How do you tell the boss he's wrong?
It's a weird situation when you contribute to a site whose ownership and big-name personalities take positions so contrary to your own. I expect that few, if any of you, have been in the position that I'm at here at The Rebel.
I don't think that I'm violating any confidences when I tell you that I was invited to post here as a sort of "Call Bullshit" guy. Nothing is as boring as an echo chamber, which is why Fox News is populated entirely by hot blondes. Few things are as effective at distracting you from an utter lack of actual content as a hot blonde.
On most things, like dopey social issues that I don't think are the government's business, I let it slide. Vive le Difference and whatnot. Besides, most of those changes are here to stay, regardless of what you, me or anybody else has to say about it. When the Conservative Party decides that, say, gay marriage isn't in their wheelhouse, the issue is pretty much settled.
War and peace is a little different, particularly when a personality as influential as Ezra Levant is speaking out about it. When you're talking about matters that can very easily wind up with Canadian kids getting very dead, I strongly believe that some precision of language is required.
So I'm calling bullshit. On my own boss. This should be interesting, if only to see if it actually gets published and stays that way. It would be hypocritical in the extreme for me to publish this anywhere else without trying here first.
On Tuesday, the Rebel Commander put up this video post, which, in my opinion, took a great deal of effort to be that wrong in just six minutes.
Point by point, here are my issues;
1) Mr. Levant assumes that all Kurds are created equal.
They decidedly are not. Ezra makes no distinction between the various factions. Iraqi Kurdistan is governed by a loose coalition of the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdisan. The Turks are bombing, along with ISIS formations, the forces of the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK).
The PKK, which Ezra refers to as "a rebel group." is a violent revolutionary Marxist-Leninist movement that has been engaged in anti-Turkish terrorism since at least 1979. Until the 1990s, the PKK was supported by Syria's Assad regime, and - according to Wikipedia:
"Starting in 1984, the PKK transformed into a paramilitary group, using training camps located in France. It launched attacks and against governmental installations, the military, and various "institutions of the state" — some of which were connected to the Southeastern Anatolia Project. The PKK became less centralized, taking up operations in a variety of European and Middle Eastern countries, especially Germany and France. The PKK has attacked civilian and military targets in various countries, such as Turkey, France, Belgium and Iraq."
They are also alleged by the United States to be involved in drug trafficking. Like the Taliban in Afghanistan, the PKK has a history of using women as suicide bombers. It remains a designated a terrorist group by the United States, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Canada, Germany, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, and Syria.
2) As Ezra points out, the PKK is fighting ISIS in Syria.
So, in the form of the al-Nusra Front, is al Qaeda. Are they our besties now, too? Or are we makings distinctions between "good terrorists" and "bad" ones?
It should be noted, which Mr. Levant doesn't, that Turkey is retaliating against terror attacks by the PKK, within Turkey, against police and military targets that took place just last week.
In this, some context is necessary: Stephen Harper and Jason Kenney declared "war" based on attacks that killed two Canadian soldiers in Ottawa and Quebec that had no actual operational command and control link to ISIS. How exactly is Turkey not justified in not responding at least as forcefully?
3) Mr. Levant declares this a "deal" with Turkey that makes it "more dangerous to be America's friend than an enemy."
One suspects that he didn't feel that way in October of 2007, when Turkey retaliated against PKK forces in Iraq Kurdistan for another set of terror attacks. It would be horrible to know that President Bush, who controlled Iraq's borders and airspace at the time, was enabling freedom's enemies and betraying the only democrats in the Middle East who aren't Israeli.
4) Ezra says that Iran is fighting ISIS "with Obama's permission."
Really? Were the al-Qouds Force operating in Iraq with George Bush's position from 2004-'09?
It seems to me that the United States wasn't any more willing to go to war to stop Iran then than it is now.
5) The Kurds are "Taking back land"
This is true, but only in the strictest sense. The Kurds are taking back land from ISIS that they already contested was theirs during the Saddam era. The Kurds aren't fighting for land that they have no national interest in. And if they were, who would they turn it back over to once hostilities ended?
Much like ISIS, the Kurds have no interest in preserving the Iraqi central state. However, that is contrary to the wishes of the entire international community, including Canada.
6) Turkey hates the Kurds because they would take"some territory that Turkey currently controls" to establish a state.
Estimates vary, but "some territory" would be anywhere between a quarter and a third of current Turkey, parts of eastern Iran and northern Iraq and Syria.
Quick, name a country that is willing to voluntarily give up a third of its territory to create a new state! Now name four.
I feel that it is inhuman to encourage a people as vulnerable as the Kurds to seek national independence if we aren't personally prepared to guarantee their security. Unless and until the Government of Canada is prepared to sacrifice our boys and girls to defend the independence of a Kurdish state against powerful and evil neighbors, we shouldn't tell them to risk their lives to achieve it. Talk is cheap.
7) Countries that allow women in combat "aren't fascist misogynists."
Like, I dunno, the United States? Canada before the 1990s?
8) "So the United States protects Turkey"
One supposes. In as much as it protects Canada, the United Kingdom, France or Germany. Turkey has the second largest deployable force in NATO, after the United States. American bases were placed in Turkey as an offensive measure against the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
9) Because of a lack of offensive basing rights in Turkey, "Obama is the worst negotiator ever."
This of course is why the 2003 Iraq War offensive was launched entirely from Kuwait, as opposed to Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Because President Bush was such an awesome negotiator. He just liked the challenge of launching a ground offensive from a single front, when he could have had three. Or four. Jordan, which gets a boatload of American aid, refused to help, too.
But, yeah, it's all on Obama.
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