Why is a NATO Member Helping al Qaeda Kill Christians in Syria?
The government of Turkey has unleashed its troops and tanks on the heroes who conquered ISIS. The Turkish army is clearing the way for militias linked to al Qaeda. The goal? To conquer and persecute Kurds and Christians in Syria. These Christians and their Kurdish allies defeated ISIS in Raqqa. That’s why American soldiers didn’t have to do it. Now Turkey, a member of NATO, is using its massive military force to hand these American allies over to Islamists. They’re part of the same movement that crashed jetliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. And the U.S. State Department is doing nothing — except issue weak little requests that the Turks not kill too many civilians.
Mr. President, what part of “America First” did you not really mean? Are you being misled by State Department officials held over from Obama? The Christians who formed the strongest part of your political base want answers. Is this how the U.S. treats persecuted Christians, those who actually fought on our side in a vicious war?
Similar questions will vex any group or nation that might consider aiding America. Will the Kurds who helped us end up just like the South Vietnamese? We don’t serve American interests by showing ourselves as an utterly untrustworthy ally. One which uses its partners then throws them to the wolves.
When the Soviets Crushed Hungary
A tragedy like this has happened before.
In 1956 the world watched in helpless fascination. The people of Hungary rejected the harsh Stalinist system which the Soviets had shoved down their throats. Workers, students, clergy, farmers — every sector of Hungarian society, even leaders of its native Communist Party — rose up in 1956. They filled the streets with protestors. They closed down factories with strikes. The nation had lived under one dictatorship or another since the end of World War I. But now it rejected the vicious, totalitarian system imposed by Russia after World War II. For the first time in many years, people spoke freely in the streets about politics. Parties other than the Communists could meet once again. Citizens once again felt like full human beings.
The Syrian Spring
Something similar is happening right now in the Middle East. In the Federation of Northern Syria, Muslims and Christians, Kurds and Arabs, Yazidis and women, are all working together. As The Stream’s Johannes de Jong has reported the regime in that region
is secular and tolerant, governed by a Social Contract that functions as a kind of constitution. … [It] rejects Islamism and dictatorship, and guarantees political representation for women. A network of “women’s houses” and female-led organizations supports this move to offer equal rights for all. Syriac Christians have their own cultural, civic political and media organizations, whose members I was privileged to meet. …
Westerners concerned about defending religious freedom and fighting terrorism owe the Federation their support. Christians like us who are privileged to enjoy religious freedom must not abandon the embattled Christians and other minorities who have won themselves a respite from persecution and dictatorship.
The people of Northern Syria face something even starker than Communism. Islamist intolerance goes back not 15 or 150 but 1500 years. Yet the Kurdish-led Federation is peeling it back. People are free to practice their religion under that government. Where else in the Middle East (except for Israel) is that really true? Even under the well-meaning government in Egypt, Christian Copts face death at the hands of extremists. There is nowhere in the Muslim Middle East where Christians are as safe as they are in the Federation of Northern Syria. New churches of Kurds who converted to Christianity are popping up like mushrooms. Muslims who did that in Iran or Saudi Arabia would face beheading.
Turkey, a member of NATO, is using its massive military force to hand these American allies over to Islamists. They’re part of the same movement that crashed jetliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. And the U.S. State Department is doing nothing.
Will we really stand by and let our allies be crushed and persecuted?
History Repeats Itself, But Now It’s Worse
I was about to say that it’s just like 1956, when NATO stood by and watched as the Soviets rolled in their tanks to crush and slaughter Hungary’s citizens fighting for freedom.
But in fact, it’s worse. Back then, we faced the real threat that nuclear war might erupt if we intervened. Now there’s no such excuse. The only consequence of stopping Turkish leader Tayyip Erdogan and al Qaeda from conquering northern Syria? Another hissy fit. This by a leader who blackmails and bullies Europe, while aiding Islamists everywhere.
And this time NATO isn’t just standing by. Turkey is a member in good standing of NATO. Imagine if NATO had helped the Soviets crush freedom in Hungary, and the U.S. had just stood by.
That’s the level of moral disgrace and strategic stupidity we have achieved in 2018.
President Trump, this isn’t what we voted for.