Showing posts from November, 2015

Who Is the Kurds' Worst Enemy?

It is a strange time for the Kurds. Ever since they were promised a homeland of their own after World War I and had that taken from them, they have struggled against Iraq, Iran, Turkey, and Syria for autonomy or even national independence. And  yet the dream seems even further away.

In the time of the infamous Shah of Iran, an American ambassador asked the Shah's prime minister if it were not possible to give the Kurds a little bit of autonomy. The response was clear and concise: "Being a little autonomous is like being a little pregnant."

Now, the goal of a freer Kurdistan seems in sight. Except for a few hidden agendas, however. Iraqi Kurdistan is still in the tribal struggle been the Talibani an Barsani groups and shaken by a reform movement, Goran. The Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq is in a struggle against the communist/anarchist PKK. This struggle places them at odds against the PKK allies in Rojana, the Kurdish area in Syria, who are fighting against ISIS in …

Erdogan didn't know it was a Russian plane. Wink. Wink

Erdogan now claims he did not know it was a Russian plane he shot down. Ethiopian perhaps?

What on earth has happened? Erdogan, faced with the fact that his foreign support is paper thin, tries claiming ignorance. Does that work for you? It might work at first for his Turkish followers. The press in controlled, the opposition is cowed, anyone hurting the Sultan's feelings is thrown into jail. Erdogan apparently forgets that his ability twist the truth does not work so well in the rest of the world.

NATO and Russia were at serious odds over the Ukraine. Erdogan felt that this tension would keep the Russians from maintaining his favorite enemy Assad in power forever. Then disaster struck. The Russians joined the fight in Syria with special emphasis on supporting Assad.

The Paris massacre was a game changer.  France, with the sympathy of England and the United States, approached Russia for closer coordination in suppressing the Sunni militants - including ISIS - in Syria.

What to do?


Too many birds in the sky


Recognize ISIS is a Sovereign State: and Destroy It

If any sovereign state had orchestrated the death hundreds of citizens in four different countries in a matter of weeks, it would find itself at war with those countries – and a real war, not just bombing campaigns and the arming a few local combatants. To a certain extent, ISIS is playing the role of terrorists without a country. If, say, Mongolia had pulled off terror attacks in Turkey and Russia in October and in Lebanon and France in November, Ulaan Baatar would be a smoking ruin occupied by troops from several grudgingly cooperating nations. But instead the world is paralyzed from taking decisive action, hypnotized and staring into the eyes of a cobra that will soon strike again.
Henry Kissinger gave a course at Harvard in National Security Policy in the 1960s, and I remember him saying, that the worst thing that could have happened during the Cuban Missile Crisis would have been if Castro was overthrown and had escaped with a few of those pesky middle range Soviet nuclear missile…