Michael Totten at World Affairs: ‘No, the Syrian Kurds Are Not Terrorists‘
There are Kurdish Communist militias, but there are still many reasons for America to promote Kurdish interests. Additionally, there are reasons to help stamp out ISIS and navigate the other players in the region as well…leaving the Kurds to their own fate. I think this helps explain current American policy in the region:
‘Whatever you think of the “libertarian socialism” of Syrian Kurdistan, it’s not even in the same time zone as the medieval totalitarianism of ISIS, the secular nationalist tyranny of Assad’s Arab Socialist Baath Party regime in Damascus or the Putin-esque rule of the neo-Ottoman Erdogan.
Turkey can call the Kurds terrorists all they want, but that will not make them so.’
Meanwhile, an increasingly authoritarian, populist, Islamic Erdogan has launched a campaign into Syria to battle with Kurdish forces:
Turkish army says 7 of its soldiers were killed on Saturday, 5 of them when their tank came under attack near Syria’s Afrin.
The total death toll for Turkish troops since the operation started on Jan. 20 now stands at 13, it said.
— Ahval (@ahval_en) February 3, 2018
— Wladimir (@vvanwilgenburg) February 2, 2018
As previously posted:
In his book Where The West Ends, Totten describes 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.
Domestic Politics And The Tendency People Have To Seek Transcendence And Naked Self-Interest At The Very Same Time:
Beware offering thoughtful critique of the sacred ‘-Isms’ these days (feminism, environmentalism, racism, sexism), even if it’s just pointing out other ways of thinking about injustice. God forbid should you hold a conservative position on any matter. Problems come with identity politics and political idealism, after all, just as they do with religious belief and certainty and fixed conservative positions. Generally, such criticism is not welcomed among radically activated and/or ambitious individuals.
If someone doesn’t recognize the moral legitimacy of the rules governing an institution they claim is oppressing them, maybe you want to ask which rules they recognize as morally legitimate before they go end-up controlling the institution?
Civility and a boring politics aren’t desireable for many, for various reasons, especially those people bringing presumed moral goods for everybody through radical change and radical liberation.
It might be useful to try and hold a mirror to many ambitious people in high towers and positions of authority in addition to one’s Self; a perplexing exercise during a time of The Self and a rather compromised politics of celebrity.
There are a lot of decent people out there, and a lot of good in people, of course, away from the madding crowd.
The Church Of Holy Modern Human Progress Shall Be Built!
The Old Catholic Church Shall Soon Be Rebuilt!
“Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.”
That’s attributed to Eric Hoffer, here.
On that note, Theodore Dalrymple (Anthony Daniels) takes a look at war photographers to highlight an underlying truth: Where there’s courage there is also cowardice. Where there’s moral concern there’s also boredom and self-preservation.
Everyone’s got a pet peeve (what this blog is for, really), but honest self-reflection can be much harder (to come by):
‘That people may love what they hate—or say that they hate—is illustrated in extreme form by war photographers. If you asked war photographers why they risk their lives to take pictures of the most terrible conflicts (rather than, say, of the beauties of nature), they would say that it is to inform or alert the world in the hope of bringing those conflicts to an end. But this is far from the whole truth, psychologically speaking; and as a person who has indulged in a little civil-war tourism myself, I can avow to the fact that there is nothing like a sense of danger for solving, at least temporarily, whatever little troubles are agitating one’s soul. When there might be an ambush round every corner, the minor fluctuations of one’s emotional state are of little concern.’