notes on Turkey, the Kurds, Incirlik, and ISIS

 

11705352_1005341582823689_7540684201876452080_nI’ve refrained from writing much about this past week’s news for a number of reasons. The first is that I’ve been deeply depressed about it, which doesn’t make for sober analysis. The second is that there are many elements of this story I don’t yet understand. I’ve been hesitant to make a categorical judgment about many of the rumors I’ve been hearing from Turkey, since I’m not there to evaluate any of them myself. The third is that there are so many aspects of this I do understand that I’m tempted to write too much, drowning everyone here in detail that’s essential — yet failing to convey the essence. The fourth, as one (good) journalist in Turkey put it on Twitter, is “[redacted’s] just too complicated. Moving too quick.”

I’m also aware how difficult it is to write about this in a way that makes sense. I remember studying the Spanish Civil War as an undergraduate and feeling so overwhelmed by the number of acronyms that I decided my exam strategy would be to play the odds, skip the Spanish Civil War, and instead master every other topic that might come up on the Modern European History finals. To this day, I could tell you all about Béla Kun, but my knowledge of the Spanish Civil War remains limited to what I learned from reading Homage to Catalonia.

So I’m not going to try to write a definitive update. I’ll just direct you to three articles, open the floor to discussion, and try to answer questions, although I may not know the answers. I’ve extracted key quotes from the articles, but if you read them in full, they’ll make more sense — not least because all these beastly acronyms refer to things that are, in fact, very different.

Is Obama a War Criminal?

 

Like many other auditors, Howie Carr of The Boston Herald was perplexed after he listened to Barack Obama’s televised address on Wednesday night. He cannot understand, any more than can you or I, how the President can deny that ISIS — the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria — is Islamic. He could have added that it was also rather odd that the President of the United States denied that ISIS is a state. “What,” we might ask, “does a state do that ISIS does not now do?” And Carr was no less nonplussed when Secretary of State John Kerry denied that we were going to war against ISIS, resorted to euphemism, and asserted that what we are about to become engaged in is “a very important counter-terrorism operation.”

“Does that,” Carr asks, “make it … a police action? Will we have to destroy the village in order to save it?”