Trump and the Kurds
Sir, – US president Donald Trump’s recent remarks on the Syrian border debacle highlight a pernicious untruth about the Middle East which needs correcting. He stated that “they have been fighting each other for centuries”, an old canard often trotted out by western politicians to explain away the consequences of their Middle East policy failures.
While the Kurdish people did find themselves sandwiched between Ottoman and Persian imperial ambitions for many centuries, this has little to do with the causes of the current conflict, which could perhaps be more reasonably traced back to the period between the world wars, when Kurdish nationalism became a mass movement. In that period Syria was a French mandate, which adds a certain irony to Mr Trump’s ridiculous comment about the Kurds not contributing to the Normandy landings.
Syria, which had been under the control of the Vichy government, was occupied by the Allies in 1941. The Vichy colonial troops, Kurds among them, were not enthused at the prospect of dying for the Axis powers, and disbanded themselves as the Allied forces approached. By the time of the Normandy landings three years later, the region was already under Allied occupation. – Yours, etc,
Dr LOUGHLIN SWEENEY,
John Endicott College
of International Studies,
Sir, – It is absolutely disgusting to hear the EU call for restraint as Turkey commences its turn at adding to the death, destruction and mayhem in Syria. Ireland, as an EU member, has contributed to this ongoing manifestation of hell by supporting revolution in both Syria and Libya and from its earlier facilitation of the US during the Iraq war. With a foreign policy akin to a blindfolded madman in control of a wrecking ball, all of the EU members are saturated in the blood of the innocents.
Token rescues in the Mediterranean and feigned concern for refugees only serve to reduce the size of the eye of the needle. – Yours, etc,
Firhouse, Dublin 24.