Do the Christian indigenous people of Kurdistan and Biafra deserve our support in their fight against Islamic extremists? While supplying weapons to some insurgents fighting for freedom in Syria, why has the Obama administration not supplied support and weapons to those in Kurdistan or Christian Nigeria fighting for their survival? Why has the administration refused to give support to the independence of these beleaguered peoples?
As ISIS expands its grip on lands in Iraq and turns its attention to Kurdistan, Prime Minister Maliki has finally sent in air support to the Kurds to stem the tide of the ISIS advance. Fearful that ISIS might capture Iraq's largest dam currently under the control of Kurdish fighters, Maliki sent Iraq's air force to bomb ISIS targets in Sinjar. But neither Maliki or the Obama administration have been willing to provide much needed ammunition and weapons to the Kurdish fighters.
With the Kurds in a legal fight with Maliki over giving the revenue from the sale of the crude oil in their region to Baghdad, the Obama administration has refused to support the Kurds in fear of justifying any partition of Iraq. But with Christians throughout Iraq seeking refuge in Kurdistan, is it not time to consider the calls for freedom coming from these war-torn regions?
After all, in 2010, President Obama joined the 145 countries who had supported the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. It affirms that "Indigenous peoples have the collective right to live in freedom, peace and security as distinct peoples and shall not be subjected to any act of genocide or any other act of violence."
It's time for the peoples of Kurdistan and Biafra to call on the world to go beyond words to actually support their cause. It's time for President Obama to stop retreating from leadership in this region and use the weight of his office to act.
Majority Leader and Armed Services Chair Visit Kiev: European Leaders Increasingly For U.S. Arms to Ukraine | Vivian Hughbanks