Editor, The Times:
When ISIS first burst onto the scene (they had been around for a while but the emphasis was on getting rid of that ‘baddy’ Assad – make no mistake Assad is a ‘baddy’ but he’s just a ‘baddy’ among a lot of baddies), they attacked the Iraqi Army, which folded like a pricked balloon – running away, shedding their uniforms, leaving millions of dollars worth of military equipment in the hands of ISIS to be turned against the Iraqis and others opposed to the new Caliphate.
The situation was so bad that the Iranians sent in at least one elite unit to bolster the stricken Iraqis. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
In the meantime, the Syrian Kurds stood their ground as the city of Kobani, situated on the Turkish border, became a ‘Hero City’ where the Kurds beat off attack after attack by ISIS. They even survived one attack coming from behind across the Turkish border.
The Turks turned a blind eye to ISIS fighters crossing their border. However, with the U.S. led coalition bombing the heck out of everything, the Kurds held out, then counterattacked, winning a few battles against this terrible bunch of head-choppers and burn-em-alivers.
Not only did the Kurds stand solid but they sparked a social revolution. Women fought along side their men. There was equal recognition for all religions.
I use the past tense here because as I’m writing this the Iraqi army is sweeping through what was supposed to be Kurdistan in northern Iraq.
So those women who have fought alongside the men will be forced back into the burkas and the niqabs – although one doubts if they will go quietly.
As Gwynne Dyer has pointed out, the Kurds are once again going to be betrayed. However, as Dyer puts it, “… betraying the Kurds is an old Middle Eastern tradition.”
Sadly, Canada looks like it is going to be part of this betrayal. I personally believe that Canadians, being such small players, have not much choice in the matter.
So far most of the Kurds’ anger appears to be directed against the Americans. Well, there is the saying that whenever Americans get involved it ends badly!
This especially poignant as Nov. 11 slips onto us. Is this perhaps something that one doesn’t want to remember?