Kurds

Let the Kurds Come to America

They have been loyal U.S. allies and don't deserve to be slaughtered by Turkey.

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Kurds have been staunch allies in America's struggle against ISIS. Without them, the U.S. would have paid a far steeper price in blood and treasure to defeat the brutal outfit. That's why President Donald Trump's move to let Turkey into northeastern Syria to slaughter the Kurds there is being greeted with widespread revulsion.

Trump has reportedly cut a deal with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that he will hand over control of this region to Turkey so long as Turkey relieves America of the responsibility of taking care of captured ISIS soldiers and their families. Trump has been trying to reassure everyone that he will "destroy" and "obliterate" Turkey's economy if it treats the Kurds "inhumanely."

His threats would be more believable if he himself treated the Kurds humanely by opening America's doors to more of them. Instead he's been cold-bloodedly deporting those already in the United Sates.

It was a foregone conclusion that Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would condemn Trump's Syria decision. But with the exception of Kentucky's Sen. Rand Paul, even Trump's staunch Republican loyalists are voicing their disgust.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R–S.C.), an enthusiastic Trump cheerleader for the last two years, called the Syria decision "unnerving to the core" and a "disaster in the making." Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Trump's former UN ambassador, Nikki Haley, have likewise expressed strong opposition. Most surprising, however, is televangelist Pat Robertson. He convinced his vast evangelical following to ignore Trump's serial adultery and vote for him because he was "God's man for this job." Yet he is now warning Trump that he risks "losing the mandate from heaven" if he abandons the Kurds.

America has a long history of betraying the Kurds, a non-Arab people who tend to be Sunni Muslims. Henry Kissinger notoriously said, "Promise Kurds anything, give them what they get, and fuck them if they can't take a joke."

So what's different this time?

Essentially, there is an acute awareness that without Kurdish assistance, many more Americans would have died in the struggle against ISIS. The Kurds offered not only crucial intelligence to guide America's offensive but also performed the lion's share of the ground combat.

The upshot is that while America lost 11 soldiers in the last five years in Iraq and Syria, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an American-allied group fighting ISIS, lost 11,000, the vast majority of them Kurds. By contrast, during the Iraq War—when America did not have local allies and had to rely on its own soldiers to conduct complex and costly urban military operations—the U.S. suffered 700 casualties, including 82 deaths, during just a single battle in Fallujah, points out Iraq veteran and conservative commentator David French.

Abandoning the Kurds and letting Turkey slaughter them after they put themselves on the line for America's struggle against ISIS is beyond heinous.

Erdogan pretty much abandoned his talk of creating a "20-mile safe zone" for the Kurds the moment he launched his offensive. Turkish soldiers have been brutally targeting not just Kurdish fighters but politicians—and filming the killings to boot. Reports are also filtering in that Turkish warplanes are pounding civilian Kurdish areas instead of sparing them.

Turkey fears that if Syrian Kurds are allowed to retain control of territory in northeastern Syria, right next to the Turkish border, they will join forces with Turkish Kurds who have long wanted to secede from Turkey and form their own separate homeland. Turkey claims the Syrian Kurds are an extension of its banned Kurdistan Workers' Party, which has been fighting for Kurdish autonomy in Turkey for three decades.

Nor is this the first time that Turkey is going after the Kurds. In the last three years, Turkey has tried twice to purge the Kurds from northeastern Syria. In the last operation— ironically named Operation Olive Branch—Turkish forces slaughtered 1,500 Kurdish militiamen along with 300 civilians in just eight weeks, according to the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights, a U.K.–based monitoring group.

America could safeguard Kurdish lives by offering them a quick way out and arrange their evacuation. There are less than a million Kurds in SDF-controlled Syria. Even if they all came to the U.S., America could absorb them without breaking a sweat. And not all of them would even come. Kurds have been fighting for their own homeland ever since the European powers carved the Kurdish population into several pieces after World War I, handing each to Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Iran. So many of them won't abandon their struggle and flee. But Kurdish fighters may appreciate a safe haven for their spouses and children. The least America can do is give them that option.

Of course that will require Trump to lift his "Muslim" travel ban and revive America's near-dead refugee program. Syria is among the countries—all of them Muslim except for two—from which potential immigrants have been totally banned for the last two years. And even though Iraq is not on that list, the Trump administration has been deporting many Kurdish Iraqis back to that country to face almost certain death. In fact, one of Trump's first immigration crackdowns after assuming office was in Nashville, Tennessee's Little Kurdistan, where many Iraqi Kurds have long lived. It took place during Ramadan, the holiest celebration in Islam.

Trump is justifying his Syria pullout by insisting that he doesn't want America to remain embroiled in "endless war." That's a worthy goal, but it doesn't require us to make sacrificial lambs of our allies. The Kurds deserve better.

A version of this column appeared in The Week.

 

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  1. Luckily the Kurds don’t want to come America. They are Marxist guerrillas who want to establish an independent socialist state in their ancestral lands. They’ve been fighting for that goal for half a century and they can and will continue doing so without US support just as they always have.

    It’s also telling that you kept your retarded cunt shut while Syrian and Iraqi Christians were murdered into extinction in an act of genocide but you support the forced relocation of communist guerrillas to America. Tell you what, they can live at your place – as many as you like.

    1. Be nicer, Burt, or your betters could start positioning progress sideways before they push more of it down your bigoted, obsolete throat.

      1. Just as soon as you lose the next presidential election, right Hihn, you impotent effete obsolete old welfare addicted piece of subhuman shit?

        1. Too much sand in your vagina, Buttercup? Not enough cheese in your diet? Stop dating your sister. Just a thought.

      2. I wonder if a modicum of moderating would be all that hard for Reason to accomplish.

        1. Don’t get that shit started here, statist scumbucket.

          1. :-))

      3. It’s nice to see a Reverend come out in favor of ethnic cleansing of Christians.
        Let’s you know that just cause he’s a Reverend, he won’t play favorites for Christians.

    2. How dare you question the sincerity of Reason’s leading open borders advocate!

      1. Has anyone asked the author if she ever believes in borders? If “No” is the answer, then toss out all the maps because there are no longer any countries.

    3. “but you support the forced relocation”

      Where did she say anything about ‘forced relocation’ rather than voluntary immigration? Did you also oppose allowing, say, Iraqi and Afghani interpreters who worked with U.S. troops to immigrate?

      And I don’t think you’d need to worry about any of them living close to you in outer redneckistan. There are lots of Middle-Eastern immigrants near me, where they’re actually welcomed, and it’s just not a problem (though admittedly they’re not the best drivers and do seem to have a little trouble with the concept of not wandering all over the bike paths).

      1. Where did she say anything about ‘forced relocation’

        When she suggested that Kurds that are fighting for an independent Kurdish state and self-determination should instead flee their ancestral lands where they have been trying to establish a Marxist socialist state for half a century and instead go to the United States where they do not wish to live?

        There are lots of Middle-Eastern immigrants near me, where they’re actually welcomed, and it’s just not a problem (though admittedly they’re not the best drivers and do seem to have a little trouble with the concept of not wandering all over the bike paths).

        I know the idea of a being gang fucked up the ass by 20 Muslims is your idea of paradise, but not everybody is as into it as you are. I’m not terribly surprised the illiterate goat fucking pieces of third world shit have a better grasp of American traffic laws than you do, but here again, most people in this country aren’t intellectually challenged to the point of requiring supervision like you.

    4. @Burt Reynolds

      I went ahead and looked up the ideologies of the most popular political parties in the Kurdistan region of Syria and Iraq. It looks like the KDP, a conservative party, is actually the most popular. There is a left-wing party, the PUK, that is also fairly influential, but it doesn’t look to be doctrinaire Marxist. The other, lesser parties seemed to have a pretty heterogeneous mix of right wing and left-wing beliefs. But overall it looks like having Kurds come to America would be a net win for conservatives and Republicans.

      It would be a big win for America too. I live in a region with a decent amount of Middle Eastern Muslim immigrants, and it’s improved my life. They have fixed my car for cheap, started up an awesome burger place, helped me navigate a pharmacy’s stupid billing system, and run employment training programs for teens. Overall great, upstanding people that we need more of.

      I don’t think we should frame this as America taking on refugees to pay a debt. Having more immigration would make America a better place. It’s basically equivalent to inviting some dude to crash at your house because he has no place to go, and to come home later to discover that he’s cleaned your entire house, fixed your water heater, and mowed your lawn.

      There’s a tendency to frame the debate over immigration as a debate between people who want to help Americans and people who want to help foreigners. Bringing in immigrants makes America better and American citizens better off, people who oppose immigration are no friends to America or its citizens.

      1. It would be a big win for America too. I live in a region with a decent amount of Middle Eastern Muslim immigrants, and it’s improved my life. They have fixed my car for cheap, started up an awesome burger place, helped me navigate a pharmacy’s stupid billing system, and run employment training programs for teens. Overall great, upstanding people that we need more of.

        Doesn’t matter how nice or hard-working these people are, given our current system of taxation and spending, every person we add to the country who makes less than $100k/year is a net minus to the country. That is, they will contribute to increasing out debt faster.

        It’s a messed up system, but that’s what we live under. If you want more immigration, you need to fix excessive government spending, taxation, and borrowing first.

      2. Bringing in immigrants makes America better and American citizens better off

        If you bring in a below average runner on your above average relay team, does your relay team get better or worse?

        If you bring in immigrants who are below average on productivity, health, and income it makes Americans worse off. The only immigrants who actually make America and Americans better off are immigrants who are, on average, more productive, healthier, and command higher incomes than the average American.

        1. NOYB2….there you go again. Using reason and logic when you are just supposed to emote! 🙂

      3. Don’t bother explaining it to Burt. He’s too busy tripping over his own intellectual furniture such as it is in his cramped hoarder paradise of studio apt-sized skull.

        Too many piled-up newspapers in his brain pan next to the mummified cat and empty bottles of hand lotion in front of Nancy Reagan’s picture.

  2. Sure. We could settle (and arm) the Kurds along the US-Mexican border, promise them a homeland, and then watch the fun.

    1. I think we should simply give Califoregonia independence from the US and then encourage them to let the Kurds immigrate there.

      1. They don’t need encouragement. California is the first stop.

  3. Yep. I can well remember back in 2014/15 when Trump made the deal with the Kurds for them to be our muscle in Syria if we’d support their autonomy.

  4. i have half of Ethiopia around the corner as it is which is fine they’re lovely people but the Kurds are gonna have to stay @your casa.

  5. The Koch / Reason position is that literally anybody on the planet should be allowed to move to the US at any time. Logically, this of course includes the Kurds.

    #OpenBorders
    #ImmigrationAboveAll

  6. It’s not about protecting people who have sided with us.

    I didn’t hear the complaints from dems about the people the Taliban was going to slaughter when Obama pulled troops out of Afghanistan.

    What happened to the anti-war liberal?

    1. If you thought they were anything more than a myth, you were mythtaken.

      1. “”you were mythtaken.””

        I would like to welcome Mike Tyson to H&R.

        Nice pun.

      2. yeah funny.

  7. So may half truths assumptions, so sure of herself. Let’s look at just the first two paragraphs.
    “Kurds have been staunch allies in America’s struggle against ISIS.” And the US has been a staunch ally of the Kurds in their struggle against ISIS. There is no similar reciprocation in the Kurds’ far-longer struggle against Turkey, nor are they helping us vs Turkey.

    “Trump’s move to let Turkey into northeastern Syria . . .” The Turks have been there, and were coming back. It’s not our country and we did not let them in.

    “”[Trump] will hand over control of this region to Turkey . . .” As if we or Trump have “control of this region” right now. As if Turkey will have control as a result. So vague, so speculative.

    And it’s not as if Shikha didnt know this was coming. She links to her own January 2019 article announcing the same “sudden” policy that we were getting out of the way — with our 50 troops.

    1. Your argument treats Iraqi Kurds as part of the same group as Turkish Kurds because of shared history (hint, the ones against Turkey aren’t in Iraq). This is literally as stupid as attributing everything Canadian Anglo Saxons do to Anglo Saxon North Americans.

      1. You must be talking about Sikha, because that is nothing that I argued. The only Kurds being discussed are the ones in the region between Turkey and Assad. The Canucks have their own separatists to deal with.

      2. Your argument treats Iraqi Kurds as part of the same group as Turkish Kurds because of shared history

        How about Americans don’t effing care, nor should we care. It’s not our country. We’re not attacking the Kurds. We’re not responsible for defending them. We didn’t make a defense pact with them. We protected them for a few years for reasons of our own and now we don’t anymore, that’s all.

        1. Let the fucking Europeans deal with it. Americans are tired of sacrificing our young men and women to police their backyard.

  8. Never go full retard.

  9. People helping us to fight a common enemy is a choice they made we do not have to reciprocate when their old enemies who are supposed to be our allies defend their land from them.

  10. So the lesson here is that foreign entanglements are a bipartisan issue.

  11. Kurds? No, whey!

    1. Someone has to show them the whey.

  12. I didn’t realize that the world’s Kurdish population wanted to relocate to the United States.

    BTW, if all they want to do is relocate to a safer country, I hear Germany has fairly light-touch immigration restrictions… which means Europe has light-touch Immigration restrictions.

    1. I didn’t realize that the world’s Kurdish population wanted to relocate to the United States.

      Probably 1/3-1/2 of the world population wants to immigrate to America.

      BTW, if all they want to do is relocate to a safer country, I hear Germany has fairly light-touch immigration restrictions… which means Europe has light-touch Immigration restrictions.

      They really don’t want to go to Germany because Germany (and Europe) are a lot more xenophobic and racist than the US.

  13. Oh, FFS, no.

  14. If the Kurds can’t come to America send Shika to Kurdistan.

  15. I think the horse has left the barn and their not really much we can do now on the ground. Letting those Kurd who want immigrate to the US seems like the last best chance to save some of these people. The situation seems a lot like the collapse of South Vietnam. We took in people in then and we could do it again.

    1. “…The situation seems a lot like the collapse of South Vietnam….”

      No, it doesn’t.

      1. It seems similar to me. We’ve been involved in a war there for a while, aiding this group, and are now cutting and running. What is the biggest difference?

      2. The only similarity I can think of is what happened to the Montagnards. That was unconscionable.

        I have a machete they gave my father hanging on the wall in my office.

    2. I think the horse has left the barn and their not really much we can do now on the ground. Letting those Kurd who want immigrate to the US seems like the last best chance to save some of these people.

      And why is that our responsibility? And what are the consequences? Look at the kind of foreign influence Omar and Tlaib are under, becoming US congressional representatives for the Middle East. Do you seriously want Kurds in US Congress misusing the power of the US Congress for the Kurdish cause? Why do you think the US keeps getting involved in dumb, mass-murdering foreign adventures?

      1. Well neither Omar nor Tlaib were in Congress when President Bush invaded Iraq so I don’t think you should blame them for that foreign adventure. I also see that the biggest people complaining a what has happened are white men (notably Sen. Graham and others). So I don’t see your point. People of all nationalities and religions have been elected to various political offices. I have no problem with a Kurdish American running for office.

        1. “” I also see that the biggest people complaining a what has happened are white men (notably Sen. Graham and others).”‘

          Blinders?

          I don’t think this is most people’s experience.

        2. Well neither Omar nor Tlaib were in Congress when President Bush invaded Iraq so I don’t think you should blame them for that foreign adventure

          No, but they are setting up us for our next bad foreign adventures. Listen to their speeches and their political positions.

          I also see that the biggest people complaining a what has happened are white men (notably Sen. Graham and others).

          Almost the entire Congress consists of war mongers; it’s because war is profitable and they are drunk with power. Doesn’t matter whether it’s left, right, male, female, black white.

          But the ethnic conflicts that people from the Middle East and other conflict zones bring add an additional pretext and cause to a Congress already drunk with bloodlust.

          1. What bad adventure are they (Omar and Talib) setting us up for? I don’t recall them ever advocating for any interventions.

  16. Since Shikha has repeatedly advocated that everyone in the world should come to the US, this article serves no purpose.

    1. That was my reaction: Who doesn’t she want to let come to America? Anybody? Anybody at all?

  17. What do you think will happen when Syrian and Kurdish refugees meet in US cities? We don’t need yet another ethnic group bringing yet another ethnic conflict to the US.

    Shikha: if you want to bring a Kurd to America, marry him (or her or whatever).

  18. I think I’d rather bring the residents of Hong Kong to the US. They’d fit in better.

    1. Millions of Republicans.

  19. Why not just have the Kurds emigrate to India? They need the help more than we do.

  20. My favorite moment in this dopey article is when she tells us that “one of Trump’s first immigration crackdowns after assuming office was in Nashville, Tennessee’s Little Kurdistan, where many Iraqi Kurds have long lived. It took place during Ramadan, the holiest celebration in Islam.” Oh, no! It took place during Ramadan? Well, first of all, Ramadan is a month long observance, so there is a 1 in 12 chance of anything that happens to Muslims will happen during Ramadan. Second, even mentioning Ramadan in this context reeks of the kind of emotional, manipulative bullshit that I expect from NPR or even Good Morning America, not Reason. “Pobrecito Manuel was deported by evil ICE agents…at CHRISTMAS! Oh, woe!”

  21. Can you imagine the hysteria if we just pulled out completely? And I don’t think we’ll ever leave that place completely?

    Why can’t we just fight proxy wars like the AFG conflict vs Russia? We’ll give them weapons and logistical help and some aerial support when necessary. We can easily blow up whatever artillery ranges that nearly hit out soldiers.

  22. If they come here, I bet their favorite holiday will be Thanksgiving.

    1. Uncle Mo is carving really passionately! What gives?

  23. Why do we need allies thousands of miles away in Syria? To fight ISIS? ISIS only arose thanks to the Bush/Cheney invasion of Iraq, which left a power vacuum and opened up the possibilities for different Muslim sects and ethnic groups to resume their ancient squabbles. Intervention causes problems that become the pretext for further intervention, in foreign affairs as well as domestic economic ones–you might think a Reason author would have made the connection. It has to stop sometime. If not now, when? The Turks and Kurds have been in conflict for a long time, and if the Kurds are our allies then so is Turkey, an actual country and NATO member–although I wouldn’t put too much stock in that either.

  24. OMG …I actually agree with Dalmia????

  25. Well, OK. The Kurds can come, but they have to bring their own whey.

  26. Shikha, you are right about this solution for those Kurds who want to live free.

    The same solution should be offered to Afghans (and should have been offered 18 years ago) who want to escape that sinking ship.

    And to Hong Kong residents who want to live free.
    We can’t solve the problems in other countries. We can offer refuge.

  27. While I’m supportive of the Khurds, no we should let them emmigrate to the US. They are communists. There stated go is to carve out a Communist Khurdish Ethnostate from Syrian, Turkey and Iraq, so NOPE, hey can stay there and go for it.

  28. The Kurds have some kind of deal now. If Assad has any brains he will eventually allow them a semi autonomous region if the shooting ever stops.

    Erdogan lost his marbles long ago. He is making a big mistake.

    1. Erdogan lost his marbles long ago. He is making a big mistake.

      Is he, though? Look at the strategic terrain from his perspective. He shot down a Russian jet, hid behind NATO’s apron strings. Then he bought Russian weapons. He is buddying up to Iran. To me, Erdogan is hedging his bets. He gets NATO protection and aligns with Iran and Russia. Seems pretty fucking smart.

      That aside, I think he is a worthless POS that we need to untangle ourselves from as soon as is practical.

      1. What are the goals ? Any force used to create a buffer zone will be met with repeated insurgent attacks. Forcing refugees into the zone will not work. It is not their home and there is no opportunity for them there. They will want to go to the regions they came from.

        What he may be trying to do is destroy the possibility of an autonomous Kurdish region. If anything that has already backfired with the Russians, Syrian, and Kurdish fighters uniting against the Turkish invasion.

        The larger the territory he hopes to control the more difficult it will be to keep. He will need to commit more forces against a battle hardened indigenous population with impressive resilience and determination.

        His economy is teetering and he has no international support for this move. NATO is not going to back an invasion and has no obligation to do so.

        There is no way for him to win.

  29. The Kurds are actually a great example of the problems with immigration.

    They are literally persecuted in their homeland, because of immigrants. They don’t even have their own sovereignty in Kurdistan, instead the region is divided between three different countries.

    1. Arabs, Persians, and Turks are not immigrants to the region.

  30. Have to disagree. These particular Kurds are maoists.

  31. Shikha’s solution to every problem is “More Invasion USA”.

  32. Dalmia doesn’t argue a position with reason and logic; she emotes.

    As for the Kurds, they made their choices. No one has come forward and shown that either POTUS Obama or POTUS Trump promised them anything. If there are a few (less than 100) Kurds who did extraordinary things to save the lives of our special forces, we should offer them a ticket to America.

    Other than that, we have a legal process to come here. Use it.

  33. Calling it a slaughter is being a little hyperbolic. This article also fails to mention that the Kurds allied with the Syrian forces and Russia yesterday, removing the need for US intervention. Also failed to mention that Trump has levied sanctions on Turkey because of this. No one has abandoned anyone. This article is trash journalism.

  34. Anyone else interested in contributing to a GoFundMe to arm and outfit Shika then send her to Syria to fight the Turks?

  35. No surprise the village idiot, Shika, would welcome more losers upon our shores. Why Reason? Oh, why?

  36. basically if American don’t want Refugees, then don’t screw over our Allies in favour of Genocidal Lunatics

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