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Kurds Need American Support, Congress Correct To Push Back On Trump White House

October 7, 2019

The news late last night was deeply concerning.  The rash decisions by the Trump White House regarding the Kurdish population within Syria was just another sign that someone is in over his head.  The Kurds have long been a concern at Caffeinated Politics.

Trump’s move to draw down troops in Syria, and the allowance of Turkish troops into Northern Syria which was announced Sunday night in a White House statement, opened him up to direct criticism from Republicans and Democrats.  The temperature is high, the blow-back severe.  And correctly so when it comes to supporting our allies in the war on terrorism.  Trump may not know recent history–or any for that matter–but the majority of Americans know that the positive actions Kurds have undertaken in Syria and Iraq.  That is why it is so gratifying to see the bi-partisan reaction.

In a joint statement, Senator Chris Murphy and Senator Mitt Romney said that they would seek to hold congressional hearings “as soon as possible” on Trump’s decision.

“Barring a reversal of this decision, the Administration must come before Congress and explain how betraying an ally and ceding influence to terrorists and adversaries is not disastrous for our national security interests,” the two senators said.

What concerns this blogger is our nation has someone in the Oval Office who has no idea of the situation in any part of the world.  There is no actual policy design. Anywhere. Solid information and wise advice are so lacking for this White House.

In February 2017 I made the point that the Kurds could not trust Trump.

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 of 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.

In June 2007 I posted the following.

The Turkish government has made heavy-handed efforts to insure that Kurdish nationalism is rejected, even going so far as to ban the language until 1991.  The huge Kurdish population of the entire regional area that includes Iran and Syria, numbers roughly 30-50 million people, with 20% of that total residing in Turkey.  The regions within Turkey where these people live are treated as second-class areas, and economically deprived.  

The obvious powder keg has been there for many decades, but with the tumult in Iraq as the result of the Iraq War, and the fractious society that is now a reality, all make today’s events most alarming.  Add to the mix the statement by Turkish authorities that any confrontation with Iraqi Kurds would only trigger a larger cross border confrontation, and that should be more than enough to send alarm bells ringing in all sorts of diplomatic circles.

The dirty dealings, now between the illiberal government in Turkey headed by Erdoğan and the attempt to create an illiberal government by Trump in the United States, must not stand.  All in Congress, and across this land must ask why Trump is abandoning our long-standing allies so he can cozy up alongside world leaders who are authoritarian and do not have the best interests of our nation in mind.

The Kurds have been our allies, and now we must stand with them.

To hell with Donald Trump.

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