Friday, March 16, 2007

Our Friends the Kurds

There are 30 million Kurds without a state yet the international community obsesses on the 600,000 Palestinians that fled Israel rather than live in a Jewish state. Whether you believe Palestinians should have a state before or after they stop killing Jews, how can anyone who supports them not equally support the Kurds?

Joshua Landis shares the views of Syrian Kurds in a recent post Kurds Commemorate the “Intifadah” of 12 March 2004. As Joshua notes the uprising of ’04 is rumored to have started at a soccer game.
How the riots began has been the subject of some debate. The version I heard many times is that a football game was being played in Qamishli, a north-eastern provincial capital, which has a mixed Kurdish and Arab population. Kurdish fans began to chant, "Long live George Bush," Arab fans responded by chanting, "Long live Saddam Hussein." A melee broke out and quickly spread to other northern Syrian towns where the Kurdish population is concentrated.
The Kurds, be they Iraqi, Syrian, Iranian, or Turkish, love the United States. Michael J. Totten explains:
Kurds have “no friends but the mountains,” or so an old saying goes. It’s hard for Westerners to grasp just how isolated these people feel. That partly explains their fanatical pro-Americanism: A friend, at last!
How good a friend remains to be seen, we have abandoned them before and if Pelosi gets her way we will again. We remain dumb and blind to human rights abuses the Turkish Kurds suffer from our NATO ally. The ally we could not count on when we needed our bases in Turkey. We have also not heard much from the Bush administration on the condition of Iranian or Syrian Kurds which is one reason Joshua’s post is so welcomed. Again the reason we are not supporting natural allies against the tyrannical Governments of Iran and Syria is because we don’t want to anger our Turkish ally.

The success of Southern Kurdistan, (aka Northern Iraq), is the great untold story of the Iraq War. Iraqis vacation there to get away from the violence. Christians and others being persecuted by Shia or Sunni are fleeing to Southern Kurdistan. International investment is pouring in and new construction is continuously popping up like weeds. Michael also explains why this is happeniing:
There are no insurgents in Kurdistan. Nor are there any kidnappings. A hard internal border between the Kurds’ territory and the Arab-dominated center and south has been in place since the Kurdish uprising at the end of the 1991 Gulf War. Cars on the road heading north are stopped at a series of checkpoints. Questions are asked. ID cards are checked. Vehicles are searched and sometimes taken apart on the side of the road. Smugglers, insurgents, and terrorists who attempt to sneak into Kurdistan by crossing Iraq’s wilderness areas are ambushed by border patrols.
The second line of defense is the Kurds themselves. Out of desperate necessity, they have forged one of the most vigilant anti-terrorist communities in the world. Anyone who doesn’t speak Kurdish as their native language—and Iraq’s troublemakers overwhelmingly fall into this category—stands out among the general population. There is no friendly sea of the people, to borrow Mao’s formulation, that insurgents can freely swim in. Al Qaeda members who do manage to infiltrate the area are hunted down like rats. This conservative Muslim society does a better job rooting out and keeping out Islamist killers than the U.S. military can manage in the kinda sorta halfway “safe” Green Zone in Baghdad.
Hopefully Kurdistan can hold its own should we cut and run. Against the insurgents and Sadr they should do quite well. Against our friends the Turks, who could well invade if they feel Iraqi Kurds are getting to strong, they may find themselves again persecuted by outsiders. They have already threatened to do so should Kurdistan get control of oil rich Kirkuk. And what would the US do?


John D Infidel said...

Should we have to forsake the Sunnis and Shia in the south of Iraq we will still have the Kurds in the North. It will be a good site to keep tabs on Iran and Syria. The only problem, Iraqi Kurdistan is landlocked.

Harry said...

And yet, the MSM never report anything from Kurdistan. To report any success in any part of Iraq must go against their policy. BDS is stronger than truth to the Left.

I hope we continue to support the Kurds against Al-Queada, Syria, Iran, and our (ahem) ally, Turkey. We're suicidal if we don't.

Harry said...

I forgot about this when we were discussing it, but you may be interested in reading, Why the Jews? The Reasons for Antisemitism, by Dennis Prager and Joseph Telushkin. Read chapter 5: Non-Jewish Jews and Anti-Semitism. It gives some important historical perspective.

Jungle Mom said...

Another great post!

Anonymous said...

"The success of Southern Kurdistan, (aka Northern Iraq), is the great untold story of the Iraq War."

You've got to be kidding me. Iraqi Kurdistan is safe but it is not democratic, it is not prosperous and it is highly corrupt. The region is full of construction projects because they're never completed. Electricity, fuel and even running water are scarce. Officials are highly corrupt and order security forces to beat up protesters and opposition figures. These are great friends for the Americans, indeed. So glad we continue to support democracy.

Reference the burning of Halabja's monument:

Rancher said...

Thanks Harry. Anon, all things are relative. Baby steps. I'll admit they have a long way to go to get close to anything like we have in the US. Nevertheless they are way ahead of most ME countries. Also the framework is there to improve, unlike most countries.