Is this what is driving US Kurdish policy?


"Maj. Gen. Yair Golan also said that he saw ISIS fighters walking on the Syrian-Israeli front, and that he “can cope with that”. However, Maj. Gen. Yair Golan said that he can’t cope with Iran, and said that Iran is a “much more threatening compared to the ISIS threat.”

“Because the Iranians are sophisticated, they are a higher form of civilization, they have a nice academic infrastructure, nice industry, good scientists, many talented young people. They are very similar to us. And because they are similar to us, they are much, much more dangerous,” Maj. Gen. Golan said.

Furthermore, Maj. Gen. Golan said that Israel can effect Iran just like Iran can effect it. However, he said that Israel can’t do anything serious to Iran without a help from the USA.

And while we can achieve decisive victory over Hezbollah… and while we can defeat any Shia militia in Syria … we cannot fight Iran alone,” Maj. Gen. Yair Golan said.

Maj. Gen. Yair Golan is well-known for his controversial statements. In general, Israel officials say that his statements don’t represent the state of the official Israeli attitude. However, Maj. Gen. Golan’s statements about the Kurds and Iran clearly reflect the current policy of the Israeli government."  Golan & SF


 "During an international counter-terrorism conference in Herzliya on September 11, Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked announced that Israel supports the idea of turning Iraq’s Kurdistan Region into an independent state.

Shaked added that Israel and Western countries have a major interest in this case.

Israel [and] the Western countries have a major interest in the establishment of the state of Kurdistan,” the minister said. “I think that the time has come for the US to support the process.”

The statement came ahead a referendum on the Kurdistan Region independence from Iraq that is scheduled for September 25.

This is not the first time when top Israeli officials clearly support the idea of creation of the independnet Kurdish state in the Middle East. They expect it will be friendly toward Israel and allow to shift further the balance of power in the region.

In 2016, Ayelet Shaked already called for this during the ninth annual International INSS (Institute for National Security Studies) Conference in Israel."   Shaked & SF


If this is actual "thinking "  in current Israeli government circles, then this is yet another demonstration of the unreality of the milieu in which Israelis live.  The notion that Turkey would give up half of eastern Anatolia and the port of Iskenderun is laughable. 

Iraq, Syria and Iran are supposed to contribute Territiry and natural resources to this fantastical project hatched in Israel?

Is eastern Syria supposed to be the first "building block" for construction of Israeli Kurdistan?  pl


This entry was posted in Iran, Iraq, Israel, Middle East, Syria. Bookmark the permalink.

79 Responses to Is this what is driving US Kurdish policy?

  1. The Israelis seem far more interested in establishing a Kurdish state than a Palestinian one. I wonder why that is?

  2. Bandolero says:

    Regarding the speech of Maj. Gen. Yair Golan at Winep I found this news item in English languaged Turkish media. Quote begin TRT World:
    “PKK is not a terrorist organisation, says Israeli general
    Israel’s Major General Yair Golan went further to say that he believed that the only positive development in the Middle East was the emergence of an independent Kurdish entity. …
    The Israeli general stressed that it was his personal idea about the PKK’s position.
    “That’s the way I look at that. It’s a very personal approach. I don’t reflect here any formal position of Israel.”
    However it also does not appear as a terror group on Israeli Ministry of Justice’s list of terrorist organisations and individuals. …
    Quote end. Source:
    I think Israel is just about to develop a very fond relationship with Turkey.
    In an apparently unrelated development Turkish president Erdigan just said Turkey has already paid a deposit as part of an agreement with Russia for the purchase of S400 air defense.
    And, redarding Syria’s Idlib province, Erdogan not only had warm words for Russia, but also for Iran. Quote begin Sputnik:
    Erdogan: Turkey, Russia Have No Disputes Over De-Escalation in Syria’s Idlib
    … “Currently, the process in Idlib is being executed as we agreed upon with Russia. There are no disputes with Russia on it. No controversy was brought to the agenda during our meeting with Iran. I am of the opinion that healthy talks will continue following the Astana summit. The process is developing positively,” Erdogan said, as quoted by the Hurriyet newspaper.”
    Quote end. Source:
    What I wonder is, if Turkey doesn’t like the idea of an Israeli Kurdistan, which LOCs are the Israelis planning to use to support their Israeli Kurdistan?

  3. eakens says:

    The Israelis started betting on the Kurds shortly after 9/11. Here’s a 13-year old article in the New Yorker about this:
    The Iranians and Turks have also been aware of Israeli activities in “Kurdistan”, and so it is a farcical dream to think they would allow the creation of such a state given today’s situation. Perhaps immediately after going into Iraq, this might have been more likely, but now that the US sees what sort of damage the Iranians and their proxies can wreak, it’s unlikely there would be the will to try to bring such a state about.

  4. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    Col. Lang, SST;
    “Ayelet Shaked, the izzie justice minister”-is there really justice to administer in izziistan?
    It is nice to see the mask of the izzies slipping- their goal was always to remove all aspects of modernism in MENA to ensure their own dominance. The suppression of secular Arab nationalism, the promotion of wahabism, the break-up of Turkey and the promotion of kurdish aspirations were major pieces of this Borg gambit. This gambit worked well until they made the mistake of trying to take out Russia concurrently using Ukraine/Crimea as a starting point. Now the Borg and its “brain team” have a problem. So do their “collaborators” in MENA. The Borg will do its damnedest to achieve through “soft power” what it lost on the battlefield. There is an even chance that it might still prevail-but it will be uphill work for them. This will be fun to watch.
    Ishmael Zechariah

  5. Oilman2 says:

    It seems as if others are thinking Syria should donate their oilfields to the new country, whatever it is called…

  6. Kooshy says:

    Colonel IMO, after the defeat of Syrian regime change project, Israelis, and thier international Borg backers are adopting old king Crimson song lyrics as thier new policy that is
    “Confusion will be my epitaph. As I crawl a cracked and broken path. If we make it we can all sit back and laugh, But I fear tomorrow I’ll be crying, Yes I fear tomorrow I’ll be crying.”

  7. Kooshy says:

    “which LOCs are the Israelis planning to use to support their Israeli Kurdistan?”
    Their’ and thier American backer’ current fantasy is a LOC from Jordan, to eastern Syria up to northern Syria, Iraq , which also kills the east west Shia LOC

  8. turcopolier says:

    Cameron Kelley
    I suppose that is a facetious question, but, if it is not, the Kurds are not competing with Israel for Eretz Israel. pl

  9. mike says:

    My two cents on what is driving US Kurdish policy:
    In Syria the original dumpkopf US behavior of arming un-vetted FSA groups was at the urging of Israel, Turkey, the Saudis, and the Gulf States. That had nothing to do with the Kurds. US antipathy for Iran since October 1983 was probably also the basis of that policy.
    Our later policy of siding with the Syrian Kurds against Daesh was started after freelance US journalist was beheaded on video by Daesh in October 2014. Our airstrikes on Daeshis at Kobani which helped to lift the Turkish/Daesh siege of Kobani happened shortly after Foley’s beheading. That unofficial alliance has continued ever since. There is no attempt by the Syrian Kurds or by the US to establish an independent Syrian Kurdistan. That conspiracy theory was being pushed by the Turks who are worried about their own Kurdish minority and by the IRGC for the same reasons (and maybe for their view of the Syrian Kurds as atheists). But that conspiracy theory is now apparently also being pushed by Israel through MajGen Golan. Why? Most likely to sow discord.
    In Iraq, the US has advised the KRG against holding the independence referendum, which is scheduled in less than two weeks. Threats to Iraqi Kurdistan if they dare to issue their own Declaration of Independence are being thrown around by some in southern Iraq and in neighboring countries. If there is violence I do not believe any US response there will be due to Israeli influence. ExxonMobil has investments there made by T-Rex Tillerson before he became SecState. By the way the Russian oil conglomerate ROSNEFT also has deals in Iraqi Kurdistan, both for oil and other commercial interests. So the Putin and Lavrov will mediate any violent disturbances there. The Koch Brother billionaires, who got 90% or Republican Senators and Congressmen elected, are reported to have investments in the KRG. Plus Senator Corker has a substantial Kurdish-American constituency in Nashville as does Congressman Duncan Hunter in San Diego. That is and will be the basis of our policy in Iraqi Kurdistan. Israelis IMHO are just trying to stir up trouble in the region with this latest from MajGen Golan.

  10. Kooshy says:

    Two points, even before 9/11 off and on all westerners especially French were fantasizing and helping Kurds in case one day they become useful, this I heard from a french diplomat. But more importantly Kurds mountain people they are not trained or use to ( uncapable) fighting and holding flat desert open land, they will be having a hard time outside their mountain territories.

  11. kao_hsien_chih says:

    Seems disturbingly like modern version of Greater Poland, born after World War I, the one that ensured that World War 2 (at least in Europe) was inevitable.

  12. Kooshy says:

    Colonel they are hoping to create a non domestic legal (fully western backed UN member state) headache in middle of 4 major muslim states, just as Israel project itself was.

  13. Bandolero says:

    “Their’ and thier American backer’ current fantasy is a LOC from Jordan, to eastern Syria up to northern Syria, Iraq , which also kills the east west Shia LOC”
    If an LOC from Jordan to support a separatist kurdish state is indeed the US ambition they behave strange. On Sunday for example Reuters reported that the US ordered it’s proxy militia from that region in Syria close to Jordan back to Jordan.
    Such an order is surely not unhelpful to the SAA which is currently gaining ground along the Syrian-Jordan border:
    If the US would want that area as a strategic LOC for a “US-Israeli Kurdistan” I’ld expect the US to bolster their forces in that area, not ordering them to pull out.

  14. turcopolier says:

    In my lifetime the US has always favored the Kurds against the governments of these countries. Justice Douglas wrote a book in the ’50s called “Journey Among Brave Men.” This was about Barzani Kurd wars against the Iraqi government, then a Hashemite kingdom. this was a very influential book at the time. Tthe State Department has always had a romantic fixation on the Kurds. Kooshy is right. What the Izzies want is an allied state that will weaken the regional government and under US protection. pl

  15. aleksandar says:

    Create a Kurdish state has nothing to do with conspiracy theory. I remember US studies from think tank during the 90′ advocating for such a move. What has changed is that most of the time, Syrian Kurds were not mentioned.
    This Rojava state is dead. Killed the day Russia brokered an agreement btw Syria and Turkey to let Turkey liberate Al Bab from ISIS and install theirs FSA proxies there.
    No LOC between Kurds in east Syria and Kurds in west Syria.This road from east to Aleppo and Tartous is the ” life line ” for an independent Kurdish state in east Syria.
    Having Kurds split in two distinctive areas is a military and political victory for Assad and Erdogan.
    Erdogan is a special guy but he is not an imbecile. He probably has already understood that he will not be allowed by the Russians to maintain his troops in Syria.
    IMO , SAA will clean this part of Syria even before reconquering Idleb.Erdogan will throw FSA under the bus and smile having SAA contolling this zone north of Al BaB up to the turkish border. After all killing this Rojava state was his aim since the beginning.

  16. Kooshy says:

    Firstly they US did not agree to pull back from Tanf for now they are keeping the base in 3 corners, secondly is this just a tactical, pullback move? above all IMO whatever and whoever this policy is, in MHOP it is a fantasy it will not work, as Colonel wrote yesterday tribal Arab shikhs, and Kurdish (democratic) warlords are not loyal including to thier own tribes and next of kin nor woleharthely will fight for anyone , once paychecks dry up.

  17. Kooshy says:

    Colonel thank you sir, IMO an independent land locked mountainous,economically insufficient Kurdistan will create a 5 way game of whack a mole that Poor village Kurds will get whacked from 4 sides (more than they are getting now) with the difference that every time Turkey a US alley bomb them you will hear nothing ( like now) but every time Iran and Syria bomb them since it not an internal matter you will have a UNSC meeting and a resolution, that is what Israel and US want.

  18. Anna says:

    On the ziocons’ orders:
    “It is now obvious that the SAA will bridge the river (all regular bridges have been destroyed by U.S. bombing) and send significant forces across. New questions now are: When, where and with what aim?
    As soon as the government intent became clear the U.S. pushed its local proxy forces to immediately snatch the ISIS held oilfields. In less than two days they deployed over 30 kilometers deep into the ISIS held areas north of the Euphrates. It is obvious that such progress could not have been made if ISIS had defended itself. …
    The U.S. diplomat tasked with the job, Brett McGurk, recently met with local tribal dignitaries of the area. Pictures of the meeting were published. Several people pointed out that the very same dignitaries were earlier pictured swearing allegiance to the Islamic State.
    Just like during the “Anbar Awaking” in its war on Iraq the U.S. is bribing the local radicals to temporarily change over to its side. This will help the U.S. to claim that it defeated ISIS. But as soon as the payments stop the very same forces will revert back to their old game. …
    Originally the U.S. had planned to let ISIS take Deir Ezzor. It had twice attacked Syrian government forces in the area killing more than a hundred of them. This had allowed ISIS to capture large chunks of the government enclave and to disable the airport which was need for resupplies.
    The Syrian government again pointed out that U.S. (and Turkish) forces on its ground are uninvited and that their presence is illegal.”

  19. Christian Chuba says:

    Interesting that these Israeli leaders are choosing the exact opposite of what most would consider the rational choice.
    Let’s see, we can have a totally insane enemy who is just as likely to do a suicide attack as eat breakfast and can expand at the blink of an eye, just because they are weak today, OR we can have a more powerful, well organized enemy who is much more rational and has a healthy fear of death. Hmm…

  20. Bandolero says:

    Yes, you’re right. The US did not agree to pull back from Tanf – for now – yet. But the presence of the – at least once – US backed forces, broadly to be described as “FSA militias” – is shrinking in that region. And that is while any possible LOC from Jordan to Kurdistan is already broken anyway, since the SAA and allied militia control a strip of land to the border east of Tanf.
    With regard to the question whether this is just a “tactical, pullback move” by these US backed FSA forces, let me just say this much: US backed “FSA” or “moderate rebel” forces announced a lot of “tactical withdrawals” in recent years, eg from Homs, Damascus, Latakia, Aleppo etc. So now they do one more “tactical withdrawal” – this time from the badia region. And I think these tactical withdrawals may well continue until Syria is free.

  21. mike says:

    Aleksandar –
    Thanks for the reply. I agree with you that Erdogan will throw his proxies in northern Aleppo under the bus. His proxies in Idlib also.
    I also remember those US think tank studies from the 1990s that you mention. You are right that the Syrian Kurds were not mentioned. It was about the Kurds in northern Iraq. It never became official US policy that I am aware of. But it has a better chance now with Senator Corker heading the Foreign Relations Committee. He has many politically active Kurdish-American voters in his home state of Tennessee.
    Rojava state?? To my knowledge the Syrian Kurds are not asking for a state, only some degree of autonomy within the Syrian State. Many in Turkey are claiming the opposite. That there are so many people here believing that is evidence that such a conspiracy exists.

  22. mike says:

    Kooshy –
    Why would Syria want to play whack-a-mole in Iraqi Kurdistan? Turkey and Iran yes, and probably Iraq also. But I don’t see Syria doing that, too much to do at home, and they have no beef with the KRG.
    In any case I would think that Putin would put a priority on protecting the interests of ROSNEFT in Iraqi Kurdistan. Do you believe that he would abandon his favorite oil company and not play a diplomatic role in stopping any violence?

  23. mike says:

    Colonel –
    I’ve read Justice Douglas’ other book on his travels throughout Iran. He championed all the common peoples there whether they were Persians, Kurds, Lurs, Armenians, Azeris or Arabs.
    He did not have anything good to say about the Shah and his cronies though.

  24. turcopolier says:

    The Greter Kurdistan is a Zionist project, not Syrian. Douglas was a leftist. He had no use for kings. pl

  25. Kooshy says:

    Mike, thank you, you sound like Richard Hess in CNN’ Freed show, do you think Russia’s Putin will give up geostrategy for more oil, as I wrote before, I believe you know better than that.

  26. mike says:

    Colonel –
    Greater Kurdistan? Yes, definitely an Israeli project. It will never happen. But are the Israelis serious about such a project? Or are they just throwing scheiss at the wall, causing hate and discontent, and hoping they can con us once again into fighting for them.
    Douglas was hated by the right. But how can anyone who defended small businessmen and small ranchers and farmers be seen as a leftist? That was the original platform of the Republican Party in the 19th Century.
    Douglas’ book I was thinking of about his travels in Iran is Strange Lands and Friendly People. A good read even if written almost 70 years ago. The one common trait he saw among all the different Iranian ethnicities was their warm hospitality.

  27. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Borg has no softpower left ehen it comes to Islamdom or to Russia. Borg cannot offer any positive vision of future to Muslims or to Russians – the failure of her goals and policies are therefore fore-ordained.

  28. mike says:

    Anna –
    “all regular bridges have been destroyed by U.S. bombing”
    The historic suspension bridge in Deir ez-Zor city was destroyed in 2013 long before the Coalition began airstrikes against Daesh in Syria. Some claim it was destroyed by jihadi shelling during a battle at the bridge, others say it was destroyed by fire from regime tanks.
    The Siyasiyeh bridge (also known as the bridge of death) was destroyed by the Syrian regime in 2014 to restrict the movement of jihadi supplies and reinforcements.
    The same Siyasiyeh bridge was attacked again, this time was totally destroyed in 2015 by the Russian Air Force. This was after the Daeshis had jury rigged a a crossing over the destriyed span.
    Neither the US nor the Coalition struck bridges in or near Deir ez-Zor city. They did take out bridges near the Iraqi border to restrict Daesh from strengthening their forces in Iraq.

  29. mike says:

    Kooshy –
    I never heard of Hess. And I generally stay away from CNN. But is that the same Freed that was touting globalization back before it became a buzz word? If so you should not trust a word he says.
    I do think Putin would love to play the peacekeeper role in Iraqi Kurdistan. Delicately of course so as not to anger Iran and Turkey. That would enhance Russia’s role as a superpower. And with ROSNEFT making money there he gets the best of both worlds.

  30. Rescue says:

    The Syrian Kurds are not Syrian, 90% of them are PKK fighters from Turkey. This is the reason that Turkey is against them, and Iran is worried as well.
    Kurdistan cannot happen as long as Iran and Turkey still exist and both are opposed– its as simple as that. The US has been trying to create a Kurdish state since the mid 80’s.
    The US plan so far has been to ensure friendship between Turkey and Iraqs Kurds, but this is now fracturing because of the referendum. Turkey controls the pipeline that allows the KRG to export oil to the international markets, if Turkey doesn’t want Kurdish independence, they can end all prospects of it rather quickly, and there is nothing the US can do about it.
    The statement by Major-general Golan was nothing more than a declaration of war against the four affected countries.

  31. The Porkchop Express says:

    Agree. But I think the Americans have also long harbored fantasies about helping the Kurds as well. The Kurds seem always stuck in a tight spot (real or imagined) and outside powers always seem more than willing to help them, but at least they’re cognizant that any help always comes with strings and will likely not bear fruit on any future national Kurdish project.
    And yes, the Kurds are a lot like the Kalash in Pakistan and the Nuris (Kafiris) in Afghanistan. Mountain folk and fiercely independent. Wide open spaces are not their “bag.”

  32. The Porkchop Express says:

    Apologies, you did write “all westerners”.

  33. turcopolier says:

    You and Mike admire Douglas because you share his politics. I do not. What we were bombing in Cambodia was NVA troops and installatopn in the jungle just across the border from VN. You object to that? pl

  34. mike says:

    Colonel –
    I was never a fan of limiting US actions in Laos and Cambodia. The NVA was there in force using it as a safe area to build up supplies in between offensives. hy should the US and the RVN be limited in that respect?
    I admire Douglas for his fight against the Wall Street banksters, his championing of the little guys standing up to the mega-corporations, his environmentalism, his love for mountains and mountaineer people. He was a avid mountaineer himself, not a technical with ropes and pitons, he just climbed peaks with a walking stick. If alive today he would have demanded we stop supporting Saudi campaigh against the Houthis; and US adventurism in Iraq and Syria. Too bad he is not still around.
    ‘outthere’ is right in describing him as a libertarian or maverick IMHO.

  35. turcopolier says:

    I was in the croos-border recon business both tours and you are right. There were camps. depots and roads everywhere just across the fence. pl

  36. mike says:

    Rescue –
    Syrian Kurds are as much Syrian citizens as the other diverse ethnic groups in Syria, including Arabs, Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians, Circassians, Mandeans, and Turkmen. Kurds are ten to 15 percent of Syria’s population. Kurds have lived in Syria since before the crusades a thousand years ago. Long before my ancestors came to this country, and before the Ottoman Turks migrated into Anatolia.
    Your statement that Syrian Kurds are PKK fighters from Turkey is bogus Erdogan propaganda.
    I do agree with you about MajGen Golan.

  37. ToivoS says:

    I recall reading many years ago about the diplomatic discussions after WWI about how to divide up the Ottoman empire. One idea the French and British entertained was to create a Kurdish state. They gave up on that notion because the Kurds in Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria (today’s maps) were fighting so violently among themselves that the colonialists felt there would be perpetual war if they tried to establish a Kurdish state. The Brits and French decided it would be simpler to establish an Hashemite Kingdom.
    Maybe Israel can create that Kurdish state that the earlier colonists failed to do. Good luck with that!

  38. notlurking says:

    You my friend get the prize…..

  39. LeaNder says:

    This will be fun to watch.
    Not sure, IZ. Listen or read Golan’s speech. Transcript is not perfect. Nitpicking 😉 But, if he is controversial, why is he asked to write Israel’s defense policy?
    “No, it won’t be like the Second World War. It will be easier.”
    Its not anymore about fighting the poor, that’s the big paradigm shift compared to the last 3 decades. Thus starting with the First Intifada? Now Iran is the at the center. Remnants of post 9/11 wisdom. State sponsors? Item: The 2011 Washington Assassination Plot?

  40. LeaNder says:

    That’s a somehow odd statement from my perspective, kao. Looking at the larger history of Poland over the centuries. Not that I am a fan of the political trends in Poland today. But that may well be part of a larger trend. No expert on matters …

  41. turcopolier says:

    Bombing enemy installations in the largely uninhabited jungle regions of Cambodia along the border with VN was an unexceptional operation of an ongoing war. There was no reason to have an “informed public debate” about it. Nixon correctly saw that in the context of an ongoing withdrawal of US forces from VN, your leftist friends in the media would create an issue that would deeply satisfy you. In that period our forces in VN grew steadily smaller and the bombing campaign in the border regions was necessary to disrupt enemy forces enough to protect our shrinking forces. But, you didn’t/don’t care about that do you? I can only know youby your statements. So far you sound like a standarts leftist agitprop type to me. Ron Paul? I have no interest in what Dr, Paul may have thought about combat operations. pl

  42. LeaNder says:

    via Al-Monitor, Ben Caspit, Israel Pulse:
    Strictly that’s how I interpreted Golan’s speech.

  43. Klaus Weiß says:

    Didn’t Iran and Israel work together to support the Kurds in order to destabilize Saddam’s regime? As far as I know this cooperation ended with the Treaties of Paris …

  44. Linda says:

    The Isrealis started supporting the Kurds after the US started supporting the Kurds in 1991

  45. turcopolier says:

    Which Caspit article? pl

  46. LeaNder says:

    At the moment, Russia Insider seems to mirror Caspit’s latest article. I suppose they paid the dues. Should I compare the content? Admittedly, I didn’t. Simply followed the link.

  47. mike says:

    Oilman 2 –
    You believe Thierry Meyssan??? The defamer of the Catholic Church, who denies 9/11, claims the CIA orchestrated the Chechen massacre of Russian schoolchildren, believes that CNN and BBC reporters tried to assassinate him in Libya. This nutjob propagandist lives in Damascus and writes for a Russian news service. I don’t know how they can stomach the garbage he publishes. A useful idiot I would guess. You need a better source for news on oilfields if you want to stay in the oil business.

  48. sid_finster says:

    Assuming that the report is factual, the question is whether the DoD and CIA are simply ignoring the President?

  49. Patrick H says:

    Obviously the Syrian Kurds are a substantial chunk of the population, & obviously they’re not all PKK fighters from Turkey.
    But if the broader point is that the YPG/PYD are closely integrated into the PKK, and ultimately under its leadership — that’s undeniably Erdogan propaganda, but probably not bogus. I haven’t been to Rojava (I lived in Turkey for many years) but every reporter who goes there seems to be struck by the Abdullah Ocalan pictures on display everywhere

  50. Serge says:

    How would you compare the rise of the SDF and the collapse of IS in 2017 with the rise of the Sahwat and the collapse of ISI in the late 2000s?
    I predict a long war ahead with Israeli-Iranian competing interests in the greater Levant and the “de facto” IS taking advantage of it all with the crumbling future of the GCC concomitant to this. Turkey is a wildcard in this calculus IMO

  51. Oilman2 says:

    Mike –
    Your tone is, well, it’s abrasive and sucks. It is obvious you always throw the baby out with the bathwater just from your comments here. In this world of disinfo gone rampant, it is quite possible that people can have one thing correct and surround it with trivia or trash, just as they can be from another political group and disagree with you, but still be right about a specific thing or idea.
    There are lots of shills out there – in fact, most journalists are in the ‘age of disinfo’.
    When was the last time YOU were in Erbil? Because for me, it was right before the Syria thing broke out, just before everybody executed their GTFO plans. I was there for oil business with some Egyptian and Syrian buddies from years back. I don’t need a “source” – I have mostly been one, wrt oilfields.

  52. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    1-Our ideas of “fun” might not be the same.
    2-I am aware of Golan. Harsbarista par excellence. Only the faithful will swallow his reassuring drivel.
    3-settlers of izziistan really need to think about its long term viability. They are the most hated (colonial) ethnicity in MENA. (native) kurds come second.Gulf states and saudi trash come third. Fourth place has several claimants…
    Ishmael Zechariah

  53. Stumpy says:

    If my impression is correct the Iraqi Kurds have crossed this bridge insofar as making deals for oil with players across the field,–finance.html
    Thus, with the inter-connectedness of petroleum, Israel presumably has some stake, if indirect, which will be protected by US, Canada, France, and Russia.
    As for the Syrian Kurds, is their relationship much worse with Assad than it is with Talabani? Is a federated Kurdistan possible in Syria whereby the Russo-Iranian strength is offered in exchange for stability? Without oil wells under Kurdish ownership, presumably.

  54. Stumpy says:

    As you say, there’s an assumption underlying this and that Bulgarian reporter’s revelations. Sloppy work by US operatives, my guess. Curious to see if this goes anywhere, but who knows. Will it rise as far as Iran-Contra or has the world been hardened enough to shrug it off as the usual suspects doing what they do? Coming on the heels of 9/11, auspicious timing, I’d say.

  55. Kooshy says:

    For at least last 150 years we have several political Irans, we have a Iran, that up to WWII was tossed around by Imperial Russia and Bertain, we have a post WWII that soviets encouraged some Kurds to declare their own independent state in Iran. Then we have a post 1953 Iran which basically was a US client state. That Iran, the Iran of Mohammad Reza Shah was the one cooperating with Israel and US supporting one Kurd warlord against Saddam’ and in turn Saddam was supporting his own Kurd warlords separatist against Iran and to some extent against Turkey. This was going on till the 1975 Algeria agreement between Iran and Iraq which they agreed to divide the disputed waterway between the two countries called (Arvand Rood = Arvand River), as a part of that agreement both sides agreed to end support for their Kurd warlords and to throw them under the bus ( Iran and israeli’ American supported favorit Kurd warlord Talibani I think moved to Nashville) where Croker is senator (ask Mike). Then after Iranian revolution of 1979 Saddam burned the Algier agreement he himself had signed in 1975, and he started the Iran Iraq war, which guess what? the usual cycle of supporting useful idiot Kurd separatist warlords started all over again. Sorry since I am writing this from memory didn’t fully check dates or details.
    FYI, and Mike’ here is a chronology of US Kurdish, under bus relations by PBS’ frontline , once again Colonel Lang is totally correct and knows the history well, more importantly he is honest with it, that’s why we all hang around here.

  56. LeaNder says:

    It surfaced in the Treaty of Sèvres, Toivo. I doubt it was influenced by either the French or the British. They had different matters on their minds.
    This is the map presented by the Kurdish delegation at the San Francisco Peace Conference in 1945:

  57. confusedponderer says:

    re: “the original dumpkopf US behavior”
    Whatever you meant when writing this is irrelevant to me.
    My point is this: IMO the term ‘dumpkopf’ is a rather unlucky choice in terms. Since I speak german I have an idea where the word you chose comes from.
    In german there is a derisive term ‘Dummkopf’. Note that in has the part ‘dumm’, with a double ‘m’.
    ‘Dumm’ in German means stupid. Translated into english the term ‘Dummkopf’ would mean something like ‘dumb head/brain’ or, in simple terms, ‘idiot’, or perhaps ‘numb brain’.
    A ‘dumpkopf’, with ‘mp’, would be a ‘waste disposal brain in a head’ or something like that – an new insult not just silly but at the same time, so to speak, silly in two languages.
    Proposal: Be less creative with your terms. Likely we get your point even when you are less creative

  58. dmr says:

    Col. Lang – do I understand you to believe that the Vietnam War was not in fact a thoroughgoing tactical failure? That the American Army’s ground combat in the villages of South Vietnam was not soul-destroying as well as futile? That the air war over Vietnam was not a dismal and destructive failure?
    Or does saying so amounts, in your view, to mere “leftist agitprop”?

  59. LeaNder says:

    Maybe I should have added this:
    “It is clear to us that damage will be inflicted on the Israeli side as well and that there will be many casualties,” a senior Israel military source told Al-Monitor on the condition of anonymity. “But the other side will suffer significantly much more damage, much more strategic damage. It will set Lebanon back by decades.”
    In the next round, Israel is intent on marking Lebanese sovereignty as a legitimate target. From the first minute, it will attack the country’s strategic infrastructure. As far as Israel is concerned, the country of Lebanon has become Hezbollahstan. At the moment, none of the sides really want to get to that stage.

    Read more:
    After I read this, I had to flee into the larger space of the C’t Magazine/Heise, CCC (Chaos computer club), and one or the other US/European Black Hat presentations. I find that both interesting and relaxing.
    Not before reading Ben Caspit’s next article. Seems he–as maybe some of us–is getting ready for his next UN (cartoon, red line) presentation round. Remember? Can that event ever be trumped? We’ll see, how many creatives will help him.
    This seemed odd: The beginnings of a rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Iran are also being watched closely by Jerusalem. Reports that the Saudi defense minister visited Israel recently are perhaps related to this development.
    Read more:

  60. turcopolier says:

    Like a lot of communist sympathizers you have a poor and selective understanding of history. There was very rarely any combat in villages unless the communists attacked the villages. US initiated combat was just about always out in the woods. With very few exceptions the US won all the tactical engagements. One such exception was at LZ Albany, but, you have never heard of that. The air war over North Vietnam forced the North Vietnamese to accept an armistice. You are really a remarkably ignorant agitprop type. pl

  61. mike says:

    Oilman2 –
    My tone was abrasive to Meyssan and not intended for you. Meyssan is a known liar. Like all good liars he sometimes weaves threads of truth into his lies. Those threads are only to make his lies more palatable. It does not make him a reliable source.
    I would be interested in your thoughts on the oilfields in Iraqi Kurdistan. You say you were there with some Syrian buddies? Was that before or after 2013 when many Exxon workers and staff were pulled out?

  62. mike says:

    Kooshy –
    Talabani, or Uncle Jalal as he is referred to, was President of Iraq for nine years up until 2014. He is a lawyer and a politician who advocates against the repression of Kurds. He is not and has never been a ‘warlord. He never immigrated to Tennessee. He did spend some time in a hospital in Germany due to a stroke and blocked arteries, but is back in Iraq now.
    PS – Robert Phillips Corker Jr. is a United States Senator for all of the state of Tennessee, not just Nashville. Serving since 2007, he is currently the Chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in the 115th Congress.

  63. mike says:

    CP _
    Apologies for my ignorance of German terms, and thanks for the correction. My intent was idiot US behavior, or ‘Dummkopf’ as you pointed out.

  64. mike says:

    Patrick –
    There are many, if not all, Syrian Kurds in sympathy with their ancient kinsmen in Turkey who are being now ethnically cleansed by the Erdogan regime. Why shouldn’t they be? The Irish in America felt the same way about the ‘Troubles’ in Northern Ireland. The Turks feel the same way about their distant Turkmen cousins in Syria and Iraq.

  65. dmr says:

    I lay no claim to specialist knowledge and defer to your expertise in military matters, Col. Lang. But with respect, I wonder if you think it shows “a poor and selective grasp of history” to say that:
    a. The war was an epic struggle between Vietnamese nationalism and American armed might, with victory – armistice notwithstanding – ultimately going, and seen by all to have gone, to tiny Vietnam. A combination of Vietcong guerillas and North Vietnam’s well-oiled war machine, supported by the industrial might of the Soviet Union and its tanks and guns, proved too much for the American military. It tried everything. Nothing worked. The Vietnamese were an equal match for American and ARVN soldiers: it was their greater skill, motivation, morale and more expert use of jungle terrain that proved decisive.
    b. Whatever else it was, the war was many things, inter alia a contest between a Third World country and a modern industrialised nation, and a proxy war between the Communist bloc keen to spread its influence and the USA concerned with ‘domino theory’ that the loss of Vietnam would lead to the loss of other countries (a theory that was to prove false.) Both sides claimed the war as a fight for liberation from imperialism and defence of the free world between Soviet and American arms.
    c. Among the many lessons the war taught, two are of paramount importance. First, that, however great it may be, air superiority alone cannot subdue a determined enemy. Second, that in revolutionary war it is loss of morale rather than destruction of armed power that leads to defeat of the enemy’s forces. (This was a lesson the USA learned too late or not at all.) Insurgents must acknowledge the limits of guerilla war – on its own and in the absence of conventional war-fighting machinery to back it, guerilla war is doomed to fail – and states must be wary of losing the battle of perception lest a war detonate domestic opposition and become non-viable.)
    About the war being a straightforward contest between Socialism and the American way of life/democracy etc., the less said the better. About this being nonsense on stilts, I hope at least that we can agree.

  66. mike says:

    Stumpy –
    Thanks for that link. There are later deals also with Russia, one signed just this year. I saw no reference to Israel though, why do you think they have a stake, other than buying oil on the open market?
    I hope you are correct about Kurdish autonomy in Syria (and Arab, Syriac, and Druze also).

  67. turcopolier says:

    No. You are factually wrong in all your assertions Where did you get this misinformation? a – The main forces of the NVA and the Viet Cong’s forces were defeated by the US, RVN, Australians Koreans, Thai , etc. The COIN effort initiated in 1967 was also highly successful in establishing RVN control over all the significant population centers. The NVA fought well but I have seen their bodies stacked 10 feet high many times on fields they were driven off. The anti-communist side won the fighting war but the enemy’s propaganda war was effective when supported by leftists in the US and Canada, you know, like you. The Congress responded to this disaffection among constituents and passed a law in 1975 forbidding further assistance to the RVN. c- Your point here is so trite that it is not worth discussing . It is a kind of re-hash of all “anchor books” written by former US offciers like Nagl and McMaster. They were all graduate school papers originally. They never fought in VN – too young but they made their names by criticizing those who did fight there in a previous generation. It is always fun for the next generation to criticize those who went before them. Ah, you don’t want the communists to be called communists. This a telling thing. I never said anything about the “American way of life. ” I never talk tripe like that. I judge that you are a graduate student at a Canadian university (Montreal area)and what you have served up here is the essence of your dissertation. If I were on your supervisory committee you would not get the degree because of your confirmation bias and inadequate research. I have been on many graduate school supervisory committees as well as the Fulbright post-doc board and the HR Guggenheim fellowship award board. pl

  68. Babak – I’m not sure the West as it is at present offers much of a vision to itself either. Except maybe a “don’t go there” sign for the future. That aside, Western consumer and popular culture seems to be irresistible all over the planet, vision or not. Should one see that as a form of soft power?

  69. dmr says:

    It’s your blog, Col. Lang: yours, naturally, is going to be the last word. But other than declaring them to be patently false the points I have made are nowhere shown in your reply to be substantively untrue. Trite points, you say? No doubt. But that is neither here nor there and can scarcely surprise: can anything strikingly new no be said about so controversial and painful a matter as the war in Vietnam, its causes and outcome? As to your claim that the United States was defeated by a stab in the back the back by homegrown troublemakers and by foreign leftists like me,that is no less of a tired cliche and certainly open to dispute. Nor is it obvious that the accident of birth must rule out from serious consideration authors like McMaster (from whom you imagine me to be cribbing): thoughtful commentary on historical events, though it may be mistaken or misguided, is hardly the exclusive preserve of those who witnessed them or took part in them.
    For the record, I am a man exactly your age: not an academic and certainly not some graduate student anxiously bent on recycling his dissertation. Your readiness to let fly with personal abuse at someone you know nothing about seems a pity.

  70. Kooshy says:

    Mike, I read that Amo Jalal and many other Kurds like Zibari lived in Iran for a few years during Iran Iraq war, I think in Tehran’ Sharak Gharb, I remember Moula Mostafa Barezani moved to D.C. And he died there. I think most of the Kurds in US are of Iranian Kurds and not Iraqi or Syrian. As far as I know they are not supporting the separation. Well, unless our heavenly better ones in DOS likes of our own Vicky Nuland find one that sudenly lands in Kurdistan and obviously with majority vote becomes president for life.

  71. turcopolier says:

    “other than declaring them to be patently false the points I have made are nowhere shown in your reply to be substantively untrue.” I was there for two years and fought from one end of the country to the other. your imaginings are from library research. I am a primary source on that war. Your imaginings are just that. Yet another anti-American Canadian. pl

  72. mike says:

    Kooshy –
    Talabani has traveled to Tehran many times for friendly visits, even now. His PUK party sided with the Iranians during Sadaam’s war with Iran. What does ‘amo’, is that ‘uncle’ in Persian?
    Mullah Mustafa Barzani never lived in the US. In 79 he sought treatment for lung cancer at Georgetown U. Hospital in DC. Before that he and his family had been living in Karaj Iran where he had fled to in 74. He also fled to Iran back after WW2 with many followers. During the Russian supported Mahabad Republic he was one of the few commanders to never be defeated by the Shah’s Army. But he and his followers left when the Russians left. He spent twelve years in the Soviet Union before returning to Iraq.
    I have never been a fan of the undiplomatic diplomat, Vicky Nuland. But if my memory serves me, I don’t recall her being an enemy of Tehran, only of Moscow and most of Europe. Did I miss something? Tehran has more to worry about with President Trump and the Kushner connections to Rivlin and Bibi than it does with Nuland.

  73. Stumpy says:

    Mike, I’m sure there is more behind the scenes but here are some links to help triangulate:
    Israel accepts first delivery of disputed Kurdish pipeline oil
    Iraqi Kurds Send Israel First Oil Delivery From Disputed Kurdish Pipeline
    Israel looks to Kurdistan Region to satisfy oil demand
    My feeling is that Israel benefits from a stable oil-producing region, especially when it can entrain a Kurdistan that aspires to independence and would need support, in exchange for access to resources.

  74. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I do not think Hollywood productions could be considered an species of soft power.

  75. Babak – to my surprise I find myself disagreeing with you. Films, or movies, are the most effective background propaganda going. Take the recent Russian films that serve to link the current conflict with the Great Patriotic War. That’s a message more far-reaching than any Putin or Lavrov can put across directly. It cannot but influence the thought processes of millions, especially since it chimes in with a recurrent theme in Russian history and literature.
    I don’t think, however, that Russian films get much circulation outside the home market. The Hollywood films do.
    What message are the Hollywood productions sending out? Look at the old version of True Grit. Wonderful script, by the way, and immaculately realised. That’s full-on apple pie that got projected round the world. Then take the modern Hollywood films. The message, not always but often enough, is quite different. This is “Fred’s” ground but I’ve seen enough to know that those films – and TV productions and advertisements but they don’t travel as well – are probably the most effective way of getting others, particularly the young, to painlessly absorb “Progressive” values. Much more effective than the laboured message got across by Gay Pride in Kiev or Pussy Riot in Moscow.
    The Long March through the Institutions made a beeline for Hollywood, occupied it, and it’s now worth a hundred NGO’s or a thousand novelists. As you know, I think it’s a dysfunctional culture that’s now projected but as a form of soft power, eating away at the national or cultural traditions of foreign countries and doing so ceaselessly and unstoppably, it must be one of the most powerful weapons in the armoury of the Western elites and their progressive entourage.

  76. mike says:

    Stumpy –
    Thanks for the links. I remember those shipments back three years ago. Baghdad was not paying civil service salaries in the Kurdish areas. To survive Erbil shipped oil both to Turkey and to a Turkish port for foreign sales. Nobody would buy it initially because Baghdad was disputing the sale. US State Department warned US refineries from buying it. So they sold it to whoever would buy it, which turned out to be Israel. Shortly after that a US court ruled that Kurdish crude oil in a tanker sitting off the coast of Texas for several months could be purchased by US buyers despite the DoS ban. Since then they have had no problem selling crude on the open market.
    Exxon, Rosneft and Norwegian DNO are the oil drillers in Iraqi Kurdistan. And crude oil is a commodity. When on the open market anyone can purchase it. I doubt seriously that the Kurds are going to give Israel a special deal on their oil and end up shortchanging Exxon or Rosneft or DNO, or shortchanging themselves. They will sell to the Izzies if offered a price higher than market. Why not?

Comments are closed.