White House Admits Defeat in Syria

By Finian Cunningham

July 21, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – President Trump’s announcement this week to end the CIA’s covert arming of militants in Syria is an admission of defeat. The US has lost its six-year war for regime change in the Arab country. It’s time to wrap it up.

It’s not over yet, of course. It remains to be seen if Trump’s decision can in fact be implemented. Can the CIA be reined in to obey orders? Will the US be able to stop regional client regimes, like Saudi Arabia, from stepping up their covert supply of American weapons to the militants in Syria?

Also, Trump’s decision does not mean the US and its allies will withdraw ground and air forces from Syria, where they are illegally operating in violation of international law.

Nevertheless, the American president’s declared ending of the CIA’s role in fueling the insurgency in Syria should be seen as a welcome move. It is the right thing to do, and a brave one also because of the anti-Russia flak he is bound to receive for taking the decision. It would have been politically expedient for Trump to have not pulled the plug on the CIA in Syria. But by doing so, he is bound to compound the anti-Russia hysteria gripping Washington and large sections of the media accusing him of being a “Kremlin stooge”.

Any rational person would have to agree that the best way to end the violence in Syria is for foreign countries to halt pouring weapons into the country. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has long maintained this logical position: if nations want Syria’s bloodshed to stop, as they claim, then they should stop supplying arms and cut out sponsoring militant groups.

By its own admission, the US has been funneling weapons into Syria since at least 2013, according to media reports, and probably before that date right back to the beginning of the war in March 2011. Not only the US but its NATO partners, Britain, France and Turkey, as well as regional allies Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Israel. This is an admission of a criminal conspiracy to destabilize a sovereign country by supporting illegally armed anti-government militant groups. It matters little whether these groups are arbitrarily designated “moderate rebels”. They are illegally armed.

With a Syrian death toll of up to 400,000 over six years of war, millions of refugees and a culturally rich country driven to the brink of destruction, it is blindingly obvious that Trump made the right call to at least partially reduce the flow of weapons, by ending the CIA program. It is well past time to bring the US-led criminal assault on Syria to an end.

Trump’s call was also a brave one because the US media immediately and predictably depicted the move as a “concession to Russia”. With the US president already being assailed with endless accusations of “colluding” with Russia in winning the election to the White House last year, his decision to leash the dogs of war in Syria this week only lends more grist to the Russophobia rumor mill.

The Washington Post headlined the news with: “Trump ends covert CIA program to arm anti-Assad rebels in Syria, a move sought by Moscow”.

Several other US media outlets followed suit, making snide comments that the move “will please the Kremlin” and that Trump was “appeasing Putin” by closing down the CIA covert operations in Syria.

The American corporate media persist with the myth that the CIA has been backing “moderate rebels”. When in reality, the “moderate rebels” and the “terrorist jihadists” are one and the same motley army of mercenaries. Mercenaries who have barbarized the Syrian people with sickening massacres, under the tutelage of the CIA and other foreign military services.

With contorted logic, US media spin that Trump’s shuttering of the CIA program to train “moderate rebels” in Syria may now strengthen the hand of “extremists”.

The president is accused of capitulating to Putin on Syria. There are mutterings in the US media suggesting that this is what Trump talked about with Putin during their meetings in Hamburg at the G20 summit earlier this month. Especially, during the so-called “secret meeting” in front of 18 other heads of state while at dinner.

What the incorrigible lying US media don’t get is that American involvement in Syria has been a criminal enterprise from the get-go, constituting a monumental crime against peace and humanity. The US-sponsored terrorism in Syria has gone on for far too long. No amount of sanitizing by the media can alter that brutal truth.

It was Russia’s principled decision at the end of 2015 to intervene in Syria, in accordance with international law, that began to bring the criminal conspiracy to an end. Two years on, the Syrian state is beginning to get the upper-hand over the foreign-backed militant groups that have ravaged the country. Russia’s military support has been vital to that impending victory.

“The shuttering of the [CIA] program is also an acknowledgment of Washington’s limited leverage and desire to remove Assad from power,” noted the Washington Post.

In other words, begrudgingly, the US war for regime change in Syria is being acknowledged as a defeat. And it is Russia that ensured that defeat.

The Washington Post quotes one US official as saying more openly: “It is a momentous decision. Putin won in Syria.”

Rather than coming clean and admitting that the US has been engaged in a sordid, criminal war on Syria which it has finally lost, the American media are now spinning Trump’s ending of CIA operations as a “concession” to Russia.

For all his flaws, and there are many, at least Donald Trump knows when to admit that the US war in Syria is a loser. And despite the carping Russophobia trying to box him in, Trump appears ready to take the right decision to bring this criminal American war to an end.

Finian Cunningham has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. He is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in newspaper journalism. He is also a musician and songwriter. For nearly 20 years, he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organisations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent.

This article was first published by Sputnik 

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

 

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السيد الحوثي وعهده للسيد نصرالله: هل تتحضّر المنطقة لحرب القدس؟

 

السيد الحوثي وعهده للسيد نصرالله: هل تتحضّر المنطقة لحرب القدس؟

يوليو 21, 2017

ناصر قنديل

– ماذا لو لم يتراجع بنيامين نتنياهو عن قرار زرع البوابات الإلكترونية على مداخل المسجد الأقصى، بعدما قالت الأجهزة الأمنية «الإسرائيلية» إنّ كلفة حماية البوابات وتحمّل انتفاضة جديدة وتصعيد كبير تفوق كلفة التعامل مع المسجد الأقصى من دون هذه البوابات؟ وكان نتنياهو نفسه قد ربط القبول على المطالبة الأمنية بزرع البوابات بموافقة السعودية والأردن اللتين وفرتاها للحكومة «الإسرائيلية» قبل إقامة المعابر الإلكترونية، وثبت أنّ موافقتهما بلا قيمة عند الشعب الفلسطيني؟

– كلّ شيء يقول إنّ فلسطين عندها ستكون على موعد مع مواجهة مفتوحة تشارك فيها الفصائل المسلحة والتنظيمات الشعبية والشارع وقوى الإنتفاضة في الأراضي المحتلة عام 1948 وشباب المقاومة الجديدة، وأنّ التطرف الصهيوني بين صفوف المستوطنين والجنود سيتكفّل بتحويل المواجهات إلى حمام دم مفتوح سرعان ما تنفجر بتأثيره حرب جديدة مع غزة.

– المنطقة ستكون عندها على موعد مع حدث يفرض إيقاعه على سائر الأحداث التي تبدو متجهة نحو طريق التسويات، رغم العقبات والخلافات والمواجهات الجانبية، فلا إيران ولا سورية ولا المقاومة تستطيع التعامل ببرود، مع حدث بهذا الحجم، وتتفرّغ لتسويات طرفها المقابل هو الأميركي الذي سيكون معنياً بتقديم الدعم لـ«إسرائيل» والسعي لوضع الضغوط الممكنة كلّها لمنع أيّ تعرّض لأمن «إسرائيل».

– أن تكون المنطقة مهدّدة بالانزلاق إلى حرب ليس بالاحتمال البعيد. فالحسابات العاقلة لا مكان لها، عندما يتعلق الأمر بقرار إسرائيلي مبني على حسابات انتخابية ولا يضع المصالح الاستراتيجية في الميزان، وقد سبق لنتنياهو عندما رفض مشروع هيلاري كلينتون عام 2010 أن برّر ذلك للرئيس باراك أوباما بالقول إنه يعلم أنّ هذه التسوية تحمل خلاص «إسرائيل»، لكن كلفتها نزع آلاف المستوطنين. وهذا يعني خسارة الانتخابات. وهو قرّر ألا يخسر زعامته ويسعى ضمن الممكن لحماية «إسرائيل».

– وفقاً لهذه النظرية يجب إبقاء فرضية عناد نتنياهو وتمسكه بالبوابات الإلكترونية، وبالتالي الذهاب للمواجهة. وعندها يكون قد أغلق باب التسويات. فالفرصة متاحة لوقت محدود ما لم يستثمره نتنياهو لنزع البوابات، يكون قد فات الأوان على حلّ سياسي، وعلى المنطقة الاستعداد للأسوأ، وفي طليعة المعنيين قوى المقاومة.

– لا يمكن لأحد تخيّل غياب هذا التوصيف عن قراءة نتنياهو لجدول أعمال المقاومة في لبنان، وتوقعاته أنها تستعدّ لمثل هذه المواجهة، وأنها لن تترك القدس والأقصى للاستفراد «الإسرائيلي» في زمن التخلي العربي المحكوم بالتطبيع مع «إسرائيل»، ولا بدّ أن تضع «إسرائيل» في حسابها فرضيات من نوع دخول المقاومة على خط نصرة القدس والأقصى.

– تصريح لافت للسيد عبد الملك الحوثي بأنّ رهان السيد حسن نصرالله على اليمنيين في مكانه، وأنهم سيكونون عند حسن ظنه في أيّ مواجهة مقبلة، وأنّ اليمنيين سيكونون حيث يجب أن يكونوا إذا ما وقعت مواجهة بين «إسرائيل» والمقاومة في لبنان وفلسطين، كلام يلفت الانتباه بالتوقيت، فهل لفت انتباه «الإسرائيليين» وهم يناقشون الخيارات؟

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نتنياهو واتفاق جنوب سورية

نتنياهو واتفاق جنوب سورية

يوليو 18, 2017

ناصر قنديل

– يقول بنيامين نتنياهو مرة إنّ الاتفاق الأميركي الروسي حول وقف النار في جنوب سورية كان حصيلة مساعٍ لعبت «إسرائيل» دوراً فيها. ثم يقول في مكان آخر إنّ «إسرائيل» غير موافقة على التفاهم الروسي الأميركي، لأنها لا تملك الضمانات الكافية بعدم وصول حزب الله والإيرانيين إلى الحدود. والموقف «الإسرائيلي» هنا يشبه الموقف «الإسرائيلي» من القرار 1701، الذي شبّهه أكاديميون «إسرائيليون» في ندوة لصحيفة «معاريف» قبل يومين بالتفاهم الروسي الأميركي حول جنوب سورية، فقالوا إنّ القرار الذي جاء عقب حرب تموز 2006 يشبه الاتفاق الروسي الأميركي في ثلاثة أشياء، أولها أنهما يمنحان «إسرائيل» وعوداً مخادعة تحتاجها لإبعاد حزب الله عن الحدود، وثانيها أنهما يوقفان حرباً «إسرائيلية» فاشلة لا أفق لوقفها بطريقة أخرى، وثالثها أنهما يمنعان الاحتكاك بين «إسرائيل» وحزب الله ما يمنع توليد الشرارة التي تتحوّل حرباً لا تريدها «إسرائيل».

– الشكوى «الإسرائيلية» من التفاهم الأميركي الروسي هي دلع لرفع السقف أملاً بتحصيل المزيد، بعدما تنبّه «الإسرائيليون» إلى أنّ القبول المجاني بالتفاهم هو خطوة متسرّعة ناتجة عن القلق من استمرار الوضع على ما هو عليه، وطالما أنّ التفاهم قائم فلمَ لا ترفع «إسرائيل» صوتها عساها تحصل على المزيد؟ لكن «إسرائيل» تعلم أنها خاضت حرباً فاشلة على الحدود مع سورية، وأنّ رهاناتها قد خابت، وأنّ الحزام الأمني الذي سعت إليه تهاوى وتستحيل حمايته، كما حدث مع حزامها الأمني جنوب لبنان من قبل. وتعلم أنّ بقاء الفوضى في سورية أو سيطرة داعش لم تعد خيارات واقعية، وأنّ الخيار هو بين تقدّم الجيش السوري مصحوباً بحزب الله ضمن عمل عسكري، أو تطبيق التفاهم الذي يدعو لتسليم الجيش السوري طوعاً خطوط الحدود.

– لم تعد «إسرائيل» هي الدولة القادرة على شنّ حرب، بل صارت الدولة التي تخشى شنّ حرب. فالقبة الحديدية فشلت فشلاً ذريعاً، وحزب الله صار يمتلك باعتراف المخابرات «الإسرائيلية» قدرة صاروخية لا تصدّها أيّ إجراءات دفاعية. وهي قدرة كمّاً ونوعاً ودقة وقدرة تدميرية فوق طاقة «إسرائيل» على تخيّلها، وتخيّل نتائجها. وفي المقابل صار لدى حزب الله ما يسمح بصدّ الطيران «الإسرائيلي»، كما يقول «الإسرائيليون»، وبالتالي الحدّ من قدرة التدمير «الإسرائيلية». وتأخذ «إسرائيل» على محمل الجدّ تهديدات حزب الله باختراق بري يطال مستعمرات الجليل في أيّ حرب مقبلة، واستهداف أسلحة الدمار الشامل الكيميائية والنووية ما يتسبّب بكارثة لـ»إسرائيل». كما تنتبه «إسرائيل» لمعنى كلام السيد حسن نصرالله عن مئات الآلاف من المقاتلين، وصلته بانضمام الحشد الشعبي العراقي وأنصار الله اليمنيين لحسابات حزب الله المستقبلية في خطة أيّ حرب، في صورة تعكس الموارد الديمغرافية المفتوحة أمامه والمغلقة أمامها.

– «إسرائيل» تضحك في سرّها لبلوغ التفاهم الروسي الأميركي، وتتمنّى تتويجه بقرار عن مجلس الأمن الدولي يشبه القرار 1701 ويفرض نشر مراقبين روس على خط فصل الاشتباك القائم منذ العام 1974 والذي أزالته «إسرائيل» برهان غبّي على ما ظنّته «ثورة سورية صديقة ستنتصر». وهي تتمنّى اليوم رؤيته يعود بضمانة روسية.

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كيف سيتصرّف الحريري مع شرعية الأسد؟

كيف سيتصرّف الحريري مع شرعية الأسد؟

يوليو 15, 2017

ناصر قنديل

– بغض النظر عن الدرجة التي سيُحسب فيها تأثير موقف رئيس الحكومة اللبنانية سعد الحريري على شرعية الرئيس السوري، خصوصاً بعدما يعلن الاعتراف بها والتعامل معها رؤساء أميركا وفرنسا وسواهما، لكن من حق اللبنانيين أن يتساءلوا عن كيفية تصرّف رئيس حكومتهم تجاه تغيير بحجم من هذا النوع يبدو متسارعاً مع التفاهم الروسي والأميركي والإعلان الأميركي الفرنسي. وليس خافياً أن في كليهما كلمة مفتاحاً هي أن لا بند تفاوضي في جدول أعمال الحل السياسي لسورية عنوانه مصير الرئيس السوري، خصوصاً أنه رغم التوازنات الداخلية المحيطة بعمل الحكومة اللبنانية وآلية اتخاذ القرار دستورياً فيها، إلا أن الناطق بلسان الحكومة يبقى هو رئيسها، وفقاً لنصوص الدستور.

– خلال الفترة الفاصلة عن نهاية العام، كما يبشّر دي ميستورا، ستحدث تطورات كبرى باتجاه الحل في سورية. وهذا يعني حكماً توقع أن تتداعى بسرعة جبهة التحالف التي استند إليها رئيس الحكومة اللبنانية في موقفه من الرئيس السوري، الذي يمثل رأس الدولة وفقاً لدستور بلاده وهو القائد العام للقوات المسلحة، فكل تعاون مع حكومة سورية يحتاج توقيعه وكل تعاون مع الجيش السوري يمرّ بهذا التوقيع، والمسارات الآتية تتوضح تباعاً، فتح السفارات الغربية خريف هذا العام في دمشق، كما تنقل الصحف الفرنسية عن استعدادات الخارجية الفرنسية. وكل التقارير الآتية من واشنطن وموسكو تشير إلى توسيع جنيف ليضمّ الأكراد في وفد معارض موحّد ينتهي بتشكيل حكومة الراغبين بالمشاركة في الحرب على الإرهاب تحت قيادة الجيش السوري، ولاحقاً تشكيل قوات دفاع وطني تحمل خصوصيات مكوّناتها تكون جزءاً من الحالة التطوّعية القائمة بعد تسوية أوضاع عناصرها وقادتها وتتولى المشاركة مع الجيش السوري في حربه على الإرهاب. وسيكون مسار أستانة إطاراً عسكرياً تعاونياً أميركياً روسياً إيرانياً تركياً، لخوض الحرب بوجه الإرهاب، وسيصير النظر لدور حزب الله في سورية باعتباره شرعياً على المستوى الدولي، وربما يُطلب من لبنان المشاركة كما دول جوار سورية في أستانة، وتصير جبهة الحدود مع سورية ضمن تعاون روسي أميركي سوري مع حزب الله والجيش اللبناني، ويطلب الأميركيون من لبنان توفير التغطية الرسمية لذلك.

– حكومة سورية جديدة تتشكّل بقرار من الرئيس الأسد ويشارك فيها معارضون وتفتح ملف عودة النازحين، بشراكة ودعم دولي، وتستدعي حكومات الجوار للحوار لن تكون حدثاً بعيداً، فيكون ربما على الوزير معين المرعبي أن يلتقي بالوزير هيثم منّاع، بعد تعيينه ضمن المرسوم الرئاسي الذي يصدره الرئيس بشار الأسد بتسميته وزيراً لشؤون النازحين ويوجه دعوة للوزير اللبناني وتنتهي الزيارة بلقاء الرئيس السوري، فبماذا يوجّه الرئيس الحريري وزيره، وماذا يقول لوزير الداخلية عن اجتماع لوزراء داخلية دول الجوار السوري يعقد في دمشق ويحضره وزراء داخلية تركيا والعراق والأردن، فهل يغيب عنه لبنان، أم يعتذر الوزير اللبناني عن سماع الكلمة التوجيهية للرئيس السوري في بداية الاجتماع أو عن الموعد الختامي معه أو مائدة الغداء التي يقيمها للوزراء الضيوف؟

– قد تبقى السعودية بحكم الجغرافيا وتراجع أهميتها دولياً وإقليمياً، والفشل الذي أصابها في سورية والعراق خارج الاهتمام بكيفية تصرفها مع سورية في مرحلتها المقبلة بسرعة، ولن يكون بمستطاع لبنان ضبط إيقاع خطواته على إيقاع خطواتها، فكيف سيتصرّف الرئيس الحريري؟ سؤال لا بدّ من أن يسأل مستشاريه مبكراً عن الجواب عليه.

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ماكرون وترامب: نهاية الحرب على سورية

ماكرون وترامب: نهاية الحرب على سورية

ناصر قنديل

يوليو 14, 2017

– لم يكن للسعودية وتركيا و«إسرائيل» رغم المال والسلاح والاستخبارات القدرة على شنّ حرب تستهدف سورية ورئيسها، الذي صارت إطاحته شعار الحرب وهدفها، لولا التغطية الأميركية والأوروبية ممثلة خصوصاً بفرنسا التي يسلّم لها حلفاؤها الغربيون بخصوصية الدور التاريخي في سورية ولبنان. وقد صار واضحاً أنّ الحرب بما هي مال وسلاح وإعلام، هي رجال أيضاً وأنّ تركيا والسعودية و«إسرائيل» قاتلوا بتنظيمي القاعدة والإخوان المسلمين ومتفرّعاتهما وصولاً لداعش، وما كان هذا ليتمّ لولا التغطية الأميركية الفرنسية.

– من الواضح أنّ القناعة الأميركية الفرنسية بلا جدوى مواصلة الاستثمار على خيار الحرب لتحقيق الأهداف ذاتها، قد حُسمت، فسقف ما تتيحه مواصلة الحرب ليس السيطرة على سورية ولا إطاحة رئيسها، بل خوض حرب استنزاف تعني تمكن التشكيلات المتطرفة من شنّ حروبها الخاصة التي تهدّد أمن أوروبا من جهة، وتغرقها بسيل النزوح الذي يهدّد استقرارها الاقتصادي والاجتماعي والسياسي والأمني، وتعني تجذراً مقابلاً لمعادلتي حزب الله والأكراد، اللتين تصيبان في الصميم أمن تركيا و«إسرائيل»، بينما تبدو السعودية أضعف من مواصلة الاهتمام بالحرب السورية كأولوية، وهي غارقة في حربَيْها لإسقاط قطر وإخضاع اليمن بلا طائل.

– يلتقي الرئيسان الأميركي دونالد ترامب والفرنسي إيمانويل ماكرون بعد لقاءات رئاسية لكلّ منهما مع الرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين ليكون الحديث بوضوح عن سقوط مشروع إطاحة الرئيس السوري كهدف للحرب، والتوجّه لأولوية الحرب على الإرهاب، التي دعا إليها الرئيس السوري منذ البدايات، ويجري التمهيد لحلّ سياسي يقول الفرنسيون إنه يمرّ بحكومة موحّدة تضمّ معارضين وموالين في ظلّ رئاسة الرئيس السوري، تجمع قدرات السوريين في الحرب على الإرهاب، وتخيّر الفصائل المسلّحة بين الانضمام لهذه الحرب تحت قيادة الجيش السوري أو الانضمام للتنظيمات الإرهابية، وتضع الحكومة الموحّدة دستوراً جديداً وتتولى بمعونة أممية إجراء انتخابات برلمانية ورئاسية، وهو برنامج الرئيس السوري منذ مطلع العام 2013 للحلّ السياسي.

– عندما تعلن قيادة الحرب التخلي عن الهدف الذي خاضتها لأجله، وعندما يصير للحرب شعار وهدف هو الذي يتبنّاه الخصم الذي كانت الحرب تهدف لإطاحته، وعندما يصير للحلّ السياسي روزنامة وجدول الأعمال هو الذي اقترحه مبكراً هذا الخصم، فهذا يعني أنّ الحرب قد انتهت، وأنّ ما هو قائم حروب فرعية ولدت على هامش الحرب الأصلية، وصارت لها قوة دفعها الخاصة، فالحرب لم تخضها الدول الكبرى بجيوشها، كي توقف إطلاق النار وتجلس لمائدة التفاوض، بل خاضتها بواسطة عصابات لها مشروعها وأيديولوجياتها ومصالحها، وقد صار التخلّص منها هدفاً مشتركاً وطريقاً لوقف الحرب، وهذه أعراض الحروب بالوكالة عموماً.

– عندما يصير النصر على داعش له طريق واحد هو القبول بدور لحزب الله الذي أنشئ داعش وجُلب لضربه، وعندما يصير تفادي خطر حزب الله على أمن «إسرائيل» يستدعي تسليم الجيش السوري طوعاً مناطق المسلحين القريبة من الحدود، بعدما جرى دعم هؤلاء المسلحين لضرب الجيش السوري وإخراجه من هذه المناطق، فهذا يعني أنّ الحرب التي عرفناها قد انتهت، وأنّ ما يجري أمامنا هو حرب أخرى مختلفة تماماً.

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The Kurds: Washington’s Weapon of Mass Destabilization in the Middle East

Part I of the Three-Part Series

Global Research, July 14, 2017
The Rabbit Hole 13 July 2017

In this three part series, MintPress  and Global Research contributor Sarah Abed analyzes the role that some Kurdish factions have played throughout history in helping major powers create chaos in the Middle East – from the Kurdish uprising in Iraq in the 1960s to the ongoing conflict in Syria today.

SYRIA (Analysis)– Historical accounts of the Kurds have been a subject of mystery and perplexity for years, and have been seldom discussed by major Western media outlets until recently. Since the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the ongoing conflict in Syria, Kurds have been romanticized by mainstream media and U.S. politicians alike to justify a Western interventionist narrative in those countries. Ever since the U.S. invaded Syria, the U.S. and Israel have supported the semi-autonomous Kurdistan, with Israel purchasing $3.84 billion dollars worth of oil from them, a move that could have geopolitical and economic ramifications for both parties.

In 2015, the Financial Times reported that Israel had imported as much as 77 percent of its oil supply from Kurdistan in recent months, bringing in some 19 million barrels between the beginning of May and August 11. During that period, more than a third of all northern Iraqi exports, shipped through Turkey’s Ceyhan port, went to Israel, with transactions amounting to almost $1 billion, the report said, citing “shipping data, trading sources, and satellite tanker tracking.”

The sales are a sign of Iraqi Kurdistan’s growing assertiveness and the further fraying of ties between Erbil and Baghdad, which has long harbored fears that the Kurds’ ultimate objective is full independence from Iraq.

Kurdish fighters from the People’s Protection Units, (Y.P.G), stand guard next to American armored vehicles at the Syria-Turkey border, Apri, 2017. (Youssef Rabie Youssef/EPA)

In 1966, Iraqi defense minister Abd al-Aziz al-Uqayli blamed the Kurds of Iraq for seeking to establish “a second Israel” in the Middle East. He also claimed that “the West and the East are supporting the rebels to create [khalq] a new Israeli state in the north of the homeland as they had done in 1948 when they created Israel. Interestingly enough, history is repeating itself with their present-day relationship – the existence of which is only acknowledged in passing by either side for fear of retribution.

For much of the conflict in Syria, several Kurdish militias have become some of the U.S.-led coalition’s closest allies within the country, receiving massive amounts of arms and heavy weapon shipments, as well as training from coalition members. Kurdish militias also dominate the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the U.S.-backed group best known for leading the coalition-supported offensive targeting the Daesh (ISIS) stronghold of Raqqa.The weapons that the United States has provided Kurdish and Arab fighters in the anti-Islamic State coalition include heavy machine guns, mortars, anti-tank weapons, armored cars and engineering equipment.

In May, U.S. President Donald Trump approved arming Kurdish militiamen in Syria with heavy weaponry, including mortars and machine guns. Within one month of Trump’s approval, 348 trucks with military assistance had been passed to the group, Anadolu added. According to the news agency’s data, the Pentagon’s list of weapons to be delivered to the group includes 12,000 Kalashnikov rifles, 6,000 machine guns, 3,000 grenade launchers and around 1,000 anti-tank weapons of Russian or U.S. origin.

The United States’ shipments included 130 trucks, with 60 cars passing on June 5, and 20 vehicles on June 12, per Sputnik News.

On June 17, Sputnik News reported that the United States is still supplying the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Syria with ammunition to fight Daesh, delivering 50 truckloads in one day alone, according to Turkish media reports. Earlier in the day, the trucks reached the city of al-Hasakah in northwest Syria.

Both historical and modern day ties between Israel and the Kurds have brought benefits to both sides. In the past, Israel has obtained intelligence, as well as support, for a few thousand Jews fleeing Ba’athist Iraq. The Kurds have received security and humanitarian aid, as well as links to the outside world, especially the United States. The first official acknowledgment that Jerusalem had provided aid to the Kurds dates back to Sept. 29, 1980, when Prime Minister Menachem Begin disclosed that Israel had supported the Kurds “during their uprising against the Iraqis in 1965 to 1975” and that the United States was aware of this fact. Begin added that Israel had sent instructors and arms, but not military units.

Ethnic Kurdish Israelis protest outside the Turkish embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel, July 8, 2010.

The Kurds are the largest group of nomadic people in the world that have remained stateless since the beginning of time. This fact has allowed Western powers to use the “stateless” plight of the Kurdish people as a tool to divide, destabilize and conquer Iraq and Syria, where colonial oil and gas interests run deep.

The U.S.-led coalition of war criminals is using elements of Syria’s Kurdish population to achieve its goal of destroying the non-belligerent, democratic country of Syria, led by its popular, democratically-elected President Bashar al-Assad. Washington seeks to create sectarianism and ethnic divides in a country that, prior to the Western-launched war, had neither.

However, Kurdologists reject this characterization because it does not fit into their account of historical events that attributes a state to them at one point in time. Their estimated population is 30 million, according to most demographic sources. They also reject the idea that they are being used as pawns.

Responding to a question about where the autonomous administration would “draw the line” on U.S. support and the support of other superpowers, the co-leader of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), Salih Muslim Muhammad, stated

“Our guarantee is our mindset. It depends on how much we educate and organize our people. If we defend our morals and ideology, then bigger powers cannot use us as pawns.”

Perhaps no other group of people in modern times has been as romanticized in the Western conscience as the Kurds. Consistently portrayed as “freedom fighters” who are eternally struggling for a land denied to them, the Kurds have been frequently utilized throughout history by other countries and empires as an arrow and have never themselves been the bow.

In today’s case, the Kurds are being used by NATO and Israel to fulfill the modern-day colonialist aim of breaking up large states like Iraq into statelets to ensure geopolitical goals. When nations are divided into smaller statelets, they are easier to conquer by foreign entities. This is a signature move that powerful imperialist nations use for the purpose of colonizing smaller and less influential nations. The Kurds have been utilized as pawns in this “divide and conquer” strategy throughout history and continue to allow themselves to be used by colonial powers.

Ultra-leftist opportunists or real revolutionaries?

In an article written in 2007, NPR senior news analyst Daniel Schorr stated that the Kurds of Iraq have a long history of being used as pawns in regional power struggles. Now, they are finding themselves in the middle of a contest between the United States and Iran for dominance in the Middle East.

In 1973, President Richard Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger had the CIA instigate a Kurdish uprising in northern Iraq against Saddam Hussein. The United States walked away from the rebellion when Saddam and the Shah of Iran settled their differences, leaving the Kurds to face their own fate. Interestingly, the Kurds seem to have developed amnesia by once again choosing to cooperate with Washington, which has repeatedly used them solely for its own benefit.

In the Gulf War over the Iraqi seizure of Kuwait in 1990, President George H.W. Bush appealed to the Kurds, as well as the Shiites in the south, to rise up in rebellion against Saddam.

A Kurd kisses a picture of United States President George W. Bush during celebrations in the streets of Sulaymaniyah, northern Iraq Wednesday April 9, 2003. (AP/Kevin Frayer)

Victorious in that war, the American military permitted Saddam to retain his helicopter gunships, which he used to retaliate against the Kurds, along with Shiites, by the hundreds. American public opinion eventually forced the administration to establish northern and southern no-fly zones to protect the two populations.

Kurdish loyalty to America has cost them quite a bit, and so it is with a certain narcissism that the Bush administration presumed to tell the allegedly autonomous Kurds what kind of relations they could entertain with other countries in the region, including American rival Iran. But the Kurds appear to be finding themselves in a contest between the U.S. and Iran for dominance in the Middle East yet again.

Andrew Exum, a former top Pentagon Middle East policy official who served as an Army Ranger, stated

”… this decision — to arm a group closely associated with a foreign terrorist organization, and one that has waged a decades-long insurgency against the Turkish state — will likely reverberate through U.S. relations with Turkey for decades to come.”

The Turkish government has long insisted that the Kurdish militia is closely linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, a separatist group known as the PKK. That group is listed by Turkey, the United States and Europe as a terrorist organization.

A rough estimate found in the CIA Factbook sets the Kurdish population at 14.5 million in Turkey, 6 million in Iran, about 5 to 6 million in Iraq and less than 2 million in Syria, which adds up to close to 28 million Kurds in what they refer to as “Kurdistan” and adjacent regions.

However, other sources state that there are only about 1.2 million Kurds left in Syria due to the carefully calculated and planned imposed war by NATO and its Gulf Allies. Roughly the same number migrated to Germany during the past six years.

It’s important to differentiate between Kurdish people who have assimilated in the countries they now reside in and reject the idea of establishing an illegal Kurdistan and those who are power hungry and are allowing themselves to team up with the West and Israel to assist in the destabilization of the region. Some Kurdish people in Syria, especially those that reside in areas that are not controlled by the Kurds, such as Damascus, are loyal to the Syrian government and have stated that they voted for Assad in 2014.

This free and democratic election saw Assad win 88.7 percent of the popular vote over the other two nominees. In the beginning of the war in Syria, there were Kurds fighting in the Syrian Arab Army, who received arms and salaries just like their Syrian counterparts. There are a small number that are still in the Syrian Arab Army in the southern Syria.

But in northeastern Syria, many Kurds have defected to the U.S.-led SDF where arms, salaries, and training are provided by the U.S. Syrians consider the Kurds who have remained loyal to Syria as their fellow Syrian brothers and sisters and the descriptions of Kurdish treachery in this article do not apply to them.

The loosely-knit coalition of Syrian rebel groups known as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), are armed, trained and backed by the U.S. The group is currently engaged in the early stages of battle in the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa, Syria.

Independence and disunity

An important thing to remember is that the ethnic marker “Kurd” refers to speakers of several different related, but distinct, languages. The two most important are Sorani in Iraq and Iran and Kurmanji in Syria, Turkey and smaller contiguous regions in Iraq and Iran. Sorani tends to use Arabic script, while Kurmanji uses Latin script, which shows how different they can be from one another.

Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is predominantly made up of Sorani speakers, while the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), PYD and other nationalist groups in Syria and Turkey speak Kurmanji. This division naturally maps these divergent political expressions. It is not as simple as superimposing the KRG’s borders over the PYD and PKK-controlled territory.

On the other hand, Turkey does not contest Sorani speakers’ aspirations to the same extent as it does Kurmanji speakers. Encouraging the autonomy of the Iraqi Kurds should not entail the same problems for the Turco-American alliance as encouraging Syro-Turkish Kurdish nationalism would.

The quest for independence is intrinsic to Kurdish identity. However, not all Kurds envision a unified Kurdistan that would span the Kurdish regions of four different sovereign countries. Most Kurdish movements and political parties are focused on the concerns and autonomy of Kurds within their respective countries. Within each country, there are Kurds who have assimilated and whose aspirations may be limited to greater cultural freedoms and political recognition.

Kurd

Kurds throughout the Middle East have vigorously pursued their goals through a multitude of groups. While some Kurds established legitimate political parties and organizations in efforts to promote Kurdish rights and freedom, others have waged armed struggles. Some, like the Turkish PKK, have employed guerrilla tactics and terror attacks that have targeted civilians, including their fellow Kurds.

The wide array of Kurdish political parties and groups reflects the internal divisions among Kurds, which often follow tribal, linguistic and national fault lines, in addition to political disagreements and rivalries. Tensions between the two dominant Iraqi Kurdish political parties, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) escalated to a civil war that killed more than 2,000 Kurds in the mid-1990s.

Political disunity stretches across borders as well, with Kurdish parties and organizations forming offshoots or forging alliances in neighboring countries. Today, disagreements over prospects for Kurdish autonomy in Syria or Iraqi Kurds’ relations with the Turkish government have fostered tensions that have pitted the Iraqi KDP and its Syrian sister organization, the KDP-S, against the PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the PYD. Still, adversarial Kurdish groups have worked together when it has been expedient. The threat posed by Daesh has led the KDP-affiliated Peshmerga to fight alongside Syrian PYD forces.

Kurdish groups have, at times, bargained with not only their own governments but also neighboring ones – in some cases at the expense of their relations with their Kurdish brethren. The complex relationships among Kurdish groups and between the Kurds and the region’s governments have fluctuated, and alliances have formed and faltered as political conditions have changed. The Kurds’ disunity is cited by experts as one of the primary causes for their inability to form a state of their own.

The Kurds’ illegal, unjustified claims for autonomy

The West claims that the Kurds are one of the most moral and dignified forces in the Middle East fighting against Daesh. But if their focus is on defeating Daesh, as they claim, why are they committing genocide against Syrians in the process? Taking this into consideration, it is hard to justify the West’s persistent claim that armed Kurdish terrorist groups are trying to help Syria. The reality on the ground contradicts these empty compliments, which the West uses to save face while supporting these terrorist organizations. This false narrative was in fact used to arm the Kurds in Syria in order to create instability and division.

U.S.-backed, Kurdish-led Syria Democratic Forces raise their flag in the center of the town of Manbij after driving ISIS out of the area, in Aleppo province, Syria. (ANHA via AP)

It is strange that the Kurds would be so antagonistic towards Syrians, as the country has largely been welcoming for them. For example, reforms were made in Syria in 2012 to benefit the Kurds.

“President Assad issued a decree granting Arab Syrian citizenship to people registered as foreigners in the (governorate of Hassake),” said the SANA news agency.

The measure, which benefited about 300,000 Kurds, came a week after Assad tasked a committee with “resolving the problem of the 1962 census in the governorate of Hassake.”

In January 2015, SANA news reported that then-Syrian Prime Minister Dr. Wael al-Halqi said:

“the Kurds are a deeply-ingrained component of the Syrian society and Ayn al-Arab is part of Syria that is dear to the hearts of all Syrians.”

Al-Halqi’s affirmation came during his meeting with a Kurdish delegation which comprised Kurdish figures. He also urged all to discard violence and spread amity, reiterating that a solution to the Syrian crisis could be achieved “through national dialogue and consolidating national reconciliations,” indicating that dialogue will definitely be “under the homeland’s umbrella away from foreign dictates.”

In 2014, The Civil Democratic Gathering of Syrian Kurds said that the steadfastness of the people of Ayn al-Arab in the face of terrorists was a form of expression of the Syrian Kurds’ commitment to their affiliation to their homeland of Syria. The gathering’s Higher Council of Secretaries said that the steadfastness of Ayn al-Arab was cause for admiration and that attempts to transgress against the territorial integrity of Syria were parts of a plot to cause chaos and division and undermine the resistance axis.

These are just a few examples of the Syrian government’s attempts to unify all of those who live within the country’s borders. But even with these actions of good faith, the SDF has chosen to side with Syria’s enemies rather than work with the Syrian army.

A recent agreement – initiated and brokered by the U.S. between a Free Syrian Army (FSA) faction and the Kurdish-led SDF lays out conditions whereby U.S.-initiated negotiations would allow the FSA faction al-Muatasim Brigade to peacefully take over 11 villages in northern Syria that are controlled by the SDF. The general outlines of this unprecedented agreement were announced on May 10, stating that the U.S.-led coalition had delegated to al-Muatasim the task of being in charge of and administering the designated villages.

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

Al-Muatasim is known to be a strong ally of the U.S., which is why it was chosen to be in charge of the designated villages. This further proves the point that the U.S., SDF and FSA are still working together. Their cooperation is part of an effort to counter the progress being made by the Syrian Arab Army and its allies.

In Part II of MPN’s Sarah Abed analysis of the Kurds’ role in helping the U.S. and Israel destabilize the Middle East, she will explore more of their ties to Israel and other countries, as well as their links to Daesh.

Sarah Abed is an independent journalist and political commentator. Focused on exposing the lies and propaganda in mainstream media news, as it relates to domestic and foreign policy with an emphasis on the Middle East. Contributed to various radio shows, news publications and spoken at forums. For media inquiries please email sarahabed84@gmail.com.

All images in this article are from the author.

ISIS Wives, Filmed by Iraqi Police, Reveal Details of Their Lives

[ Ed. note – The US has been more interested in overthrowing the Assad government than in fighting the savage degenerates who kidnapped these women and turned their lives into hell–that’s something I hope people will keep in mind while watching the video above as well as while reading the article below.

And not only has the US been disingenuous in its supposed fight against ISIS, but US weapons and munitions, along with whole fleets of Toyota vehicles, have somehow mysteriously ended up in ISIS hands. Yet for some equally mysterious reason, ISIS militants don’t seem to be able to get their hands on Russian weapons–or at least I’ve yet to hear of it. At any rate, below are two articles from Sputnik, the first published today, while the second appeared back in February. One thing we can be thankful for is that Mosul is now liberated. ]

***

Daesh Wives Reveal Details of Their Lives

Sputnik

Wives of Daesh terrorists agreed to take part in a video interview conducted by Iraqi law-enforcement services. Sputnik received the exclusive footage from the Iraqi federal police.

The video depicts three women responding to police questions after their evacuation from Mosul.

The first woman said that she was forced to marry a terrorist by her uncle, who is also a member of Daesh. In this way, he hoped to get a promotion within the group, but later was killed. The woman now has a one-year-old child; the fate of her husband remains unknown.

Replying to the police’s questions, the woman said that she could not escape from her husband, because he kept her captive in the cellar for more than a year. After he found out that she tried to contact her relatives who serve in the army, he threatened to kill her.

When the second woman was asked if she was married to a Daesh militant, she only nodded affirmatively. Later she said that her husband was killed. The father of the woman was also a Daesh member, he was also killed a couple of days ago.

The third woman was holding a small child on her hands during the interview. Her husband was killed during an airstrike.

Commenting on the women’s statements, the head of the Iraqi federal police Shakir Jaudat told Sputnik that “women who agreed to answer questions in front of the camera are innocent. If they were involved in committing crimes, they would refuse to do so.”

According to Jaudat, the women’s testimony will be used for further investigations.

Daesh terrorists are notorious for their atrocities against civilians and, especially, their cruel treatment of women. Women are often used by Daesh militants as slaves and sometimes serve as snipers or work in financial departments within the terrorist group.

***

Torturing Their Own: Daesh Now Raping Sunni Women Too

Sputnik

Daesh fighters are detaining, ill-treating, torturing, and forcibly marrying Sunni Arab women and girls in areas under their control in Iraq – the first cases identified of such practices being inflicted against Sunni Arab women.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) researchers interviewed a number of women who fled the Daesh-controlled town of Hawija, to the northern city of Kirkuk. While HRW and the United Nations have previously documented extensive sexual abuses carried out by Daesh against Yazidi women, including the execution of 250 girls who refused to be sex slaves, this is the first time such abuses have been detected among the Sunni community.

One woman described being forced to marry her cousin, who then raped her; another had her home destroyed by militants after her husband deserted Daesh, and likewise forced to marry a fighter.

In April 2016, Daesh captured a large group of women who were attempting to escape Hawija and held them for months in an abandoned house, where they were raped in front of their children on a daily basis.

A woman, Aisha, recounted how her family was caught by Daesh trying to flee. They shot her son, and beat the female members of the group with rifle butts. The women were then lashed 65 times each, with more lashes added if they winced at the punishment. They were held for a fortnight, and only released after paying US$2,000.

Experts from four international organizations working with survivors of sexual assault in Iraq told HRW it is difficult to assess the prevalence of Daesh’ gender-based violence against women who have fled territory under their control. They said victims and their families remain silent to avoid stigmatization and harm to their reputations.

The women interviewed are all patients at the Kirkuk Center, where a staff of 12 provides psychological and behavioral counseling to women and children. The site has almost fallen victim to bombing attacks by the US and its allies on more than one occasion.

Continued here

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