1. The Rude Pundit's gonna be honest here: Fuck these ISIS fuckers who think wholesale slaughter of civilians is jolly good fun. He can pretend to be having a crisis of conscience or whatever, but he'd be lying to you. Because, see, this is the way he felt about the Taliban when they were taking over Afghanistan back in the 1990s. He felt it when the Hutu were wiping out the Tutsi in Rwanda. He felt it when the Bosnian Serbs were slaughtering Muslims. He felt this way when the Contras were murdering masses of people in Nicaragua in the 1980s. Fuck them all.
You can be a liberal and that bleeding heart can lead you to sympathize with the innocent people stuck in the humanitarian crisis. This is not about "taking sides in a war," as in Syria. It's about halting mass killing. Purely and simply.
And yet...goddamnit, goddamnit, goddamnit. The world just ain't that easy. It ought to be, surely, but it ain't, mostly because of us, the U.S., and our damage.
2. On Sunday, the fetid, ancient ooze that barely forms the human shape of Dick Cheney actually said of the Obama White House, "They can't blame George Bush anymore." How the fuck Dick Cheney is allowed to speak to anyone other than through hand gestures and gurgles as the end of a Bush administration human centipede on display at the National Zoo? Nothing occurs in Iraq except because of George W. Bush. When a child stubs her toe, when an old man dies of natural causes, when a car bomb goes off, it's all because of George Bush. The timing of the withdrawal of American troops is because of George W. Bush. If Barack Obama walked into Baghdad and started shooting people in the head, it would be because of George W. Bush.
Iraq is our burden, like it or not, because of George Bush. And every time we hear about chaos in the government (like, well, shit, now) or suicide bombs or fucking dams being taken over by fucking nutzoid militants, we in this nation (and maybe you in England) feel a queasiness because it simply wouldn't have been this way if we had just left shit alone (and you can take that all the way back to British colonial occupation, if you want). If an uprising within Iraq had deposed Saddam Hussein, then, yeah, it would have sucked to watch all the awful things that would have happened, but we wouldn't have that burden on us.
Anyone who denies Bush is the alpha and omega of causes here or tries to revise that history is deserving of, at the very least, media exile and a punch in the face. Even a fuckin' idiot like Laura Ingraham knows who is to blame. ISIS exists because of the U.S. intervention ordered by George Bush.
3. And yet there's something so immediately evil about ISIS, with the glee it takes in killing civilians. Its postings of internet videos of bombings and executions of innocents are done with such high spirits that it's like watching the ne plus ultra of face plant videos or YouTube clips where people injure themselves while the cameraperson giggles behind the cell phone or minicam. Like that shit, man. Jones to post your own and try to top it. Liveleak it, motherfuckers, to be as graphic as possible.
The savagery of ISIS's attack on the Yazidis, whose only crime was worshiping a sky wizard in a way that offended the assholes, seems to demand response by the world, or at least the United States. According to Iraq's human rights minister, "fighters have killed at least 500 members of Iraq's Yazidi minority — including many women and children — burying some alive and taking hundreds of women as slaves." And they celebrated "with cheers and weapons waved in the air."
No doubt there will be videos because of the bizarro strain of dude-bro douchebaggery that seems to be part of ISIS. They make al-Qaeda beheadings seem like boring art films.
Why isn't every country bombing ISIS (other than the Saudis, Qataris, and others who fund them)? It's okay to acknowledge that a very human part of us wants to kill the fuck out of ISIS. With nauseated stomachs and weary hearts, we still know what needs to be done, do we not?
4. This is the dilemma. We want to do something, but we are teetering once again on theexpansion of an operation that is already promised to go on for "months." While President Obama has wisely cast this as a humanitarian effort to help the Yazidis, the screaming mimis of the right, led by the screamiest of all, Lindsey Graham, have already decided that ISIS is an existential threat to the United States, despite there being absolutely no threat to the United States. How soon until the right drumbeats that lie into the national consciousness?
And, in an act that is either the bitterest irony or saddest reality, the Obama administration is going to help arm the Kurds to fight against ISIS. If we had done so when another Bush had promised to, way back in 1991, there's a good chance we wouldn't be here today.
5. In the end, goddamn us for not being the country we should be in order to do what we know we should. Goddamn those who made us forever suspect in the world and for imposing on us an eternal burden and, for we who are humane, an unending sense of guilt. Goddamn them for forcing us to overthink a no-brainer.