There ARE things WE can do, and SHOULD do, and in fact MUST do to help the Kurds.
Providing humanitarian relief is obvious….blankets, kerosene heaters, tents…..
But providing the ability to defend themselves is even more important….Dead people don’t need blankets.
It is urgent you exercise every bit of influence you may have to change the policy of our US government to deny direct shipment of serious arms…..anti-tank weapons, tanks themselves, armed helicopters, body armor, mortars, artillery, armored personnel carriers—to the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in Erbil.
Here is why….A message from Ernie Audino, Brigadier General, US Army (Ret), previously embedded with the Kurdish Peshmerga fighters:
Given my previous experience equipping (and training and operating with) the Peshmerga, I am certain any regime in Baghdad would block anything they didn’t want in the hands of the Peshmerga and syphon off significant quantities of everything else.
In my year embedded with the Peshmerga, when every other brigade of the Iraqi Army was receiving new, armored vehicles, sniper rifles, mortars and body armor, I could NOT get anything of the sort distributed to my Peshmerga brigade. A professional embarrassment to have to turn to a Peshmerga comrade who asked if we were at least going to receive body armor and answer him, “We haven’t been successful, yet, but we will keep on trying.”
Why does this seemingly cruel policy exist which also inhibits the Kurdish Peshmerga to be the “boots on the ground” so we don’t need to send our “boots”?
- The Turks feel threatened that the formation of a well-armed Kurdistan nation could seek to incorporate the millions of Kurds in Turkey into that nation.
- The Baghdad government is also nervous about secession of the Kurdish Regional Government of Iraq into an independent Kurdish nation.
Our Department of State and President Obama are sympathetic to these two sensitivities developed decades ago even though Turkey drifts to a more Islamic Fundamentalism and our relationship with Baghdad is barely a marriage of convenience.
Neither Turkey or Shiite lead Baghdad will have the same long term camaraderie toward us as the Kurds. The Atlantic Monthly article below quotes an Iraqi refugee:
We believe in the Kurds and they believe in two things,”….
“First, God — and second, America.
Why would a Democrat or Republican, a liberal or a conservative, value more important these two long term hypotheticals to the saving of lives of Kurds friendly to America who are being killed as we read this???
Allowing the Kurds to defend themselves is consistent with the LeftRightLeftRightFowardMarch! initiative whose mantra is “Together We’ll Get There!” It seeks to unite Americans of opposing political perspectives to beneficial efforts both embrace.
What better example than confronting ISIS and stopping the brutality, beheadings and selling of young girls for $10 to $12 to ISIS “fighters”?
Liberals that may be stuck in yesterday’s paradigm and argue we must not war against the peaceful Muslim religion. They say all would be well if we just stopped backing the “racist, Apartheid Israeli regime” in favor of the Palestinians and also withdrew all our American oil companies who are “stealing Arab oil.”
Be sure to draw their attention to the links below. One lists 126 Islamic scholars who adamantly condemn ISIS brutality as un-Islamic. At the same time they do not disavow the need to wage Jihad in order to reestablish the Caliphate, it just should be done more politely.
These scholars argue that The Kurds are not being killed by the Muslims, the vast majority of whom are indeed peaceful. They are being killed by un-Islamic ISIS.
The second link from the American Minute reminds us Jihads to establish Caliphates are not new. You can read of the Sept 11th battles of Malta 1565; Vienna 1683 and Zenta 1567. Neither oil wells or Israel existed.
So ISIS intentions to develop a Caliphate to include not just Iraq and Syria but Lebanon, Jordan and Israel has nothing to do with oil or Israel.
Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech is also linked to put ISIS into context with the agenda of other groups around the world. “….the world’s hopes for peace are in danger because everywhere we look militant Islam is on the march. It’s not militants. It’s not Islam. It’s militant Islam,” is a key quote.
I will not provide the links to the graphic photos of beheadings not only of men, but children, which might inspire our more apathetic friends to respond. You will need to Google “Iraq beheadings” to find them. I don’t encourage doing so.
SO BOTTOM LINE…What we can do:
Forward this email with your personal introductory comments to every Senator, Congressman or person in the Obama Administration with whom you have some degree of influence.
- Urge them to shift the outdated policy which prohibits direct equipping of the Kurdish Peshmerga with the fire power they need to defend themselves and confront ISIS so we don’t need to put American troops in harm’s way.
- Our government is scrapping Afghanistan based Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected carriers (MRAP’s). Encourage your legislator to ask for a direct shipment of these from Kabul to Erbil.
- Plead with each of your friends to also influence their legislators and friends.
Secondly plead for the right of the Kurds to sell their oil directly without skimming from Baghdad. The Kurds are desperate to receive funding to address the 1.5 million refuges who fled to their safety. There are only 5 million inhabitants in the Kurdish region of Iraq.
- A tanker with over a million barrels languished in Houston’s harbor several weeks ago as Baghdad sued to prevent the Kurds from selling the oil. A judge reversed the order of a prior judge enabling the Kurds to get their cash. A senior KRG (Kurdish Regional Government) official alleged last week that Baghdad is $9 billion in arrears in payments to the KRG.
- The Kurds are entitled constitutionally to a share of revenues from Baghdad. What have they received so far this year to meet the humanitarian crisis thrust upon them? Nada, nothing, zero, not a single dollar since the beginning of the year.
- The Kurds should get America’s 100% support, not just for humanitarian reasons but because they are willing to fight the battle to confront ISIS while America is not. Someone must take this on!
The first three points below are from an observer who has followed the issue for years. The fourth point is mine and should excite not just parents of military age youth but all Americans that the Kurds are EAGER to be our boots on the ground.
- A stronger Kurdistan will be an even more effective counter to ISIS and other jihadist groups. They’ve opposed these groups before (many years before 9/11, I might add), they are the only ones doing it now, and they are willing to do it in the future.
- The USA needs MORE, not less, democratic, free-market, freedom-loving allies in the Middle East…and this friend has somewhere above the 5th largest reserves of oil in the world.
- A strong Kurdistan is a condition that can help the USA engage Iran from a position of STRENGTH, not weakness.
- IT LESSENS THE LIKELIHOOD OF OUR NEEDING TO SEND OUR AMERICANS TROOPS.
1. In a meeting of American Muslim leaders, 126 Islamic scholars argue the Kurds are being killed by un-Islamic ISIS.