Canada COMMENTARY: Canada is complicit in the shameful betrayal of the Kurds
Shree Paradkar: Woman killed in machete attack now the subject of shameful victim-blaming
Unlike many Tamil migrants who came to Canada fleeing violence in Sri Lanka, Tharshika Jeganathan came here and met her death. At a candlelight vigil last week in Scarborough attended by a few dozen people, Jeganathan was described in an anonymously written statement by a friend as a “hard-working, intelligent, caring and very thoughtful person.” Jeganathan was many, many times damned. First by her circumstance — born in a poor family in a war-ravaged country. Then, as far we know, a fresh ordeal began in Toronto early in 2017 when, as she alleged in court, she suffered emotional and physical abuse at the hands of her former husband.
Thethat are starting to emerge from Kurdish areas of northern Syria are heartbreaking. The fact that this situation is unfolding in the first place is infuriating.
After all the sacrifices that Kurdish forces have made in taking the fight to ISIS and bringing about the end of the so-called caliphate, for the American president to throw them under the bus and subject them to this Turkish onslaught is beyond shameful.
Justin Ling: Like the Americans, Canada is throwing the Kurds under the bus
The Kurdish people are currently seeing exactly how much Canadian allyship is worth. On Sunday, American President Donald Trump announced — via a tweet — that he would be withdrawing U.S. forces from northern Syria. Such a move had been rumoured for months, but it was nevertheless jarring. As the drawdown began on Monday, there were already unconfirmed reports that Turkish fighter jets had hit targets in the Kurdish-controlled area. On the campaign trail, Canadian leaders offered little more than handwringing in response to the looming military campaign against the vulnerable population — our close military and political ally.
Just a year ago, in fact, Donald Trump was praising the Kurds for their sacrifices and for being such stalwart allies, and vowing that the U.S. would not forget.
Trump: “Kurds are great people, great fighters, I like them a lot. We are trying to help them a lot. Don’t forget that’s their territory.They fought with us, they died with us, we lost tens of thousands of Kurds fighting ISIS. They’re great people and we have not forgotten.”
— Mutlu Civiroglu (@mutludc)
The president forgot to not forget, it seems. Not only are the Kurds now paying the price, but ultimately the Americans could, too. By alienating a key ally in the Middle East, fostering chaos in the region, and potentially even allowing ISIS to rise from the ashes, there could be serious harm done to long-term U.S. security interests.
Trump defends abandoning the Kurds by saying they didn't help the US in WWII
When asked whether he felt his treatment of the Kurds sent a poor message to other potential US allies, Trump said, "Alliances are very easy."This came amid reports Turkish ground troops were crossing the border into Syria following airstrikes that began earlier in the day.
Trump even managed to blindside and anger; a strange thing to do at a time when the president will need every possible ally in Congress and he faces possible impeachment.
But as much as we can and should call out and condemn Trump for his craven abandonment of the Kurds, we should also look at why Canada hasn’t been doing more. Our record is not one to be proud of, unfortunately.
On the campaign trail, the various federal political leaders have had little to say about the situation. Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer's attacks and described the Kurds as Canada's allies. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh called the situation " ." Green Party Leader Elizabeth May said Turkey's membership in the alliance because of the invasion. But overall, their remarks have been limited. An issue like this might upend the political script they’re all carefully trying to stick to, but this is the sort of matter a would-be prime minister should have to address.
Ottawa Kurds calling for action as Turkey attacks northern Syria
Ottawa's Kurdish community is calling for action to stop the Turkish incursion into northern Syria that they say has put their family members and friends in danger. Organizations for Kurds in Ottawa are planning a rally Saturday at the U.S. Embassy to protest President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw American forces from the border region, leaving their Kurdish allies behind.Turkish forces began the offence on Wednesday and have continued their offensive against U.S.-allied Syrian Kurdish fighters. Casualties have continued to climb and thousands of civilians are fleeing the violence.
As for Canada's official response, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland didof Turkey’s military incursion into Syria, but her statement said nothing at all about our Kurdish allies:
Canada firmly condemns Turkey’s military incursion into Syria today.
— Chrystia Freeland (@cafreeland)
That tepid response is pretty much in keeping with the Liberals’ tepid support for the Kurds and their efforts to defeat ISIS.
One of the first things the Liberals did upon taking office in 2015 was to, which had been providing a support role in the offensive against ISIS — much to the chagrin of our Kurdish allies.
The Trudeau government did promise to supply weapons to the Kurds, but. We’ve also ignored repeated pleas from the Kurds to deal with our foreign nationals, whom with other ISIS prisoners.
Moreover, when Kurds voted for independence in 2017,— after previously urging them to cancel the vote.
'We betrayed' the Kurds, US troops express anger at Trump's Syria policy
A wide range of American military personnel and defense officials are expressing a deep sense of frustration and anger at the Trump administration's refusal to support Syrian Kurds facing a Turkish military assault, over half a dozen US military and defense officials have told CNN. Several US military and defense officials, including personnel deployed to Syria, expressed dismay at how the Trump administration has handled the situation.One US official said it is well known that some senior US military officials are livid at how the Kurds have been treated given their role in helping the US fight ISIS.
At this point, the Kurds already have reason to question Canada’s commitment and the American betrayal may make them reluctant to trust anyone else any time soon. But that doesn’t mean we should ignore this issue and hope for the best.
We need to be much more forceful in condemning the Turkish offensive and in pushing other NATO allies to take a harder line — perhaps even to consider sanctions — on Turkey. This may also be one of those rare instances where we need to call out our closest ally.
But if we’re going to try and drive the point home to the U.S. administration that abandoning the Kurds is a moral and strategic mistake, then we’d better be prepared to demonstrate our own commitment to that principle.
Hopefully, once the election is over, our new government will be prepared to take a meaningful stance on this situation. Unfortunately, things are growing worse each day. Waiting until Oct. 21 is a luxury our Kurdish allies don’t have.
is host of “Afternoons with Rob Breakenridge” on and a commentator for Global News.
Syria-Turkey crisis: Putin now owns this mess .
As US President Donald Trump hailed the agreement his administration negotiated with the Turks for northern Syria as "a great day for civilization," the Turks quickly dumped cold water over the White House's euphoria, refusing to even call the deal a ceasefire. Only a few hours later, airstrikes and artillery fire could be felt in northern Syria as the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces accused Ankara and its proxies of severe ceasefire violations. The mood both in Washington and in the Middle East is that the ceasefire is not the real deal.