Kurds

America Does Not Need to Stay in Syria to Protect the Kurds

It should lift the travel ban and bring them with it

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Americans are understandably war weary. Therefore, contrary to the claims of foreign policy hawks, President Trump's decision to pull U.S.

Kurds
STRINGER/REUTERS/Newscom

troops out of Syria wasn't too soon—but not soon enough.

But that doesn't mean that America can simply walk away, leaving the Syrian Kurds, who aided our efforts against ISIS, more vulnerable than when it intervened. The best way of arranging their security is by letting all those who want to flee come to America.

Trump told the American troops he visited in Iraq that America can't keep playing "policeman of the world." We are "doing the fighting for every nation on earth" without being "reimbursed," he complained. "We're no longer the suckers, folks." It's funny he should say that because many groups in countries that the U.S. has invaded and destabilized since World War II feel the same way. America uses them to advance its (often inchoate) ends and, once they have served their purpose, hangs them out to dry.

Arguably, the group most used and abused by America is the Kurds, who happen to be non-Arab Sunni Muslims. When it comes to them, America seems to have embraced notorious war-monger and Nixon-era Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's advice. "Promise [Kurds] anything," he said, "give them what they get, and f–k them if they can't take a joke."

At the end of World War I, victorious Western powers backtracked on their promises to give them a homeland and, instead, partitioned the Kurdish populated areas in the Middle East among Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey. Since then, America has cynically exploited the Kurdish aspiration for statehood at every turn.

When the United States was allied with the Shah of Iran against Iraq during the Nixon era, it funded the Kurdish peshmerga struggle for autonomy against the Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein. But it yanked its support once Saddam signed the Algiers Agreement with Iran in 1975 and studiously looked the other way as he cranked up his persecution machinery against the Kurds — which reached its zenith on the eve of the first Gulf War in 1988 when he gassed thousands of Kurdish men, women, and children.

After that war, President George H.W. Bush called on the Kurds and other Saddam opponents to overthrow the dictator, something he himself had (rightly) resisted doing. However, when they heeded his call, assuming that Bush was signaling that the United States had their back, he balked. Even though America had munitions and men at hand, it stood by and watched as Saddam engaged in massive reprisal killings, slaughtering about 100,000 rebels in six months. A million Kurds fled to neighboring Turkey and Iran. Afterwards, the U.S. started enforcing a no-fly zone against Saddam in the Kurdish-dominated Northern Iraq, finally creating a safe haven for a semi-autonomous Kurdish enclave (that within two decades became the most stable and prosperous area in the war-torn region).

The Iraqi Kurds repaid America's support in kind when President George W. Bush decided to march into Iraq in 2003 to topple Saddam. They fought alongside U.S. troops to help Bush finish his dad's job.

Later, they also joined their counterparts in Syria to assist America in its struggle against ISIS, doing the lion's share of the fighting since 2014. Indeed, President Trump boasts that "he" has defeated ISIS, an exaggeration on many levels. Whatever headway America and its Western allies have made against ISIS is in large part due to the Kurds. No doubt, the Kurds weren't helping purely for selfless reasons given that ISIS threatened them too. But if America hadn't intervened, they would have made an alliance with Syria's brutal dictator Bashar al-Assad to defeat ISIS, an outcome that America was desperate to avoid. Instead, they alienated Assad and fought on the frontlines against ISIS, sparing America major blood and treasure.

That's why it'll be an abdication of epic proportions if America does not do something to safeguard them as it withdraws. Turkey has long considered the Syrian and Iraqi Kurds its mortal enemies because it fears that if they manage to cobble together a state, they'll enflame the separatist sentiments of its own Kurdish population. So Turkish President Recep Erdogan is expanding his troop deployment along Kurdish-dominated areas on the Northeastern Syrian border in preparation for a massive offensive. In fact, he told Trump as much when he talked Trump into withdrawing American troops — which is why some Kurds are condemning America as a "traitor" right now.

America can't remain in Syria indefinitely — but that's precisely why it should develop evacuation plans for those who want to escape. There are only about two million Kurds in Syria, so it would be hardly beyond our capacity to absorb those among them looking for a safe haven.

But, sadly, Trump has offered no signs he would do that. Quite the opposite.

One of his first acts as president was to issue a travel ban on immigrants from several Muslim-majority countries, including Syria, and an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees. He also slashed the annual refugee quota by more than half from 110,000 to 45,000 and is on track to not even fill half of that. The upshot is that in the last fiscal year, America admitted less than 100 refugees from Syria — very few of them Kurds.

Worse, Trump has actually cracked down on Kurds already in the United States. He took Iraq off his travel ban in exchange for it accepting Iraqis he wanted to deport. And then, as part of his broader anti-Muslim jihad, he cracked down on Kurdish-settled areas in Nashville and elsewhere, rounding up Kurds who'd been living in America for decades for minor crimes and sending them back to Iraq for certain persecution and even death.

At the end of the Vietnam War, after Saigon fell in 1975, the United States evacuated Americans and their immediate South Vietnamese relatives but left behind hundreds of thousands of South Vietnamese who had aided it. Many of them ended up in prison camps — or "re-education centers" as the communist regime called them — where they died of starvation and disease or while being forced to sweep minefields. The shock and horror shamed America into eventually admitting several hundred thousand "boat people" who flocked to its shores.

So it will be interesting to see if the prospect of Turkey's impending onslaught similarly jolts Trump out his moral ennui to do the right thing by the Kurds.

America needs to shrink its massive military footprint in the world. But it needs to do so with more thoughtfulness than what it showed when it went in. If it fails to tie loose ends before exiting, it'll leave the world infinitely worse off and sow the seeds for future blowback that'll only spur more overseas militarism.

Just as soldiers don't leave their wounded comrades behind, America shouldn't leave vulnerable Kurds behind.

This column originally appeared in The Week

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121 responses to “America Does Not Need to Stay in Syria to Protect the Kurds

  1. Unless they support full freedom of speech, religion, press and association, and equal rights for all (based on what they teach their children), we are wasting our time and blood defending them and need to get the hell out. (And having “free” or “democratic” in your militia’s name doesn’t mean a damn thing). And no we should not import them into America – they will only undermine our freedoms here as well. Let Europe defend the ‘secular’ kurds. They are the wonderkin of French mega-brain Bernard-Henri Levy.

    1. We’re not defending them. They are doing our fighting so we don’t have to put boots on the ground. And now that they are in an exposed position – on that frontline – we are going to shoot them in the back and call it honorable.

      I disagree with shikha on most things – but she is absolutely right about what has happened here – and what ALWAYS happens to ‘our allies’ when they do our fighting for us. We are, at core, a dishonorable nation.

      1. Well, everything’s relative.

      2. We’re not defending them. They are doing our fighting so we don’t have to put boots on the ground.

        We shouldn’t be doing any fighting in Syria.

        1. Perhaps that is the sort of question that should be asked BEFORE we go in. And if we aren’t going to go in, then maybe we should stop:

          a)drawing red lines or
          b)demonizing groups that ARE involved in the fighting (like ISIS)

          Course that’s not easy either.

          1. We did ask that question and the Obama administration called us anit-American agitating hippy-dips.

          2. It is NOT shooting them in the back. They knew it was an alliance of conveniences, they would abandon us in two seconds if it came to it. Just like if we dropped out they would try to cozy up to Russia, but Russia would be much less inclined to give them a blank check than we are because Russia is friends with Iran, Syria, and trying to befriend Erdogan in Turkey.

            We already gave the Kurds billions, guns, and American blood. They are owed nothing.

        2. Actually, they are doing the Zionist’s fighting….Make no mistake, the War on Terror are wars for Israel!

      3. They are not doing our fighting for us, they are doing their fighting for themselves because we’re there.

        Whether we owe them because the two align (mostly) is one thing but even then, how long are we supposed to spend money and lives on a fight that is no longer ours even if there were legitimate reasons to begin with?

        1. how long are we supposed to spend money and lives on a fight that is no longer ours even if there were legitimate reasons to begin with?

          If we have the balls to fight our own battles, then we can pull out whenever we want.

          If we don’t have the balls to fight our own battles but instead fight through proxies, then they determine when things end and what the blowback will end up being for us. That’s not some normative ‘ought’. It just is. Because if we think we get to determine that stuff, they will quickly switch sides and the consequences will almost inevitably create bigger problems down the road for us.

          Problem for us is – we NEVER have the balls to fight our own battles because we don’t like bringing coffins home and do everything to avoid that consequence. That BECOMES our primary strategy (avoid casualties and body-bags) – and in turn requires us to choose from a suboptimal set of choices in how we fight and who we fight with and what we intend to accomplish by fighting.

          1. I tell you what, go tell an Army recruiter you want to be boots on ground in Syria if you are so committed to showing how much of a badass you are. You want to die in the desert for the Kurds go ahead, I would prefer not to.

          2. If the Kurds were our “proxy” fighters, then we wouldn’t have any boots on the ground.
            If us staying there is their protection, then they aren’t fighting in our stead.
            We may have provided them with materiel but they decided to fight of their own volition.
            So, no, we don’t owe them anything more.
            I’ve got no problem with continuing to arm them, though.

      4. “We are, at core, a dishonorable nation.”

        Perhaps you GTFO then. If it’s not to your liking.

        1. Easier to subvert America from the inside.

        2. Of course we are dishonorable….We are fighting in several different nations, NONE of which have attacked us…These wars & interventions & coups & drones, etc..are IMMORAL & ILLEGAL & UNCONSTITUTIONAL!!!

          Shrub #2, Obummy, Trump, Rumsfeld, Cheney, HildaBeast, Mattis, Kerry, et al. & most of the US Congress are WAR CRIMINALS!!!

          1. So the only honorable war is against someone who has directly attacked us? Bullshit, you’re just against it. Killing ISIS isn’t dishonorable.

            Also, I’m curious what branch you served in. What dishonorable things did you see? Or were you ordered to do some,thing unsavory?

      5. “They are doing our fighting so we don’t have to put boots on the ground. ”

        Hate America First!

        They were doing their fighting. We were doing our fighting. Our fighting is done. Time to go home.

    2. Unless they support full freedom of speech, religion, press and association, and equal rights for all (based on what they teach their children),

      Turns out, they do. Kurds are not Arabs, Muslim extremists or Baathists. They are also not free-lovin’ Berkely types, but next to Israel, Kurdistan is the closest thing to a liberal, pluralist nation in the Middle East, where everyone else peers out suspiciously at the modern world from, at best, the 19th century.

      That being said, the notion of inviting an entire ethnic group of millions of people immigrate to the US is batty. Given that there is no avoiding the Great Game, the only sane choice is to support modern, liberal societies wherever they’re found in the world, for our own enlightened self-interest in having a future with more Kurdistan and less Iran.

      1. You have a problem here champ, there *IS* no Kurdistan. So unless you plan on royally pissing off Turkey, the second largest military in NATO, Iraq, Iran, Syria, and every other nation with a nascent minority separatist movement then there is no play here.

      2. “Kurdistan is the closest thing to a liberal, pluralist nation in the Middle East”

        Close, but no cigar.

        I wish the Kurds had their own homeland. It would be good for them and the world. But neither the Bush nor Obama administrations saw fit to fight for an independent Kurdistan. Even the neocons. The world does not support it. It’s not our government’s job to make one.

        1. Because doing so would require alliance with Russia. Full on military alliance.
          I happen to support such an idea on both points, but that is incidental.
          An independent Kurdistan would be massively destabilizing in the short term, but the region isn’t all that stable as is. In the long term, an independent Kurdistan would provide Israel with a natural ally in the region and a uniquely secular state.
          The only way that could happen is through a strong friendship and united purpose by the US and Russia, who possess 90+% of the nuclear weapons in existence.
          Only the prospect of overwhelming force of US+Russian military might could possibly prevent an all out war.
          Kurdistan may or may not be worth it, but regardless alliance with Russia would be a very good idea.

  2. The Kurds should be welcomed here with open arms, as long as they don’t bring along their Whey of Life, to whatever extent the Kurd Whey of Life may perhaps include Islamofascism (and as I sit here on my tuffet, I can think of no evidence that the Kurd Whey of Life includes Islamofascism).

    -Miss Muffet

    1. I think most Kurds want to live in an independent Kurdistan, rather than eke out a living as taxi drivers and cleaning ladies in the glorious USA.
      Forcing a migration of 2 million people to a land where they have to adopt a new language and culture, may not excite them as much as Shikha imagines.

  3. Migrating 2 million people is not a small undertaking, not is it desirable.
    Why not make a bad situation worse, and just rip a chunk of Turkey to create a new state? Worked well with Israel…

    1. Beautiful. And while the UN is at it, rip a chunk of Syria for the Palestinians!

    2. One could say the same thing about Algeria. It was once part of France.

      1. Speaking of France, it should be given back to the Germans, having once been a part of Germany!

        1. Krauts should try to take it back oh wait

        2. Nah, give all southern Europe to Italy.

          1. Yeah man, AND the Levant, AND Northern Africa too!!! Although I’d bet that the modern Italians would be wise enough to say to the offer of the letter 2 falling to them, “Not just NO, but HELL NO!!!!”

          2. Just give it all to Italy, Rome and shit, yo they got a history.

          3. Or give Sicily back to the Arabs.

            1. You mean The Moops

        3. All countries were once part of Pangea, so there should be a single world government run by the UN.

      2. Give Ireland back to the Irish
        Give Lapland back to the Lapps
        Give Taiwan back to the Chinese
        Give Yoko back to the Japs!

    3. “Why not make a bad situation worse, and just rip a chunk of Turkey to create a new state? Worked well with Israel…”

      Israel works fantastically. It’s all the murdering bloodthirsty muslims around them that are the problem. There are exceptions. The Kurds aren’t too bad. Maybe something can be done for them. Bringing them all here isn’t it though.

    1. Living under Assad or living under DeBlasio, not a great choice.

  4. In related news, libertarians demand that the USA dismantle the PA that Bill Clinton established and allow anyone from Judea, Samaria, and Gaza to move to America.

  5. the Kurds knew from very recent history in Iraq and Vietnam that the U.S. doesn’t abide by its deals with locals but they chose to work with the U.S. anyway. We don’t owe them or anyone else anything. just walk away

    1. The US needs to keep it’s fucking promises, if they did indeed promise them anything other than weapons and temporary support.

  6. Do the right thing?

    When has this author ever had a clue about the right thing?

    1. You know who else would have solved the Kurdish Question with ethnic cleansing?

  7. The same fucking shitty piece from Newsweek again that ran about a week ago??

    1. Look, she only has ever had one idea. How is she supposed to make money without reposting it?

      1. Shikha Dalmia is the best libertarian writer working today. I appreciate her talent for finding innovative ways to advocate for the Koch / Reason open borders agenda. Whether it’s discussing Syria or fugitive slave laws, her passion for unlimited, unrestricted immigration is truly inspiring.

        1. I guess another spirited meeting of Libertarians For Authoritarian, Cruel, Bigoted Immigration Policies and Practices is called to order.

          Try to keep it brief, though, clingers — don’t forget the meetings of Libertarians For Statist Womb Management and Libertarians For Tariffs And Protectionism already scheduled for this afternoon.

          Disaffected right-wing losers are among my favorite faux libertarians, especially when losing the culture war makes them especially cranky.

          1. Libertarians For Statist Womb Management

            I see you’ve followed my advice and stopped writing “Libertarians for Regulating Ladyparts Clinics.” Good job. Because as your years of STEM training no doubt taught you, wombs aren’t necessarily “ladyparts” since transmen and nonbinary people can have them too.

            Please continue using this more science-based and inclusive language when arguing for reproductive rights.

            #MenCanGetAbortionsToo
            #SoCanNonbinaryPeople

            1. I believe Libertarians For Big-Government Micromanagement Of Ladyparts Clinics became a subcommittee because membership was concentrated in a few backwaters and the group therefore was not considered full committee material.

              1. Arty, do you understand you’re being played by a parody account?

                Probably not.

              2. Haha this is fantastic.

                1. I think Arty is a low functioning autistic. With a very low IQ.

  8. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Trump’s primary purpose in selecting so many of his staff is about loyalty to him personally–especially in the face of impeachment.

    Trump did not choose Sessions as his Attorney General because he wanted the Justice Department to go after marijuana in the states, and the reason Sessions didn’t go after marijuana in the states isn’t because he didn’t want that. Trump chose Sessions because Session was the only Republican with a future who supported Trump throughout Trump’s campaign–so he trusted him.

    Trump didn’t elevate Larry Kudlow to be his economic advisor because Trump wanted to embrace Larry Kudlow’s life long commitment to free markets and free trade. He elevated Larry Kudlow because Larry Kudlow supported Trump throughout his campaign–and he needed an advisor he knew he could trust not to throw him under the bus in impeachment hearings for everything Trump might say in private about Russia or anyone else.

    Now I’m supposed to believe that John Bolton is speaking for Trump on this, when it goes against Trump’s own statements–going back years–about getting out of Syria, how the Iraq War was a mistake, etc? I’m going to argue that the reason Trump elevated John Bolton wasn’t because he wanted to embrace John Bolton’s neoconservatism. He elevated Bolton because Bolton was loyal to him going back to when Bolton supported Trump throughout his election campaign.

    1. Trump alienated his own defense staff with the depth of his commitment to getting out of Syria, and now the guy he elevated just because he’s loyal is the ultimate word on Trump policy?

      More likely, Trump doesn’t want to get blamed if Erdogan does to the Kurds what Turkey did to the Armenians, and I have little doubt but that the White House press corps isn’t getting down on their knees every night and praying to their false god that the Kurds will be slaughtered–just so they can blame Trump for it.

      I suspect this rhetoric from Bolton is intended for Turkey. I suspect Trump is still committed to getting out of Syria.

      1. I suspect this rhetoric from Bolton is intended for Turkey.

        Turkey responded by excoriating and humiliating Bolton, then calling Trump a liar. Great plan so far.

        1. The genocide denier Turkey?

        2. The success of their blabbing strategy (if this is what it is) probably shouldn’t be measured in terms of what Turkey says but, rather, by what Turkey does. You understand that, right?

          1. Success?

            That’s a good one.

      2. The rhetoric from Bolton was aimed at Israel. that’s where he was in that press conference on Sunday. And what he basically said was we aren’t getting out no matter what Trump says. Trump can have his tweets and his coming home victory parades – and obviously some troops will have to participate in those parades by coming home. But he mentioned the garrisons that are staying in Syria – and they will stay until IRAN decides to leave Syria. Which is never unless Assad is overthrown cuz Assad represents a Shia minority in Syria – so that means our mission will change to overthrowing Assad and no doubt we will hire ISIS wannabes (but not Kurds – cuz that would piss off Turkey and the Kurds ain’t interested in that shit at all) to do our fighting for that. And unlike us, the Iranians know why they are there – they will never abandon a Shia minority to what would become genocide if Assad loses control – and the Iranian people know that all too.

        Israel wants us in Syria forever and they want to hopelessly entangle us in doing their fighting against Iran so that they remain the only nuclear power in the region.

        Americans OTOH are dumb as dirt. And we actually think we can keep playing these games to keep our own hands clean while incurring no blowback over time

        1. Don’t forget that Russia will now be in Syria forever. Reason enough for us to stay out?we don’t need to set any more tripwires between the US and Russia.

          1. I don’t think Russia was ever going to leave Syria.

        2. Iran stopped caring about Islamic Revolution as soon as the Revolution in Iran was over. Syria and Iran are friends because they both have problems with Israel, not because they share some great religious loyalty together.

          And by all means, enlist and ask for Syria duty if you are so hell bent on showing how badass America is. Or become a contractor, plenty of jobs in Iraq and Afghanistan and they pay pretty good too.

          1. You are just plain stupid aren’t you.

          2. Allawite + shiite best buds 4 life signed joe blow

    2. Shorter Ken:

      There’s Always A Reason Why The Standards Must Be Lower For Trump

      1. Jeffy, don’t criticize Ken. Way above your pay grade. Or I suppose, the allowance mommy and daddy give you.

    3. Will Bolton publicly unvomit his impudence after T rips his ass?

      1. He may be saying this at Trump’s behest, like I said, for the benefit of the Turks.

        They’re just words. If he can prevent the Turks from obliterating the Kurds with some words, then he should definitely do that.

        I’m not convinced this a policy reversal just because a bunch of journalists in the White House press corps say so.

        Maybe we’re not the intended audience for everything the National Security Advisor says to the international press, and if the Truks were looking for a sign from the Trump administration that they have a free hand to slaughter the Kurds in Syria, they can stop looking now.

        1. I’m not convinced this a policy reversal just because a bunch of journalists in the White House press corps say so.

          The president said ‘we’re getting out now.’ The national security advisor then said ‘no, we’re not.’ The secretary of state then mumbled something unintelligible, and the vice president stammered blankly.

          I’m not sure anything in this episode qualified as a policy, let alone one that could be reversed.

          1. Go away Arty, adults are talking here. So stop your shitposting.

    4. It must be tough to be Commander In Chief when nearly the entire media and one of America’s major political parties are almost wholly composed of marxist leaning traitors and seditionists.

    5. “Trump’s primary purpose in selecting so many of his staff is about loyalty to him personally”

      Trump hired swampthing after swampthing. Most of his hires were about placating the Republican establishment.

      1. Kavanaugh was a favor to the Bushes.

  9. I doubt “The Kurds” want to be “brought” to America.

    1. You’re right… The Whey to America is long and hard for Kurds!!!

      1. Soy you say.

  10. America does need to worry about the Syrian Kurds, whose support has been crucial to its efforts to defeat ISIS.

    I can’t be the only one who thinks this is backwards.

  11. So, how do we reliably verify whether someone who says he’s a “vulnerable Kurd” really is?

    1. My understanding is that lacking a Y chromosome in Kurdistan makes one exceedingly “vulnerable”. And by “vulnerable” I mean vulnerable to things like being forcibly buried alive by your own family members, not vulnerable in the sense of finding yourself receiving cunnilingus in a movie producer’s hotel room in exchange for a starring role in his next movie.

  12. Well that should make the Obama administration happy.

  13. So is it time to frog-march John Bolton out the door for sedition?

    1. It’s long past time we put Bolton on the “kill on sight” list and sent the SEALs to his house.

  14. >>>so it would be hardly beyond our capacity to absorb those among them looking for a safe haven.

    first, bienvenidos! i’d rather “america” be exported but whatever

    second, yes when your theory looks like the stick-people in Game of Life the statement makes sense. gonna give the real people Idaho? stick them on Oahu or in Juneau? another 2 mil in NYC? who’s the decider on how the real people are disseminated?

  15. I notice the calls of “Cue the screeds of the anti-Dalmia critics.” have disappeared.

    Presumably because she’s gone indefensibly around every bend on every issue libertarian or otherwise.

    I mean, she practically sides with the Bush Administration’s invasion of Iraq. At the very least, she uses it as some sort of sound basis for why we should be more welcoming to and/or supportive of the Kurds. As though the Kurds themselves don’t have backwards cultural traditions or have violently enforced their own social mores. Like if we interned more Japanese immigrants during WWII it would’ve been OK if we vaporized a few more cities. It’s so batshit insane I can’t fathom what planet she’s living on.

  16. Shiksa you ignorant slut…

  17. By the way, I still don’t know why the heck we’re somehow obligated to protect the Kurds in perpetuity. And yes, the same thing applies to Israel or South Korea or any other people or country.

    Almost 30 years of protection is long enough. We don’t “owe” them jack shit.

  18. The UN has overstayed its welcome in America, so why not move it to a place it can do some good; for example:

    Afghanistan

    Syria

    Somalia.

    1. You missed Antarctica.

  19. We just need to give/sell them some mega bad ass weapons and the Turks will leave them alone, at least for a while. The Kurds are badasses and have been at war for a couple decades, they are tough son-of-a-bitches. Give them weaponry to match it and they’ll send Erdogan’s soldiers running home to momma.

    1. I’m not sure that arming yet another side in the Middle East will be a great long-term strategy.

  20. Dude we are not going to “absorb” 2 million kurds. However the US can supply them weapons and completely cut off trade with Turkey if it pulls some shenanigans.

    1. If you want to supply them with weapons, do it yourself with your own money. Leave me and my money alone.

  21. Let the Kurds fight their own battles?
    What next?
    Let other countries fight their own wars, pay for them and let their own people fight and die?
    But then all our soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen won’t be able to have any fun with their great new toys.

  22. This is always the issue with getting out of these entanglements that we never should have been in the first place; How do we make it right for the guys fighting on our side when we leave. The most recent approaches of cut and run in Vietnam, arming a future enemy in Iraq/Iran, stay forever in Afghanistan aren’t good strategies either.

    We should at least consider resettling groups of people like the Kurds as an exit strategy, and not just deny it at face value.

    1. We could try being honest up front. “Look, we welcome your help while we’re here, but when we’re done here, you’re on your own.”

      1. That wouldn’t be honest in the case of the war against ISIS.

        They contributed 6000 combat KIA.
        We contributed 14 combat KIA (could be as low as 2 depending on whether the planes/vehicle crashes were really combat-related or just accidents in combat areas) – and provided the ammo, grenades, and medical supplies for the Kurds.

        They fought the actual war and took the ground. We stood on the sidelines and rained down bombs. It was their presence on the ground that ensured that what we were aiming at was ISIS not just random civilians.

        They did our fighting for us – and took ALL the risks. so that we wouldn’t have to put troops in harms way.

        1. What does any of that have to do with what would have been the honesty of telling them up front that they would be on their own when we leave?

    2. We should at least consider resettling groups of people like the Kurds as an exit strategy

      Except the whole reason the Kurds are fighting, and have been fighting for all these years, is because they want their own recognized homeland in the land of their ancestors. Not to be resettled somewhere else.

      I don’t think you realize how ardently nationalistic these people are.

      1. The problem with such ambitions is that nearly every habitable square mile on Earth is the land of the ancestors of multiple peoples, and in most cases, those ancestors seized the land from previous inhabitants. It is not possible for every ethnic group to get “their” “homeland” “back”. As Russell Crowe said in Gladiator, “People need to know when they’re beaten.”

        1. The problem with such ambitions is that nearly every habitable square mile on Earth is the land of the ancestors of multiple peoples, and in most cases, those ancestors seized the land from previous inhabitants

          Well, sure. But that doesn’t mean the Kurds don’t think it’s worth fighting for.

          As Russell Crowe said in Gladiator, “People need to know when they’re beaten.”

          No, his character didn’t say that–it was one of his lieutentants, and his response was, “Would I? Would you?”

          1. It’s that or eternal war.

            1. War is a human condition.

              1. At one time being eaten by large predators was the human condition. Things can change.

          2. Progressives have no clue who or what the Kurds are. They think Saladin was an Arab. It’s just a word the hive mind learned when the signal went out that this is how we bash Trump for leaving Obama’s mess in Syria.

  23. America Does Not Need to Stay in Syria to Protect the Kurds

    Agreed. The US could provide weapons, supplies, and assistance with intelligence.

    It should lift the travel ban and bring them with it

    Wait, what?

  24. Syria’s just another American proxy war and there will always be excuses for involvement and excuses to stay. Funny how people die everyday in warzones around the world and the US doesn’t bat an eye but we care so much about this certain spot in the world. It’s always been about resources and the control of said resources.

  25. Are you seriously suggesting that all the Kurds should move out of their historic homeland, Kurdistan, and move to the US?

    1. Dalmia’s solution to everything is to move all indigent foreigners here.

  26. Historical homelands mean nothing to people who are citizens of the world.
    Kurdistan is a real place, as much as Armenia, and Azerbaijan.

  27. What is up with this stupid bitch and her maniacal obsession with relocating most of the world’s population to the US? It’s her go to solution for EVERY problem.

  28. “America Does Not Need to Stay in Syria to Protect the Kurds
    It should lift the travel ban and bring them with it”

    I saw Shikha with a headline appearing to support Trump. “Well, that’s just crazy talk.” And of course it was.

    What’s the solution to all problems? Import Not Americans to America, to make it Not America.

    1. “Invade the world, invite the world”

      Reason’s love affair with necons grows everyday. Nick has taken a fancy to Bill Kristol on twitter.

      The West’s political realignment continues.

      Globalists to the Left.
      Nationalists to the Right.

  29. You know who else would have solved the Kurdish Question with ethnic cleansing?

    1. Billy Jack?

    2. The Young Turks?

    3. Mr. Rogers?

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  31. We never promised the Kurds anything, other than a temporary partnership while our interests coincide. Now with the Islamic State no longer existing and its military force hanging on to pockets our cooperation comes to an end, and the partnership should be terminated. Their conflicts with Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran aren’t ours. We don’t owe them anything, more than they owe us anything.

  32. “But that doesn’t mean that America can simply walk away, leaving the Syrian Kurds, who aided our efforts against ISIS, more vulnerable than when it intervened.”

    Sure, it does. Bring the troops home. All of them. Other than embassy guards, we should have no troops stationed overseas.

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