Joe Biden will pick Antony Blinken as U.S. secretary of state, a person close to the president-elect’s transition said on Sunday, elevating one of his most seasoned and trusted aides as he prepares to undo President Donald Trump’s foreign policy.
Blinken is a longtime Biden confidant who served as No. 2 at the State Department and as deputy national security adviser in President Barack Obama’s administration, in which Biden served as vice president.
Yet, this choice will disappoint the Kurds, that cherished high hopes for Joe Biden’s election. While Biden clearly supports those Kurds in the KRG, who have been Washington’s partners over the years, his public remarks do not indicate that he has grappled with the dilemma of the Kurds as a people or support for other parties.
Biden has never spoken up in the Kurdish opposition’s defense when it comes to Iran; the only time the Obama administration dealt with an Iranian-Kurdish issue was in 2009 when it named the anti-regime Free Life Party of Kurdistan (PJAK), an affiliate of the PKK, as a terrorist organization. Biden seems less eager to mingle with the Iranian opposition.
Blinken’s former comments on the Syrian Kurds do not hide the truth: the Kurds are simply instrumental and the US’s focus must be on its interest with ally Turkey.
“Third, keeping the S.D.F. focused on Raqqa keeps it away from the Turkish – Syrian border – and any effort by Syrian Kurds to join the area they control in a contiguous Kurdish region or state . Turkish troops entered Syria to prevent the emergence of such a state . President Trump should clearly reiterate our own opposition to such a development .
Fourth, Turkey wants to take back the Islamic State – controlled town of Al Bab before the Syrian Kurds do. President Trump should back strong American air support for the Turkish operation there and reiterate our determination to help Turkey consolidate a broader buffer zone in northern Syria.”
Though supportive of the KRG, and befriended with the likes of Barzani and Talabani, Blinken seems to thoroughly dislike the terrorist organization PKK. The whole op-ed Blinken wrote four years ago can be summarized as following: he urged President Trump to use the Kurds in Syria to destroy ISIS and then arm the Turks to destroy them.
Admittedly, the Kurds he dislikes aren’t exactly angels; they believe nothing wrong can come out of the mouth of their leader, Abdullah Ocalan, and are marching towards a one-party dictatorship in the areas that come under their control, oppressing fellow Kurds with different political opinions and a serious threat to Syria’s sovereignty.
Yet, to recommend their use and then homicide for the sake of the Turks, is a bit of an eyebrow-raiser for everyone in the region.