Arm Kurdistan to Defeat the Islamic State...ASAP! PDF Print E-mail

By Robert Sklaroff & Sherkoh Abbas

“You can lead them to water, but you can’t make them drink.” After having its head dunked into the truth of Islamism, the Obama administration seems to prefer to drown in its failed anti-Bush pacifism.

Everyone knows that the most reliably pro-American military in the Syria/Iraq region is the Peshmerga, yet American arms have not been provided to these Kurds, nor has their justified nationalist aspiration been acknowledged, let alone endorsed.

Instead, America is handing the region to Iran (enhancing its nuclear ambitions), accommodating resurrected Turkish dreams of a worldwide caliphate (transcending its “sultanate”), and failing to enlist necessary support from Wahhabist Saudi Arabia (reinforcing its ideological outreach). Indeed, America can’t find anyone to provide the “boots on the ground” that can begin to match the burgeoning Islamic Army, threatening to conquer the American homeland…and everything in between.

Lame excuses for inaction advanced by Obama’s spokespeople are easily punctured. For example, they failed to ensure that the Continuing (Funding) Resolution passed last week allowed direct support for Erbil without first transiting through Baghdad. Again, ideology (here, “We must not undermine the new ‘unity’ government”) shrouds intent to pay lip-service to the legitimate, urgent needs of one of the diminishing number of unabashedly pro-American fighting forces.

The vacuum displacing a relatively tranquil “Pax Americana” is predictably and rapidly being filled by both Sunni and Shiite Islamists, and Kurdistan finds itself in a triple crossfire. It is necessary to define the “moving parts” to deduce the optimal American strategy, for all have been transparent regarding alliances and goals (except for Qatar, which funds Libyan Islamists while hosting the U.S. Combat Air Operations Center for the Middle East at its Al Udeid Air Base). It is no longer possible to sit back and “let you and him fight,” because innocents are being slaughtered, as human rights violations burgeon.

Tehran wants to immortalize a Shi’ite Crescent (Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon), Ankara wants to sever it with Sunnis (multinational Arabs and non-Arab Ottomans), and Riyadh wants to stir the pot just enough to foment insurrection, but not enough to allow the kingdom to be threatened. Geopolitical lines are thereby crossed as these aspirations are being fulfilled, while Kurdistan (joining Israel, to a degree) serves as an irritant, a piñata, a stubborn target for those harboring far greater aspirations.

Each of these countries has attempted to manipulate Kurdistan via political alliances that serve only to undermine the legitimate aspirations of the populace – self-determination, either as an independent state or as a quasi-independent federated-region – notwithstanding distinctive cultural and historical roots that others besmirch. In the process, 30-40 million Kurds struggle for survival.

(For details regarding how Kurdish groups have been co-opted, consult our essay “America Must Recognize Kurdistan.”)

Instead of helping Kurds, who are already “shovel-ready” to do America’s bidding, Obama aspires to vet the Free Syrian Army to decide which surviving “moderates” should receive armaments and year-long training in Saudi Arabia (costing American taxpayers $1 billion). Is Obama enamored of Saudi oil?

Instead of helping Kurds, who desperately need American support, Obama is acceding to Turkey’s rapprochement with the Islamic State, Turkey most recently having absented itself from America’s nascent “alliance of the unwilling” in return for release of 49 Turkish hostages. Is Obama pro-Brotherhood?

Instead of helping Kurds, after more than 60 villages and towns in Syrian Kurdistan have fallen to the Islamic State, Obama is receding from opposing Assad (propped up by Rouhani and Putin), hoping that Syrian air defenses (yet to be degraded) won’t block Allied bombers. Is Obama a genocide-appeaser?

Kurds eagerly and valiantly defend Western civilization against Muslims who continue fighting the Crusades; they may be a millennium remote chronologically, but they remain fresh in mind to zealots hungry to avenge the 1683 defeat of Islam outside the gates of Vienna.

Demography is rapidly changing, as Kurds are increasingly subject to ethnic cleansing. If defeated, Kurds will be forcibly resettled out of Syria and thereby lose their distinctive identity. Already, a million refugees have relocated, replaced by pro-Assad Shi’ite or Alawite Arabs. Sporadic air support (recalling the Yazidis’ plight) is grossly insufficient against the Islamic State. Yet, inexplicably, Obama has even failed to ensure that other Arab nations (plus his Turkish pal, Erdoğan) and opposition groups (plus other countries worldwide) condemn specifically the Islamists’ anti-Kurd acts.

Political groups petitioning for support must have “clean hands,” indubitably and uniquely sported by staunchly pro-American Kurdistan, steeped in democracy and reveling in freedom. Kurds have historically rejected multiple adverse entreaties. Thus, elements of the Free Syrian Army seeking Allied arms must pass the litmus test of supporting Kurds, for most are allied with the Muslim Brotherhood or al-Qaeda. Unlike stateless Kurdistan, pro- and anti-Assad entities are merely struggling for power, for, sadly, they share too much culture and mentality.

Therefore, America must provide military, political, and humanitarian assistance to Kurdistan urgently, empowering it to lead a coalition of ignored minorities (Christians, etc.).

Dr. Robert Sklaroff (a physician-activist) and Dr. Sherkoh Abbas (president of the Kurdistan National Assembly of Syria) have co-written essays during the past half-decade advocating an independent Kurdistan. Dr. Sklaroff can be contacted at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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