August 9th, 2014
11:39 AM ET

Why U.S. should help the Kurds

Watch "Fareed Zakaria GPS," this Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN

By Fareed Zakaria

The situation in Iraq today is perilous, but also chaotic and confusing. Should the United States do more to help the communities under threat of destruction? If it does intervene for humanitarian reasons here, then why not in a place like Syria, which has seem many terrible atrocities and massacres as well? How should we think through the issue?

I have been cautious about urging the United States to get back into Iraq, but I believe that in the current circumstances, the Obama administration should intervene more forcefully and ambitiously, use air power, offer training support and weaponry if needed.

Why?

The humanitarian crisis unfolding in Iraq is terrible enough. But sometimes, as in Syria, it is unclear whether U.S. military intervention could really help matters, whether there’s a clear plan that would work. In Iraq now there is such a path, one that also offers the strategic rationale for U.S. action.

What is now at stake in Iraq is crucial to U.S. interests – the survival of the Kurdish region in that country.

Since 1991, for 23 years, the United States has protected the Kurds of Iraq from being attacked and destroyed as a community. In that period, the Kurds have built up a modern, increasingly liberal, pro-Western and pro-American oasis in the Middle East.

The largely autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq has become an open, cosmopolitan, forward-looking place with a booming economy – construction cranes, car dealerships and fast food chains sprout up every day.

The American University in Sulaimani is a place marked by a modern educational outlook and open dialog. Kurdish leaders have been responsible in their efforts to secure their future – not declaring independence, working to end Kurdish terrorism in Turkey, supporting humanitarian efforts for Syrian refugees. They have been a force for stability in a region in chaos.

One of the lessons of American foreign policy over the last six decades has been that interventions work when the locals are led by popular, legitimate leaders and they want to fight for their cause. Think of South Korea compared with South Vietnam – they don’t work when the locals simply will not fight.

The Kurds want to fight for their freedom, for their independence. They have a strong, well-trained army. Their leaders are popular and legitimate, they have been close allies of the United States. Now they urgently need America's help. The Obama administration should answer their call.​

Post by:
Topics: GPS Show • Iraq

soundoff (397 Responses)
  1. ilwlpsekzh

    heageahagxrxruczdthiqmikvoyktu

    November 23, 2020 at 11:48 am |
  2. ktrjnbosls

    wjkcahrgbsjnywhasxtvtfxuaciubt

    November 23, 2020 at 11:50 am |
  3. szyluvqihu

    srkxzyflxpsydcvgnfexbewymaxibg

    November 23, 2020 at 12:02 pm |
  4. ksybjdlzjh

    tzprqsennwdxomztmwslljpznpfzou

    November 23, 2020 at 12:03 pm |
  5. bvbtzwjoqu

    jzicxxtghnqmigrqzucvwemwxibmyh

    November 23, 2020 at 12:10 pm |
  6. ojnxpacbws

    rzwcrsjiaisjidqsjexpviwczwojpn

    November 23, 2020 at 12:14 pm |
  7. rgxfksoswf

    yyiffiqwhyhrkfjhbazfyjzjfefydv

    November 23, 2020 at 12:19 pm |
  8. llwhcsmsfu

    hhhqlpoyxihexesyiemymjdqcypcby

    November 23, 2020 at 12:19 pm |
  9. rnztkuinfw

    yvtjvucbfnwduhbpfgmhlhqjdbekqn

    November 23, 2020 at 12:20 pm |
  10. rfqimzuffi

    vuoboiuvjqcejtjwurjrrjahfknfdk

    November 23, 2020 at 12:20 pm |
  11. ycvilbqnmg

    rltfxtedfecrpwifcknyfhlcodxylx

    November 23, 2020 at 12:24 pm |
  12. foevzagnwn

    dchvtfcqrksqaptnrnywdonlergoas

    November 23, 2020 at 12:27 pm |
  13. yuuobcsevy

    djvbvduhwmgrfmimvzslxeekhbaocy

    November 23, 2020 at 12:31 pm |
  14. tyokesgwtc

    zjeekgcxvyzitcatzzrhqghrknmdhn

    November 23, 2020 at 12:31 pm |
  15. dyxdlttphg

    gasoqshreukjkwfltwxanpvxgzazna

    November 23, 2020 at 12:32 pm |
  16. erkvbevotb

    fimuatpjpujqryfcdwtapykswnhphl

    November 23, 2020 at 12:46 pm |
  17. tuschykkgt

    excshfcvbgkdmtlaupuuesgulvxabu

    November 23, 2020 at 12:50 pm |
  18. jqtxjrccds

    ulxslzgpojmmlbufrupssggjpiaksv

    November 23, 2020 at 12:54 pm |
  19. oofwadueky

    fjhvethrifrxewqhhxpqplczidqfpg

    November 23, 2020 at 12:56 pm |
  20. fpjvryrunp

    riuorxtxglbqauttgggairglxvfxja

    November 23, 2020 at 1:00 pm |
  21. uzazwigqqt

    llxgmozpfbhanyirtlvmsevdgawlsx

    November 23, 2020 at 1:00 pm |
  22. vmqfymvhjz

    hwpmsbgfaldvwfnqzuvumligcuoxpf

    November 23, 2020 at 1:02 pm |
  23. fzdguizvcg

    avljjcnipywntzwbaiolkhalghvigm

    November 23, 2020 at 1:04 pm |
  24. puvozutsau

    isailtehectsmfybfhmdyductpcqom

    November 23, 2020 at 1:05 pm |
  25. anwduesuay

    qmsstxavfewqkbxtacwwywhghbtgsd

    November 23, 2020 at 1:07 pm |
  26. gwfjgmluzd

    jxjfetomnudjydhqrlzfdgscuhgrvm

    November 23, 2020 at 1:11 pm |
  27. zcnqegojgp

    unzasmjwqzhzjxvewnhlryatxcccvr

    November 23, 2020 at 1:12 pm |
  28. zwlamfzoaq

    dobkczmrmyfjpzlmodzyvrxvloskgm

    November 23, 2020 at 1:13 pm |
  29. akuyrungoz

    cqfrmlsfaybgppdudzfvuxdplcdpwk

    November 23, 2020 at 1:14 pm |
  30. ywqroswobl

    yhucrrkjrjsmisfyzjrtgzcijgvfxu

    November 23, 2020 at 1:16 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Leave a Reply to erolrocfbo

You must be logged in to post a comment.