11 October 2019

Betrayal (2)

Stung by widespread condemnation of his betrayal of the Syrian Kurds, Trump recently observed that the Kurds didn't help the US during the Normandy invasion or World War II in general -- implying that they aren't really much of an ally and we shouldn't worry about standing by them.

This has got to be his most asinine statement yet.  The Kurds have never had a recognized independent state of their own which could develop the capacity to project military power at a distance; their territory has always been ruled by others.  During World War II, Iraq and Syria, including the Kurdish areas within them, were mandatory colonial possessions of the British and French empires respectively.  There was no independent Kurdish state or government that could have participated in the war.

In fact, the British recruited soldiers from their colonized peoples, so it may well be that some individual Kurds did fight in World War II under the British flag.

(Turkey, which was an independent sovereign state during World War II, remained neutral until the war was almost over.)

If the US were to support an independent Kurdistan in the Kurdish lands which are now part of Iraq and/or Syria, it would undoubtedly become a close ally.  Unfortunately the US prefers to make a fetish of preserving existing borders, even when those borders were arbitrarily drawn by colonial powers after World War I in total disregard for the wishes or identity of the native peoples.

Congress is considering a bipartisan package of sanctions against Turkey to pressure it to halt the invasion -- a package which hopefully will pass by big enough margins to override a veto, if needed.  This is the only effort I've seen to actually do something to help the Kurds, as opposed to just turning this episode into yet another iteration of "look how terrible Trump is" for the purposes of US domestic politics.  Well, there is one other such effort -- Iran is holding military maneuvers on its border with Turkey and demanding that it abandon the invasion.  But Turkey is too powerful for Iran to intimidate.  If there's any hope of stopping this disaster -- which is already triggering a mass exodus of Kurdish civilians -- it will probably require action from the US.  Congress needs to get those sanctions passed.

One final note -- the Kurds fighting Dâ'ish (ISIL) today are not the first among their people to lead a resistance against bloodthirsty religious fanatics.  Salâh ad-Dîn (known in the West as Saladin), the heroic general who successfully defended the relatively civilized Middle East of the 12th century against the murderous barbarians known as the Crusaders, was a Kurd.


Blogger Sixpence Notthewiser said...

I’m beyond anything with The Orange Shitgibbon.
I cannot understand how he can get away with so much stupidity, childishness and malice.
I cannot understand it.
If there are no consequences, I will forever be bitter.


11 October, 2019 13:23  
Blogger Debra She Who Seeks said...

I just shook my head when I heard that stupid rationalization. And have you heard what he's saying now? Apparently the USA hasn't abandoned and betrayed the Kurds because American troops are still in Syria.

Yeah, they are. Somewhere. Just not where they're needed. Just not where the invasion is happening.

I didn't know Saladin was a Kurd. Cool.

11 October, 2019 15:42  
Blogger Lady M said...

This just makes me sick. Those folks are in a war yet again. A war started by the direct action of a US president. I have call my Senators and Congressman. I hope everyone else will too.

11 October, 2019 17:28  
Blogger Dave Miller said...

I wonder how the history books and military classes will view this particular decision?

A sitting US President, conditioning keeping our word and backing current allies, based on their "help" during a war 75 years ago.

Clearly the actual enemies of WWII better not get out of line. perhaps this explains Trumps love of all things Russia. They were "on our side" way back when.

At least in Trump's view.

11 October, 2019 17:45  
Blogger RO said...

As always, I learn so much here, which I always appreciate. Happy weekend to you and Sweet Pea! RO

12 October, 2019 07:34  
Blogger RO said...

OMG - I'm so sorry! Meant to add Sweetpea over at Darwin's blog. That's what I get for having up too many screens at once. Please forgive me Infidel! Hugs, RO

12 October, 2019 07:36  
Blogger jenny_o said...

Thanks for enhancing my knowledge base on this region. Trump has no idea how stupid or reckless he is being, and wouldn't care even if he did. His end can't come soon enough.

12 October, 2019 12:04  
Blogger Mike said...

tRUMP - narcissistic lying conman

12 October, 2019 13:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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12 October, 2019 14:46  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Thanks, everyone. The Middle East is my area of specialization, so I hope to be able to cast some light on situations like this.

As expected, Dâ'ish (ISIL) prisoners held by the Kurds are escaping in droves. If Dâ'ish reconstitutes itself after the Kurds had defeated it, the US will have a hard time finding new allies to fight it. No one will trust us now, not so long as Trump is in power.

Anon: No problem so long as you give credit and a link.

13 October, 2019 17:22  

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