Monday, October 7, 2019

The Kurds in Syria

Sar Shalom

Elder makes the case more eloquently than I can of what Trump's announced betrayal of the Kurds portends for us. However, I would like to call attention to another angle of the situation. In covering Turkey's plans to exploit the pending vacuum that Trump's withdrawal would create, the media describes Turkey as "deeming" the Kurdish forces to be terrorists. That terminology is wrong. Turkey certainly calls the Kurdish forces terrorists. However, that does not mean that Turkey actually considers them to be terrorists as opposed to believing that the Kurds' proper place is under the boot of Turkish and Arab oppression. What it means is that Turkey considers that the possibility that the Kurdish forces are terrorists is the most plausible explanation that could gain sympathy for its planned action. (Sort of like the Waqf describing Al Aqsa as "under threat" because it is more sympathetic than saying that it is Islam's right to deny Jews their holy sites.) Accordingly, the language that should be used to describe Turkey's motives is the Turkey "calls" the Kurdish forces terrorists.

Addendum: Trump apparently trusts Erdogan's word that he will not liquidate the Kurds wholesale in Syria. Needless to say, the Kurds in Syria do not concur in this trust, but Trump let his actions show whose views would carry the day.

Similarly, Obama trusts Abbas' that word that if he got all the land that is "rightfully Palestinian," that he would end his claims against Israel and end all attempts to pursue more. Netanyahu is cynical about such trust and acted accordingly. Obama, while he had the power to do so, let his actions show whose views would carry the day.


  1. What a pathetic comment.

    As to the post, call and deem are synonymous. So playing word games means nothing. Some Kurds are called and deemed terrorists by the US Government. Should that not have been mentioned? Moreover, to say that the relations with Turkey parallel that with Israel is a far stretch. The problem faced so often is that Trump could cure cancer and some people will find fault. Therefore, it becomes hard to know if there are actual policy reasons or just TDS. No one knows what will happen, even people that say "of course." There is nothing inappropriate in pushing those most affected from taking a more direct role. Europeans never seem to step up in accordance with their resources. Quick to blame America, however.

    To reiterate. The comment is pathetic, the type now expected by people that complain about Trump, then show they are fully willing to fling disparagement from the gutter. Swallowing whole what Schiff says, causing more division than the those they point fingers at, unprovoked projection. Or perhaps they just pretending to be pro-Israel when it's really anti-Trump, along with the rest of the Israel haters!

  2. "5 Reasons Why Trump is Right About Getting America Out of Syria"

    The article is from January, but it shows there is no universality when it comes to what to do, or what will happen. Or perhaps these two are anti-Israel, pro-Trump, dishonest hacks like some people are apt to say. Of course, they only write such articles to help Trump!

  3. "You'll notice that there have been no comments. That is because this site is not pro-Israel,"

    Alternative theory - I just now for the first time saw this, AND, I am commenting.
    Seriously, Joseph, do you understand what it says on the tags on your briefs?
    I have my doubts. The "S" is for small.
    And then of course, I am quite concerned about Trump's latest policy preference. I would be lying however, if I would pretend to know one way or the other which is the "right" policy. My reflex is to prefer to support those who have supported us and not abandon them. But I really would need to study it quite a bit more to feel well-informed.

    Of course, this flies in the face of Joseph's sub mentally stupid remark about this being nothing but pro-Trump site. It's just so knee-jerk idiotic a thing to say. Actually, it's troll sort of thing to say.

  4. Sad joseph. Just very very sad.

  5. Telling people what they think rather than listening - so "progressive."

  6. Would not pretend to know much about what's going on here. Perhaps we ventured with the Kurds to fight Isis, not to protect against Turkey. This does not mean that Turkish atrocities are less excusable. But there are players there that have larger national interests, Russia and Iran, that may offset Turkish aggression. Perhaps best not to be involved in all that. The Kurds in the region were threatened by Isis in any event, so the mutual assistance benefited both sides. How best do we use our resources and what are the roles of others. Seems the Europeans balked again to help. This is not about the can of worms that is Kurdish nationalism and how to bring that about. How long are we to be obligated and against what harm? Easy to cast blame, but maybe this makes sense in the mid-term as geopolitics and there are other fish to fry. Glad not to be the one deciding.

  7. I'm curious as to how the comments so far focus on Trump's role in Syria decision, which I outright say I did not add anything, and ignore what I actually added. That would be the specific point of Turkey's claim to believe that the Kurds are terrorists might conceal ulterior motives and the general point to take general claims of motivation with a grain of salt specifically in the case of Palestinian claims.

    1. Look at the very first comment, that pushed the discussion away from what may have been intended. The 9th word: Trump. Four mentions of Trump. There is your answer.

      As for your comment, it is unintelligible. The overall post says nothing about Palestinians. And when you discuss "claims" that "might conceal ulterior motives," it starts to get so amorphous that it's fair to question what is meant and if it even matters.

      To the Turks, some Kurds are terrorists. These same Kurds are are deemed terrorists by the USA. Other Kurds supported by the USA aligned themselves with the terrorists, enough so to cause the Turks to now act. It's a messy situation anyway you slice it.

      "The U.S. played down Turkey’s concerns about Syrian Kurdish forces. That couldn’t last."

      "Turks view the Northern Syria area of Rojava, and the YPG dominated SDF, as controlled by Kurdish PKK terrorists operating under another name—wolves in sheep’s clothing. Indeed, in times past—until 1998—PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, lived freely in Syria and the father of the current Assad allowed him to train and equip his highly disciplined terrorist group for attacks into Turkey. It’s also true that over time, the various governing parties of Syria, Iraq and Iran have made use of PKK assaults on Turks as a way to exert pressure on Turkish politics. Turkey has suffered greatly from PKK terrorist attacks both inside Turkey and globally, and the PKK is clearly designated on the U.S. and EU’s list of terrorist organizations."

      Sometimes things are as they appear. There are not always ulterior motives involved, no matter if one deems or calls it like it is.

    2. "Look at the very first comment, that pushed the discussion away from what may have been intended."


      "The overall post says nothing about Palestinians."

      It does mention the Waqf, which generally pushes the same things as the Palestinians in Jerusalem.

      "Turks view the Northern Syria area of Rojava, and the YPG dominated SDF, as controlled by Kurdish PKK terrorists operating under another name—wolves in sheep’s clothing."

      That's just a statement of Turkey's claim. The history of Ocalan going back and forth between Turkey and Syria provides circumstantial support, but only circumstantial.

      It remains true that Turkey is more likely to garner support to restrain PKK terror than to squelch Kurdish independence. Assessing which of those Turkey is pursuing should be based on more than Turkey's say-so. An assessment from someone who does not have an interest in portraying a crackdown on Kurdish independence as a crackdown on terror that YPG forces are connected to terror operations of the PKK would show that Turkey's labeling the YPG "terrorists" has validity. I'm not aware of any such independent assessment one way or the other.

  8. Seven Reasons to Support Israel

    a YouTube video by Joyce Kaufman:

    (19 minutes 52 seconds long)

    Islam's Dark History with Jews (2/3):

  9. How does one talk about what is going on in Syria without talking about Trump, Erdogan and the Kurds? Elder's post was entirely about Trump. If you want to know what the Syrian Kurds say about the PKK If you want to know why Erdogan is attacking, look at the Istanbul mayoral election. Erdogan, as is common to all would be dictators, needs a scapegoat to rally his base (think you know who and immigrants). Erdogan's motives are transparent, the question is what are Trumps?

    1. "How does one talk about what is going on in Syria without talking about Trump"
      Oh, I don't know. Maybe you could try and do it the way the media, Dems, and you did for all those years of Obama, when hundreds of thousands of people were being slaughtered in Syria. (Sure, I know they weren't all Kurds and you couldn't blame it on Trump, but they were all people and they were alive before the great one made his great foreign policy decisions). No, better to have the "progressive" left run around whining about Gaza and "Occupation." I say this just to remind you of your own hypocrisy and bias. Someone should as you are running around pretending to be an objective everyday everyman.

      Holy sanctimonious hypocrites with an anti-law, unAmerican agenda!, let's talk about "immigrants"! Let's conflate generous and legal immigration laws and their enforcement under the constitution and laws of congress with illegals streaming across our border by the millions and residing here in contravention to our laws. We'll call anyone who objects to people crossing our borders illegally "racists!"TM. Oh, there are all these "racists!" everywhere! We better get the Left controlling the levers of power pronto to do something about all that "racism!" (nod, nod, wink, wink) Every day I want to give thanks to the nihilists, masochists, frighteningly unaware and pathetically ignorant crystal gazers, and most of all, the liars, of "progressive" left wing America.

    2. Quite simple. There are other dimensions to what is happening. Others are discussing the Trump angle. If Elder had not blogged about it, I might have done so myself, but since he did so I have nothing further to add. What others have not covered are those other dimensions.

      "Erdogan's motives are transparent, the question is what are Trumps?"

      I'll put in an addendum about that, but to call attention to Obama.

    3. Full disclosure: I was until recently a Democrat, but gave it up. I find it more important to respect myself. :0)
      When the Dems give up the whole totalitarian wannabe experiment, give me a call. Until then, y'all have fun with your "communities," resentments, disdain for other opinions and free speech, and the rest of the "unifying" program. Sometimes elections just don't go your way - a value we used spend a great deal of time teaching to our young.

    4. Here's an article about how Trump is just playing according to Obama's script:

    5. "Sometimes elections just don't go your way - a value we used spend a great deal of time teaching to our young."

      Try telling that to the Republican Party of North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Michigan. This is not to excuse anything from the progressive activists, but to call attention to what the alternatives are. The likes of Larry Hogan and Phil Scott would be acceptable, but barring their gaining more influence the only tolerable way to control the progressive activists is in the intramural conflict within the Democratic Party.

    6. "How does one talk about what is going on in Syria without talking about Trump?"

      Someone complains that the site is only about Trump, then writes comments about Trump. Rich. Lose the TDS for starters, and the rest comes more easy.

      As for the article from Foreign Policy, it's from 2017. Since then, the PKK and YPG became operational partners. As already stated the PKK is a terrorist group according to the USA and others.

      Did you talk to Erdogan about his motives? Doubt it. Or that you are some expert. There seem to be multiple things going on here, not just about the Kurds, but the Iranians and Russians, too. Maybe Turkey is looking to it's national security to establish a buffer.

      As to Trump's motives, he gave a speech last night in Minnesota. It was very entertaining and revealing of him as a genuine person. Not an actor like his predecessor, where style and shenanigans were SOP. Trump fully explained. His motive is to end these wars and save American treasure. This was once something Democrats would have loved. Too bad you missed what he said. If you actually listen to him, rather than knee jerk hate him no matter what, you might actually learn something. His style is different, but his message is actually clear, when not filtered by drones who hate him, like you, so cannot articulate his message either. Oh well.

    7. "Trump fully explained. His motive is to end these wars and save American treasure."

      And he trusts Erdogan to deliver. Chamberlain had the same motive in Munich. Is it suddenly acceptable to cozy up to Erdogan because Dear Leader is doing so?

      "Too bad you missed what he said."

      Talk is cheap. Does he care what effect the loss of international trust will have on American blood and treasure in future wars? If you contest that claim, on what basis do you do so?

    8. The penchant to compare things is strange. Each situation is different and perhaps that should be understood and accepted.

      Since you likely did not watch the speech, are you qualified to comment that talk is cheap. Can't one say that about ALL talk? Perhaps the loss of "international trust" is overblown by the antithetical media and those that will always fault Trump.

      When you say "Dear Leader," it discounts your arguments. Are they guided by substance or animus? In any event, Trump did not cozy up to Erdogan. Recognizing an ally's need to protect its interests is not unusual. Our responsibility was never to defend Kurds perpetually against all comers. We partnered with the Kurds against ISIS, and that campaign is over.

      “We may be in the process of leaving Syria, but in no way have we Abandoned the Kurds, who are special people and wonderful fighters,” Trump tweeted. "Likewise our relationship with Turkey, a NATO and Trading partner, has been very good.

      “Turkey already has a large Kurdish population and fully understands that while we only had 50 soldiers remaining in that section of Syria, and they have been removed, any unforced or unnecessary fighting by Turkey will be devastating to their economy and to their very fragile currency. We are helping the Kurds financially/weapons!”

      Warning Erdogan to obey the LOAC is not cozying. And where is any discussion of the Europeans in this episode, as if it is just about the USA, when Europe has helped precipitate the matter? First to criticize, last to act.

      As indicated, getting out of armed conflicts is something Democrats used to desire. But they become warmongers if Trump does it. As he also said last night, he probably would have gotten the whole wall if he had just said he did not want to build it. People see through the antics of Democrats that will run from principles because they are deranged. Sad, but true, and in the process they are tearing apart the country, which raises the question if and how much they actually care. Get the progressivism out of the Democratic Party and perhaps there is hope.

    9. " Get the progressivism out of the Democratic Party and perhaps there is hope."

      "Not an actor like his predecessor, where style and shenanigans were SOP."
      Council uses an expression with which Jeff is unfamiliar. What is SOP?

      Some Obama Prop?
      So Obviously Puerile?
      Some Other Purpose?

    10. Thanks.
      And everyone went along with it. This is why we can say that things went off the rails before Trump, not after or because of.
      We, here at IT were not crazy.