Obama Betrays the Kurds, National Review on line, September 30, 2014
The Kurds are fighting bravely, but they need arms, and they need air support.Ahmad al-Rubaye/Getty Images)
Some 400,000 Kurds in and around the town of Kobane in northern Syria, on the Turkish border, are being besieged and assaulted by massed legions of Islamic State killers armed with scores of tanks, armored personnel carriers, and heavy artillery. Against these, the Kurdish defenders have only AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades. The Kurds have called on the U.S. to send in air strikes to take out the jihadist forces. In response, the administration sent in two fighter jets Saturday, which destroyed two Islamic State tanks and then flew away. The Kurds are begging for arms. The administration has not only refused to send arms, but is exerting pressure both on our NATO allies and on Israel not to send any either. Over 150,000 Kurds have fled their homes to try to escape to Turkey, but they are being blocked at the border by Turkish troops. Meanwhile, Turkey is allowing Islamist reinforcements to enter Syria to join the Islamic State, while Islamist elements of the Free Syrian Army, funded and armed by the United States, have joined forces with the group in the genocidal assault on the Kurdish enclave. [Emphasis added.]
In his speech to the United Nations last week, President Obama pledged to the world that the United States would use its might to stop the horrific depredations of the terrorist movement variously known as the Islamic State, ISIS, or, as he calls it, ISIL.
“This group has terrorized all who they come across in Iraq and Syria,” the president proclaimed. “Mothers, sisters, daughters have been subjected to rape as a weapon of war. Innocent children have been gunned down. Bodies have been dumped in mass graves. Religious minorities have been starved to death. In the most horrific crimes imaginable, innocent human beings have been beheaded, with videos of the atrocity distributed to shock the conscience of the world.”
“No God condones this terror. No grievance justifies these actions,” he said. “There can be no reasoning — no negotiation — with this brand of evil. The only language understood by killers like this is the language of force. So the United States of America will work with a broad coalition to dismantle this network of death. . . . We will support Iraqis and Syrians fighting to reclaim their communities. We will use our military might in a campaign of air strikes to roll back ISIL. We will train and equip forces fighting against these terrorists on the ground.”
These are brave words that well and truly denounce evil for what it is. Unfortunately, the president’s actions since then have been anything but consistent with his pledge to stop the terrorism.
As these lines are being written, some 400,000 Kurds in and around the town of Kobane in northern Syria, on the Turkish border, are being besieged and assaulted by massed legions of Islamic State killers armed with scores of tanks, armored personnel carriers, and heavy artillery. Against these, the Kurdish defenders have only AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades. The Kurds have called on the U.S. to send in air strikes to take out the jihadist forces. In response, the administration sent in two fighter jets Saturday, which destroyed two Islamic State tanks and then flew away. The Kurds are begging for arms. The administration has not only refused to send arms, but is exerting pressure both on our NATO allies and on Israel not to send any either. Over 150,000 Kurds have fled their homes to try to escape to Turkey, but they are being blocked at the border by Turkish troops. Meanwhile, Turkey is allowing Islamist reinforcements to enter Syria to join the Islamic State, while Islamist elements of the Free Syrian Army, funded and armed by the United States, have joined forces with the group in the genocidal assault on the Kurdish enclave.
According to Kurdish sources, the Turks are massing troops on their own side of the border, with the apparent plan being to sit in place and allow the Kurds to be exterminated, and then move in to take over the region once they are gone. This is the same plan as Josef Stalin used when he allowed the Nazis to wipe out the Polish underground during the Warsaw rising of 1944, and only afterward sent in the Red Army to take control of what was left of the city. If anything, it is even more morally reprehensible, since it could be pointed out in Stalin’s defense that his forces were at least pummeling the enemy elsewhere while the Warsaw fight was under way. In contrast, the Turks are doing nothing of the sort. For an American administration to collude in such a mass atrocity is infamous.
If we are to win the war against the Islamic State, we need ground forces, and the Obama administration has rejected the idea of sending in any of our own. The Kurds, who have demonstrated both their bravery and their willingness to be friends with America, are right there, and already engaged in the fight. If supplied with adequate arms and backed by serious U.S. tactical air support, they could roll up ISIS as rapidly as the similarly reinforced Northern Alliance did the Taliban in the fall of 2001. Done right, this war could be won in months, instead of waged inconclusively for years.
The administration, however, has rejected this alternative, and has instead opted for a Saudi-Qatari plan to allow the Syrian Kurds to be exterminated while training a new Sunni Arab army in Saudi Arabia. Given the Saudi role in the new army’s tutelage and officer selection, the Islamist nature of this force is a foregone conclusion. At best it might provide a more disciplined replacement for the Islamic State as an Islamist Syrian opposition at some point in the distant future (current official administration estimates are at least a year) when it is considered ready for combat. Meanwhile the killing will simply go on, with the United States doing its part to further Islamist recruitment by indulging in endless strategy-free bombing of Sunni villages.
So now, to paraphrase the president, “Mothers, sisters, daughters will be subjected to rape as a weapon of war. Innocent children will be gunned down. Bodies will be dumped in mass graves. Religious minorities will be starved to death. In the most horrific crimes imaginable, innocent human beings will be beheaded, with videos of the atrocity distributed to shock the conscience of the world.”
Surely we can do better.
Egypt Set to Boycott Turkey Over Muslim Brotherhood Support
Officials in Egypt are demanding an immediate and total boycott of Turkish goods, as tensions between the two countries worsen.
By Moshe Cohen
First Publish: 9/29/2014, 5:01 PM
Officials in Egypt are demanding an immediate and total boycott of Turkish goods, and even a breakoff of diplomatic relations between the two countries, Egyptian media reports said. The call is the latest chapter in the steady and ongoing decline in relations between the two countries, with Turkey accusingEgypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of everything to “illegitimacy” to “terrorism” to “war crimes.”
The sour relations between the two countries have their roots in the overthrow of former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi by the al-Sisi led Egyptian army several years ago. Since then, Turkey has slammed al-Sisi as being a “dictator” who is “persecuting Muslims.” Just last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would welcome seven top Muslim Brotherhood figures being forced to leave Qatar, indicating his strong ties with the Islamist group – and by extension with its Gaza offshoot Hamas.
“In the event that they request to come to Turkey, then necessary investigations will be carried out. …If there are no obstacles, the mandatory convenience provided to everyone will also be provided to them,” Erdogan said on returning from an official trip to Qatar, reports the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News.
“They can come to Turkey just like any other foreign visitor, if there are no problems,” added Erdogan, in a position contrary to that of most Arab states which have supported Egypt’s crackdown on the group.
Tensions between the two countries were exacerbated during Operation Protective Edge, when, according to Turkey, Egypt took an active role against Hamas, assisting Israel in battling the Gaza terror group, and saying he could not be relied upon to negotiate a truce with Israel. “Is Sisi a party (to a ceasefire)? Sisi is a tyrant himself,” Erdogan was quoted by the AFP news agency as having told reporters. “He is not different from the others,” he said, adding that it was Egypt’s current rulers who were blocking humanitarian aid channels to Gaza.
Egypt, for its part, has had enough, reports in the Egyptian media said Monday, and the government was seriously considering a total economic boycott of Turkey. In a statement, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry slammed a speech by Erdogan at the World Economic Forum last week, in which he repeated many of his accusations against al-Sisi and his government.
Turkey, the statement said, “has been suffering over the past 12 years of Erdogan’s rule of non-democratic practices with all disregard to human rights.” The statement also denounced Erdogan’s restrictions on freedom of expression “as well as the use of excessive force against political activists and peaceful protesters, citing the closure of social networks such as Twitter in a flagrant breach of the freedom of opinion as well as restrictions on press and judiciary, corruption charges as well as unjust sentences against journalists and writers.
“Such recurrent practices and non-democratic acts could never give Erdogan any ethical or political justification for speaking about democracy, but they only reflect a personal ideology for the Turkish leader who has illusions about restoring the glory of the Ottoman Empire away from the national interests of his country and people,” it added.
The so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) intends to inaugurate its first diplomatic mission in Istanbul in order to provide consular services for all who wish to join the extremist group in Iraq, reported Turkish dailyAydinlik as saying.
Abu-Omar Al-Tunisi, the ISIS de facto head of foreign relations issued a statement, saying that the Islamic Caliphate is determined to launch its first diplomatic mission in a friendly and Muslim country. He further noted that the ISIS hopes that the bilateral relations with Ankara will witness more developments under the aegis of newly-elected president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
ISIS also claims that its consulate in Istanbul will pay the hospital bills of all wounded Islamist militants who traveled to turkey to receive medical treatment.
CHP (Republican People’s Party) , a leading Turkish opposing party issued a communique condemning Turkish government decision to allow ISIS to open a legal diplomatic office in Çankaya – the central and elegant metropolitan district of the city of Istanbul.
Earlier, the Turkish Prime Minster Ahmet Davutoglu acknowledged that Turkish diplomats, kidnapped by ISIS militants when Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city was seized in early-June, were released in a prisoner exchange deal with ISIS.
The Turkish government spokesperson said on Sunday in a press conference that nearly 50 Islamist merciless detainees including a family of a prominent warlord were set free in a swap deal and in return, all Turkish hostages were released and reunited with their families. The government spokesman reiterated that he is not authorized to neither confirm nor reject reports about the probable opening of ISIS consulate in Istanbul.
The Turkish omnipotent president in an interview with government-run TRT news channel dismissed many reports alleging that his government is keen to establish a formal relation with ISIS, the hardline organization which controls vast swaths of northern and western Iraq and also neighboring Syrian provinces but in a same time, he blatantly advocated the prison exchange deal with the infamous ultra-Islamist militants.
“ we shouldn’t be remiss in understanding the great and risky mission our intelligence service accomplished in a meticulous prison exchange deal , thus we are sorry for those corrupt politicians criticizing us for negotiating with militants for the sake of securing the release of our brave diplomats” said the populist Turkish leader during Sunday night interview with TRT.
Exacting standards applied to avoid unintended casualties do not apply to fight against Islamic State, White House says
October 1, 2014, 12:17 pm