30 July 2014

The Middle East conflict

Here are a few updates on what has been going on while the MSM have been focusing on Gaza.

In northern Iraq, the Sunni extremist group ISIS has launched an attack on the largely Christian city of Qaraqosh (known as Bakhdîdâ in Arabic), population 50,000.  They failed to capture the city, which locals attribute to it being defended by Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, not by the useless army of the failed Iraqi state the US is still trying to prop up.  Nevertheless, ISIS has seized the agricultural land adjacent to Qaraqosh, evicting the farmers and stealing their property, and are bombarding the city with mortars.  Most of the population has fled to the Kurdish autonomous enclave, the only safe haven nearby.  They have reason to be wary of ISIS.  The Kurdish enclave, with a population of five million, has already taken in over 300,000 non-Kurdish refugees from the ISIS advances.

In Syria, ISIS now controls about 35% of the country's territory including much of the oil-producing area.  Not content with murdering those who resist them, they have staged mock crucifixions with the corpses in order to terrorize local civilians.

The death toll from the Gaza operation is now somewhat over 1,000.  Estimates of total deaths from the civil war in Syria range from 110,000 to 160,000, with 6.5 million civilians displaced, a third of whom have fled to other countries.  There seem to be no reliable figures for the death toll of the ISIS offensive in northern Iraq, but ISIS boasted of murdering 1,700 Shiite prisoners in cold blood after its first major victory alone, and there have been reports of mass beheadings in areas it controls.

Compared with the real Middle East conflict , the violence in the Gaza Strip is on a small scale.  But the real conflict is less newsworthy because, to be blunt, it can't be used to condemn and demonize Israel.  And I think we all know what's really going on there.


Blogger Woody said...

Hi Infidel753.
A conversation I had with a taxi-driver last week stuck with me so I thought I would share it with you & your readers.
I was getting a taxi home from my sister's place and the driver was a small, middle aged arab (about my age).
After some general chat about crap I asked where he was from, he said "Iraq".
Off the top of my head I asked, "Iraq was one of the more secular Muslim nations, was it not?"
The driver relaxed a bit and answered, "It WAS secular."

He then told me about a time, before Sadam, when medical and educational careers were a lot more sought after in Iraq, when he and his peers commonly gathered at the river, of an evening, talking about the things they had recently read.
Fiction, non-fiction, educational, philosophical and so on. He expressed with regret that those kinds of habits seem only a thing of the past in that country.
That stuck with me.

All the best,

01 August, 2014 03:10  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

It must be maddening for people like him to see what is happening to their country now. The sad part is, it may well still be true that the majority of Iraqis are secular in outlook -- but religious extremists tend to be driven and fanatical, and can have an impact far beyond what their numbers suggest, even wrecking a whole society.

01 August, 2014 13:22  
Blogger Green Eagle said...

I agree with what you have to say, of course, but may I repeat a point I have made before: this grossly unequal treatment also infantilizes Arabs and treats them as less capable of humanity than other people, by implying that they just cannot be expected to act in a decent manner.

Two! Two hatreds in one!

03 August, 2014 13:59  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

You're certainly right about that. Everyone should be held to the same standards.

03 August, 2014 15:22  

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