The horrendous civil war in Syria being fought out between the forces of Baathist dictator Bashar al-Assad, monstrous jihadists trying to replace him with even worse Islamist oppression, and Syrians who want to free themselves from both of those types of tyrannies has yet another component.
Eastern Syria is home to a large Kurdish population and they have carved out a relatively stable area amid all the chaos. But they are at war with Islamists who are threatened by the Kurds' pro-western values and their culture which places an important role on women's rights and equality.
In the aftermath of the wars in Iraq, there is a semi-autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan which is an oasis of security and prosperity in that violent, fractious country.
The Turkish government is fearful that an independent Kurdistan in Iraq and Syria would inspire Kurdish separatists in Turkey, where they are already outlawed. Turkey, which lacks the democratic practices and institutions to gain membership in the European Union, and which continues to deny the genocide of Armenians it carried out a century ago is a lynchpin in the region for the NATO alliance.
Concerned about offending a fellow NATO member, western governments have capitulated to Turkish pressure and betrayed Kurdish national aspirations by confining them to the autonomous region in Iraq.
But with the war in Syria raging and the need for a bulwark against the growing al Qaida-influenced Islamists in the region, rethinking the idea of a Kurdish homeland is not only now a moral imperative for the west, but a strategic one.