Take a look at the complexity of the network of relations in Iraq. The Iraqi government and ISIL terror occupiers are busy battling each other, while the Iraqi government is also reportedly recruiting the Yazidis – a little known minority group that came into prominence in June 2014 after going through a harrowing time when ISIL invaders took over northern Iraq. They are now armed to the teeth and have turned into copy-cats of their ISIL perpetrators slaughtering defenseless Iraqi Sunnis in northern villages to vent fury and boost ego. Iraqi Kurds (as in Syria) have perpetually been facing threats from ISIL, but they have also been facing big trouble from Yazidi commanders who refuse to stand with the Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga in confronting ISIL, preferring to do the job as an independent group. And the Laughing Turd (U.S. coalition) continues to fool just about everyone around the world that it’s bombing ISIL strongholds and killing its commanders.
The successive governments of post-Saddam Iraq have overlooked something very basic that it was Saddam's political paranoia (not the Sunni citizens of Iraq) responsible for the repression of Iraqi Shiias. Many Sunni dissidents were persecuted in much the same way including Saddam's two sons-in-law and second cousins - Hussein Kamel and Sadddam Kamel - ambushed and killed in a fierce 13-hour firefight with Saddam's security forces because they disagreed with his administrative policies. Both young men (brothers) were Sunnis and belonged to Saddam's household.
The Sunnis in Iraq seem to be facing much the same plight as the Shiias in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. In predominantly Sunni towns like Hawija, Fallujah, Ramadi, Balad, Sammara, Tikrit and more (often referred as the ‘Sunni triangle’), protesters have been demanding that their basic rights be respected since the past several years. Soon after US troops pulled out of Iraq, Iraqi armories were stashed with state-of-the-art weapons only to lose much of that at the hands of ISIL terrorists. The only events seen as opportunities by the Iraqi Army to use those weapons were the periodical and largely peaceful demonstrations led by the Sunni citizens of Iraq that were invariably met with indiscriminate firing using live ammunition, choppers and tanks. Water hoses in trucks have hosed demonstrators with scalding hot water causing third-degree burns and fatalities. The brutal response of the Iraqi police (or probably the gendarmes) at Hawija in April 2013 was particularly horrific.
Something as catastrophic as that and yet it isn’t enough to learn lessons from. Haidar Abadi has so far done little for anyone to assume that he has successfully balanced the conflicting interests of Sunnis, Shiias and Kurds. His speech in Switzerland at the World Economic Forum in January 2015 on "100 days of achievements of his government" wasn't anything much to write home about, just an empty shell that donned a few cheap frills. While he talked a bit on cementing relations with the Kurds, there were no promises, not even hints, on winning the hearts and minds of Iraqi Sunnis who make up 30% of the country's population. In fact, while he spoke at the World Economic Forum was when the Yazidi militants were preparing their offensive against Sunni Arabs of the Sinjar region in the villages of Jiri and Sibaya resulting in the massacre of scores of unarmed villagers, mostly women, children and elderly, many of whom were invalids on wheel-chairs.
Freakish claims of a few odd, roving Yazidis that “Muslims” of the region were either “bystanders or participated” in ISIL attacks against them has yet produced not a single evidence. Considering the history of northern Iraq and Mosul in particular as one of the most cosmopolitan trading cities where Shiia and Sunni Muslims, Kurds, Christians and Yazidis lived in harmony for centuries as the friendliest of neighbors sipping tea together, chatting over the day’s events and attending each others’ wedding parties make those allegations much too questionable. Despite the sectarian discrimination by Al-Malki, there were large numbers of Sunni men in central Iraq who actually fought against ISIL occupation and were martyred in June 2014 and also in March 2015. Quoting Al-Monitor “Sunni tribes played a key role in fighting Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) which rose after the US invasion in 2003. ISIL, an offshoot of AQI, has taken over large swathes of the country since June 2014, playing on the distrust of local populations with Baghdad’s Shiite led government of former PM Nouri Al-Malki.”
Stories circulating in Quora – a vile den of trouble-making pro-Zion zealots – that the Yazidis were “brutally persecuted” in Saddam’s era is a load of unprecedented humbug. Until very recently, Yazidis were a bunch of non-political non-entity, never a threat nor a problem for Saddam’s staunchly secular rule.
Image source: Yahoo News