By Mike Lander on
The eyes of America are now focused squarely on the Kurds. Will they be able to halt the ISIS advance? What we risk is losing their unwavering support if we fail to help them.
The Kurdish people are a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, secular people who are strongly in favor of democracy. Mostly Sunni Muslim they also tolerate a multitude of other religions within their communities. This is an anathema to ISIS. The Turks have their own geopolitical considerations as they standby watching the impending fall of Kobani. Do the Turks really think that ISIS is the lesser of two evils as they have battled a Kurdish move for independence for decades? Do they really think that ISIS will not, when the time is right, attack the Turkish state?
Turkey is a NATO member and the wolf is literally at their door. Perhaps they are trying to overplay their hand in not realizing the greater danger of ISIS. The Saudis seem to have focused on the problem at hand. Not all Sunni Muslims are the same. Their Kingdom will surely come under attack should the conflict in Iraq lead to an ISIS victory. It is in the Saudi’s self interest to support military operations to defeat ISIS.
ISIS has no intentions of stopping their operations even if they would be victorious in Iraq and Syria. This is the point that many fail to realize.
The Kurds have always been friendly to the United States. Unfortunately for the Kurds they do not have their own country. For the most part they live in Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran, but there are many also living abroad as part of the diaspora. Redrawing borders is not something taken lightly in the post World War II world, for it is a never ending dilemma if sections of nation states were to secede. Where would it all end? Almost every country contains populations which would seek independence to include the United States. So world stability at the present status quo is desirable to most.
This is the problem that Russia now faces as the collapse of the Soviet Union has removed former republics which were vital to their economic interests. This all goes back to Peter the Great and Catherine the Great. The Ukraine was the breadbasket of the Soviet Union in Stalinist days. Some leaders believe that only by conquest can their nation survive. The Japanese military leaders in the 1930s clearly favored conquest rather than fair trade. The result of their policy led directly to World War II.
So for the Kurds living in these several countries the world is reluctant to give them their own nation as it would upset the balance in the Middle East. Perhaps each of the four countries in which they live would have to give up territory to the Kurds. The Kurds have supported the United States for many years and the time may soon come when they may just have their own country as Iraq disintegrates. After all, Iraq as well as several other countries in the Middle East were no more than mandates of Britain and France following the defeat of the Ottoman Empire after World War I. It was Britain and France who drew these artificial boundaries as spheres of influence much as they did in Africa. So what is really so sacred about these artificial borders? The border between Iraq and Syria is currently a moot point.
Perhaps when the dust settles the Kurds will finally have their homeland. This photo essay was submitted to us by Sarwat Abdullah several years ago. We believe that it illustrates a brave people in their desire to live free.