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Kurdish People Deserve Support

February 7, 2017

For decades the Turkish government has made heavy handed efforts to insure that Kurdish nationalism is rejected, even going so far at one time to ban the language.  The huge Kurdish population of the entire regional area that includes Iran and Syria, numbers roughly 30-50 million people, with roughly 20% of that total residing in Turkey.  The regions within Turkey where these people live are treated as second-class areas, and economically deprived.  As a result a group fighting for broader rights, and in some cases actual separation from Turkey, was created.  The PKK has much support from the Kurds in Turkey, but the main desire from the people seems to be for social and economic betterment.

What we have witnessed over time is the continued ugly assaults on Kurds–be it the from Turkey and its Syrian rebel allies on one side, the Assad regime on the another, and of course from ISIS.  That latter despises the Kurds for being fairly secular, moderate and damn good fighters who are helping to roll back those who bastardize the Koran–better known as Islamic State.

Kurds rightly fear they are being betrayed by their Western allies.  With Trump in the White House there is nothing to suggest that those feelings will not be vindicated.

Consider how tight Russian President Putin has become with an otherwise antagonist, Turkish President Erdogan.  Cracking down on ‘domestic dissent’ unites these two and in case it was missed the assassination by a rouge policeman of Russia’s ambassador could not even mar this cozy relationship.  Add to that mix Trump who thinks there is no moral code which the U.S. needs to use in international relationships unless it somehow benefits America,and it is clear to see the Kurds are left high and dry.

Placing values into the mix of diplomacy must not be abandoned by the United States.  There is a role for America as the broker of world relations; the policemen of the world is not something that we can set down and reject without serious consequences.  All that is part and parcel of being not only a world leader–but the world leader.

The Kurds have demonstrated their many reasons to be considered a friend of international order.  Rejecting them sends a blunt signal that we not only have no regard for them, but that we also have no more spine to handle the concerns that comes with our international standing.

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