Asked But Not Answered

Rather than cite a bunch of opinion pieces and news articles I’ll just say okay, I get it. A lot of people are unhappy about “abandoning the Kurds”. Rather than just express outrage, I want to know what the alternative is? Do they want to maintain military bases in Syria on an indefinite basis? That’s a violation of international accords to which the U. S. is a party. Do they want the U. S. to occupy the entire Middle East and parts of West Asia indefinitely? What’s the exit strategy? Is there an exit strategy? Do they want an exit strategy?

And what’s the nonsense about sending thousands of U. S. troops to Saudi Arabia? The last time we did that we experienced a one-two punch. First, hundreds of our soldiers were killed in a terrorist attack on their barracks and then we experienced the most severe terrorist attack in the United States in our history with thousands killed. Since then we’ve spent trillions in a futile war against terrorism. I have no idea what they think they’re going to accomplish.

If you think the security measures we’ve put in place since 2001 have been effective, here in Chicago we have a news story about a little old lady who’s been sneaking onto flights at O’Hare for years. She’s just been apprehended again. There are probably hundreds or even thousands of such stories nationwide. If an old lady can sneak on flights, so can terrorists. Our security measures are security theater not real security.

10 comments… add one
  • TastyBits Link

    “The Kurds” are Syrians, Turks, or Iraqis. There is no such thing as “the Kurds”. The only way they will get a “homeland” is through a civil war(s), and since they will never be able to win any of those civil wars, the US will need to do it.

    Anybody who led “the Kurds” to believe that they would have a “homeland” has betrayed them.

    In the case of our ally Turkey, the US has been arming our enemy. Yes, the enemy of our ally is our enemy. The US should be assisting Turkey to destroy our enemy.

    The troops to Saudi Arabia is probably an attempt to appease the interventionists.

  • The Kurds are a group of inter-related tribes living across a broad swathe of the Middle East including Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Jordan. They are culturally and linguistically Indo-Europeans. Historically, they appear to have been a client people of the Persians. I believe that the ancient Israelites, similarly, were a client people of the Persians but that’s a topic for another post

    They are not politically united and there has never been a Kurdish homeland as such, unlike other Indo-European people of the area like the Iranians and the Armenians.

  • TastyBits Link

    I would equate them to Crips, Bloods, Mafia, etc. Those groups are tribes in various cities, and they are related culturally and linguistically. Like the Kurds, they are criminal organizations, as well.

  • bob sykes Link

    To me, the real issue is the abandonment of Turkey, our third oldest ally, and the key to our strategic position in the Middle East.

    If Turkey were to be driven into any kind of alliance with Russia (their traditional enemy), it would be a world historic disaster for the US. It mark the end of our imperium.

  • steve Link

    I would have a real hard time with us actively helping Turkey kill the Kurds. Sooner or later if you keep dropping allies when they are inconvenient it will make it harder to obtain help when needed. To go from fighting next to someone one day, then turn around and fight against them the next day when they haven’t done anything to betray or offend is a bit much. Not everything can be transactional.


  • TarsTarkas Link

    Mr. Sykes, Trump allowing Erdogan to have his way with the PKK and their military wing in northern Syria is an affirmation of that alliance, not a abandonment. The PKK has been trying to split off Kurdish-speaking southeast Turkey for generations, and the chaos in Syria allowed them to secure a strip of land with which to use to launch strikes at Turkey with impunity while complaining that any retaliation would violate Syria’s national sovereignity. Similar to the DMZ in Vietnam during that war. Erdogan is a bully and a murderous thug wno IMO should be executed for his innumerable crimes against his own nation, but the PKK is not our friend, and the alternative many proposed, to protect this particular splinter faction of the Kurds (who are not a unified people) would in fact abrogate the NATO treaty. I wouldn’t worry about Erdogan going too far, but Iran isn’t going to let him, and the Arabs are all convinced he wants to recreate the Ottoman Empire. Plus Trump has made it very clear bad things will happen if massacres do occur. Sometimes there are no good solutions to these situations, just least bad options. In which case I’m in favor not shedding American blood to protect someone else’s turf.

  • jan Link

    I agree there is no good answer for what to do in Syria. No matter which moral ground the US chooses to stand on there will be naysayers and criticism. Like Tars inserted, President Trump has made a terse statement that consequences will occur should Turkey cross too many lines. following that up up with Treasury given the leeway to exert economic sanctions should that happen. Also, although troops have been drawn back, there remains a contingency nearby — in fact one that was supposedly fired on by Turkey.

  • What is an “ally”? I don’t think the Kurds are allies. IMO they are at most clients.

  • Guarneri Link

    Messy stuff this foreign policy. Tribes, thugs, crooks, vendettas, survivalists, duplicitous tyrants, psychopaths, innocent bystanders. But everyone has an opinion. And the damndest thing. They are all correct! Just ask them.


  • steve Link

    “Like Tars inserted, President Trump has made a terse statement that consequences will occur should Turkey cross too many lines.”

    That will make the dead Kurds feel better.

    “What is an “ally”? I don’t think the Kurds are allies. IMO they are at most clients.”

    Yup, but pretty good clients AFAICT. The US provided artillery and airpower and the Kurds put fighters on the ground to fight ISIS. (As opposed to our “ally” Turkey who did what?) How many other client states have been willing to lose thousands of their own troops to achieve a common goal? If we were going to desert them all along, if we thought that was the only possible outcome, would it have hurt to have at least given them a month or two of warning?

    While everyone is focusing on the Kurd issue, sending troops to Saudi Arabia is an awful idea. What do we hope to get out of that which could possibly help the US?


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