The Corner

Your Kurdish Superhero of the Week

This is quite a story — via Bridget Johnson at Pajamas Media:

After the ground offensive to retake Mosul from ISIS was launched in mid-October, Islamic State terrorists attacked Kirkuk, Iraq.

Nearly 90 civilians and Peshmerga were killed by ISIS in the surprise counterattack Oct. 21, which included suicide bombers and gunmen targeting police stations and a city power plant.

But the death toll could have been higher if one Kurd and his armored BMW hadn’t stepped in.

Ako Rahman, a member of the Peshmerga’s 116th Brigade in Tuz, volunteered to plunge into the fighting to save more than 70 people who had been wounded by ISIS, putting them in his own bulletproof car and rushing them to the hospital.

More:

By the end of the rescue op, Rahman said his car had 50 to 60 bullet holes, many on the front end and windshield. He bought the Mad Max-mobile for $9,000 just four months ago; BMW has offered to give him a brand-new car and retire the heroic one to their company museum, but instead he’s giving the car to a local museum so that the symbol of Kurdish bravery will be on display for Kurds.

“The ISIS bullets were coming in my direction. I saw death with my own eyes. Yet, I did not stop what I was doing,” Rahman said. “I could not leave the wounded in limbo. The only thing I cared about was getting the wounded into my car and driving them to the hospital.”

News from the Iraq front is scarce. American eyes are largely turned elsewhere, but heroes deserve recognition, and Rahman is a hero by any measure. This is sheepdog behavior at its finest. 

I know that the Kurds often struggle with their own factionalism, and not every armed Kurdish group is worth supporting, but I shudder to think where we’d be in the fight against ISIS without them. In both Iraq and Syria, they’ve borne the burden of ground combat and have pushed ISIS back on a broad front. In a region where allies are hard to find, the Kurds have proven themselves time and again.

Finally, I had no idea a person could buy an armored BMW for a mere $9,000. Every family needs a Mad Max-mobile. Point me to the right website, and you have my undying gratitude. 

David French — David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More