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Debates Forum

  1. Subscriber no1marauder
    Humble and Kind
    23 Jan '18 00:17
    One week after warning the US about its plans to help Kurds in Northern Syria create an "proposed American-trained force that would potentially position thousands of Kurdish militia fighters along Turkey’s southern border." (a border that is partially with Turkey) a force that was projected to grow to "30,000 members"https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/15/us/politics/syria-turkey-kurds-border.html?action=click&contentCollection=Middle%20East&module=RelatedCoverage&region=Marginalia&pgtype=article

    Turkey has launched an all-out attack intended to "create a security zone about 18 miles deep inside Syria. The area would encompass urban centers, including the city of Afrin, with a predominantly Kurdish population, and the much larger city of Manbij, further east, as well as dozens of outlying villages". That zone would eventually be open to the "3.5 million Syrians in our lands” and that Turkey wanted “to send our Syrian brothers back to their own land as soon as possible.” https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/21/world/middleeast/turkey-syria-kurds.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

    Do you think our President has noticed this on Fox News yet?
  2. 23 Jan '18 00:22
    Originally posted by @no1marauder
    One week after warning the US about its plans to help Kurds in Northern Syria create an "proposed American-trained force that would potentially position thousands of Kurdish militia fighters along Turkey’s southern border." (a border that is partially with Turkey) a force that was projected to grow to "30,000 members"https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/15/u ...[text shortened]... &region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

    Do you think our President has noticed this on Fox News yet?
    As Obama used to say about such scandals as the IRS targeting conservatives or the VA killing off dying expensive veterans via secret death panels, "I just heard about it on the 6 o'clock news like the rest of you."
  3. 23 Jan '18 00:30
    (1) Perhaps President Trump should do nothing. It would be something interesting to see the Democrats basically encouraging the Republicans to go to war for the extremely complicated internal politics of the Middle East.

    (2) The Turkish situation is very interesting. They certainly should be interested in stable neighbors and the repatriation of millions of refugees. They also have long-term interests in quelling the Kurdish rebellion. Erdogan is also famous for desring some kind of pro-Islamic authoritarian state, shifting away from Turkey's historic secularism. He has quite a mandate.

    It's a really complicated affair.

    Who should we back? Officially, no one, I say. It isn't our business at all.

    Let the President be briefed by the foremost experts simply to be aware of it in case there is something that might involve us in the affairs of people so far away.
  4. Subscriber no1marauder
    Humble and Kind
    23 Jan '18 00:37 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by @jacob-verville
    (1) Perhaps President Trump should do nothing. It would be something interesting to see the Democrats basically encouraging the Republicans to go to war for the extremely complicated internal politics of the Middle East.

    (2) The Turkish situation is very interesting. They certainly should be interested in stable neighbors and the repatriati ...[text shortened]... are of it in case there is something that might involve us in the affairs of people so far away.
    The US is already at war in Syria. In case you missed it, it was a US proposal, announced in the press, to start building up a force on Syria's border with Turkey consisting of up to 30,000 troops. The Turks consider these Kurds "terrorists"; that's debatable but what is not is that these Kurdish groups wants an independent country that encompasses part of Turkey.

    So this is a crisis that developed because of administration policies, not some out of the blue cosmic event. Even after Erdogan's warning, Secretary of State Tillerson announced that the 2,000 US troops presently in Syria would remain AFTER the fight with ISIS to protect territory gained by the Kurds. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/17/world/middleeast/tillerson-troops-syria-islamic-state.html

    It's not hard to see that the Turkish invasion is a direct reaction to these provocative statements and actions.
  5. Standard member caissad4
    Child of the Novelty
    23 Jan '18 02:02
    Originally posted by @no1marauder
    The US is already at war in Syria. In case you missed it, it was a US proposal, announced in the press, to start building up a force on Syria's border with Turkey consisting of up to 30,000 troops. The Turks consider these Kurds "terrorists"; that's debatable but what is not is that these Kurdish groups wants an independent country that encompasses part ...[text shortened]... see that the Turkish invasion is a direct reaction to these provocative statements and actions.
    The disputed area is in the southeast of Turkey. The Kurds have lived there for many years. The Turks have a saying about this area, "Kurds and goats". Extremely few Turks inhabit this region.
  6. Subscriber no1marauder
    Humble and Kind
    23 Jan '18 02:32
    Originally posted by @caissad4
    The disputed area is in the southeast of Turkey. The Kurds have lived there for many years. The Turks have a saying about this area, "Kurds and goats". Extremely few Turks inhabit this region.
    Be that as it may, the Turkish government seems disinclined for it to become part of a Kurdish state or to allow the massing of a large Kurdish force on its border.
  7. Standard member shavixmir
    Guppy poo
    23 Jan '18 03:57
    Whatever anyone does, it’s probably best for the region (and sanity) if the US pulls out of it.
    And it’s certainly best if Trump keeps his gob shut too.

    As for Turkey: politically they’re a bunch of religious fascists whack-jobs.
    I’m sure when the next bomb hits down-town Istanbul the Kurds will be blamed.

    I think the international community should bombard the whole FFing country with propaganda along the lines of:

    Hey Erdoc*#t! Going for another genocide are we? Doing to the Kurds what you did to the Armenians?
    We wonder what Allah would say about it.
    You small dicked son of a goat shagging whore.

    * is obviously a U.
    # is obviously a N

    Yes. I know.
    But, sometimes the bastards don’t deserve anything but scorn. And sometimes you can use scorn to push all the right buttons. And this is one of these cases.
  8. 23 Jan '18 11:28
    Originally posted by @shavixmir
    As for Turkey: politically they’re a bunch of religious fascists whack-jobs.
    I’m sure when the next bomb hits down-town Istanbul the Kurds will be blamed.
    Keep religion out of this - they were just as genocidal s bunvh of maniacs a decade or a century ago, when their policy was still:
    a. Turkey must be radically secular;
    b. all Armenians and Kurds must die.

    It's nothing to do with Islam and everything to do with pan-Turkism.
  9. Standard member wolfgang59
    Infidel
    23 Jan '18 11:57
    Originally posted by @shallow-blue
    Keep religion out of this -.
    Partly agree with you but Erdo─čan will use religion to his advantage as all dictators do.
  10. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    23 Jan '18 13:10
    Originally posted by @no1marauder
    One week after warning the US about its plans to help Kurds in Northern Syria create an "proposed American-trained force that would potentially position thousands of Kurdish militia fighters along Turkey’s southern border." (a border that is partially with Turkey) a force that was projected to grow to "30,000 members"https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/15/u ...[text shortened]... &region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

    Do you think our President has noticed this on Fox News yet?
    Northern Syria is comprised mostly of the de facto autonomous region known as Rojava. Since 2012 they have organized themselves into a federation of decentralized citizens' assemblies, based on the writings of Abdullah Öcalan, who was in turn heavily influenced by the anarchist Murray Bookchin. Their ongoing experiment with local self-rule has provided one of the few bright spots in the ongoing devastation of the Syrian Civil War. That their cause has been largely ignored by the Western media, even the supposedly "liberal" media, is a great shame. And now it remains to be seen if they can survive this Turkish aggression.
  11. Standard member shavixmir
    Guppy poo
    23 Jan '18 13:19
    Originally posted by @shallow-blue
    Keep religion out of this - they were just as genocidal s bunvh of maniacs a decade or a century ago, when their policy was still:
    a. Turkey must be radically secular;
    b. all Armenians and Kurds must die.

    It's nothing to do with Islam and everything to do with pan-Turkism.
    Uh... the Armenian genicide was pre-Ataturk; so technically the Ottoman empire and so religious-based government.

    And as for Erdogan... he’s the ine bringing religion into everything.
  12. 23 Jan '18 14:39
    Originally posted by @shallow-blue
    Keep religion out of this - they were just as genocidal s bunvh of maniacs a decade or a century ago, when their policy was still:
    a. Turkey must be radically secular;
    b. all Armenians and Kurds must die.

    It's nothing to do with Islam and everything to do with pan-Turkism.
    Turkey was not radically secular during the Armenian genocide, which took place in the waning years of the Ottoman Empire and before Ataturk launched the secular republic.
  13. 23 Jan '18 19:06 / 8 edits
    Originally posted by @teinosuke to Shallow Blue
    Turkey was not radically secular during the Armenian genocide, which took place in
    the waning years of the Ottoman Empire and before Ataturk launched the secular republic.
    Here's recommended reading, particularly for the (generally racist or Islamophobic) Westerners here:
    (I do not include Teinosuke among these generally racist or Islamophobic Westerners.)

    _Great Catastrophe: Armenians and Turks in the Shadow of Genocide_
    by Thomas de Waal (2015 Oxford University Press)

    "This magnificent book is the ideal introduction to a difficult subject. Historically rigorous
    but also full of compassion, it will educate the expert as well as the curious beginner.
    Highly recommended for Turks, Armenians, and everyone else."
    --Stephen Kinzer, author of _Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds_

    The author (a Westerner) makes a balanced, nuanced examination about referring to
    the Turkish mass killing of Armenians as 'genocide' in a modern political context, which
    tends to be separated from its historical context. While he believes that what took place
    falls within a definition of 'genocide', he also believes that the term 'genocide' has been
    used misleadingly on account of contemporary political expediency. The author does
    not seem to be an Ottoman apologist, yet he shows empathy for Armenians and Turks.

    I would add that, in the First World War, there were Russian massacres (on a lesser scale)
    of Muslim communities (suspected of being pro-Turkish) in the Caucasus. I expect that
    few Westerners would have any awareness, concern, or objection to them.

    Few Westerners also seem aware of these facts, which have been well-covered in Turkish media.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Turkish_diplomats_assassinated_by_Armenian_militant_organisations

    Politically speaking, Turkey's roughly (besides being anti-Arab) in a similar position to Israel.
    Just like Israel likes to emphasize Palestinian 'terrorism' while denying or minimizing the Nakba
    (Palestinian Catastrophe), Turkey likes to emphasize Armenian 'terrorism' while denying
    any Armenian genocide and minimizing the Armenian Catastrophe.
  14. Subscriber no1marauder
    Humble and Kind
    23 Jan '18 21:40
    While discussion of the Armenian genocide 100 years ago is, I guess, "interesting", I don't find it terribly relevant to the topic of this thread.

    I do find this article in the "liberal" Israeli newspaper Haaretz to be on point though:

    The United States is poised to suffer another diplomatic defeat in Syria as a result of poor planning or lack of understanding about how the area operates. If it previously believed it could use the Kurdish forces as effective mercenaries to fight ISIS, and after that simply let them crack their heads against the Syrian regime, it is now trapped in an international thicket because its policy toward the Kurds – and especially the idea of establishing a Kurdish army – has set the area ablaze and created a diplomatic trap for the Americans.

    If Washington decides to maintain its support for the Kurds, it could lose Turkey and lead Russia to offer the Kurds an impossible ultimatum – one in which they would have to choose between a role in Syria’s future and a war against Turkish and Syrian regime forces. If the United States disassociates itself from the Kurds, it will not necessarily “gain” Turkey, which has accounts with the Americans on other complex issues. Furthermore, it will surely lose any credibility not only with regard to the Syrian crisis, but in the Middle East altogether.

    Now, after U.S. President Donald Trump burned bridges with the Palestinians in December when he recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, bickered with Pakistan over foreign aid and is working to topple the nuclear agreement with Iran, there is a powerful explosive device waiting for him around the corner at the Afrin-Idlib junction.

    https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/with-turkish-military-invasion-united-states-once-again-finds-itself-1.5750566

    The Donald's Middle East policy, such as it is, seems to be a total disaster which is hardly surprising since the President and his foreign policy advisers are neophytes to international diplomacy and power politics.
  15. Subscriber no1marauder
    Humble and Kind
    23 Jan '18 21:52
    Originally posted by @rwingett
    Northern Syria is comprised mostly of the de facto autonomous region known as Rojava. Since 2012 they have organized themselves into a federation of decentralized citizens' assemblies, based on the writings of Abdullah Öcalan, who was in turn heavily influenced by the anarchist Murray Bookchin. Their ongoing experiment with local self-rule has provided one ...[text shortened]... ia, is a great shame. And now it remains to be seen if they can survive this Turkish aggression.
    Much of their Charter of the Social Contract (https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/charter-of-the-social-contract/) is admirable, but the CSC does protect the "right" of large landowners in Article 41 to "the use and enjoyment of his private property", a provision I doubt Murray Bookchin would be in agreement with.

    A fair assessment and critique of Rojava is here: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2016/08/rojava-libertarian-myth-scrutiny-160804083743648.html