Two or three years ago, I came across an interview of an Arab Spring fighter. I believe he was Tunisian, but to be honest, many of the Arab conflicts of the last three years have run together in my mind. This man and his fellow fighters were begging for American assistance. They wanted airstrikes, not just training and guns. They and their families were completely overwhelmed by the power and force of the government they were fighting. The casualties were staggering and the government was not fighting fairly. This man said to the reporter, “I am a school teacher. What am I going to do with the guns America is sending? I am not a soldier, I have no training. I should be teaching, not fighting. Send troops. We need help. We are dying.”

Huh. Wouldn’t that be nice if we could all be teachers? Personally, I’d like MY kids to be teachers. I’d like to be a teacher. I’d love it if my family never had to know how to use a military weapon. I’m not sure what made that Tunisian think that I’m perfectly happy to send my son and my daughters to his country to fight for ideals he’s sort of committed to – you know, committed enough to ask other people to die for them, but not committed enough to die for them himself.

No matter how complex these situations become, no matter the history, the factions and sects, the dynamics of religious hatred, festering wounds, and minorities’ millennial struggles for independence or even just tolerance, the West’s response is going to be the same. We’re going to bomb things and kill people or we’re not. Then again, a third option does seem to have cropped up in recent years – say we’re not getting involved, then terrorize villagers with drones, killing beloved grannies and awkward teenagers without compunction, much less, accountability.

I have a friend who grew up in the Soviet Union. Just to clarify, I’m not referring to Russia, or the former Soviet Union. He and his wife grew up there when it was the Soviet Union. I only bring it up because Fox News really and truly referred to Russia as the “Former Soviet Union,” a couple months back when Eastern Ukraine was the crisis dujour – as in, “Crimeans will vote on Tuesday whether to join the Former Soviet Union.” This friend, in describing the Kremlin’s methods of power consolidation, told me, “there must always be an enemy. The people must stay focused on foreign threats so they never have time to notice the threat at home.”

This month, the threat is ISIS’s systematic eradication of the Yazidi – a group of ethnic Kurds who practice a religion that has roots in Christianity and Islam as well as the Hindu and Zoroastrian religions. While the Kurds (Muslim and non-Muslim alike) have been fighting ISIS heroically, the US is leery about arming or training them. We want Iraq to be one country, within the borders that we’ve drawn, and with the government we’ve approved. If we arm the Kurds, those self-sufficient frondeurs will certainly use those guns to finally get what they’ve spent eons working toward – bloody independence from a country whose majority population despises and fears them. That would be a very big and oily egg on any president’s face. The Kurds will not be supported in a bid for independence, not by a country that craves Kurdish oil. No, the US government will continue to welfare the Kurds into submission. We will pay for their roads and their schools and hospitals and give each family a monthly check, but when they fight off crazy, black-clad, child-killing, rapist thugs from the Dark Ages, it’s not going to be with our guns.

We’ll do the fighting and it’ll be done right. We’ll personally save the Yazidi because we don’t want the Middle East to dissolve into unsanctioned chaos. The right way to rain hell on a country is under the stars and stripes. Any other way is the triumphal restoration of the Third Reich and a grave threat to our national interest. We’ll come in and “surgically strike” a few residential areas and wedding parties, then we’ll set up another puppet government that’s “better” than the last five, and we’ll have added to the swelling ranks of Arabs who wish death on the country that deals destruction in the name of virtue. We’ll strike a blow for freedom and democracy, for Christianity, for tolerance and justice. Next month, there will be another exigency, and we’ll need to fix it again, because it’s our moral responsibility to prevent an entire region of the world from determining its own fate. It’s our duty to keep dirty brown-skinned foreigners from fighting and dying for their beliefs. It’s our right and our obligation to assure that when such fighting and dying occur, they never result in meaningful change for the unfortunates who live in a region whose resources we covet.

In Syria, the definition of a moderate force has become one whose soldiers do not engage in cannibalism. In Tunisia, four interim governments have come to power in the three or so years since the fall of Ben Ali. And oh the wonders that George H. Bush’s war in Iraq have brought to fruition, not to mention the two separate actions Clinton oversaw in that country, nor George W. Bush’s Iraq War, nor the leftovers Obama has overseen. They’ve all been resounding successes, obviously, and that’s why wide swaths of the country are being snatched up by a death cult and why, when confronted by ISIS fighters, the American-made Iraqi soldiers threw down their weapons and went into hiding.

Iraq has what people in the sewer business call great perc. You can pour an ocean of American blood into that sandy soil and it will just drain down to the water table and wash out to sea. There is no critical mass of American lives that will wash away those problems. They’ve been there for generation upon generation, and they’re not going away. Christians and Zoroastrians and Jews and Hindus will not gain rights from our loss. We can grow our military until it sucks up every penny in our economy and send our babes to die there as soon as they are born, but good people will still never gain freedom until they are willing to choose death over slavery.

The source of the furor over the Yazidi seems to be based on their Christianity. They’re being called Christians, therefore we want them saved and protected. We feel a connection to them because many Christians feel oppressed by a government that is widely considered to be overly sympathetic to Islam. With friends like the Drone King, I’m not sure why Muslims would feel the need to go looking for enemies, but that’s another blog post. In reality, if they lived close enough for us to view their culture and religious life, we would not get along with the residents of Mt. Sinjar. There would be a whole economic sector of books, seminars and workshops excoriating the Yazidi for their heedless paganism, just as there is for every other minority, heterodox Christian community in the United States. I can see it now, “Yazidi: Threat to Christian Culture and Western Civilization,” “10 Ways to Protect Your Teen from the Pull of the Satanic Yazidi Cult,” “Yazidi: Religion or Anti-Religion?” We’re being played, people, and it’s shameful. Shameful that we fall for it, shameful that we engage in such petty tribalism, shameful that so many good people are losing their minds and begging for wanton destruction in the name of religion. The propagandists don’t see suffering Christians, they see a blank check. Please don’t put your name on it.

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