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Still branded a terrorist organization by the US and the EU

In their distinctive khaki-grey uniforms, their ranks including battle-hardened female fighters – a rarity in most parts of the Middle East – they took up positions in and around Erbil, including the Sami Abdulrahman Park, a sprawling green expanse in the heart of the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan.

As the ISIS onslaught inched dangerously close to Erbil, the fighters from the PKK (Kurdistan Worker’s Party) -- a Marxist group that waged a 30-year armed struggle against the Turkish state -- had arrived to help their Iraqi brethren in their fight against the Islamist terrorists

“The PKK and US Marines near the Sinjar area [in northern Iraq] apparently had some interaction assessing the situation,
What do the  Kurdish peshmerga fighters have to say about the PKK
“The PKK are very experienced fighters. They are mobile, agile, tactical fighters,” explained Carduchi Consulting’s Zulal. “Although you can’t compare the PKK with ISIS – who are deranged and ruthless killers – the PKK has been a match for ISIS.”
Now we are working with Marxists.

After rescuing the devil worshippers, because as our dear old talibangelicals pointed out President  Obama is a devil worshiper, now because President Obama is a communist, we are fighting with the Marxists. They of course will see no disconnect. No doubt President Obama will bring back the PKK to work with, the Yazidi people, and the all brand spanking new Black panthers to convert the US into a devil worshiping white Christian oppressing Communist State, with Kenyan overlords.

But the strangest thing [well it is new to me] in the article is that  we have tiers of terrorist groups

Tier I

These organizations are also referred to as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs).  FTOs are foreign organizations that are designated by the Secretary of State in accordance with section 219 of the INA, as amended.  There are three basic criteria for an organization to be considered an FTO:

    It must be a foreign organization.
    The organization must engage in terrorist activity, as defined in section 212 (a)(3)(B) of the INA (8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(3)(B)), or terrorism, as defined in or retain the capability and intent to engage in terrorist activity or terrorism.
    The organization’s terrorist activity or terrorism must threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security (national defense, foreign relations, or the economic interests) of the United States.

Tier II
The Secretary of State, in consultation with or upon the request of the Attorney General, may designate terrorist organizations for immigration purposes, after a finding that the organization engages in terrorist activity as defined in section 212(a)(3)(B)(iv) of the INA (8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(3)(B)(iv)); see section 212(a)(3)(B)(vi) of the INA. This authority is known as the “Terrorist Exclusion List (TEL)” authority. A TEL designation will generally exclude aliens associated with entities on the TEL from entering the United States.

Tier III
These groups are defined by law as “a group of two or more individuals, whether organized or not, which engages in, or has a subgroup which engages in,” terrorist activity. Tier III groups are also called “undesignated terrorist organizations” because they qualify as terrorist organizations based on their activities alone without undergoing a formal designation process like Tier I and Tier II organizations.

Instead, the determination of whether a group can be considered a Tier III organization is made on a case-by-case basis,  in connection with the review of an application for an immigration benefit.  Tier III organizations arise and change over time.

Going back to the original article
They note that the Iraqi KDP and PUK are listed as “Tier III” terrorist organisations by the US State Department under a post-9/11 law that created a three-level scale for groups that have engaged in armed struggle in the past.
If you are getting confused, join the club, but there are exemptions
Exemptions

The Secretaries of State and Homeland Security, can grant exemptions from the terrorism-related inadmissibility grounds for much of the activity covered under the statute (see section 212(d)(3)(B) of the INA).

Help.

Then of course when we look at our friends in the region.....yikes

Well all I can say is......

Aint life strange; and a thank you to G W Bush and his merry band of necons for kicking the hornets nest.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar: Now about Iran...... (25+ / 0-)

    "I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity." Nadezhda Mandelstam

    by LaFeminista on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 01:06:54 AM PDT

  •  Tier (4+ / 0-)

    I II III. What a hoot! In the Big 3 auto sector, suppliers are classified as Tier 1,2,3, and so on. I've seen as high as a Tier 9, which is probably some guy in his garage painting a widget that goes on a car.
    I reckon that Dkos is at least a Tier 5 or 6 in this case....

    6% of scientists are republican. Scientists have no explanation why that number is so high.

    by fugwb on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 01:41:10 AM PDT

    •  PKK was listed October, 1997. Never delisted. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ichibon, enhydra lutris

      10/8/1997. Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) (Kongra-Gel)

      Shooting and blowing up Turkish soldiers gets you on the list.

      -- http://www.state.gov/...

      There's a lot more there.

      Qods Force is not listed. Maybe because these are NGOs. that's the Iranian military.

      General Suleimani is running the coalition operations at Tikrit-Samarra. Iraqi Army-AAH-QF with more than 10,000 troops.

      ISIS lost 500 at Tikrit, which was retaken a month ago. A goof-ball attack on Samarra lost another 330+.

      Effectively the US and Iran are allies. The "Axis of Evil" line is gone.

      "The illiteracy of our children are appalling." #43

      by waterstreet2008 on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 06:23:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Your post sheds light on the 'long war' (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, a2nite, unfangus

    US policy.

    Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

    by divineorder on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 01:42:02 AM PDT

  •  Thats totally normal. (4+ / 0-)
    Now we are working with Marxists.
    in fact if Americans had much sense, next item would be
    Now we are becoming Marxists.
    A pity that reason doesnt rub off. (Students often try it by having textbooks under their pillows at night but it doesnt work very well)

    I am not sure in how far the PKK really still are Marxists. But indeed the YPG seems to be rather allied if not continuous with the PKK. Speaking of which, Ocalan just gave a speech (?lecture?) in which he said that after 30 years the war would now end in a "democratic peace" whatever that means and he congratulated the kurdish candidates in Turkeys recent election. Things change.  

    •  No. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marsanges, entlord, Sandino
      indeed the YPG seems to be rather allied if not continuous with the PKK.
      This is propaganda which developed because the Syrian Kurds refused to join the US, EU, Turkish, Saudi, Qatari backed idiots / Syrian 'opposition' who live in hotels in Istanbul and argue endlessly about whose chair or title or room is bigger.

      The world is bad enough as it is, you have no right to make it any worse.
      Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

      by InAntalya on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 03:01:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  thanks for saying that (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        InAntalya, wilderness voice, Sandino

        I am still trying to form an image of these YPG people of who not really much is being reported. this PKK link impression I got myself when following items of the Hawar news site which I found through you. There, neutral local news items about the doings of this or that YPG village were intermingled with rather glowing PKK reporting. But of course I dont know who this site actually represents, and I´d be glad to be corrected. (I am also not necessarily thinking that the PKK is a bad thing either; i know very little of them, though I did know quite a lot of Euro supporters of them in former times, who generally were a good bunch).

      •  Isn't that always the way? (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sandino, InAntalya, bear83, ichibon

        The ones who remain in country and fight and suffer are rarely the ones who end up in charge when the fighting end.  Then the ex pats who lived it up in various world capitals then come flooding back in to claim property and privilege.  The US support of Chalabi and Allawi are a couple of recent example.  It seems the revolutions where the leaders in peace are the same leaders as in war are the most successful in the long run  

    •  The YPG and the PKK have solid ties, but I (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wilderness voice, Oh Mary Oh

      wouldn't call them "continuous with the PKK".

      Some YPG fighters are former PKK fighters and they have had training and assistance from the PKK, but the YPG is actually more than just a Kurdish organization, even if they are dominated by Kurds.  There are actually Arab and Christian members of the YPG, fighting alongside Kurds.  It's one of the reasons for their success.

      They also don't necessarily see themselves as the fighting arm of a political party, but more as an inclusive territorial defense militia that protects all who live in the territory being defended, be they Kurds, Arabs, Armenian, etc.

      One thing they definitely have in common with the PKK is that they have large numbers of female fighters(up to 40%).

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 03:20:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  One more complication that is developing (5+ / 0-)

    is that the PKK / HPG is now pretty much in control of the Sinjar area.

    After the Iraqi KDP Peshmerga adandoned the area and left the Yazidis to be attacked by IS, first the Syrian Kurds moved in to evacuate the Yazidis, then the PKK / HPG moved in to battle IS and defend the area.

    Note: The PKK have been based in northeastern Iraq for decades.

    The Syrian Kurds are now training Yazidis in Syria and then the Yazidis go back to Sinjar to help defend their area. The Yazidis say they will never trust the Peshmerga again.

    Some photos of Yazidis who have started to defend their area again:

    http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/...

    The world is bad enough as it is, you have no right to make it any worse.
    Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

    by InAntalya on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 02:32:44 AM PDT

    •  The Syrian YPG are pretty amazing. (6+ / 0-)

      Despite having less access to weapons, they have more than held their own in the areas that they control in Syria.

      I guess having an inclusive ideology based on democratic principles can be quite advantageous, at times.

      And the fact that they have highly capable female platoons/battalions seems to be making quite a difference, as well.

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 02:42:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  problem with late training is that a lot of the (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jfromga, bear83, Lawrence

      first volunteers don't live long enough to learn the lessons of battle.  ISIS continues to attract a small but steady stream of professional jihadists who have fought in various areas of Africa, Chechnya, Afghanistan and other battlegrounds.

      The Yazidis have some hard lessons in the days ahead but they have already learned the most important one: you don't depend on someone else to defend your home and family

  •  The PKK should have been dropped from being (7+ / 0-)

    listed as a terrorist organization a long time ago.  Actually, they never should have made that list in the first place, imo.

    The most democratic and progressive group in Syria is the Kurdish YPG, which has ties to the PKK.  They employ a form of base democracy that makes some modern democratic nations look autocratic.

    I guess it takes real terrorists like IS showing up for some people to recognize reality...

    Tipped and recced.

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 02:35:08 AM PDT

    •  P.S. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wilderness voice, bear83, ichibon

      There is an online We The People petition to the White House to have the PKK removed from the terrorist org. list.

      I signed it and would encourage all who think that having the PKK on the terrorist list is just plain dumb to sign it, as well:

      https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/...

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 02:55:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Lists of terrorist organizations are a joke (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LaFeminista, bear83

      now.  Terrorist these days seems to include any nonstate actor whom a major state actor does not like.  It seems before any state can declare a nonstate actor as terrorist, that state must itself eschew terroristic tactics itself.  To have states condemn nonstate actors for actions which those states themselves employ is the height of hypocrisy

    •  Well... (0+ / 0-)

      I agree that the U.S. undersupported the Kurds.  Clearly to appease the government of Turkey, mostly.  The incarnation of the PKK of the time was in fact who the U.S. supported during its 1970s uprising against Hussein, via the Shah's Iran.

      That being said, by the same coin the present virulent form of ISIS is more or less a legitimate representative of the native Sunni population from the Orontes to the Tigris until some more tolerable entity arises.  Not that anyone's going to miss the non-native jihadis or fanatics/madmen.  If they expended themselves against Hezbollah rather than Kurds, no one would mind.

      •  I don't think the U.S. ever supported the PKK, as (0+ / 0-)

        it badly wanted Turkey as a NATO member during the Cold War and beyond.

        There was some support for the KDP and PUK Kurdish uprisings  in the 1970s, though.  

        I don't think that IS is a legitimate representative of the majority of the Sunni population.  They've lofted themselves into power in many Sunni regions mostly through sheer terror, with non-native Jihadis often playing a considerable role.  That being said, suppression of the Sunni in Iraq and Syria by the Shia and Alawi definitely hasn't hurt IS' chances with the Sunni population.  The Shia death squads in Iraq aren't really any better than IS, after all.

        We definitely need to start supporting the Kurds a lot more(including support for the leftist Syrian YPG), especially since they are increasingly inclusive of other minorities, like the Assyrians, Yazidis, Chaldaeans, Christian and Secular Arabs, Alevi, and moderate Sunni.  

        "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

        by Lawrence on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 02:58:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The last time I was deployed to Turkey (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, jfromga

    we still considered these guys a terrorist group. This would have been around 2002.

    We were instructed to steer clear of any public buildings in Adana in case a bomb was exploded.

    Not sure if they've cleaned up their act since then.

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 04:04:07 AM PDT

    •  At any given point in time I have to check (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jfromga, ichibon, Major Kong

      whom we deem to be terrorist or friend, and it can be very variable.

      "I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity." Nadezhda Mandelstam

      by LaFeminista on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 06:27:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "the moral equivalent of our founding fathers" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LaFeminista

        As we once referred to the Taliban.

        We happily swap the "terrorist" and "freedom fighter" labels based on the political situation.

        If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

        by Major Kong on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 10:25:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  no real surprise; war makes very strange (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista

    bedfellows.  Are we still supporting MEK, for example, though that Marxist group supposedly switched ideologies after they discovered the lucre available from the American RW

    •  It is funny how really bad guys (ISIS) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ichibon

      make the formerly bad guys look pretty good.

      As long as it keeps American boots at Ft Hood, Fort Bragg and on ships offshore, I am 100% behind Obama working with the locals to beat back ISIS, "Marxists" or not.

      Election Day is Nov 4th, 2014 It's time for the Undo button on the 2010 Election.

      by bear83 on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 07:53:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We would do well to consider the broader (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ichibon, bear83

        implications of the recent Pentagon report that if Hamas were to be destroyed, the successor would probably be even more radical.  We have to stop creating new enemies and radicalizing future generations

  •  We have always condones, worked with, (0+ / 0-)

    armed, backed, supported and created terrorist groups, just so long as their goals of the moment and ours coincide.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 08:43:53 AM PDT

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