In the article, ‘Removing troops puts Kurds at risk’ published in the Oct. 31 edition of the Collegian, Abby Liebing argued that withdrawing U.S. troops from Syria would put the Kurds in danger.
Citing historical examples and contemporary criticisms of the Erdogan regime, she insinuates that the Turks are genocidal maniacs with a history of hatred for non-Turkish ethnic peoples, and that this ethnic hatred persists to this day and puts our so-called allies, the Kurds, at risk.
But this claim does not account for the real motivation for the Turkish incursion into Northern Syria, it certainly doesn’t matter in the context of an America First foreign policy.
Turkey’s “long held hatred for the Kurdish people” is not based on a belief in fanatical ethnic supremacy nor is it based on delusions of territorial expansion into the Levant region. Turkey’s hatred is, as referenced briefly in the article, based on Kurdish communist terrorism. The Turks believe, and rightfully so, that the Kurdish Workers Party — comically renamed the Syrian Democratic Forces following a suggestion from the Pentagon — are a threat to peace, stability, law, and order within Turkey’s own borders.
Past acts of Kurdish terrorism within Turkey’s borders — including bombings at soccer stadiums and schools and other public buildings since the late 1970’s — more than justify their “hatred” for the Kurds. Kurds have clearly demonstrated they are an enemy of Turkey, and it seems the establishment in this country forgets that Turkey is an ally of the United States.
Criticisms of the Erdogan regime notwithstanding, they remain a NATO ally of the U.S. in good standing. They are an allied nation state, with defined borders, a central and accountable government, and a long and storied tradition of sovereignty in the region. Their aggression towards a terrorist organization within and near their own borders is completely justified. Wanting to secure their borders from hostile foreign raiders is not only justifiable in the present context — it is also nothing the United States itself hasn’t done.
When Mexico collapsed into anarchy and revolutionary violence in the early 1910s, the U.S. Army and National Guard undertook several punitive expeditions against the Zapatistas, a group of Mexican communist terrorists following Emilio Zapata and commanded by the bandit Pancho Villa, who had been raiding American towns, burning farms, and stealing cattle.
Moreover, our withdrawal from Syria may endanger these Kurdish terrorists, but it removes American soldiers from danger, fighting an undeclared war thousands of miles from their homeland. Being “waist-deep” in the Middle East is not a reason to stay in, it’s an even greater reason to leave.
Our entanglements in Syria put our military at risk, isolate us from normal relations with nations in the region, and continue the longest period of war in our nation’s short history. We invaded Iraq in 2003 under the pretext of eliminating an Iraqi dictator in possession of weapons of mass destruction (that he did not have) hell-bent on genocide and world domination.
Sixteen years later, we are now considering military action against a Turkish dictator, in possession of American weapons of mass destruction, determined on killing terrorists within and near his own borders.
Regardless, our intervention to help the Kurds does not help the American people. The Kurds have done nothing to help Americans. Though flunkies in the Pentagon and our foreign policy think tanks may say that they were indispensable to our victory against the Islamic State, that claim doesn’t hold up to any real criticism.
Asking any veteran who has served in the region who isn’t wearing an oakleaf on his shoulder or on the payroll of some defense special interest group, you get the real picture of the fighting prowess of a stateless people: pitiful. Not to mention that the destruction of the Islamic State was not accomplished by American ground forces, but with American air power, with European, Syrian, and Russian assistance.
To suggest that these people were instrumental in our victory over the Islamic State is a laughable mistake a best and a misleading lie at worst.
President Trump is seeking an end to our endless wars in the Middle East. We, as conservatives, ought to support this decision.
It’s time to put America first in our foreign policy, even if that means some communist terrorists are going to die to do so.
It’s not Kurdistan first, it’s not Iraq first, it isn’t Israel first, it certainly isn’t Saudi Arabia first, it is America first.
Luke Grzywacz is a senior studying politics and German.