What action is the Trump administration taking to assist this pro-United States group in the Middle East. Is there a fear that by doing so we would upset Turkey or Iran or other Arab nations? Why has there not been more done to help the Kurds instead of the Palestinians? Former Congressman Allen West examines these questions in this article.
As Written By Allen B. West:
I know many of you are focused on the NFL and antics of very disrespectful multimillionaires who get to play for a living. However, there’s something very important that just happened in the Middle East.
If we go back to the end of World War I, the British and the French signed what is known as the Sykes-Picot Treaty which basically established the Middle East as we know it. It was their intention to punish the Ottoman Empire (today Turkey), and create nation-states in the Middle East. Then-Turkish leader, Kemal Ataturk, wanted to have a secular Islamic state that was not privy to the pitfalls of radical jihadism, or hegemonic conquest. As well, the British and the French did their best to accommodate the Arabs who had enabled them to be successful against the Ottoman Empire. The Ottomans had been brutal and two of their most notable attempts at genocide, mass massacres, were against the Assyrian Christians and the Armenians. We must never forget.
However, there was one ethnic group — today, the largest one in the world without a homeland — that was shunned by the Sykes-Picot Treaty: the Kurdish people.
But yesterday, a major non-binding referendum was taken by the Kurdish people, and the results are worth noting and discussing.
As reported by The Guardian, “Thousands of people in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq have cast votes in a referendum billed as a first step towards independence from Baghdad, defying regional demands that the ballot be abandoned and international fears that the outcome could spark violence.
As voting stations closed, more than 80 percent of registered voters had cast ballots in a poll that many felt went beyond the demands of Iraq’s Kurdish north to buttress the cause of Kurds across the region. Leaders in Erbil had tried to confine aspirations to within the Kurdish regional government’s current boundaries in Iraq. However, Iran, Turkey and Baghdad fear the ballot could provide momentum to restive Kurdish movements and potentially destabilize borders elsewhere in the region.
Iraq’s parliament on Monday debated a motion to send troops into disputed areas south of Kirkuk that were contentiously included in the referendum. In Kirkuk, a multi-ethnic oil city 60 miles south of Erbil, Kurdish areas were brimming with voters, many wearing celebratory clothes or traditional costume.
“This is better than [the Islamic festivals],” said Abdul Kareem Kakarash, 62, a blacksmith. “It is the best day of my life.” His relative Mala Rasul Mamish, 40, said: “I hope that the west will see this as a historic day, and not just the project of one political party. It is much more than that. So much of our blood has been spilled for being Kurds.”
I spent time in Kurdistan – Kirkuk to be exact — back in 2003 during Operation Iraqi Freedom, and I can attest that here we have an opportunity to positively affect a change in the Middle East.
During my time as a Member of Congress, I had several very insightful meetings with Kurdish Regional Government representatives. I will ask a simple question, if the world is so willing to create a doggone “Palestinian” state — which would be nothing but a safe haven for Islamic jihadists — why not support an independent Kurdistan?
Up front, I would make support to this initiative contingent on reigning in the separatist groups like the PKK and the YPG who have engaged in subversive and terrorist-like activities. As well, an independent Kurdistan MUST give all rights and privileges, such as land ownership, to minority Christian populations such as the Assyrians and Chaldeans, who have a far longer history in the region. Those are unmovable criteria for my full support of a Kurdistan.
Here are a people who are pro-Western who recognize and support Israel’s right to exist. They would form an incredible buttress against the spread of Islamic jihadism in the region and would counter the advances of Iran, Syria, and Turkey. And just so you know, Turkey, a NATO member, has gone outside the rules of the organization and purchased new surface-to-air missile systems from Russia. As well, Turkish President Erdogan has leaned more towards being an Islamist, throwing support to ISIS and other groups, like Hamas. Erdogan has threatened to shut off oil and gas valves and military action against the Kurds for just holding this vote. So where is our condemnation of him?
Why shouldn’t the Kurds be able to determine their future? And needless to say, Iran controls the goings on in Baghdad thanks to the withdrawal of the Obama administration from Iraq. The Iraqis have never been on fair terms with the Kurds, and with all of the U.S. support, aid, and arms that were flowing into Baghdad, somehow, it just never made it to the Kurdish region.
Having an independent Kurdistan will serve as a strong buttress against the hegemonic expansion of Iran, which is moving forward at a rapid pace. Iran has been very successful in creating a land bridge that takes them from Tehran, and the Persian Gulf, all the way to the Mediterranean and Syria.
And we must admit, having Iran freely operating in Syria with the help of their proxy Islamic jihadist army, Hezbollah, isn’t a winning proposition for the Middle East — certainly not for Israel.
If we want to stem the advance of Iran, Russia, Turkey, and Islamic jihadism in the Middle East, here is a bold strategic way to do so. All it takes is for the Trump administration to take a stand, and begin advocating for this in the United Nations.
I mean if President Trump will sit with a known terrorist supporter like Mahmoud Abbas, then why not take a stand with the Kurdish people? If we can give a known tyrannical and brutal Marxist communist regime like the Castro’s a diplomatic mission in America, and open up an embassy in Havana, why not ……….
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