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Plenty to chew on

Reader comment on item: Developments in Syria and Turkey

Submitted by David W. Lincoln (Canada), Jun 10, 2013 at 11:24

Daniel, I came across this over on the facebook page of a priest in the Antiochian Patriarchate, who is based in Washington State.

Plenty of coherence amidst the details is what I see.

Today, while at the market in Konya, a man heard my wife and I speaking Arabic and English. He came over and introduced himself in fairly good English. He asked us about the situation in Syria and pitched in his own views. He mentioned that the US and Russia are supposed to meet in August in Istanbul to discuss the situation in Syria. In his view, the US and Russia are going to exclude Turkey from the decision making process. He didn't say it, and neither did we, but what is well known is that Russia is insisting that the 12 Kurdish political parties be involved in the talks. Already, the Syrian Kurds have announced their desire to separate from Syria. After the invasion of Iraq, the north of Iraq, commonly known as "Iraqi Kurdistan" began a process (under the patronage of the US) of creating what is in an independent nation in everything but name. For example, Iraqi Kurdistan issues its own visas separate from a visa to Iraq, manages its own borders, has its own military (known as the "Peshmerga") and really only pays lip service to Baghdad.

For Turkey, this is a disaster, if they are cut out of the equation, this is a disaster for them. Though Kurds are officially only roughly 15% of Turkey's population, most Kurds are hesitant at best to identify themselves as this to anyone outside of the Kurdish community or Americans - The Turkish government has even made it illegal to count Kurds. This is why so many believe that 15% is simply the baseline, not the accurate number. Expert opinions range as high as 30% of the population and with ethnic Turks having two children (to the point that the current prime ministry, Erdogan, has made it a mantra that each family is encouraged to have three) while ethnic Kurds have upwards of ten, it's not long before Turkey's ethnic landscape changes dramatically. For the Turks, the Kurds are the most vile enemy on earth and they're looking at a future in which Turkey is numerically dominated by Kurds. Due to this, they're freaking out.

With those perspectives in mind, it should be realized that the Arabs haven't been a main player in the Middle East since the mid 8th century. In 750AD, the Persians resumed power under the guise of the Abassid who promptly build Baghdad (old Persian for "God's Garden") and moved their capital there. Over time, the Mongols invaded and then the Turks took over and remained the dominant force until the end of WWI. Since then, it's been Israel and Iran who have vied for power. Turkey has tried to regain strength, but it just doesn't have what it needs. It has neither the organization nor the brainpower to do it (believe me, the vast majority of Turks are like sheep and - ironically - have NO desire to incorporate anyone or anything "non-Turkish" into Turkey. For them, having a part of the country or a population which doesn't speak Turkish as their first language is a disaster/embarrassment). The Arabs have really just been something to control and direct vs. something that controls and directs itself (Simply since the fall of the Ottoman Empire, T.E. Lawrence organized them, the French and British colonized them, the socialists armed and trained them, and now the US and Iran are vying for influence/control in the area).

Turkey missed its chance to become a major player in the region when it insisted on funding the unpopular Islamicists in Syria (particularly Jebhat al Nusra and the Islamic Brotherhood - which actually rules Turkey under the name "AKP") instead of funding the extremely popular and largely secularist Free Syrian Army and Syrian National Council (which hosts a much larger number of Christians than the government as well as other minorities). What Turkey has allowed is for the US and Russia to carve up the area and establish a Kurdish state in Syria, which will automatically usher in a Kurdish state in Turkey in the near future. The Turkish Kurds live in the area that contains most of Turkey's hydroelectric dams and natural gas reserves. If the Kurds break away or gain a level of autonomy, it will be a disaster for Turkey, just imagine if about a 1/4 of the US suddenly broke away).

But it all makes sense. In the last several years, Israel has rekindled its normally happy relationship with Kurds and has even been rumored to have been sending weapons to various Kurdish groups. Also, Russia has warmed up to them and the US, of course, is the main friend of Kurds (when people ask us where we're from, we asked them to say first. They'll say Turkey and my wife says "Syria" but when I say "America", they'll usually smile, lean in, and point to themselves and say "Ben Kurdomanim!" ("I'm Kurdish!"). Israel is a strategic position, but the US attempt at creating an anti-Iranian buffer state in Iraq (the real reason for the invasion, just look at a map of US military bases in the world, they're concentrated on the boarders of Iran), it needs a new friend in the area. Russia is also anxious about Iran, which it views as a possible loose canon. The solution? The Kurds. They're treated badly and have national aspirations, they're completely unorganized and thus fairly easy to take advantage of an, unlike the Arabs, they're generally very loyal - and even better, there are huge numbers of then in Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and - best of all - Iran.

What is clear that is going on now is that the US and Israel and keeping the war going in Syria as a way to wear down Hezbollah and get rid of radical Sunni elements. The Sunnis and the Shia hate each other passionately. To the other, each one is the ultimate in moral filth, infidelity to God, and betrayal. The way the US and Israel look at it, let them battle it out for awhile and watch as the cream of Hezbollah's military crop is eliminated. Several months ago, Hezbollah sent in 2,000 of their best soldiers and it's believed that more than half have been killed or seriously wounded. Several thousand more of lesser skill are rumored to have gone in and are effectively doing all of the fighting as the regular Syrian army has completely atrophied due to KIAs and the majority of it defecting to the opposition or simply running away to Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, or Iraq. It's gotten to the point at which the government has begun to draft 15 and 16 year old boys as well as men in their 50's (known as the (lijaan sha3bia) to fight.

What all this means is that he defense of southern Lebanon (done almost exclusively by Hezbollah) has been stripped and will continue to be stripped in order to control Syria. It also means that Iran drains its economy supporting Syria and Hezbollah in what has proven to be an extremely costly war for both sides.

Submitting....

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Reader comments (82) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
1Plenty to chew on [1211 words]David W. LincolnJun 10, 2013 11:24206872
10The hidden origin of Islam [552 words]dhimmi no moreJun 11, 2013 06:12206872
3Abbasid and Muslim Caliphate [257 words]seven upJun 13, 2013 12:12206872
9Our dear 7 Up and ignorance is bliss! [1690 words]dhimmi no moreJun 15, 2013 07:24206872
1Also, on the "hidden origins"... [122 words]JC VaughanJun 18, 2013 15:08206872
The hidden origin of Islam revisited [286 words]dhimmi no moreJun 19, 2013 07:09206872
1revisionist historians of Islam beware. [211 words]MozereJun 22, 2013 06:33206872
2the Truth - abbasid Caliphate [909 words]Gaurdian of DeenJun 22, 2013 14:55206872
3The looters join other looters this is a fact [727 words]dhimmi no moreJun 23, 2013 07:09206872
2Teaching victims of Arabian imperialism one at a time part one [1170 words]dhimmi no moreJun 23, 2013 07:59206872
2Our dear GoD is saying that Muhammad must be the author of Suart al-Ruum what a disaster [445 words]dhimmi no moreJun 23, 2013 09:35206872
2Islam and racism and the victims of Arabian imperialism [256 words]dhimmi no moreJun 23, 2013 10:43206872
3Adna means Nearest! And half knowledge is damn dangerous [1425 words]dhimmi no moreJun 23, 2013 11:24206872
2Exposing lies and ignorance and this is what Ibn kathir says about Q30:3 and the word al -adna [190 words]dhimmi no moreJun 23, 2013 11:35206872
4Άλωση της Κωνσταντινούπολης, and when the civilized join the barbarian [178 words]dhimmi no moreJun 23, 2013 12:08206872
2Teaching Arabic to wannabe Arabs for the readers read and laugh [887 words]dhimmi no moreJun 23, 2013 14:52206872
1More evidence from Kutub al-Turath that the word Adna means Nearer and not lowest! this time it is al-Qurtubi! [295 words]dhimmi no moreJun 24, 2013 14:08206872
Proof for all readers [56 words]Guardian of DeenJun 25, 2013 00:43206872
دنيء mean lowly [140 words]Guardian of DeenJun 25, 2013 00:57206872
Lowest point on Earth [122 words]Guardian of DeenJun 25, 2013 01:31206872
not a surprise at all [31 words]Guaridan of DeenJun 25, 2013 01:36206872
It only took 4 years [149 words]MozereJun 25, 2013 16:18206872
6The Quranic disaster of Surat al-Ruum! Again! [1971 words]dhimmi no moreJun 26, 2013 07:30206872
Prophecies of Muhammad [315 words]Guardian of DeenJun 26, 2013 08:09206872
4Exposing lies: this time Quranic translations of the word al-adna! [593 words]dhimmi no moreJun 26, 2013 13:13206872
2Teaching ignorant tablighees one at a time and this time the map of the last Persian/Greek war [89 words]dhimmi no moreJun 26, 2013 13:27206872
2Teaching Arabic to wannabe arabs and the word Greek in Arabic and the word Ruum [638 words]dhimmi no moreJun 26, 2013 13:49206872
1Tablighees are told if you have no answers then change the subject or الحيدة [155 words]dhimmi no moreJun 27, 2013 06:33206872
Mongol and other tribal invasions and origins of Abrahamic religions [115 words]MozereJun 27, 2013 07:02206872
1More ignorance [699 words]dhimmi no moreJun 27, 2013 07:09206872
1More lies and ignorance [147 words]dhimmi no moreJun 27, 2013 07:51206872
2Our dear Guardian is quoting kuffar sources and he rejects Islamic sources! What a disaster [589 words]dhimmi no moreJun 28, 2013 06:39206872
2When confronted with fact - change the topic! [381 words]dhimmi no moreJun 28, 2013 07:02206872
and speaking of changing the subject [60 words]Guardian of DeenJun 29, 2013 09:03206872
1The civilized and the barbarian [217 words]dhimmi no moreJun 29, 2013 09:49206872
read the map one more time, [81 words]Guardian of DeenJun 29, 2013 09:54206872
you could not refute any prophecy [723 words]Guardian of DeenJul 3, 2013 02:31206872
2The flat Quranic earth! [391 words]dhimmi no moreJul 3, 2013 08:44206872
1And the ignorance goes on and on [371 words]dhimmi no moreJul 3, 2013 08:58206872
1Our dear GoD prays to Muhammad what a disaster [762 words]dhimmi no moreJul 4, 2013 12:51206872
1More tablighee twsists and turns [284 words]dhimmi no moreJul 5, 2013 06:56206872
2Allah tells Muhammad in the Qur'an that he cannot foretell the future! So do you disagree with Allah our dear Guardian? [97 words]dhimmi no moreJul 5, 2013 12:50206872
nice try [67 words]Guardian of DeenJul 5, 2013 16:45206872
1Exposing lies and fabrications and ignorance [176 words]dhimmi no moreJul 6, 2013 06:27206872
here are the verses of the unseen [107 words]Guardian of DeenJul 7, 2013 06:10206872
reply to your questions [152 words]Guardian of DeenJul 7, 2013 06:20206872
lazy ... [21 words]Guardian of DeenJul 9, 2013 03:34206872
1Teaching Arabic to wannabe Arabs [387 words]dhimmi no moreJul 9, 2013 16:31206872
Adna again! [175 words]dhimmi no moreJul 9, 2013 16:39206872
2More lies and exposing liars [882 words]dhimmi no moreJul 9, 2013 18:11206872
Getting confused? or struck dumb? [45 words]Guardian of DeenJul 11, 2013 02:59206872
here is another translation for the word low [55 words]Guardian of DeenJul 11, 2013 03:08206872
1Tablighee twists and turns [73 words]dhimmi no moreJul 11, 2013 06:23206872
More twists and turns [73 words]dhimmi no moreJul 12, 2013 05:52206872
2More tablighee ignorance [162 words]dhimmi no moreJul 12, 2013 07:20206872
Adna means low [71 words]forkNov 29, 2019 05:02206872
Our dear Fork needs to stick to Urdu! And Argument from "But al-Qurtubi was human and not infallible" [454 words]dhimmi no moreDec 1, 2019 08:02206872
al-Tabari defines the word Adna! More disasters for our dear Fork who needs to stick to Urdu! [185 words]dhimmi no moreDec 1, 2019 08:26206872
More disasters for our dear Fork and this time translations of the Qur'an [110 words]dhimmi no moreDec 1, 2019 08:39206872
Our dear Fork aka شوكة and argument from: Ask a Christian Arabic! Oh is this another ridiculous "Brother Christian Arabs call their God Allah"? [144 words]dhimmi no moreDec 1, 2019 11:38206872
Our dear Fork where is your evidence that "Adna means low"? I will be waiting [418 words]dhimmi no moreDec 2, 2019 06:54206872
Our dear Fork is not aware that al-Mufasereen have no clue what does the Qur'an say in Surat al-Ruum! [678 words]dhimmi no moreDec 3, 2019 12:28206872
Adna has two meanings like I said before [108 words]ForkDec 16, 2019 19:09206872
Adna has more than one meanings [101 words]ForkDec 16, 2019 20:11206872
Your comment shows you dont know what you are talking about. Proof in comment below. [87 words]ForkDec 16, 2019 20:26206872
1Dhimmi-no-more's repeated arguments with Islamists show that Islamic doctrine cannot be sustained [379 words]PrashantDec 17, 2019 23:09206872
Our dear Fork must be saying that Arabic speaking Mufasereen are a bunch of liars and he has the answer [393 words]dhimmi no moreDec 26, 2019 09:04206872
Our dear Fork and the Qur'an says that the earth is flat! [351 words]dhimmi no moreDec 26, 2019 09:24206872
Our dear Fork al-Tablighee is not aware that his link from elmaany dictionary tells us that Adna means NEAR! I wonder why? [1114 words]dhimmi no moreDec 26, 2019 09:41206872
Every tablighee and his cousin and Arabic to English translations of the Islamic literary sources and it is a disaster [146 words]dhimmi no moreDec 26, 2019 09:54206872
More questions for our dear Fork! [46 words]dhimmi no moreDec 26, 2019 09:57206872
The Qur'an and modern Arabic! [270 words]dhimmi no moreDec 26, 2019 13:04206872
Our dear Fork and teaching the Arabic language to wannabe Arabs and the word for today: دنيء [359 words]dhimmi no moreDec 27, 2019 05:46206872
Here is Tafsir al-Tabari of Q7:169 and the word al-Adna [202 words]dhimmi no moreDec 28, 2019 07:33206872
Our dear Fork: You need to stick to Urdu and stay away from "googletranslate" [56 words]dhimmi no moreDec 28, 2019 07:42206872
More disasters for our dear Fork is not aware that the Qur'an says: Allah did not send any miracles to Muhammad! [244 words]dhimmi no moreDec 30, 2019 11:18206872
More disasters for our dear Fork and this time from Tafsir al-Jalalyin and Q7:169 [249 words]dhimmi no moreJan 1, 2020 12:12206872
Book Review: "Corrections in Early Qur'an Manuscripts" [407 words]dhimmi no moreJan 7, 2020 11:30206872
4Jewish Prophets Words Bear Fact in the Coming Middle-East Wars [477 words]BrianJun 9, 2013 23:46206865
Go Brian Go! [8 words]FroikeJun 21, 2013 12:02206865
The Republic of Turkey [73 words]MozereJun 22, 2013 03:57206865
not quite true [124 words]Guardian of DeenJun 29, 2013 09:42206865

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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