The Obama administration is showering U.S. military support on Kurdish forces across Syria and Iraq, including backing for militant communist factions officially designated as terrorist organizations and their close allies. All of it is taking place under the guise of battling the Islamic State, a savage terror group that top U.S. officials and declassified documents have revealed was largely created by Obama's supposed “anti-ISIS” coalition. One major problem for the administration is that, like its well-documented support for self-declared al-Qaeda forces in Syria and Libya, it is a serious crime under U.S. law to provide aid to organizations designated by the U.S. government as terrorists. But it is hardly the first time Washington, D.C., has been caught supporting both Islamist and communist terror groups in the region in recent years.
The latest development in the administration's ongoing support for Kurdish forces involves a recent military operation in the city of Sinjar, Iraq. According to news reports, Kurdish forces backed by U.S. military power succeeded in driving out ISIS militants there. American Special Forces and U.S. air power reportedly played a decisive role in the battle. Also crucial to the Kurdish victory was the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a brutal communist terror group that has been officially designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department since 1997. The European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) also consider PKK a terrorist group. On November 13, though, the New York Times reported that the terrorist PKK was “deeply involved in the battle for Sinjar this week,” fighting with massive support from Obama. Apparently the Kurds have even hired D.C. lobbyists to demand more money and weapons.
In Syria, meanwhile, Obama has also openly allied itself with the communist PKK terror group's local affiliates, the Partiya Yekîtiya Demokrat (PYD) and its military wing, the Yekîneyên Parastina Gel (YPG). The Obama administration even air-dropped military supplies from a C-130 cargo plane, including weapons and ammunition, to the PYD in and around the Syrian city of Kobane in October of 2014, according to officials and news reports. U.S. Central Command said the unlawful U.S. aid to the designated terror group was “intended to enable continued resistance against ISIL's attempts to overtake Kobane.” (CentCom was formerly overseen by disgraced General David Petraeus, who recently proposed a U.S. government alliance with terror group al-Qaeda as well). In attempting to justify military aid to the communist terror group, Secretary of State John Kerry said it would have been “morally very difficult to turn your back on a community fighting ISIL.”
All of the support means, in short, that the Obama administration was once again openly and unlawfully providing material support to a designated terrorist organization. Similar activities by an everyday U.S. citizen would and often do see that citizen promptly thrown into prison. “Whoever knowingly provides material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization, or attempts or conspires to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both, and, if the death of any person results, shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life,” reads the relevant statute, 18 U.S. Code § 2339B. Deaths have certainly resulted from the administration's support for designated terror groups, and considering its armies of lawyers, there is no way that the administration could argue that it was not “knowingly” flouting the law. There are also no exemptions for U.S. government officials in the law, nor is there an exemption if the ostensible purpose of backing terrorists is to fight other terrorists.
So, putting the laws on felonious support for a terror group aside, just what is the PKK that the U.S. government considers to be both a terrorist organization and an ally at the same time? The radical outfit was created in the late 1970s by communist militant Abdullah Ocalan, with backing from the mass-murdering Soviet dictatorship. Its primary goal was the creation of a Marxist-Leninist regime to rule over the Kurds in Turkey, with ambitions to one day rule over all Kurds from Iran, Iraq and Syria under a unified “Kurdistan.” From the early 1980s to the late 1990s, the group waged ruthless war on its enemies, including anti-communist Kurds, savagely slaughtering, kidnapping, terrorizing, and torturing tens of thousands of civilians. Finally, after the apparent collapse of the Soviet Union, a key PKK backer, the group's leadership began an attempt to fuse its brutal communist ideology with Islam in a bid to drum up some semblance of public support.
By 1999, Turkish authorities managed to capture PKK boss Ocalan in Africa, and he remains in prison. But the group hardly became more moderate. Instead, in the 2000s, PKK unleashed another wave of terrorism, targeting hotels, concerts, consulates, and other civilian targets with bombs, suicide attacks, shootings, kidnappings, and more. In addition to murdering and terrorizing civilians, the group is also notorious for attacks on politicians, police, and military targets. While Turkish authorities have also come under criticism for their sometimes brutal efforts to crack down on the PKK, the terror group itself has a long and horrifying track record of violence and savagery to achieve its goals — totalitarianism and an ethnic Kurdish state ruled by PKK ideology.
Today, various PKK apologists and supporters invent artificial distinctions between Kurdish militant groups to justify sending arms and support to a designated terrorist organization. For example, more than a few supporters of showering more U.S. military support on Kurds point to the leader of Iraq's Kurdish region, Massoud Barzani, as a Kurd not tainted by PKK terror who is worthy of U.S. funding and weapons. In a 2014 video, though, Barzani thanks and celebrates the PKK. “We are brothers,” Barzani explains, saying the Islamic State is the real enemy of “Kurdistan” and its people. “We have one destiny; we will do everything, what we can.” Barzani's Kurdish Peshmega forces have routinely cooperated with and fought alongside of the PKK in both Iraq and Syria, as countless news reports and public statements by both sides attest.
Indeed, PKK commanders have also celebrated their oneness with Kurdish Peshmerga forces in Syria and Iraq. “We had a meeting with the president of the Kurdistan region [Barzani],” PKK commander Tekoser Zagros was quoted as saying by Al Jazeera last year. “We discussed joint actions and agreed on certain things. From now on, our forces and the Peshmerga will coordinate their actions in South Kurdistan [Iraq's Kurdish region] against the criminal gang [Islamic State]. And we will continue until Kurdistan is safe, and [the Islamic State group] is finished.” PKK spokesperson Zagros Hiwa, meanwhile, also confirmed the PKK alliance with Iraqi Kurds' Peshmerga forces. “Our approach as [PKK] is that we disregard many [political] interpretations of the situation and we just concentrate on defense,” he told Al Jazeera. “In many places [PKK fighters] and Peshmerga forces are together, in Kirkuk, some places in Shingal, and in Maxmur especially, they fought together against [the Islamic State].”
Peshmerga military commanders echoed those remarks. “We are all like brothers,” said Ali Sulaiman, who led 700 Peshmerga fighters, was quoted as saying, adding that relations were “good” between PKK and Peshmerga forces. “They [PKK fighters] are also, like us, defending this area, and there is some co-operation between us.” Various analysts and official sources quoted by Al Jazeera, the Arab broadcaster controlled by the Sunni monarchy in Qatar, also confirmed the developments. “The U.S. is providing air cover to a force it once called terrorists, and continues to black list as such,” Roman Zagros, editor of website Insight Kurdistan, was quoted as saying. “The current conflict as it stands has presented a paradox that will need to be addressed at some point in the near future as these extreme ends — the PKK and the U.S. — continue to fight a common enemy.”
An unnamed Turkish diplomat expressed concerns, too. “This is a sensitive topic when people see PKK fighters fighting alongside Peshmerga forces, this is not something ignorable in Turkey,” the diplomat told Al Jazeera. Numerous other analysts and officials have also acknowledged the fact that the U.S. government is backing a designated terrorist organization. While Turks may be concerned, though, globalists in the West are cheering it on. Bloomberg, for example, released an editorial arguing against PKK's designation as a terrorist group and for stronger U.S. support. “In Iraq, the U.S. is fighting in a de facto alliance with one group on its list of terrorist organizations -- the Kurdistan Workers Party, also known as the PKK -- against another, Islamic State,” the editorial board said, adding that the group, which wants to abolish private property, should be “recognized for the constructive role it can play in Iraq and the wider region.”
Of course, the last thing the Middle East needs is Islamist-tinged communist forces murdering even more innocent people — Western globalists, Soviet communists, and the jihadists they have both backed over the decades have already unleashed more than enough bloodshed in the region. Christians are literally being exterminated. Still, neo-conservative voices, quickly becoming pariahs among Americans as all of their unconstitutional interventions turn to tragedy and chaos (these are the geniuses who said regime change in Iraq would be a cakewalk), have been cheer-leading the administration’s support for Kurdish forces. The argument is that the Kurdish militants oppose ISIS, and so the U.S. government should support them regardless of anti-terror laws, their history of terrorism, their communist ideology, or anything else.
But even the New York Times, described by one of its own reporters as a propaganda “megaphone” for war, debunked that idea. “The fact is that Kurds have been willing to fight only to protect and expand territory they see as rightfully theirs, and are unlikely to play an important role in wresting the Islamic State from Sunni Arab strongholds in places like Mosul or Anbar Province in Iraq, or in Raqqa, the group’s capital in Syria,” the establishment-controlled newspaper admitted. Indeed, support for Kurdish forces is also further complicating the incomprehensibly complex fiasco created by the Obama administration and the U.S. government across the region. Ironically, for example, shortly after the Kurdish victory in Sirjan, the Obama-backed Kurds got into a fire-fight with Shiite forces loyal to the Obama-backed regime in Baghdad, which has increasingly gravitated toward Shiite Tehran and Putin's Moscow.
And as for claims that PKK is now more moderate and deserves support, even leaving terror laws aside for the moment, Western governments appear to disagree. “Although the PKK’s terrorist activities have slowed since its most recent  ceasefire with the Turkish Government, its members have continued to conduct terrorist attacks against civilian, military and other government targets in Turkey,” the Australian federal government says on its national security page. “PKK militants continue to frequently attack military bases and police interests, kidnap civilians and military personnel and sabotage infrastructure projects, including dams, gas pipelines and power plants. Over 50 people have been killed in PKK attacks since 20 August 2012, and the group is reported to have kidnapped more than 300 children between December 2013 and May 2014.”
Of course, as this magazine and numerous other sources have documented, Obama's military support for the designated PKK terrorist organization is hardly the first time the administration has violated anti-terror laws to support terrorists. In early 2012, for example, The New American reported that Obama and the UN were providing aid to the Iranian Mujahedin-e Khalq, a notorious Islamic-Communist terror group that has murdered senior American personnel and at the time was still officially designated a “foreign terrorist organization” by the U.S. State Department. During Obama's unlawful war against Libya, the administration backed self-declared al-Qaeda leaders who were openly boasting to Western media outlets that they had recently been fighting U.S. troops in Iraq. Obama's support for jihadist Syrian terrorists has also been thoroughly documented. In fact, the support for jihadist terrorism has become so extreme that even former U.S. generals have concluded that Obama “switched sides” in the terror war.
When it comes to ISIS, the situation is similar. Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey have both admitted that Obama's “anti-ISIS” coalition funded, armed, and trained ISIS. More recently, a declassified 2012 U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency document revealed that Western powers, Sunni dictators, and Turkey knew al-Qaeda was leading the Syrian uprising, but supported it anyway. The report also exposed those same powers supporting the establishment of an Islamic State in Eastern Syria to destabilize the regime of dictator Bashar al-Assad. Now they want to further empower a communist terror group to fight against other terrorists they empowered.
Variously supporting dictators, communists, and terrorists has almost invariably led to horror. Whether one terror group is less radical than another should be irrelevant as far as U.S. foreign policy is concerned. Congress must take immediate action to rein in the Obama administration's deadly support for communist and Islamist terrorist groups, as well as its flagrant violation of anti-terrorism laws. If the American people's elected representatives truly believe the United States should be involved in Syria's civil war, they should follow the Constitution they all swore to uphold and vote to declare war. If not, it is time for Washington, D.C., to mind its own business — and for Congress to hold the administration accountable for the bloodshed and chaos it has lawlessly unleashed on humanity.
Photo of Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters entering northern Iraq in 2013: AP Images