Letter to Editor: Betrayal of Kurdish allies is heart-wrenching to watch
I am horrified and heartsick at the deplorable betrayal of our allies, the Kurds, who bravely fought ISIS alongside our own troops, at the hand of Donald Trump.
My oldest son, Nick Conner, served multiple tours in Afghanistan and Iraq and returned with, in addition to four Bronze Stars, a profound respect and affection for the local interpreters, military personnel and civilians with whom he served in each of those countries. He would, and did, defend them as vigorously as he did his own countrymen and women.
I have no doubt that the US forces who fought alongside their Kurdish counterparts feel the same. Their bond is with comrades-in-arms; the country of origin, religion, language or skin tone is utterly irrelevant. Ask anyone who has served with locals; I am confident they will agree.
So imagine the dismay, the disbelief, the anger our troops must be feeling, having been ordered out so precipitously that the Russian soldiers replacing them have found uneaten meals left on mess hall tables — and knowing that their Kurdish friends and allies were being abandoned to a genocidal bloodbath.
When a mass murder occurs, the question is asked,” Did the perpetrator act alone, or is there a conspiracy?” In this case, it seems the impulsive and disastrous U.S. withdrawal was the act of a “lone wolf,” a man who neither seeks nor heeds the advice of generals, diplomats or other experts. Evidently, a flattering phone call or two is all it takes for our Commander-in Chief to single-handedly abandon our allies, open the door to Assad and his Russian allies, allow ISIS prisoners to escape and regroup, and undo in a moment the hard-won gains of the past several years.
Our reputation on the world stage, already damaged by other poor decisions, is no doubt now beyond repair. Who would trust the USA? We break treaties, pull out of signed accords, lie with impunity and betray our friends.
I have written and phoned Senators Young and Braun and Congressman Jim Banks. I am gratified that, unlike Rep. Greg Pence, Rep. Banks joined an overwhelming number of House members in voting 354-60 to condemn the withdrawal. When will the Senate do likewise? Are Kurdish families less valuable than American families? Do betrayal and genocide matter to our senators? Or has their party affiliation once again trumped their humanity. Sadly, I anticipate what I routinely receive when I voice my concerns to their aides — a generic form letter stating that they value my opinion and appreciate hearing from me. Oh, and would I like to join their mailing list?
It is my hope that those who believe, as I do, that our elected officials need to act against this atrocity, will make their voices heard. Please, call or email them. If enough of us demand that they take a public stand against the Kurdish genocide, perhaps they will find their courage, after all. It’s worth trying.
Mary Angela Conner