"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Monday, March 21, 2016

Putin: 'Liberator Tsar' now arms the Kurds

The Kurds
Screwed by the U.S. and now armed by Russia

  • The U.S. has always claimed to be on the side of the Kurds, but Obama starved them of modern weapons in their fight against ISIS.  
  • But better, the Kurds have been bombed over and over with U.S. jets and U.S. weapons flown by NATO member Turkey.
  • Now we see Russia moving in and arming the Kurds. Naturally the U.S. is "concerned", but why? I thought we supported the Kurds fighting ISIS? Our foreign policy is a steaming pile of lies and crap if anyone ever cared to look at it.

(Newsweek)  -  When Turkey downed a Russian jet last November, it did so in the hopes of containing Russian efforts in Syria. Instead, it may have triggered a process that is putting Vladimir Putin in the driver’s seat in redrawing the borders of the Middle East, including Turkey’s.
After the incident, Putin vowed that Turkey’s leaders would come to rue their action and promised to retaliate with more than boycotts of Turkish tomatoes and other economic measures. “We know what we need to do,” Putin intoned ominously.

Putin has been delivering on his word. As part of his revenge, Putin has been expanding ties to Kurdish groups in Turkey, Iraq, and Syria. In December of last year, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov personally and publicly welcomed to Moscow Turkey’s leading Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtas, the co-chairman of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). 
During his visit, Demirtas proceeded to open a representative office for his party in Russia’s capital. In February, the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) opened its first foreign office in Moscow, a major step forward in the group’s campaign for international legitimacy. Russia has been a consistent advocate on behalf of the Kurds at the Geneva peace talks.
In red, the Russian created Kurdish Republic of Mahabad.
1946 to 1947.
Russia created the Kurdish Republic of Mahabad (above), but the
U.S. gave the Shah of Iran permission to destroy the state.

Russian support has not been limited to diplomacy and public relations. In January, Lavrov confirmed that Russia has been delivering arms to the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq. Multiple sources report that Russia has been supplying weapons to Syrian Kurds.
These moves by Russia have set off alarms in Ankara, and with good reason. Both the HDP and Syria’s PYD are offshoots of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which for over three decades has been waging an armed struggle against the Turkish Republic in the name of Kurdish self-determination. After a two-year lull, the PKK last July resumed its insurrection, putting Turkey in a state of virtual civil war as PKK militants hole up in cities throughout Turkey’s heavily Kurdish southeast and declare “self-rule.”
As its name suggests, the PKK was founded during the Cold War and was inspired by a variant of Marxism-Leninism. Its ideological orientation, collaboration with the Soviet Union, and profligate use of terror tactics including suicide bombing alienated public opinion in the West and led the U.S. State Department and the European Parliament to label it as a terrorist organization.
For Turkish officials this is a nightmare, as it would hand to the PKK the most precious thing any insurgency can gain—international legitimacy—and encourage it to persist in its violent campaign to achieve self-rule and, eventually, a state of its own.
Catherine the Great used Kurdish troops
in Russia's wars against the Turks.
Russia - Patron of the Kurds
Russia happens to be the Kurds’ oldest great power patron. Russian leaders from Catherine the Great onward have grasped the importance of the Kurds to the politics just south of Russia’s borders. Tsarist armies employed Kurdish irregulars in their wars with the Ottoman Turks and Persians while Tsarist diplomats and spies encouraged Kurdish tribes to unite and rebel against their imperial overlords. 
On the eve of World War I, St. Petersburg was the world’s center of Kurdology, and some Kurdish leaders saw the Russian empire as their best hope for development and political independence. Bolshevik Russia in 1923 created the first ethnic Kurdish political entity, so-called Red Kurdistan, in the Caucasus, as an instrument to export revolution through the Middle East via the Kurds.
Stalin took this one step further in 1946 when, upon ordering Soviet troops to withdraw from northern Iran he oversaw the creation of the Kurdish “Mahabad Republic” there. Although the Mahabad Republic collapsed just a year later after President Truman gave cover to the Shah of Iran to crush it, it marked the first nominal Kurdish nation-state.
 Moscow did not cut its ties to the PKK after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The PKK in the 1990s continued to operate a representative office and even a “recreational-educational” camp in Russia. The Russian state had over 200 years of experience dealing with Kurds, and maintaining that relationship was a relatively cheap way to preserve leverage in the Middle East. In particular, Russia’s threat to play the Kurdish card provided a deterrent of sorts against potential Turkish support for Muslim separatists in Chechnya and elsewhere inside the Russian Federation.
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