A Suggestion for Vladimir Putin

So, not only is Russia involved in a major attempt to prevent Islamic lunatics from Syria and Iraq from attacking his own country, but he has a big debt to pay to Turkey.  Here's my suggestion of something that the whole world could do to deal with both problems.

This is a map of the traditionally Kurdish areas, stretching from Turkey to Iran:

Please note that, if you look online, you will find a number of similar maps, none of which quite agrees with the others about exactly which areas are predominantly Kurdish; this one is typical of them.

I am proposing that it is time that a Kurdish state be recognized in this area (perhaps, for political reasons, excluding the territory in Iran.)  This would place a buffer state between Russia and ISIS, which would be highly opposed to any ISIS expansion, and at the same time finally penalizing the Turks for their century-long persecution of the Kurds.

In return for international support for this action, which would be highly beneficial for Russia's security, we should get Putin to accept what is obvious:  Bashir al Assad is congenitally incapable of governing his country.  His government must be replaced by one with some hope of leading Syria out of its current chaos, perhaps picked by the six nations and Iran that forged the Iranian nuclear deal, and with a firm commitment of support from them.  There is no hope of a decent resolution of the Syrian situation while the pathetic Assad remains at the head of his government; we all know this.  So, let's move on:  an independent Kurdistan and a government capable of handling Syria.  What could there possibly be to lose with a deal like this, which, by the way, represents what is going to inevitably happen one way or the other, with much more carnage, the longer it lasts?


Anonymous said…
Dude you are whistling for the wind if think there's some alternative to Assad that isn't ISIS. We've been down this road before. There are things WORSE than a secular Authoritarian like Assad and ISIS is certainly one of them. Remember how things were supposed to go once we got rid of Sadaam? And Qadaffi?
Dikran Hagopian said…
You anti-Armenian bigot,

Turkey still has a debt to pay for killing us and for a century of genocide denial.

You could have Turkey hand over its portion of historic Armenia to current Armenia. Give Armenia the land where Armenians were in the majority before the Turks killed them. Where Armenians lived for 2,500 years before the Genocide. Where we lived for 1,500 years before the Turks ever moved in.

But, no. It's only the Kurds that get land. There were Kurds who helped the Turks in the Armenian Genocide, but you don't care about that, you Armenian-hater.

Oh, and you've also applauded kicking the Greeks out of Western Anatolia. The place where Greeks had lived for 2,500 years before they had been kicked out. The place where they had lived for 1,500 years before the Turks arrived. Shouldn't you be in favor of giving it to Greece?

But, no.

I used to think that you just wanted special rights for Jews. You give them Israel because the Jews lived there 2000 years ago, but kick out the Greeks from where they had been living for over 2000 years.

I was wrong. You now give special rights to the Kurds -- giving them land for being merely persecuted by the Turks -- when you deny us any reparations for the Turks trying to exterminate us.

There's no punishment for the Turks for killing Armenians, but there is for hurting a few Kurds. That's pure anti-Armenian racism.

But you're just not anti-Armenian. You're an anti-Christian hater too.

Zog said…
Three questions:

(1) Let's say Turkey (which belongs to NATO) doesn't want to give up any territory.
How do you get it to agree to the deal?

(2) How would it look if the United States makes a nominal ally give up any claim to its territory, especially when that ally is one of only two NATO members whose population is majority Islamic?

(3) How would various groups within Syria react if seven other countries decide who its leader should be?
Grung_e_Gene said…
Unfortunately,, Turkey and Iran would never agree to the creation of a Kurdish Homeland and they will certainly never cede any terrority for that goal.
Infidel753 said…
It's an attractive idea and certainly a just one. There's actually some real hope for a Kurdish state in the Kurdish area of Iraq and Syria, once Dâ'ish (ISIL) is defeated. The problem is that Turkey is too powerful to be coerced into giving up its part of Kurdistan (even aside from the issue of its being a NATO member), and it's hard to imagine any Turkish government doing so willingly.

As for Syria, I suppose a decent government must be possible, but damned if I can see how we get to that from the present situation. The only periods when the Middle East has had prolonged peace and anything like a decent life have been the periods when all these local statelets were subsumed within big empires --- Roman, Arab, Ottoman, or (multiple times) Persian. Iraq and Syria are on a trajectory toward ending up as Persian satrapies anyway. Maybe that's for the best.
joseph said…

The idea that Assad is the ONLY alternative to ISIS ignores the reality of the region. Assad is not going to be able to rule a largely Sunni country. He, and his father, ruled through fascist means, which was accepted by the populace prior to the Arab Spring. They are not going to go back to that now. ISIS is preferable by much of the country because it is Sunni, less kleptocratic, and accepted by many tribal leaders. To defeat ISIS, the world has to come up with an alternative that is Sunni, less kleptocratic, and acceptable to tribal leaders.
Green Eagle said…
1. At this point, I don't really care what Turkey thinks about this deal. Their long abuse of the Kurds has rendered their opinion irrelevant.

2. I expect that the vast majority of Syrians, particularly the half of the country that is now displaced, would be grateful for a stable government, even if it fell short of what we would accept in the West (not that the current example of Koch Brothers USA is any shining example.) Hafez al Assad was a butcher and a horrible dictator, but at least he kept the country together. His son is a pathetic putz who will never be able to function. We all know this; the challenge is just how to get rid of him without his being replaced by ISIS or aomeone equally bad.

I respect the reservations about how Turkey would feel about this, and about the difficulty of what I am proposing for Syria; it is just that, today at least, this seems to be the easiest solution of this problem.

Now, as for Dikran Hagopian. Dikran, you are a miserable liar about what I have said in the past, and a hate filled jerk. I am actually guessing that you are an anti-Armenian troll who is trying to damage the position of Armenians by passing yourself off as one of them, and flaunting the worst racist stereotypes of what Armenians are like.
Zog said…
"At this point, I don't really care what Turkey thinks about this deal. Their long abuse of the Kurds has rendered their opinion irrelevant."

This doesn't solve the problem -- if Turkey opposes the deal, how do you get them to give up their portion of Kurdistan? War? Declaring war on another NATO member doesn't look that good. If not war, what else is there?

The plan of the mice to put a bell on the cat's neck was another good one, except for the fact that you couldn't find a mouse willing to perform the task.

We've also got another problem -- how will the rest of the Islamic world look upon this? Spain wasn't carved up due to their long abuse of the Basques or Catalans, and Germany wasn't forced to give up land for a Jewish state. It's just the only longstanding Muslim member of NATO that's being carved up.

One of the major recruitment tools of groups such as al-Qaeda and ISIS is their claim that the West despises Muslims and imposes a double standard on them. Carving up Turkey for their treatment of the Kurds but not Germany for its treatment of the Jews just plays into their propaganda war.


Now, Green Eagle, one thing about Dikran. He's stumbled onto something. Under your plan, Turkey would have to give up land to the Kurds. However, as he points out, despite the fact that they expelled the Greeks after World War I and killed the Armenians during that war, they don't have to give up land to either Greece or Armenia.

So, of the three ethnic groups that Turkey mistreated, they only have to give up land to the group that they didn't get rid of. They don't have to give anything to the two groups they did get rid of (by expulsion or genocide).

What's the message from all this? If you have an ethnic group you don't like, don't let them stay around. Get rid of them, and you won't have to give up anything of yours. It encourages ethnic cleansing, which is something we really don't want to do.

This plan sends two very bad messages to those not immediately involved, which is a huge problem with it.

Green Eagle said…
Zog, the notion of an independent Kurdistan has been discussed for decades. I have never heard of anyone calling for giving part of Turkey to the Greeks, and as for the Armenians, they do, actually, have a country of their own, carved out of the territory of their former oppressors.

So, the situations are not really comparable, nor would the rest of the world stand to gain from giving more Turkish lands to the Greeks or Armenians.

I want to add that the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire clearly did not go far enough, corrupted as it was by abuses perpetrated by the mandatory powers England and France. Westerners are really responsible for a good deal of the chaos they left behind in the Middle East. The rejection of an independent Kurdish region was a result of the self-serving Cairo conference pf 1921. The battles between Turkey and Russia which resulted in the current boundaries of Armenia, and the situation with Greeks were not primarily instigated by the West. My proposal is to try to undo the damage the West did, and then worry about other issues.

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