Op-Ed by Justin King
August 4, 2015
(TFC) Ebril, Kurdistan – The US government is allowing a NATO member to openly and actively provide material aid to the Islamic State. Turkey is conducting airstrikes targeting Kurdish militia positions that are in direct opposition to the Islamic state. The US government is counting on you being too stupid or too apathetic to voice a concern. This subject is complicated, but it is critically important that you understand it. The end result of the current US course of action is US ground troops in both Iraq and Syria after Islamic State forces ravage the countries with genocide.
The reality of “The war against the Islamic State” is that, from the US government’s point of view, there are two wars occurring, not one. In Iraq, the Islamic State is the enemy. They are threatening the US puppet regime in Baghdad. In Syria, the US sees the Islamic State as a tool to remove Syrian President Assad.
The Players: The US media has attempted to present a tidy narrative about the agendas at play, as always, casting it as a two-sided conflict. It is not. It is not a situation of all players battling against the Islamic State.
The Kurds are an ethnic group that are spread over four main countries: Iraq, Syria, Iran, and Turkey. The majority of this ethnic group wishes to see an independent Kurdistan. Even though the Kurds in Iraq have been a US ally since the first Gulf War in 1991, the United States does not want an independent Kurdistan. You will begin hearing propaganda labeling the Kurds as terrorists in Turkey. As with every nationality and ethnic group, there are Kurdish terrorist groups. The largest is the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK). The PKK has been around since 1978. It was originally formed as a Marxist separatist group. It has evolved over time and has lost a lot of its communist leanings. It has also reduced its goals to obtaining greater Kurdish autonomy in Turkey, instead of outright independence. This does not mean that all Kurds are terrorists. More importantly, the PKK recently began cooperating with other Kurdish groups in the fight against the Islamic State. The addition of PKK troops in Iraq would have decidedly tipped the scales of power in favor of the Kurds, who have been holding the Islamic State at bay.
The Islamic State is a group of Sunnis that are seeking to carve out a large fundamentalist state. The organization has cells operating in at least a dozen countries, but it is focusing the majority of its effort in Iraq and Syria. IS forces have engaged in acts of genocide and war crimes too countless to list.
The Syrian government is struggling to maintain power and is accepting assistance from anywhere it can obtain it. The Kurds have indirectly supported Assad by combating the Islamic State.
The Iraqi government is weakened and is clinging to legitimacy by its fingernails. The government in Iraq could fall if any of dozens of potential scenarios played out. The only reason it is maintaining power currently is because of the military assistance it is receiving from Iran and the Kurds.
The United States seeks to oust the Syrian government and install a puppet government in Damascus. The US has openly stated this goal numerous times. It also seeks to keep the Iraqi puppet government in power as well.
The Motive: The betrayal of the Kurds isn’t ineptitude on the part of a bumbling President. It is a calculated move that will help achieve US goals. The motive, as always, is greed. When the current Iraqi government was installed, the West obtained numerous contracts for business and military access. If the current government in Baghdad falls, those deals are void. If the Iraqi Kurds were seen as being responsible for the defeat of the Islamic State, the government in Baghdad would lose all legitimacy and quickly collapse. An independent Kurdistan would soon rise in northern Iraq, voiding the current contracts Iraq has with the West.
The defeat of the Islamic State in Iraq would also strengthen President Assad in Syria. This would end a multi-year campaign by the US to oust the government in Syria and install another puppet government that would grant the West lucrative contracts.
The Plan: The most likely current plan is simple. The United States wants to hold the lines where they are in Iraq until Syria is sufficiently destabilized and the Syrian people begin clamoring for international intervention. The United States will then send in forces to “liberate” the Syrian people and install a new government. The US forces will, of course, have to engage the enemy wherever they find them. This means another trip into Iraq for US troops who will be deployed to clear out the resistance for the government in Baghdad. This strategy means that the US can keep its puppet in Baghdad and obtain a new puppet in Syria. Iraqi contracts under this scenario are still valid and new Syrian contracts will be signed. The only thing standing in the way of this strategy is the Kurds. The Turkish government has the ability to claim they are targeting the PKK while attacking all Kurds. The very first day of bombings targeted Kurdish forces other than the PKK.
The Cost: The US plan requires that the Islamic State kill so many Syrians that they beg for international intervention. It also requires that the people of Iraq continue dying while fighting an indecisive waruntil the “rebels” in Syria can successfully destabilize the Assad regime. It then requires US troops to enter Iraq and Syria to die in a war that has spun out of control because of US actions. The US government is literally setting up a scenario that will cost thousands of US lives, not to mention the untold loss of life and suffering that is currently occurring in the region.
The Cowards: I waited a couple of days before writing this article because I hoped that somebody in the US government would speak out against this plan. The one good thing that arose from this situation is that the American people now know that every single Presidential candidate either agrees with allowing a force that is committing genocide to do its dirty work, is paid off by the defense contractors that are attempting to sell the Syrian war, or is too stupid to understand the conflict. There is not a single Presidential candidate that spoke out against a plan that involves allowing one of the few steadfast allies we have in the region to be bombed by a member of NATO so that we can allow a genocidal force to take control of large swaths of land. Your sons, daughters, brothers, and sisters will then be expected to die in Iraq or Syria to clean up the mess the US government created for the sake of corporate profits. Not a single candidate spoke out against this. None of them are fit to hold the office. Whoever you currently support will allow your children to die for the sake of the bottom line.
No Longer Journalism: From this point forward, this article is not journalism. It’s activism. I am tired of watching bombs fall and people die while I simply keep score. The rules were laid out by those that control the system, we can’t disrupt the system by continuing to play by the rules that favor those in power.
How We Stop It: We stop playing by their rules. Normally, the politicians and the media craft a narrative that defines the two sides, and then they encourage the American people to debate within those defined parameters. In the initial run up to Syria, it was the Republicans advocating a full-scale intervention and the Democrats advocating airstrikes. The American people chose sides and debated those options. Meanwhile, we were never given the option of simply not getting involved. We need to take control of the options. This needs to become an election issue.
We need to encourage Republicans to denounce Democrats for placing the lives of innocents, allies, and US servicemen at risk for the sake of allowing President Obama a legacy of leaving behind a “stable” Iraq.
We need to encourage Democrats to attack Republicans for acting like call girls for the oil and defense contractors and using our military as fodder for campaign contributors.
No matter which side wins, we avert a war and senseless loss of life. We need to use their own tactics against them.
Advocating The Birth of a New Nation: Thirdly, we need to openly and actively support the idea of an independent Kurdistan in Iraq. As it stands, all of the factions except for the Syrian government that are fighting against the Islamic State are dependent on foreign military aid. If Kurdistan was a recognized independent nation, it would be able to legally purchase arms directly from manufacturers. The oil fields located within Kurdistan would provide them with ample funds to do so. The Kurdish fighters would then be motivated not only by a simple desire to survive but to protect their new-found homeland. Those Kurds that are currently sitting on the sidelines in various countries would be more willing to fight for the birth of their new nation. These forces would be able to subdue the US-created “threat” of the Islamic State.
Islamic State forces would then be in unenviable position of knowing that they had no “rear.” Any area seized from the Iraqi or Syrian government would need to be protected not just from a counterattack from the governments’ forces, but also from the newly established Kurdistan that would certainly want to expand its borders.
Some may bring up the law of unintended consequences. The first question that comes to mind is whether an independent Kurdistan will be a “good” country. The current regional government in Kurdistan is very moderate, almost Western. However, not all Kurds are angels and in the throws of revolution and war unsavory characters could take control. There is a small chance of a newly-established nation engaging in ethnic cleansing during revolutionary fervor. It has happened in the past, and it isn’t something we can simply overlook or ignore. What we must keep mind is that while there is a small chance of that occurring, we know that without change ethnic cleansing and genocide will occur. The benefits of supporting an independent Kurdistan far outweigh any possible negative scenarios.
Resources and Talking Points: Below are sample emails to be sent to US representatives, and a link to a tool provided by the EFF to easily contact the scumbags that represent you in Washington.
For Democratic Candidates:
“The current Republican stance of prolonging the war in Iraq and Syria for the sake of defense contractors is unforgivable. The US should take every opportunity short of military involvement to defeat the Islamic State and stop its genocide. This means supporting any force, including Assad and the Kurds, that is in opposition to it. Your silence on this issue can only be taken to mean that you are also in the pocket of the defense contractors that stand to benefit from the inevitable US invasion.”
For Republican Candidates:
“President Obama is currently jeopardizing the lives of US troops to build a false legacy of a stable Iraq. He has betrayed our servicemen and our allies by allowing the bombing of the Kurds. Your silence can only be seen as support for the betrayal of our veterans and allies.”
“An independent Kurdistan in Iraq would provide a stable, moderate, and secular nation in the Middle East. The Kurdish people could easily influence nearby nations and provide a beacon for moderate reforms throughout the Middle East. The policy of the United States needs to be in favor of the immediate recognition of an independent Kurdistan in Iraq.”For both parties:
The EFF tool to contact your reps easily can be found here.
This article (Why NATO is bombing the Kurds and helping the Islamic State) originally appeared on The Fifth Column and was used with permission. Tune in! Anti-Media Radio airs Monday through Friday @ 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. Help us fix our typos: firstname.lastname@example.org.