Somewhat lost in the first-hand account of last week’s helicopter crash by NY Times reporter Alissa Rubin, who was injured in the incident, was a potentially important revelation about the attacks on the Iraqi Yazidi minority.
The pilot really made a big impression. You know, the Yazidis feel so betrayed by the Arab neighbors they had lived among for so many years; they all turned on the Yazidis when ISIS came. Many of the atrocities were carried out not by the militants but by their own neighbors.
The focus in the story is on the pilot, himself a Sunni Arab from the region, trying to save his neighbor Yazidis even as others had turned on them. That’s important, without a doubt, but ignores the more important point, that ISIS didn’t actually carry out many of the attacks on the Yazidis.
So to sum up, President Obama started a war to save 40,000 trapped Yazidis from ISIS, and there weren’t 40,000 of them, and they weren’t trapped, and now it turns out ISIS also wasn’t nearly so involved as previously indicated. America was lied into the first Iraq War in 2003 on some mightly flimsy pretexts, but it seems the administration didn’t learn any of the lessons, even bad lessons like keeping your lies less transparent, and the whole pretext collapsed in just over a week. The war, however, will go on much, much longer.