Revive the Peace
No, Trump’s Not Doing Good in Syria, Either
By Stanley Heller
Promoting Enduring Peace
He bombed Raqaa into smithereens, let Assad use sieges to conquer cities, turned his back on Al Rukban, tried to cut off funds to the White Helmets, and did a couple of show bombing of empty Assad bases after gas attacks. Now Trump is suddenly pulling U.S. troops out of Syria to let, as he says in his tweet, “Russia, Iran, Syria & others are the local enemy of ISIS. We were doing there work. Time to come home & rebuild.” (Dec. 20) President @RT_Erdogan of Turkey has very strongly informed me that he will eradicate whatever is left of ISIS in Syria....and he is a man who can do it plus, (Dec. 23)
The neo-cons are all apoplectic. They want U.S. troops everywhere forever. But our strategies should not merely be the opposite of the tactics of the open imperialists. Just because these wretches criticize Trump we shouldn’t naively praise him for “bringing the troops home”. The immediate effect on Syrians of Trump’s move will be grave. Trump is giving Turkey and Russia a free hand to conquer and slaughter. Erdogan of Turkey is already moving against the Kurds and who knows what will happen to the 50,000 refugees in Al Rukban.
It was foolish to think that the U.S. would ever support Syrian democratic forces for the long haul. The closest they came is in the Syrian northeast where it gave major military support to the PYD (Kurdish forces). Certainly, it wasn’t because of the Rojava experiment in social equality. The U.S. gave the Kurds guns because they fought ISIS, sacrificing 20,000 of their own to stop an extremist menace that arose as blowback from Bush’s war on Iraq. They PYD foolishly took U.S. support as a given and obeyed U.S. dictates that they refrain from struggling against Assad, even remaining neutral(or worse) in the life or death battle for Aleppo. And it stupidly took areas from Arab Syrians, alienating the very people it needed to work with in the long run. There is also speculation that it’s open now to getting “protection” from Assad.
Still, now that Erdogan and Syrian FSA forces that have hitched their stars to Erdogan are set to invade Kurdish areas, we should do all we can to express solidarity to Syrian Kurdish resistance. The Alliance for Middle Eastern Socialists has a fine statement in this regard.
Our concern has to be the welfare of our brothers and sisters, the Syrian people, not geopolitics. We don’t just cheer (as some on the Left do) that one armed force in Syria is going and leave it at that. We need to furiously think of how we can get Syrian Arab, Syrian Kurds, Turkish, Russian and Iranian democratic forces to ally and act together.