Massacres ignored

The Daily Star

Events this week in Iraq and Syria offer dramatic proof of how weak the international campaign against ISIS is, as if any proof were required.

When a foreign hostage held by ISIS is paraded before the camera, or later executed, the world learns his name.

In contrast, members of the Albu Nimr tribe in Iraq’s Anbar province have apparently rejected being ruled by ISIS. In response, ISIS militants have lined up tribesmen in public and shot them to death, in a process of methodical obliteration.

In next-door Syria, a smaller-scale massacre by ISIS is also underway. Again, there are public executions of people on charges of “collaborating with the regime” or “fighting ISIS,” with the bodies often left for several days in public places.

Every one of these victims has a name, and a family history, and a reason for being in the wrong place at the wrong time – just like the foreign victims of ISIS.

However, little to no outrage is being expressed in Western capitals, where not too long ago, officials were ready to talk at length about the threat posed by ISIS to the civilized world.

There is a stark difference between the help received by the Albu Nimr tribe, and the situation of Syrian Kurds besieged by ISIS in the town of Ain al-Arab, who are benefiting from airstrikes and airdrops of equipment. There is little urgency in the Iraqi authorities’ policy of arming tribes to fight back, and seeming little concern in Washington about this slowness.

If Western and other officials truly want to mobilize public support for their campaign against ISIS, they must be as serious and vocal when the victims aren’t being noticed by mainstream media and public opinion. All of these lives are sacred.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on November 04, 2014, on page 7.

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1 reply

  1. Every one of those murdered had a name, a family, and a right to live, to fulfill his/her dreams… all sent to death!

    Pains me how 2 Canadians killed a couple of weeks back received world attention and sympathies and accolades and… And yet this very world stays ignorant to murders of thousand of innocents!

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