Wednesday, 13 August 2014

minced oath or peacock not proud

The mire of war and meddling is always fertile ground for euphemism.  The US government, after the admission that humanitarian airstrikes are basically ineffective, more dazzle and sleight-of-hand, and that the refugee-corridor of those fleeing the violence remains unprotected, despite pledges that the combat phase of the Iraqi entanglement is over and there will be no more boots on the ground (parenthetically, in a combat role), is sending additional assessors to Northern Iraq to act as military advisers. These five hundred or so newly arrived troops are in addition to the force of eight-hundred acting as minders for the embassy and airport.
It’s a challenge to talk around the subject, just as it was with such figments as detainees for unlawful enemy combatants or Global War on Terrorism to Overseas Contingency Operations.  Naming-conventions aside and focusing on the real and immediate problems of the Iraqi people, I find this overall America programme of break-to-own (which is present in other aspects as well and not just military intervention) highly disturbing.  Among those stranded in the mountains and facing a slow but sure death, unable to return to their homelands, are the Yazidi, who ISIS wish to purge along with the other ethnic and religious minorities of Iraq to keep Islam pure.  The Yazidi are conflated as devil-worshippers by many outsiders because of their reverence for their chief holy caretaker, the Peacock Angel (Tawûsê Melek, مَلَك طَاوُوس).  Like Lucifer of other traditions, the Peacock Angel was introduced to God’s newest creation, Man, and asked to bow before him.  Both the Peacock Angel and Satan refused God’s request but for different reasons: the former out of loyal piety and the latter out of pride.  Both archangels were expelled, but the Yazidi caretaker is not regarded as a fallen angel but rather a redeemed one, who having repented, was forgiven.  Though this article of faith is much more than just a moral, I think there is a lesson to be learnt here about ethical obligations always trumping rhetoric and political aspirations.