Poll: Majority of Republicans support Trump’s Syrian policy

 

A poll released Wednesday found that 57 percent of Republicans support President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria.

The statement of the year from Trump.

They have a problem at the border; it’s not our border,” the president said.

“If Syria wants to fight for their land, that’s up to Turkey and Syria,” he added. “Syria may have some help with Russia, and that’s fine. It’s a lot of sand. They’ve got a lot of sand over there. So there’s a lot of sand that they can play with.”

An Economist/YouGov survey shows 25 percent of Republican respondents said they strongly approve of pulling out troops, while 32 percent stated they somewhat approve of the move. Further, 26 percent of Republicans surveyed said they oppose the move and 18 percent said they do not hold an opinion on the matter. The poll surveyed 1,500 people between October 13th-15th and had a margin of error of plus or minus of 2.7 percentage points.

The survey’s results show Republican lawmakers who oppose the troop pullout – such as Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Mitt Romney (R-UT) – are at odds with the majority of GOP voters.

More at Breitbart

For an excellent history on the background of the Kurds check out an earlier post – a portion here:

The Kurds -The Dilemma and its Complicated History

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.

……

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.

Other than that, all is well in the swamp.

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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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Sunday respite: In memory of the Kurds who died this week with U.S. OK

 

This has to be one of the saddest post I have ever done. Tears fill my eyes. For those of us who know our long relationship with the Kurds and how we sell them out over and over again it is an immoral act of betrayal. No respite for this day. Do read the headline link below starting with “Stunning..” It will make you sick. Obama names the Kurds a terrorist organization. Read the tweets from the Kurds. So I will give you for the music selection, Schindler’s list done by Luka Sulic.

The headline?

Turkey Continues Airstrikes On Kurds, Killing 260…

The Kurds. And we supported Turkey killing our supposed allies. Those very brave men and women who we half supported, who we have lied to over and over again since we attacked Iraq the very first time.

STUNNING=> Obama Gives Turkey Green Light to Bomb ….

6 days ago – Retired US Marine Jordan Matson joined the YPG Kurdish fighters to fight ISIS in September 2014. Jordan told Greta Van … This week Obama gave a green light to Turkey to bomb the Kurds. …. Thank you for your support.

Earlier post 42 Million plus support ISIS, US blocks attempts by allies to arm Kurds 

Meanwhile, Obama refuses to help the Kurds.

The United States has blocked attempts by its Middle East allies to fly heavy weapons directly to the Kurds fighting Islamic State jihadists in Iraq, The Telegraph has learnt.

Some of America’s closest allies say President Barack Obama and other Western leaders, including David Cameron, are failing to show strategic leadership over the world’s gravest security crisis for decades.

42 Million plus support ISIS, US blocks attempts by allies to arm Kurds

Figure this one out. The Islamic State rolls on and we are assured that Islam is a religion of peace. Thus we are trucking in thousands of them to the United States from the Middle East as refugees without so much as attempting to vet them. How about these numbers? Millions think of ISIS positively. And the Kurds? Obama refuses to allow even our allies to arm them directly. Whose side is Obama on? Here we go:

The study, based on four recent polls, reveals the shocking level of support for the caliphate around the world.

Ryan Mauro of the Clarion Project, which carried out the research, warned that “ISIS is only a fraction of what it could potentially become”.

He said: “If we don’t act quickly, this is still going to grow – and what we’re looking at today is going to look like the good old days compared to the future.”

More than 8.5million people view ISIS positively, and around 42 million view them somewhat positively, according to the data.

Read more: Express

Meanwhile, Obama refuses to help the Kurds.

The United States has blocked attempts by its Middle East allies to fly heavy weapons directly to the Kurds fighting Islamic State jihadists in Iraq, The Telegraph has learnt.

Some of America’s closest allies say President Barack Obama and other Western leaders, including David Cameron, are failing to show strategic leadership over the world’s gravest security crisis for decades.

They now say they are willing to “go it alone” in supplying heavy weapons to the Kurds, even if means defying the Iraqi authorities and their American backers, who demand all weapons be channelled through Baghdad.

High level officials from Gulf and other states have told this newspaper that all attempts to persuade Mr Obama of the need to arm the Kurds directly as part of more vigorous plans to take on Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) have failed. The Senate voted down one attempt by supporters of the Kurdish cause last month.

The officials say they are looking at new ways to take the fight to Isil without seeking US approval.

“If the Americans and the West are not prepared to do anything serious about defeating Isil, then we will have to find new ways of dealing with the threat,” said a senior Arab government official. “With Isil making ground all the time we simply cannot afford to wait for Washington to wake up to the enormity of the threat we face.”

The Peshmerga have been successfully fighting Isil, driving them back from the gates of Erbil and, with the support of Kurds from neighbouring Syria, re-establishing control over parts of Iraq’s north-west.

But they are doing so with a makeshift armoury. Millions of pounds-worth of weapons have been bought by a number of European countries to arm the Kurds, but American commanders, who are overseeing all military operations against Isil, are blocking the arms transfers.

One of the core complaints of the Kurds is that the Iraqi army has abandoned so many weapons in the face of Isil attack, the Peshmerga are fighting modern American weaponry with out-of-date Soviet equipment.

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