The US gets the Kurds wrong — again / In Iraq, we ignored them until we discovered that they were our best allies. Now those in Syria are being neglected. – Michael Rubin | Wall Street Journal  – February 14, 2014 –

As the Syrian civil war approaches its fourth year, prospects for peace seem dim. The negotiations this week in Geneva are showing as little progress as those late last month, for two clear reasons: First, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry‘s hope that a resurgent Assad regime would offer concessions is a fantasy. Second, there is little correlation between the moderate opposition groups who have Mr. Kerry’s diplomatic blessing and the extremists who hold increasing sway inside Syria.

In one overlooked corner of Syria, however, moderates have successfully pushed back the regime and defeated al Qaeda. As diplomats convened in Geneva in January, Syrian Kurds, Arabs and Christians met in Amuda, a small town in northeastern Syria dotted with mosques and churches. After debating a new charter, civil society leaders from across Hasakah province swore in a transitional council to govern until elections, which will be held in May.

Syrian Kurds have suffered many of the same deprivations and atrocities that their Iraqi counterparts did under Saddam Hussein. A park in Amuda commemorates a 1960 cinema fire that killed 150 local children—a tragedy locals blame on the Syrian government, which had sponsored the screening and chained the doors. Even as Hasakah province, which is home to the majority of Syrian Kurds, became a source of Syria’s modest oil wealth in the last decade, the regime kept it underdeveloped.

To read the article in full, please visit the Wall Street Journal’s site.