Betraying the Kurds
Publisher: Against the Current
Date Written: 01/03/2019
Year Published: 2019
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX23489
Many debates about Trump's decision to withdraw troops from Syria ignore the overall illegitmacy of military-political intervention.
It's certainly true that a couple thousand U.S. troops can't resolve the Syrian civil war and destruction of that country, and that U.S imperialism has no legitimate business intervening there or anywhere else.
This doesn't mean that Trumps plan to withdraw this force has any progressive significance, or anything to do with peace. It's a move on a regional chess board - and for imperialism, allies are pawns.
Syrian Kurdish forces have been the most effective fighters against the brutal "Islamic State." They saved the Yazidi population from ISIS genocide on Sinjar mountain, liberated hundreds of Yazidi women from sexual enslavement, and defended the town of Kobane against the ISIS siege. Trump's announcement might be a gesture to Turkey's presidentialist-dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and it's a cynical betrayal of the Kurdish fighters.
Erdogan's number one priority is crushing Kurdish national aspirations, along with all democratic opposition to his rule. The presence of U.S. troops in northeastern Syria restrains Turkey from launching a murderous assault on the Kurds there.