I guess it is time to discuss the Kurds. Who are they and why is it important?
Many of us are hearing of them for the first time, which is a bit unusual because they were pivotal participants in the fight for Iraq during “the insurgency” post-occupation and bravely fought the emergence of the ISIS cancer as well. I remember being there in 2003 and seeing graffiti in Baghdad that said “PKK”, which I did not understand at the time. They’ve been at this war thing for more than a minute.
You may be asking other questions. Why do so many people suddenly give a damn about them? What is it that we owe to the Kurdish people?
If you just got here, we just fucked them over big time by ceding a part of their “territory” to Turkey. You won’t find “Kurdistan” on a contemporary map, and I suspect you never will. However, here’s a representation of what an autonomous Kurdish state would look like. As a people, they are a victim of the sloppy partitioning of the Middle East by Western powers.
Anyway, we fortified them so they could battle ISIS largely in our stead, and now we are forcing them to run from the land they know as home in Syria. Thanks to the capriciousness of Donald Trump, we unleashed the cruelty of the Turkish military upon Kurdish civilians. Rumors of torture and the deployment of Willy Pete abound.
Having said that, let’s be clear: double-crossing is as American as apple pie. To me, there’s nothing particularly shocking about America hanging the Kurds out to dry. The United States likes the map the way it is. There has never, not even in the virtuous Obama administration, been a mandate for an independent Kurdistan. They have de facto control over northern Iraq, but it’s unlikely that it will become a new “country” and we would probably not support separatism were they to declare independence.
The double cross is certainly not uniquely American. Sometimes, it’s just the way of the world; countries ally so long as they have mutual interests and then part ways when they no longer have them. Think Soviet Russia during and after World War II. Now, the thing about Kurds that makes their situation somewhat unique is that they have no country. Their territory, if you want to call it that, sprawls across four Middle Eastern states. They are fraught with hostile powers on all sides-being a Kurd has been a tough row to hoe, although they are certainly not strangers to violence and defense. I think that perhaps that “wandering” position that they are in makes some of us sympathetic to their desire for land they can call their own. Their struggle, if it can be compared to anything in recent memory, echoes that of the Jewish Zionists, who were very useful to the West by establishing an aggressive client state in the midst of the Arab-dominated Middle East.
I am certainly not saying it is OK at all to greenlight hostilities against allied people only to try futilely to halt them mere days later. The feckless infant occupying the Oval Office has once again shown us he doesn’t have the courage to follow through on his ill-informed adventures; he’s never met a policy he can’t do a quick 180 on. It’s gotten innocents pointlessly murdered this time; it’s as ugly as it sounds and he’s hopefully not going to have much success spinning it as some sort of victory to his enablers in the Senate, especially if the incursion into Syria is shown to be part of a financial “deal” with the Turks.
What we are finding out is that the only thing that really motivates Trump into ever acting is by offering something valuable to him. It’s quid pro quos all the way down. It is shocking in its brazenness and bloodlessness. We shouldn’t forget what that monstrous prick has done to the innocent Kurds to deal things to himself- even as we must and shall make room for new headlines no doubt screaming about the latest Trump transgression against vaunted American ideals and values. Sadly, the massacre of innocents abroad probably won’t be enough for our “conservative” lawmakers to stop normalizing this insane monkey business.
I ask: how much longer, Lord? How much more?