By Matt Gurney
November 4, 2014
On Monday, a chilling video drove home the barbarity of the Islamic State in Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS), the terror group rampaging through Syria and Iraq. In the video, a group of young men are sitting in a room, laughing and joking while they wait for their turn to buy a Yazidi woman. The men make cracks about blue-eyed women fetching a different price and how important it is to check a teenage girl’s teeth before taking her as a slave. One asks why he’d pay good money for a girl with no teeth. Just get her some dentures, another one replies. One man, younger than the rest, is taunted by his fellow soldiers. They wonder whether he’s ready to take a woman as a slave.
They are all in agreement, however, about one thing: It is slave-distribution day, and they all hope to get their share of the women. “Where is my Yazidi girl?” one asks over and over.
The Yazidi are one of Iraq’s many distinct religious groups. ISIS overran much of the Yazidis’ traditional territory months ago, and untold thousands of women and children were captured, to be parcelled out to ISIS fighters as war booty. While resistance by Kurdish militias, backed by Western air power, seemingly has halted ISIS’s advance, hundreds of thousands of people still live in the huge swathe of Iraqi and Syrian territory that ISIS controls.
The video obtained by the Western media on Monday cannot be independently verified, but it certainly fits the pattern that witnesses and humanitarian groups on the ground have been warning the world about for months: When ISIS conquers a new town or village, the residents there are put at immediate risk of massacre, forced religious conversion or, in the case of women, sexual enslavement.
Iraq and Syria are just one of the world’s conflict zones, and women aren’t safe in any of them. (Despite recent signals that Boko Haram might free its captive female prisoners, over the weekend, the Nigerian Islamist terror group announced that it could not free any of the hundreds of school girls it kidnapped earlier this year because they have all been married off to Boko Haram soldiers.) But ISIS’ brazen depravity is particularly abhorrent. It’s not just the atrocities they commit. It’s the evident pride they take in them, and their ambition to spread this warped interpretation of Islam all over the Middle East.
Such evil must be opposed, and on the weekend, after several weeks of preparatory work, the Canadian Armed Forces began doing their part. Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 fighter jets, which arrived at their new base in Kuwait late last month, conducted their first bombing mission against ISIS targets on Sunday, after several days of delays caused by concerns that weather conditions might interfere with the laser-guided munitions the planes were carrying. More advanced GPS-guided munitions are soon to arrive, which will allow the Canadian pilots deployed to the Middle East to carry out accurate bombing runs under any conditions. Canada is just a small part of the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition, but it is right that we are doing our part to kill those who eagerly look forward to getting their “share” of terrified captive women and girls.
Canadians, thus far, generally support the mission — as they should. They should also support the country’s much lesser known provision of surveillance equipment, and the technical experts needed to effectively operate it, to Nigeria, to aid in that country’s fight against Boko Haram.
Military missions abroad are always contentious; both the Liberals and NDP voted against the decision to send Canadian warplanes to battle ISIS. But some battles are worth fighting. Though the term “rape culture” often is used in politically correct circles to describe contemporary Western campus culture, there is no better example of it than a milieu in which young men feel comfortable sitting around filming themselves as they wait to buy a sex slave for as little as $500 or a Glock semi-automatic pistol in trade. Perhaps Justin Trudeau, and others who raise the hue and cry every time a sexist chant is sounded at a football game or frat house, might reconsider their doctrinaire opposition to our military mission in Iraq in this light.
Such callous victimization of helpless women ought to offend the conscience of every Canadian. Good luck and Godspeed to the Canadians now hard at work to rid the world of barbarians such as ISIS and Boko Haram.