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Thread: Was the United States somewhat complicit in creating the conditions for ISIl's genocide of Iraqi Christians and Yazidis

  1. #1
    Miles
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    Default Was the United States somewhat complicit in creating the conditions for ISIl's genocide of Iraqi Christians and Yazidis

    In 2014, as we all know a woefully mismanaged Iraqi military was completely routed by what was then one of the many factions in the Syrian Civil War, ISIL/Daesh allowing to take control over large sections of Northern and Western Iraq and propelling to one of the most powerful terrorist organisations in the world as a proto state. From there it attempted to commit genocide against religious minorities such as the Yazidis and Christian communities such as the Assyrians, whereas the genocide against the former was cut short, the latter was less fortunate considering that the Nineveh Plains remained under the control of ISIL/Daesh until 2017. While there are many reasons why ISIL/Daesh was able to commit this genocide such as the Iraqi government and military being extremely corrupt and tribalistic, I do believe that the U.S bears some responsibility for creating the conditions for this genocide to have happened in the first place particularly during the early years of the Iraq War where it's clumsy/downright stupid attempts at De-Ba'athification such as the complete dissolution of the old Iraqi military created a massive power vacuum where numerous Islamic fundamentalist terrorist organisations such as Al Qaeda and ISIL gained a lot of political influence and manpower from the now unemployed Iraqi soldiers and commanders. This provided an experienced group of commanders to ISIL/Daesh by 2014 which was perhaps instrumental to its early victories that year.

  2. #2
    Daruwind's Avatar Citizen
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    Default Re: Was the United States somewhat complicit in creating the conditions for ISIl's genocide of Iraqi Christians and Yazidis

    Situation in world is rarely consequence of single event. Usually you can dig quite deep to see links and influnces and trends...Of course USA invasion into Iraq create new situation however it is just one step in flow of history. What about Iran vs Iraq, Sunni vs Shia power struggle under Hussain, Power struggle between Saudi and Iran, Turkey meddling, Syria, Iran,.....Izrael among all arab states and we can go on and on back to Ottoman Empire, Siket-Pykot agreement and even way back.....

    My point is. IF USA were not doing the invasion, countless other scenarios might happen like what after Saddam´s death? What about Arab Spring ..would it be different? And how? So yes, USA are responsible for one step in current puzzle and that´s it. Similar can be said about majority of other power players, bigger and smaller at once..
    Last edited by Daruwind; July 14, 2019 at 02:29 PM.

  3. #3
    Abdülmecid I's Avatar ¡Ay Carmela!
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    Default Re: Was the United States somewhat complicit in creating the conditions for ISIl's genocide of Iraqi Christians and Yazidis

    Don't forget that ISIL also persecuted the Shiites, in both Syria and Iraq. Only the victims of the massacres in Camp Speicher and Badush prison numbered several hundreds. Regarding the role of the United States in the rise of ISIL and their subsequent genocidal campaigns, it is indeed true that destabilisation in Iraq and Syria was crucial for the strengthening of Sunni jihadists. After the invasion of Iraq and the demolishment of the state administration, religious extremists obviously prospered in the accidentally created chaos. Similarly in Syria, by undermining the efforts of the sovereign government and equipping/financing rebel groups, including religiously orientated fighters, Washington also indirectly contributed to ISIL's resurgence. Moreover, the crimes committed by the American regular army and the foreign mercenaries fuelled radicalism and sectarianism, while American firms played an active role in the corruption scandals, which decreased the efficiency of the Iraqi Army.

    However, by that reasoning, we can blame almost every state and regime, past and present, that intervenes or intervened in the affairs of the Middle East, for being a factor to ISIL's crimes against humanity. For example, Riyadh has supported, materially and ideologically Sunni extremism in Iraq and Syria, Damascus' authoritarianism and ruthlessness led to the gradual polarisation of the Syrian society and even Baathist Iraq is largely responsible for the conditions that later created a friendly environment for the growth of militant Salafism. Therefore, although I agree that we should not ignore America's negative influence towards the peace and prosperity of the Fertile Crescent, overestimating them isn't accurate either and and may lead to the common mistake of neglecting the significance of domestic factors.

  4. #4
    Miles
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    Default Re: Was the United States somewhat complicit in creating the conditions for ISIl's genocide of Iraqi Christians and Yazidis

    Indeed the U.S invasion was just one of the many, many factors that contributed to the rise of ISIL such as sectarian tensions being perpetuated by many different political entities over hundreds of years whether it be the Timurids in the 14th century or the Ottomans or the Safavids in the 16th century or the Hashemite monarchy and the Iranian-Iraqi/Later Saudi power struggle in the 20th century. As for what would have happened Saddam remained in power, I'm not sure other than a much more severe repeat of the 1991 uprisings would have happened, perhaps a genocide might have been committed in it. However the 2003 invasion has practically shaped Iraqi politics for decades to come, so I don't see how ISIL's genocide of religious minorities would have happened exactly as it did if it had never happened, though I had never intended of overestimating American influence for Iraq's religious violence.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Was the United States somewhat complicit in creating the conditions for ISIl's genocide of Iraqi Christians and Yazidis

    The short answer is yes.

    Saddam forced a secular regime in Iraq. He was a bastard but show me a middle eastern regime that isn't to be honest, but he kept a lid on the ethnic violence, ironicly by unifying most of the various factions in opposition to him.

    America, in it's obsession with democracy, failed to understand how the nation would split along ethnic lines. They had opportunities to avoid the mess, direct millitary governance, keeping the previous baathist officers on strength etc.

    Iraq was never a real nation, it was one of the post-colonial creations and was always going to shatter along ethnic faultlines without a strong leader to hold it all together. Yugoslavia was an object lesson that everyone ignored.

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