For much of the past week, our political and media elites alike have been unduly obsessed with the nuances — or, as is more often the case, the pompously asserted lack of any underlying nuance — of the present imbroglio involving President Donald Trump, Hamas-bankrolling Islamofascist nut job Turkish kingpin Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the Kurds of Northern Syria. I, for one, am genuinely shocked to see the ubiquitous nature of the bipartisan outcry. Who knew that everyone apparently cared so much about the stateless Kurds?
There are a lot of very smart, astute commentators and politicians on the Right who are pulling their hair out in agony over Trump’s decision to withdraw fewer than 100 troops — yes, we are literally talking here about fewer than 100 U.S. troops — from their flank in northern Syria. Those with a longer memory may recall that, last December, Trump almost removed 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria before ultimately changing his mind. The present withdrawal is roughly 5% of last year’s publicly floated withdrawal. And while it is true that the presence of U.S. troops in the region does protect the Kurds, whose peshmergas proved indispensable tactical allies in the elimination of Islamic State’s physical “caliphate,” there are at least three additional compelling factors that make the political calculus here much trickier than it may appear.
First, as Andy McCarthy notes at National Review, the reality is that the Kurds are not necessarily the angelic, morally righteous figures that our political and media elites are holding them out to be. The U.S. should not generally be in the business of serving up its anti-Islamic State tactical partners as sacrificial offerings, but the reality is that Turkey’s Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), of which the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) is the U.S.-backed Syrian offshoot, is — and remains — a formally designated terrorist organization under U.S. law. Second, Turkey, while horrifically transmogrified into a dictatorial, Islamist, Muslim Brotherhood-funding geopolitical nightmare under Erdogan’s rule, is — and remains — a NATO member. Third, there is simply no political will in the U.S. to have our soldiers continue to referee centuries-long internecine Islamic conflicts — such as the dispute between the Turks and the Kurds — that lack a truly compelling U.S. strategic interest. Instead, as the always-incisive Caroline Glick hinted at earlier today, there is something to be said for what Sarah Palin once said in 2013: “Let Allah sort it out.”
This seems like a rather positive development, in a Machiavellian sort of way. Turkey leads the Sunni jihadists. Iran leads the Shiite jihadists and they are priming for a war against one another?https://t.co/ES8UaGEmlL
— Caroline Glick (@CarolineGlick) October 10, 2019
Despite loathing Erdogan, therefore, I reluctantly find myself in agreement with McCarthy — the situation on the ground is nuanced, there are complex factors that soberly caution against many of our understandable initial instincts, and it is difficult to fault the president too much for wanting to avoid a military conflict with a NATO member. Indeed, the political calculus would — or at least should — be very different in a world in which Turkey is kicked out of NATO. As it should be.
To be sure, it is nice to see Americans — especially those on the Left — finally waking up to the threat that is Erdogan’s Turkey. But here is the question I keep on asking myself: Where are all of these same political and media elites, who care oh so very much about the byzantine border intricacies of the Turkish/Kurdish conflict, when it comes to the harrowingly lawless situation on our very own southern border with Mexico?
Where are these same political and media elites when it comes to the John C. Calhoun-style neo-Confederates that comprise Supremacy Clause-defying sanctuary city jurisdictions? Where are these same political and media elites when it comes to the countless crimes — every single one of which is preventable, were we only to have the will to enforce our own enacted laws — committed by readily deportable illegal aliens? Where are these same political and media elites when it comes to the need to secure the line, once and for all, with additional Border Patrol and, if need be, hard military assets? Where are these same political and media elites when it comes to the need to formally designate the leading human trafficking rings and transnational criminal cartels as terrorist organizations? Where are these same political and media elites when it comes to the need to end our bogus faux-“asylum” regime that, in combination with the mass catch-and-release promulgated by the erroneous Flores consent decree, mandates mass havoc all across the land? Where are these same political and media elites when it comes, more generally, to the systemic fiscal, cultural, and security costs of the limitless post-1965 immigration — both legal and illegal — to which We the People have manifestly not provided our societal consent?
It is truly baffling that so many people in America seem to care so much more about a highly complex, centuries-long Islamic ethnic war than they do about the very war collectively declared by the cartels, over the past record-breaking year, upon our own national sovereignty. Indeed, the forgotten American cares far, far more about our own border security than he cares about the border security of an Islamic U.S.-designated terror group offshoot halfway around the world. But tragically, both political parties seem to have forgotten about the forgotten American.