Monday, October 26, 2015

Iraqis Live in Constant Fear of Islamic State

The Obama administration doesn't really care. The recent shift to a larger U.S. role in Iraq is the result of political expediency. The White House wants to make it look like it's doing something before handing off its failed Middle East policy to its successor.

At USA Today, "Life under Islamic State rule in Mosul one of constant fear":
DOHUK, Iraq — Journalists are beaten or executed as spies. Children routinely witness executions and no longer go to school. A portion of government workers' salaries are seized.

That is what life is like living under the brutal rule of the Islamic State in Mosul since the extremist group captured Iraq's second largest city in 2014, according to residents lucky enough to escape to this Kurdish enclave about 45 miles to the north.

Yousuf Saba, 41, a former journalist with local news channel Sama al-Mosul, said he fled for his life in recent weeks after the militant group began rounding up journalists suspected of leaking negative information about the Islamic State.

“Anyone who was part of the journalist union in Mosul was taken,” Saba said. “They accused them of spying and threatened to kill their families. Some of my friends ... were interrogated and beaten, even though they had no proof against them.”

In early September, the militants executed 15 local journalists as suspected spies in front of a large crowd in the center of Mosul and forced children to watch, said Saba, who witnessed the killings.

Two weeks after he fled the city, the Islamic State killed his younger brother as an "example for others who were trying to escape," he said. "If more people leave, they will lose their credibility in front of the world."

Mohamma Bakour, 32, a schoolteacher who escaped in September, said the militants initially shut down all the schools. Now, he said, they have revised the courses to be consistent with their radical view of Islam.

“Books that discuss evolution are banned, and (many) science labs in schools have been burned," Bakour said. "'Only God created the world, and you don’t need experiments to tell them the world exists.' That’s their philosophy.”

Bakour said many children have been traumatized by the regime's brutality.

“When they cut a throat in front of the children, some children get psychologically affected and other children accept it as normal," he said. "In more than one year, the Islamic State has created a society where it’s normal for children to watch their elders being murdered by them.”

Most children don’t go to school and could end up joining the militants, Bakour said. Child labor is common. Many children “sell water and snacks on the streets to make $5 a day to support their families. But if they get recruited by (the Islamic State), they make much more money, and many families need that," he said...
Still more.