T Nation

Question: The Kurds


#1


3 points before my question:

1) I am learning more and more about these ancient peoples...but I still have a lot of ignorance about them.

2) Even "close" Allies are often that way because in some way it is mutually beneficial to both. (Which is okay).

3) I fully realize that "allies" come in all shapes and forms. Some that will truly support another Country in most things...and those that will support another Country when it is ONLY advantageous to them.

With that said; I pose this question to "PWI":

If supported; could/would the Kurds become a "true" allie; or would they be an "allie" like the Mujahedeen ended up being ("as long as the weapons and money are flowing...then we kill YOU...")...or just about any other Arab/Muslim Country you could name? (Push...we won't include the French for now, Brother!)

Thoughts?

Mufasa


#2

The enemy of my enemy is my friend. I feel any state/people that is committed to destroying (not containing) radical Islam is one we can work with in way shape or another. I’d lean toward “true” ally, but it’s not always so cut and dry.


#3

[quote]NorCal916 wrote:
The enemy of my enemy is my friend. I feel any state/people that is committed to destroying (not containing) radical Islam is one we can work with in way shape or another. I’d lean toward “true” ally, but it’s not always so cut and dry. [/quote]

Agree with NorCal…ANYTHING is better than crazy radical mullahs calling for the death of everybody who does not bow to mecca 6 times a day.


#4

I agree, NorCal…

It seems like when it comes to the Middle East…that quote should be changed to:

“…After they kill my Enemy…The Enemy of my Enemy is STILL my Enemy…and they most likely will use my own weapons to then kill ME…”

The Kurds seem tough and resolute…I “cautiously” like them…and certainly am an favor of any support we can give them (at least for now…)

Middle Eastern peoples and/or countries have shown over and over and over again that support can end up biting the U.S. in the proverbial ass…

Mufasa


#5

[quote]Mufasa wrote:
3 points before my question:

  1. I am learning more and more about these ancient peoples…but I still have a lot of ignorance about them.

  2. Even “close” Allies are often that way because in some way it is mutually beneficial to both. (Which is okay).

  3. I fully realize that “allies” come in all shapes and forms. Some that will truly support another Country in most things…and those that will support another Country when it is ONLY advantageous to them.

With that said; I pose this question to “PWI”:

If supported; could/would the Kurds become a “true” allie; or would they be an “allie” like the Mujahedeen ended up being (“as long as the weapons and money are flowing…then we kill YOU…”)…or just about any other Arab/Muslim Country you could name? (Push…we won’t include the French for now, Brother!)

Thoughts?

Mufasa[/quote]

Yeah. Look up “Turkey” and “PKK” for your answer.


#6

Okay, Doc…

At least give us the “abridged” version of your thoughts on the Kurds.

Mufasa


#7

The only country to whom the Kurdish nationalists represent a threat is Turkey. Turkey is now officially an IslamoNazi regime. Kurdish terrorists since the 70’s have been Marxists or in more recent times crypto-Marxists. The Kurds constitute a bulwark against Wahabbism and Khomeinism. It doesn’t matter what you think of the Kurds; they’re the only chip the West have in the region. The point of contention between Baghdad and Erbil is control of Kurdish oil. Obama and the West are backing Baghdad and refusing to allow Kurdish tankers to sell their oil. This is why Obama has been unable to sew the Kurdish patch into the unity government quilt. Obama and the West should allow Kurdish tankers to sell their oil and then Maliki will have no choice but to accept it as a fait accompli. But I don’t see that happening.

This is what I think might play out under Obama:

  1. A drone strike campaign against high value IS targets possibly extending into Syria.

  2. Arbitrary and sporadic air support to Iraqi and Kurdish forces.

  3. Confused, reactive and ineffective response to humanitarian crises.

My best guess is 2 and 3.


#8

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#9

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#10

[quote]Mufasa wrote:

Middle Eastern peoples and/or countries have shown over and over and over again that support can end up biting the U.S. in the proverbial ass…

[/quote]

Just like any group of people, the Kurds are capable of internal dissent. They had their own civil war in the 90s. Though they may be an ally now, it only takes one small faction inside to become disgruntled with us, violently overpower the political faction that supports us, and turn the majority of the populace against us


#11

[quote]Facepalm_Death wrote:

[quote]Mufasa wrote:

Middle Eastern peoples and/or countries have shown over and over and over again that support can end up biting the U.S. in the proverbial ass…

[/quote]

Just like any group of people, the Kurds are capable of internal dissent. They had their own civil war in the 90s. Though they may be an ally now, it only takes one small faction inside to become disgruntled with us, violently overpower the political faction that supports us, and turn the majority of the populace against us[/quote]

There is no reason to believe that would happen. The Kurds have worked with Western military and intelligence for decades and have been an asset with no “blow back” - they only attacked Turkey for the most part. They’re not jihadis; they’re Marxist nationalists. By contrast, the Afghan foreign fighters were mujahideen - holy warriors and international jihadists from the start and the Saudis, Pakistanis and Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood further radicalised them and directed them against the West. That’s why there was “blow back.”


#12

"DOHUK, Iraq - The United States launched a series of airstrikes against Sunni militants in northern Iraq on Friday, using Predator drones and Navy F-18 fighter jets to destroy rebel positions around the city of Erbil, the American military said Friday…

Warplanes dropped 500-pound laser-guided bombs on a number of targets: a mobile artillery piece that was being towed from a truck and had begun shelling Erbil, a stationary convoy of seven vehicles, and a mortar position…

The military also used a remotely piloted drone to strike another mortar position on Friday afternoon. After the first strike, it said in a statement, ISIS militants “returned to the site moments later” and “were attacked again and successfully eliminated.”

â??This is the message of the leader of the faithful,â?? the leader, known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, wrote in a message addressed to â??America, the defender of the cross.â??

“You should know, you defender of the cross, that getting others to fight on your behalf will not do for you in Syria as it will not do for you in Iraq,” he said…

  • The New York Times

#13

Assad’s the one who let his country be used as a staging ground against our troops in Iraq and now the same terrorists have turned against him. I say we cut our losses, cut a deal with, arm, and let Assad exterminate these vermin in his country. As bad as he is, Assad’s all about him staying in power. It probably would not be difficult to deal with him politically at this stage.

edit…oopse, wrong thread…

yeah, back the Kurds!


#14

[quote]Mufasa wrote:
Okay, Doc…

At least give us the “abridged” version of your thoughts on the Kurds.

Mufasa[/quote]

Ok. Broad strokes here, and I apply the trick, “If you don’t know the answer to the question, anser a different question.”

When someone cliches, “We are still living with the results of the fall of the Ottoman Empire,” I respond, "No, we are still unravelling the results of the fall of the Byzantine."
1453 and all that.

(http://www.amazon.com/Short-History-Byzantium-Julius-Norwich/dp/0679772693/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1407602534&sr=1-1&keywords=john+julius+norwich
This is the abridged version, right? I could not bear to read the 3 volume set.)

Who were all these tribes and cultures, sliced and diced across thousands of miles, by invading Mongols, Turks, Cipchaks, Huns, Bulgars, Rus, Persians…?
And which had advocacy of the European nation states of the 17th to 20th centuries?

In Anatolia alone, Turks may have been a majority centrally, but at their periphery, there were Bulgars, Romos (true Greeks of Anatolia), Armenians, Kurds. The Kurds themselves, linguistically a part of Persian culture, had history separate from Persia. They were swept along in nomadism through the Persian empire, from Afghanistan to eastern Anatolia, where the vast majority now reside (12 or more million).
The Kurds are not arabic speakers and are nor Arabs, and despite a remarkable history through the Crusades, are multireligious. There are Sunni, Shia, Christians (some of personal acquaintance, who often speak a second language like late Aramaiac) and Jews (the 200,000 Jewish Kurds were evacuated to Israel in 1950-52.)

Next, consider the chessboard in 1919. Woodrow Wilson could care less about the Ottomans. His concerns were the Balkans and the Slavs. France and Britain? They imagined a necessity in Western Asia for their suzerainty, even before oil production. Persia? A weakened empire which was a non-combatant of strategic importance; its borders were could not be addressed.
There was no European power in Versailles with an interest in the fate of Kurds, Armenians, Romos. Turkey might have been dismembered, but British French and American interests saw it, correctly, as base against the new Soviet regime; they favored an intact state over principles of national self-determination.

Kurds had had emirs under the early Ottoman empire, but their satraps were taken back to Istanbul in the 18th Century. Kurdish independence movements had started in 1880, only to be crushed repeated by Turks, who attempted to extinguish its culture entirely until very recently.
The resulting PKK, a marxist organization defined as terrorist by NATO and others, only ensured isolation and further repressions. (How much of it was funded by the Soviets as a threat to NATO and Turkey, I do not know.)

Kurds had no advocate, their centers of population and culture were repressed by Turkey, their regions of Iraq and Iran had oil and resources, and their people were a suspect minority to everyone. (The non-terrorist non-marxist nationalists have only recently been heard.) There was never going to be a Kurdish nation, and the Kurdish people, a minority everywhere, were repressed and exploited by “host” multicultural “nation states.”

The abridged version. Corrections welcome.


#15

Thanks, Doc! (and everyone else!). This is the kind of input I was hoping for.

Now…this PKK or “Kurdistan Worker’s Party” (bothersome name, by the way…and “look”…that’s them above…)

APPEAR to be fighting for an “Independent Kurdistan”.

Is that all?

Are they looking for a particular “religious direction” for the Kurds?

With that name; are they pushing for a particular Political direction for the Kurds?

Will their “voice” eventually drown out the voice of many Kurds who want “true” religious, economic and political freedom?

Thoughts?

Mufasa


#16

During the Iraq war, didn’t the Kurds have an al-qaeda offshoot? Ansar al-Islam?


#17

[quote]Gkhan wrote:
During the Iraq war, didn’t the Kurds have an al-qaeda offshoot? Ansar al-Islam?[/quote]

Yep. They fought the US invasion, supporting Saddam’s clique.
Centered in Halabja, where Saddam had only but recently gassed 5000 of their countrymen.

Go figure.


#18

[quote]Gkhan wrote:
During the Iraq war, didn’t the Kurds have an al-qaeda offshoot? Ansar al-Islam?[/quote]

“Ansar al-Islam initially comprised approximately 300 men, many of these veterans from the Soviet-Afghan War, and a proportion being neither Kurd nor Arab.”


#19

Sort of like the Khwarezmiyya in Mongol times.