The Kurds have learned not to trust America.

Today, Turkey runs raids into Iraq, killing the Kurds despite their alliance with the United States. But it ought not come as a surprise to anyone except the American public &

which remains virtually clueless about the extent of the relationship between the U.S. and a people of the Middle East whose country truly was "wiped off the map" by western forces.

The Kurds are an estimated 30 million people still fighting for the independence they lost when their land, Kurdistan, was wiped off the map by the British following WWI. After Britain carved up the Middle East into artificial nations, the Kurds awakened to find themselves living in Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran.

Still, the Kurds retained their heritage as people of Kurdistan.

Thus, began the Kurdish battle for independence &

the greater majority of which reside in Turkey and Iraq. Their story ought to be of considerable interest to the American public, since the fate of the Kurds is a core issue in the complex quagmire created by the Bush-Clinton-Bush cabal when it sought to control Iraq by military means beginning in 1990 and continuing to the present day.

Backstabbers

A few months prior to NATO's bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, U.S. intelligence was assisting Turkey in the capture of the Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan. He was eventually taken into custody in Kenya with the assistance of the United States.

Greece was infuriated. The Kurds have long enjoyed support from the Greek Orthodox Church, which sympathized with their plight. Greece, which is a member of NATO, threatened to provide jamming codes for NATO (U.S.) bombers to Russia.

Backlash

Months later, rescuers in Yugoslavia used shovels to scoop up the remains of children in the aftermath of a massive NATO bombing campaign gone awry. American officials denied criticism that its bombing of Yugoslavia created massive civilian casualties. After the war, the U.S. military admitted that a majority of its bombings failed to hit desired targets. It also claimed that Greece did not provide jamming codes to Russia.

Back to Iraq

Meanwhile, U.S. forces were using a Turkish air base to launch bombing raids into Iraq. The criticism regarding civilian casualties was again dismissed by the U.S. military.

Iraq's northern sector, where the majority of Kurds lived, has long been guarded by the U.S., acquired during the invasion of Iraq in 1991. In return for relative safety, the Kurds worked with the CIA and the U.S. military to conduct operations against Saddam Hussein throughout the 90s.

Two Kurdish leaders led separate rival factions. Massoud Barzani was in charge of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, while Jalal Talabani led the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. Talabani was appointed as president of Iraq less than two years after U.S. forces invaded in 2003.

Recent history

The massacre sustained by the Kurds in 1988 when Saddam used chemical weapons &

procured from the United States &

to gas a village of innocent victims, was reminiscent of yet another time the Kurds sustained a brutal massacre at the hands of Saddam Hussein.

In the 1974 uprising of the Kurds against Saddam's Kurdish Autonomy Law, it was the Iranian Shah's support &

at the behest of Henry Kissinger &

that helped the Kurds. But after Saddam agreed to sign the Algiers accord with the Shah &

moving the boundary between the two nations giving Iran half of a river necessary for transporting oil to the Persian Gulf &

Iranian support for the Kurds was withdrawn and they were left to suffer their fate.

Turkey dilemma

Today, if the U.S. is successful in manipulating political forces in Iraq into changing the Oil Constitution to favor local geographic controls, the Kurds may benefit from economic opportunities such control brings &

perhaps even a Kurdish state, which will likely invoke war from Turkey.

Turkey is not pleased with the development of greater autonomy for the Kurds in Iraq. Last weekend, the Turkish military shelled areas of northern Iraq. Most Americans have no idea why, nor do they care.

But Americans should be concerned. Because the reality is that it is the involvement of the U.S. in the internal affairs of both Iran and Iraq since the end of WWII that has helped to create the current state of affairs that most Americans allege is simply due to a mentality of religious fanaticism.

America has no business in the Middle East. And with each passing day, our military presence causes the complexities of the issues in the region to worsen. In the end, those who side with America will find that such an alliance is temporary and dangerous. Just ask the Kurds.

is the Content Editor of the Ashland Daily Tidings. He is a conservative columnist and author. He can be reached at 482-3456 x223 or .