Finally Fighting for Democracy?

Written By: - Date published: 10:50 am, October 31st, 2015 - 31 comments
Categories: International, Syria, war - Tags: , , , ,

So I’m sitting here drinking a morning coffee and I read in The Guardian that Obama is sending troops to Syria. And I’m thinking things like “arse-hole” and “bastard” and “fuck off!”

But then down the bottom of the article there’s Former US diplomat Robert Ford.

“The key armed element in north-eastern Syria is the Syrian Kurdish militia named the YPG,” Ford said. “Everyone needs to understand that this means that the Americans are going to be working much more closely with this Syrian Kurdish group, which is loosely affiliated with the PKK, a broader pan-Kurdish group which is on our terrorism list.

Now, if that is true then… well look, here’s a post I did on Rojava a while back. What can I say? If the US are going to support the peoples in the Autonomous Regions, then it would be akin to if the west had helped the Spanish people during the 1930s. Or then again it could be akin to the ‘help’ Stalin gave the Spanish people during the 1930s.

In the end (the coffee has kind of landed) I suspect that Ford is havering and all we’re about to see is another turn in the screw of a never ending clusterfuck in Syria as the US seeks to back military opposition to Assad…the same military opposition that Russia is currently bombing on the grounds of them being legitimate military targets.

31 comments on “Finally Fighting for Democracy?”

  1. David Scott 1

    Cold War 2.0 with a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” reality on intervention.
    Let’s just cut ties with USA, China, and Russia and the world will be a happier place.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Neither the Iraqi nor the Syrian Government have invited US forces to begin combat operations in their countries, making the US intervention unilateral and illegal in international law.

    • Bill 2.1

      I take your point, but there have been ‘consultations’ with the Iraqi PM, whatever that means.

      Would you have argued the same if say the UK had sent some expeditionary force to Spain in the ’30s to help out in the revolution (ie, on the side of the Spanish people as opposed to the side of Franco or Stalin)?

      If…and it is a huge ‘if’, the US is actually going to back up the peoples in the Autonomous Regions in a way that doesn’t simultaneously fuck them up or over, then I for one am going to be struggling to object.

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        The US has tacitly OK’d their allies Turkey to bomb US allies the Kurds. How’s that for friends.

        • Bill 2.1.1.1

          Bastards doing ‘the right thing’ by accident and for all the wrong reasons is a possible reality.

          Anyway. Just been reading Turse’s piece at ‘The Intercept’

          The contingent, comprised of fewer than 50 members of the special operations forces, will be sent to Kurdish-controlled territory “where they will help coordinate local ground forces and Coalition efforts to counter ISIL.”

          Would that be the Kurds who are seeking the formation of a Kurdistan or the Rojavans? I can’t quite figure it, but if the former, then yes, it’s petrol on fire…and ironically, the same Kurds (I think) that Turkey bombed with tacit US permission.

        • GregJ 2.1.1.2

          Let’s be clear – not just the US – all of Turkey’s NATO allies are turning a blind eye to it. Turkey’s air offensive against Da’ish is token at best.

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.2.1

            Indeed. And the weird thing – by turning a blind eye to Turkey and the US in Syria, many of those NATO countries are now having to cope with hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees.

            Talk about blowback.

        • left for deadshark 2.1.1.3

          Does anybody know if the got to the bottom of a British women found hanged in a Turkish airport toilet she had worked for IWPR in Arbil Kurdish region of Iraq.

          • left for deadshark 2.1.1.3.1

            Edit.. Her name was Jacky Sutton..Ex-BBC journalist working for Institute of War and Peace Reporting.

            excuse my clunkiness

            • dukeofurl 2.1.1.3.1.1

              Institute of War and Peace Reporting?

              Sounds like one of those organisations heavily infiltrated by Western intelligence agencies.

    • dukeofurl 2.2

      Thats incorrect, the Iraqi government has invited the US back to their country to fight, ( which applies to to Iran as well)what the US did was lie about it being only training.

      Regarding Syria, yes it true Obama is doing something they say that Putin and Russia should have sanctions for.

      The US has been heavily involved in Syria from the get go with the Arab spring uprising against Assad. I wouldnt have been possible for a civilian style revolution to operate effectively against Assads ‘heavier’ military forces. The fiction was around that the Gulf states were the prime movers here, while they have made funds available, its the US that has bought weapons on a large scale from the shambles in Libya and shipped them across the Med to Turkey and then into Syria.

      As for the idea they are supporting the Kurds, history shows they are led along until the US will turn on them or deliver them up to Turkey ( who is also operating inside Syria )

    • PI 2.3

      If you google it, there are many references to the Iraqi government consenting to air strikes.

      In terms of Syria – again, if you google it you will find various descriptions of the argument for the legality of the air strikes – which essentially turn on the defence of Iraq.

      Here is one of those arguments from the London School of Economics website (which also refers to Iraqi consent): http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/usappblog/2014/10/01/airstrikes-on-isis-targets-in-syria-and-iraq-are-legal-under-international-law/

      (This is the authors’ view, not my view.)

      • Colonial Viper 2.3.1

        If you google it, there are many references to the Iraqi government consenting to air strikes.

        Air strikes yes, not the return of ground combat troops.

  3. johnm 3

    “Unnamed U.S. officials reportedly “stressed” to Reuters that the new boots-on-the-ground in Syria were “not meant to engage in front-line combat but rather to advise and assist moderate rebels.” ”
    ‘Gasoline on the Fire’: Obama Orders Ground Troops To Syria

    Expanded military footprint will include Special Ops forces inside Syria and expanded ground operations in Iraq

    http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/10/30/gasoline-fire-obama-orders-ground-troops-syria

    Comments:

    “Russia in Syria: CIA-backed ‘moderate’ rebels struck by fresh air strikes as Iranian troops ‘pour into conflict’4

    Yes, I lit the fuse, but I had no idea that would make the bomb explode.

    What happens when U.S. troops are killed in a Russian air strike?

    The Reuters article states that the US Special Forces will be embedded with “moderate rebels” in the “northern part of Syria.” That would put them in the midst of the al Nusra militias, an offshoot of al Qaeda. Although this group is willing to accept money and arms from the US, it is hostile to the US is every other way. Meanwhile, the Russian deputy foreign secretary has stated that any armed intervention in Syria without the invitation of the Syrian government is “unacceptable.” Our special forces will be under bombardment not only from ISIS, but from the nearby Kurds, the al Nusra, and Russian air attacks. Scahill is right — this is bound to end well!

    Yeehaaah, we’re gonna start a war with Russia! Cracking job Puppet Emperor!

    We thought Obama would be “better than Bush” but even Jr. didn’t try to start a war with Russia. I hope the law of unintended consequences takes a vacation.

    I’m drained of all emotion. This is beyond sick. This country is sick, psychotic really. I guess the government is ready to borrow another six trillion dollars for more war. It didn’t get enough in Iraq and Afghanistan. It needs more — more death, more destruction, more killing and maiming of innocents. What does that part of the world hold that is worth the first six trillion dollars and the next six trillion dollars? Is if for the oil companies? If so, couldn’t the taxpayers have just given them two or three trillion and called it all even and stay out of that part of the world? What the hell is really going on here? It has to be much more than meets the eye, much more than the intent of the mainstream media propaganda. I’m sick of all of it. I’m sick at heart. Stop it. Please. Stop it.

    Just wait for the pandemonium that will ensue following the first televised beheading of a Murkin Soldier. Looks like we’ll all be getting ready for the Neutron Dance.

    “Guess I’m really good at killing people.” Barack Obama 2013

    Fuck the god damned USA. The USA is hell bent on vaporizing the entire world with World War III. There has never been a more evil terrorist nation than the USA in the history of the world.

    To “control the world” and the world economy, including key energy supplies, against China, Russia, and any other possible future threat to US military hegemony. To have WWIII (at the appropriate time, which sure seems to be drawing close), and to emerge as the undisputed world hegemon. In the illusory mad dreams of the architects of US strategy.

    • Bill 3.1

      The Reuters article states that the US Special Forces will be embedded with “moderate rebels” in the “northern part of Syria.” That would put them in the midst of the al Nusra militias, an offshoot of al Qaeda

      The northern part of Syria is also where the autonomous regions are. (Look at the map I attached to the front page of the post.) The peoples in the autonomous regions are not seeking nationhood and are building democratic institutions that cast our shabby ideas of democracy into stark relief. They are also militarily engaged against Al Nusra/Al Qaeda. They are not interested in overthrowing Assad and have no wish to establish a Kurdish state either in N. Syria or S Iraq. And Russia isn’t bombing anywhere near that region.

      Now, if that is where the US is looking to lend support….

      • GregJ 3.1.1

        It may well be a big if though.

        There is a real feeling in this part of the world that the Russians have really outflanked the US & NATO over Syria. There are even rumblings coming out of Iraq which indicate a glance northwards to the Kremlin. Of course views here are clouded by the Sunni/Shia split, Iran and the nasty little war down in Yemen.

      • johnm 3.1.2

        ” The US and its allies already have boots on ground inside Syria. It’s not official, it’s a so-called “covert operation” which everybody knows about. ”

        ” The Pentagon together with NATO, Turkey and Israel, et al, have routinely dispatched their military advisers, special forces and intelligence operatives to the Syrian war theater. These foreign forces have operated within rebel ranks from the outset of the war on Syria in March 2011.

        While neither Washington nor the mainstream media have “officially” acknowledged their presence inside Syria, it should be understood that these Western special forces have performed routine command functions within the various terrorist groups in liaison with the US-NATO led coalition. In other words, they are largely responsible for coordinating countless ISIS and Al Nusrah terrorist operations against civilians inside Syria on behalf of the US led coalition. Needless to say, they are also supported by the US led air campaign, which theoretically is targeting (rather than “protecting”) the terrorists. ”

        ” We are at a dangerous crossroads

        International diplomacy has collapsed. US foreign policy makers are ignorant and corrupt, unaware of the implications of their actions.

        The US led air raids are being implemented simultaneously with those of Russia.

        Stalemate at the UN. The UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon (appointed by Washington ) supports the US led war under a humanitarian banner.

        These various actions and threats by the US led coalition –not to mention the chatter pertaining to a “World War III option” in the corridors of the US Congress– point to a scenario of military escalation, which could potentially lead to direct military confrontation between the US led coalition and the Russian Federation. ”

        http://www.globalresearch.ca/boots-on-the-ground-inside-syria-the-pentagon-comes-to-the-rescue-of-the-islamic-state-isis/5485183

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    US Congresswoman Gabbard to Wolf Blitzer CNN:

    US needs to stop taking illegal action against the sovereign government of Assad; US should not be arming Al Qaeda and Al Nusra who are the sworn enemies of the USA; US must avoid situations which place it in direct conflict with Russia.

  5. RedLogix 5

    It doesn’t take much imagination to foresee that with the USA, China and Russia all in the first stages of direct military conflict with each other right now – there is every reason to suspect it will end very badly.

    So badly in fact – there is the hope that the fear of the unholy consequences just might become a catalyst for some fundamental change.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      The South China Sea is going to be another flashpoint this decade.

      • RedLogix 5.1.1

        Decade? I’m concerned for the next few months. The South China Sea question is a very black or white territorial issue with virtually no wriggle room.

        And with so many regional pressures and face at stake, neither side is going to back down.

        • McFlock 5.1.1.1

          Some of the safety comes from the fact that it’s such a long-running and obvious flashpoint: pilots would be very clearly briefed on ruled of engagement, captains told to avoid the disputed zone unless ordered to send a message, all sides would have controllers who can speak the others’ languages, etc. It’s a diplomatic dance, everybody wants to lead but nobody wants to trip up the entire group.

          WW1 started because one nobody walking out of a cafe in the arse end of Europe happened to see a car that had taken a wrong turning and was trying to reverse back onto the correct route, and all the plates came crashing down. That’s the sort of thing that will screw us.

    • GregJ 6.1

      Well it’s interesting but a bit too much conspiracy theory in it for my liking. Israel has already annexed the Golan Heights and I doubt they would ever give it back due to it’s strategic significance so any oil/gas there is just a bonus.

      • One Two 6.1.1

        Perhaps you could explain where you belieive conspiracy does not exist in ME strategy, as you see it Greg

        Users of the term ‘conspiracy theory’ have been shown up in recent times for what they are…

        • GregJ 6.1.1.1

          Well your the one who posted the link with no comment – you show me yours first before I show you mine. 😉

      • left for deadshark 6.1.2

        I think you will find water is the issue here, GregJ

        • GregJ 6.1.2.1

          It is certainly an issue I agree. It is 6.00pm in the evening here and 32 degrees outside. Believe me I know about water issues in this part of the world! 😉

          The Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences is an interesting organisation – I subscribe to a number of their feeds (Russian & Eastern European History is my academic background) but like all Russian government sponsored organisations I always view their contributions with some caution.

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    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago

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