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Grateful Kurds thank U.S soldiers
http://www.tennessean.com/iraq/101/archives/04/04/49790154.shtml?Element_ID=49790154 ^ | 4/13/04 | Anita Wadhwani

Posted on 04/13/2004 3:33:47 PM PDT by Adam36

Edited on 05/07/2004 9:20:33 PM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]


(Excerpt) Read more at tennessean.com ...


TOPICS: Editorial; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: iraq; iraqifreedom; kurds; thankyouamerica; ustroops
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Grateful Kurds thank soldiers

By ANITA WADHWANI Staff Writer

Group charters bus to visit Fort Campbell

The gifts kept coming.

''We stand here as a testimony to you that the war is not without purpose,'' said Isa Chalky, as he presented a clock inscribed with a similar message to Brig. Gen. Jeff Schloesser, assistant division commander of the 101st Airborne Division. ''And for returning hope to the Kurdish people. Please accept our sincere thanks for your enormous courage and sacrifice.''

Chalky was among 55 Kurdish immigrants and children who chartered a bus from Nashville to Fort Campbell yesterday to thank the soldiers of the 3rd Brigade personally.

The 3,400-member brigade returned from Iraq in February and March. Most spent the past year protecting Kurdish territory in northern Iraq. Many Nashville-area Kurds, who number about 5,000 families, have friends and relatives living in that region.

Little Ahmad Khoshnaw, 7, whispered his thanks as he handed the general an envelope.

Schloesser unfolded the notebook paper inside and read the message. ''Thank you for capturing Saddam,'' it said. Underneath were the signatures of 35 children. ''We'll frame this,'' he said. ''Thank you.''

Several women handed soldiers red roses. Two teenage girls delivered the flag of the Kurdish Democratic Party, a political party whose fighting forces in northern Iraq received training from the 3rd Brigade.

In exchange, the general presented the visitors with a silver plaque, a leather-bound history of the 101st Airborne and his thanks. Soldiers passed out coins inscribed with the Fort Campbell insignia.

The 3rd Brigade lost 16 soldiers in Iraq. Three hundred were injured, said Col. Michael Linnington, the top 3rd Brigade officer in Iraq.

Freedom, he said, ''was worth their sacrifice.''

Each of the Kurdish visitors who gathered in the meeting room yesterday had lost at least one loved one, Chalky said.

''We share your grief and your loss,'' Chalky said.

After the exchange, the soldiers and visitors ate lunch in the brigade cafeteria.

Sgt. Carl Bryant brought along photos.

''Here's the hotel in Dahok where we stayed,'' said Bryant, 30, who returned from the Iraq city Feb. 8 after nearly a year spent apart from his wife and three small daughters.

Tahir Hussein looked at the photo closely.

''That's where my father worked as a laborer while I was in middle school,'' he said.

Hussein picked up a photo of Bryant standing with leaders of the Kurdish military forces.

''That's where we would go for picnics in the evenings,'' said Hussein, pointing at a snowy field behind them.

In another picture, Bryant was dressed in Kurdish clothing and dancing with a Kurdish military man.

Many soldiers have fond memories of their time in northern Iraq, Bryant said.

After surviving combat in other regions, soldiers moved to Kurdish towns such as Dahok, where they trained Kurdish forces and engaged in humanitarian efforts, such as organizing food, water and propane distribution networks.

They spent their time mainly among civilians, learning Kurdish customs such as how to sit cross-legged while not exposing the soles of the feet — considered impolite, he said — and how to flick rice off their fingers after eating, said 1st Lt. Eric Alexander, an assistant operation and platoon leader.

Those Kurdish manners often came in handy on regular patrols through Kurdish villages, where soldiers were offered meals of rice, lamb and hot tea, ''more food than they probably ate in a week,'' Alexander said.

At the end of the Army meal, Hussein handed Bryant a pen with his office phone number on it and told him to call for a meal.

Another Kurdish man handed back Bryant's photos. ''Nice pictures, man. Good to have you back.''

Soldiers said the Nashville visitors were a testament to their experience that many in Iraq — if not most — welcomed the U.S. intervention.

''It was great having them here. I hope they all call their relatives and say we've met these guys and they're great,'' Bryant said.

1 posted on 04/13/2004 3:33:54 PM PDT by Adam36
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To: Adam36; xzins; Happy2BMe; Salem
PING
2 posted on 04/13/2004 3:39:32 PM PDT by TrueBeliever9 (aut viam inveniam aut faciam (where there is a will - there is a way)
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To: Adam36
Very Cool.
3 posted on 04/13/2004 3:42:45 PM PDT by cmsgop (For Gosh Sake MCI, NO MORE JAMES TAYLOR !!!!!!!!!!!!)
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To: Adam36
Could they help the "men" in Fa -- whatever the name is be grateful and behave like MEN. Instead they cowered in their police station or whatever corner was available as Americans were mutilated and hung up on a bridge.
4 posted on 04/13/2004 3:43:21 PM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: Adam36; Travis McGee; Squantos; Lurker; Noumenon; joanie-f; Dukie
The Kurds are true friends and we should bend every effort towards ensuring that we remember it and that they are in a position to support us in every way possible in the Iraq region IMHO.
5 posted on 04/13/2004 3:47:01 PM PDT by Jeff Head
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To: Adam36
Tissue Alert! Sniff! I have a big lump in my throat!
6 posted on 04/13/2004 3:54:35 PM PDT by areafiftyone (Democrats = the hamster is dead but the wheel is still spinning)
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To: Adam36
Speaking of Kurds, I was watching the news last night (don't remember because I switch around when they tick me off with their editorializing - but I digress) and the map they showed of Iraq had Kurdistan marked out like a separate country.
7 posted on 04/13/2004 3:58:22 PM PDT by SF Republican
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To: nmh
Fallujah is Sunni, not Kurdish. I am sure the Kurds would be happy to help, but I doubt the Sunnis will listen, since they are more like sworn enemies.

In fact, Kurdish Special Forces have joined the Marines recently in the pacification of Fallujah. I am sure the Sunnis are not happy about that.

8 posted on 04/13/2004 3:59:45 PM PDT by Miss Marple
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To: Adam36
Little Ahmad Khoshnaw, 7, whispered his thanks as he handed the general an envelope.
Schloesser unfolded the notebook paper inside and read the message. ''Thank you for capturing Saddam,'' it said. Underneath were the signatures of 35 children.


Aw geez that just really puts the lump in your throat, don't it?
9 posted on 04/13/2004 4:19:19 PM PDT by visualops (Help cure FReepathons....become a monthly donor!!)
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To: TheStickman
Ping.
Great stuff.
10 posted on 04/13/2004 4:21:38 PM PDT by visualops (HAM AND EGGS: a day's work for a chicken; a lifetime commitment for a pig.)
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BTTT
11 posted on 04/13/2004 4:33:09 PM PDT by sarasmom (Watching mainstream liberal media "news reports" will cause brain atrophy.)
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To: Adam36
Thanks for posting this.
12 posted on 04/13/2004 4:50:13 PM PDT by Raymond Hendrix
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To: Adam36
Thank you Adam. It's great to hear some good news for a change. It sounds like Iraq could be a great country if we flatten most of the bad guys and turn the rest of the country over to our friends the Kurds!
13 posted on 04/13/2004 5:02:44 PM PDT by LADY J
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To: Jeff Head
I wonder why we didn't see this on the Nightly News.

L

14 posted on 04/13/2004 5:05:11 PM PDT by Lurker ("Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite"-Robert Heinlein)
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To: Adam36
Great stuff, we can never abandon them to the jihadists. Never.
15 posted on 04/13/2004 5:07:13 PM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: Adam36; Ragtime Cowgirl
Thanks for posting this Adam. This is a wonderful story.

Ping
16 posted on 04/13/2004 5:25:29 PM PDT by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: 68-69TonkinGulfYatchClub; Defender2
Good news ping
17 posted on 04/13/2004 5:28:12 PM PDT by amom
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To: Adam36
There should be an independent Kurdistan. The Kurds aren't Arabs and the Turks proved how "helpful" THEY were in the attack on Saddam.
18 posted on 04/13/2004 7:27:10 PM PDT by ZULU
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To: Adam36
Thanks for posting.
19 posted on 04/13/2004 7:34:37 PM PDT by secretagent
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To: Adam36
My brother is in the 101st. He said that the Iraqi's are worthless but he was impressed with the Kurds. He said that they are a great bunch of people.
20 posted on 04/13/2004 7:43:46 PM PDT by LoudRepublicangirl (loudrepublicangirl)
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To: prairiebreeze; onyx; Texasforever; CyberAnt; BigSkyFreeper; dixiechick2000; Tamsey; ...
Ping
21 posted on 04/13/2004 7:45:57 PM PDT by Mo1 (Make Michael Moore cry.... DONATE MONTHLY!!!)
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To: LoudRepublicangirl
I've communicated with a Royal Marine from the UK who was there and he agrees with you on the first part. I hope they are wrong.
22 posted on 04/13/2004 7:49:07 PM PDT by ItisaReligionofPeace (I'm from the government and I'm here to help.)
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To: ItisaReligionofPeace
My brother was in Mosul. I think the people there are really poor and probably not very well educated. My brother hated arabs before he got there and his opinion has not changed after his deployment there especially after being shot at and when mortars land in the building he was working in.
23 posted on 04/13/2004 8:02:18 PM PDT by LoudRepublicangirl (loudrepublicangirl)
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To: Lurker
Maybe the bubble headed bleach-blonds were not on tonight??
24 posted on 04/13/2004 9:27:31 PM PDT by Iberian
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To: areafiftyone
Yep, I teared up on this one too. There are so many wonderful stories to be told that need to be heard by Americans.

I know we all get frustrated when we feel the Iraqis aren't fighting enough for their freedom. I try to imagine loosing large parts of my family over a 30 yr. period and what that would do to your confidence and self worth. These people weren't allowed to show self iniative and it is going to take some time to change old ways of thinking. They see all the fighting going on here over going to Iraq and wonder if Kerry is elected what will happen. The Kurds had time to regain some freedom and set up a functional govt. thanks to the no fly zone and their own hard work.

I think if Bush is reelected and they have the assurance we will stay the course(unlike the U.N. which continues to look like the cowards they are)--that's when you will see more people willing to stand up to the thugs vying for power now.
25 posted on 04/13/2004 11:18:35 PM PDT by Reb Raider
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To: Jeff Head; RussianConservative
The Kurds are true friends and we should bend every effort towards ensuring that we remember it and that they are in a position to support us in every way possible in the Iraq region IMHO.

The Kurds were also the primary instigators and executors of Armenians during the Armenian genocide. The Kurdish land is originally Armenian Christian land robbed from Armenia and ethnically cleansed in a way and in such numbers as to make Saddam's crimes seem minor -- 1 million Armenians were clubbed, knived etc. to death, no gas here.
26 posted on 04/14/2004 4:57:24 AM PDT by Cronos (W2K4!)
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To: Jeff Head; RussianConservative; Adam36; Travis McGee; Squantos; Lurker; Noumenon; joanie-f; ...
Furthermore, they are NOT true friends. They need us to gain their independence and will turn on us as soon as that's done and they can set up their ownIslamic state.
27 posted on 04/14/2004 4:58:28 AM PDT by Cronos (W2K4!)
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To: Miss Marple
Fallujah is Sunni, not Kurdish. I am sure the Kurds would be happy to help, but I doubt the Sunnis will listen, since they are more like sworn enemies.

Kurds are an ETHNIC group, Sunnis are a RELIGIOUS group. Kurds are mostly Sunni Muslims but are not ARABS like the people in Fallujah. The Kurds are ethnically related to the Iranis. However, the Iranis are Shias (another RELIGIOUS group) as are many ARABs in Iraq (the Shia Arabs in south IRaq). There is antagonism between the Kurdish (Indo-Europeans) people in the north and the Arab (semitic) people in the south. There is antagonism between the Sunni Arabs and Shia Arabs in the south and central parts of Irq.
28 posted on 04/14/2004 5:01:07 AM PDT by Cronos (W2K4!)
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To: LADY J
Thank you Adam. It's great to hear some good news for a change. It sounds like Iraq could be a great country if we flatten most of the bad guys and turn the rest of the country over to our friends the Kurds!

These Kurds would slit the throats of the other ethnic groups in the south of the country. They are alsoMuslims and would kill the ChristianArabs in Baghdad and south irq like they slaughtered the Christian Armenians and Assyrians.
29 posted on 04/14/2004 5:04:48 AM PDT by Cronos (W2K4!)
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To: jwalsh07; LADY J
Great stuff, we can never abandon them to the jihadists. Never.

oh, the Kurds are slammmies too and have proven themselves as jihadis while slaughteringChristians. They will do so again and will turn on us if we get in their way. These are no friends of ours.
30 posted on 04/14/2004 5:06:13 AM PDT by Cronos (W2K4!)
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To: LoudRepublicangirl
He said that the Iraqi's are worthless but he was impressed with the Kurds.

Kurds ARE Iraqis.
31 posted on 04/14/2004 5:06:55 AM PDT by Cronos (W2K4!)
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To: LoudRepublicangirl
My brother hated arabs before he got there and his opinion has not changed after his deployment there especially after being shot at and when mortars land in the building he was working in.

Coo, so he hates Arabs like General John Abizaid or baywatch babe Yasmeen Bleethe or Shannon Elizabeth?
32 posted on 04/14/2004 5:07:47 AM PDT by Cronos (W2K4!)
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To: Cronos
These Kurds would slit the throats of the other ethnic groups in the south of the country. They are alsoMuslims and would kill the ChristianArabs in Baghdad and south irq like they slaughtered the Christian Armenians and Assyrians.

Please...spare us.

33 posted on 04/14/2004 5:09:18 AM PDT by smith288 (Who would terrorists want for president? 60% say Kerry 25% say Bush... Who would you vote for?)
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To: Adam36
I think suspect residents of Fallujah should be moved enmasse, into camps in Kurdish territory. And, since these uprisings require many troops, occasional shortages of troops to defend the camps from the long-oppressed Kurds will naturally occur...
34 posted on 04/14/2004 5:16:39 AM PDT by guitfiddlist
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To: smith288
Please.. spare us

WHy? So, you can ignore the fact that the Kurds are no better than Saddam and were perpetrators of the genocide that killed over a million ChristianArmenians and Assyrians? THat the land they call Kurdistan was originally ChristianArmenia and assyria and they occupied it after killing off the inhabitants? At the time of the Armenian genocide, the Kurds supplied a sizable portion of the manpower utilized by the Young Turk regime to exterminate the Armenians. In the process they filled the void left by the Armenians in eastern Turkey. Historic West Armenia, where no Armenians have resided since the genocide, has a majority of Kurds as its inhabitants at the end of the twentieth century. It is one of the compound ironies of the genocide that part of historic Armenia that is now the sovereign territory of Turkey is regarded more and more, from the demographic viewpoint, as the northern sector of an area called Kurdistan.

From Genocide.am
These are no friends of ours, they will turn on us as soon as they can and establish their ownIslamci talib land
35 posted on 04/14/2004 5:19:15 AM PDT by Cronos (W2K4!)
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To: smith288; LoudRepublicangirl; LADY J; Jeff Head; RussianConservative; Adam36; Travis McGee; ...
Spare me of this sickening idea that the Kurds are somehow our friends because they've discovered they can use us to form their ownIslamic land in land that should be Christian Armenian and Assyrian.

Some more links are:
500,000 Armenians Said To Have Perished. Washington Asked to Stop Slaughter of Christians by Turks and Kurds.
Or just google Armenian genocide Kurds
36 posted on 04/14/2004 5:28:11 AM PDT by Cronos (W2K4!)
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To: Cronos
Well, at least they are nice when they screw us, unlike Chalabi who is very open about how he conned us.
37 posted on 04/14/2004 5:32:49 AM PDT by GraniteStateConservative (...He had committed no crime against America so I did not bring him here...-- Worst.President.Ever.)
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To: Cronos
History... I wont say there isnt still a sect of people in the Kurdish areas with those asperations but your broad brush strokes says alot to me. So far, the Kurdish people have managed to succeed in a self determining govt for 10 yrs which has led to a more secular society but still holding some of their traditions.

Do you prefer we carpet bomb these people for mistakes their ancestors did?

I guess Im unlike you in that I can give a people the benefit of the doubt that they wont do genocide again that they did 90 yrs ago (and without Americans breathing down their neck).

Do you have some sort of problem with America too? Afterall, we had slavery....should Americans not be trusted around black people because of this past?
38 posted on 04/14/2004 5:35:38 AM PDT by smith288 (Who would terrorists want for president? 60% say Kerry 25% say Bush... Who would you vote for?)
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To: Cronos
You know what I am talking about when I say Kurds in relation to their cultural and ethnic difference from the Iraqis. So my brother hates arabs and likes Kurds. Get over it. I think he deserves to voice his opinion after his service there.
39 posted on 04/14/2004 5:41:50 AM PDT by LoudRepublicangirl (loudrepublicangirl)
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To: LoudRepublicangirl
So my brother hates arabs and likes Kurds. Get over it. I think he deserves to voice his opinion after his service there.

True, everyone has a right to voice his opinion, if he hates muslims, I agree with him, if he hates ethnic arabs, he's wrong, we've got many fine upstanding chrsitian arabs here int he US who escaped from the mid east and many good christian arabs who remained.
40 posted on 04/14/2004 5:44:43 AM PDT by Cronos (W2K4!)
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To: Adam36
I'm so surprised not to have heard about this on NBC.
41 posted on 04/14/2004 5:44:58 AM PDT by biblewonk (The only book worth reading, and reading, and reading.)
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To: LoudRepublicangirl
You know what I am talking about when I say Kurds in relation to their cultural and ethnic difference from the Iraqis.

True Kurds are ethnically different from Arabs, but they are Iraqis. Ethnically they're closer to the Iranis and Azeris
42 posted on 04/14/2004 5:45:48 AM PDT by Cronos (W2K4!)
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To: Cronos
They are alsoMuslims and would kill the ChristianArabs in Baghdad and south irq like they slaughtered the Christian Armenians and Assyrians.


By the way, not all of the Kurds prescribe to the Islamic faith. They are a people of many beliefs along with the many regions they reside in.
43 posted on 04/14/2004 5:46:02 AM PDT by LoudRepublicangirl (loudrepublicangirl)
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To: LoudRepublicangirl
You know what I am talking about when I say Kurds in relation to their cultural and ethnic difference from the Iraqis.

however, religiously they are Sunni so they are different from their cultural cousins the Iranis
44 posted on 04/14/2004 5:46:33 AM PDT by Cronos (W2K4!)
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To: Cronos
I can't speak to what happened a hundred years ago. My impression of that terrible period is that it was principally instigated by the Turks.

I know this...the Kurds of today are willing to fight for their freedom. They have stood by us in that fight and they are doing the right things now in northern Iraq now to move towards the goal of a free and stable Iraq.

Those actions speak louder than words...and they are what they people there are doing now. I cannot judge the current people by the actions of their great-great grandfathers. None of us want to be strictly held up to that standard.

If they go back down that path, we would then have to take actions regarding the same. The path they are on now is the one that counts now, and in that regard they are working and figting with us, not against us. I am sure we are doing what we are doing with our eyes wide open.

45 posted on 04/14/2004 5:48:54 AM PDT by Jeff Head
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To: LoudRepublicangirl
By the way, not all of the Kurds prescribe to the Islamic faith. They are a people of many beliefs along with the many regions they reside in.

Check out Kurd statics

What Are Their Beliefs?

Nearly all Kurds are Muslim, most being Shafiite Sunnis. They first embraced Islam after the Arab conquests of the seventh century. Today, they primarily look to Islam as a basis for social justice. However, despite being predominantly Muslim, religion has created deep rifts among the Kurds. Many of the dispossessed Kurd minorities have become associated with the secret and unorthodox sects of Islam.

If they convert,that's great, but as long as they belong to the cult of slam, they're our enemies.
46 posted on 04/14/2004 5:49:22 AM PDT by Cronos (W2K4!)
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To: Cronos
It wasn't Christian arabs who slammed planes into buildings on 9-11 or shot at him in Mosul. I think you know what I mean.
47 posted on 04/14/2004 5:52:14 AM PDT by LoudRepublicangirl (loudrepublicangirl)
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To: Jeff Head
I can't speak to what happened a hundred years ago. My impression of that terrible period is that it was principally instigated by the Turks.

True, it was instigated by the Turks, but the Kurds were willing helpers and were the majority who actually committed the atrocities and who then robbed the lands of the Armenians and Assyrians which consisted of most of what you now call Central and Western Kurdistan (Eastern Kurdistan is in Azerbaijan and Iran).

I know this...the Kurds of today are willing to fight for their freedom. They have stood by us in that fight and they are doing the right things now in northern Iraq now to move towards the goal of a free and stable Iraq.

True, they're willing to fight for their freedom but they don't want a stable Irq, they want their ownIslamic state. Once they GET that, they'll want to kick us out while they impose Shariah

Those actions speak louder than words...and they are what they people there are doing now. I cannot judge the current people by the actions of their great-great grandfathers. None of us want to be strictly held up to that standard.

They are using us to fight their own battles and will spit on us as soon as they can set up their ownIslamic state.
48 posted on 04/14/2004 5:53:06 AM PDT by Cronos (W2K4!)
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To: Jeff Head
I am sure we are doing what we are doing with our eyes wide open.

I think our leaders are being pragmatic, my grouse is with those on this forum who see one small thing like this and immediately jump to the conclusion that these have always been and will always be and ARE our friends. They're not our friends, they are allies in a war and very very temporary allies, like the Soviet Union in WWII
49 posted on 04/14/2004 5:54:42 AM PDT by Cronos (W2K4!)
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To: Cronos
All I am trying to say is that the Kurds have cooperated much better with us than the MUSLIM arabs. They may be muslims and who knows, they could turn on us someday. But it looks as though our "allies" in Europe have done the same. There are no guarantees.
50 posted on 04/14/2004 5:55:53 AM PDT by LoudRepublicangirl (loudrepublicangirl)
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