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Old 10-17-2019, 02:36 PM
dontbesojumpy is offline
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The Syrian/Kurd/Turkey situation.


I figured this could use its own thread.

Turkey has agreed to "a pause" in attacks on the Kurds near the Syrian border (they clarified it is not a "ceasefire," only a "pause" that will "cease only if their demands are met").

While the administration is fawning over themselves over fixing something they essentially broke by withdrawing US troops, most everyone else cannot figure out how this ceasefire would work.

Where will the Kurds go?

This area where they have settled--what rights does Turkey have to annex it? It's in Syria, no?
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Old 10-17-2019, 02:44 PM
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... This area where they have settled--what rights does Turkey have to annex it? It's in Syria, no?
On this point, yes, the area in question is nominally Syrian territory, on the northern & eastern portion of the country. I don't think Turkey has stated long-term (or short-term) plans to "annex" it. The language I've heard is that they intend to set up a security zone, or something along those lines.

And before we get too condemnatory, the US military has carved out a chunk of Syrian territory to the south that we're exercising effective control and killing any military threat that gets too close.
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Old 10-17-2019, 03:16 PM
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Where will the Kurds go?

This area where they have settled--what rights does Turkey have to annex it? It's in Syria, no?
Turkey intends to push Kurds out of the area, and take millions of Syrian refugees who are currently in Turkey and resettle them (likely forcibly) in whatever area they clear out.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/tur...erdogan-147536

Does this sound like ethnic cleansing to anyone else? No, of course not, the United States would never enable such a thing. Never. Impossible.
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Old 10-17-2019, 03:30 PM
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Turkey intends to push Kurds out of the area, and take millions of Syrian refugees who are currently in Turkey and resettle them (likely forcibly) in whatever area they clear out.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/tur...erdogan-147536

Does this sound like ethnic cleansing to anyone else? No, of course not, the United States would never enable such a thing. Never. Impossible.
Your link says:

Quote:
The Operation Peace Spring, which began on Oct. 9, has two important goals, he said.

ďThe first one is to totally remove the terror threat emanating from the PKK/YPG in the north of Syria.Ē

The second goal of the operation is to enable the 3.65 million Syrians who Turkey has been hosting for eight years to ďreturn to their homeland with their minds at peace,Ē Erdoğan said.
"totally remove the terror threat emanating from the PKK/YPG in the north of Syria" doesn't come across as particularly genocidal on its face, but I suppose it's possible that it's implemented in a way that amounts to ethnic cleansing. I guess we'll see.
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Old 10-17-2019, 04:13 PM
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"totally remove the terror threat emanating from the PKK/YPG in the north of Syria" doesn't come across as particularly genocidal on its face...
Well, if one is familiar with the treatment of Kurds in Turkey, what with the arbitrary arrest, torture, extrajudicial killings, and so on; one might have a less sanguine view of Turkish restraint.
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Old 10-17-2019, 04:18 PM
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Well, if one is familiar with the treatment of Kurds in Turkey, what with the arbitrary arrest, torture, extrajudicial killings, and so on; one might have a less sanguine view of Turkish restraint.
Would you, as someone apparently familiar with their treatment, say that the Kurds in Turkey have been the victims of ethnic cleansing?
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Old 10-17-2019, 04:26 PM
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Would you, as someone apparently familiar with their treatment, say that the Kurds in Turkey have been the victims of ethnic cleansing?
I'd say the Kurds in Turkey are in a different boat than anyone in Syria. Turkey is perfectly happy with severe repression of Kurds in Turkey, but the major reason for the invasion is to create a place to put all the wretched Syrian refugees they don't want in their country anymore. And since the definition of "Kurdish terrorist" is pretty much interchangable with our term "Kurd," it's just a different deal. So, one doesn't have to do a whole lot of creative thinking to figure out the reasons for mass graves being discovered in southern Turkey like 10 years ago or so.

I mean, the whole Turkish view on this is nuts. They're looking at thousands of square miles of Syria that just doesn't have a whole lot of "there" there, and they want to dump millions of refugees there, and they seem to have this idea that the world will rush in with tens of billions of dollars to provide housing, food, electricity, water, hospitals, and so on. When we're talking about this level of delusion, assuming rationality isn't a strong bet.

Last edited by Ravenman; 10-17-2019 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 10-17-2019, 04:20 PM
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Let's not forget the huge psychological lift given to ISIS fighters, who can claim to be refugees and then relocate to parts West.
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Old 10-17-2019, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka View Post
"totally remove the terror threat emanating from the PKK/YPG in the north of Syria" doesn't come across as particularly genocidal on its face, but I suppose it's possible that it's implemented in a way that amounts to ethnic cleansing. I guess we'll see.
Note that "genocide" and "ethnic cleansing" are often two separate terms. While the latter can include genocide, it can also refer to forced relocation.
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Old 10-17-2019, 04:47 PM
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Note that "genocide" and "ethnic cleansing" are often two separate terms. While the latter can include genocide, it can also refer to forced relocation.
You are correct, and in this case, as Ravenman mentioned, I think it's likely the Syrian refugees that are at most risk of forced relocation. And that's not to say that Turkey isn't going to be shitty to the Kurds in the area. I suspect they will be, much like they are shitty to the Kurds in Turkey. I just don't think they're going to kill them all / most or even drive the majority of them out of the area.

Last edited by HurricaneDitka; 10-17-2019 at 04:49 PM.
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Old 10-17-2019, 05:05 PM
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You are correct, and in this case, as Ravenman mentioned, I think it's likely the Syrian refugees that are at most risk of forced relocation. And that's not to say that Turkey isn't going to be shitty to the Kurds in the area. I suspect they will be, much like they are shitty to the Kurds in Turkey. I just don't think they're going to kill them all / most or even drive the majority of them out of the area.
Underline mine: I am parsing that as "are at most at risk of forced relocation". Is this correct?



No, not all. Just some. A few thousand or a couple tens of thousands, what's really the big deal?

IMHO, they will kill as many as they think that they can get away with killing without alienating their allies. With the US as an ally, that was a relatively small (but still, IMO unacceptable) number. With us as either no longer being an ally, or being an ally that doesn't condemn such acts, then they will be much more free about committing massacres. Really, I do think that their concern about a reaction from the US (and to a lesser extent, other Western European nations) is the only thing that has prevented an unmitigated slaughter of the Kurds by the Turks.

The treatment the Kurds were getting in Iraq before we intervened in that is the least of the sort of thing I am thinking.

And of course, the ones that they don't kill, they will force out into the desert to fend for themselves, with no arable land, no potable water, no shelter, no infrastructure of any sort. That way, the vast majority that die due to the relocation happen due to "natural causes", rather than by direct military violence. That is what is at risk in "forced relocation".

Lets everybody keep their hands clean and allowed to play plausible deniability about their culpability in causing the suffering and death of others.

Last edited by k9bfriender; 10-17-2019 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 10-17-2019, 03:30 PM
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It should be noted that Turkey will be occupying much of the Syrian Kurds' best agricultural land.

BBC:
Quote:
The area falling within Turkey's "safe zone" is fertile plain that once served as Syria's breadbasket. It is dotted with dozens of villages and towns, unlike the barren, desert regions to the south.
Check out this Normalized Difference Vegetation Index map of Syria. One can see that the border area with Turkey has a lot of the higher crop yield potential land.
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Old 10-18-2019, 04:15 PM
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So, Turkey's excuse is that their ethnic cleansing of the Kurds isn't anything personal; they just need to get them out of the way so they can get on with their ethnic cleansing of Syrians. And besides, it's not like the Kurds really count, anyway, because they're all terrorists.

I'm having a very hard time seeing how anyone can defend this.
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Old 10-18-2019, 05:17 PM
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"They're looking at thousands of square miles of Syria that just doesn't have a whole lot of "there" there, "

is at odds with

" It should be noted that Turkey will be occupying much of the Syrian Kurds' best agricultural land"
and
"It is dotted with dozens of villages and towns, unlike the barren, desert regions to the south."

istm

Last edited by CarnalK; 10-18-2019 at 05:21 PM.
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Old 10-18-2019, 05:43 PM
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Iím not sure why you think agricultural land comes with housing, water, electricity, hospitals, schools, and housing for several million people.

To phrase it another way, WTF are you talking about?
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Old 10-18-2019, 05:51 PM
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Iím not sure why you think agricultural land comes with housing, water, electricity, hospitals, schools, and housing for several million people.

To phrase it another way, WTF are you talking about?
Dozens of villages and towns might come with water, housing and schools. But if your point was, there isn't a completely up to date and unoccupied metropolis waiting for refugees, uh yeah. You're super correct.
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Old 10-18-2019, 06:29 PM
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Dozens of villages and towns might come with water, housing and schools. But if your point was, there isn't a completely up to date and unoccupied metropolis waiting for refugees, uh yeah. You're super correct.
Have you ever been to a refugee camp?
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Old 10-18-2019, 06:46 PM
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Why? Are they bad?

I don't know why you're being so defensive. I'm not saying moving millions of refugees into this region is right. But the article Walken linked describes the area as once being Syria's breadbasket and it has a decent rural population. That is slightly at odds with "no 'there' there". But go ahead and tell me the realistic dream location for your mass relocation of refugees.
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Old 10-18-2019, 09:49 PM
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Why? Are they bad?
In general, they are like moving far too many people into areas where there were little villages. The ones Iíve been to are probably 20-50 years old and they suck.

Quote:
I don't know why you're being so defensive.
Iím honestly baffled why you seem to argue that putting millions of people where there is not the infrastructure for them, and zero means to finance the infrastructure, is kind of not an actual problem.
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Old 10-18-2019, 10:00 PM
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Well, first of all I haven't even remotely argued that. There is no way you could honestly think I "seemed" to do that unless you didn't actually read the words I wrote. And we are both aware the refugees are already in places where there is no infrastructure for them.

Last edited by CarnalK; 10-18-2019 at 10:02 PM.
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Old 10-18-2019, 10:09 PM
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From the post that got you all riled up:
"But I have no idea how well this area could support whatever refugees get dumped there. Turkey could be creating its own West Bank."

Why in the hell do you think I "seem" to be arguing this is a good thing/not an actual problem?

Last edited by CarnalK; 10-18-2019 at 10:10 PM.
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Old 10-21-2019, 08:26 PM
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I am curious where all the people who are praising Trump for ending "endless wars" are now that it just turns out he's shuffling the Syrian troops to Iraq.
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Old 10-21-2019, 08:37 PM
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If being honest I know little to nothing about the situation, but I don't like the idea of us being involved in the situations of foreign countries, I prefer isolationism when it comes to handling other countries' business.

I don't think we should be the "policeman" of the world. I didn't think we should have gotten involved in Iraq at all during George W. Bush's presidency, I don't believe it benefited us in any way and actually hurt the U.S. What is different about this why should we be involved in the region at all, it seems like a situation that has nothing to do with us.

Situations evolve and change, but I'm welcome to persuasion is there a good reason the United States should be involved at all?
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Old 10-21-2019, 08:48 PM
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If being honest I know little to nothing about the situation, but I don't like the idea of us being involved in the situations of foreign countries, I prefer isolationism when it comes to handling other countries' business.
But let's be clear, you aren't talking about business are you? You don't want the US involved with another country's politics but you're ok with the US being involved in their economy and them in ours, right?

Quote:
Situations evolve and change, but I'm welcome to persuasion is there a good reason the United States should be involved at all?
The thing to remember in this discussion is that you were already involved. There is a right way and a wrong way to pull out. Doing it the wrong way is the biggest problem with Trump's pullout.
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Old 10-21-2019, 09:17 PM
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Situations evolve and change, but I'm welcome to persuasion is there a good reason the United States should be involved at all?
Well, it isnít an easy question to answer. Clearly, we had no cause to invade Iraq, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and a new generation of terrorists.

However, our involvement in NATO could well have prevented a Soviet invasion of Western Europe during the Cold War, preventing countless deaths and perhaps even a nuclear war. (I say ďcould haveĒ because while I think it is virtually certain, it is a matter of speculation.)

Whatís more, if we withdraw from the world stage, others step in. And at this moment, it would likely be highly repressive countries like Russia and China filling the void. I donít like the idea of authoritarianism spreading around the world - but I recognize that isolationists may not buy that argument, as by definition they donít really get bothered too much if other people in other lands get murdered, tortured, imprisoned, or whatever.
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