Someone said my blog about ISIS put the “jerk” in a “knee-jerk” reaction. My point was that our administration is exploring making common cause with Assad to defeat ISIS. Not so long ago President Obama threatened to bomb Assad into submission to save ISIS and its allies. We need a long term strategy for the Middle East, not a policy that simply calls for challenging the “villain of the month.”
So what would I propose ot handle ISIS? The same call I made while serving at our embassy in Ankara 35 years ago - give the Kurds a homeland. We now have a de facto “Kurdistan” in northern Iraq where the Iraqis cannot defend the Kurds from ISIS and the Kurds are doing the job with American military support. Let’s back the Kurds against ISIS, not Assad. And they can do the job, remember Arabs achieved their greatest power under a Kurd, Saladin.
So declare a Kurd homeland there and then negotiate an extension into Kurdish lands in Syria. Easy deal for Assad, give up a piece of territory for support against ISIS which also threatens him. Of course adding Kurdish lands in Turkey and Iran will take more time. But it would be a start.
And what would the US gain? For starters, a real check on ISIS. We could form a key alliance with which we would be able to influence events in the region. Our commitment to the Middle East would be clearly evident. And the Kurds would probably flourish with American trade and investment. Most of all we would establish a long term strategy for the region, our alliance with the Kurds.
But this would be too imaginative for our present administration which will rattle our sable against ISIS until President Obama once more discovers the American people have no stomach for direct involvement in Middle East conflicts other than to support and defend our close allies, which could include the Kurds.