Syr­ia.  Some were already applaud­ing Putin, even pri­or to lis­ten­ing to or read­ing state­ments by com­man­ders of the FDS regard­ing a sought-after agree­ment for an inter­ven­tion by the Syr­i­an regime’s troops, in a sit­u­a­tion where, as they say “we must choose between the Peo­ple and its geno­cide.

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Let us recall that the Syr­i­an army was called in back in 2018 at Men­bij, after the first announce­ment of “an Amer­i­can with­draw­al”. The same thing hap­pened for the inva­sion and occu­pa­tion in Afrin, with no pri­or announce­ment, where the Kur­dish move­ment  opt­ed for a par­tial evac­u­a­tion of the town which  the Turk­ish regime then turned over to the  vio­lent acts of its con­stant allies, the beard­ed Jihadists.

Noth­ing is played out yet. It should be not­ed that con­trol of the air space, eas­i­ly achiev­able either by the coali­tion or by the Russ­ian part­ner, was nev­er   con­sid­ered. Such a con­trol would no doubt annul the chances of a black­mail against the FDS and Roja­va, con­cern­ing their future auton­o­my in the con­text of the Syr­i­an morass. Where­as the intro­duc­tion of the Syr­i­an army holds that poten­tial for blackmail.

More­over, the Turk­ish mil­i­tary pres­ence is already a fact around Idleb, through the tri-par­ty agree­ment between Turkey, Iran and Rus­sia, with­out this rep­re­sent­ing a casus bel­li with the regime’s troops despite their reg­u­lar assaults and bomb­ings against this pock­et. One can imag­ine anoth­er small step toward a peace bro­kered by Rus­sia on the basis of such fron­tier agree­ments. A step fol­low­ing the polit­i­cal weak­en­ing of the FDS, to the back­ground of the exo­dus of over 120 000 peo­ple with­in a few days. The threat from ISIS also being a mat­ter for concern.

But enough sup­po­si­tions, let’s get back to this blood-filled week and what we learn from the atti­tudes and posi­tions tak­en at the inter­na­tion­al lev­el, when it comes to fight­ing against a polit­i­cal project of con­fed­er­al­ism and democ­ra­cy, present­ly under­way in the Middle-East.

As a starter, let’s con­sid­er the aspect of mil­i­tary agree­ments and alliances as per­tains to Turkey’s mem­ber­ship in NATO. This was dis­posed of pub­licly through meet­ings fol­lowed by pub­lic dec­la­ra­tions. Turkey gets a green light, slight­ly tinged with orange, but if one were to inter­pret the recent state­ments by NATO lead­ers tongue-in-cheek, one could say they advised the Turk­ish regime to use weapons such as those sold by France, sup­pos­ed­ly capa­ble of avoid­ing civil­ians, like in Yemen…These con­clu­sions also put to rest the Pen­tagon’s hes­i­ta­tions and were fol­lowed by the announce­ment of a pos­si­ble rapid with­draw­al from the region of some one thou­sand Amer­i­can sol­diers. Thus, the Good Sol­dier Trump sees his state­ments put into action and his Pon­tius Pilates-type with­draw­al approved by the alliance. Each one will then pro­ceed to requal­i­fy this hypocrisy as an inter­na­tion­al de-esca­la­tion, stray­ing close to the name the Turk­ish regime has cho­sen for its aggres­sion: “Sources of Peace.”

NATO, whom every­one thought was in cri­sis, by its uni­lat­er­al align­ment with Trump the pop­ulist, thus plays an impor­tant role in main­tain­ing  the sta­tus quo with nei­ther qualms nor moral reser­va­tions; “wash­ing” one of its mem­bers clean of shed blood that might have besmirched all the oth­ers. Both the dead and the wound­ed in Roja­va will sure­ly appreciate.

Euro­pean gov­ern­ments may hold as many Defence Coun­cils meet­ings as they like, and com­mu­ni­cate their con­clu­sions, nonethe­less said coali­tion in Syr­ia has its source in NATO’s mil­i­a­try sys­tem. And that sys­tem, ever since its imple­men­ta­tion, has exist­ed in order to defend the inter­ests of States cur­rent­ly part of a world-wide sys­tem. Roja­va “its bared breast exposed to the Turk­ish knife”  is indeed very tiny when fac­ing all the inter­ests allied against it.

Only men­tion­ing France for exam­ple, which I know well, I note the deci­sion to cease deliv­er­ing weapons to Turkey, fol­low­ing sim­i­lar deci­sions by oth­er Euro­pean States. I then raise a sim­ple ques­tion. Are the col­lab­o­ra­tions via Thales and Safran con­cern­ing mil­i­tary research and future sales also part of this deci­sion? Because the vil­lain­ous agree­ment con­cern­ing migrants is not the only one link­ing Euro­pean States.

Some read­ers prob­a­bly expect here a song and dance con­cern­ing mur­der­ous and cun­ning cap­i­tal­ism, writ­ten with a knife between the teeth. But all it takes is a quick search in order to list all the col­lab­o­ra­tions with the Turk­ish regime since the begin­ning of 2000 for instance, col­lab­o­ra­tions in which both the cor­rupt regime as well as Euro­pean banks and indus­tri­al firms  gorge them­selves, through open or lim­it­ed part­ner­ships. Eco­nom­ic lib­er­al­ism trans­lates into polit­i­cal cow­ardice, also known as “com­pro­mise in order to move for­ward”. The emp­ty agi­ta­tion of Euro­pean lead­ers faced with the Turk­ish inva­sion is yet anoth­er act in the cur­rent Munich in which finan­cial inter­ests have pri­or­i­ty over the glob­al nui­sances of regimes euphemisti­cal­ly called “pow­er­ful”.


Con­front­ed by the legit­i­mate emo­tion pro­voked by this inter­ven­tion, one must force one­self to main­tain a cer­tain dis­tance in order to under­stand, beyond the feel­ing of pow­er­less­ness and the surge of indig­na­tion. And, bom­bard­ed with images of hor­ror on video and by cyn­i­cism spread by tweets, the temp­ta­tion is strong to stop think­ing, or to do so in bina­ry mode.

I will return to the events and facts of these past few days in a sec­ond arti­cle, along with the emo­tion­al charge and the mobi­liza­tions they pro­voked a bit all over. Luck­i­ly, these help to regain some trust in human­i­ty, and give mean­ing to the transna­tion­al polit­i­cal struggle.

In an ear­li­er col­umn, I asked myself about the mean­ing of the Russ­ian main­tain­ing a posi­tion seem­ing­ly in ambush and Putin’s appar­ent non-involve­ment, sim­i­lar to that of all the oth­ers. As men­tioned in the intro­duc­tion, the answer came to light today. The regime seems to con­sid­er that there’s no need to take too close a look at the Turk­ish pen­e­tra­tion, and that the dis­or­ga­ni­za­tion of Roja­va along with its betray­al by all, puts it in a posi­tion of weak­ness forc­ing it to call on Syr­ia itself. This is now a done deal and the Turk­ish regime is now one jaw in the vise, the oth­er pro­vid­ed by Bachar’s regime, as both pur­sue their sep­a­rate inter­ests. One should­n’t be too sur­prised to hear talk of bomb­ings on Idleb again, this time as a thanks to Turkey.

These last twen­ty days have forced more changes in the Syr­i­an ques­tion than all of the past year, in the direc­tion Russ­ian diplo­ma­cy wants to see enact­ed in the region. Russ­ian sup­port for a UN ini­tia­tive of a com­mis­sion respon­si­ble for draw­ing out a Syr­i­an con­sti­tu­tion result­ing for these war years, now takes on its full mean­ing. Espe­cial­ly since the North­ern part of Syr­ia, now bound hand and foot would be forced to accept all with­drawals imposed on it, should it even be admit­ted as as part­ner to the talks.

 “Geno­ci­dal war or the sur­vival of the Peo­ples”  may lead to ter­ri­bly con­strict­ing set­backs in an already bad­ly dam­aged con­fed­er­al­ist project. The phys­i­cal liq­ui­da­tion, prob­a­bly in a tar­get­ed oper­a­tion, of co-Pres­i­dent Hevrin Kha­laf who was in France recent­ly plead­ing for the Kur­dish cause, takes on its full mean­ing in the midst of all the betray­als of the Kurds cur­rent­ly tak­ing place, and the huge human­i­tar­i­an pres­sure result­ing from it.

Although the polit­i­cal game plans of one and the oth­er may find them­selves blocked by a grain of sand, and even though poli­cal cow­ardice often turns against its authors (Mid­dle East­ern his­to­ry is chock full of such instances), a sce­nario pre­sent­ed as ” a way out of the cri­sis” is tak­ing shape before our eyes, while the mas­sacres play out live, as do the betray­als and their justifications.

The only con­cern among the States being the pos­si­ble re-emer­gence of ISIS and the fer­tile soil pro­vid­ed for it by the Amer­i­can with­draw­al. The escape of a cer­tain num­ber of Jihadists and of their fam­i­lies, even though it was part of the risks, played out before the eyes of the entire world. There again, we know the Syr­i­an regime can­not han­dle this ques­tion and that it will be used as an ele­ment of black­mail accord­ing to var­i­ous inter­ests, and as a demon­stra­tion that the Kurds can’t han­dle the prob­lem, thus oblit­er­at­ing the mem­o­ry of the thou­sands who died fight­ing against this mur­der­ous Islamism, pur­vey­or of obscurantism.

Racist Turk­ish nation­al­ism, gal­va­nized inter­nal­ly by each addi­tion­al phase of war, has unit­ed yes­ter­day’s elec­toral com­peti­tors, against the ene­my with­out and with­in. Kemal­ist rethor­ic is at work, even inside reli­gious schools, with veiled young girls form­ing the Turk­ish flag in the school yards and pray­ing for the sol­dier fight­ing for the coun­try.  The cir­cle is com­plete and a cer­tain Reis finds com­fort even in his oppo­nents,  for the sake of Tur­kic­i­ty.


Source of Peace”, in the school yard of a reli­gious school for girls (image drawn from a video)

There has been no dearth of arrests, and the rare coura­geous oppo­nents are dragged through the mud, as is the case for the human rights defend­er Eren Keskin, among others.

The dust will have to set­tle some­what before we can make sense of the about-turns in Amer­i­can poli­cies and ongo­ing  quar­rels.  But Trump’s pop­ulism will have found its fol­low­ers on the inter­na­tion­al scene, among iden­ti­tar­i­an par­ties, against the Kur­dish move­ment.  The var­i­ous Pon­tius Pilates, par­ti­sans of a with­draw­al behind bor­ders are speak­ing up also and they are now for Bachar’s Peace against the Kurds and Erdo­gan the Islamist. Fas­cism is nev­er far behind iden­ti­tar­i­an nation­al pop­ulism. Mobi­liz­ing to sup­port Roja­va is also an anti-fascis­tic strug­gle, obviously.

The com­ing days will see their lot of exac­tions com­mit­ted by Turk­ish forces and their Jihadist allies, and more killings like those that occurred yes­ter­day against bear­ers of peace, in order to ter­ror­ize pop­u­la­tions. The FDS’ resis­tance, and among them that of inter­na­tion­al vol­un­teers still at their side, is sus­pend­ed to new betray­als. The expres­sion of transna­tion­al sol­i­dar­i­ty will not be enough to coun­ter­act the huge despair that trans­lates into anger, and hence­forth, a gen­er­al resent­ment, not con­ducive to a polit­i­cal debate about the future. That was also the pur­pose of the Turk­ish assault.

 To be continued…

Last minute:

France is also assum­ing a “courage in flee­ing” atti­tude and has cho­sen to pull out its already lim­it­ed  spe­cial forces “for their secu­ri­ty”…

A the jour­nal­is­tic front, “West­ern cor­re­spon­dents” have begun their own with­draw­al from Roja­va and from the inter­nal dis­or­ga­ni­za­tion caused by Turkey and the “regime“s arrival. “If these infor­ma­tions can be ver­i­fied, the Roja­va we wrote about may be liv­ing its final polit­i­cal moments”, accord­ing to cor­re­spon­dents who are not  in the habit of relay­ing the usu­al Turk­ish pro­pa­gan­da. This changes noth­ing to the con­fu­sion nor to the will demon­strat­ed by all to recon­quer posi­tions, future sources of more confrontations.

Translation by Renée Lucie Bourges
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Let­tres mod­ernes à l’Université de Tours. Gros mots poli­tiques… Coups d’oeil politiques…