JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: TRUMP’S DECISION ON AMERICAN TROOPS IN SYRIA – WHY SOME IN WASHINGTON VEHEMENTLY OPPOSE IT – WHERE EVENTS MIGHT GO – BACKGROUND ON AMERICA’S MIDEAST WARS AND PARTICULARLY THE ONE IN SYRIA – WHAT ARE THEY REALLY ABOUT? – WHO BENEFITS? – THE USE OF PROXY AND HYBRID FIGHTING   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT TO AN ARTICLE IN CBC NEWS

 

“Trump defends decision to pull U.S. troops back from Syrian-Turkish border

“Democratic and Republican lawmakers condemn decision, fear a Turkish offensive”

 

The only people who ever seriously fought the Jihadists in Syria are the Syrian Army, their Iranian allies, and their Russian allies.

America has many times used the excuse of Jihadists to stay somewhere in Syria where it doesn’t belong. It is not an ally of Syria and has never been given permission even to be there, let alone create military bases, train rebellious people, distribute weapons and supplies to them, and generally to encourage mayhem.

What it has really been doing in the Northeast is to assist the Syrian Kurds in opposing Syria’s government and encouraging the notion of a Syrian Kurd rump state. Anything to weaken Syria.

The amount of misinformation on the topic of Syria and its nasty war, a war deliberately created by outside interventions, is monumental, and with good reason since those responsible don’t want the world really to understand what has been going on. That is the way hybrid and proxy wars work.

The Syrian War was always about toppling a legitimate government by using proxy fighters. The proxies get plenty of publicity as “Jihadists” but they really are for the most part plain old recruited mercenaries playing theater parts. And of course, as with any army, the ordinary soldiers receive very little information about what it is all about. All of their pay and supplies has come from the informal coalition of Saudi Arabia and America and Israel and Britain and France and a Gulf State or two.

Every time an arms cache has been discovered by advancing Syrian forces, it contains weapons made in America or Israel or Bulgaria, a country from which the CIA often buys volume-discount weapons to send to interventions and coups.

The people in Washington who are upset by Trump’s move are using terms like “betrayal of allies.”

It’s ridiculous language if you know any history of the region, but most of the people using the words are themselves being dishonest, not telling people why they really want to assist the Kurds.

First, the Kurds are not allies. They do not even represent an organized state, although they always dream of creating one. They are scattered as a minority in many places of the region, almost like a large population of gypsies. Their fierce hope for a state makes it easy for someone like the United States to exploit them for undeclared purposes, as it has been doing now and has done previously.

Some people tried warning the Syrian Kurds about depending on the United States for help, but they wouldn’t listen. The region borders on Turkey, which has its own substantial and rebellious Kurdish population, and is simply never going to tolerate a Kurdish-run rump state on its border. It regards the idea as a serious security threat, given the aspirations of its own Kurds. So American notions have been at direct odds with Turkey’s interests from the start.

The United States has toyed with this notion about the Kurds in northeastern Syria as a kind of consolation prize for having lost the main war in Syria, the war using proxy forces to destroy the Syrian government. Hiving off an important segment of Syria, a place with crude oil reserves, would clearly hurt the country. Trying to reclaim it, even if eventually successful, would keep poor Syria in turmoil for years to come. Israel, unhappy about the main proxy war having been lost, was keen on the concept.

You do have to put the Syrian War into its proper context. It is part of the long series of Neocon Wars in the Middle East designed, more or less, to pave over everything anywhere near Israel. That’s what the meaningless term, “War on Terror,” going back to George Bush really was about. You cannot have a war on a method, clearly, but the term just managed to jumble things up enough for the public and to feature that witch-like incantation term, “terror,” so that America’s government would never have to account for what it was actually doing.

America had done a full-fledged traditional invasion of Iraq, complete with one pathetic ally to share the shame. It was a terribly bloody and destructive enterprise, and so for the other names on its list of countries in the Middle East to be paved over, it settled for proxy and hybrid efforts.

The invasion of Iraq was not only extremely costly, it produced waves of bad publicity and condemnation, something to be avoided when your public relations efforts focus on words like “democracy” and “freedom.” Proxy and hybrid hostilities allow you to put up smokescreens so that no one quite knows what you are doing. You can even blame other people.

Out of the immense destruction American bombing in half a dozen lands caused in a “War on Terror,” we did see, here and there, some few people seek reprisal and revenge against the very powerful who were abusing their power. Those few instances of “International Terror” served, almost like public relations stunts, to reinforce the government’s explanation of what all the killing was about.

The United States has betrayed the region’s Kurds before, going back to the days of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. American plotting got Iraq’s Kurds to rebel against Saddam, and they ended in a mass slaughter. Suggestions of American support vaporized.

Well, here we go again. Unless new steps are taken to avert it, Turkey is going to do the Syrian Kurds serious damage. This United States move serves also as an important gesture to Turkey about America respecting its interests. After all, America and Turkey have had a number of noisy, public disagreements recently.

No matter how difficult the United States sometimes finds accommodating Turkey’s Erdogan, in the end, it very much wants Turkey to remain in NATO. Its geographical location makes it almost a kind of capstone in NATO’s edifice.

It’s not clear how this will all turn out, but Israel, so immensely influential in Washington, is not happy with anything that could end in any degree of Syrian reunification.

The apocalyptic tone about Trump’s move used by Senator Lindsey Graham – one of the most tireless defenders in Washington of Israel’s narrow interests, so much so he frequently makes himself ridiculous – tells us all we need to know about Israel’s view. Israel does like, whenever possible, not to be heard commenting directly on American military decisions, so it uses proxies like Sen. Graham.

The Kurds, armed by America to fight against Syria, may be able to approach the Syrian government and invite them to take back the region, protecting them against the Turks. It is notable that Russian engineers just completed in record time a new military-style bridge crossing the Euphrates into NE Syria, one capable of supporting armored vehicles.

 

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