Shia militias acting with Iraqi government cover are leading the persecution of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Iraqis, sharply increasing their risk of death or exile, a report has found.

The role of the militias has added a new layer of danger to the country’s vulnerable LGBT community, which was already among the least protected groups in Iraqi society, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Association and the women’s human rights group, Madre said on Wednesday.

Given that the stated rationale of the ISIS war is in part to preserve the Iraqi government, perhaps the Obama Administration might kindly ask them to knock this shit off. Or, better yet, to simply call off this misconceived, panicked reaction called the ISIS war, though I very much doubt that will be considered.

At the moment we’re trying to preserve stability and human rights in the Middle East. Last time it was about democracy. Before that it was curbing aggression. US policymakers always find reasons to intervene in the region, though the longer I watch this, the less of an idea I have as to why. I don’t even think it’s entirely about oil–eliminating all sanctions would get that flowing smoothly, after all, and nobody seems to be advocating that. Christian fundamentalists may account for why Republican presidents love wars in this region, less so for why Democrats provide nearly as many. But of course this is merely facetious: I do know the answer. It is at this point a fully-fledged imperial enterprise that touches too many interests to simply be abandoned. Don’t get me wrong, America’s not an empire–more like a bunch of missionaries with machine guns, which is stupider and worse–but this is all too familiar. Even though, according to Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History, the American public soured on the imperial adventure in the Philippines very quickly, it continued for four decades. It took the New Deal sweeping out the entire political order that cared about such things, ultimately, to end it. Getting the hell out would make eminently more sense, though it seems as far off as ever.

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