Have you seen that bumper sticker with an image of the American flag—Old Glory—with the caption, “These Colors Won’t run?” I have. The problem is it ain’t true. They do.
America used to be a proud country. And for good reason. There was a lot that was good about it. Sometimes I wonder what happened?
Recently the American military, under the command of their Commander-in Chief –Donald Trump–abandoned a long-standing ally—the Kurds. At the same time, in tweet, Trump made it clear that Turkey a long time foe of the Kurds, could have their way with them. And very few Americans have grumbled about it. Most have accepted the lame attempts by that Commander-in-Chief to dismiss the shabby, dishonorable treatment of an ally with a shrug of the shoulders.
That Commander-in-Chief poured scorn on the Kurds saying they did not help much. They didn’t even help in World War II. As is so often the case with this leader, the truth is different. Trump and the truth keep little company. The Kurds have been America’s chief ally in the fight against Syria and ISIS. The Kurdish forces are called the Syrian Defence Forces (‘SDF’).
Dr. Kori Schake put this in perspective: “They have been the ground forces doing the fighting for the defeat of ISIS and you can see it in the casualty figures. The U.S. suffered only 5 casualties in the Anti-ISIS campaign. The SDF suffered over 11,000! They have been doing the hard dangerous work and we have just abandoned them!”
And the Americans through their chosen President mock the efforts of their closest ally and prepared to abandon them. It did not take the Turks, who have it in for the Kurds, to take advantage. This then allowed the Syrians, who used poison gas on their own people, to win the Civil War that has cost so many lives and resulted in so many refugees and asylum seekers around the world. Of course, the Americans refused to accept them, even though they were so instrumental in creating their problems. First the Americans abandoned the Syrian rebels, then they also abandoned the Kurds.
So the Kurds made a deal with the Syrian leader Assad rather than face the brutality of the Turks. As Schake said, “which tells you a lot too.”
Where has all the honor gone? Whose colors don’t run?