Gunter: The Stupidity of American Foreign Policy

Professor Michael Gunter, secretary general of the EUTCC, has written a new opinion piece on US foreign policy towards the Kurdish issue, which we reproduce below:

 

THE STUPIDITY OF AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY

Although there can be no doubt that compared to most other countries in the world today and in the past, American foreign policy has been motivated by relative honesty and intelligence, currently there are several specifics in that policy that can only be characterized as sheer stupidity. The first point has to do with American foreign policy towards the horrific civil war in Syria. Although President Obama’s basic instinct not to enter another disastrous Middle Eastern war is sound, his administration’s continuing attempt to support increasingly non-existent moderate oppositionists against the Assad regime is at the best based on wishful thinking because with one exception (the Kurds) such moderates in Syria no longer exist.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)—now styling itself the Islamic State (IS)—has largely supplanted the moderates with the exception of the Kurds who have been battling the Islamists for more than two years. However, the United States opposes the Kurds because of a misguided belief that they are dividing the moderate opposition by insisting on Kurdish autonomy and probably even more are connected to the Democratic Union Party (PYD) that is largely in control of the Kurdish areas but is an off-shoot of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which the United States considers to be a terrorist movement. While the PKK link is real and largely explains the PYD’s success in fending off ISIS so far, the PYD is also a moderate secular movement and thus is everything the United States should want to support. This is even more so because for more than a year now, Turkey has been pursuing a serious peace process with the PKK. Thus, if the U.S. NATO ally Turkey is now dealing with the PKK/PYD, there is no further reason for the United States to shun it. American foreign policy has simply failed to catch up with the times and is thus shooting itself in the foot.

Continue reading

Kurds for an independent Scotland

JOINT STATEMENT BY THE KURDISH COMMUNITY OF THE UK

30 May 2014

 

KURDS FOR AN INDEPENDENT SCOTLAND

 

On 18 September 2014, the Scottish people have an opportunity to determine their own future as an independent country in a free vote. The choice that they make in this independence referendum will influence the lives of future generations. Furthermore, the result will have a profound impact on the fortunes of peoples throughout the world – the Kurds included – who hold similar aspirations to take greater control of their own lives and who are seeking to determine their own futures.

 

At stake are not borders, national flags or emblems, but whether free people have the right to decide their own futures in a democratic state. It is for this reason that the Kurds will be watching closely the vitally important developments unfolding in Scotland over the next few months.

 

The Kurds, involved in their own historic national struggle for respect and recognition as a people, see democratic autonomy as forming the basis of a new relationship between themselves and their neighbours whereby all peoples in their region are treated as equals.

 

The Kurds in Kurdistan have been expressing a resounding ‘Yes’ in increasing numbers to the strategy of deepening democratisation. In Southeast Turkey and in Rojava in Syria in particular the Kurds have been taking greater control of their destinies in a democratic process that they regard as ultimately unstoppable.

The Scottish people have the right to choose independence and build a strong, new relationship between Scotland and the rest of the UK. This is what a ‘Yes’ vote essentially means; the alternative is to remain within the old structure of the centralised British state where all key decisions influencing their lives and livelihoods are taken in the Westminster Parliament. If the Scottish people have the courage to vote ‘Yes’ they will start to construct a new partnership of equals with the rest of the British Isles.

 

The Kurdish community in Britain, through their representative civil society organisations across the UK, recognise the historic significance of the coming referendum in Scotland. As such, we would like to express support for ‘Yes’ vote and believe that an independent Scotland will improve the lives of the people considerably.

Continue reading