Yezidis vs. ISIS at the ICC

On 5 FEB 16 NEC-SE CEO was interviewed by Breitbart News about Syrian peace talks and partitioning, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) land desires, and the future of Assyrians (the root of Christianity) in Iraq and Syria.

NEC-SE was asked to comment on one of Mr. Brett McGurks statements.

As reported by Breitbart News, Mr. Brett McGurk, Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, was quoted by Rudaw News as saying that he is including Christians in the talks to grant more local autonomy to the Kurds in Iraq.

Calling the ISIS massacre of Yezidi genocide is sensible and humane, but troubling for two reasons: Expectations for what this will achieve wildly overstate what the law can do; and the grim apotheosis of genocide actually debases our willingness to act in the shadow of evil.

For the longest time the NEC-SE has looked at the open source link analysis to see why the Obama Administration was more interested in recognizing the Yazidi-and not the Assyrian-genocide. It now seems clear — They are doing so in order to keep the KRG from failing financially, more than doing so for the need to save the Yazidis and Assyrians who have been destroyed by ISIS.

KRG has had financial issues, which finally exploded into protests across multiple provinces and cities of the KRG starting last week. The riots were part of the larger issues afflicting the KRG — corruption, financial inability to pay the civil servants, and President Masoud Barzani’s reluctance to step down although his term has already expired.

Given that the Kurds’ claim the Yazidis to be Kurdish, rather than recognizing them as a distinct ethnicity, which is religiously and culturally different than Kurds, the genocide recognition will now allow the KRG lobby group and the current administration to say that there was genocide against the Kurds. This in turn will open up global financial coffers which will allow KRG to quell its internal uprisings, it will also allow them to crush their opposition by buying their loyalties, and will allow the KRG to take over the lands of the Yazidis and Assyrians in order to establish a larger Kurdistan. Currently Assyrian and Yazidi militias that are forced to work under the ranks of the KRG will be used to defuse global powers protests over the KRG actions. It should be noted that Yazidis do not claim to be Kurdish but the Kurds claim them to be kurds.


The Foreign Affairs Article states:  “The Yezidis think naming these acts will have real consequences. In Iraqi Kurdistan last month, I heard Yezidis call for trials at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. They also believe the label “genocide” will move that mythic beast, the international community, to offer them a military protection force. That belief is mistaken, and their hopes for justice doubly so: The obstacles to prosecution are daunting, the outcomes certain to leave a bitter taste to mix with the ashes of those who will be long dead when judgment comes.”

“Finding a venue for trial is difficult. There is no prospect for domestic proceedings, but that doesn’t make international trials any more promising. The ICC has no jurisdiction within Iraq, to begin with. Baghdad could request an investigation, but that would put its own leaders in jeopardy. The UN Security Council could refer the case—as it did for Libya and Sudan—but it is divided on ISIS, and unlikely to go against Iraq’s wishes. The ICC could prosecute individual fighters from countries that are parties to its statute, but this would exclude ISIS’ senior leadership. After all, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is, as his name implies, Iraqi.”

“Second, the pace of international law is glacial: It could take years to approve charges, and a decade before judgment day. The former leader of the Serb Republic in Bosnia, Radovan Karadži?, was found guilty of genocide and other crimes this past week—21 years after first being charged. A conviction would not bring Yezidis’ daughters back, but it would draw their supporters’ attention away from the pressing problems of security and a return to their homeland, and direct it toward an abstract procedure at The Hague.”

“Third, genocide is hard to prove. Instances of forced religious conversion suggest that the Yezidi have a strong case, but other aspects are marginal: Compared to successful prosecutions elsewhere, the number of victims is small, and the harsh conditions Yezidis suffered while fleeing from may not help prove ISIS’ special intent to destroy the group. And the important issue is not the killing, but the chain of command to those un-prosecutable leaders.”


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