Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Up In Smoke: The Neocon Assault On Syria Is Finally Over

By David Stockman - October 23, 2019 at 10:50AM

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By a vote of 354-60 last week the US House of Representative proved that Imperial Washington is addicted to war, and that the level of ignorance, bellicosity and mendacity among the people's representative has reach appalling heights.

Having never voted for Washington's pointless, illegal and destructive fomenting of Syria's calamitous civil war in the first place, as the constitution requires, the bipartisan congressional mob actually had the gall to vote to keep US forces in the middle of a centuries old Kurd/Turk conflict that has zero implications for the security and safety of the American homeland. And we mean that as in zero, nichts, nada and nugatory.

The pretext, of course, is that the ISIS caliphate will come roaring back to life absent the armed resistance of the Kurdish-SDF forces positioned in Syria's northeast quadrant; and that with these bombed-out, impoverished, no-count towns, villages, farms and dusty plains back under the black flag of ISIS, next up will be IEDs in the New York City subways.

That's just blatant claptrap. If Syria becomes whole again, the Islamic State doesn't have a snowball's chance in the hot place of reviving. And letting Syria become whole again was exactly the purpose and consequence of Trump's sensible decision to remove American forces from the Syria/Turkey border.

That singular move paved the way for the already emergent tripartite deal between Turkey, Damascus and the Kurds. The latter would:

• reestablish Syrian sovereignty on it border with Turkey (already substantially accomplished),
• establish an approximate 13-mile deep "buffer zone" (per the map below) that would be off-limits to the Kurdish SDF, which Ankara considers to be an extension of its long-running domestic Kurdish separatist insurrection,
• set the planking for a reciprocal withdrawal of Turkish support for rebel militias on the northwest border (blue area) as well as the handful of border towns in the Kurdish northeast they had penetrated before today's ceasefire,
• accommodate the formation of some kind of limited self-governance arrangement for the two million Syrian Kurds domiciled in the Syrian northeast, and
• provide regular Syrian military uniforms and paychecks to Kurd fighters now enrolled in the SDF. 

Moreover, once this emergent tripartite deal is reasonably finalized and implemented, the remaining clean-up of the giant political and military mess Washington has foisted upon Syria could be accomplished with alacrity. Together with its Russian, Iranian and Hezbollah allies, Damascus would make short shift of the remaining jihadist fighters in Idlib province (dark brown area) now known as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, which was formerly called al-Nusra Front and before that Al Qaeda.

In short, the Donald's bold decision to stand down rather than dither in place forever ala the Afghan fiasco has paved the way for a swift end to the horrific Syrian Civil war. The latter caused more than 500,000 deaths, generated upwards of 9 million internal and external refugees, utterly ruined the Syrian economy and civilian infrastructure and dangerously roiled the entire middle east.

Needless to say, with Syria whole again and Damascus able to militarily secure its own territory with the help of the Russian air force and the professional military detachments of the Iranians and Hezbollah, there won't be any ISIS caliphate reviving itself anywhere on the map below.

Nor would there be any reason for Washington's war addicts to tie-on another binge of full-throated fear-mongering about the threat of "radical Islam" and the barbaric head- choppers of the short-lived, flukish Islamic State.

Even a cursory examination of the history, in fact, reminds us that the caliphate was actually enabled, fostered and armed by Washington's regime change interventions in Iraq and Syria. Had the neocons not caused Washington to plunge into the 2011 Syrian uprising with billions of weapons, training and walking around money, there would have been no armed civil war in Syria; ISIS would not have implanted itself in Raqqa and in the north and east of Syria; and Washington would not have had cause to arm the Kurdish separatists, which had long been both a thorn in Damascus' side and viewed as an existential threat by the Turks.

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And that get us to yesterday idiotic House resolution, most of which was ignorant hot air in the form of gravely worded whereas clauses run amuck. But here is the operative phrase and the meat of the matter,
Whereas an abrupt withdrawal of United States military personnel from certain parts of Northeast Syria is beneficial to adversaries of the United States government, including Syria, Iran, and Russia: Now, therefore, be it resolved.....that Congress opposes the decision to end certain United States efforts to prevent Turkish military operations against Syrian Kurdish forces in Northeast Syria...

There you have it. It's not really about the Kurds or ISIS at all. The crocodile tears for the former flowing out of Washington at the moment could fill a modest sized lake. 
The truth is, Washington's attempted destruction of Syria as a functioning state was always about waging a proxy war against Iran and violating Syria's sovereign air space and territory in order to clear it of the Iranian, Russian and Hezbollah forces that Damascus had legally invited to participate in its governance and security arrangements.

Yet that's how the Empire rolls. Get the John McCain's and Lindsey Graham's of Imperial Washington looking at you cross-eyed and you are likely to have cancerous interlopers like ISIS planted in your midst and domestic ethnic and political factions armed by Washington and mobilized against you---and sometimes each other.

That happened aplenty in Syria as the residual clashes at this very moment between the Pentagon sponsored Kurdish-SDF and the CIA-sponsored and Turkey-supported Free Syrian Army (FSA) so clearly illustrate.

In that context, it is absolutely true that pictures are often worth a thousand wars, and this one's a classic. It depicts the work of some American F-15s which bombed a large ammo storage dump US forces had hastily vacated near Kobani on the Syria/Turkey border. The purpose, apparently, was to insure that it did not end up in hostile hands.

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Then again, the "hostile" forces in question do not refer to remnants of ISIS, the Assad government, meandering Iranian Quds forces in the area or even Hezbollah warriors up from the south. As the Pentagon briefer made clear, Washington bombed what had once been a large cement factory to save it from our allies, not our enemies:
The military described that a pair of F-15 jets "successfully" conducted the targeting of the ammo storage site, destroying what the Pentagon wanted to ensure didn't get left behind, calling it a “pre-planned precision airstrike” before Turkish-backed fighters could take control. 
 Let's see. Those "Turkish-backed fighters" used to be called the Free Syrian Army (FSA), and have now substituted the term "national" least we remember. But whatever the title, it is not actually the Turkish Army, but the good folks pictured below who have attacked the Kurdish positions and committed a few scattered atrocities.

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In the above photo, Turkish-backed members of the Syrian National Army were preparing for Tuesday's military operation by Turkey into Kurdish areas of northern Syria.

Needless to say, over the years the Free Syrian Army had been armed and provisioned to the tune of billions by Washington--even if now they can't be trusted with an abandoned munitions dump.
Indeed, we think a better insignia might be the Senator John McCain Memorial Brigade.

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We repeat: When you have to bomb a cement plant that was storing weapons for one "ally" (the Pentagon-supported Kurdish YPG/SDF) so that another "ally" (the CIA- funded Arab FSA) doesn't seize them, and this happens in the context of a sovereign nation that Washington had illegally attacked and occupied for no reason of homeland security whatsoever...why then the jig is up!
In one decisive stroke the Donald has sent Washington's war addicted jackboots and psychopaths into a terminal fit of mindless hyperventilation.

That could not have been more evident than in Joe Biden's insipid attack on Trump for wisely getting about 700 American troops out of harms' way on the Syrian/Turkey border. Said the foggy-minded Uncle Joe during the Dem debates on October 15:
..... the withdrawal of US troops from northern Syria was “the most shameful thing any president has done in modern history in terms of foreign policy.” 
That's absolutely ludicrous. But when it comes to shameful actions it can be well and truly said that Joe Biden is an expert practitioner of the cruel, destructive policies that Imperial Washington has been imposing on the middle east for upwards of three decades now.

For example, Biden was an early, enthusiastic and influential supporter of Washington's 2003 invasion of Iraq. Over one million died in Iraq during that senseless calamity, including 4500 dead and at least 100,000 severely injured US soldiers; and worse still, by destroying the Iraqi state and the tolerable ethnic/religious balance under Saddam Hussein's Baathist rule by the sword and the spoils of oil, Uncle Joe helped open the gates to hell and the emergence of the scourge of ISIS.

Likewise, while he was Vice President Biden supported Hillary and her harpies in their "betrayal" of Khadafy after he gave up his nukes and support for mid-east terrorists. Libya today, of course, is still in chaos with tens of thousands dead owing to the endless battles between warlords and violent factions which have contested for control of a ruined economy and savaged society.

Yet this Washington lifer has the nerve to attack Trump's small but welcome step toward disengagement!

As we said, Imperial Washington inhabits a looney bin. And as we indicated in Part 1, the picture below is indeed the "smoking gun".

It's the handiwork of a pair of American F-15s which bombed a large ammo storage dump US forces had hastily vacated near Kobani on the Syria/Turkey border.

The purpose, as we explained above, was to insure that it did not end up in hostile hands. That is to say, the Turkey-backed Syrian National Army, nee the Free Syrian Army (FSA)---otherwise actually the John McCain Memorial Brigade, which was brought, trained, paid-for and stood-up by the CIA.

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Moreover, it was these McCain Brigade descendants which sporadically violated the cease-fire and attacked the "innocent" and "betrayed" Kurdish allies over the past week, not the NATO-certified regular Turkish Army units. So all the sanctimonious harrumphing on the MSM is about what?

Why, the rude deeds of the buccaneers, thugs, criminals, mercenaries, jihadist and plain old job-seekers that are wearing the same uniforms mainly because of Washington's billions of blood money; and who have ended up mercenaries for pay mainly because Washington's demented policy of Regime Change in Damascus destroyed the Syrian civilian economy and turned it into a poison pit of war-lordism.

Stated differently, without Washington's endless payroll and weapons supply, the FSA and its heirs and assigns would not now exist---nor would they have ever before. And they would not be attacking and executing soldiers of the Kurdish SDF because the latter wouldn't exit, either.

To be sure, the War Party and its media megaphones are revising history so fast as to make the other Uncle Joe---Stalin---blush with envy. The New York Times over the weekend gave the McCain Brigades an instant do-over, turning them into the darkest of bad guys:
.....Grandly misnamed the Syrian National Army, this coalition of Turkish- backed militias is in fact largely composed of the dregs of the eight-year- old conflict’s failed rebel movement......Early in the war the military and the C.I.A. sought to train and equip moderate, trustworthy rebels to fight the government and the Islamic State.....A few of those now fighting in the northeast took part in those failed programs, but most were rejected as too extreme or too criminal. 
That's absolute risible baloney. As Moon of Alabama deftly reminded, the leaders of the National Syrian Army are the same as those of the FSA upon which John McCain and his Deep State network lavished billions for the purpose of attacking the legitimate government in Damascus, not just or even mainly ISIS.

Just a few weeks ago, in fact, the current iteration---the Syrian Interim Government--- came together bringing 41 different factions under the newly christened "Syrian National Army". So doing, they elected Abdurrahman Mustafa as president and Salim Idriss as defense minister.

These good folks are pictured below at the launch of Senator McCain's Free Syrian Army (FSA) back in 2013: Salim Idriss (center) with US Senator John McCain

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For want of doubt, Salim Idriss made the ambitions of the new Syrian Interim Government clear when during the recent announcement press conference, he stated, “We will fight all terrorist organizations, especially the PYD/PKK terrorist organization.”

That's right. Idriss has made a career shaking the Washington money and sponsorship tree and has never hidden his bitter anti-Kurd agenda. Yet suddenly, the knuckleheads inside the beltway got amnesia and are shocked, shocked that he is leading the attack against the Kurdish/SDF.

In other words, Washington has sown the seeds of sectarian mayhem in Syria and now arbitrarily sheds crocodile tears for one of the victims of its madness. Yet a recent Turkey-friendly analysis of this newly unified opposition (i.e. the forces now attacking the Kurds) shows that these factions have been in the Syrian civil war business at all points on the compass---nourished mainly by money, material and weapons supplied by Washington.

Accordingly, 11 of these factions had fought battles against Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) or the old Al-Nusra Front nee al Qaeda; 27 of the 41 factions were previously engaged in fighting DAESH/ISIS; 30 factions fought the Assad regime; and 31 fought the YPG/SDF!

That's right. The largest share of the 41 factions now operating under the banner of the Syrian National Army claim to have been fighting the Washington-armed Kurds--- along with practically everyone else.

Moreover, at least 21 of the factions amalgamated into the Syrian National Army were previously funded and armed by the Washington.

But here's the thing: Just 3 of them got help via the Pentagon’s program to combat DAESH/ISIS. By contrast, 18 of these factions were supplied by the CIA via the so- called MOM Operations Room in Turkey.

The latter was a joint intelligence operation of the ‘Friends of Syria’. It was organized for the explicit purpose of supporting the armed opposition to Assad and the legitimate government in Damascus. Fourteen factions of the 28 were also recipients of Washington-supplied TOW anti-tank guided missiles, which are heavy-duty lethal and costly to boot.

Yet now the NYT wants you to believe that the 70,000-90,000 armed ruffians recently aligned under the Syrian National Army were simply outcasts and misfits who came together spontaneously and that Washington had nothing to do with it!

Indeed, the facts on the ground are so damn obvious that we can actually be relieved that the days of the Empire are numbered. That's because the Imperial City and its media megaphones have been so dumbed-down that their utterances on the Syrian/Turkish border matter have been reduced to blithering stupidity and mendacious humbug.

At this rate, Imperial Washington ain't going to even pretend to rule the planet much longer.

Start with the flagrant contradictions and lies that has flowed from the lips of every War Party factotum and bag-carrier that filled the airways and cyberspace since the Donald pulled the plug a week ago. To wit, the risible claim that Trump's action is at once a victory for America's alleged Russian and Iranian adversaries, a betrayal of the Kurds that gave 10,000 lives fighting ISIS and a signal to the demented remnant of the latter to reconquer the territory in north and eastern Syria from which they were so recently routed.

C'mon! With the Syrian government now on the northeastern border, the Russian air force greenlighted to step into the territories that Trump has wisely vacated and the Iranian Quds and other Syrian government-allied ground forces at the ready, what lame-brain Washington stooge can argue with a straight face that ISIS is coming back?

Whether Washington likes them or not, these folks hate the Sunni Jihadists to the last man and now have the will and means to keep the Islamic State permanently buried beneath the rubble of Raqqa and the other towns in northeastern Syria from which they have been driven.

For crying out loud, the only reason the caliphate briefly implanted itself in this god- forsaken region is that Washington and the petro-states had prevented the Syrian government and its allies from policing and protecting its own territory; and from safeguarding Syria's meager oil fields in the northeast, which for a brief period of time ISIS looted in order to fund its pretensions to being a state with an army.

But as this map below from the end of September shows, the caliphate is long gone. And the remnants of the affiliated jihadi forces in Idlib (purple area) are likely to rendezvous with their 13 virgins soon---now that Trump has greenlighted the Syrian government and its Russian/Iranian allies to finish them off.

Equally, importantly, all the handwringing about the Kurds is vastly exaggerated. They have made their deal with Assad. In now completing the re-conquest and unification of his own country, he has every reason to abide by the arrangement which has already re- established Syrian military control in strategic towns on the Turkish border.

Moreover, for reasons explained in Part 1 and amplified further below, Turkey's goal is the establishment of a "safe zone" signified by the white hash marks over the current Kurdish controlled (blue area) part of Syria. The purpose is to move the US- armed YPG/SDF 20 miles inland from its border---given the fact that rightly or wrongly Erdogan considers Kurdish separatism and armed insurrection an existential threat to the Turkish state.

In any event, within days the YPG/SDF will have moved out of the safe zone, thereby permitting Turkey to call off the attack permanently, and re-purposing the corridor into a staging and processing area for the repatriation of some 3.6 million Syrian who have fled to refugee camps in Turkey.

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In fact, deals made behind the scenes have already paved the way for a sustainable pacification of Syria for the first time since Washington and its allies mugged the Syrian state during the 2011 Arab Spring:

• During the summer Trump announced his intention to withdraw US troops from all of Syria, starting with Rojava on the express condition of cutting the line of communication between Iran and Lebanon.
• Turkey entered into this commitment in exchange for a military occupation of the Syrian border strip from which YPG "terrorist" artillery could bombard it.
• Russia has indicated that it does not support the YPG/SDF armed state of Rojava and would accept Turkish intervention if the Christian population were allowed to return to its land---a condition to which Turkey has acquiesced.
• Syria has indicated that it would not repel a Turkish move into the safe zone if it could liberate an equivalent territory in the Idleb governorate. Turkey has accepted this.
• Iran has indicated that, although it disapproves of Turkish intervention, it will intervene only for the benefit of the Shiites and is not interested in the fate of the Rojava.

So the question recurs. What's wrong with the five-day ceasefire, the above enumerated set of deals and understandings and the plan for a "safe zone" that essentially all parties to this senseless, bloody conflict have agreed to? 

As far as we can tell, the only objectors are the denizens of the Imperial City who brought this plague to the peoples involved. Yet within a matter of days as the ceasefire is implemented and the above deals are made permanent, the civil war in Syria will largely end.

Then the Dem pols will move on to their next set of anti-Trump talking points---even as the neocon fifth column in the Trump administration ever more desperately seeks to prevent peace from breaking out.

That's because the neocons' true agenda has nothing to do with the Kurds or ISIS. They simply want the Kurdish blue areas of the map to remain under US control so that Assad's Iranian allies won't use it as a land bridge to move weapons and supplies into the rapidly expanding government controlled (yellow) areas of Syria and Lebanon.

That is to say, Imperial Washington recognizes no sovereignty that inconveniences its own writ, yet is suddenly up in arms owing to Turkey's legitimate national security concerns about what it believes to be Washington-armed terrorists on its own border:
Turkey’s illegal invasion was largely designed to create a buffer between Syrian Kurds and Turkey – a "safe zone" – which would be about 300 miles long by 20 miles deep. Terms of the ceasefire allow for this buffer zone to be created: "The safe zone will be primarily enforced by the Turkish Armed Forces and the two sides will increase their cooperation in all dimensions of its implementation...The Turkish side will pause Operation Peace Spring in order to allow the withdrawal of the YPG [militant People’s Protection Units] from the safe zone within 120 hours. Operation Peace Spring will be halted upon completion of this withdrawal." 
Nevertheless, War Party critics of the ceasefire continue to argue that the deal is unfair to Kurdish Syrians. But how could that be---given that the Kurds themselves have welcomed the ceasefire:
“We will do whatever we can for the success of the ceasefire agreement,” the commander of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces said. 
As one commentator further and aptly noted,
But leading democrats, republicans, war profiteers, US Empire builders and liberal media personalities have the hubris and indecency to be angry that a ceasefire has been negotiated, and instead have turned the ceasefire into a way to bash Trump. 
Indeed, the shrill Dem attack on Trump's Syria move is the final proof that the old pro- peace wing of the Democrat party is now deader than a doornail. In fact, House Democrats last week voted unanimously (225-0) to keep 700 troops in harm's way, and then spent the weekend churlishly ragging on Trump because he sent them to western Iraq first before bringing them back the USA.

Even then, it is evident that the Donald is fighting the War Party consensus and its advocates within his own administration. When it comes to issues of foreign policy, the HuffPost, NPR, PBS, Democracy Now, etc. are often using the same talking points as the neocons, liberal war hawks and war-mongering Republicans.

That could not have been more evident during the last week than in their blatant, incessant misuse of the words “ethnic cleansing” and “genocide” in describing Turkey’s threatened invasion.

But the Syrian Observatory reported as recently as last Thursday that contrary to the hysteria, the violence to date has been overwhelmingly against Kurdish SDF military units. By its reckoning, 274 SDF soldiers have been killed----combatants who did not hesitate to return the fire in-kind toward the advancing Syrian National Army invaders of their towns and communities.

Unfortunately, a reported 72 civilians were also killed in the first eight days of the Turkey’s offensive, which is 72 too many, but in no way shape or form does it constitute an ethnic cleansing.

More importantly, all of these crocodile tears completely ignore the history of why the thin red corridor depicted in the enlarged map below has become such a tinder-box after Washington's bull-in-the-china-shop intrusions into the age-old sectarian fissures and political conflicts of the region.

To begin, the Kurds did not bleed and die in behalf of American security and liberty.They fought ISIS and gladly received American money and weapons in defense of their own communities---after Washington unleashed the US armed ISIS marauders into their regions.

The 10,000 who were killed in the 2015-2017 battles with ISIS, died protecting their own homes, villages and families. They did so while bravely opposing the barbarians who arrived in US military vehicles toting US guns and artillery left behind in Iraq or sent to anti-Assad forces in Syria, who unhesitatingly sold them to the Islamic state.

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Behind that reality, of course, stands the original sin. That is, the fact that US covert intelligence agencies (among others) were the force behind the “revolution” in Syria against the Bashar al-Assad.
The majority of the fighters coming into the region were trained and equipped in Jordan in camps run by the CIA and other western agencies. The program was called Operation Timber Sycamore and was launched in different segments during 2011-2013.

Indeed, the evidence is overwhelming that the Arab Spring and the conflict in Syria were the result of external intervention and subversion. Weapons were initially funneled from the Libyan crisis into the hands of “rebels” that infiltrated Syria. Later equipment directly provided by the US---including old soviet era weapons sourced in eastern Europe---- found its way into the hands of groups that would eventually become ISIS. The Obama Administration, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, John Bolton and many others were all involved in Timber Sycamore.

While the Syrian Kurds were consequently forced to defend themselves against the incursions of the ISIS---that's also where the plot thickens. The Kurds, in fact, ended up as sloppy seconds in Washington's ceaseless quest for mercenaries to do the fighting and dying both against the Assad regime it was determined to overthrow in Damascus and the ISIS marauders it unleashed in the northeast.

Washington's original preference was the so-called "moderate rebels" who were formed into the Free Syrian Army. In 2012, for example, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton junketed to Istanbul to rally support for the anti-Kurd Arab/FSA militias during a “Friends of Syria” conference convened by President Erdogan---militias which today the Clinton Democrats are furiously denouncing.
But not back then, as the "Queen of Warmongers" (hat tip to Tulsi) coldly averred:
“The hard men with the guns are going to be the more likely actors in any political transition than those on the outside just talking. And therefore we needed to figure out how we could support them on the ground, better equip them...” 
One of those “hard men”, of course, was the above mentioned Salim Idriss, the present “Defense Minister” of Syria’s non-existent “provisional government” and de facto leader of the mercenary forces dispatched by Turkey into northern Syria this past week.

The truth is, however, the Kurdish side wasn't much better. There never was a theological or ideological struggle between the YPG and Daesh---it was just a rivalry for a territory to be shared on the charred remains of the failed states of Iraq and Syria.

In fact, when the Islamic State collapsed, the YPG helped the jihadists join al-Qaeda forces in Idleb by given safe passage across their “Kurdistan”. They absolutely did---and with winks and nods from the US military forces in the region.

Moreover, the Kurdish intrigue was every bit as devious as the that among the Turkey- backed Arab and Turkmen factions in the northwest. To wit, the Iraqi Kurds of the Barzani clan were directly involved in the original ISIS conquest of western Iraq in the summer of 2014.

It has now been revealed that the son of the president of the regional Kurdish government in northeast Iraq attended a then secret CIA confab in Amman Jordan in June 2014. There the jihadists planned the capture of Mosul and the Sunni provinces of western Iraq.

Other than a few for show skirmishes, therefore, the Barzani Kurds in Erbil (Iraq) did not fight any real battles against ISIS. They apparently had a deal to simply re-enforce their own territorial perimeters.

In turn, this permitted ISIS to go after the Sunni territories, and, worse still, enabled it to enslave non-Muslim Kurds, the Yezidis, during the Battle of Sinjar. Those who were rescued were saved by Turkish PKK and Syrian YPG fighters dispatched to the area.

From there, of course, ISIS moved on to the Syrian east and north. But having unleashed ISIS on the Syrian state, Washington then compounded insult with injury by encouraging its newfound allies to pursue their dream of the aforementioned independent Kurdish state called "Rojava" in northeast Syria.

Needless to say, Turkey saw the Rojava project as an assault on the territorial integrity and security of its own state from the get go.

Still, in October 2015 the Pentagon created the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) as the official military wing of Rojava. The SDF was comprised mainly of Syrian Kurdish YPG militants, which then expelled Arab and Assyrian Christian families from their homes in the northeast region, thereby permitting the SDF to expand the control area of this proto-Kurdish state into historically non-Kurdish towns and communities.

Indeed, Kurdish fighters from Iraq and Turkey actually settled in the homes of fleeing Christians and Assyrians and took possession of their lands. Thereafter in March 2016, the autonomy of “Rojava” was officially declared with no small amount of help from Turkish Kurds and the ruling Barzani clan from Iraqi Kurdistan.

From there, the tangle only thickened. For instance, in early 2018, the Russian Ambassador to the UN revealed that Syrian Kurds had pardoned 120 Daesh/ISIS leaders and had incorporated them into the YPG!

All the way through, of course, Washington had studiously ignored the checkered history of its 11th hour Kurdish ally. In fact, however, the Syrian YPG was just an off- shoot of the Turkey-based Kurdistan Workers’ Party or PKK.

The latter, in turn, was a Marxist-Leninist insurgency supported by the Soviet Union during the cold war years, which fought against the brutal rule of the Kemalist generals, who had led Turkey into NATO. With the aid of Hafez el-Assad during that period, the PKK set up a military training camp in the Lebanese plain of Bekaa, under the protection of the Syrian Peace Force

When the USSR collapsed, the PKK had more than 10,000 full-time soldiers and more than 75,000 reservists. This war of liberation destroyed more than 3,000 villages and displaced more than 2 million people, killing upwards of 50,000 civilians. Despite these immense sacrifices, it failed.

In fact, during a joint operation with the Turkish, US and Israëli secret services in 1999, the historic leader of the Turkish Kurd revolt, Abdullah Öcalan, was captured and imprisoned on the island of İmrali in the Sea of Marmara. The PKK thereafter largely collapsed, causing large numbers of its activists and combatants to flee Turkish prosecution and settle in the Kurdish communities of northern Syria among others.

At the beginning of the 2011 Arab Spring, Abdullah Öcalan rebuilt the PKK from his prison cell around a new ideology. He explicitly abandoned Marxist-Leninism in favor of a vague form of stateless communitarianism. So the Kurdish firebrand who had always struggled against Turkey in order to build his own state, Kurdistan, now claimed that any state is in itself a tool of oppression.

Then came a further double-cross. The aforementioned militants of the PKK, who had been forced to flee to the north of Syria after Öcalan's capture, initially had adhered to his written pledge to Assad that his followers would never lay a claim to Syrian territory.

Indeed, at the beginning of Washington regime change war on the Syrian government, the Kurds formed militias to defend the Damascus government and the country which had given them shelter and awarded them Syrian nationality.

However, on October 2014, Salih Muslim, who was one of the co-chairman of the YPG (the Syrian branch of the PKK), took part in negotiations with French President François Hollande and Turkish President Erdoğan. There he was apparently promised that he would become the head of his own state if he agreed to help re-create Kurdistan...in Syria!

Soon thereafter the so-called international group which had been stood up by Washington to fight ISIS per the usual "coalition of the willing" ploy offered support to the YPG. Accordingly, the above mentioned nation of Rojava was declared and the rest is history---right up until this past week.

In the end, we doubt whether the Donald has taken the trouble to become informed on the sordid history of what amounts to the war lordism unleashed in Syria by the Washington War Party. Yet somehow he has managed to cut through all of the Imperial City lies, ruses, myths and ever-changing self-serving narratives to get to the essence of the matter.

The key to finally leaving this misbegotten war is to allow the Syrian state to become whole again, and for the interested parties in the region to work out the framework, timetables and arrangements for its reconstruction in a manner that best meets the objectives of the parties involved.

To be sure, there isn't much left of the Donald's original call for America First, but at least he is putting a spear in the heart of the Regime Change folly.

And he is doing so in a manner that will soon prove that the War Party has been wrong all along about the benefits of intervening in the region where no homeland security interests are at stake; and now also about the costs of leaving, which are actually not costs at all.

As the Donald recently averred:
"I view the situation on the Turkish border with Syria to be, for the US, strategically brilliant. Our soldiers are out of there, our soldiers are totally safe. They have to work it out. Maybe they can do it without fighting. Syria is protecting the Kurds.....

If Syria wants to fight for their land, that's up to Turkey and Syria, as it has been for hundreds of years. They've been fighting, and the Kurds have been fighting for hundreds of years, that whole mess..... It's been going on for a long time. Syria may have some help with Russia, and that's fine. It's a lot of sand. They've got a lot of sand over there. There's a lot of sand they can play with." 
Truer words were never spoken from the Oval Office or any other official Washington platform. There will be no massacre or extended war, but only a settlement among the parties actually submerged in the mayhem Washington has inflicted on this long- suffering region. As the Donald further tweeted:
Just spoke to President @RTErdogan of Turkey. He told me there was minor sniper and mortar fire that was quickly eliminated. He very much wants the ceasefire, or pause, to work. Likewise, the Kurds want it, and the ultimate solution, to happen. Too bad there wasn’t..........this thinking years ago. Instead, it was always held together with very weak bandaids, & in an artificial manner. There is good will on both sides & a really good chance for success. The US has secured the Oil, & the ISIS Fighters are double secured by Kurds & Turkey........I have just been notified that some European Nations are now willing, for the first time, to take the ISIS Fighters that came from their nations. This is good news, but should have been done after WE captured them. Anyway, big progress being made!!!! 
And oh by your way, there was no betrayal, either. After Trump spoke to the Kurdish commander by phone, the latter reported the truth of the matter---something the MSM did not even bother to convey amidst all its sanctimonious harrumphing:


“We told (Trump) that we are contacting the Syrian regime and the Russians in order to protect our country and land,” the commander, Mazloum Abdi, told local TV station Ronahi TV. “He said, 'We are not against that.”' 

As for the claim that ISIS prisoners are running loose, Abdi had this to say:
“The matter is in our hands. We captured them. We are holding them, and we will decide what to do with them. No one else,” he told the channel. 
Reprinted with permission from David Stockman's Contra Corner.

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