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[/audioplayer]Iraq is a bloody mess. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has extended its hold from eastern Syria into western and northern Iraq, massacring Shi’ites, Christians and Yazidis wherever it can. Meanwhile in Baghdad there has been a constitutional crisis, with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki threatening to cling to power even though his own political bloc has chosen a different candidate.
The situation is now so bad that it has impinged on the holiday arrangements of our own leaders in the West. President Barack Obama, as he relaxes in Martha’s Vineyard, is at the same time somehow meant to be directing US warplanes back into action to succour tens of thousands of trapped Yazidis and to relieve the pressure on Kurdistan’s capital, Erbil.