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Why Should We Give Military Support To Ukraine? Remember The Kurds

Six years ago, when ISIS attacked Kobanî, in Syria, the Kurds put up a heroic resistance, as the Ukrainians are doing now. But the city was only saved because the West supported the Kurdish fighters – support that is not forthcoming for Ukraine today.

Why Should We Give Military Support To Ukraine? Remember The Kurds

At a checkpoint in Cherihiv, Ukraine

Celestino Arce Lavin/ZUMA
Deniz Yücel

-OpEd-

In October 2014, Islamic State (ISIS) fighters attacked the Kurdish-majority city of Kobanî in northern Syria with U.S.-manufactured heavy weapons, which they had seized earlier that year in the Battle of Mosul. As those defending the city were pushed back to a few remaining streets, Stéphane Charbonnier wrote a thought-provoking article in the left-leaning French daily newspaper L’Humanité.

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“I am not Kurdish, I can’t speak a single word of Kurdish, I cannot name a single Kurdish writer, I know nothing about Kurdish culture. But today I am Kurdish. I think in Kurdish, I speak in Kurdish, I sing in Kurdish, I weep in Kurdish. The besieged Kurds in Syria are not just Kurds; they are humanity fighting against the darkness. They are defending their lives, their families, their country, but whether they want to or not, they represent the last bulwark against the advance of the ‘Islamic State’. They are defending us, not against a distorted version of Islam, a religion that the terrorists of ISIS do not truly represent, but against barbarism and mob rule.”

Charbonnier, known by his pseudonym Charb, was editor-in-chief at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. Four months after that article was published, he – along with nine of his colleagues and other victims – was murdered by this very same “barbarism and mob rule.”

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Artificial Satellite Pollution, Perils For Biodiversity In Space And On Earth

Exploiting space resources and littering it with satellite and other anthropogenic objects is endangering the ecosystem of space, which also damages the earth and its creatures below.

Image of the small satellite NanoRacks-Remove Debris satellite deployed into space by the ISS

Thomas Lewton

Outer space isn’t what most people would think of as an ecosystem. Its barren and frigid void isn’t exactly akin to the verdant canopies of a rainforest or to the iridescent shoals that swim among coral cities. But if we are to become better stewards of the increasingly frenzied band of orbital space above our atmosphere, a shift to thinking of it as an ecosystem — as part of an interconnected system of living things interacting with their physical environment — may be just what we need.

Last month, in the journal Nature Astronomy, a collective of 11 astrophysicists and space scientists proposed we do just that, citing the proliferation of anthropogenic space objects. Thousands of satellites currently orbit the Earth, with commercial internet providers such as SpaceX’s Starlink launching new ones at a dizzying pace. Based on proposals for projects in the future, the authors note, the number could reach more than a hundred thousand within the decade. Artificial satellites, long a vital part of the space ecosystem, have arguably become an invasive species.

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