The US And The Kurds

The Kurds?  Where have I heard that before?

When Trump ordered US troops out of Northern Syria we all saw the pics of Kurds throwing rocks and garbage at the troops as they rolled out of Syria and into Iraq.

Of course the propaganda arm of the Pentagon, the mainstream media, immediately started telling their viewers how important the Kurds are to our overall plan for the Middle East (to date I still have NO idea what that plan could be).

For now that story is not necessary for the MSM for they have the impeachment hearings and that is ratings gold.

But the military talks to the op-ed pages to push the Kurds saga for them….

Much of the outrage and frustration for the U.S. withdrawal from Syria focused on America’s long-standing relationship with the Kurds, without differentiating between Kurdish groups. While America’s relations with Syria’s Kurds are in flux, as a matter of foreign policy, America should increase its support for the Kurds of Iraq, a clear and reliable long-term partner in this historically contested region.

The Kurds, an ethnic group living on the borderlands between Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Syria, have figured prominently in American strategy in the Middle East for three decades. The 1990 Gulf war focused mainly on rolling back Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait. It also led America to impose a no-fly zone on oil-rich northern Iraq. This drove the Kurds to set up their own autonomous government structure, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). This “regional framework” grew stronger following America’s invasion of Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein. As a second order effect, the KRG became the most stable, reliable, and U.S.-friendly part of the country.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2019/12/03/america_and_the_kurds_114888.html

This op-ed made the case on why the US should retain the Kurds as our fist in the war against any expansionism into the region….but in doing so is there a law being trashed?

 

The fast-moving events in Syria and Turkey have made for head-spinning headlines and sometimes personal anguish for many U.S. soldiers who have fought in that region. The outpouring of emotion at the plight of the Syrian Democratic Forces’ People Protection Units (YPG), a primarily Kurdish militia, has ignited nationwide debate as to the U.S. governments’ loyalty to allies. Soldiers – indeed, officers, have openly questioned the motives of the commander in chief (CINC) and disparaged his order to withdraw up to 1,000 troops from areas of direct conflict in northeastern Syria.

https://www.militarytimes.com/opinion/2019/10/14/in-supporting-the-kurds-in-syria-us-has-been-playing-fast-and-loose-with-the-law/

This is a saga into the mechanics of the M-IC….decide on a conclusion then build a paper round that conclusion….

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Why No Kurdistan?

We Americans have heard more about the Kurds in the last 6 months than we had in a couple of years.

I have written several posts about the Kurds trying to let my readers get to know the people that in the news…..https://lobotero.com/2019/10/18/who-are-the-kurds/

I introduced people to the people now the big question is why is there NO Kurdistan?

The most decisive reversal came at the end of the first World War. That’s when the Allies, victors over Germany and the Ottoman Empire, divided their geographical spoils of war.

In a series of conferences in a succession of European palaces, Prime Minister David Lloyd George, Georges Clemenceau of France, Woodrow Wilson and dozens of other leaders conspired, harangued and horse-traded from 1919 to 1921. Under clouds of cigar smoke, between servings of foie gras and champagne, they redrew a large swath of the globe’s map.

Besides doling out spoils to themselves, such as far-flung German imperial holdings, their aims were to replace the Austro-Hungarian Empire, punish Germany in Europe and – the biggest task – fill the vacuum left by the demise of the sprawling Ottoman Empire, which before the war covered territory from the edge of Bulgaria to Yemen.

https://theconversation.com/why-there-is-no-kurdish-nation-126243

The Kurds have cooperated with many different regimes all in the off chance that they will be given a homeland that they have desired for centuries.

As I was  writing this post news came out that a new offensive was coming against the Kurds in Northern Syria…..

Turkish Foreign Ministry Mevlut Cavusoglu accused both Russia and the US of failing to abide by their respective ceasefires with Turkey by failing to expel the Kurdish YPG from the north Syrian safe zone.

This comes after a weekend attack in al-Bab, which Turkish officials blamed on the YPG. Though al-Bab is not within the safe zone, Turkey is emphasizing the bombing as proof the YPG are ISIS-type terrorists.

Cavusoglu says that if neither nation is successful in expelling the Kurds for them, Turkey is prepared to launch another offensive against northern Syria intended to act against the Kurdish faction.

It’s not clear what presence the YPG maintains within northern Syria, though Turkey has clearly intended to take the military offensive against them further than the 30 km border region, and has emphasized the narrative that the YPG are terrorists.

So far it’s not clear what either the US or Russia intends to do about these new allegations, or if they intend to do anything at all. President Trump has declared the ceasefire a success, despite past Turkish objections, and probably won’t want to admit publicly that the deal with Turkey isn’t being sustained.

(antiwar.com)

The Kurds continue to fight for a homeland and the world continues to help deny such to the people.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

A Master Stroke In Foreign Policy

I have given my opinion on the action taken by Pres. Trump and Syria…..and I am sure that there are many out there that have formed their opinion from their favorite news source….those sources are making the case of the “poor Kurds” being betrayed by the US and how that will play with our foreign policy in the future.

If my opinions are needed then I offer my post at the time of the US withdrawal……https://lobotero.com/2019/10/16/but-the-kurds-are-our-friends/

All the MSM has been in the pockets of the warmongering Neocons and condemned the withdrawal of American troops….even FOX has not been in Trump’s corner for this situation.

In all fairness I want to post an article that is 100% in Trump’s corner for the pull out…….

President Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Northern Syria is a brilliant strategic move that simultaneously achieves all of our major objectives in the region.

Perhaps because it has been so long since America had a coherent foreign policy strategy, the political establishment is aghast at the president’s action, predicting all manner of calamitous consequences. The same “experts,” however, have been responsible for the myriad foreign policy disasters that have befallen this country over the past two decades, so their discomfiture should be taken with a rather small grain of salt.

In one deft move that doesn’t put a single American life at risk, President Trump achieved a regional solution to ISIS, undermined Iran’s capacity for foreign aggression, and disentangled the United States from an alliance of convenience that threatened to create major diplomatic headaches down the road.

Contrary to claims that withdrawing American special forces from Northern Syria will enable ISIS to resurrect itself, for instance, the arrangement with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan merely shifts responsibility for the few remaining ISIS fighters onto Turkey.

The successful operation to take out ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi only makes it even less likely that the terrorist group will reemerge.

https://www.amgreatness.com/2019/10/30/trumps-withdrawal-from-syria-is-a-foreign-policy-masterstroke/

Please read this article…..like I said 100% in support on the action taken by Trump.

I agree with the troops coming home but I do not agree with allowing Turkey a free hand in Northern Syria…..it is time for the US to end its endless wars but this is not the best way to achieve that end.

But as this article states we now have a coherent foreign policy….that I cannot agree with and think it is at best wishful thinking not a reality…..plus the confidence that ISIS is defeated is also wrong.

I have seen nothing that leads me to believe that our foreign policy is coherent….chaotic yes, coherent NO.

American foreign policy is increasingly falling into disarray and incoherence. President Trump’s doctrine of principled realism, in my opinion, is the correct approach. Principled realism in international politics where nations go to war, however, requires disciplined leadership and decision-making to ensure the world does not resort to unnecessary violence. Any willingness to forego a sense of global responsibility should give pause to American citizens, allies and partners. The question here is whether this doctrine of principled realism has devolved to unprincipled realism to endemic confusion.

https://thehill.com/opinion/national-security/465329-the-trump-doctrine-principled-realism-or-endemic-confusion

But then that is my opinion and I would like to hear yours on this situation……the 3 Stooges are in charge of our foreign policy…..Pompeo, Rudy and Trump……NONE know what they are doing.

So do I think that all this was some master stroke of foreign policy?  NO!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego ergo Scribo”

Kurdish Massacres

The Kurds are making news….not in a good way but rather as the recipient of yet another betrayal of their trust.

And that gives us a chance to use the “By Back Machine”…….

Set the dial for the year is 1916 the month of May……

In a manner of speaking, the carnage unfolding in Northern Syria is one of Britain’s early 20th century Near Eastern original sins (one of many similar sins across the globe) that bears the Anglo Mark of Cain emblazoned in gory detail in today’s bloodstained Palestinian, Syrian, Kashmiri, Somali, Iraqi, Yemeni, Afghani, and Burmese soils, to name but a few.

Prior to 1917 the exhausted Ottoman Empire’s rule over Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Iraq, and  small swaths of the Arabian Peninsula was losing its grip. The empire was gasping its last breath as a result of The Sick Man of Europe’s involvement in WWI and the hubris that befalls spent empires. Smelling victory at smashing the Triple Entente, Mark Sykes and François George-Picot, British and French diplomats, convened a secret 1916 kleptomaniac meeting to carve up the Ottoman Empire and Arab World into their spheres of influence.

In 1901 huge oil reserves were being discovered in Iraq, Iran, and the Arabian Peninsula, reserves that enticed the ever-ruthless and greedy Brits and French, much like Cain, to covet large expanses of desert which were heretofore merely uninhabitable backwashes.

And 85 years later another superpower, led by Bush the Elder in 1991 and his son, Bush the dumber in 2003, would twice invade Iraq and pulverize it back to the stone-age – all because of oil, that black gold that jaundices moral behavior and justifies covetous Mark of Cain schemes to lay claim to what belongs to others.

Kurdish Massacres: One of Britain’s Many Original Sins

It is understandable for the Kurds to not trust easily….I think the Kurds never fully trusted the US….they did however need our support and weapons and cash….so they threw in with our lot…..

The Kurds are a minority so they will throw in with whoever will give them support…..that was proved when they threw in with an “enemy”, Assad……

Syria’s Kurds said Syrian government forces agreed Sunday to help them fend off Turkey’s invasion — a major shift in alliances that came after President Donald Trump ordered all U.S. troops withdrawn from the northern border area amid the rapidly deepening chaos.

The shift could lead to clashes between Turkey and Syria and raises the specter of a resurgent Islamic State group as the U.S. relinquishes any remaining influence in northern Syria to President Bashar Assad and his chief backer, Russia.

Adding to the turmoil Sunday, hundreds of Islamic State families and supporters escaped from a holding camp in Syria amid the fighting between Turkish forces and the Kurds.

https://www.apnews.com/7e90fd08a89e49d9bcae6a85a131a64a

A quick look at the Kurds in Middle East history, recent history, and a look at the direction they will travel to get what they want.

Pres, Trump has done something that could very well lead to another massacre or two…….

The Turkish ceasefire in Syria that was agreed upon last Thursday is a permanent one, said President Trump Wednesday, and so sanctions against Turkey will be lifted—although he allowed that “you will also define permanent in that part of the world as somewhat questionable,” reports CNBC. CNN quotes him as saying, “I have, therefore, instructed the Secretary of the Treasury to lift all sanctions imposed October 14th in response to Turkey’s original offensive moves against the Kurds.”

The AP adds that Trump also touched on his decision to pull almost all US troops from Syria, saying, “we’re getting out. Let someone else fight over this long blood-stained sand.” The AP lays out the plan going forward, with Turkey overseeing the areas of Syria that it captured during its attack against Kurdish forces; Russia and Syria will oversee the remaining border areas, with the US having “little influence in the region.”

The US leaving the Kurds in a lurch has done one thing…..ended any trust the US had with the Kurds.

This week, as hundreds of ISIS fighters escaped from Kurdish prisons in northeastern Syria following Donald Trump’s decision to pull out American troops, a group of current and former “special operators” for U.S. intelligence met for a previously scheduled casual lunch in Washington.

Their take on Trump’s abandonment of the Kurds—a move that enabled Turkey to invade the region, for Russians to move into former U.S. positions and for extremists to maybe start plotting attacks on Europe again.

https://www.rawstory.com/2019/10/the-kurds-will-never-again-help-the-us-in-the-middle-east-veteran-cia-officer/

But there is a deal between Turkey and Russia…..read the text for yourself….

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/10/full-text-turkey-russia-agreement-northeast-syria-191022180033274.html

Now we have a new set of problems developing…..

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

 

Let’s Talk Ceasefire

Our Fearless Leader has authorized a ceasefire in Northern Syria…..a good idea to prevent deaths but this does little to help all sides with a rational approach to a conflict…..this deal benefits no one but Turkey….

I will wait here and give Trump supporters time to catch up…..

Let’s start with the solution we call a “ceasefire”…..

Several core elements emerge from a comparative analysis of ceasefires. These elements include provisions for (1) a cessation of hostilities, (2) the separation of forces, and (3) the verification, supervision, and monitoring of the agreement. The cessation of hostilities prevents the parties from engaging in hostile acts, which can include both military acts, such as firing on another party, and non-military acts, such as propaganda. The separation of forces is the process by which the parties will withdraw from contact and position themselves to prevent a return to conflict. Verification, supervision, and monitoring are measures to create accountability and ensure the proper implementation of the agreement.

Parties to a ceasefire may wish to incorporate additional provisions to tailor the agreement to their specific conflict. Further, some ceasefire agreements aim to establish a framework for the peace process, whereas others simply limit the content of the agreement to the provisions necessary to end immediate hostilities. Effective ceasefire agreements do the following: (1) establish tactical, geographical, and political obstacles that deter the parties from returning to conflict  (2) clearly indicate the rights and obligations of the parties, and minimize uncertainty through communication and information sharing  (3) create a sense of formal legal obligation and (4) engage the international community to significantly increase legitimacy and the costs of violating the agreement.

“It was a great day for the Kurds” …..Really?  How so?

This is NOT a traditional ceasefire or should I say a recognizable one…….

5 days?

STOP calling this a ceasefire…….it is not a ceasefire…… it is a momentary pause.

A “Safe Zone”?

Who will monitor this “Zone” to try and prevent any deadly policies from being implemented?

This is a “gimme” to Turkey….and a disaster for the Kurds.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

That Syrian News

Whiz Bang……..We have some Breaking News…….Stop The Presses…..”Give me re-write”……..

But first a trip in the “Way Back Machine”……the year is 1938, the location is Munich, Germany…..

81 years ago one of history’s greatest con jobs was foisted on the world…..Neville Chamberlain, the PM of the United Kingdom, told the world that he had secured “peace in our time”……. Seeking to avoid war in Europe, leaders from Britain, France and Italy signed the Munich Pact on September 29, 1938, agreeing to Hitler’s demands and ceding Czechoslovakia to Germany. Upon his return to England the following day, the architect of the appeasement policy, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, declares “peace in our time.”

For those youngsters that do not appreciate history…..here is the speech Chamberlain gave with his return from Munich……https://wwnorton.com/college/history/ralph/workbook/ralprs36.htm

For a deeper look into this agreement and the history around it…..https://www.sundaypost.com/fp/on-this-day-1938-peace-for-our-time-was-a-hollow-boast-by-neign nation, in this case Syria.eville-chamberlain/

This situation was the precursor to World War 2….and it all began with a con job….will history repeat?

All this background is leading to the “ceasefire” that the VP and his entourage came to Ankara to solve the problem they created by letting Turkey invade another sovereign nation, in this case Syria.

The Breaking News is….we have a 120 hour “ceasefire” in Northern Syria……(BTW Turkey says it is a “pause” not a “ceasefire”)

Turkey’s invasion of Syria may be short-lived, ABC News reports. The country’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, agreed Thursday to halt the invasion for five days while Kurdish fighters leave a safe zone in northern Syria: “It will be a pause in military operation for 120 hours, while the United States facilitates the withdrawal of YPG (a mostly Kurdish militia) from the affected areas in the safe zone,” said Vice President Mike Pence, who had been sent to Ankara with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to negotiate a deal. “And once that is completed, Turkey has agreed to a permanent ceasefire and the United States of America will work with Turkey—will work with nations around the world—to make sure peace and stability are the order of the day in this safe zone.”

The deal is that President Trump won’t impose any more sanctions on Turkey and—when a permanent ceasefire is announced—will withdraw sanctions inflicted on the country last week, per the New York Times. (Sanctions had been placed on three ministers and two federal departments in Turkey, per CBS News.) This means the Kurdish militia has 120 hours to abandon a safe zone that extends roughly 20 miles below the Turkish-Syrian border. Pence said the White House was opposed to Turkey’s invasion, but US officials also sympathized with Turkey’s view that Kurdish fighters are a terrorist group. Trump responded happily: “Great news out of Turkey,” he tweeted. “…Thank you to @RTErdogan. Millions of lives will be saved!”

Sadly….Trump and the Boyz gave Erdogan everything he wanted…..a swath of Syria (a country the US cannot give away), dispossess thousands of Kurds from their homes, a free rein to commit a possible genocide after the 5 days, open the door wide for Russian influence in the Middle East, a loosening of sanctions and the promise of no new sanctions…..Turkey “got everything they wanted”……I smell the possibility for another Turkish genocide (I pray I am wrong)……

So what does the agreement actually say…..we know what the MSM wants it to say but what does the document actually state?

the full text of the joint US-Turkey statement: 

  1. The US and Turkey reaffirm their relationship as fellow members of NATO. The US understands Turkey’s legitimate security concerns on Turkey’s southern border.
  2. Turkey and the US agree that the conditions on the ground, northeast Syria in particular, necessitate closer coordination on the basis of common interests.
  3. Turkey and the US remain committed to protecting NATO territories and NATO populations against all threats with the solid understanding of “one for all and all for one”.
  4. The two countries reiterate their pledge to uphold human life, human rights, and the protection of religious and ethnic communities.
  5. Turkey and the US are committed to D-ISIS/DAESH activities in northeast Syria. This will include coordination on detention facilities and internally displaced persons from formerly ISIS/DAESH-controlled areas, as appropriate.
  6. Turkey and the US agree that counter-terrorism operations must target only terrorists and their hideouts, shelters, emplacements, weapons, vehicles and equipment.
  7. The Turkish side expressed its commitment to ensure safety and well-being of residents of all population centers in the safe zone controlled by the Turkish Forces (safe zone) and reiterated that maximum care will be exercised in order not to cause harm to civilians and civilian infrastructure.
  8. Both countries reiterate their commitment to the political unity and territorial integrity of Syria and UN-led political process, which aims at ending the Syrian conflict in accordance with UNSCR 2254.
  9. The two sides agreed on the continued importance and functionality of a safe zone in order to address the national security concerns of Turkey, to include the re-collection of YPG heavy weapons and the disablement of their fortifications and all other fighting positions.
  10. The safe zone will be primarily enforced by the Turkish Armed Forces and the two sides will increase their cooperation in all dimensions of its implementation.
  11. The Turkish side will pause Operation Peace Spring in order to allow the withdrawal of YPG from the safe zone within 120 hours. Operation Peace Spring will be halted upon completion of this withdrawal.
  12. Once Operation Peace Spring is paused, the US agrees not to pursue further imposition of sanctions under the Executive Order of October 14, 2019, Blocking Property and Suspending Entry of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Syria, and will work and consult with Congress, as appropriate, to underline the progress being undertaken to achieve peace and security in Syria, in accordance with UNSCR 2254. Once Operation Peace Spring is halted as per paragraph 11 the current sanctions under the aforementioned Executive Order shall be lifted.
  13. Both parties are committed to work together to implement all the goals outlined in this Statement.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/10/full-text-turkey-statement-northeast-syria-191017191203481.html

The one group most effected by this so-called “agreement”, the Kurds, were not part of the process….another Chamberlain-esque moment.

I read so you do not have to……

Chamberlain had…”peace in our time”…….Trump has “a great day for civilization” (from a Tweet)……neither would be accurate.

I love this stuff!  Syria is making people that make derogatory statements about the Middle East come to the defense of a president that makes shitty deals….and make no mistake this is a shitty deal the only person that benefits is Erdogan and Turkey and the Russians.  The US is still on the outside looking in.

Not to worry……I  am sure there will be more to this report……watch this blog.

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Who Are The Kurds?

Who are you?  Who?  Who?

Recently Trump’s other daughter made a statement that went viral…..she said “Most Americans do not know who the Kurds are”………and you know what…..she is completely spot on.

Most Americans, other than us foreign policy geeks, truly could care less about the Kurds and who they are….their knowledge comes from whatever media outlet they put their trust in…..and most of that knowledge is not accurate.

The below video is a very good look at who the Kurds are and how they have been used through the last century…..

Plus a few questions answered about the Kurds and the situation developing in the Middle East…..

https://www.vox.com/world/2019/10/16/20908262/turkey-syria-kurds-trump-invasion-questions

The MSM is turning the Kurds into martyrs…..as I see it we used the Kurds as a proxy and the Kurds used the US as a benefactor in their search for a homeland…..”You scratch my back I’ll scratch yours” sort of thingy…..

“The PKK, which is a part of the Kurds as you know, is probably worse at terror and more of a terrorist threat in many ways than ISIS,” Trump said……..

Mainstream media are taking occasional breaks from 24/7 impeachment coverage this month to lambaste the Trump Administration for abandoning our Syrian Kurdish allies at the insistence of Turkey’s despotic rulers. Since the original withdrawal announcement, Administration policy has taken on a helter-skelter quality: rushing out sanctions, threatening airstrikes and deploying troops elsewhere in the Middle East. Ultimately Trump policies are producing more foreign adventurism and less freedom of commerce for American companies. But the original decision to pull out was the correct one, and consistent media criticism of the withdrawal often omits important facts that the American public needs to consider. Specifically:

  • As a member of NATO since 1952, Turkey has been a US treaty ally for as long as most of us can remember; the Syrian Kurdish forces are not a recognized state and thus cannot be an ally, a term used in diplomatic parlance to refer to states formally cooperating with one another.
  • The Syrian Kurdish forces are connected with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which was designated by the US State Department as a terrorist organization in 1997 and remains on the list in 2019.

What the Media Aren’t Telling You About Turkey and the Kurds

If one listens to the news then the world is all but over because of Trump’s decision…..On that I feel that it is being overplayed.

With that said the next question should be……should the US fight to protect the Kurds?  If so then why should we fight?

According the the Libertarian Institute……no we should not.

The Washington foreign policy outrage mob was at it again, this time wringing their hands in angst after President Trump announced that he would begin drawing down the American military presence in northern Syria and then finally ordered a full withdrawal of around 1,000 U.S. troops from the area. The primary complaint this time around from the permanent war cheerleaders was that pulling U.S. troops out of the region would expose the YPG, the Syrian Kurdish group that has fought alongside the Americans, to an attack by invading Turkey, which considers the YPG to be terrorists and condemns their allegiance to the PKK, the Kurdish militia based in Turkey that is considered a terrorist group by both Turkey and the U.S. To people like Lindsey Graham and Meghan McCain, who referred to Trump and Senator Rand Paul as “Chicken heart isolationists”, it is outrageous and immoral to even consider bringing troops home from an undeclared war halfway around the world in which there is no clear mission and no obvious interests for the American people.

Should Americans Fight to Protect the Kurds in Syria?

I have no problem with pulling our troops out of this conflict….I do have a problem with the way it was done…..

Not everybody fighting with the US is our friend….we are tolerated at best….Trump finally said something that made sense…..”We paid a lot of money for them to fight with us, and that’s OK. They did well when they fought with us. They didn’t do so well when they didn’t fight with us.” 

I want to be fair to the Kurds…..in reality they were fighting ISIS before we got to Syria…..

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/mikegiglio/shatter-the-nations-excerpt-kurds-isis

Now you know!

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