| ||Yazidi refugees driven from their homes by ISIS|
For many Americans, President Obama, with his latest plan to expand U.S. military intervention in Iraq, is finally “doing something.” And people here in Iraqi Kurdistan are generally hopeful that this will stop the militant fighters calling themselves “the Islamic State,” or for the purposes of this article, ISIS. I keenly feel the pain of the people here and do not want any more persons brutalized, yet I believe Obama’s plan will not diminish global terrorism; it will only expand and strengthen it.
It is helpful to remember that ISIS’s ability to capture areas of Iraq was possible because of the U.S. had destroyed its society and supported the Shia government that excluded Sunni populations, subjecting them to widespread loss of jobs, attacks, mass arrests, torture and extra-judicial killings.
While our team lived and worked in Baghdad, the U.S. and Iraqi forces bombed and destroyed whole neighborhoods and cities in the name of anti-terrorism, generating more anger toward America. The U.S. failed to support the progressive, mostly nonviolent, uprisings, around the country, against government abuse and corruption. Throughout the years of occupation, it was clear to us that U.S. military actions in Iraq were not really directed at protecting the Iraqi people, but for protecting American personnel and U.S. economic and military interests in Iraq and the Middle East. Then, in early August of this year, U.S. military strikes were, once again, less for protecting religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq than protecting U.S. diplomats and the large oil companies developing oil fields in the Kurdish region.