“On the one hand it’s astonishing that they’re able to maintain a firewall hundreds of miles long against so vicious an enemy with so little help, but the Kurds have fielded better fighting forces than the Arab states for decades. Shortly after the first Persian Gulf War, Iraq’s Shias and Kurds mounted simultaneous uprisings against the government, together wresting control of most of Iraq from Saddam Hussein. He managed to massacre his way into retaking the Shia parts of the country, but his army—the fourth-largest in the world at the time—was no match for the Kurds in north. Women and children left the cities on foot and took refuge in the mountains while the men stayed behind to purge the regime more than a decade before the rest of the country was finally rid of it.
Picking a fight with the Kurds is a little like going to war against Lebanon’s Druze or the Israelis. It’s like trying to invade and occupy Texas. Only ISIS leaders, at this point in history, are drunk enough on their own ideological belligerence to think they can best the people who whooped Saddam Hussein’s military machine while everyone else who tried was gunned into ditches.“
Stolen shamelessly from Small Dead Animals