69 million page views

Rubber Banding Mapping Boundaries

Reader comment on item: Dubious U.S. Mission in Syria
in response to reader comment: The Kobane Front: Latest Map; similar to Warsaw, 1945

Submitted by M. Tovey (United States), Oct 13, 2014 at 15:44

While an analogy, and certainly arguable one, can be made in likening the Kobani 'crISIS' to the World War Two scenario of the Soviet conquest of Eastern Europe at the Polish doorstep, there are just as many circumstances that make the distinctions just as remarkable, not the least of which is that Turkey appears to be 'waiting in the wings,' wanting a fresh perspective as whose side they want to be on when Syria finally implodes. Iraq is just as marginal as well.

To be sure, there is no love lost between the Turkish government and ANY associations with the Kurdish ambitions of a reestablishing a homeland (Kurdistan ambitions being discussed elsewhere) that must inevitably involve Turkish territory. Yet ISIS/ISIL/IS is making no such distinctions of frontiers either; that al-Baghdadi's ambitions are every bit as challenging as Turkish PM Erdoǧan's for a new caliphate.

Somewhere in the shadows are the whisperings of strengthening Turkish ties with the Russians; which if true, is an interesting development that literally pits many contravening ideologies and disparate intentions into a play for power that cannot help but to put the Middle East into such a disarray that apparently no one is currently able to fathom. There has got to be a Tom Clancy novel in here somewhere.

So, in a mapping challenge, where does the ISIS/ISIL/IS expect its 'fertile crescent' boundary to be established if they can repudiate and repulse all other claims to being the reigning caliphate? And just as importantly, how does the Iranian component fit into all of this. They have thoughts of the Kurdish influences they thought were under their control and now it is not so clear. The location of the 'fertile crescent' buffers the Iranians from their proxy fights they started and now wonder how to finish them.

After all, isn't of all this about fighting proxy wars in the Middle East and apparently ISIS/ISIL/IS is not playing well with others? And as noted in elsewhere in this topic chain whether the Turks fear Russians and Chinese, was it not in this forum that we read that Turkey wanted a part of the Russian-Chinese alliance pact? It is that alliance that may be the trigger that puts ISIS/ISIL/IS in their place; or maybe that is a future alliance no one can see yet; a caliphate that take in all the regions in question.


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".

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2024 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)