A little more than three years ago, ISIL captured Mosul and proclaimed a new modern caliphate. By seizing the second largest city in Iraq, ISIS changed from an extremist group operating far away from the perceived safety of the U.S. into a terrifying movement capable of invading major metropolitan areas. To me in 2014, and to many Americans today, international crises feel almost like a fairy tale or something from a history book, but this is purely because we don’t feel connected to the situation until there are photos of injured children being carried through rubble, explosions destroying homes or maps of occupied territory.
It’s human nature to feel more compassion toward causes with a face, causes making documentable changes in real people’s lives. However, the people that really need immediate help are not the African school children you can “adopt” to help them buy school supplies, but the residents of a city comparable in size to my home of Seattle who have nothing.
Of the whole U.S. budget, less than 1 percent goes to international aid, while our military gets over 18 percent (excluding veterans programs). In my mind it does not make sense to assist in freeing an occupied people if we are just going to abandon them at their most vulnerable. Mosul will not be able to rebuild without international aid.
So please contact your representatives to let them know that this matters to you.