The commentators 12-08-14
We are proud of our democracy and rightly promote it abroad. Yet, for all the flannel about British values, David Cameron is hesitating about protecting those very values when the Kurds live them. Democracy, tolerance, defence of minorities, fighting terrorism – our country supports all of them, except, it appears, in the Kurdish region.
- John McTernan, Daily Telegraph
Whatever his faults, the former Republican presidential candidate John McCain has the balls to tell Americans that they need to shape up. Hillary Clinton is heading in the same direction with her suggestion that earlier action in Syria might have prevented the current disaster in Iraq. But the real question for Americans is not do we intervene or do we stay out. It is more fundamental than that — what kind of people are we? How strong are we? How willing to endure pain? How sure of our values?
- Justin Webb, The Times
The response of the US and UK governments to the latest nightmarish crisis in Iraq is an incoherent mess. The two administrations are in agonised doubt about what to do and what they have the space to do, given their respective domestic political contexts.
- Steve Richards, The Independent
What is the United Nations doing? It was set up to combat tyranny and there is no strong enough word to describe the Islamic State's reign of terror. It is literally unspeakable. The UN should send an overwhelming force to the region to stop the carnage
- Peter Hill, Daily Express
The intervention in northern Iraq highlights the hypocrisy that characterises western policies in the Middle East. Who gets saved and who doesn’t? In Egypt, the west supports an authoritarian dictatorship where thousands, from Muslim Brothers to secular democrats like Alaa Abd El Fattah, are incarcerated in appalling, torturous jails. In Palestine, the US resupplied bombs to Israel during its callous bombardment of Gaza. And in Iraq itself, the US chose currently embattled Nouri al-Maliki as prime minister, and continued to support him even after his militias had scythed down Sunnis and imprisoned thousands for their ethnicity.
- Carne Ross, The Guardian
First World War centenary
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