My article last week became outdated less than 24 hours after publishing. In it, I said Syria had chosen not to ally with the SDF, who represent the Kurdish population in their country. This was based on a quote by the deputy foreign minister. Thankfully, Damascus and Rojava have come to an agreement. This is the best outcome that could have possibly come from Trump’s withdrawal from the border region.
But, of course, American liberals are using this as evidence of Trump’s treason against America. The reality is that the US is partially ending an illegal occupation of a foreign country, and the government of said country is retaking their own land with the consent of the residents of the occupied area. To oppose this, you would have to accept the underlying premise that America owns Syria and has the right to do with it whatever it wants. A common claim you hear is that this is “what Putin wants.” So, apparently, if you are anti-war, that automatically means you support Russia and Putin. This is the level of discourse the American political conversation has deteriorated to in 2019. I don’t know how it can get any more dumbed down than this, but I’m sure it somehow will.
There are lots of reasons do oppose US interventionism besides loving Putin. For example: one may have a moral objection to children being murdered, or they may be fiscal conservatives who don’t want to spend a trillion dollars a year on empire building.
As Chomsky says, “there are worthy victims and unworthy victims.” The hundreds of thousands of people who have already starved to death in the ongoing US-Saudi blockade of Yemen are unworthy of liberal America’s concern. Telling the story of their plight in the US media does not fit the prime objective. The Kurds’ story, on the other hand, can be used to advance American empire.
Another talking point being thrown around is that the Kurds have “always been such loyal allies” to the US, and “now we are abandoning them.” To utter such sentiments, you would have to be thinking from an imperialist mindset in which the Kurds’ right to existence depends on their level of loyalty to a country on the other side of the world. This conditional protection is baked into the cake for liberals; they don’t even understand that it’s something that should be questioned.
Hillary Clinton suggested yesterday that “Tulsi Gabbard is being groomed by Russia for a third-party run.” This is part of another coordinated attack on Gabbard because she dared to question the doctrine of endless war and occupation in this weeks Democratic primary debate. Continuing the Forever War is now so central to the Democratic Party’s platform they will go to great links to defend it. But they’re not the most creative people in the world, so they use the same line of attack they do with Trump: calling all of their enemies Russian assets. I expect to see more of this type of rhetoric going forward; it’s the natural outcome of the second Red Scare. The Left that Tulsi represents is the real threat to the establishment, so, like I say, the real target of McCarthyism will always be the Left. What’s more bewildering to me is that some people still care what one of the biggest losers in US presidential election history has to say.
We now know with certainty that Turkey, in their new offensive into Syria, is allying with the most extreme elements of the opposition, including ISIS. They have even brought back the term Free Syrian Army (or FSA) to obfuscate the fact that all its members are from ISIS and the Nusra Front.
One state we are not hearing much about is Iraqi Kurdistan. This is because their story shatters the whole “united Kurdistan” myth as well as the idea that Ankara hates Kurds just because they are Kurds. Iraqi Kurdistan has implemented a unilateral economic blockade of Rojava and is a strong ally of Turkey, who is investing heavily in the region. People seem to forget that there is already a de facto independent Kurdish nation with three times the population of Rojava; and it’s actually overwhelmingly Kurdish, whereas Rojava is 50% Kurdish at best. The fact that Iraqi Kurdistan is allied with Turkey proves this issue is more complicated than people think, and the cries of “but the Kurds” seem a bit silly given that context.
Now Syrian forces are occupying Manbij and Turkish forces are occupying Kobani: cities only 32 miles (52km) apart. This conflict will be resolved quickly. Ankara does not want to directly engage the Russian-allied Syrian army. It will either end up in a stalemate or Russia will mediate a cease fire. There has already been one cease fire called, but it is not expected to last for long. Either way, I can’t imagine there being a “genocide” as the more hyperbolic interventionists, Rojava-supporting leftists and anti-Trumpers like to claim.
The most worrying part of this story is the future of the supposed 11,000 ISIS fighters imprisoned in Rojava. You can bet that if the Turkish forces reach them, they will be set loose on the world again, and they have no qualms about engaging the Syrian army, but they will more likely try to leave the country. Trump recently let slip the scary reality that those ISIS militants would probably “return home to Europe.” It’s refreshing to see leaders publicly acknowledge that this was never exactly a “civil” war.