Syria

Cartoon: There is no Ukraine

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 22/10/2019 - 10:50pm in

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Where’s Your Football, Lucy?

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 21/10/2019 - 5:24pm in

President Trump’s order to withdraw American troops who created a buffer zone between Turkey and Kurdish-controlled areas of Iraq was a controversial movie seen as a betrayal of a long-time American ally. But there’s a long history of US forces making extravagant promises to local forces, then withdrawing and leaving them to the wolves.

The Deep State Goes Shallow 2.0

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 21/10/2019 - 2:03am in

Edward Curtin This article was first published on February 21, 2017, one month after Donald Trump was sworn in as president, more than two-and-a half years ago. What was true then is even truer now, and so I am reprinting it with this brief introduction since I think it describes what is happening in plain …

Frustration and Dismay at Private Eye Pushing the Anti-Semitism Smears

This kind of follows on from the post I put up on Thursday, criticising a piece in Private Eye by their correspondent ‘Ratbiter’ celebrating Stop Funding Fake News and its attempts to cut off funding from what it considers to be extremist websites. Stop Funding Fake News has been the subject of a series of posts by Zelo Street, which has shown how the organisation is itself deeply suspect. For all its avowed concern to stop fake news, SFFN itself is less than transparent. It won’t tell you who its members are for one thing. And while it has attacked right-wing sites, like Breitbart and Tommy Robinson’s wretched website, as described in Ratbiter’s article, it’s also gone after those on the Left, like the Canary.  They’re also supposed to be extremists sites peddling fake news, but as I pointed out, the Canary’s politics are those of the old social democratic consensus. The consensus that Corbyn wishes to bring back, of a mixed economy, strong welfare state, proper, effective trade unions, a nationalised and properly funded NHS, and proper rights for working people. You know, proper, constructive policies that will save this country and its people from poverty, starvation and exploitation. But Thatcherites, whether in the Tory party, or the Lib Dems and Blairites in Labour, can’t stand any of this. They can’t bear the thought that Thatcher is a goddess who failed, and that neoliberalism has run its course and been found threadbare. So Corbyn and his supporters have been accused of being Trots, Commies, Stalinists and other epithets by the papers and right-wing Labour MPs like Jess Philips.

Israel Lobby Using Anti-Semitism Smears to Suppress Criticism

But these policies are actually popular with the British public, and so the Right has taken to trying to discredit Corbyn and his followers, and more broadly the Labour party, with accusations of anti-Semitism. As I’ve blogged about endlessly, the actual incidence of genuine anti-Semitism in the Labour party is low. Very low. What riles the witch hunters is that Corbyn and his supporters are critics of Israel’s policy of oppression, apartheid and the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. The Israel lobby’s only defence against these entirely justifiable criticisms is to scream ‘anti-Semitism!’ and demand that their critics should be removed from office, silenced and even prosecuted for hate crimes. And ‘Ratbiter’ and Private Eye itself has been pushing this as strenuously as the rest of the media. In his article about Stop Funding Fake News, ‘Ratbiter’s’ praise for SFFN’s attack on the Canary claimed that not only was the Canary pushing fake news, but it was also anti-Semitic and pushing conspiracy theories about Jews. None of which is true. There is a concerted campaign by the Conservative Jewish establishment in this country to close down debate about Israel in line with the demands of the Israeli government. The Israeli state even as a special government office for promoting this hasbara. This is substantiated fact. But it’s suppressed by the British establishment and media, which wants you to believe that when the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council scream at Corbyn for supporting speeches by Holocaust survivors and anti-Nazi activists, like Hajo Meyer, attacking the maltreatment of the Palestinians, these right-wing organisations speak for all British Jews. They don’t, as is very clear by the number of Jews involved in the Palestinian rights movement, the BDS campaign and who support Corbyn in the Labour party. Still, why bother about awkward facts when you’re the media, eh?

Private Eye Part of Press Smears of Anti-Semitism

I’m particular dismayed and frustrated that Private Eye has joined in with this vilification and smearing. I’m not surprised by the right-wing press – the Fail, Scum, Depress, Times and Sunset Times, as they’ve always lied about and slandered the Labour party and left-wing activists. You only have to go back two years to when the Sunset Times smeared Mike as an anti-Semite and Holocaust denier. Or how it tried to tell the world that Michael Foot was a KGB agent, against all evidence. I’m disappointed that the Absurder, Groaniad and the Mirror have joined in with these accusation. But the Groan is in dire financial straits and has supported the Liberals in several elections. Kath Viner, the new editor, would like to make it a general political newspaper, not tied to the Left. And the Absurder and Mirror look like they’re run by Blairites.

Private Eye’s Liberal Stance and Challenge to Authority

But Private Eye’s support for the smears I find more puzzling and exasperating. OK, I realise that despite its attacks on NHS privatisation, Tory housing policy, the attacks on the disabled, the failings of the privatised water companies, probation service, and outsourcing companies like Capita and Serco, the magazine’s not actually left-wing. Its founders – Peter Cook, Richard Ingrams, Willie Rushton and Auberon Waugh were all thoroughly middle class public school boys. John Wells was the headmaster at Eton. But the magazine does have a proud tradition of standing up for those wrongly accused and questioning the actions of the security services. Paul Foot was a staunch advocate for people he believed were wrongly accused of murder. The magazine is still covering the Deepcut scandal, and what looks very much like an attempt to hide the evidence and protect the guilty by the army and the police. They’ve also covered deaths in police custody and other cases of official incompetence, corruption and wrongdoing. They even published several pieces and then a final report in the mid-90s questioning the official assertion that the Libyans were responsible for the Lockerbie bombing. They believed instead that Syria was responsible, and that blame was placed on the Libyans for political reasons: Major and George Bush senior needed Syria to join their coalition against Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait. It has also defended asylum seekers, both collectively and individually, from racist discrimination, incarceration, beatings and abuse, and the threat of deportation. It is because the magazine has this proud tradition of questioning authority that I find its current support for the anti-Semitism smears infuriating.

Private Eye also Repeating British Intelligence Propaganda?

I am also aware that, as well as probing some of the actions of the British intelligence agencies, like when they have leaned on journalists to reveal their sources, they’ve also acted to promote them. There is ample evidence that the Maidan Revolution in Ukraine in 2012, which overthrew the pro-Russian president, was anything but popular. It was instead a staged coup overseen by the US statement and the National Endowment for Democracy. But from reading the ‘Letter from…’ column in Private Eye dealing with events in that country, you are told that it is all the fault of the Russians and their supporters. It also appears that the magazine does, or at least, did, have connections to MI5. Auberon Waugh was related to one of its directors or senior officials, and Lobster a decade or so ago ran a piece, ‘5 at Eye’, speculating the magazine and particularly Waugh were responsible for running the smear stories about Harold Wilson being a KGB spy. I am also aware that as a magazine that is unaligned to any political party, and which criticises and satirises all of them, it’s going to attack Labour. Corbyn, as head of the party, is fair game. And those attacks are going to come from his opponents. Which include ‘Ratbiter’, real name Nick Cohen, and whichever Blairites used to run the ‘Focus on Fact’ cartoon attacking the Labour leader.

Private Eye Shares Journalists with Other Papers

But nevertheless, I am extremely annoyed at the way it has joined in with the smearing of decent, anti-racist, Jewish and gentile people as anti-Semites. Like the rest of the press and media, they largely haven’t contacted them for their opinion, or given them space to explain how they were smeared. When a letter has been published in Private Eye rebutting their claim that anti-Semitism is rife in Labour, they’ve replied by quoting Jon Lansman, the founder of Momentum, who believes it is. And who has been roundly criticised for this by Tony Greenstein. Part of this might just be standard press groupthink. Private Eye, for all its attacks on the press and media in its ‘Street of Shame’ and television columns, is part of it, and some of its anonymous correspondents are no doubt journalists working for other papers. Nick ‘Ratbiter’ Cohen is a hack for the Graon and Absurder, while one of the editors and probably a reviewer for their books page was Francis Wheen, another Guardian journo. The press seem to have decided en masse that Corbyn is an anti-Semite, and for all its professed independence and criticism of the fourth estate, the Eye really doesn’t seem to want to break ranks with them in that regard.

And I also suspect that they don’t want to counter that narrative for geopolitical reasons. Israel’s one of the pillars of our foreign policy in the Middle East, and although the paper has criticised it for its treatment of the Palestinians, its attack on Corbyn and his supporters as anti-Semites show that there are limits to how far the magazine will go in challenging foreign policy.

Private Eye also Afraid of Being Smeared as Anti-Semitic?

I also wonder if there are more selfish reasons. As Peter Oborne showed in his documentary on the Israel Lobby for Channel 4’s Despatches eleven years ago, the Conservative Jewish establishment and the Israel lobby will smear any and all newspapers and media organisations as anti-Semitic if they criticise Israel. Even, and perhaps especially, when that criticism is justified, as when the Guardian and BBC reported on the massacre of Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon by the Christian Phalange, who were allied to Israel. The Groan’s former editor, Alan Rusbridger, described how the president of the Board used to troop into his office, with his pet lawyer, demanding the withdrawal of articles critical of Israel on the grounds that they would incite the general public to hate Jews.

The Beeb’s respected Middle East correspondents Jeremy Bowen and Orla Guerin were also accused of anti-Semitism when they covered the above massacres. When senior Beeb officials like Sir David Attenborough defended them, they too were ridiculously accused. That should have destroyed the Board’s credibility. Instead it seems to have succeeded in emboldening the Israel lobby. Since then Israel has also denounced and lied about the Beeb’s coverage of the blockade of Gaza and the bombing campaign against Palestinians, claiming that journalists were anti-Semitic and expelling them. This does seem to have had a chilling effect at the Beeb. And not just at the Beeb – the Groan and the Absurder have also fallen in line. And I think Private Eye’s determined promotion of the anti-Semitism smears may also be part of this. They’re also, I suspect, afraid of the Board turning up in their offices to accuse them of anti-Semitism. Back in the ’60s and ’70s when the magazine appeared more louche and subversive than it is now, some newsagents refused to stock it. In the 1990s WH Smith withdrew one edition from its shelves because of a joke on the cover about the prurient public interest in the death of Princess Di. I think the magazine is still terrified of some kind of boycott by distributors, which may well be the result if the Board did decide to start accusations of anti-Semitism against them.

What Can Be Done?

So there are a variety of reasons why Private Eye is pushing the anti-Semitism smears. But speculating on their motives doesn’t make it any less infuriating that they’re doing it. I’ve thought in the past of writing letters of complaint to the Eye, explaining that the accused aren’t anti-Semites, and asking for an explanation. But what’s the point? The letter would either be ignored, or a short, edited version would appear in the magazine, which would allow them to reply quoting Lansman or someone else that anti-Semitism is rife, etc. And I might be unfair here to the magazine, but I don’t want to find myself smeared as an anti-Semite in turn and have my name or address passed onto the trolls that appear online to howl abuse at Mike, Jackie Walker and Tony Greenstein.

And so there doesn’t seem to be much hope of challenging the Eye in its pages. The only option left is to carry on critiquing its lies and those of the rest of the media in the hope that more and more people will realise that it and they are smearing decent people simply for political advantage and to keep a vicious, corrupt government installed.

The ground beneath Trump’s feet

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 19/10/2019 - 9:51am in

Tags 

Kurds, Syria

The Syria crisis has provided a clear issue for Democrats in pursuing their impeachment inquiry. 

When Nancy Pelosi took the ‘extraordinary‘ step of initiating impeachment proceedings against President Trump on September 24, the consensus among even those who had for months been calling upon her to do so was that the Republican-dominated Senate would block his removal from office. Over the ensuing three weeks, however, a series of seismic occurrences have upended received wisdom. As prominent historian and journalist Heather Cox Richardson wrote yesterday in a long Facebook post, it feels “as though the nation has shifted.” The immediate catalyst for this shift was Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. military support from the Kurdish stronghold in northeastern Syria, and to suspend military aid to the Kurds. This, coming on the back of some stunning revelations about Trump’s dealings in Ukraine, have finally cracked the wall of Republican support for the president.

‘I want you to do us a favor though’

The original reason for the impeachment hearings was a whistleblower complaint from an unnamed CIA officer who had been assigned to the White House. According to the complaint, which several media outlets published in its entirety, Trump indirectly told the newly elected president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, that he wanted Ukraine to manufacture dirt on Joe Biden. During their phone conversation, Trump used a phrase that could be the 10 words that sink his presidency: “I want you to do us a favor though.” The “though” implies that Trump was asking for a quid pro quo — a personal service for his own benefit. Then it emerged that Trump had held up the release of a $400 million military aid package to Ukraine. Since that aid package had been approved by Congress in July, the president was in effect withholding taxpayer money for his personal use.

Trump tried, of course, to obfuscate by claiming the whistleblower had made false accusations and insisting that his conversation with Zelensky had been “a perfect phone call.” Republican senators continued to defend Trump. Their constituents still supported the president, believing his claims that the allegations regarding the phone call were untrue or misunderstood. Since impeachment is a political process and not a trial, GOP lawmakers were not going to risk being voted out of office by angry Trump supporters. The impeachment inquiry would continue, but with little chance of the president being forced out of office.

The Syria debacle

On October 6, Trump announced abruptly that he was withdrawing U.S. military support for Kurdish forces in northeastern Syria. The Kurds were U.S. allies; they had fought and destroyed the Islamic State, which cost the lives of an estimated 11,000 soldiers. Turkey, however, regarded the Kurds as terrorists. As soon as American commandos pulled out of the Kurdish stronghold, Turkey launched a military attack that has shocked the world with its brutality.

Besides the horrific moral implications of abandoning the Kurds after they had saved the U.S. from deploying its own troops to fight the Islamic State, Trump’s decision to pull out of northeastern Syria is a diplomatic and security catastrophe. America has given up its leverage in the region, indicated to any future allies that they cannot be trusted, and possibly provided an opportunity for ISIS to resurrect itself.

Kurdish forces that were guarding 11,000 captured ISIS fighters had to abandon the prison camps in order to fight Turkish forces; many of those ISIS prisoners simply walked out of the camps — presumably to fight another day; indeed, there has already been a spike in ISIS attacks against the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the anti-Assad forces that were also U.S. allies. Meanwhile Putin rushed to fill the territorial vacuum, deploying Russian soldiers to the area. Some of them posted triumphal videos taken at abandoned U.S. military bases.

Cracks in the wall

Even stalwart Trump supporters were appalled at the extent to which Trump had undermined American security and its national interests. Senator Lindsey Graham, a national security hawk, issued scathing tweets accusing the president of creating “a complete and utter national security disaster.”

When Fox News reported Graham’s criticism, it became clear that Trump’s support was weakening. Swing voters might not understand the significance of Trump’s phone call with Zelensky, but they certainly understand the significance of their president making them vulnerable to terrorist attacks committed by the so-called Islamic State.

This was Nancy Pelosi’s moment. At a fraught White House meeting regarding the Trump administration’s Syria policy, she stood to confront the president, pointing her finger at him as his aides hung their heads. An unnamed White House photographer caught what has already become an iconic image, the subject of in-depth analysis by art historians and culture critics, and which Pelosi promptly posted as her new header on Twitter.

Trump is now an embattled president, and he knows it. But his base remains loyal, and that will probably never change. The question is whether the institutions of the state, after three years of relentless assault, remain sufficiently robust to support the democratic process of impeachment.

For more analysis of this extraordinary historical moment:

The post The ground beneath Trump’s feet appeared first on The Conversationalist.

The “ISIS Resurgence” is Fake News

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 19/10/2019 - 4:31am in

Donald Trump's decision to "withdraw" from Syria has kicked up a lot of dust - there's sympathy for the poor Kurds, concern for the stability of the region, fear of "increased Russian influence"...and dire warnings of a possible "resurgence of ISIS"....Given what we already know, how seriously should we take these warnings?

Private Eye Cheers Defunding Campaign Against the Canary

I’ve blogged many times before about Private Eye’s hatred of Jeremy Corbyn and their poisonous support for the anti-Semitism smear campaign against Labour. One of those pushing it in the Eye is ‘Ratbiter’, revealed by Tony Greenstein a little while ago to be the pseudonym of Groaniad/Absurder hack Nick Cohen. Cohen, who isn’t actually Jewish despite his name, is clearly one of those miffed that Labour has elected someone who’s actually going to do something for Britain’s working people, and isn’t prepare to ignore or support crimes committed by the British establishment’s favourite colonialist state in the Middle East. He’s the author of a piece, ‘Faking Hell…’ in this fortnight’s issue of the satirical rag for 18th-31st October 2019, praising the Stop Funding Fake News organisation for their campaign to stop advertisers using those social media sites they consider to be outlets for fake news. Cohen’s article starts by praising the site for doing what he believes Google should be doing in preventing firms advertising with extremist web sites. He starts off by describing how those on the extreme right have had their advertising revenues hit, as firms like Sky, Macmillan Cancer Care, Which?, the World Wide Fund for Nature, Manchester United, Chelsea, Ted Baker, Experian and Ebay have requested Google to take down their advertising on Breitbart, Westmonster, and TR, the site of the notorious islamophobe and jailbird Tommy Robinson. Thanks to their campaign, Robinson’s site has lost 70 per cent of its income. Which might stop some of his jaunts abroad for a little while. But almost inevitable, the article goes on to attack The Canary. This has been a particular bete noir of the Eye for some time. They really don’t seem able to stand the idea that there are any social media sites supporting Corbyn, not least because they’re also a rival to the lamestream media. Which also includes Private Eye. Describing SFFN’s attacks on The Canary and its effects, Cohen says

While far-right sites target Muslim immigrants, far-left sites target Jews. “The Canary”, the campaign tells its followers and advertisers, “regularly publishes fake news and attempts to justify anti-Semitism”. it also feeds the conspiracy theories of the far left. One hideous example came when the campaign discovered that Unicef, which tends to the victims of the Syrian and Venezuelan regimes, was advertising on the Canary, which has denied the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela and pretended that Syrian president Bashar al-Assad did not use chemical weapons against Syrian civilians in Douma. In August, the Canary cut its staff from 25 to seven. Perhaps inevitably, it blamed “political Zionists” targeting advertisers.

The toppling of the Canary is “the strongest evidence yet that the clickbait business model can be defeated”, the campaign said. Combine it with changes to Facebook’s algorithms to reduce the prominence of media businesses, and fake news in the UK is taking a hit.

Let’s go through and critique this pile of driveling hogwash. 

Firstly, the Canary isn’t a ‘far left’ site. As I understand it, it supports Jeremy Corbyn. Corbyn’s programme of nationalisation, the restoration of the NHS, welfare state, worker’s rights and trade unions, isn’t extreme left, except in the addled brains of convinced Thatcherites. It’s actually a return to the social democratic consensus, which was actually the centre left before the appearance of Thatcher and her campaign of privatisation, deregulation and the destruction of the welfare state and the decimation of working class organisations.

Secondly, it doesn’t promote anti-Semitism. What it has done is attack, rebut and refute the anti-Semitism smears against the Labour party and specifically Corbyn’s and his supporters. And these are very much politically motivated. It comes from the Blairites, who are determined to cling to power whatever the cost, the British political and media establishment, which is simply terrified of anyone giving back any power to working people, and the Israel lobby. And a large part of it comes from the Israel lobby. Tony Greenstein, Jackie Walker, Asa Winstanley of the Electronic Intifada, and the Jewish American academic and critic of Israel, Norman Finkelstein,  have described at length how Israel and its supporters have been smearing any and all critics of Israel as anti-Semites since the 1980s, even when they are anything but Jew-haters, as in the case of those above. It’s their only defence against the justifiable criticism and condemnation of Israel’s government for its crimes against the Palestinians. It’s hasbara, the Hebrew term for Israeli civilian propaganda. The campaign against Israel’s critics, including Corbyn, is run by a special department of the Israeli state. This is why one of those smeared as an anti-Semite is Cyril Chilson. Mr Chilson is the son of a Russian Red Army pilot and a holocaust survivor.  He’s Israeli, and served in the IDF and then an intelligence unit producing such propaganda. It’s because of his work for the Israeli military that he recognised the attacks on Corbyn and his supporters for what it was, and denounced it. And as result, this man, the son of people whose resistance and survival of Nazism was truly heroic, has been smeared as a Jew-hater. Disgusting.

Thirdly, the Anglo-American media have been producing fake news about Venezuela and Syria. Some of the footage of refugees supposedly fleeing persecution by Maduro’s regime was faked. Independent experts analysing the footage and evidence of the chemical weapons attack at Douma have come to the conclusion that this was also faked. Assad is a monster, who has killed and tortured in order to maintain power, and he does oppress his country’s Sunni Muslim population. But it doesn’t look like he was responsible for that atrocity. That lies instead with the ‘freedom fighters’ – ahem- which we’re supporting. You know, groups connected with ISIS and what evolved from the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda. But the neocons have been pushing for the overthrow of the Syrian regime since the 1990s, because Assad is a Shi’a, like the Iranian regime, although of a much more radical branch of that faith. He’s therefore allied to Iran, which the Americans also want to overthrow. See the pieces produced by the Jimmy Dore Show about this.

Cohen in his attack on the Canary for rightly rejecting the received view of these events is therefore parroting Neocon propaganda.

Zelo Street has written extensively about Stop Funding Fake News, exposing how it attacks decent left-wing social media sites, while at the same time remaining very shadowy itself. No-one knows who runs it, as their identities and connections are very much hidden. The Sage of Crewe has therefore advised companies not to be influenced by their misinformation and pronouncements, until they themselves become much more transparent.

And then there’s Private Eye’s hypocrisy for printing this drivel.

Ian Hislop, the magazine’s editor, appeared on Radio 4 a few years ago in a piece about satire down the centuries, explaining that what his magazine attacked was humbug, double standards. Private Eye is one of the few mainstream magazines that tries to bring the public the news behind the news, exposing double-dealing, lies and hypocrisy in the press, the government and industry. But publishing this attack on the Canary is very hypocritical, consisting as it does of nothing but lies and propaganda.

The Defunding of Arab Satirists Al-Hudood

And it’s especially hypocritical as a few pages before Cohen’s wretched piece, there’s a little article in the magazine’s ‘Street of Shame’ column, ‘Joke Now, Pay Later’, about how the Arabic satirical website, Al-Hudood, was experiencing a funding crisis. Metro Bank has told them it will no longer act as their bank, and they have not been able to find anyone else to do so. There has been no explanation from the banks for this refusal to deal with them.

This seems to be the same tactics Stop Funding Fake News are taking with the Canary and other left-wing bloggers and vloggers: try to take them down through preventing people from supporting them financially. Perhaps whichever oppressive regime or organisation has leant on the banks to withdraw their support for al-Hudood also considers that they’re ‘fake news’ and a dangerous, extremist organisation.

Private Eye does much good in its exposure of some of the underhand dealings in Britain and around the world. But this attack on the Canary is, like their attacks on Corbyn and his supporters, just pure hypocritical establishment lies.

Kurds abandoned by US imperialism—again

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 17/10/2019 - 4:25pm in

Turkey has
begun a military offensive against Kurdish areas of northern Syria, after US
President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of US troops giving the green
light for the operation.

Once again the Kurds, used as a proxy force by the US
to fight Islamic State—as well as to limit the influence of Russia and Iran,
their rivals in Syria—have been abandoned by US imperialism. Already there are
scores of casualties as Turkey bombs towns and moves troops into Syria.

Turkey has threatened military operations ever since
Kurdish party the PYD took control of northern Syria along the Turkish border,
in the aftermath of the uprising against the Assad government in 2011. The PYD
is linked to the nationalist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which has waged a
decades-long guerrilla struggle inside Turkey for autonomy and
self-determination.

The Kurds, numbering between 30 and 35 million and
divided between Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran, are the world’s largest people without
their own state.

Turkey says it wants to clear a “safe zone” inside
Syria, but it plans to move two million of the Syrian refugees presently inside
Turkey into the area in order to ethnically cleanse it of Kurds.

Since 2012 Syria has been consumed by war, after Assad
turned the popular uprising against his regime into a civil war. Foreign powers
including Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran and the US have all used the
conflict to try to increase their own influence.

But it has been Russia, which has backed the Assad
regime, that has emerged as the dominant player. The US has been largely
sidelined. It has focused on supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces, which are
held together by Kurdish troops, in order to defeat Islamic State.

There is a long history of US betrayal of the Kurds.
When the US and other Western powers redrew the map of the Middle East after
the First World War they were denied the state they had been promised. In the
1980s the US provided the poison gas that Saddam Hussein, then a US ally, used
against the Kurds in northern Iraq. During the First Gulf War in 1991, the US
called on the Kurds to rise up, only to allow Saddam Hussein to crush them
because US ally Turkey opposed Kurdish independence.

The US’s sole concern in the Middle East is to advance
its own interests.

Tragically, the Kurds are now looking to Russia and
the Assad regime to push Turkey out. But just like the US, Russia is concerned
with its own interests, not Kurdish autonomy. 
Assad’s Syrian army is re-occupying areas controlled by the Kurds. The
Syrian Kurds are back to where they were before the start of the civil
war—oppressed and the pawns of rival imperialisms once again.

By James Supple

The post Kurds abandoned by US imperialism—again appeared first on Solidarity Online.

WATCH: Kentucky is in Syria

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 17/10/2019 - 4:29am in

"Did you know that Kentucky is in Syria? Or that Tripoli is in India? Or that Caracas is in Singapore? No? Then you must not be paying enough attention in MSM Geography 101, class. Better hit the books!"

The Turkish Invasion of Syria

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 15/10/2019 - 11:41pm in

image/jpeg iconsyriamap1.jpg

It was obvious from the beginning of the war against Bashar el Assad (2011) that Turkey intended to invade north-east Syria alongside its border (an area of some 30 kilometres deep and 420 long). Turkey only participated in the war against Isis/Daesh after a long delay, and never with much conviction.

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