22 October 2019 16:00

Success and failure in Syria

The American imperialists have been pushed by Turkey into selling out the Syrian Kurds by leaving them in a tight spot and this could also be called a success, but the sell-out is half hearted and also transitory and also local.

Photograph: AA


Turkey is in Rojava.

The first explanation was that the operation was being conducted “pursuant to the Adana agreement reached on Syria.” The agreement was made with Syria and Syria remains in place as a sovereign state but is not asked as an operation is staged on its territory! And the explanations continue to come in the form of, “This is not a war; war is between countries” and, “This is not an occupation; it is liberating the territory of Syria whose integrity we defend.”

There is no point in dredging through the military literature. There is something called “civil war” for instance; it does not take place between countries but it is full-blooded war. Wars of national liberation have occurred. When colonies are involved and opposition is mounted to foreign occupation, they do not take place between countries but they are also full-blooded wars. In short, there is no rule that the parties to war need to be countries.

Furthermore, Syria, being a sovereign state, has proclaimed its opposition to the Turkish Armed Forces’ operation from the outset, and continues to do so. If so, how is Syria’s territorial integrity to be defended regardless of Syria? And with officials of the sovereign state not just saying “don’t liberate our territory,” but sending troops to a whole host of towns and areas to prevent this, what is this talk of liberating Syrian territory?

There must be something else it is wished to liberate! The “state’s survival”? This is also one of the reasons for the operation. There is talk of a desire to partition and eliminate Turkey by encircling it with Kurdish states. Who could desire this? America, of course, and, while not directly coming out with it, this is actually at the very least being hinted at. As to the crony media, this is being expressly alleged there. But joint patrols are being mounted with it! Moreover, the initial intervention in Syria was in conformity with its strategy. And Turkey is still a NATO ally with it. Get out of NATO, in that case!

What is it whose liberation is wished for? Especially considering the amount of money that has been channelled into war in the midst of a crisis, could this be the AKP’s single-man regime? Increasing support for it by fanning up nationalism and recouping strength… Grabbing the opposition by its weak underbelly of nationalism and neutralizing and dispersing it by getting it trotting behind it…

In such terms, it is a fact that the operation has succeeded. A rift has been created in the alliance with the HDP which was giving external support to the “National Alliance” and the in any case tricky CHP-Good Party relationship has been prised open thanks to stances varying in their degree of warlikeness. However, this is a temporary success with the crisis that war expenditure will aggravate continuing to afflict the people, never mind the short life of jingoism’s dubious thrills, and there will be a coming to senses before long. And as arbitrariness continues, the opposition may pull itself back together.

It is said, “Turkish national unity has been achieved,” but this is the unity of particular bourgeois reactionary parties and it has been achieved with large numbers of arrests and detentions facilitated with the CHP’s support, such that one could well speak of “division” having been brought into the open. The reaction has been far from muted it has just been forcibly suppressed. As such, the operation must be spoken of in conjunction with AKP Turkey.

Has there been any other success? The US’s consent was obtained for a five-day agreement without abandoning the targeted corridor and a promise was obtained for the lifting of sanctions – this could also be called success. At least, in the Middle East, that this is temporary is beyond debate. Plenty is set to happen. And in a short space of time.

The American imperialists have been pushed by Turkey into selling out the Syrian Kurds by leaving them in a tight spot and this could also be called a success, but the sell-out is half hearted and also transitory and also local. The US is still in the picture and it has been well and truly riled to boot. It is goading AKP Turkey on.

Its rival Russia is deriving great success and profit from the operation. It is almost as if it staged the thing. And the AKP, endeavouring to move forward by getting the US and Russia to shake one another’s hands, has reached the end of the road or is left with one step until doing so. Melancholic thoughts are now inspired by what Putin is going to say! This is because henceforth on the Syrian soil on which Turkey has spread-eagled itself what it has to say, rather than the US, and the boundaries it sets have become important. And it is the supporter of the regime Turkey had financed the hundreds of thousands-strong Free Syrian Army to “topple” in Syria where it will be faced with the fiasco of withdrawal.

AKP Turkey’s basic success is having abandoned the reins entirely to the US and Russia when it comes to its own future!