Kurds deserve American help

On Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Tom Rice voted against a resolution condemning Turkey for its invasion of northern Syria. By doing so, the South Carolina congressman has contributed to the betrayal of our Kurdish allies who have fought and bled alongside Americans. His vote was a slap in the face and profoundly disrespectful to every service member who fought and died in the fight against terrorism.

I call on Congressman Rice to work alongside his colleagues to implement sanctions against Turkey, implement a no-fly zone in northern Syria to prevent the slaughter of our Kurdish allies and, if possible, to re-establish an American troop presence in northern Syria.

This is not about politics. This is about American honor and dignity. This is about not abandoning our allies. This is about protecting a vulnerable population from genocide and ethnic cleansing.

I have had the profound pleasure to have worked alongside the Kurds in Iraq, as has my father. I have always been proud of the contributions America has made in safeguarding their peaceful, multi-ethnic and religiously tolerant society in the Middle East. After Congressman Rice’s vote, I’m not sure I can hold my head up and be proud to be an American the next time I visit Kurdistan.

BRIAN ELMORE

Florence

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