There was a recent contribution on Left Foot Forward by James Alston studies History at Cardiff University.entitled
Response to Caroline Lucas: the Kurds need our help
Yesterday, Caroline Lucas called for a diplomatic rather than military response to the attacks in Paris which left 129 dead and 352 injured on Friday night.The problem with this argument to me is if you are not a pacifist e is the line "The YPG is well worth fighting alongside whether you agree with their struggle for an ethnically Kurdish state or not"
Using the well-worn aphorism that military intervention risks ‘making us less safe, not more’, her article advised against air strikes on Daesh (the newly-favoured name for ISIS due to its pejorative connotations), suggesting that they were directly related to the growth of their support base. In her solution, Russia and Iran are involved in the dealings.
After what happened in Paris, it’s easy to agree with Lucas. Nobody wants more terrorist attacks on Western soil. And public opinion, at least in 2013, was against intervention. (Though following these attacks, it stands to reason that those figures will have changed.)
The problem with Lucas’ approach is that with the breakdown of any acceptable opposition group such as the Free Syrian Army – which doesn’t even exist any more – the Kurds need, and deserve, our help. Despite the intervention of Turkey, the Kurds are still fighting against Daesh, and are the only group worth helping at this point.
Indeed, the US have been working with the People’s Protection Units, or the YPG, since October of last year, despite its alleged links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK.
The YPG is well worth fighting alongside whether you agree with their struggle for an ethnically Kurdish state or not, and is a significant force in the battle against Daesh: they have steadily been gaining territory along the Turkish border since they began working with the Americans.
And even though Turkey agreed to work with the Americans against Daesh, so far their operations have been largely restricted to bombing PKK-affiliated groups.
Because it indicates that the Kurd once ISIS and probably President Assad are defeated then the Kurds will be abandoned and the West will then deny them any hope of a sovereign Kurdish State and turn a Blind eye as a New Syrian State allied to Turkey crushes them.
The greaterst help we can give the them is to recognise the creation of a future Kurdish state but even if it was made I suspect the West can not be trusted to keep it.
Meanwhile iIf you are starting to get confused by who is doing what, why, where or how in the Middle East then one Daily Mail reader, known as Aubrey Bailey, has made it ‘Clear As Mud’ with the following:
Indeed even the doyen of the BBC Today program earlier this week got confused:“Are you confused by what is going on in the Middle-East? Let me explain. We support the Iraqi government in its fight against Islamic State (IS/ISIL/ISIS). We don’t like IS but IS is supported by Saudi Arabia whom we do like. We don’t like President Assad in Syria. We support the fight against him, but not IS, which is also fighting against him.“We don’t like Iran, but the Iranian government supports the Iraqi gov’t against IS. So, some of our friends support our enemies and some of our enemies are our friends, and some of our enemies are fighting our other enemies, whom we don’t want to lose, but we don’t our enemies who are fighting our enemies to win.“If the people we want to defeat are defeated, they might be replaced by people we like even less. And, all this was started by us invading a country to drive out terrorists who weren’t actually there until we went in to drive them out – do you understand now?”
except that it is not true. Parliament never voted on attacking ISIS, and Cameron never wanted to attack ISIS. The vote was about declaring war on Assad’s government.“Well it’s more than two years since the Government, our Government, asked the House of Commons to approve military action against Islamic State in Syria and MPs said no – it was a devastating defeat.It seemed to prove the end of David Cameron’s plans for British warplanes to join other Western forces in attacking them in Syria as well as in Iraq.”
The temptation to support the Bombing of ISIS in Syria in the wake of the Paris atrocities is compelling but .
- Will it make us safer?
- Will it lead to the victory of the Assad regime who are backed by the Russians who will be attacking ISIS but also rebel positions?
- Wil we continue to allow an ally (Turkey) to use the crisis to attack the Kurds in Syria rather than ISIS?
- Will it be as accurate as it claimed or will innocent Civilians die further increasing the refugee crisis and fostering a long tern resentment in the Middle East?