Peace in Kurdistan Campaign’s David Morgan has written an excellent article for Live Encounters, a monthly online magazine, on ISIS, western military aggression and the Kurdish struggle against both. We reproduce it below; the original source can be found here.
David Morgan explains why the US-led campaign against ISIS ultimately lacks integrity and its aims lack credibility. Kurds are on the front- line against ISIS but not all Kurds are equally favoured by the West.
Undeniably the Islamic State or ISIS presents a great danger, especially to non-Sunni minorities and women in the Middle East, and the group has demonstrated that it is capable of committing the most heinous and ruthless crimes that sicken all normal feeling people. Nevertheless, the rhetoric raising the alarm of its “imminent threat” to the world issued from the mouths of Western politicians seems much exaggerated and overblown. Interestingly, when addressing the UN General Assembly, US President Obama claimed that Russian aggression in Europe posed an even greater threat to world peace than ISIS. He cannot have it both ways; either ISIS is an existential and unique threat sufficiently menacing to warrant waging war or it isn’t.
On the CIA revised estimates active ISIS militias number approximately 30,000 on the ground and are spread over two large countries, Syria and Iraq. While 30,000 is a significant figure it is not really such a formidable military capability and should be no match for a well trained and equipped army of a fully functioning state. But of course ISIS is not just an armed terrorist gang or a band of mercenaries using religion as a cover for plunder and theft. The group’s appeal to young disaffected Muslims is extremely strong in the Islamic world and in the West. Recruits appear to be totally committed to the cause as “true believers”. ISIS has occupied vast stretches of territory, grabbed huge resources in the process and acquired advanced weaponry – or it has been permitted to do so. Furthermore, it has considerable funds at its disposal and a sophisticated technology to put its message across on social media, Facebook, Youtube and the like. It creates propaganda videos and even publishes an annual report to document its latest achievements like a modern business corporation.
But there is still more to ISIS than meets the eye and the current campaign to defeat it has far more aims than simply to eradicate an immediate threat from a terrorist organisation. Behind the mirage of ISIS lurk far darker forces.
The main intention of this article is not to explore the wilder suspicions that the Central Intelligence Agency is behind the formation and success of ISIS, as has been argued by some, but to examine the implications and aims of the strategy for combating the organisation. As I write US bombs are once again raining down on Iraq and President Obama has finally been able to start bombing Syria, although not quite the targets that he originally intended a year ago. A third Gulf war is now starting with no conclusion in sight.
A war to save Obama’s face
Obama was about to go down in history as one of the most ineffectual occupants of the White House in the modern era. He urgently needed something big to rescue his reputation and earn his place in history. When ISIS came along it was a gift of perfect timing and they are the ideal enemy because hardly anyone but the most hardened jihadist can sympathise with their cause and brutal methods.
US strategists seem to adopt a very simplified view of how to defeat ISIS and how to build effective alliances in the region. The White House has put together an exclusively Sunni alliance in order to attack a Sunni terror group in a country with a Sunni majority population, namely Syria, which is headed by a Shia minority leadership of Assad whom they seek to delegitimise in favour of a Sunni rebel group, the Free Syrian Army. This comes as no surprise as historically Western strategy has been to foster sectarianism in the region for its own advantage and the present coalition is but the latest example.
President Obama has hailed the support of the Arab states for the airstrikes and declared that the US was “proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with these nations”. Not one of them, of course, can claim to be a democracy. However, members of the Gulf royal families who took to their jets to join in the bombing on a fellow Arab country seemed to have enjoyed the ride.
The “sectarianisation” of the Middle East has long been adopted by the US as a strategy to play one group off against another. Favoured academics have been offered rapid promotion for arguing the right line and distorting the reality of what the real culture of Mideast countries is like. Sunni, Shia, Kurd and Assyrian have lived in relative harmony for decades, nay for centuries, until the modern era of imperialism that is. This is not always grasped from reading Western commentaries on the region.
If the ISIS crisis has achieved anything, it is this: it has exposed the cynical alliances and ruthless pursuit of vested interests of both the regional and international powers.
As Patrick Cockburn, the distinguished commentator of The Independent newspaper, ironically but accurately observed, “The so-called “coalition of the willing” is, in practice, very unwilling to fight ISIS, while those hitherto excluded, such as Iran, the Syrian government, Hezbollah and the PKK, are the ones actually fighting.”
Turkey and ISIS
Ironically, one of the few democracies in the region is none too keen on taking part in the US-led operations. So far Turkey has held back from any direct involvement in the campaign. Incirlik Air Base located on Turkish soil is a NATO installation where a large number of US aircraft are stationed. However, with the exception of flights of unarmed US surveillance drones, Ankara has not permitted the US military to carry out airstrikes against ISIS from its territory.
The argument used by Turkish leaders until recently has been their concern to protect the lives of its hostages that have been held by ISIS. But they have now been released without harm; not even a hair on their head! It now appears that a deal was struck between Turkish intelligence and ISIS to obtain the release in an exchange of prisoners. Hurriyet newspaper reported that 50 ISIS members were released by Syrian rebel group Liwa al-Tawhid, a group which apparently has links to the Muslim Brotherhood, on the same day as the Turkish hostages were freed. Turkey’s President Erdogan was quoted as telling reporters, “You might have had an exchange but it takes some effort to prepare for such a thing.” Great pressure has no doubt been put on Turkey by its NATO allies and on 24 September Erdogan, the master of studied ambiguity, announced that, “Turkey will provide the necessary support for the anti-ISIS operation. The support could be military or political.”
Knocking out ISIS is not the only aim
For the US president the high moral ground is the most valuable piece of real estate as he assumes his country’s customary mantle of moral arbiter of the world’s ills. In justifying the bombing, Obama made it quite clear that the aims of the campaign were far more than simply combating ISIS. He referred directly to the Syrian opposition as the “the best counterweight to ISIS and to Assad.” Linking the toppling of Assad with defeating ISIS has long been argued as a necessary US foreign policy objective. Writing in Politicos Magazine, 2 September 2014, Dennis Ross, former special assistant to President Obama, called on the US to “provide significant lethal assistance and logistical support to those fighting not just ISIL but Assad as well” and in a “timely fashion”. Meanwhile, Oubai Shahbandar, a Syrian-American, who is a senior adviser to the Syrian Opposition Coalition in Washington, claimed that the root cause for terrorism in Syria was precisely Assad. Following the bombs, the next step will be to extend the training and equipping of the Free Syrian Army – the so-called ‘moderate rebels’. This robust partnership with the FSA will be essential to defeat ISIS and Assad, Shahbandar told the New York Times, 23 September. It can be mentioned that these moderate rebels are to be trained in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The US bombing campaign has deliberately targeted and destroyed Syrian oil refineries which were under the temporary control of ISIS. This destruction of a prime asset and income stream for the country will prevent Syria from getting back on its feet for many years and will reduce it to a dependency status on Western reconstruction aid, technology and expertise post-Assad. Let’s just consider that this might have been an intention. What the US could have done was to flush ISIS forces out without destroying such valuable infrastructure as it has been obliged to do in Iraq. The destruction of Syrian oil assets is flagrantly politically motivated pursuit of US hegemony cynically justified in terms of necessity in a war against “evil”.
Using the protracted conflict in Ukraine as a pretext, the Western powers have imposed ever more severe economic and financial sanctions on Russia in the last few months. The aim is not just to deter Moscow from supporting the rebels of East Ukraine or to punish it for absorbing the Crimea, but to contain Russia on the world stage. Under Vladimir Putin Russia has successfully reasserted its position as a major global power and adopted an independent foreign policy at variance with that of Washington, which is in marked contrast to the Yeltsin years when Russia’s feebleness became something of an international laughing stock. An obvious motive for the attempts to overthrow Assad, an ally of Russia in the Middle East, is to undermine Russia’s strategic position in the region, leaving the field open for the US to exercise dominant regional power.
This explains the scathing attitude of Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, towards the US-led coalition against ISIS. Lavrov told Channel 5 in St. Petersburg: “Now that has been appointed United States’ arch-enemy, I’d like to recall that [ISIS militants] are the very same people that evolved and got powerful sponsorship and material support from abroad at the time of the regime change efforts in Libya and later on when the same process was attempted in Syria.”
Lavrov recalled that the Americans and Europeans had in the past justified their support for Islamic fundamentalists as part of providing support to forces opposing unpopular regimes: “When we called their attention to the fact that there were a large number of terrorists and extremists fighting these regimes, the Americansand Europeans essentially told us that all such things would pass once they overthrew the regimes, and that they would deal with this later on,” Lavrov said. “But all this turned out to be wrong.”
Accusing the West of double standards, Lavrov asserted that the Western powers had incited Islamic extremists against Middle East regimes they don’t like. He said the West should stop dividing terrorists into good and bad and stated that Moscow has no intention of joining the anti-ISIS coalition that the US had cobbled together.
Turkey and the KRG
Turkey and the Iraqi Kurds are not formal military or political allies. However, the Kurdistan Regional Governorate led by Barzani’s KDP and Turkey led by Erdogan’s AKP have formed an extremely close relationship. Once regarded as a threat by Ankara, the governorate ruled from Erbil is now Turkey’s largest business partner in Iraq and one of its most lucrative in the region. The scale of their mutual financial and commercial interests cannot fail to have an influence on their political calculations and strategic thinking. This is exposed in both their positions vis-à-vis ISIS, Rojava and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Pan-Kurdish friendship with neighbouring Kurds in Turkey and Syria rarely amounts publicly to much more than deepening cultural contacts and occasional expressions of emotional solidarity. The KRG has demonstrated a clear reluctance to extend material support to the beleaguered Kurds in Syria in their fight against ISIS and there is no sign that the peshmergas will be mobilised to offer military assistance to the PYD as it does battle with the jihadists.
Similarly the peshmerga were accused of withdrawing their forces to leave the Yezidi community vulnerable to an ISIS attack during the refugee crisis around Sinjar.
The romanticisation of the peshmerga in the Western media creates an impression of courageous fighters defending their people against aggressive forces overwhelmingly ranged against them. This image does not always truly reflect the reality. The operations of the peshmerga today conform to advancing the interests of the KRG and as a consequence, they will be hardly likely to come to the aid of other Kurdish communities that exist beyond the territory of the KRG.
Furthermore, now that the KRG is an important strategic ally of the United States in the region its leaders should not be expected to carry out any operations that defy US interests or at least don’t meet with Washington’s sanction of approval. Were they openly to extend military support to the PKK, which is still resolutely viewed as a dangerous terrorist organisation by the US, then the Obama Administration would surely have something to say about it and this most certainly would not be very favourable.
Terrorism in Iraq is Nothing New
Why such urgency to come to the aid of Iraq now, when the country has been suffering more than a decade of ruthless terrorist attacks? The country has been assailed by suicide bombers and assassins aimed at predominantly soft civilian targets such as schools, hospitals, market places and even funerals. Carnage had become a daily occurrence, but little was done to assist Iraq to combat the largely Sunni terrorist groups, which had been in receipt of support from outside the country and apparently have been very well funded. Iraq has been seriously weakened by these terrorist atrocities and impeded from playing its role as a great power in the region. Economically, its mighty oil sector has also been unable to recover sufficiently to realise its full potential in the world oil market.
Fate of the Yezidis
The continuing plight of the Yezidi community in Northern Iraq which became the initial trigger for the launching of the bombing of ISIS positions in Iraq should not be forgotten as US ambitions widen and the media’s attention is turned towards Syria. More than 3,000 women and children were captured by ISIS during its assault on the Yezidis and they are still being held in appalling circumstances. One young Yezidi woman, who managed to escape during the airstrikes on ISIS, told the BBC how women were being tortured and forced to act as sex slaves by members of the group. “They will sell girls to whoever wants to buy them – girls aged nine and over,” she said. “Some men bought two or three, even four or five at once. It’s shameful.” Such human tragedies must not be allowed to slide from public scrutiny and concern.
Kobane: the Kurdish Stalingrad
It remains difficult to assess whether US airstrikes are going to relieve the siege of the Kurdish city of Kobane. Bombing was reported to have taken place around the city but at the time of writing the operation had not been confirmed by the US or any other source. The BBC’s Mark Lowen, on the Syria-Turkey border, stated that Kurds in Kobane had reported a significant increase in shelling by IS militants on the morning of the 24 September. But a Kurdish military commander told Reuters news agency that ISIS had strengthened its forces after US airstrikes, sending extra fighters and tanks to the outskirts of Kobane.
A defiant statement from the KCK (Union of Kurdish Communities) in Turkey was issued on 23 September and stated: “The reality in Kobane is not as reported by the pro-AKP media and some Arab press that support ISIS. Our people in Kobane are putting up stiff resistance. In the same way as Stalingrad played a role against fascism during the Second World War, the Kobane resistance has a key role in determining the outcome of this conflict. Neither the ISIS gang, nor the Turkish state and the forces behind it, will succeed in their aims.”
Turkey’s role is no longer an ambiguous one – it appears at least by its actions, if not by its words, that Ankara is facilitating ISIS; at least it is quite prepared to look on while the Syrian Kurds are “degraded”, the leadership of whom Turkey sees as pro-PKK if not outright PKK. Turkey’s enemy number one remains, not ISIS, but the Kurds who support their gaoled leader Abdullah Ocalan.
The Kurdish Alternative
The model of devolved democracy proposed by Ocalan which goes under various descriptions, amounts to sharing power at grassroots level in an inclusive way respecting the cultures and traditions of each community. It is a direct challenge to the autocratic centralised state model prevailing in much of the Mideast – but also directly challenges the ethnic and sectarian model. The Kurds who follow the PKK are not seeking to establish an exclusive enclave where only Kurds can breathe the air of freedom; they are seeking to create a society where they will be respected as equals and, in turn, they will respect the other communities who share common land and whose histories are intertwined.
It is instructive to compare the muted response of the White House and the European Union to the relentless attacks by ISIS on the Kurds in Kobane to their furious and panicked reactions only a few weeks ago when the KRG seemed at risk and the Yezidi Kurds came under attack.
Ocalan has long proposed this devolved democracy as an alternative to dictatorship and centralised power; while there have been few serious public commentaries, still less any debate, on these ideas, you can be sure that governments and their policy advisers, have been examining Ocalan’s proposals closely; uppermost in their minds is no doubt the extent to which his Kurdish followers are taking his ideas seriously and if they are determined to implement them. In this regard, the “Rojava experiment” -which has existed now for a couple of years – is an important development. It is the most serious attempt to implement Ocalan’s “Democratic Autonomy” project. It has survived so far because of the crisis in Syria. The Assad government has been too busy fighting the various Sunni rebel factions in the bloody civil war to want to take on the Kurds; and until now the rebels have been unable to take on the Syrian Kurds, who, after all, are a part of the democratic opposition. However, they have never been favoured by any members of the coalition that backs the Free Syrian Army and other rebel groups. The Kurds are ferociously hated by ISIS and other jihadi groups who are seeking to destroy them.
The secular, non-sectarian, democratic position adopted by the Kurds and their allies in Rojava is not an initiative that any major regional or global power wants to see succeed inside Syria or indeed anywhere in the region for that matter. It is a democratic revolution more fundamentally challenging than the Arab spring ever was and this was in the end stifled. The Kurds are determined that Rojava does not end in defeat.
The non-sectarian politics itself are a challenge to the powers that prefer to maintain order by fomenting and exacerbating sectarian divisions. ISIS has much in common with existing state leaders; its sectarianism is simply an extreme version of common everyday politics in much of the Mideast.
ISIS still has powerful and wealthy backers – unlike the Kurds of Rojava who can’t even claim the full unswerving support of Kurds in Iraq.
In the wake of the Yezidi crisis, the BBC online news ran an article by two Kurdish affairs analysts which asked, “Could support for the ‘other’ Kurds stall Islamic State?” The question was raised on 25 August; unfortunately, the ‘other’ Kurds, by which the BBC writers meant the Kurds in Syria and the PKK, have not been supported by anyone and the tragedy now unfolding in Northern Syria is the result.
Commentators and military strategists have speculated how effective Obama’s determination to bomb ISIS would be and whether there was a need for “boots on the ground”. People should now wonder why ISIS positions were not bombed to prevent their attacks on Syrian Kurds and to avert another humanitarian catastrophe. No-one need be in any doubt that the US military can act very quicklywhen it is authorised to do so. The fact they seem to be holding back while civilians in Kobane are slaughtered and forced to flee in their thousands speaks volumes about the strategic aims of the US – quite simply, they are seeking political advantage for their interests and those of their allies. Turkey, the Arab states and the US will not be especially worried if Rojava is defeated and the “Rojava experiment” collapses. It is slightly embarrassing to them that they have relied on ISIS to do their dirty work in achieving the eradication of these “awkward” Kurds, but this is something they must have judged they can live with. They do not want the Rojava experiment to succeed; it challenges not only ISIS and the Assad regime, it even challenges the Western-backed Syrian rebels by offering an alternative participatory democratic model to their sectarianism and self-serving power plays. Rojava has thus posed a fundamental problem for other Syrian rebels, who wouldn’t be unhappy to see it removed.
More important than all this, Rojava challenges the fundamental principles of neoliberal capitalism which in the era of globalisation has become increasingly controlled by corporate interests whose attitude to democracy is that it is an inconvenient obstacle to their unhindered pursuit of plunder and untrammelled exploitation of the earth’s resources. Kurdistan is a corner of the world that simply cannot be exempt from this capitalist globalisation. Its land is located on too many vital resources for that to be any other way. Clearly the KRG is now truly “one of us”; such an opinion could not be expressed with regards to the PKK. For a long time Turkey and its allies have branded the PKK as sworn enemies; denounced first of all as a “Marxist-Leninist” organisation, it became officially a “terrorist group” in 2000 and has been proscribed in the UK, EU and US since that time. Turkey has always taken an intransigent position towards the Kurds and recent rumours that Germany was considering delisting the PKK must have been read with utter dread in Ankara.
While everyone in the West from Obama down have expressed support in unison for Barzani and the KRG, their attitude towards the PKK has been equally consistent – but of overt and unremitting hostility.
It will be extremely surprising if the anti-ISIS alliance led by the US comes to the assistance of Rojava with sufficient material force to make a real difference. They are more likely to sit it out to see if Rojava succumbs to the pressures ranged against it. This it must not do, although Ankara is certainly anticipating such an eventuality. Turkey’s intention is to establish a “buffer zone” in the Kurdish region for its own protection. This cannot be achieved while the Rojava self-administration remains in existence and the Kurds have accused Turkey of collaborating with ISIS in order to depopulate the region.
The sheriff is back in the saddle
The ISIS threat offers a convenient tool for the US to reassert its hegemony and reshape the Middle East to suit its interests. The campaign against ISIS enables it to regain the respect among local client states grown disenchanted with the performance of the US under George W Bush and the neo-cons. After two terms Obama’s foreign policy has been a huge disappointment in the Middle East; he has utterly failed to resolve the Palestine-Israel conflict and has watched on helplessly as countries such as Libya have virtually collapsed in the wake of the Arab Spring. He badly needs a success story in the region to re-establish both his own credibility and that of his country.
With the sheriff back in the saddle, the regional powers are reduced to mere supplicants requesting support because they cannot sort their own territory out for themselves. This is the perfect example of the master and client relationship; there can only be one driving seat, only one captain of the ship, only one pair of hands on the console. The campaign ensures that America is back after it was discredited by Bush’s lack of finesse.
There is a great irony to the fact that the US, which habitually defines itself as the “world’s greatest democracy”, has assembled a coalition of monarchies and autocrats – the very same states that suppressed the Arab spring. Certainly they have not joined the campaign as a commitment to defending and extending democracy. Rushing to assist Rojava is hardly an objective either: the snuffing out of the challenge of Rojava is part of their plan.
The Gulf States have also played a highly questionable role in Iraq since the fall of the regime of Saddam Hussein by undermining any attempt at creating a functioning democracy in the country. This coalition therefore is not particularly trusted by the people of Iraq or by the Kurds.
While Kurds have reportedly been flocking in droves to cross the Turkish border to join the fight for Rojava in Syria, Kurds in the UK have been galvanised into activity. They have demonstrated a new self-confidence as they organise their community in protests, rallies and imaginative actions to show their support for Rojava, their opposition to ISIS and to articulate their demands for the British government to act honestly and consistently in its dealings with the Kurdish people. It is the gross injustice which is at the heart of Western responses towards the different Kurds groups that really angers them.
In an echo of the tactics adopted by the Suffragettes early in the last century, a group of Kurdish women chained themselves to the railing of Westminster on the afternoon 23 September only to be roughly mauled by hostile police officers. Within the grounds of the palace of Westminster, two aggressive police officers arrested one Kurdish woman apparently just because she was the most articulate among the group. Their protest had been noisy but entirely peaceful. This woman was forced to the ground, kicked hard, her arms wrenched and twisted back, she was hit in the face and sat upon by one officer while his colleague tried to handcuff her with what looked like plastic thread. The awful incident was filmed by an onlooker’s mobile and makes for deeply distressing viewing. Had it taken place in Moscow or Beijing there would surely have been a media outcry. This cruel incident seemed symbolic of the way that Kurds continue to be abused by Western governments at home and abroad.
Kurds from Turkey who comprise a large percentage of the Kurdish population resident in the UK are largely sympathetic to the PKK which remains a proscribed terrorist group in Britain and the European Union. The Kurds find any association of their party with the murderous and barbaric ISIS by the British legislators unbelievable and deeply offensive especially as the PKK has proved to be one of the most effective forces fighting ISIS. It is a gross injustice when the party that has shown most courage and success in its battles with ISIS is put on the same level and held to be a dangerous terror group. The truth is that the PKK’s roots are entirely different from those of ISIS; it is a secular organisation in its outlook and democratic in organisational structure. It has strenuously made an effort over many years to promote gender equality and can count women as many of its most dedicated cadres at all levels. Women occupy leadership positions and are famous for their role as guerrilla activists in the military wing of the party. The PKK represents a genuine upsurge of Kurdish self-confidence within modern Turkey and indeed everywhere where Kurdish populations reside, especially in Europe where waves of Kurdish refugees have built significant communities in many of the larger urban areas.
Meanwhile, the PKK’s methods and mode of operation are also quite unlike ISIS. Despite Turkish orchestrated propaganda and a generally very hostile coverage in the Western media, obscene atrocities against civilians cannot be attributed to PKK cadre; there is simply no evidence of any actions committed by the party that in any shape or form resemble what ISIS has been doing. Unlike ISIS, the PKK does not rule the people by instilling fear in the community like medieval barons or a modern mafia. They earn the loyalties of the people by offering hope and by articulating popular grievances. The party espouses an ideology that speaks of justice, equality, duty, fairness, community and feminism. It might be argued that the party assembled an eclectic mix of progressive ideas to construct its modern ideology but there appears to be deep sincerity in its beliefs and it shows openness to learning from the ideas of others. Unlike ISIS it is not an insular organisation alienated from the wider world.
Kurds rightly point out that it is the PKK and the PYD in Syria that have been most effective in fighting ISIS and the case of Kobane is a clear example where the Kurds are doing battle with the jihadi group. The conflict around Kobane has been going on for several months. They have pushed back ISIS on different occasions in the past. It was also the Kurdish guerrilla units who came to rescue the Yezidis when they were facing massacre from ISIS. Their role in the entire Syrian conflict has also been an honourable one. The establishment of Rojava in Northern Syria as an autonomous democratically run enclave has offered hope to Kurds everywhere that they can achieve recognition and be permitted to run their own affairs. It has been held up as a non-sectarian, secular and democratic model for other parts of the region to emulate.
The West’s approach to the PKK appears not to have shifted one iota from one of hostility and total denigration. Significant is a statement from the US Embassy in Ankara that appears to imply that its citizens in Turkey’s east and southeast regions are vulnerable to attacks from the Kurds. “Following the commencement of military action against ISIL targets in Syria, US citizens are reminded that there have been violent attacks in Turkey in the past. The possibility of terrorist attacks against US citizens and interests, from both transnational and indigenous groups, remains high,” the embassy stated on 24 September.
There must a firm obligation on citizens to urge their elected politicians to act with more integrity and to remove bad laws from the statute books. The proscription of the PKK under the Anti-Terrorism Act is one such bad law. Concerned citizens recognising the profound injustice of this case must make their Parliament see the error of its ways.
The return of scoundrel times?
The celebrated American writer Lillian Hellman defined as “scoundrel times” her experience of the McCarthy era when all progressive independent thought was suspect and when dissenting opinion was mercilessly persecuted. Because of the harsh and inconsistent treatment of the Kurds by Western powers, they could be forgiven for believing that we still live in these scoundrel times. It is high time therefore to give them reason to believe otherwise. So let’s no longer hear of “good Kurds” and “bad Kurds”. The Kurds who support the PKK are not to be equated with ISIS; rather they should be seen as some of its fiercest opponents. The West needs to wake up to that fact. Only then will we have properly seen off the new scoundrel times. And only then will the mirage of ISIS really begin to be lifted. Unfortunately it is likely to take a very long time as we move towards uncertain times for all with this third Gulf War and it is probably going to get far worse before it starts to get better. Thanks to some misguided political leaders.
Video – Kurdish women chained themselves in front of British Parliament to protest ISIS terror in Kurdistan. British police attacked Kurdish women and detained them.