Colorado Kurds Ask Their Neighbors (You) To Care

Denver7’s Ivan Rodriguez reports:

Members of Colorado’s Kurdish community gathered outside the state Capitol Sunday afternoon to protest Turkish attacks in Syria.

President Donald Trump ordered U.S. troops in northern Syria to step aside, clearing the way for an attack by Turkey, which regards the Kurds as terrorists…

Kani Murad said aside from being Kurdish, she believes this is a humanitarian issue and not political.

“No matter where you are, you should still care about those people, about those families who have been displaced,” she said. “People have lost family members, lost children, and don’t know what to do.”

In past years, Colorado politicos on both sides of the aisle have expressed support for the Kurds well beyond the official American position. In 2014, then Rep.-now Gov. Jared Polis called for the establishment of an independent Kurdistan in a Denver Post op-ed:

In Iraq, the Kurdish people have been an immeasurably valuable ally to the United States, because we share common democratic values and general respect for human rights. For a long time, we shared a common enemy: the repressive dictatorship led by Saddam Hussein. Kurdish soldiers fought alongside American troops and our coalition partners during the first Gulf War, and the Kurds were the most actively pro-America voice in Iraq following our 2003 invasion. They have also been reliable opponents of the violence and extremism of al-Qaeda terrorist groups.

Though the United States has provided half-hearted support for Kurdish autonomy in Iraq, our foreign policy has often treated the Kurds as a political tool to weaken Iraqi groups we oppose, rather than as an ally with whom we have shared interests. After the Gulf War, the United States deliberately encouraged the Iraqi Kurds to rise up against Saddam Hussein in a bid for independence. Kurdish leaders were under the impression that the United States would provide support. We didn’t; the uprising failed; and more than 30,000 civilians were killed.

Although some Colorado Republicans including Sen. Cory Gardner have put out hand-wringing statements of “concern” about President Donald Trump’s decision to abandon the Kurds in northern Syria and allow a Turkish military offensive to proceed, the situation on the ground is by all accounts rapidly deteriorating after Trump ordered the last of American forces out of the country–a decision announced just yesterday. The Kurds themselves are no strangers to being betrayed by the United States out of political expediency, but the sudden and inexplicable nature of this decision by Trump seems worse than previous episodes.

For members of Trump’s party like Sen. Gardner, his decision to abandon the Kurds to the Turkish Army is a political problem. For Colorado’s Kurdish population, it’s a death sentence for members of their families. It’s difficult for those of us who have lived our lives in peace and prosperity to fully comprehend what it’s like to live in a war zone where civilians are dying indiscriminately.

The message yesterday at the Colorado Capitol was that we Americans are not taking it seriously enough.

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11 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. MADCO says:

    This is a sad day.
    And  a Russian win. Russia as wanted the USA out of the region since… ever.
    At least since the 1930's.
     

    And one president, surprising his own DOD and State department, and NATO leadership except one, tears it apart and gives the Russians a win.

    '''but…but… 1943 they wouldn't do what we wanted.
    Ok.

     

  2. RepealAndReplace says:

    Maybe the Colorado Kurds can ask Senator Gardner about the issue and how can support a president who did this. He may become so flustered, he will offer to discuss Trump's call to the Ukraine president or impeachment.

    By the way, do hand-wringing statements of “concern” occur before or after “thoughts and prayers” are offered?

  3. Diogenesdemar says:

    It’s definitely one of the bigly, yuge, greatest fuckups in American geopolitical history . . . 

    The Madman Has No Clothes

    If you pretended you oversaw the most powerful military, diplomatic corps, and liberal political system in human history, and you wanted to discover the single action that would threaten a friendly people with atrocities, war crimes, and genocide; expose U.S. troops to attack by a foreign state’s military; scatter Islamist terrorist prisoners to the winds and invigorate their movement; boost anti-democratic, murderous regimes in Damascus, Ankara, Moscow, and Tehran; shred longstanding liberal alliances; and demoralize citizens of your own nation—you could have barely topped what President Trump has just done. Not without nuclear weapons, at least.  

    To sum up: Trump and fellow Turkish “nationalist” president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan chatted two Sundays ago, and Trump subsequently announced he was pulling U.S. troopsfrom territory in Northern Syria that we’d helped the Kurds occupy. The reason was that Erdoğan planned a massive incursion to wipe out those Kurds, all of whom he considers to be Marxist-Leninist terrorists, and whose destruction would be a feather in his populist cap. The Turkish operation began. U.S. forces, caught unawares by the move, began a hasty and logistically problematic retreat; at one point American troops found themselves deliberately “bracketed” by Turkish artillery fire—pinned in position and wholly reactive to the movements of a foreign state’s force, one set in motion by their own commander in chief. This may have been the first time any nation that houses U.S. nuclear weapons—there are an estimated 50 thermonuclear air-drop warheads at Incirlik Air Force Base in Turkey—targeted U.S. troops with its own army. (“Seriously, it’s time to take our fucking nuclear weapons out of Turkey,” one longtime arms-control expert tweeted in response to the targeting news.)

    https://newrepublic.com/article/155366/trump-syria-kurds-myth-madman-theory

    . . . someone who watches FOX has got to explain how this clusterfuck is being spun as MAGAlicious, please?????

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