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A Middle East Grand Bargain Must Create Kurdistan by Sherkoh Abbas and Robert Sklaroff

President Trump’s itinerary during his first overseas trip revealed both his goal and its attendant strategy—although it remains officially unstated—as he tries to fashion a durable end to the Syrian civil war and the birth of a restructured region.

In the process of touching-base with the nerve-centers of each of the three major Middle East religions, he attempted to eliminate the Islamic State without empowering Iran.

Conspiratorial Liberals yelp when he recruits Russia, and acolytes of the Obama Administration condemn his having maneuvered around Tehran.

But he must defang the ayatollahs, lest they ally with North Korean missile-rattlers and threaten World War III.

This is why he keeps an armada in the Gulf, while maintaining a beefed-up presence in the Sea of Japan and encouraging Beijing to block Pyongyang from nuke-testing, for he must stretch the depleted military in theaters a half-globe apart until it has been rebuilt.

And that’s why he has embedded Americans with Kurdish forces attacking Raqqa, for it is impossible to be a “player” without having placed pieces onto the board.Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, the U.S. national security adviser, was triggered to inform Turkey on May 1st  that the Kurds were to receive heavy machine guns, mortars, anti-tank weapons, and armored cars after the Turks had lethally-bombed Kurdish forces in northeast Syria the prior Tuesday. That reflected autocrat Erdo?an having again  “distracted”  world attention from targeting the primary target, the Islamic State.

Accommodating this major reconfiguration of regional forces, President Vladimir Putin said that Russia saw no need to arm the Syrian Kurds, but said Moscow would maintain working contacts with them.

Secretary of Defense James “Jim” Mattis had decided to arm the Kurds directly rather than via any regional country, finally reversing Obama’s following-from-behind intransigent passivity.

He is implementing key aphorisms derived from his storied career defending America.

Indeed, Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) recognized arming the Kurds constitutes “an immense milestone.”

In the process, Mattis has recognized The Road to Defeating the Islamic State Runs through Kurdistan, an essay—illustrated by a settlement-map—that succinctly details the historic, military, economic, religious and political implications of this overdue stance.

Visiting Trump in this charged atmosphere, Erdo?an chose the wrong time to be bellicose against Israel and America.  His post-referendum dictatorial effort to promote Jihad was again manifest through two decrees; one that expelled more than 4,000 civil servants and another that banned television dating programs.

That these actions were  not being well-received. That was reflected in the fact that the latter two hyperlinks [al-Monitor and Aljazeera] are from Arab websites, suggesting welcome-recognition of a tilt toward inter-alia the Sunni Gulf states, plus Qatar, the locale of a major American military presence over NATO-aligned Ankara ,which is increasingly aligning with Iran against the potential for Kurds to achieve independence.

That  would serve as the culmination of battle-plans we have proposed for almost a decade.  In 2008, we identified  Kurds as  an “invisible people”  and   advocated confronting the major source of global terrorism,The Road to Iran Runs through Kurdistan – and Starts in Syria. In 2015, we showed why the United States cannot evade this trouble-spot,[The Pathway to Defeating ISIS Runs Though Kurdistan – And Starts in America. In 2013, we  concluded The Kurds can lead a reconstituted  Syria, at peace with all of her neighbors.  In 2014, we suggested NATO Must Help the Kurds Now.

That is  why Kurds are seeking recognition of their enormous military sacrifice and their unique political feat, noting their carefully-constructed federal system in Rojava;  the area of Northern Syria comprised of four self-governing cantons.

Resolving vague territorial claims would yield a regional Diaspora in Turkey, Iran, and Russia, although Stalin purged much of the USSR-population a half-century ago.

Recognizing that Russia has unilaterally created safe-zones, and buzzed American jets near Alaska and Crimea, it will remain vital to coordinate militaries functioning in close-quarters, to ensure spheres of influence do not inadvertently trigger  conflict.

If America retracts support for anti-Islamist Kurds, Erdo?an will be free to promote his brand of Muslim Brotherhood ideology; the dangerous ramifications of which have been explored [Islamophobia: Thought Crime of the Totalitarian Future].

NATO can reassure Turkey that creation of an independent Kurdistan south of its border, joining with the federated section of northern Iraq, will remove inordinate fears that secession-agitation will persist on its eastern reaches.

Turkey needs to accept this type of endpoint, for its military killed six members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in air strikes in northern Iraq .

What really irks Erdo?an is that “U.S. arming Syrian Kurds shattered Turkey’s Ottoman Empire ambitions. ” Both  America and Turkey will face a de-facto proxy-war unless Erdogan heeds the more conciliatory tone struck by his Prime Minister.

The schism between the United States and Turkey was illustrated during their press  event.  These leaders deemed different entities as “terroristic”.  Trump cited PKK; whereas Erdo?an cited YPG/PYD .

This perhaps explains the anguish expressed by Turkish security guards, when they beatprotesters—primarily Kurds and Armenian outside t their D.C. embassy .

We suggest the following blueprint should be followed to prompt Moscow to help oust Iran from Syria . It would allow the Kurdish-plurality in northwestern Syria to extend its governance to the Mediterranean Sea, blocking Turkey from expansionist temptations.

The multi-front war against Islamists is recognized by Western leaders such as US Senator Ted Cruz (R, Texas) and globally Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu—to have supplanted the Cold War paradigm of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

Perhaps the ultimate method to illustrate the wisdom of this approach is to discount an oppositional paradigm, such as the false claim that American involvement in Syria would merely be a manifestation of Western Imperialism in Rojava.

Instead, America should  implement Point 12  of Woodrow Wilson’s 14-Point Plan that advocated establishing Kurdistan more than a century ago.

At  long last, America Must Recognize Kurdistan  by serving as midwife for a new country [assuming this is the electoral outcome of the originally scheduled September 25 plebiscite sponsored by the Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq. That  would assist in finally defeating  the Islamic State.  This would offer immediate and long-term geo-political  dividends.

ABOUT SHERKOH ABBAS

Sherkoh Abbas is President of the Kurdistan National Assembly of Syria.

ABOUT ROBERT SKLAROFF

Robert Sklaroff is a physician-activist and supporter of Kurdish self-determination.

This article constitutes the policy of the Kurdistan National Assembly of Syria, conveyed to America and to the world, representing the Kurds of Syria.

RELATED ARTICLE: Netanyahu, the First World Leader to Endorse Independent Kurdistan, Hits Back at Erdogan for Supporting Hamas

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Why Democrats are conspiring with the Russians to discredit President Trump

The Democrats keep yelling “the Russians are coming, the Russians are coming.” Why?

There have been many theories about the sudden interest on any and all connections between President Trump and his cabinet with the Russians by Democrats. Among these are: the Russians hacked the election, the Russians stole the election from Hillary Clinton, any contact with any Russian official or surrogate is grounds for dismissal or even impeachment.

Perhaps we should look back at what the Obama administration did to appease, if not become a surrogate for, Russia:

  1. Obama abandoned the missile defense system in Europe shelving deployment of U.S. missiles in Poland and the Czech Republic, citing new intelligence that the missile threat from Iran was minimal. Victory: Russia and Iran.
  2. Obama called for a “reset” of Russian/U.S. relations. On 6 March 2009 in Geneva, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with a red button with the English word “reset” and the Roman alphabet transliteration of the Russian Cyrillic alphabet word перегрузка (“peregruzka”.) Victory: Russia and Iran.
  3. Obama tells Russian President Dmitry Medvedev more flexibility after the 2012 election. Obama stated that Vladimir Putin should give him more “space” and that “[a]fter my election I have more flexibility.” Victory: Russia, Iran, Syria
  4. Obama’s “red line” in Syria if Assad used chemical weapons. Red line policy ignored when Assad uses chemical weapons a second time. Victory: Russia and Syria.
  5. Finally, Obama’s deal with Iran on development of nuclear weapons. Victory: Iran, Russia and ISIS.

Democrats consider Obama’s Iran deal his signature foreign policy success. Here are Obama’s remarks on the Iran deal:

Obama’s foreign policy has emboldened Russia as the key force in the Middle East and at the same time given Iran the cover it needs to continue its nuclear program. Iran is now the hegemonic power in the Middle East, with the help of Russia, and is training and exporting radical Islamists to do its bidding globally.

As former Defense Secretary William S. Cohen said July 28, 2009, after the latest of six trips to the Gulf in the last 18 months, that “what I hear is, there is greater fear of Iran than there is animus toward Israel.” He added, “So that is almost a predominant sentiment that I’ve noticed throughout most, if not all, of the Gulf states” (Washington Times, July 29, 2009).

pelosi schumer putinThis is the reason that Democrats have tried to tie President Trump’s hands when it comes to Russia.

For if President Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are successful in engaging Russia in the fight against ISIS and if President Trump can decouple Russia from Iran then the Obama foreign policy legacy will be gone. The Iran deal will be no more. Iran will be de-fanged and will not be the threat that it currently is to its Gulf state neighbors such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, the United Arab Emirates and Israel.

Democrats working with the Russians are doing everything they can to put President Trump into a box when it comes to negotiating with Russia. That is good for Russia, Iran and Syria’s Assad.

Democrats want America to be weak in its foreign policy and weak even before President Trump meets with Russian President Putin.

The Democrats, along with Republican Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio are hurting President Trump’s foreign policy initiatives in the Middle East and with Russia. That is the goal.

That is why the Democrats, and perhaps the “Axis of Evil” Republican Senators McCain, Graham and Rubio, are in effect conspiring with the Russians.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Mark Levin to GOP: Investigate Obama’s ‘Silent Coup’ vs. Trump

Hold Iran accountable for terrorism: Sen. Cruz and Rep. McCaul

RELATED PHOTOGRAPHS:

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Meet the former college student now female warrior fighting the Islamic State

Meet the female political science student who ran away to fight the Islamic State. She says militants are ‘easy to kill.’ Joanna Palani has described the brutal horrors she witnessed in the war-torn country – from child sex slaves to her comrade being shot dead next to her.

Joanna Palani

Joanna Palani

Sophie Evens from the UK Mirror reports:

A young woman who travelled to Syria to fight jihadis on the frontline has revealed how ISIS thugs are ‘very easy to kill’ and children are rounded up to be sexually abused.

Joanna Palani, then 22, gave up her life as a college student to become a Kurdish fighter in the war-torn country, where she came face-to-face with murderous militants.

With the knowledge of how to shoot a gun, she spent a year battling ISIS on the frontline, teaching other girls how to fight and witnessing the brutal horrors of war.

Now back home, Joanna has told of her experiences from her time abroad – and the striking differences between the Islamic State and President Assad’s ‘killing machines’.

Joanna came face-to-face with murderous militants in Syria and Iraq.

Danske Joanna Palani forlod i November 2014 Danmark for at kæmpe mod Islamisk Stat i Irak og Syrien.

“ISIS fighters are very easy to kill!”

“ISIS fighters are very easy to kill,” she told Vice, laughing. “ISIS fighters are very good at sacrificing their own lives, but Assad’s soldiers are very well-trained and they are specialist killing machines.”

Joanna, from Copenhagen, Denmark, left college in November 2014 to ‘fight for human rights for all people’.

Read more.

WATCH: All-female combat unit hungry for revenge against Islamic State

VIDEO: GOP Candidates Completely Wrong on Origin of the Islamic State

The name ISIS [Islamic State] was said over 100 times during the last GOP debate and yet so many factually incorrect statements were made. Truth in the Media’s Ben Swann gives those candidates a Reality Check about where ISIS really came from.

EDITORS NOTE: Learn More at Truth In Media.

The Consequences of ‘Checking Out’: America’s absent strategy as Syria collapses

The Syrian conflict has taken many unpredictable turns over its terrible four years. But the developments this week are some of the most concerning so far.

Syria has always been not only a domestic civil war but also a place where regional powers have struggled with each other to promote and prop up their own interests. This seemed to be tolerable to much of the West when the countries vying with each other in Syria were Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the Gulf States and others. But the arrival of Russia in an open, rather than covert, manner changes things completely.

Because Russia is now openly involved and engaged in seeing the civil war to the end they have always wanted, and just as Turkey has used air strikes purportedly against Isis to in fact engage in their war against the Kurdish PKK, so Russia, under the guise of pursuing Isis, has clearly been carrying out its own sectarian, pro-Assad business.

In all of this America has been not so much a bit player as an absent player. The most powerful military on earth appears to be barely semi-engaged. This is a simple result of the fact that US political will is disengaged. It does not help that some American lawmakers now propose jumping in as though out of pique – an ‘everyone else is engaged so why shouldn’t we be’ attitude. The problem is not being ‘left out’. The problem is having no strategy.

The situation we now see in Syria is a demonstration of what happens when America checks out. The one hour notice that the Russians gave the Americans before bombing  spoke volumes: the diplomatic equivalent of a courtesy call. But the answer to the pile-in in Syria is not to join it to no end. The answer is to weigh up our military alternatives based on a clear set of political aims. Some Americans may be tired of being the world’s policemen. But leaving the job to the Russians is not an option.


mendozahjs

FROM THE DIRECTOR’S DESK

It’s been a while since I have been able to say this in an international affairs context, but British pride and acknowledgement of doing the right thing have been restored this week courtesy of an extraordinary exchange between Prime Minister David Cameron and U.S. President Barack Obama at the United Nations.

Chairing the the U.N. Leaders’ Summit on Countering ISIL and Violent Extremism, Mr Obama stated “Violent extremism is not unique to any one faith, so no one should ever be profiled or targeted simply because of their faith.” Only to find that Mr Cameron was pugnacious in response, agreeing with the basic premise but then calling out the President for not naming the biggest problem in this regard today: “Barack, you are quite right, that every religion has its extremists, but we have to be frank that the biggest problem we have today is the Islamist extremist violence that has given birth to ISIL, to Al Shabaab to Al Nusra, Al Qaeda and so many other groups.”

Nor was Cameron finished there. Speaking about the linear development for those who progressed from extremism to acts of terrorism, he continued “They have extremist views and an extremist mindset before they make that final decision to be an extremist terrorist. We have to stop this process at the start, not at the end. We also need to challenge the extremist worldview right at the very start.” This even elicited a response from Obama, who agreed that “violent extremism is emerging out of an extremist worldview that has to be counteracted.”

We should not under-estimate the significance of these comments. Firstly, they indicate that the path which Mr Cameron entered on before the summer – of identifying Islamist extremism as being as much a problem of extremist ideology as extremist violence – is one that he intends to continue taking.

But that as importantly, by taking the lead so publicly on this issue when the US President demurred and then having had some impact on his thinking, Mr Cameron gives us hope that where Britain leads, the US may yet follow. Our disastrous counter-extremism policy of the mid 2000s was emulated across the Atlantic, so why not a more promising variant, particularly as a change of US administration looms in 2016?

Whatever the future, I can assure you that one thing will remain not subject to chance. Just as HJS has spent the past few years raising awareness of the threat Islamist extremism poses to our societies and worldwide, you can be certain that we will spend the next few helping those leaders determined to make policy changes to find the best way of doing so.

Dr Alan Mendoza is Executive Director of The Henry Jackson Society
Follow Alan on Twitter: @AlanMendoza

RELATED ARTICLE: The Moscow-Washington-Tehran Axis Of Evil

Does Iran Support The Islamic State? by Kyle Orton

In 2010, Farzad Farhangian, an Iranian diplomat based in Belgium, defected to Norway. Farhangian has now emerged with the extraordinary accusation that the Islamic Republic of Iran is controlling the Islamic State (ISIS) and using it as part of Tehran’s war against the Gulf States, especially Saudi Arabia. Farhangian’s accusations are lurid and (literally) incredible, but the question of Iran’s role in ISIS’ creation and growth, and Iran’s manipulation of ISIS to further its own ends, is one well worth asking.

Farhangian made his accusations in two separate posts, one dated February 25 and one from May 16. (Thanks be to @Paradoxy13 for translation.) Farhangian has been identified in media reports as the press attaché at the Iranian Embassy in Brussels; his own account adds to that that he was an advisor at the Iranian Foreign Ministry and worked in the Iranian Embassies in Dubai, Iraq, Morocco, and Yemen.

Farhangian says that after meeting with elements of the Iranian opposition in Paris, France, he then “spent four important hours with a high ranking Revolutionary Guard commander who left his post a while ago and is now arranging his residency abroad so he can announce that he is joining the opposition.” Farhangian says that he would ideally have liked to wait until the Guardsman was in the clear, but felt that what the Guardsman had to say was too important to wait. Farhangian says that what the Revolutionary Guardsman said was buttressed by a “confidential and extremely sensitive document”. Farhangian writes:

One of the most dangerous things I was informed of with photos and documents … was that Daesh [ISIS] was being managed and controlled through a military operations room in Mashhad [in northwestern Iran], and the room is being managed by high ranking Russian and Iranian intelligence commanders. The goal is to create chaos in the Arab world in general and the Gulf countries in particular, especially Saudi Arabia. The Iranian regime still believes and seeks by all means to subdue Mecca and Medina to Wilayat al-Faqih [the ruling ideology of the Iranian theocracy]. Russia on the other hand sees that revenge is inevitable because it believes that Saudi Arabia played a big role in dismantling the Soviet Union and its defeat in Afghanistan after it drove oil prices down causing economic collapse in the Soviet Union.

The Russian and Iranian operations room in Mashhad uses Russian satellites to provide support to Daesh in its plans, movements, and the tactics that they follow in their operations, in addition to providing intelligence on the international coalition sorties that target the organisation.

Iran wishes to “drag Jordan and Egypt into the war and to infiltrate Saudi and Kuwaiti land,” Farhangian says, and the setting up of ISIS outposts in Libya and the Sinai desert of Egypt is the prelude to the announcement of an Islamic State across North Africa that can be used as a launch-pad for an attack on the Gulf States. Meanwhile, Iran is seeking “to encircle Saudi Arabia” by means of “open[ing] a front on the northern borders of Saudi Arabia through Iraqi Shi’ite militias … to ease the pressure on the Houthis to the south [of Saudi Arabia], [and] at the same time Daesh will be carrying out terrorist acts in Saudi Arabia in the coming weeks.”

So how reliable is all this? As stated: not very. Conspiracies of this scale and intricacy just do not happen. But what of the idea that Iran is using ISIS to further its strategic ambitions? On that the evidence is rather more suggestive.

Though the Obama administration is now sold on Iran as a partner in the anti-ISIS war, I noted recently that one of the reasons this won’t work is because Iran doesn’t want to defeat ISIS, at least not now. Iran has its strategic holdings in Iraq and Syria and its access to Hizballah in Lebanon. Iran couldn’t rule over all the Sunnis under ISIS’ “Caliphate” anyway, and ISIS’ presence helps keep Iraq and Syria off-balance—giving Iran the weak neighbours it has always wanted—and the ISIS menace helps keep any opposition to Iranian hegemony among the governments in Baghdad and Damascus side-lined when the alternative is extermination.

This, however, is only the most indirect means by which Iran has helped ISIS build its power. One “cannot truly understand ISIS today,” Michael Weiss and Hassan Hassan write in their superb book on the takfiri group, without examining “the agendas of [the] regimes in Iran and Syria”.

Read more.

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Iran and Pakistan collaborate with ISIS in Afghanistan

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EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The Syrian Intifada. The featured image is of Qassem Suleimani, Iran’s spymaster.

VIDEO: The global threat of a Red (Marxist) on Green (Islamist) alliance

Tom Trento, National Security Expert, Director of The United West.

Tom Trento, National Security Expert, Director of The United West.

Tom Trento, Florida talk show host, author and internationally known speaker on national security issues, spoke at the Villages TEA Party on September 17th. The topic was the global threat facing the United States, our allies and Israel. Trento covered topics including Syria, Iran, the 9/11 remembrance and the threat to Western civilization posed by a new/old alliance. This Red (Marxist) and Green (Islamist) alliance has strengthened recently with the reemergence of the role of Russia in the Middle East.

Trento takes questions from the TEA Party members and put into perspective what is happening in this and previous administrations. Please watch Trento’s presentation (video courtesy of The United West):

ABOUT THE UNITED WEST:

The United West is dedicated to defending and advancing Western Civilization against the kinetic and cultural onslaught of Shariah Islam, so that America remains a land of freedom, justice and opportunity grounded in the principles of our Constitutional Republic.The United West has taken up this challenge because the ever increasing forces of darkness, whether political, social, or philosophical seek to destroy, subvert or subjugate all that Americans hold to be right and true.The United West will succeed in this mission by educating, training and activating Americans to stand on proven principles, guide public opinion and amend public policy so that leadership is selected on November 6, 2012 which affirm the canons of jurisprudence.

Specifically, TUW educates and activates freedom minded people, wherever they may live, to effectively develop strategies and tactics which propagate the exceptionalism of Western Civilization over against the totalitarian choke-hold of shariah Islam. Immediately, our objectives include the mobilization of Americans and Europeans to stand firmly for the defense and protection of the State of Israel.

The United West combines top-shelf academics with a military-grade activism to distinguish itself from every counter-jihad organization. There is no other nongovernmental organization like it, in the world. Visit TheUnitedWest.org to learn more.