The Kurds -The Dilemma and its Complicated History


 

Salient Facts about Kurdistan

by Mustang

The issue of US involvement with Kurdish fighters is complicated and involve far more than a presidential directive to withdraw.  Let’s review.

The Kurdish people have been around since the third millennium B.C.  We know this because the Kurds are mentioned in Sumerian clay tablets.  They have long populated portions of present-day Turkey, Syria, Iran, and Iraq.  They fought alongside the Roman Army in 360 A.D.

Kurdish YPG fighters

They have been demanding their own state since the 11th century.  History has not treated the Kurds kindly.  Turks, Iranians, Syrians, and Iraqis have murdered them, deported them, and resettled other ethnic groups in traditional Kurdish territories since the middle of the 19th century.

One consequence of this systematic suppression has been that the Kurds are more determined than ever to establish a state called Kurdistan.  Treaties promising them autonomy and self-determination have been made and broken since the 1920s.  Fifty years later, a new generation of Kurdish nationalists emerged: the Kurdish Worker’s Party (PKK).

They initially embraced Marxist/Leninist ideology only to abandon it by the late 1970s.  In 2011, another group emerged … the People’s Defense Unit (also, YPG).  The United States regards both entities as foreign terrorist organizations.

To demonstrate how Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran have treated the Kurds, well over a million Kurds have been murdered or displaced since the end of the First World War.  Iraq has made a concerted effort to eradicate these people.  In one day in 1989, the Iraqi government killed 5,000 Kurdish civilians at Halabja by attacking them with nerve gas (see note 1).

The Kurdish rebellion in Iraq collapsed in 1991.  Iraqi troops recaptured most of the Kurdish areas and 1.5 million more Kurds abandoned their homes and fled to Turkish and Iranian border areas.  Twenty-thousand Kurds died during this evacuation.  The United Nations finally stepped in by passing a resolution to condemn the repression of Iraqi Kurds, but as far as anyone can tell, the UN’s somewhat belated resolution failed to restore life to any murdered Kurd.

Today, Kurds continue to occupy southeastern Turkey, northern Syria, northern Iraq, and northwestern Iran.  They refer to these areas as Northern Kurdistan, Western Kurdistan, Southern Kurdistan, and Eastern Kurdistan.  The truth is, there is no Kurdish territory.  The Kurds do not, nor have ever had —in the modern sense— a legally recognized state of their own.

Whether they like it or not, they live in Syria, Turkey, Iraq, and Iran —much like the Basques live in Spain and France— and much like equally distinct ethnic minorities live throughout the United States.

Have the Kurds been US allies against ISIS?  In a fashion, yes —but they were not fighting for American ideals; they were fighting ISIS for their own purposes —with US aid— provided to the Kurds because it served the United States’ interests to provide it.  We must remember, however, that according to US law, the PKK and YPG are designated foreign terrorist organizations.  Remember too that despite actions taken by the US government, private American citizens have been prosecuted (and convicted) for supporting these Kurdish organizations.

Why has the United States designated the PKK and YPG terrorist organizations?  The answer is that the Kurdish insurgencies have opposed Turkey, a NATO ally, for over 30 years.  Irrespective of the policies of Turkish President Erdogan, Turkey remains an important strategic ally of the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.  Erdogan’s recent threats to adopt Russia as his new best friend would not serve the interests of the United States (or NATO).

In 2014, President Barack Obama brought the United States into the Kurd-Turk conflict by authorizing the transfer of arms and munitions to the Kurds.  He then (without congressional approval) complicated the matter further (in his opposition to Bashir Al-Assad) by involving the United States in a multi-layered war in Syria —one that involved not only Turkey and the Kurds, but Russia as well.

In effect, Obama’s intervention ended up benefitting both Syria and Russia.  Presidents Putin and Al-Assad must be having quite a laugh at our expense.  This was the mess left on Trump’s plate on his first day in the White House.

Of course, there were humanitarian reasons for arming the Kurds, but in doing so, it seems unlikely that anyone in the Department of State or Defense considered the likely consequences of such actions.  At the outset, the United States undermined its own anti-terrorism laws, alienated a NATO ally, bolstered Russia’s diplomatic credibility in the Middle East, pushed Turkey toward Iran, and encouraged Iranian support for ISIS.

Second, at no time did the United States seriously consider endorsing Kurdish autonomy.  The novella serves as a poignant reminder that our government’s incompetence in foreign relations is nothing short of astonishing.  While the blowhards in Washington seek to condemn President Trump for pulling out of Syria, he at least does have an exit strategy.

It is to exit a potentially disastrous (lose-lose) situation —one that does not serve the interests of the American people.  Americans are fed up with the Moslem world and their accompanying baggage.  The Middle East is not worth one drop of American blood —we finally have a president who realizes this.

When President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to withdraw US forces from Kurdish territory in Syria, Pentagon brass publicly complained that the President blindsided them.  Now if that is true, then these very senior three-and four-star officers should resign immediately.

They are either grossly incompetent, or they are pursuing an agenda that differs considerably from the foreign policy goals of the President of the United States.  Mr. Trump has consistently stated that he intends to disentangle the United States from military operations in Syria.  In fact, Mr. Trump wants US military forces completely out of the Middle East; he wants an end to the United States’ never-ending wars.

Note 1: Proof that Saddam Hussein not only had weapons of mass destruction, but also that he was willing to use them.

Mustang also blogs at Fix Bayonets and Thoughts From Afar

Other than that all is well in the swamp

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47 Responses to “The Kurds -The Dilemma and its Complicated History”

  1. Sunday Respite – Canzona | BUNKERVILLE | God, Guns and Guts Comrades! Says:

    […] The Kurds -The Dilemma and its Complicated History […]

    Like

  2. cherylpass Says:

    Hey, Bunker….Sharing this with you. Making me think of our old friend Jim: https://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2019/10/13/my-socialist-hell-20-years-of-decay-in-venezuela/
    😦

    Liked by 1 person

  3. kidme37 Says:

    Ok, I admit it – I don’t care about the Kurds. In fact I don’t care about anyone in the Middle East except for innocent animals. Guess who cares even less than I do about the Kurds. Yep – democrats.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. cherylpass Says:

    I don’t know who this George guy is, but I know a lot of military who are supportive and appreciate Trump. Useless loss of life and limb is not their mission. Those who cooked up the transformation of the MIddle East and “The New American Century” are the goons who have abused and misused our military for decades now. Enough is enough!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Mustang.Koji Says:

    One shoukd read the “George S. Patton Papers”. One of the strongest goal minded generals in our history condemned tge Moslems. He correctly reflected on the historical fact they’ve been at war with each other for ages. They still are now – the gist of Bunkerville’s excellent report.

    Time to get outta Dodge – especially since that warring mentality of eons have now been allowed into the US in troves by Obummer. We will have a war here if the Dems continue with their selfish plans.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. george227 Says:

    We abandoned them to their enemies. We are not to be trusted.
    America’s word is s***.
    Conservatives have ruined my country.

    Like

    • bunkerville Says:

      We must remember, however, that according to US law, the PKK and YPG are designated foreign terrorist organizations. Remember too that despite actions taken by the US government, private American citizens have been prosecuted (and convicted) for supporting these Kurdish organizations.
      Turkey has two million refugees that need to go back to Syria. The Kurds have been continuing to attack Turkey’s border….

      Liked by 1 person

      • george227 Says:

        They lost 12,000 people fighting with us. We betrayed them.
        I am sorry, but as a veteran, I will never forgive Trump for this.

        Like

      • bunkerville Says:

        Just where would the Kurds be if Bush hadn’t decided to involve us over there? Do you think Saddam would have treated them any better? As I recall he had a thing with using gas.

        Liked by 1 person

      • george227 Says:

        Thanks for the discussion.
        Good points but irrelevant. We betrayed our allies. Nobody will forget it,. . on any side.

        Liked by 1 person

      • kidme37 Says:

        Georgie. You don’t give a shit about the Kurds. Now enjoy having Donald John Trump, the best president since George Washington as your president for the next 5 years and change princess.

        Liked by 1 person

      • george227 Says:

        Yeah, I do. It is called at the least Common Decency, something which seems to be lost recently.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mustang Says:

        For once, I agree with you, George. Certainly, the Kurds and other Middle Eastern types won’t forget. The US is not a dependable ally … and this not only speaks to the issue of the level of our State Department’s incompetence, it also demands an answer to the question, “Why in the hell are we involving ourselves in areas of the world that do not directly affect the safety and security of the American people?” We would not have “abandoned” the Kurds had we not gotten ourselves involved with them in the first place.

        Liked by 2 people

      • bunkerville Says:

        Same with those in Libya…..agree..but where are our allies?? Europe which we salvaged a couple of times.

        Like

  7. bunkerville Says:

    thanks Mustang….alliances will form with different partners and the beat goes on… So now the Kurds will connect with Russia.. Let Russia get another run at it in case they didn’t learn in Afghanistan. I finished reading a diary of a British soldier during their fighting there in about the 1870’s as I recall the Brits went in several times…
    We are in 125 countries last I read… Bring them all home.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mustang Says:

      George has probably forgotten (or, perhaps, never knew) that the 1977 Carter-Torrijos Treaty gave up the Panama Canal. The canal, one might recall, was paid for in American lives and billions of US dollars. The 1903 Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty ceded the land to the United States and was granted sovereignty over it “in perpetuity.” Granted, over time, naval technology began building larger ships, some of which could not fit through the locks constructed over a hundred years ago, but this doesn’t mean that the Panama Canal was no longer a strategic benefit to the United States. Today, the Chinese control the Panama Canal, which even if one happened to be a one-cylinder moron, would not seem to be in the United States’ best interests.

      Then, two years later, Jimmy Carter sold out Taiwan, a US ally for decades. In the process of turning America’s back on a long-time ally, Carter agreed to recognize Communist China as the only legitimate Chinese nation-state. There were other Carter failures, of course: The Iran Hostage Crisis, the failed attempt to rescue those hostages, and then of course there was the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan that Carter didn’t see coming. All history now, of course … but George should consider the many ways Democrats have worked against the interests of the United States and our allies, beginning essentially with Woodrow Wilson (who also targeted American citizens) and continuing all the way through Barack Obama. I’m not kidding myself: George will continue with his own tailored version of historic fact, even when it’s a bald-faced lie. He may indeed be a veterans, albeit not a very bright one.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. peter3nj Says:

    Thanks for the history lesson Mustang. Imagine how different the thinking would be in this country if the ivied halls were populated with professors of your acumen instead of the commie scum who have been indoctrinating our young since after and probably before the end of WWII. Imagine if the Pentagon was in the hands of military thinkers as opposed to its brain dead compromised yes men and congress inhabited by statesmen rather than the profiteering scum intent on destroying this once great nation? It all reads like a bad novel.

    Liked by 2 people

    • george227 Says:

      The military hates Trump!!
      Were you in it? If so, you would understand what I mean.

      Like

      • peter3nj Says:

        We’re you in the Jane Fonda Brigade?

        Liked by 2 people

      • george227 Says:

        We were unarmed airborne electronic reconnaissance, and lost 22 of us non-combatants. Is that enough?

        Halfway through my tour, I turned against the war loudly. Everything I had was repeatedly vandalized by cowards who would not show themselves. I went into the hospital twice and came home in a delirium for being right. We had no business killing people in their own country.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Mustang Says:

      You’re exactly right, Peter. Mattis’ stance on Syria was very disappointing. As a nation, we ought to avoid war whenever we can, but when we cannot avoid it, then we must win it … and sooner is always better than later. I feel no emotional or intellectual obligation to any Moslem country or enclave.

      Like

      • george227 Says:

        We betrayed the Kurds like Nixon/Ford betrayed the Vietnamese.

        Like

      • Mustang Says:

        You mean to say the Democrats in Congress betrayed the Vietnamese. And who sent us to Vietnam in the first place? A Democrat. It might be useful to ask and answer, why were we sent there to begin with if we weren’t allowed to win?

        Liked by 1 person

      • george227 Says:

        Well, gosh, we could go with this forever. It is my fault for bringing it up. In my experience (I am 75), it started in 1956 when Secretary of State John Foster Dulles reneged on our promise of free elections in all of Vietnam, starting the war.

        Liked by 1 person

      • peter3nj Says:

        A bit off topic but since you brought up our friends practicing the religion of peace I’d like to share the following: for the first time in quite a while I found myself in a mall and discovered that the Muslim women mall walkers have abandoned the visible face hijab for the eyes revealing type only. And since none of the herd carry a purse they must be carrying their stash in their brassieres; are those allowed? Their practicing of incremental desensitizing must surely impact the cerebral activity of the gullible guilt ridden racist infidel American shopper or why would this practice continue?

        Liked by 2 people

      • bunkerville Says:

        Peter.. I know they are very low on Vitamin D… if that helps.

        Like

  9. Linda Says:

    I think all these military personal who were in during Obama and remain in ought to be fired and replaced. I have never seen such blatant defilement in my life. As for the Kurds, I do not have sympathy, they go where the wind goes; they are nomads. They will form alliances with whomever and they proved that with Syria/Assad. One can fight these proxy wars -they have been like this for thousands of years and will remain so.

    Like

    • george227 Says:

      So, that is your excuse for betrayal?

      Like

      • dave drake Says:

        @ George 10:22am, you’re fine with Clinton-Gore-Albright et al responsible for the deaths of over 500,000 children, then? That doesn’t make you ashamed of your country, right?

        Lesley Stahl on U.S. sanctions against Iraq: We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?

        Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–we think the price is worth it.

        —60 Minutes (5/12/96)

        It’s worth noting that on 60 Minutes, Albright made no attempt to deny the figure given by Stahl–a rough rendering of the preliminary estimate in a 1995 U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report that 567,000 Iraqi children under the age of five had died as a result of the sanctions.

        https://fair.org/extra/we-think-the-price-is-worth-it/

        Like

      • bunkerville Says:

        Well done Dave in pointing out the reality of a terrible situation.

        Like

      • dave drake Says:

        @ Bunk@ 1:40pm – Thank you.

        I’m just curious is there is ANYTHING the Dems EVER did that made George feel ashamed.

        George, are you proud of Liberals who spat on U.S. Soldiers returning home from Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam?

        Maybe the DEM party being founded by the KKK? https://www.history.com/topics/reconstruction/ku-klux-klan
        (You can argue with the history channel on that on, George).

        If George is sympathetic for the Kurds ad not to the 500,000 Iraqi CHILDREN, then he’s intellectually dishonest.

        Blind and total allegiance to “a” party, unwilling to criticize it, is called Communism, or living under a dictatorship. George knows this – he won’t admit it nor will he reply to my comment.

        Thanks Bunk!!!!

        Liked by 1 person


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