Rand Paul

Rand Paul's Plan for Kurdistan: 'Draw New Lines' and 'Promise Them a Country'

Kentucky's junior senator courts the hawks.

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Rand Paul's effort to attract hawkish supporters in the Republican primaries now has him calling on Washington to literally remap the Middle East:

It's OK, we'll just dust off an old map and use that.
Bickers & Son

In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, likely 2016 GOP presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) staked out a bold position on a foreign policy matter—pushing to arm Kurdish fighters against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) even more than the U.S. has already done, but also calling for the creation of a new nation of Kurdistan.

"Part of the problem is the Kurds aren't getting enough arms," Paul said. "The Kurds are the best fighters. The arms are going through Baghdad to get to the Kurds and they're being siphoned off and they're not getting what they need. I think any arms coming from us or coming from any European countries ought to go directly to the Kurds. They seem to be the most effective and most determined fighters."

In addition, Paul called for giving the Kurds their own country for them to defend against radical Islamists.

"But I would go one step further: I would draw new lines for Kurdistan and I would promise them a country," Paul said.

Note that Paul didn't merely say that if the Kurds succeed in carving out a territory, the U.S. should recognize it. He said America should actively involve itself in launching the state and establishing its borders.

Eugene McCarthy once wisecracked that you can blame most of the world's problems on British mapmakers, who casually carved countries out of their dying empire without regard for whether the boundaries they were drawing made much sense. I can't say I have much faith that mapmakers based in Washington would do a more impressive job—and I have even less faith that it would be worth any ordinary American's while to get tangled up in the conflicts that would inevitably follow.

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  1. Hey, it’s as good as anybody else’s idea of what to do.

    If the Earth were a neighborhood, all the sensible neighbors would have put fences around the Middle East and installed ADT by now.

    1. Fuck ADT.

      I’m actively shopping security systems for my business. Guess who I refuse to talk to?

      1. I have an Elk M1 Gold. It doesn’t call anyone. It calls me.

        1. You must have bought your security system in Soviet Russia.

          1. In Soviet Russia, security system reports you.

      2. That A doesn’t stand for Adolf.

        Guess what the DT doesn’t stand for?

        1. Pink elephants?

          1. *Drink*

        2. It stands for Dark Templars right?

    2. Cage Match!

  2. The Turks will love that.

    1. There will never be peace in the Middle East until all the ancient grudges are satisfied. In other words, never.

      1. Not necessarily never but they do seem to have a lot more killing each other left in them.

    2. If the Turks want us to care what they think, they should start acting like they care what we think.

      1. ^Hahaha, nice.

      2. Damn, outranked by RC.

        *salutes*

        ….sir.

        1. Bah, Swissy. You are just as Outraged, just as White, just as Manly, and just as Brigade-y as RC Dead or anyone else.

          1. Wow, that was a johnslip. “Dean”

            1. I was once quite Brigade-y…I am certainly quite white…hmmm. Manly – aye. Outraged…I’ll work on it.

              1. Besides, being a KY COL isn’t exactly the same.

                1. Oh no, he is a full Colonel in the Outraged White Man Brigade!

                  1. Point of order:

                    I thought it was the Outraged White Guy Brigade.

                    Oh, and Swiss, if you could narrow your gaze at SugarFree. R C Dead, indeed.

        2. Where’s General Buck Naked these days?

          1. Wondered the same.

            And hey, we used to have a commenter from Liberia. What ever happened to him?

    3. Fuck the Turks and what they want. People talk about how awful it is that we’re allies with Israel, but for my money I can’t think of a single ally we placate without reason more than the Turks. We don’t have any bases there anymore, they bailed out of allowing us military access at the beginning of OIF, and they’ve done very little for us recently — all while we’ve gone to bat for them on diplomatically sensitive issues like the Armenian Genocide and the Turks’ treatment of the Kurds or their continued occupation of Northern Cyprus. Oh, and they’re becoming more Islamist by the minute. Maybe during the Cold War this sort of shit was necessary, but not now.

      1. I agree with you for the most part but I’d point out the US does have a base there. You can find Incirlik Air Base with the Google to confirm.

      2. I can’t think of a single ally we placate without reason more than the Turks.

        Saudi Arabia?

    4. ” Note that Paul didn’t merely say that if the Kurds succeed in carving out a territory, the U.S. should recognize it. He said America should actively involve itself in launching the state and establishing its borders.”

      He went overboard with it, but the Kurds should have a state, and we should support them getting one, and support them having one.

      And from all indications they’d be an actually ally to the US. Works for me.

      1. What does “support” mean? You mean give speeches at the UN? Fine. You mean taxpayers’ money and young lives? Absolutely not!

  3. Nixon could have accepted Kurdistan as the 51st state when it was offered.

      1. an independent Kurdistan? No whey!

        1. Yes, whey. From goats I should think…

          1. In point of fact yes,..but also from any other lactating mammal, if biology serves me right;…- camels,cows,sheep,horses,rhinos,weasels and the list goes on.

  4. They should have done this from the beginning. Iraqi Kurdistan is already basically autonomous.

    Eugene McCarthy once wisecracked that you can blame most of the world’s problems on British mapmakers, who casually carved countries out of their dying empire without regard for whether the boundaries they were drawing made much sense.

    You mean like the arbitrary boundaries that puts Kurdistan in Iraq, Syria and Turkey? Of course now it’s probably too late to do this effectively. We’d piss off the Shia Iraqi government, not to mention our “allies” the Turks. But I agree with the thrust of Paul’s argument and really like his foreign policy realism.

    1. You mean like the arbitrary boundaries that puts Kurdistan in Iraq, Syria and Turkey?

      That would be an excellent comparison, yes. I hold no brief for current Middle Eastern boundaries, but I don’t think the U.S. should be in the business of redrawing them. In part for the reasons you lay out in the next two sentences.

      1. The Kurds are carving out their own country just fine from parts of Iraq and Syria. Taking parts of Turkey and Iran would be unrealistic.

        1. Iran will eventually have a revolution and Turkey is headed toward theocracy. These may both create opportunities.

      2. “Eugene McCarthy once wisecracked that you can blame most of the world’s problems on British mapmakers, “

        Chris Hitchens expanded on that point here. One of my favorite essays of his, fwiw.

        and hitchens was also a notable, vocal supporter of Kurdish independence.

        I think its a little reductive to say, “Sykes-Picot ruined the middle east – therefore, efforts to rectify those mistakes will simply repeat them”. He seemed to manage to see the possibility that a free kurdistan might be the single worthy outcome of the mess of the Iraq war.

        1. Just say “Durand Line” to an educated Afghan…

        2. I learned of Sykes-Picot in this book…A Peace To End All Piece.

          The Ottoman’s siding with the Germans in WWI was a big contributor. The reason Syke-Picot was even in play.

      3. Poor Kurds. They really do deserve their own country. This might be an “in for a penny, in for a pound” sort of situation. I don’t know. But I trust Rand more than either the neocons, the dems, or even the strict noninterventionists.

        1. ” I trust Rand more than either the neocons, the dems, or even the strict noninterventionists.”

          weakly seconded = with the footnote that the latter aren’t often very ‘strict’ in reality (*see example below re: Sheuer), or ever actually asked to explain how their non-policy concept works except on paper.

          1. weakly thirded

            1. *signed*

        2. This might be an “in for a penny, in for a pound” sort of situation.

          If we put in the 10,000 troops that Rick Santorum wants, it will be “in for a penny, in for a pound.” Once American troops are shot at, expect that number to increase dramatically.

          1. The Kurds can take care of themselves. All we need to do is properly arm them and tell Turkey/Iran to fuck off.

    2. Didn’t Greece get control of their section of Kurdistan after the Turkish War of Independence in 1920? Because that wasn’t really the fault of the British since it was territory gained by Kemal Ataturk when he was fighting the Greeks.

    3. Ya, I thought it should have been a 3-state Republic from the get-go too. Modeled on the US Constitution, with 6 Senators and a lower house based on population, and pick the president the same way we do (or close to it), and have the VP still break ties in the Senate. And have the Federal government have only a certain list of enumerated powers, like we used to do. Plus get the oil-revenue sharing agreed to up front, in writing. And we could have told Turkey with a straight face : “Hey, it’s still all one country, just like the USA, thats the best we can do”.

      If that had been done, it might have already fallen apart, but that’d leave us right we are now anyways. But maybe, just _maybe_ the Sunni state would have been slightly less ready to accept ISIS as a savior if they had more officially recognized autonomy.

    4. Double down. What could go wrong?

      1. That’s not doubling down.

    5. That wasn’t without regard. After enough times to dismiss coincidence, you may conclude that it was very deliberate British policy to make promises of the same territory to different groups.

  5. Yes, let’s nation build! That always works!

    1. The trick is to use Lego Rulestorms.

  6. While I’m not sure i’d go as far as Rand…

    …the issue is more that – unless the Kurds are officially recognized by someone like the US, that there is a silent countdown before they go to war with one of their neighbors.

    They’re sitting on some of the largest oil reserves in the region. The shiia govt in Iraq (*and by extension, the iranians) want that resource to be aligned with them.

    Turks, who are currently piping a small amount of oil out of there, would like that to expand…. but don’t want kurdish independence to grow such that it might drag Turkish separatists towards them.

    The Sunnis in Iraq and Syria wouldn’t mind murdering the lot of them and taking the shit. Because that’s what they always did before. why stop now.

    In short – they don’t have a fucking icicle’s chance in hell of ‘independence’ without someone providing some strategic alliance, and arm-wrestling all the neighbors into some kind of balance of power-agreement. Part of which would probably involve the Kurds accepting some kind of oil-revenue sharing with the west, maybe. something like that.

    The point is, non-interveners… that there will be ‘intervention’ of some kind no matter what. By everyone in the region. There is no ‘non-involvement’ unless you accept that the consequences of willful disinterest can be as bad if not worse than some kind of diplomatic role keeping things from going cyclic

    1. well said.

    2. We can and should recognize Kurdistan as an independent nation. There are ways to ensure Turkish acceptance of this, which is really just a formal recognition of an accomplished fact.

      1. I’m curious, how do we induce Turkish compliance?

        1. We offer to sell them Greece at a discount.

          1. Lol, I’m pretty sure you’d have to pay someone to take Greece.

          2. Or cyprus. Yard sale!

        2. Manipulate the Russians into scaring them? Buy Cyprus from Greece and hand it over? Threaten to fill in the straits? I dunno.

          1. I suspect Turkey has been angling how to be the main beneficiary of the problems in Iraq, Syria, Kurdistan etc for some time now.

            They have their dirty fingers into ISIS as well. I’m quite sure they are looking for a “Managed solution” that will ensure they get baksheesh from the US just like Egypt got for 20+ years for ‘keeping the peace’ with Israel.

            1. I wonder if Putin still covets a warm-water port?

              1. For some reason I read that as a warm watersport.

                1. For Putin, that’s the same thing.

        3. point to a re-expansionist Russia, then ask the Turks what they think of Irondome?

        4. I’m curious, how do we induce Turkish compliance?

          Let’s give ’em some nukes. They’ll need them soon enough, anyway.

          1. that’s actually more perceptive than the flippant way it was put suggests… add to a re-expansionist Russia a nuclear-armed, expansionist Iran (not the most popular view of Persian intentions in the halls of Reason but I don’t buy Iran not seeking nukes for a second) and Turkey will become far more accommodating to American wishes (like an independent Kurdistan) in exchange for an American nuclear umbrella… there’s the added bonus of a strongly-armed buffer more than ready to defend itself standing between Iran and Turkey

    3. US will scramble to find those elusive ‘moderate Kurds’ to support. They will fail as communist oriented terror groups like the PPK rise to the top.

      1. Not likely. The biggest threat to Kurdistan, as ever, would be from their neighbors in all directions. If you think it’s that difficult to find reasonable Kurds, you probably haven’t ever dealt with them.

        1. I don’t doubt there are reasonable Kurds, or reasonable Syrians for that matter. Problem is that those willing to take up arms and sacrifice themselves for statehood are the militants. PKK has been fighting for decades.

    4. Hah… Spoken like Paul wolfowitz. You mean libertarians think we have to send troops over to iraq? Why?

      1. american socialist|3.11.15 @ 8:30PM|#
        …”You mean libertarians think we have to send troops over to iraq? Why?”

        Hi, dipshit! RTFA and get lost.

      2. amsoc, this should be a lesson to you. Most of the commentariat is lambasting Rand for his solution. We are not enraptured of any one candidate and are willing to call him out for his crazy suggestion.

      3. If Rand changes, they change. Remember, they are authoritarians at heart and want a “strong leader” to tell them what to do. They will somehow come around to his way of thinking on anything he says.

        Rand Paul is of about the same basic political intelligence as Sarah Palin, yet they think he’s the best thing to come down the pike in ages.

    5. Yep

    6. “The Sunnis in Iraq and Syria wouldn’t mind murdering the lot of them and taking the shit. Because that’s what they always did before. why stop now.”

      You’re clearly misinformed. I urge you to meditate on just how you came upon this misinformation, so you can take steps to mend your ways. The great warrior Saladin was a Kurd and led an army of Arabs from Iraq, Syria and beyond.

  7. Great idea! I mean, Westerners drawing lines to create nation-states has never gone awry.

    1. Except after lunch.

    2. If Rand does it, it’s different because he’s a libertarian. Right?

  8. OT: but this is a good one.

    From the FluffPo:

    No one can afford insurance without Obamacase

    From the article:

    There is no doubt that a ruling for the plaintiffs would be bad news. It would deny millions of people subsidies in the states without their own exchanges. If the situation is not quickly remedied, it will also lead to the collapse of the exchanges in these states, as more healthy people stop buying insurance. With only less healthy people in the insurance pool, the price of insurance is likely to become unaffordable to almost everyone.

    Well, that’s funny. Before Obamacare, insurance was not unaffordable to almost everyone. Most people had insurance that they could afford and much lower deductibles, without any tax payer funded subsidies and a huge costly and incompetent bureaucracy.

    How can these people do such twisted distortions of logic and keep a straight face?

    1. Before Obamacare I could afford a much better plan without any subsidies. This year I was penaltaxed because it was cheaper.

      1. My premium has increased about 30%, but this is the truly awful part, my deductible went from $1500 a year to $7000.

        1. Yeah, my premium increased but I could take it, my deductible was insane so I just said fuck it. My stepdad (who jokingly blames me for this since I didn’t vote for the Republican) and my mom’s premium is astronomical, like my mom should think about getting a job astronomical.

          1. The net result, at least the primary net result of the sky high deductibles, is that people will stop going to the doctor because they can’t afford it. So Obama’s dream of grandma just taking a pill and dying quietly might be realized.

            1. Gramma will have to ride her hover-round (medicare funded for 3X its actual value) out in front of a bus because she doesn’t have part D and can’t afford the pill.

        2. Basically, Obamacare is huge tax tied far beyond the cost of the associated nationalized catastrophic health care plan that has killed off any decent health care coverage for all but the most generous companies.

          Now the choice is to pony up another 5 or 6 grand to a “doctor concierge” plan with a monthly subscription fee, or be trapped in an HMO where they’ll pass you from “specialist” to “specialist” to rack up fees but avoid actually *doing* anything for you to avoid liability.

    2. Christ, my employer-supported health insurance has morphed into catastrophic coverage at 50% higher premiums. And the insurer–a major one–has gone from paying most things to denying anything beyond a standard visit. Thanks, Democrats!

    3. Remarkable how every government solution, no matter how much of a clusterfuck it creates, is one we can never live without once it is implemented.

      1. Sure. Cos who would want the next step? Would you rather keep Obamacare or gamble on its next iteration?

        Reverting to the previous version is just daft nonsense.

        1. If ObamaCare makes things worse, then why is reverting to an admittedly superior status quo ante daft nonsense, again?

          1. Not to me it isn’t. But it is to statists. The state never makes mistakes, only opportunities for improvement.

  9. I vastly prefer our current protocol of selling them out every 10-15 years.

    1. So, what we’ll end up with is Hillary brokering the “Islamic State of Where Kurds Used to Live”.

      She’ll get the nobel prize for ending the kurdish genocide (only because all the kurds will be dead by then).

  10. This fits reasonably well with the foreign policy of Ron Paul adviser, Michael Scheuer, who runs non-intervention.com.

    * The Kurds make good proxies against ISIS at the moment because stopping ISIS from expanding is a matter of survival for the Kurds.
    * Allegedly moderate Syrian rebels simply can’t be trusted to not take up common cause with ISIS because they share a common goal of defeating Assad and, really, the moderates don’t much care what atrocities ISIS commits.

    We could say that we don’t care and don’t want to intervene, but ISIS has declared war on the United States. We can watch them train for the next decade and then act surprised when they pull of a spectacular attack on the US. Or we can take them at their word and treat them as a serious threat to our national security.

    As far as nation building goes, let the Kurds govern themselves. We don’t need to draw lines for them, tell them who can vote or whether they should have a bicameral legislature. The lesson of the Afghan Mujahideen, as outlined in Scheuer’s book, “Marching Toward Hell,” is that we used the Mujahideen as proxies (smart) and then promptly betrayed them by trying to build a western-style democracy which would included none of the Mujahideen that had rid Afghanistan of the communists. So, if we are to use the Kurds as proxies, let’s not try to dictate what sort of government they have.

    1. So, the guy who maintains ‘non-intervention.com’ is a strong-supporter of international warfare by proxy.

      Color me impressed with his comfort with ‘semantic flexibility’. I will make sure to look for him at the next Vegan Pig-Roast.

      1. He supported the use of proxies against the Soviets because the Soviets posed an existential threat to the United States. He would not, for example, support the arming of forces to fight Kony, Assad or Qaddafi because none of those leaders posed any realistic threat to the United States. In short, the job of the United States military should be to eliminate threats to US national security rather than deposing bad guys, building nations, etc.

        1. “he Soviets posed an existential threat to the United States.”

          …in Afghanistan?

          as i noted – i now remember a number of his pieces re: US policy in the WoT, and he seemed to me to be fairly hawkish re: Pakistan, while playing down Iran as a non-event.

          i.e. as per my earlier point – he’s not in any way a ‘principled non-interventionist’ a la the Libertarian ideal…. he just likes his interventions very covert and on the margins.

          Its a difference with Neocons in scale, not in kind.

          I don’t think he’s a ‘realist’ either, in that he seems to maintain a support for the benefits of ‘war by proxy’ when his own track record in Afghanistan (or elsewhere its been done) undermines that argument. It was a shitshow prior to any ‘nation building’ – and while nation-building was a massive failure, it was by no means the source of destabilization of the entire North-West-Pakistan region that his Proxy warfare most certainly was.

          1. “he’s not in any way a ‘principled non-interventionist’ a la the Libertarian ideal”

            Good! Until the thugs of the world start sitting on their hands, I don’t want our government to either.

            An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.

            Winston Churchill

            “We must hang together, gentlemen…else, we shall most assuredly hang separately.”

            — Benjamin Franklin

            If free people don’t support one another, they won’t remain free.

            1. I’m confused how “non-interventionist” equals “appeaser” in your mind. Had the US never joined in WW1, there would have been no Hitler 20 years later.

        2. “He supported the use of proxies against the Soviets because the Soviets posed an existential threat to the United States”

          And so we come full circle …

          Kochs=Pauls=John Birch Society

          The Red menace is here again….

      2. oh, I remember him now. He was the CIA guy in charge in Afghanistan.

        I’ve read some of his articles since the beginning of the WoT, and never much thought he had any ‘ideas’ other than ‘don’t fucking stir the pot *too much* while doing your CIA style international meddling’. Rather than ‘non-interventionist’, he’s probably better described as a Strong “Down Low” Interventionist. He loves *tweaking* foreign governments.. just not ‘overthrowing’ them yourself, because, you know ‘power vacuum’, etc.

      3. Your comment should conclude with a rousing golf clap from the appreciative rabble, including myself. Well done sir!

        1. I was referring to the comment that concludes with attendance at the next vegan pig roast…that was truly original.

    2. Allegedly moderate Syrian rebels simply can’t be trusted to not take up common cause with ISIS because they share a common goal of defeating Assad and, really, the moderates don’t much care what atrocities ISIS commits

      Who could have ever seen that coming? I’m shocked.

      Hillary should be arrested as a war criminal, along with anyone else guilty of providing these barbarians with American weapons.

      If Hillary gets the D nomination and Rand gets the R, Rand will mop the floor with the hag over this shit and the Benghazi fuck up as well.

      Given that, the war hawk GOPers will protect Hillary and try to derail Rand.

    3. Further =

      A quick glance over Sheurers blog….

      …and he’s, among other things, a psychotic border hawk who thinks we’re going to enjoy sustained terror attacks on US soil…

      in particular this was fun =

      ” …. the catastrophic disaster that our immigration and border policies have wrought in terms of allowing Iran’s intelligence operatives, Revolutionary Guards, and their murderous colleagues in Lebanese Hizballah to establish a strong presence in the United States.”

      …and a believer that the CIA ‘extraordinary rendition policy*, ‘enhanced interrogation’, and indefinite-detention @ Gitmo, were wonderful tools which we should have maintained and or expanded.

      (note = according to his own claims, he ‘invented’ the CIA rendition program, and in that same interview defends the Bush torture ‘enhanced interrogation’ program as ‘essential’ and ‘humane’)

      And that isn’t to say the guy is either right or wrong about anything*… just that citing the guy as a ‘non-interventionist’ along libertarian-understood lines is a real stretch of aforementioned Vegan BBQ-dimensions.

      *in particular, i agree with some of the points he makes about how CIA was ‘forced’ into roles that it was never designed for because of political failures managing the military.

      1. THAT’S why the Lebanese kebab store down the street makes such crappy food but somehow stays in business…

  11. my classmate’s ex-wife makes $60 /hr on the internet . She has been unemployed for 9 months but last month her payment was $20806 just working on the internet for a few hours. hop over to this web-site……….

    ????? http://www.netjob70.com

  12. Hey here’s a question: Why is a guy running for President of one country talking about the business of a whole other country?

    1. Because it’s AMERICA FUCK YEAH!

    2. Because he’s not talking about a whole other country. He’s talking about portions of at least 4 recognized states (Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran), one state that’s declared itself which nobody recognizes (ISIS), and a nation that wants to be a state (the Kurds).

  13. #HawkishSnacks

    -Tom Cotton Candy
    -Lindsey Graham Crackers
    -John Mc-Candy-Cain

    I was bored.

  14. I got a laugh out of this… well, the LeBron James part at least.

    Former Leader of “Ban Bossy” Campaign now suggesting:

    Women = Be More Bossy

    I’m not endorsing the source, which appears to be one of those MRA type things, but the guy makes some good points and generated a laugh.

    1. whoops…. this was intended for ENB thread.

  15. I like this plan.

    And then we tell Iran that we will give Kurdistan nuclear weapons if they go nuclear.

  16. Carving out an independent Kurdistan (initially consisting of the already semi-autonomous Kurdish regions of northern Iraq, but probably ultimately including parts of eastern Syria, southern Turkey, and maybe even western Iran) is an excellent idea. In fact, it is the only plausible hope for some measure of stability in that benighted region, as well as creating a pro-western country in a region not noted for such (the only other one being Israel). But I do agree that we shouldn’t be the ones drawing the lines; the locals need to work that out for themselves.

    Here is an excellent article describing the history of the region and the benefits of an independent Kurdistan: http://www.worldaffairsjournal…..partition. Iraq has never been a real country; it was created by Englishmen with absolutely no knowledge of local history or political forces. It has been held together, more or less, by despots. The time has come (indeed, it came years ago) to recognize political reality and permit the country to be divided into separate and independent Kurdish, Sunni and Shiite nations.

    1. “the locals need to work that out for themselves.”

      it has been noted that “the locals” would be more likely to massacre all the kurds rather than permit an independent kurdistan

      1. GILMORE|3.11.15 @ 5:26PM|#
        “the locals need to work that out for themselves.”
        it has been noted that “the locals” would be more likely to massacre all the kurds rather than permit an independent kurdistan

        That is possible, and I for one would be sorry to see it. To prevent it, I’ll volunteer Cytotoxic to go over there and win the battle for them.

  17. And we can all see how swimmingly things go when the USA gets involved in rearranging people’s homeland…

    1. India and Pakistan managed their bloodbath without US assistance.

  18. A good idea from Sen. Rand Paul. Unlike his father and many other Libertarians, he realizes there is more to the Middle East than helping Iran nuke Israel If I have attacked Libertarians when they advocate the destruction of Israel as the solution to the Middle East’s problems, I should give Libertarians a shout out when they said the right thing.

    1. Decent troll. Too late to the party :(.

    2. Looks like AIPAC is forking over money and promises to the new Sarah Palin (Ron Paul).

  19. The “drawing lines in the sand” and “Westerner imperialists remaking maps of the Middle East” commentary misses the mark by a wide margin. The Kurds are, by any measure, a nation and a people who have lived in roughly the same geographic area since about the 12th century; while the margins of a new Kurdish state would need fixing as with any other state, the core of the Kurdish nation is no more arbitrary than Hellas was during the war of Greek independence. IOW, the problem with a Kurdish nation has nothing to do with arbitrary borders; to the degree that stable borders should correspond with independent, exclusive nations, an independent Kurdistan would be a step in the right direction (that is, away from the arbitrary states created by the British partitions).

    As Gilmore says above, the problem is more with what happens after, since the Kurds are not any Middle Easterner’s favorite nation, has a substantial amount of oil, and a lack of powerful allies to help sort things out post-independence. War would be the most likely outcome, though given how incredibly shit the regional armies are it’s anyone’s guess how that would go down. US recognition of Kurdistan would help them, but ultimately stabilizing the situation would likely require our involvement (though at least it would be in ways that suit our strengths; that is, conventional warfare and client state politics rather than nation-building and counter-terrorism).

    1. I think the biggest problem is that Turkey would probably declare war against Kurdistan before the ink dried, closing off our most convenient staging area.

      1. “Turkey would probably declare war against Kurdistan”

        I think that might be wrong.

        In the last few years since the trouble popped off in Syria, Turkey has developed a far friendlier attitude towards the Kurds (*the ones in Iraq at least).

        They seem to see a long term ‘strategic alliance‘ with an Oil Rich kurdistan being in their interests. Particularly ever since their Syrian neighbor to the south seems to be going the way of Libya – ie. a broken-state clusterfuck of jihadis and rebels and iranian supported militias.

      2. e.g. from the NYT

        Turkey’s Best Ally: The Kurds

        “Turkey is now willing to welcome Iraqi Kurds, perhaps even Syrian ones, as allies and to serve as a buffer between Turkey and the chaos in both of those countries. This could prove a very wise strategy, especially if it can be combined with a successful domestic peace process that ends the long-running conflict with Turkey’s own Kurdish nationalists, who for years used bases in northern Iraq and Syria to attack Turkish soldiers in the majority-Kurdish southeastern regions of the country.”

        But Turkey’s leaders need to show the same sort of wisdom and flexibility on other issues, too. The reconciliation with the Kurds was partly possible because Mr. Erdogan and his colleagues largely freed themselves from the ideological constraints of ethnic Turkish nationalism, which was a hallmark of most of their secular predecessors”

        i..e. Turks are chilling out on their ethnic bigotry, which was for a long time a ‘big deal’, as they are also becoming more comfortable with an openly ‘muslim’ political leadership that is also more Western Friendly

        1. Or it’s the other way around, that Turks are the best allies of the Kurds. Within couple of years the dust will settle down in the region; ISIS will be gone, Asad will reclaim most of Syria and clamp down more than before and be very brutal against Kurds, Iran will help Shiites beat out ISIS and claim all territories, Kurds will be isolated in their present northern Iraq region. Th? customers for Kurdish oil are in the west, only way to take it out is thru Turkey. Now who needs the other more?

      3. Turkey will do what we fucking tell them to do.

        1. yep.. that’ll work… forever and ever most likely

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  21. I wonder if any of the usual suspects who come in to hoot and holler whenever Rand Paul says something will recall one John Kerry’s position on partitioning Iraq during the Bush administration. More than a few prominent Democrat elder statesmen believed that partitioning Iraq along Sunni, Shia, and Kurdish lines was the only way to leave the area in some kind of stability.

    This will I’m sure have slipped Buttplug and Tony’s minds, so I’ve got the citations and links just in case.

    1. If I recall correctly that plan was published in Foreign Policy and other places before any of the politicians got hold of it. I don’t think John Kerry is so thoughtful as to come up with a position like that on his own. Profit sharing through oil revenue was one of the big stumbling blocks. Fear of an Iranian puppet state in southern Iraq was another concern.

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  24. Excellent idea from Rand Paul. Good to see he has completely ditched dogmatic noninterventionism. America should also recognize South Yemen if it gains independence.\

    1. The ‘you two guys fight’ from Canukistan checks in.
      Hey, asshole, let us know when you land there and start fighting! Until then, STFU!
      Oh, and Sevo just pwnd asshole and dominated the thread!

  25. Israel V 2.0

    1. If it was Israel V 2.0, I bet it would turn out better than Israel, because they’d probably have more proper jury trials, given their influences. (See: https://reason.com/blog/2014/09…..-kurdistan ) The PKK might actually be able to pull off the whole Bookchinite, Jeffersonian “local democracy” thing, and that would be nifty. It might even wind up freer than, say, Florida
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRWcE_kE_Dc

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1nipB8ZTHU

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tp3WQtYbxC0

  26. (ps : sorry for my bad english )
    hey Paul… Turkey is not your ass. You can’t give it to everybody who want it , like your ass …
    can’T be another state within the republic of turkey state…
    if you are defending the rights of minorities , I want a new government in california. Because i have many relatives in there :)))
    ?mmm ..
    it name is MEHMET?STAN ,may be =))) is it okay ???

    hi H. X

    1. There actually is a proposal for devolving California into separate smaller states. Maybe your ass could work there?

  27. Maybe he’s been reading whacky writers over at Reason Magazine (See: https://reason.com/blog/2014/09…..-kurdistan ) and thought it would be smart to support Bookchinistan, the only secular, semi-intelligent potential country in the entire region. Plutoing the Mujahedin didn’t work out so well, but at least if Paul makes noises now and follows through on them later, he was one single American in our history who acted in a predictable and not-entirely-schizophrenic-and-sociopathic manner.

    Besides, the PKK might actually be able to pull off the whole Bookchinite, Jeffersonian “local democracy” thing, and that would be cool.

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  29. This isn’t re mapping anymore than abolishing regulatory agencies would be central planning. It’s letting things return to how they would be if there had not been foreign intervention. If we were free to donate arms to Kurds, they’d already be a separate nation.

    1. Well said.

  30. I disagree. The British drew boundaries that included many disparate, often antagonistic, ethnic groups under the auspices of one nation-state. It’s the opposite of the divide-and-conquer principle. By creating a state made up of historically-antagonistic ethnic groups, it becomes easier to control the newly created nation, because it can never achieve a sense of national unity and purpose.

    The fault for the present-day boundaries (and the crises that result from them) largely lies with the UN, which seeks to keep all national boundaries in a state of permanent stasis, as if national borders were perfected for eternity in 1945. New boundaries should have been created, based on historical ethnic ties, but of course, that would have made it more difficult for British oil interest to dominate the region in the decades that followed.

    Sen. Paul’s proposal is in keeping with American principles of self-determination. Allow the Kurds to rule themselves. If a war must be fought, a proxy war is the best kind to fight. Provide the Kurds with arms, materiel, and a sense of nationhood, and they’ll solve the ISIS problem without any additional support for us in the form of boots on the ground.

    That said, Turkey is the major obstacle in such a course of action. Less than a century ago, the region was part of the Ottoman Empire. Turkey still has a restive Kurdish minority that it fears will be emboldened by an internationally-recognized Kurdistan nation.

  31. It’s hilarious watching Ron Paul lovers change their thinking along with his newest “revelations”……this “libertarian” non-interventionist now wants to be THE GUY who decides where arms should go, who wants to draw borders himself and who wants to undermine the chain of command and the POTUS by direct letter to the heads of state.

    Basically, Ron Paul is Sarah Palin dressed differently but you guys fail to see it. Wake UP!

    1. It’s not Ron, it’s Rand.

      They are definitely different, from Palin.

      I think he’s making an “if,then” statement here, if you’re going to mess with this, then do it this way. And if that’s what he’s doing, he’s right.

      If that’s not what he’s doing, and he suggesting we continue this nonsense, then he’s very wrong (and ought to know better).

  32. The horse has already left the stable.

    Who hasn’t already called the territory occupied by the Kurds for the last 10 years “Kurdistan”? Succession is a great thing.

    I said when ISIS first broke out that they would never take Kurdistan, as they are a united, persecuted country/people.

    Rand only has a basis for saying such because the US created the situation, partition could have solved this several years ago.

    Succession is a great thing.

  33. Having the foreign service draw lines on a map somewhere between Russia and Somalia.

    What possible harm could ever come of such a thing ?

  34. Since we don’t own any of the territory there, what entitles us to “promise” the Kurds anything?

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  38. I would guess he means the already autonomous Kurdish region in Iraq that is largely self governing already…….

  39. It is a solid libertarian/classic liberal position; help our friends in liberty defeat our common enemy, recognizing the Kurds’ right to self-determination.

  40. Anyone who has bothered to read history knows the Kurds, Sunni and Shiites have been battling in “Iraq” for a over 1000 years. The “peace” that last for over 600 years was only possible because the Ottoman empire oppressed all of them equally. If a group got out of line, the Ottoman military went in and wiped out the troublemakers. Those left alive got the message and did as they were told. At the end of WWI, the west created “Iraq” put the three warring groups together and told them to play nice. Since 1919, they have done everything but play nice. If we give Kurds arms it will only let them claim land for themselves, but never end the fight. The fight will never end. Neither will the fight between the Shiites and Sunni. It is stupidity for the US or any western nation to think that diplomacy or any other normal method of governing will ever work in the middle east and to think we can is sheer fantasy.

  41. I protest Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky on his remark about carving a state out of Turkey for Kurds. I wonder whether the Senator is aware of North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s Agreement Article 4, which necessitates the territorial integrity of allied countries be respected and in case of emergency any Allied country will be defended collectively. He proves how unsuited he is to run for president who is supposed the be the leader of NATO. I would like to remind him the advise of late Hrant Dink, a Turkish Armenian, unfortunately assasinated, to the Turkish Kurds that they should not be deceived by the western imperialists such as his ancestors experienced hundred years ago.

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