Some Interesting Sources on Kurds and Turkey in Syria

Apologies for the blog post that went out yesterday with a video that had been taken down. I had scheduled the post several days in advance. I will try embedding the video again – it has been reportedly re-released on YouTube – in a future blog post. In the meantime, I though I’d share a few interesting sources that go into the context of the whole Kurds/Turkey/Syria issue going on right now. I don’t have time at the moment to do a deep dive and write up my own analysis and commentary, but you may find these items useful in trying to understand this situation, which is more complicated than the corporate news and many politicians are portraying.

First we have two in-depth videos by political analyst Kim Iversen. As many regular readers have probably deduced by now, she is one of my favorites as she likes to do in-depth research on timely issues and then reports back and provides analysis on them via YouTube videos. She is, of course, heavy on foreign policy. I find her to be thorough and fair-minded in her analyses. She is pretty consistently non-interventionist as well. She tends to repeat herself a little bit, but I don’t find that too bothersome.

What did Washington actually promise the Kurds and what did Washington actually promise Turkey? Who is being betrayed?

Below is a just published article by retired weapons inspector, Scott Ritter, providing his own experience with and knowledge about the Kurds in the region.

Why the Syrian Kurds Aren’t Necessarily Our Friends

9 thoughts on “Some Interesting Sources on Kurds and Turkey in Syria”

  1. Ms. Kim Iversen got it completely wrong!
    We not just abandoning our friends. We are abandoning our founding father’s principle: self-determination.
    Besides, why is Ms. Iversen supporting the war machine: NATO, which is an interventionalist tool and would definitely be dissolved by Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Wilson, FDR, and JFK, if given a chance.

    1. I don’t think she makes it as clear cut as that. She admits that the whole thing is a mess. But she also brings out what we did and did not promise the Kurds and Turkey.

      Whose self-determination were you referring to? If you’re referring to the Kurds, it sounds like they don’t necessarily wear the white hats if they’ve ethnically cleansed areas where Arabs have lived for generations. They have been overplaying their hand for a long time. They are never going to get their own independent country. The best they can hope for in relation to Syria is autonomy within Syria. In the end, Iversen makes it clear that the U.S. needs to get out of Syria and the rest of the Middle East – that’s not supporting the war machine. How many times does she say, “we need to go”?

      As for Turkey, I don’t feel much sympathy for their plight with the refugees when they supported the terrorist invasion of Syria to begin with. The refugee problem they are dealing with is largely blowback from their own treacherous policies. But I’m sure most of those refugees would prefer to return to their homeland.

      1. Yes, we need to go. We need to go out of Turkey first, an aggressor country occupying territories of three sovereign countries on earth (cypress, Iraq, syria), a terror-creating country denying Armenian genocide, Greek genocide, Assyrian genocide, and continuing to commit Kurdish genocide, and a country which we having be providing military and monetary support since Harry Truman through NATO.
        Kurds are by no means perfect people. However, they are the largest ethnic group on earth without a country today. We may not give them enough aid to promote their independence movement, mainly in southeastern Turkey. We definitely should not give the Turks green light to allow them to kill more Kurds outside Turkey by using their proxy, the Islamic terrorists.
        Yes, we should leave the northeastern Syria, but not before we leave incirlik air base, not before we leave NATO or Turkey leave NATO.

        1. “Yes, we should leave the northeastern Syria, but not before we leave incirlik air base, not before we leave NATO or Turkey leave NATO.”

          With all due respect, I don’t see how you can be serious about this order of events. Our president could order troops out of Syria right now if he wanted to. The Democrats and others who disagree could cluck about it all they wanted to, but if Trump had the guts to order them out and mean it, they would leave. He has that authority.

          However, Trump doesn’t have the authority to just dissolve NATO. It would be a long and difficult process in which political opponents would be able to put obstacles in the way. So your demand that we leave NATO and/or somehow force Turkey out of NATO – a process that has never been done before and who knows how long and arduous that would be if Turkey didn’t want to leave – before we leave Syria is in practical reality a call for staying in Syria indefinitely. No way can I agree with you on that.

          NATO should have been dissolved at the end of the cold war. But it wasn’t. The fact is that the alliance still exists and we would need to have leadership with the political will to start the process of dissolution and get buy-in from European members. That would take time and a lot of political capital to pull off now – as opposed to when the cold war ended when France and Germany likely would have not put up a stink, the Eastern European countries could have been forcibly placated, and there was much more good will toward Russia. It’s much more complicated now. Do you think other political actors in Washington would allow Trump to unilaterally leave NATO? Not clear he would have the authority to do so. But, again, he has the authority to order troops out of Syria right now and he should use it. No more excuses for staying.

          We can debate whether it was unfair or not for the Kurds not to have received their own nation state after WWI when all the nation states of the Middle East were created. But there is no way that the four countries in which the Kurds currently reside (Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria) are going to just give up territory that is legally recognized as theirs – and has been for 100 years – with non-Kurd citizens established there also so the Kurds can carve out their own independent country. Not going to happen in reality. We can support their full rights as citizens of the countries they reside in being respected and maybe the granting of some autonomy in the areas where they are concentrated. Many Kurds in reality would likely be happy with being treated as equals and given opportunities to prosper in the countries they live in now. The Rojava Kurds have a specific ideological agenda and don’t represent all Kurds.

          One of the factors that led to the escalation of tensions that resulted in WWI was the smaller Balkan groups who had nationalist ambitions of independence who actively manipulated the rivalries of the larger powers on behalf of their agenda. Larger powers must be judicious and not get sucked in to these kinds of agendas.

          The moral of this story is that the Obama administration should have left Syria alone. They should not have embarked on Operation Sycamore Timber, they should not have supported terrorist proxies to try to overthrow the Syrian government, and they should not have indulged the Kurds in their quixotic quest for their own separate country.

          Let’s get out and stop standing in the way of the Kurds negotiating with the Syrian government who could defend them against Turkey.

          1. US foreign policy has been wrong for more than 70 years. There’s no quick, easy solution. Taking easy, quick short cuts can only make things worse.
            Pulling troops out of Syria does not get us out of Syria. We, —-our taxpayers’ money, weapons, are in Syria again, —-brought in by the Turks and their Islamic terrorist proxy. And, we are killing people Washington would like to help, since he could feel their pain.
            When a previous surgeon wrongfully cut open a patient, damaged the patient’s organs, arteries, and left gauze in the abdominal cavity, the second surgeon can’t just close the wound and declare that he/she is practicing medicine the right way.
            We, the people, should raise our voice to make our government make foreign policy change, not be acquiescent with, or endorsing their unprofessional and wanton misconduct. There are severe consequences for us and our future generations.
            Nonetheless, I am happy to know that more people are questioning the existence of NATO and especially the membership of Turkey. I remember when I was talking about to kick Turkey out NATO in 1974, after their bloody invasion of Cyprus, I was the lone voice.
            Sad thing is, I was in high school then, and now I am a grand uncle.
            Sadder things are the people in Mideast will continue to be killed by us more, not less. Since we continue to support the main destructive force, —-the neo ottomans, and move away from the secular force, —-the Syrians, the Kurds, and the Russians.
            At the time, the Europeans and the Americans will have to deal with more ISIS unleashed by our own money and military aids given to Turkey.

          2. To make things simple:
            We should do right things, not wrong things. If we are doing something wrong, we should stop it.
            To stay with the Kurds is not wrong, but to stay with the Turks is. So, we should stop doing that. (It is too late to de-elect Obama.)

  2. Years ago, on one of the Kurdish websites, I already put down my opinion to ask them to work with the Syrian government and the Russians, not to trust the Americans. It seemed they all understood that.
    Our foreign policy is completely controlled by the deep state certified think tank, center on foreign relations. So our foreign policy is always predictable and in the majority of time, on the wrong side of history and harmful to American people and violating the founding principles of this country, which affects our domestic policy adversely.
    I don’t worry about the Kurds. I am just wondering how many countries we will continue to invade by our our troops or so-called NATO allies’, how many regimes we will continue to topple by our own covert operations or our so called NATO allies’, how many terrorists we will continue to support by our own money or our so called NATO allies’, how many freedom fighters we are going to kill by our own bombs or our so called NATO allies,.
    Luckily, the tragedies will stop when someday our fellow Americans finally decide to stop continuing to do the the wrong things we have been doing for decades or centuries, before we get all of us killed by a nuclear calamity, triggered by another tolerated invasion by one of our so called NATO allies on a very small insignificant country, killing a small group of ignorable people.

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