The quote is from Col. Pat Lang's pithy analysis for Sic Semper Tyrannis, The Turks are playing us -- "us" meaning Americans. The Colonel is entirely right. But playing Americans is a national pastime in too many countries to name.
Will Americans ever wise up? Wising up signifies that one is no longer so high up on the mountain there's no need to look down. Same with following good advice from an underling: it's putting the underling's head almost as high as yours.
That explains why the same incompetents keep being returned to power, lifetime after lifetime: they are competent where it really counts, which is to never relinquish even a molecule of authority no matter how destructive this might turn out to be.
Have an argument with that system of deciding who should be on top? Take your argument to human nature; see how far you get. It's the way things are. Wisdom is learning to work with the system and praying like mad to the gods to save you from the worst consequences.
I suppose I should add that it's observations like the above which prompted one of my teachers to tell me I'd become a nihilist.
A nihilist wouldn't pray.
As to the Kurds in Syria -- the Colonel gave good advice; I hope they consider their survival more important than keeping up appearances, and take the advice.