The commentators 14-08-14
Kurdistan needs a holistic response from the West that includes immediate humanitarian and military aid, and the removal of obstacles to our economy. If we are to prevail against the barbarism of the terrorists, we need support
- Bayan Rahman, Financial Times
War spreads deadly viruses of the ideological as well as disease-bearing variety. Just as the First World War created the opportunity for Bolshevism to capture Russia, so today’s turmoil in the Middle East relentlessly promotes the spread of al-Qaeda’s brand of Islamist zealotry
- David Blair, Daily Telegraph
The creation of the convention that any form of military action requires parliamentary approval (while any inaction, however damaging, requires none) was based on the premise that governments had to be stopped from doing things. It means that in matter such as these, government during a recess has become like a bad weekend at A&E: the patients still turn up, but the doctors don’t. No one has a plan for when the problem is a government that does almost nothing.
- David Aaronovitch, The Times
The collapse of the Iraqi army in the face of Isis has ushered in a new era and there is no going back. The hope for the Kurds is that America will come to rely on them so heavily in the fight against Isis that support for their independence will be unavoidable. After decades of betrayal, and with a national consciousness forged in the torture chambers of that Red Security building, the Kurds have an undeniable right to their own state.
- Catherine Philps, The Independent
They couldn’t keep away. Barely two years after US forces were withdrawn from Iraq, they’re back in action. Barack Obama has now become the fourth US president in a row to launch military action in Iraq. We’re now into the sixth day of US air attacks on the self-styled Islamic State, formerly known as Isis – the sectarian fundamentalists who have taken over vast tracts of Sunni Iraq and are carrying out vicious ethnic cleansing against minorities in the north.
- Seumas Milne, The Guardian
I hope that Cameron — and more importantly, Obama — set their faces against a major ground-force deployment. It would be impossible to define credible objectives, even if American and British public opinion would stand for such action. But safe havens should not be ruled out. It will almost certainly be necessary to use some troops simply to protect the humanitarian aid missions, which are already being fired upon. Also, the RAF is likely to be committed to fly combat missions.
- Max Hastings, Daily Mail
First World War centenary
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