Thank you for the comprehensive look at this disaster in the making. I would say that the planned Turkish incursion into Syrian territory predominantly or exclusively Kurdish areas and residents, is less (much less) "throwing Kurds under the bus, than a potential genocide and ethnic cleansing by the extreme nationalist Erdogan.
The expulsions that will follow the planned Turkish attack will focus almost exclusively on Kurdish fighters that believed themselves allied to a trustworthy US. Under any even partially rational administration that might have been lived-up to, but the trump regime spur-of-the-moment twitter governance and policy decision-making is clearly not.trustworthy, or indeed even rational.
Great pressure must immediately be brought to bear on trump to reverse course, revoke any implied twitter “legitimatized” OK for Turkey to invade Syria to expel/cleanse the Kurds from territory they paid-for in blood, as well as historic Kurdistan!
Once Turkey gains a foothold using trumps stupidity and OK, they may never leave and forcing them out will be frought with serious complications.
This is not, IMO, as trump deceitfully claimed, about “ending US involvement” or removing troops from endless wars of choice - that line has been crossed a hundred-fold - It is a purely political ploy - It is about the US president - one person acting unilaterally, of extremely limited mental capacity, historical context/understanding, or any moral compass, giving the green-light to the extremist nationalist Erdogan, to attack and destroy an entire people with pathological hatred!
It’s really depressing, seeing all these supposed progressives begging for more war against the Syrian people. Even Ilhan Omar has gotten on the bandwagon, calling the Syria withdraw a victory for Russia. I wonder what kind of gun they put to her head for her to be spouting that bullshit.
An idiotic, unwinnable war, and every so-called liberal wants to keep slaughtering the innocent & pissing resources down a hole. Meanwhile ignoring the biggest disaster to hit the human race yet, the Climate Emergency.
Thanks for the murderous, suicidal bullshit, Mr Cole.
I agree with you completely except for the attack on Dr Cole.
Dr Cole is suggesting that the Syrian Kurds should cut a deal with Putin/Assad to keep Turkey at bay. That process should have begun a year ago, when Trump first signaled he wanted out of Syria. The Kurds were never going to keep the land they won back from ISIS – if they hoped they would or bought into promises Trump made in regard to some Kurdish statelet, they were delusional.
I believe this is not about “begging for more war” that line was crossed years ago. It is about breaking the glass and being responsible for that breakage.
The Kurds, albeit in their own ethnic interest, allied with the US and should not be abandoned after commitments were made to them. The Erdogan regime and the man himself is filled with hatred for Kurds everywhere in their historic homelands, especially Turkey where they are discriminated against and oppressed.
That comment is not what this is about, nor is it really accurate. Progressives can, contrary to popular belief, walk and chew gum at the same time.
This betrayal is about the vindictive Erdogan’s potential, likely and long-planned genocide and ethnic cleansing against the Kurdish people, and trump giving a green light for that coming war-crime first and foremost.
With all due respect, I haven’t seen Dr Cole or any other committed regional observer predict genocide.
The Turks certainly oppress some of the Turkish Kurds, but many Turkish Kurds have fully assimilated into Turkey. No genocide.
The best the Syrian Kurds could ever hope for is to be treated with respect in Syria. That would have been the route to pursue a year ago. Waiting for Erdogan to be patient based on trusting the US and Trump was pretty stupid. Trump showed his hand, so did Erdogan. And damn, they have history books, right?
And this might not be begging for more war but it’s certainly signaling your support for an endless US role as policeman in a region where the good guys aren’t that good and the bad guys are everywhere.
I absolutely detest the phrase, ethnic cleansing.
It is a straight up, murderous cultural genocide, period.
The Iraqi Kurds also lay claim to vast oil reserves and makes me wonder if the territories that they have claimed in Syria also do.
every so-called liberal wants to keep slaughtering the innocent & pissing resources down a hole.
Trump is going to use this issue to run against the Dems as an “end useless forever wars” candidate. How will they respond? Does this fit the bill?
Well they will try to cut a deal now, but I agree Assad will never let them have independence.
Liz exemplifies the incoherent positioning of the left on Syria and the MidEast in general:
“Of course we want to bring our troops home (but since we blindly support the MIC and fear nothing more than being labeled soft on terrorism), except we can’t.”
I loved this comment from a detractor on Liz’s twitter thread:
In other words “I support continuing occupation and regime change.” Sorry but business-as-usual, Elizabeth, won’t cut it this time.
I agree, but imagine if the Dem candidate is Biden, Klobuchar or Buttigieg, who will take an aggressive interventionist stance. Bernie?
Tulsi? Crickets so far. But maybe these folks are right.
“(Incidentally, prepare for Tulsi Gabbard to praise this move, only to be attacked as “soft on Trump” by her fellow democrats).”
Bernie disappoints on his allegiance to the status quo here. Gutless.
But you and your link are correct: This is another example of Trump grabbing the anti-war high ground.
Jeebus, the Democrats are corrupt and stupid. Hillary would be starting WW3 by now.
Really poor writing here. He means to say that if you compare Syria to the US, but he say if you map- implying that Syria and the US are similar in size.
The truth is if you map Syria onto the US then Syria is all together Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire.
This is a surprise from Dr. Cole. Whatever happens with him whether he is critiquing Amerian Imperialism or cheer leading it, (remember Libya?) he’s always been a very good writer.
“Hillary would have started WW3 by now.”
There, fixed it for ya.
Any chance you saw this? Worth a read:
Mr Cole is arguably wrong.
Turkey invades is a Russia win, as Syria will take the southern part of Rojava… a sort of Poland Hitler-Stalin redux pact from WW2 imo… as for the Syrian kurds/ “American allies against ISIS”… better run perhaps to Iraqi Kurdistan or commit collective suicide.
And Trump with his economic tuff guy talk’n Turkey… just a goofball easily outplayed by Putin and Erdogan… I expect Afghanistan will collapse shortly after to Taliban as Americans again turn tail.
What’s surprising? He wants to send back the South Vietnamese who came over after the fall of South Vietnam. His only loyalty is to money.
Juan Cole can announce that events in Syria have nothing to do with Russia or, I suppose, nothing to with Syria. It just does not give us any indication that this is so.
It’s too hard to separate folly and ignorance from disingenuous politicking, but the idea that the US is only betraying Kurds and not responding to any other parties in the ongoing catastrophe of American intervention in Syria is past absurd.
It is not unlikely that the US is indeed betraying one or another agreement with some Syrian group aligned with Kurdish people. But this comes at the heels of betrayals of Syria, ISIL and ISIS (whom it funded, though with some help from allies in the area, the same states who contributed to the Clinton campaign in 2016). It betrayed American assets and operatives, directing them to fire on each other in the field. It betrayed the American people, lying about the effort.
The list goes on.
Of course there are losses when the army retreats. These are caused by its advance: the army must either eventually retreat, leaving such damages in its wake; or it must advance, creating more damage.
The US should yank its armies out of Syria and most everywhere. Ignorance is as close to an excuse for leaving armies to protect invaded people as is likely to appear. The troubles of the Kurds are authentic enough. The US should quit adding to them by maintaining troops in the region, including troops that will come and go with political whim.
Isn’t religion great!
Trump should be impeached on this decision alone.