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      Monday
      Oct132014

      The Machiavellian Evil in Kobani 

      The horror and sorrow of war is falling on the Kurds resisting ISIL in Kobani while the Turkish government ignores their plight and the US bombs ineffectively. Here's the core of the story: the PKK in Syria, "adhere to a left-wing philosophy that many Western policymakers and other critics see as a throwback to the 1960s-era revolutionaries." As an example, the Times cites the presence of many local women who pushed out ISIL militarily. 

      For myself, being considered a throwback to the 1960s-era revolutionaries is a pretty admirable alternative to what's on offer these days in the Syrian war. The often-progressive Turkish government won't lift a finger for the Kurds right across their border because the PKK has conducted decades of guerrilla warfare on behalf of Kurdish independence from the old Ottoman empire. Exterminating those Kurds in Kobani, you see, will help weaken a bothersome insurgency in Turkey. What's really shocking is that cease-fire talks have been going on productively between the PKK and the Turks, and now, just as the talks are making progress, they will collapse if Turkey leaves the Kurds of Kobani to their fate for such a Machiavellian reason. 

      So which is the lesser evil now: to intervene militarily to save Kobani, or stay out in deference to Turkey? Either way, Assad wins.

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