Here’s a must-read column by Spengler in the Asia Times. Concerning our “friends” the Turks, and, more generally, Iraq and the entire Middle East. There’s a lot in this column, but let’s start with the Turkish fit in response to a non-binding resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives:
News accounts link Turkey’s threat to invade northern Iraq with outrage over a resolution before the US Congress recognizing that Turkey committed genocide against its Armenian population in 1915. American diplomats are in Ankara seeking to persuade the Turks to stay on their side of the border. Why the Turks should take out their rancour at the US on the Kurds might seem anomalous until we consider that the issue of Armenian genocide has become a proxy for Turkey’s future disposition towards the Kurds. “We did not exterminate the Armenians,” Ankara says in effect, “and, by the way, we’re going to not exterminate the Kurds, too.”
As for the president’s objections, as well as those of many Republicans, this:
The sorry spectacle of an American president begging Congress not to affirm what the whole civilized world knows to be true underlines the overall stupidity of US policy towards the Middle East. It is particularly despicable for a Western nation to avert its eyes from a Muslim genocide against a Christian population.
Spengler’s solution to the whole mess? And by mess I mean not just the Turks, but the Kurds, the Sunnis, the Shiites, the Persians, etc. etc. world without end, amen:
Live and let die, I propose instead. For the past seven years I have argued that the West cannot avoid perpetual conflict in the Middle East, and, rather than seeking stability, should steer the instability towards its own ends. Washington should forget about Turkish support in Iraq, allow the Mesopotamian entity to disintegrate into its constituent parts, while helping the Kurds maintain autonomy against Iraq. That would teach the Turks to bite the hand that feeds them. A pro-Western Kurdish state would strengthen Washington’s hand throughout region, with adumbrations in Syria and Iran as well as Turkey. (emphasis added)
Live and let die. Kind of sums up what we should have done a long, long time ago. These peoples are primitive; still wed, for the most part, to tribes and clans. And to eradicating those from different tribes and clans.
Iraq is a fiction, and a bad horror story at that. As Spengler reminds us, there are sizable ethnic minorities in all of the significant “nations” in the region. And all of them are restive; anxious to join with their fellows, and national boundaries be damned. Boundaries all to often drawn by former colonial powers.
For better or worse, we’re now the custodians of this foul brew in the Middle East. I would vote for partition of Iraq, and arm all sides. Keep a significant fighting force in the region, perhaps in the new nation of Kurdistan, and hunt down would-be terrorists. With no respect for any national boundaries. We’re the big dogs; we set the boundaries.
We won’t be loved for doing this, except, perhaps, by the Kurds. On the other hand, right now we are despised by the feckless Euros who lack the stones to fight anyone, and hated with a purple passion by the jihadis in the Middle East. They’ll continue to hate us, no matter what we do. So, as Spengler wisely advises, if there’s to be wars and rumors of wars, let’s use them to our advantage.
At the very least, so that our men don’t die.