As ISIS militants push towards the strategic Syrian border town of Kobani, the Turkish military is massed along the border of Syria, at an impasse over just when and where they should involve themselves in this ongoing Mideast conflict. Isis controls large swaths of territory in the country of Iraq, as well as Syria, its base of operations. As the days go by, the territory controlled by this terror group is continually increasing, despite US coalition airstrikes against it.
The situation is no better in Iraq. It was reported on Monday that Isis is driving closer and closer towards Baghdad. In the battle for Baghdad airport, it was also reported that US forces were used to direct airstrikes in direct support of Iraqi ground forces that were defending the airport. So we see our first American boots on the ground in this military campaign, contrary to Defense Department and White House spin.
ISIS, referred to by the White House and other governments as ISIL, has been directing a military campaign against the governments of Syria and Iraq in an effort to create an Islamic State, or “the Levant”, also referred to as “Greater Syria”. It has also been described as “al-Sham”, a seventh century Muslim Caliphate that refers to the area the between the north Atlantic coast of Africa, westward to Afghanistan. The current Muslim Caliphate targets the area between Syria and the Euphrates River in Iraq.
ISIS is an acronym for Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. ISIL is an acronym for Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Al-Shām refers to the geographic region that encompasses the area between The Mediterranean Sea, the Euphrates River, the desert in the Arabian Peninsula and the Taurus Mountains in southern Turkey.
A “Islamic State” is a form of government based on Sharia Law established by the Islamic prophet named Mohammed, as directed by him under the terms of the his original caliphate.
With the recent advances of ISIS in northern portions of Syria coming dangerously close to the Turkish border, it would appear that Turkey will at some point be dragged into this military action against ISIS. This is not the case however, as the government of Turkey has seen fit to stand on the sidelines and ignore what is heading towards them at a rapid pace.
In recent days ISIS has gained control at least partially over the town of Kobani, on the Turkish / Syrian border. ISIS militants have at least partial control of the town, with Kurdish Fighters trying desperately to stave off the advancing ISIS army.
All this while Turkish tanks are amassed on the Turkish side of the border, waiting for ISIS to succeed, it would appear. There is no doubt Turkey will engage ISIS when and if they cross the border. Turkey has been calling for a “buffer zone” to be established and maintained by the U.N. to support Syrian and Iraqi refugees fleeing the war, and currently being encamped in Turkey.
Why is Turkey sitting back and waiting? Why haven’t they been asked to join the coalition? Perhaps they have, and have refused. If they have refused, one can see why Secretary of State John Kerry would not be in a hurry to announce these results. Turkey is one of our most trusted allies, and a member of NATO. With a large population of Sunni Muslims, could it be that Turkey is hedging their bets, trying to have their entrance into the conflict forced upon them by NATO, and calm their own Sunni population?
Additionally, Turkey has its own rather large Kurdish population, which has been clamoring for control of its own territory. The area of the Middle East that is referred to as Kurdistan encompasses parts of Iran, Iraq and Syria, as well as Turkey.
During our own Revolutionary War, The Articles of Confederation was the glue that held our country together, and allowed for processes and decisions to be made with regards to forming a country. It put emphasis on the States first, and the central government second. It was hard enough for us to break away from England, so imagine if we had to first become a centralized nation before fighting against England.
The Articles of Confederation have served us well as a country, until after the war when General George Washington guided us through the ratification of The Constitution. That is why he is more than just our first President, he is the father of our country.
The aftermath of the second war in Iraq was a failed attempt at nation building, because it left out the Sunni’s, to some degree. The freely elected Prime Minister of Iraq, until recently, was Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite. He positioned his cabinet to be free of Sunni’s, essentially creating the problem of ISIS, a group of disgruntled Sunni’s, most from Iraq.
Now the Kurds have been watching this nation building from afar, and if anyone deserves their own country, it is the Kurds. The Iraqi government even allowed them autonomy in their region of Iraq, for whatever reason. But the Turks, that’s another story all together.
The Kurds have been trying to re-establish the Kurdistan of old for many years now. The current climate is ripe now for several “States” to be formed for the land mass of Syria and Iraq, with Shiites, Sunni’s and Kurds all getting their own “country”, ala the Articles of Confederation, until they can be brought together under one constitution.
The Kurds have been giving the Turks problems for quite some time now over this issue, and the insurgency at the border that we speak of may bring about a repeat of history.
During World War Two, the Russians stood and watched the Free Polish Army get slaughtered at the hands of the Nazi’s. The Poles rose up and fought the Nazi’s, knowing that the Russians were amassed at the border. They felt the Russians would help them liberate Poland. Stalin had other ideas, as the Poles were not Communists, they wanted a Democracy in Poland. Stalin stood and watched Hitler remove one of his opponents, and then he eliminated Hitler.
This scenario is playing out once again, on the Turkish – Syrian border. It would appear that the Turkish powers that be will allow ISIS to eliminate the Kurds, at which point the Turks will begin to help eliminate the ISIS rebels. ISIS cannot see the value of The Articles of Confederation as a Mideast nation building strategy, only their own ambitions.
By Jim Donahue