Obama abandoning Kurds, keeping 'hands off' ISIS

Why is President Obama passively standing by as perhaps the nastiest of all the Islamic radical groups in the world is expanding its “Caliphate” at the expense of longstanding (and highly capable) allies of the United States? Only the president and Valerie Jarrett can answer that question definitively, but it is worth asking. For there are few situations with a greater contrast between the good guys and the bad guys. The Review & Outlook column of the Wall Street Journal points out the troubling stance of President Obama and its consequences:

Another day, another Middle Eastern defeat. On Sunday the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS, ousted Kurdish forces from three towns in northern Iraq and laid siege to the country's largest dam. The question now is whether the Obama Administration will abandon our long-time Kurdish allies as they battle the jihadist army.

Earlier this summer ISIS routed the Iraqi army in Mosul, and its success against the Kurdish peshmerga militia is another ominous turn. Kurdistan has been an island of relative peace and prosperity in Iraq that was thought to be beyond the Islamist reach. But ISIS is gaining strength the longer it is unchallenged, and the oil city of Kirkuk that is defended by the peshmerga is a tempting future target. An Islamist caliphate with oil revenues is a scary prospect.

The Kurds have long yearned for a country of their own, as they are scattered among Iraqi, Turkish, and Iranian territory, living in mostly contiguous areas that could well make up a new land of Kurdistan. That would be anathema to Turkey, Iran, and Iraq, and supposedly the US has a NATO ally in Turkey (though under Erdogan, Turkey has taken to fairly open support for Hams and is going down the road of Islamic supremacy, no longer the secular state founded by Kemal Ataturk). The US may have had an interest in a unified Iraq as a counterbalance to Iran, but that ship has sailed. ISIS already has split Iraq, and under Nouri al-Maliki, it has become a de facto Shiite state, as Obama abandoned the US military presence that formerly acted as a check on Shiite supremacism there.

VP Joe Biden once openly pushed for a partition of Iraq into three states, but his voice has been relegated to the Memory Hole in the Obama administration. At this point, an independent Kurdistan would indeed destabilize the area, but in a way tat would preoccupy the mullahs of Teheran and give Ankara something a bit closer to home to worry about than Gaza. Most importantly, it would keep ISIS in check, at least on its northern frontier. ISIS has designs on us, after all, as it’s ambition is a Global Caliphate, and it has recruited a thousand or more European and American adherents who can receive terror training and travel freely to our shores to bring us down. A second and worse 911 is in prospect from this group – they are our mortal enemies. And among the Islamic dreamers of dominance, they have got the mojo.

Review & Outlook continues:

As ISIS charged toward Baghdad, Kurdish leaders last month sent a delegation to Washington to seek military assistance. The peshmerga are known for their professionalism and courage, but they need ammunition and artillery, better rifles, tanks, transportation vehicles and body armor. Obama Administration officials brushed them off, claiming American aid was tantamount to a green light to Kurdish independence and Iraq's breakup.

This is the kind of crack strategic logic this Administration is famous for. Iraq is already on the verge of breaking up, and letting ISIS overrun the Kurds wouldn't make it easier to keep together. If a unified Iraq is going to be saved, it will have to be done with the help of the Kurds. (snip)

The U.S. has helped Taiwan defend itself for decades without endorsing independence. Providing military aid would give the U.S. more leverage with the Kurds to keep them in a confederated Iraq if that is still possible. Fuad Masum, a Kurd, was elected Iraq's president last month. U.S. military aid for Kurdistan could even be tied to the region's continued commitment to a single Iraq.

Abandoning the Kurds is a historic mistake whose magnitude will become clearer in the future. It is a disgrace and stupid, at least if the interests of the American people are uppermost in mind.

Hat tip: Cliff Thier

Why is President Obama passively standing by as perhaps the nastiest of all the Islamic radical groups in the world is expanding its “Caliphate” at the expense of longstanding (and highly capable) allies of the United States? Only the president and Valerie Jarrett can answer that question definitively, but it is worth asking. For there are few situations with a greater contrast between the good guys and the bad guys. The Review & Outlook column of the Wall Street Journal points out the troubling stance of President Obama and its consequences:

Another day, another Middle Eastern defeat. On Sunday the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS, ousted Kurdish forces from three towns in northern Iraq and laid siege to the country's largest dam. The question now is whether the Obama Administration will abandon our long-time Kurdish allies as they battle the jihadist army.

Earlier this summer ISIS routed the Iraqi army in Mosul, and its success against the Kurdish peshmerga militia is another ominous turn. Kurdistan has been an island of relative peace and prosperity in Iraq that was thought to be beyond the Islamist reach. But ISIS is gaining strength the longer it is unchallenged, and the oil city of Kirkuk that is defended by the peshmerga is a tempting future target. An Islamist caliphate with oil revenues is a scary prospect.

The Kurds have long yearned for a country of their own, as they are scattered among Iraqi, Turkish, and Iranian territory, living in mostly contiguous areas that could well make up a new land of Kurdistan. That would be anathema to Turkey, Iran, and Iraq, and supposedly the US has a NATO ally in Turkey (though under Erdogan, Turkey has taken to fairly open support for Hams and is going down the road of Islamic supremacy, no longer the secular state founded by Kemal Ataturk). The US may have had an interest in a unified Iraq as a counterbalance to Iran, but that ship has sailed. ISIS already has split Iraq, and under Nouri al-Maliki, it has become a de facto Shiite state, as Obama abandoned the US military presence that formerly acted as a check on Shiite supremacism there.

VP Joe Biden once openly pushed for a partition of Iraq into three states, but his voice has been relegated to the Memory Hole in the Obama administration. At this point, an independent Kurdistan would indeed destabilize the area, but in a way tat would preoccupy the mullahs of Teheran and give Ankara something a bit closer to home to worry about than Gaza. Most importantly, it would keep ISIS in check, at least on its northern frontier. ISIS has designs on us, after all, as it’s ambition is a Global Caliphate, and it has recruited a thousand or more European and American adherents who can receive terror training and travel freely to our shores to bring us down. A second and worse 911 is in prospect from this group – they are our mortal enemies. And among the Islamic dreamers of dominance, they have got the mojo.

Review & Outlook continues:

As ISIS charged toward Baghdad, Kurdish leaders last month sent a delegation to Washington to seek military assistance. The peshmerga are known for their professionalism and courage, but they need ammunition and artillery, better rifles, tanks, transportation vehicles and body armor. Obama Administration officials brushed them off, claiming American aid was tantamount to a green light to Kurdish independence and Iraq's breakup.

This is the kind of crack strategic logic this Administration is famous for. Iraq is already on the verge of breaking up, and letting ISIS overrun the Kurds wouldn't make it easier to keep together. If a unified Iraq is going to be saved, it will have to be done with the help of the Kurds. (snip)

The U.S. has helped Taiwan defend itself for decades without endorsing independence. Providing military aid would give the U.S. more leverage with the Kurds to keep them in a confederated Iraq if that is still possible. Fuad Masum, a Kurd, was elected Iraq's president last month. U.S. military aid for Kurdistan could even be tied to the region's continued commitment to a single Iraq.

Abandoning the Kurds is a historic mistake whose magnitude will become clearer in the future. It is a disgrace and stupid, at least if the interests of the American people are uppermost in mind.

Hat tip: Cliff Thier