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3 reasons to oppose Kurdish territorial ambitions in Syria

Syria did not win the war just to lose the peace




With Russia and America engaging in ever closer cooperation with Kurdish forces in Syria and with the question of President Assad’s war against terrorism changed from one of ‘if’ to a question of ‘when’, it is necessary to example what the relationship between Syria and the Kurds will be in the conflict’s aftermath.

Furthermore, such a discussion cannot be had without taking the views of Syrian allies Russia and Iran into account. One must also consider the adversarial position of Turkey and the increasingly ambiguous position of a Trump led America who has exited the de-facto jihadist/Wahabist/Turkish coalition and switched to exclusively backing Kurdish dominated SDF forces.

When Russia was engaged in frequent wars with Ottoman Turkey and Qajar Persia in the late-modern period of the Russian Empire, Kurdish fighters saw an opportunity to achieve political and territorial gains at the expense of Russia’s regional adversaries and likewise, Russia saw the advantage of cooperating with fierce local Kurdish fighters. This was a relationship based on mutual self-interest.

After Turkey joined NATO (1952) and the Kurdish Works Party (PKK) was established in 1978 as a leftist revolutionary movement, the Soviet Union had reason to back the Kurds both on an ideological basis and to create leverage against Turkey, a NATO state that had been a traditional rival.

In 1998, PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan was forced to leave Syria which had traditionally supported the PKK, in spite of long term problems with its own Kurdish insurgents.

Öcalan travelled freely to Moscow hoping to forge a closer alliance, but the economic woes of late 1990s Russia, combined with a generally stagnant geo-political climate in Moscow, meant that the meeting led to virtually nothing.

The Syrian conflict which started in 2011, is on the whole, a foreign conflict wherein terrorist proxies were funded by and acted at the behest of America and her NATO allies including Turkey, along with Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Israeli citizens and Palestinian Hamas fighters have also participated in the conflict against the legitimate Syrian government.

The Kurds in Syria saw this as an opportunity to realise a longstanding ambition to create an autonomous region or even an independent Kurdish state on legal Syrian territory.

More recently, Kurdish fighters have cooperated with the Syrian Arab Army against a common enemy, Turkey. Russia has been fully supportive of this as an ally of both the Syrian Arab Republic and the Kurdish YPG forces. In spite of its leading position in NATO, the US which under Trump, exclusively backs the Kurds in the Syrian conflict, has not done anything to aid fellow illegal NATO invader, Turkey.

Many in both Russia and the United States are sympathetic to Kurdish desires for greater autonomy in a federal Syria. Others yet support the creation of a state of Kurdistan.

Here is why I oppose such proposals.

1. The Majority of Syrians Oppose This 

For the majority of Syrians who have fought to the death to preserve the territorial and constitutional integrity of their country for years, during a conflict with numerous enemies, any surrender of territory will be viewed as punitive.

Furthermore, because of Kurdish ties with Israel, one of modern Syria’s oldest enemies, having an autonomous zone or a state on Syria’s borders that could conceivably aid Israeli interests would be entirely unacceptable. Beyond this, wider federalisation could likely result in the same enemies of Syria who have participated in the conflict, attempting to carve out zones of influences in the would-be federal regions of the country. This would represent a big step backwards for a country that was unified and generally peaceful and prosperous prior to 2011.

If an ally of Syria such as Russia were to insist upon such a thing, it would be viewed as a stab in the back. Luckily, because unlike Turkey and the US, Russia respects international law, Russia has consistently repeated that this decision is up to the Syrian people alone.

It is inconceivable to patriotic Syrians who fought valiantly to preserve their Syrian Arab Repulbic, that the nature of the Republic should be changed as a result. It would be an example of Syria winning the war but losing the peace in a humiliating fashion.

2. The Kurdish Question Is Not Integral To The Conflict–It Is A Parallel Issue

In spite of conflicts between Syria and its Kurdish populations, the animosity between the two sides cannot be compared to that which transpired in Iraq (until the late 1990s), nor can it be compared to that which continues to occur in Turkey.

In the Syrian Arab Republic, Kurdish individuals may take Syrian citizenship and enjoy the same rights as Arab Syrians of any and all religious affiliations.

If there is any state whose war guilt both in Syria and whose actions against Kurds merits the attention of the wider world, that state is Turkey and certainly not Syria. Why should Syria be punished for what is first and foremost something that even most Kurds would admit is a Turkish problem? If there is to be a Kurdistan, the world should focus first on Turkey as this is the political epicentre of the Kurdistan question.

Also, it is important that the peace settlement which eventually come into force in Syria, recognises that the conflict is one between Syria and her allies versus jihadist terrorism. The running disagreements between Kurds and Damascus can be settled at a later date without external interference.

The cooperation between the Syrian Arab Army and Kurdish fighters against a common Turkish enemy is demonstrative of the fact that future disagreements can be and ought to be settled amicably. Furthermore, it can be done without resorting to federalising the country. Agreements come and go throughout history and there is no reason that opposition to federalism and separatism should prohibit some kind of mutually acceptable agreement under the framework of a unitary, sovereign Syrian Arab Republic.

Again, this can only be done through the consent of the majority of Syrians.

3. Iran’s Perspective 

Iran has been active in aiding the Syrian war against terrorism for even longer than Russia. Unlike in the 19th century, modern Iran is not only a highly important Russian ally, some would argue that Iran is Russia’s foremost ally in the Middle East.

Iran has its own dispute with Kurdish insurgents and for that reason alone, Iran would not be supportive of any measures which could see Syria set a precedent for Kurdish autonomy in Iran.

Iran is far more important to Russia than the Kurds and as a state, it is only sensible for Russia to put it as a priority before a stateless people, however close the ties might otherwise be.

For all of these reasons, Russia must consider the wider consequences of putting their full weight behind would-be Kurdish separatism or related calls for Federalism. This is not to say that Russia should abandon the Kurds. Russia should simply realise that ultimately., having good relations with Damascus and Tehran is not only more important to Russian interests but ultimately more just in terms of being a good partner.

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EU leaders dictate Brexit terms to Theresa May (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 115.

Alex Christoforou



The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss how EU leaders have agreed on a plan to delay the the Article 50 process which effectively postpones Brexit beyond the 29 March deadline.

The UK will now be offered a delay until the 22nd of May, only if MPs approve Theresa May’s withdrawal deal next week. If MPs do not approve May’s negotiated deal, then the EU will support a short delay until the 12th of April, allowing the UK extra time to get the deal passed or to “indicate a way forward”.

UK PM Theresa May said there was now a “clear choice” facing MPs, who could vote for a third time on her deal next week.

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Theresa May outlines four Brexit options, via Politico

In a letter to MPs, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May set out the four options she believes the country has in light of Thursday’s decision by EU leaders to extend the Brexit deadline beyond next Friday.

The U.K. is faced with a four-way choice, May wrote late Friday.

The government could revoke Article 50 — which May called a betrayal of the Brexit vote; leave without a deal on April 12; pass her deal in a vote next week; or, “if it appears that there is not sufficient support” for a vote on her deal in parliament next week or if it is rejected for a third time, she could ask for an extension beyond April 12.

But this would require for the U.K. taking part in European elections in May, which the prime minister said “would be wrong.”

May wrote that she’s hoping for the deal to pass, allowing the U.K. to leave the EU “in an orderly way,” adding “I still believe there is a majority in the House for that course of action.”

“I hope we can all agree that we are now at the moment of decision,” she wrote.

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US media suffers panic attack after Mueller fails to deliver on much-anticipated Trump indictment

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom said it all: “Mueller – The name that ended all mainstream media credibility.”





Via RT

Important pundits and news networks have served up an impressive display of denials, evasions and on-air strokes after learning that Robert Mueller has ended his probe without issuing a single collusion-related indictment.

The Special Counsel delivered his final report to Attorney General William Barr for review on Friday, with the Justice Department confirming that there will be no further indictments related to the probe. The news dealt a devastating blow to the sensational prophesies of journalists, analysts and entire news networks, who for nearly two years reported ad nauseam that President Donald Trump and his inner circle were just days away from being carted off to prison for conspiring with the Kremlin to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

Showing true integrity, journalists and television anchors took to Twitter and the airwaves on Friday night to acknowledge that the media severely misreported Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, as well as what Mueller’s probe was likely to find. They are, after all, true professionals.

“How could they let Trump off the hook?” an inconsolable Chris Matthews asked NBC reporter Ken Dilanian during a segment on CNN’s ‘Hardball’.

Dilanian tried to comfort the CNN host with some of his signature NBC punditry.

“My only conclusion is that the president transmitted to Mueller that he would take the Fifth. He would never talk to him and therefore, Mueller decided it wasn’t worth the subpoena fight,” he expertly mused.

Actually, there were several Serious Journalists who used their unsurpassed analytical abilities to conjure up a reason why Mueller didn’t throw the book at Trump, even though the president is clearly a Putin puppet.

“It’s certainly possible that Trump may emerge from this better than many anticipated. However! Consensus has been that Mueller would follow DOJ rules and not indict a sitting president. I.e. it’s also possible his report could be very bad for Trump, despite ‘no more indictments,'” concluded Mark Follman, national affairs editor at Mother Jones, who presumably, and very sadly, was not being facetious.

Revered news organs were quick to artfully modify their expectations regarding Mueller’s findings.

“What is collusion and why is Robert Mueller unlikely to mention it in his report on Trump and Russia?” a Newsweek headline asked following Friday’s tragic announcement.

Three months earlier, Newsweek had meticulously documented all the terrible “collusion” committed by Donald Trump and his inner circle.

But perhaps the most sobering reactions to the no-indictment news came from those who seemed completely unfazed by the fact that Mueller’s investigation, aimed at uncovering a criminal conspiracy between Trump and the Kremlin, ended without digging up a single case of “collusion.”

The denials, evasions and bizarre hot takes are made even more poignant by the fact that just days ago, there was still serious talk about Trump’s entire family being hauled off to prison.

“You can’t blame MSNBC viewers for being confused. They largely kept dissenters from their Trump/Russia spy tale off the air for 2 years. As recently as 2 weeks ago, they had @JohnBrennan strongly suggesting Mueller would indict Trump family members on collusion as his last act,” journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted.

While the Mueller report has yet to be released to the public, the lack of indictments makes it clear that whatever was found, nothing came close to the vast criminal conspiracy alleged by virtually the entire American media establishment.

“You have been lied to for 2 years by the MSM. No Russian collusion by Trump or anyone else. Who lied? Head of the CIA, NSA,FBI,DOJ, every pundit every anchor. All lies,” wrote conservative activist Chuck Woolery.

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom was more blunt, but said it all: “Mueller – The name that ended all mainstream media credibility.”

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Canadian Lawmaker Accuses Trudeau Of Being A “Fake Feminist” (Video)

Rempel segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career



Via Zerohedge

Canada’s feminist-in-chief Justin Trudeau wants to support and empower women…but his support stops at the point where said women start creating problems for his political agenda.

That was the criticism levied against the prime minister on Friday by a conservative lawmaker, who took the PM to task for “muzzling strong, principled women” during a debate in the House of Commons.

“He asked for strong women, and this is what they look like!” said conservative MP Michelle Rempel, referring to the former justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould, who has accused Trudeau and his cronies of pushing her out of the cabinet after she refused to grant a deferred prosecution agreement to a Quebec-based engineering firm.

She then accused Trudeau of being a “fake feminist”.

“That’s not what a feminist looks like…Every day that he refuses to allow the attorney general to testify and tell her story is another day he’s a fake feminist!”

Trudeau was so taken aback by Rempel’s tirade, that he apparently forgot which language he should respond in.

But Rempel wasn’t finished. She then segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career. This from a man who once objected to the continued use of the word “mankind” (suggesting we use “peoplekind” instead).

The conservative opposition then tried to summon Wilson-Raybould to appear before the Commons for another hearing (during her last appearance, she shared her account of how the PM and employees in the PM’s office and privy council barraged her with demands that she quash the government’s pursuit of SNC-Lavalin over charges that the firm bribed Libyan government officials). Wilson-Raybould left the Trudeau cabinet after she was abruptly moved to a different ministerial post – a move that was widely seen as a demotion.

Trudeau has acknowledged that he put in a good word on the firm’s behalf with Wilson-Raybould, but insists that he always maintained the final decision on the case was hers and hers alone.

Fortunately for Canadians who agree with Rempel, it’s very possible that Trudeau – who has so far resisted calls to resign – won’t be in power much longer, as the scandal has cost Trudeau’s liberals the lead in the polls for the October election.


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