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The Great Betrayal


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Why does the United States repeatedly sell out the Kurds? Author and former US State Department advisor reveals the real crisis at the heart of current Middle East conflicts.

About the Author

David L. Phillips is Director of the Program on Peace-building and Human Rights at Columbia University's Institute for the Study of Human Rights. He has worked as a senior adviser to the United Nations Secretariat and as a foreign affairs expert and senior advisor to the U.S. Department of State. His previous publications include An Uncertain Ally: Turkey under Erdogan's Dictatorship; The Kurdish Spring and Losing Iraq. He writes regularly for publications including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, and Foreign Affairs.


"A must read for those who want to understand why the Kurds play such a key role in that future of Middle East" - Bernard Kouchner, `This excellent work by David Phillips has broadened the canvas of failed American policy by exposing the darkest period of our national honor in this new century. "The Great Betrayal" accurately portrays how our government treacherously delivered to Iran, the Iraqi Kurds, our only pro-American ally in a region of Iranian dominance. In October 2017 the U.S. President promised to get tough on Iran and to roll back their influence in the region. Immediately following that announcement, the administration stood paralyzed as the Iraqi Army, commanded by Iran's leading general, Qasem Soleimani and supported by both Iranian and Hezbollah militias, overwhelmed the Kurdish Peshmerga in Kirkuk. Consequently, our nation's cowardly policy has allowed Iran to extend their dominance from Tehran to the Mediterranean, a reach they have not achieved since the Medo-Persian Empire. Furthermore, it signals to both friends and enemies that America can no longer be considered a trusted and dependable ally. This book should be required reading for all government officials!' - Jay Garner, Lt General (ret), U.S. Army, `The Great Betrayal is well researched and written about the tragedy that has befallen the Kurdish people. The only real friend of the United States and the west, they fought and died with US forces fighting ISIS, yet, when they were attacked both, in Iraqi Kurdistan and in Afrin, the US declared, "we don't take sides", thus emboldening the Shia militias and the Jihadists in Syria. The Great Betrayal is a must-read for anyone interested in Middle East geopolitics.' - Najmaldin Karim, Governor of Kirkuk, `The Great Betrayal tells how the Trump Administration sided with Iran's top general and a terrorist convicted of blowing up an American embassy against the Iraqi Kurds, America's most loyal ally in the fight against the Islamic state. Like so much of Donald Trump's presidency, this story-well told by long time Iraq expert David Phillips-wouldn't be believable if it weren't also true.' - Ambassador Peter W Galbraith, author of The End of Iraq, "This is not a work of detached - David L. Phillips makes that clear from the outset. But one does not have to agree with all his premises (I do not) to find great value in this book. Phillips has compiled an extraordinary amount of research that he weaves into his well- written narrative. It will be of great value to policy makers, pundits and historians alike - as well as to general readers seeking a better understanding of a complicated situation. As for the Kurds, spread among four countries that unite in opposition to an independent nation, they objectify the hard truth noted by Ernest Gellner many years ago: in this world, there are more nationalisms than nations." Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker

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