From Al Arabiya News: ‘Syrian Kurds Declare Autonomous Government’

Full piece here.

Many in Turkey are no doubt unhappy about this, as they’ve got their own Kurdish problems in the southeast:

‘Long oppressed under Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his father before him, Kurds view the civil war as an opportunity to gain the kind of autonomy enjoyed by their ethnic kin in neighboring Iraq.’

Why is this important?  Well, it could really change our fortunes in that region, and the Iraqi Kurds, certainly, are strong supporters of America:

See Michael Totten’s piece here.

Totten interviewed Dr. Sherkoh Abbas a few years ago, leader of the Kurdistan National Assembly of Syria.  The interview finishes with Abbas saying the following:

‘Full scale civil war. It has already started. Syria could change from a failed dictatorship to something that looks like Somalia or Afghanistan, or—at best—Lebanon during its civil war. The fighting will continue and Syria could become a haven for Islamists.

The United States should work with Russia and create a federal system. Russian interests can be guaranteed in an Alawite state while American and Israeli interests can be guaranteed in Syrian Kurdistan.’

The Kurds see a window, however, and they do show strong support for the U.S,, as Totten notes:

‘Most Kurds are Sunni Muslims, but the Muslim Brotherhood and other radical Islamist groups have never been able to get much traction in that community. The Muslim Brotherhood is an exclusively Sunni organization, and it’s also, for the most part, an Arab one. Rather than viewing Islam as “the solution” to what ails them, most Kurds in Syria as well as Iraq view freedom and independence as the solution, along with an alliance with the U.S. and Israel.’

See Dexter Filkins’ post here.

‘Kurdistan, a self-governing region, has a decadelong head start on the rest of Iraq, and it has peace, too. For that, it can thank—and Kurds do thank—the United States, and especially for the no-fly zone, erected in 1991, that kept Saddam’s armies at bay, until the U.S. took him and his government down, twelve years later. The Kurds are reaping the fruits.’

Will it stick?  They’re only about 15% of the population, but it shows you how unstable the Syrian situation is.

In his book Where The West EndsTotten described visiting Northern Iraq briefly as a tourist with a friend, and the general feeling of pro-Americanism in Kurdish Northern Iraq that generally one can only feel in Poland, parts of the former Yugoslavia etc.

***A pretty damned good overview of Syria for the non-initiated, including what’s been going on since 2011 and the backstory at the thehowardbealeshow. Recommended. Really.

Related On This Site: Longer odds, lots of risk: Adam Garfinkle At The American Interest’s Via Media: “The Rise Of Independent Kurdistan?”From Reuters: ‘Analysis: Syrian Kurds Sense Freedom, Power Struggle Awaits’

Peter Suderman At Reason: ‘Obama Admits That Obamacare is Unworkable’

Full piece here.

‘What the administration is really doing, though, is attempting to shift the blame. Insurers have spent months if not years preparing for the changes and requirements enacted under Obamacare. They will have a difficult time turning on a dime and extending cancelled policies. They may not be able to in some or many cases. And state insurance regulators will have to sign off on reinstatements, creating an additional layer of insulation between plan upsets and the administration. ‘

Can’t go forwards, can’t go backwards either.  So, it’s time to maximize political advantage and minimize damage:

‘In other words, the law can’t work if it does live up to its presidential promises. But it can’t maintain political support if it doesn’t. The two are incompatible.’

Addition: His wife, Megan McArdle:

‘I think it means the White House is giving up on November 30 as a date when things will change and settling in for a war of attrition that they will try to win news cycle by news cycle while hoping people get used to what’s going on and change the subject so something can take effect next year and then they can see what to do next,” Levin wrote. “Obamacare as they have known and envisioned it is just not going to happen.”

Of course, many on the Left will keep pushing for one of the goals all along, now that some changes are irreversible: Single-payer.

Suderman asks 5 follow-up questions.

Related On This Site:  Still Looking For Alternatives-Charlie Martin At PJ Media: ‘Obamacare vs. Arithmetic’

Avik Roy At Forbes: ‘Democrats’ New Argument: It’s A Good Thing That Obamacare Doubles Individual Health Insurance Premiums’Megan McArdle At Bloomberg: ‘Health-Care Costs Are Driven By Technology, Not Presidents’

Richard Epstein At The Hoover Institution: ‘The Obamacare Quaqmire’

Richard Epstein At The Hoover Institution: ‘Watching Obamacare Unravel’

From The New England Journal Of Medicine Via CATO: ‘The Constitutionality of the Individual Mandate’From If-Then Knots: Health Care Is Not A Right…But Then Neither Is Property?… From The New Yorker: Atul Gawande On Health Care-”The Cost Conundrum”Sally Pipes At Forbes: ‘A Plan That Leads Health Care To Nowhere’