Fighting between Turks and Kurds is nothing new. But the latest assault by the Turkish army on the Kurdish province of Afrin inside Syria bodes ill for the region—just when things appeared to be looking up for the peoples of Syria. As Kurds who had played a decisive role in the demise of the Islamic… Continue reading
This is the heartwarming story of how some football players classily poked their fingers into the eye of Turkish authoritarianism. Their daring act of solidarity—worthy of the political pages of our daily newspapers—took place in a football stadium in Hamburg, Germany on October 16, 2016. Members of a local team, St. Pauli, donned their brown… Continue reading
American judges are under a glaring spotlight. They nullified President Trump’s executive order barring citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. I can’t speak for 3.3 million Muslim-Americans, but 50,000 American Kurds had one common sentiment: black robes rock! I thought that too—until I read the decision of a Virginia judge who… Continue reading
November 17, 2016 You and the Kurds have a common foe. In Washington lingo, that is enough for both of us to become friends, and fast ones at that, immediately. We should consider it and consider this: a modest Kurdish proposal. The foreign-policy establishment doesn’t like either of us. They don’t have a phone number… Continue reading
August 30, 2016 In the unadulterated barbarism called the Islamic State, you are allowed to shop for cucumbers and tomatoes, but you are not permitted to place them in the same bag. That’s because the noun cucumber is masculine in Arabic, and the noun tomato is feminine. Thus, the “morality police” of vegetables in the… Continue reading
August 21, 2016 Mr. Engel is chief foreign correspondent for NBC News. He has become a household name in America regarding news from the Middle East. Thinking that I could learn something interesting from his new book, I ordered my copy, And Then All Hell Broke Loose: Two Decades in the Middle East. I was… Continue reading
Dec 30, 2015 “A spectre is haunting Europe—the spectre of communism.” So started the Communist Manifesto of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in 1848 and enough time has passed to say that the spectre did some good and a lot of harm when it finally showed up in Saint Petersburg, Russia, with a little bit… Continue reading
Nov 15, 2015 My cheers for Russian President Vladimir Putin are tongue-in-check, based on his vow to bomb the Islamic State cutthroats and their cousins who are battling the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad. The man who demolished Grozny, the Chechen capital, and renamed its main boulevard after himself believes in the supremacy of brute… Continue reading
When you visited Washington last May, the Kurdish media hailed your trip as a glowing success.
Was it really?
Some Kurds wonder—and with good cause. Continue reading
Aug 13, 2015 Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu unfortunately talked out of both sides of his mouth last month in his Washington Post op-ed extolling his country’s battle against terrorism. Instead of letting the Post list his supposed credentials, he declared them himself, and in his opening lines no less: “A professor of history, diplomat… Continue reading