The Kurds are over the news this month – who are they anyway? When the media mentions the Kurds, one might think they are a cohesive group, like a nation of people. But that’s not quite the way it is, for in fact the Kurds are many things.
In terms of ethnicity, the Kurds are considered the fourth largest group in the Middle East. Arabs, Turks and Persians are larger. The Kurds live in a roughly contiguous region spanning Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Syria. Though their language – related to modern Persian – and culture are distinctive, they are mostly Sunni Muslims. Because they are strongly tribal, the Kurds have not successfully united enough to forge and maintain a nation state, though they call a section of their land Kurdistan. This has often led to rebellions and uprisings as the Kurds fought for independence while never succeeding.
So we have a loosely affiliated Muslim group located in neighboring sections of four states. The People’s Protection Units, or Y.P.G., is now facing an escalating battle with Turkish forces in northwestern Syria, and are closely tied to the P.K.K (Kurdistan Worker’s Party). The P.K.K. is considered a terrorist group by both Turkey and the US. Because the Y.P.G. has helped the US against ISIS, their ties to the P.K.K. have caused problems between the US and Turkey.
It’s complicated, but the US has decided that after years of helping the Kurds, relations in the Middle East made it necessary to pull back from support on the Turkish-Syria border. This has caused a huge response from the anti-Trump crowd, who have descended on the issue like a herd of ants on a dead carcass.
This should be a unique issue, but the media and the left have been connecting the alliance of the US with the Kurds to the alliance with Israel. They accuse Trump of treating Israel the same way in the future, just because the media likes fake news about Trump.
Note to leftist media: Israel is not a loose group of Muslim tribes! Israel is a stable nation state which happens to be the most westernized of all Middle Eastern states. The only similarity between the Kurds and Israel in terms of US aid is that both receive US military equipment.
There is a huge difference between how the Kurds deal with their military help and how Israel deals with it. The Kurds used it to help the US beat down IS. The Israelis use it to develop weapons, buy US weapons, and provide other benefits to the US.
Highlights of these benefits include, but are not limited to:
Israel is a major defense supplier to the U.S. military, providing cutting-edge, sophisticated military technology, such as the David’s Sling Counter Rocket and Arrow Missile Defense System. In addition, US received cyber-weapons, unmanned vehicles (such as land robots and aerial drones), sensors and electronic warfare systems, and advanced defenses for military vehicles. Israel is also on the front lines fighting terrorism and aggression before they reach the US.
Israel provides critical intelligence to the US in regard to the Middle East and the Mediterranean states. Without such intel, the US would have to maintain more bases and use more resources to carry out their own reconnaissance and spying.
Israeli civilian technological innovations have helped the US in a range of non-military security challenges. U.S. companies have set up technology incubators in Israel, one of the most innovative societies in the world. Israeli high-tech firms partner with US companies in production and marketing ventures in the US and other countries, which has created tens of thousands of jobs for Americans. Israel is also a top importer of American products. Remember, many Israelis are dual citizens of Israel and America and demand the American products they have used and loved. Israel also provides the US with its agricultural technological and land use innovations, such as the now ubiquitous drip irrigation system. We also must include the amazing wastewater reclamation developments, renewable energy innovations such as solar and wind power, and so on.
Mention Israel to an American and the first thing that often comes to their mind is medical innovation. More than medications, Israel produces med-tech innovations like the Re-Walk, the upright wheelchair, an immunotherapy technique to treat cancer, electro-optic medical devices, portable ECG, Ob/Gyn/Portable Fetal-Maternal Monitoring Device, and much more.
Let’s compare this partial list to the complete list of benefits provided by the Kurds:
Fighting IS, and….. and?…oh well.
So it’s ludicrous for the anti-Trumpers to jump up and down and warn that Trump is going to stab Israel in the back first chance he gets. He is aware that the US depends on Israel for many more benefits than the Kurds could ever provide. Besides, his Christian Zionist and Jewish supporters would raise a huge fit if he would even look like he is contemplating such a move. Let’s face it – it’s like comparing apples (fruit) to Apples (computers) – no comparison.
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