(…as the seed that will flower into a new civil and open society for all Syrians?)

Saladin, was a Kurd…and some 800 years ago he re-conquered most of what we call the Middle East today, from the Egyptian borders with Libya to Kurdistan and Iraq’s border with Iran, retaking it all from the crusader warlord kingdoms and others which had terrorized most of that region for several hundred years…(much in the same manner as ISIS is doing today).

By all accounts he was more than just a great military leader, and, except for a few early on lapses of harsh brutality, waged war as humanely as it is possible to wage it. That is, once opponents had either surrendered or been defeated, he was extremely generous with his terms, restricting vengeful slaughter, looting, pillage, enslavement, and other extortions, demanding only acceptance of his authority, and keeping peace with one’s neighbors, regardless of their faith, ethnicity, or other affiliation. Even his most ardent opponents found it difficult not to view him as a person of impeccable honor and integrity, just, kind and generous to a fault, and mostly forgiving of almost any betrayal or conspiracy against him, only reacting with stern and swift reprisal when absolutely needed.

Everything recorded about him portrays him in this manner, both by Christian and Moslem chroniclers of that era. To both he seems to have been a great puzzlement. A staunch believer in the Koran, yet he was not fanatical about it, which did not sit too well with those who were inclined to be extremists about it. As for Christians, his tolerance of them, and other faiths, simply did not conform to their perceptions of non-Christians in general, and Moslems, in particular…leaving them mostly confused and conflicted about how to deal with him.

In any event, the forty odd years of his overlord rule, was one of the few interludes of peaceful co-existence the Middle East has ever known, lasting until his death.

Somewhat belatedly, we are now seeing the possible development of a nucleus around which the Syrian people’s opposition…against both the murderous assaults of the Assad regime, and the barbarities and criminalities of ISIS…can rally and organize itself as a viable alternative to both. After four years of a non-intervention “hands off” policy in the Syrian civil war (the petri-dish that spawned ISIS) it now seems that the US and the so-called coalition of neighboring states are coming around to providing the kind of support that’s been needed, namely with covering air power, along with training and supplies of better weaponry.


Thus, the Syrian Kurds have become the spearhead that may bring about not only the demise of ISIS, but also, the eventual demise of the Assad regime as well. Much as their kin in Iraq have done it’s now a question of: can the Syrian Kurds provide a latter-day Saladin… as the seed that will flower into a new civil and open society for all Syrians? Their recent attack and closing in on the ISIS stronghold strategic portal for new recruits and supplies coming in through Turkey, seems to be succeeding. If so, that ISIS lifeline will be cut off.

More importantly, if that becomes fully secured in the hands of the Syrian Kurds, there may then finally be a “safe haven” within Syria where refugees camped across the border in Turkey, will now have a place to rally, to help organize and expand a truly “Free Syrian” entity the rest of the international community can really support. They will have brought back their own Syrian boots on the ground…to liberate and retake their country from tyranny and murderous barbarity.

We can but hope that may soon become a new reality there.