KURDS AND ISIS
However he got there doesn’t matter. It is rare that President Obama gets policy and action together to do the right thing. So let’s give him credit for helping the Kurds rescue thousands of minority religious followers and begin pushing ISIS back into traditional Sunni tribal areas. Without U.S. airstrikes and weapons delivered to the Kurds, the Mosel Dam and Christians and other minorities would still be in the hands of ISIS. There is absolutely no question that ISIS is capable of genocide against any people who do not believe in sharia law.
Unfortunately, this is not a short-term problem with a quick answer. The right thing is to support the Kurds. Their army, the Peshmerga, can and will fight to protect their homeland and people. All they need is an American commitment to supply needed weapons and some economic support. They can be a pillar of stability in the region and a military balance to the ISIS. The Kurds will not, unless forced, ever put their fate in the hands of a Baghdad Shiite or Sunni government. They have suffered under successive Baghdad regimes. The Kurds also have no love for Iran or Turkey.
Over the last five-plus years, the world has seen that our word cannot be taken at face value. Therefore, the problem for the Kurds is deciding whether they can trust our commitments. They are in a very dangerous position with few options. America will get another chance to show the world if our word means anything. The president has broad powers in foreign policy and armed conflict issues. But in this case it would help if he could involve Congress in long-term support for the Kurds. This is an issue he should not use to attack his opposition. There has to be some kind of a line between progressive political goals and something as serious as building a area of stability in the wreckage of Iraq that is friendly with America.
We can not expect the Kurds to trust us if we show intent of putting them back under a Baghdad regime. The president and Congress need to accept that the idea of a Shiite government ever being trusted by the Sunnis or the Kurds is gone. In fact, it was never a viable option. The borders of the Middle East have been changed de facto. A smart foreign policy would accept the change and move on. Please, Mr. President, keep Secretary of State, John Kerry out of Kurdish policy issues. You and we cannot afford any more bumbling by your Department of State.
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