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US Must Kick Turkey Out of NATO, Declare Support for Kurds

US Must Kick Turkey Out of NATO, Declare Support for Kurds
Iranian workers hang an anti-Turkish slogan next to a memorial for the mass killing of Armenians at Vank cathedral in the Julfa neighbourhood of the historic city of Isfahan, some 400 kilometres south of the capital, Tehran, on April 20, 2015. Julfa neighbourhood is where the biggest Armenian community in Iran resides. (Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images)

Henry Seggerman By Monday, 29 January 2018 03:52 PM EST Current | Bio | Archive

A few days ago, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan — who is truly the dictator of Turkey since the blatantly rigged April 16, 2017, referendum — announced that he would quote-unquote “exterminate” Kurdish people in Syria.

No one should be surprised by Erdoğan’s plans to exterminate Kurds. After all, he is a direct descendant of Turks who exterminated 1.5 million Armenians not too long ago. Kurds are the majority population of the same region where Armenians also held the majority, before the Turkish government exterminated men, women, and children in the Armenian Genocide — which today is officially recognized by 29 major governments around the world and 48 out of 50 American states, and stood as the most horrendous crime against humanity until Adolf Hitler came along. When it comes to genocide, Turkey is like an alcoholic who hasn’t had a drink in 50 years.

Erdoğan is so determined with his extermination strategy, he quite incredibly suggested he could go to war with the United States of America. Maybe the man should cut back on his raki consumption. He’s skating on thin ice here. Any minute now, The Donald could tweet a “Fire and Fury” threat. Turkish cannon fodder already ordered mindlessly into Syria should start thinking seriously about inflicting themselves with sprained ankles so they can be sent home.

Kurds are Muslim. Kurds have a few oil wells here and there, but they ain’t Saudi Arabia. Trump was elected in part due to isolationist ideals and some fear of Islam, so there is no fundamental Trumpian reason for the United States to make Kurds our allies. However, Trump favors strength. Trump likes winners, and, yes, likes you if you (with apologies to Senator McCain) do not get captured. The Kurds are winners. The Kurds did not get captured. The entire world was petrified by ISIL and the evil it represented, and who defeated them? Not Bashar al-Assad. Not Vladimir Putin. Not the feeble regular Iraq army, nor their Shia militia sidekicks — both who’d just as soon kill innocent Sunni civilians as ISIL fighters. It was the Kurds. In Iraq, Kurdish Peshmerga rescued 50,000 Yazidis doomed to rape or extermination by ISIL and liberated the Mosul Dam. In Syria, the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) ended the siege of Kobani and wiped out the last ISIL dead-enders in Raqqa. U.S. Special Ops in Syria were so proud of their YPG alliance, they sewed YPG patches onto their battle fatigues.

To be re-elected in 2020, Trump is going to need more than deplorables, more than white males without college degrees. After Roy Moore and Stormy Daniels, and other past alleged dalliances sure to be exposed, he’ll need women more than ever in 2020, and there’ll be no Catherine Deneuve pushback here any time soon. Why not champion our Kurdish allies for their battle-tested female brigades, and their fair treatment of women? Why not even invite the Kurdish women soldiers for a White House photo-op? With the exception of Israel, Kurdistan is the one land in the entire region where women have some semblance of equality. Since we ousted the Ba’athists in 2003, Iraq has been steadily backsliding into Iran-inspired misogyny. In Syria, in the unlikely event the FSA succeeded in ousting Assad, we’d be looking at some form of coalition with al-Nusra, whose plan for women comes directly from Osama bin Laden’s handbook. In 2005, over 95 percent of Egyptian women had suffered FGM, and to this day, not a single Egyptian FGM so-called “doctor” has served a day in prison for this barbaric practice. In Turkey, Erdoğan snuffed out Ataturk’s secular dream for good by asserting women do not deserve equality “because it goes against the laws of nature,” and one legislator bluntly and accurately labeled his theocratic, misogynist speech “a hate crime.”

So, what progress has there been towards a democratic, independent Kurdistan, across four conflict-ridden countries — most whose borders were thoughtlessly drawn by Western European colonial powers? Last September, Assad’s mouthpiece Walid al-Moualem conceded the Kurds’ demand for autonomy in their northern Rojava region was “open to negotiation.” That’s because Assad knows the YPG would obliterate any invasion by his remnant Alawi troops, leaving an all-out sarin attack (and devastating Trump missile strike) as his only alternative. In 1992, George Bush Senior’s No Fly Zone initiated what eventually became Iraq’s fully autonomous Kurdish Region, and it’s enjoyed near sovereignty for almost thirty years now. Iraqi Kurds voted 93 percent in favor of secession, and despite a subsequent oilfield grab by Baghdad, the Kurdish Region is only headed in one direction: independence. As for Iran, Trump loves nothing more than adding to his damning inventory of Iranian abuses. After Iran last month murdered peaceful demonstrators against its deeply corrupt theocracy robbing the working stiff blind, after unchecked missile testing, why not just add decades-long persecution of Iranian Kurds and indefinite detention of Kurdish activists still in effect today, to this inventory?

Today, Kurds are a solid majority of these Turkish provinces: Iğdır, Tunceli, Bingöl, Muş, Ağrı, Adıyaman, Diyarbakır, Siirt, Bitlis, Van, Şanlıurfa, Mardin, and Hakkâri — much of this sadly overlapping former lands inhabited by Armenians whom Turkey exterminated. The U.S., EU, and NATO supported the secession of Kosovo and East Timor, with good reason. With 240 journalists now imprisoned, with the rigged vote last April, and now with an actual, admitted “extermination” strategy underway on the Kurds, isn’t it time to kick Turkey out of NATO, and declare support for independence in its Kurdish-majority provinces? We already moved twenty of our fifty nukes in Turkey to Romania; why not move the last thirty there, too? Or to Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, or Estonia?

Ever heard of İmrali Island? It’s Turkey’s version of Robben Island. Guess what prisoners are held there? Actually, there is only one, a political prisoner named Abdulla Öcalan, and he is serving a life term because of his struggle for self-determination for Turkey’s Kurdish people, who’ve been treated like second-class citizens in the Eastern provinces, just like the Armenians were before the Armenian Genocide. Öcalan is Turkey’s own Mandela. One of the books he wrote while imprisoned was "Jineology," a treatise on Kurdish feminism. Isn’t it high time the U.S., EU, and NATO tell Erdoğan he must abandon his stated Kurd “extermination” strategy, free Abdulla Öcalan, and cede Kurdish-majority provinces to a free and independent Kurdistan; otherwise, it will cost Turkey its prized alliances, as well as any remaining semblance of human or democratic values? Holocaust denial is illegal in sixteen European countries. These countries should now add Armenian Genocide denial to those laws, to reinforce their opposition to the latest Turkish extermination strategy.

Henry Seggerman managed Korea International Investment Fund, the oldest South Korean hedge fund, from 2001 until 2014. He is a regular columnist for the Korea Times, and has also been a guest speaker, written for, or been interviewed by The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, Bloomberg Television, Reuters, and FinanceAsia — covering not only North and South Korea, but also Asia, as well as U.S. politics. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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A few days ago, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan — who is truly the dictator of Turkey since the blatantly rigged April 16, 2017, referendum — announced that he would quote-unquote “exterminate” Kurdish people in Syria.
turkey, erdogan, kurds, syria, nato
Monday, 29 January 2018 03:52 PM
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