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Thread: Syria

  1. #316
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    i think it's because somehow, the kurds have been turned into the "good" muslims. there certainly is something strange about it.

  2. #317
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    I think part of it is due to their separation from the rest of Syria - you don't have to engage with the same history and complexity. Not that I have much of a clue about this but all the different factors like clans, secular history, class composition, Sunni/Shite etc etc. Plus also they tickled the bellies of Western progressive fantasies with women soldiers and the like.

  3. #318
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    Quote Originally Posted by yyaldrin View Post
    i think it's because somehow, the kurds have been turned into the "good" muslims. there certainly is something strange about it.
    Any discussion of this sort kind of has to be prefaced with a disclaimer that there is probably no major single faction in this war that hasn't committed some atrocities, but that said, I think it's probably fair to class the SDF/YPG as preferable to Assad's torturers, the Hezbollah death squads or the infinitude of Salafist groups active in Syria, never mind ISIS itself.

    And the PKK itself is pretty secular, if not actively anti-religious, so I don't know how many of those Kurds - at least those involved in the fighting - are actually Muslims any more than you and I are "Christians".
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  4. #319
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    So who has watched this yet?

    https://www.channel4.com/programmes/...mand/66428-001

    Harrowing but it's something that needs seeing.

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  6. #320
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    For anyone curious it's a film dedicated to the filmakers daughter. They're now both safe in London. It's 5 years of footage she shot of the revolution and the aftermath. With distressing film, I sometimes distance myself by reminding myself that what I'm watching isn't real - can't do that here. You're up close and personal with someone's life.

  7. #321
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    Trump contradicts aides and says troops in Syria 'only for oil'

    Donald Trump has insisted that the US military presence in Syria is “only for the oil”, contradicting his own officials who have insisted that the remaining forces were there to fight Isis.

    Trump made his remarks while hosting Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, just over a month after the Turkish president launched an offensive into northeastern Syria, which has been formally condemned as destabilising by state department officials.

    Sitting alongside Erdoğan, Trump contradicted his own officials and the Republican leadership on a range of issues, most importantly on the US military mission in Syria. In a later press conference, the Trump declared himself a “big fan” of Erdogan, and made no criticism of the Turkish incursion.
    Following Trump’s earlier insistence that his administration was solely interested in “keeping” Syrian oil, the US military deployed mechanised military units to oil fields in the east of the country.

    However, seizing or benefiting from oil on a foreign territory, without permission from the sovereign authority, would be a violation of international law. Several US officials had sought to interpret the president’s remarks as the US meant to meaning that the denying Isis access to the oil.

    “Our mission is the enduring defeat of Isis,” the defence secretary, Mark Esper, told reporters on Wednesday, adding: “We’re going to have about 500 to 600-ish troops there, at the end of the day.”“A way that we ensure the enduring defeat of Isis is deny them access to the oil fields because if they have access to the oil fields, they can generate revenue. If they can generate revenue, then they can pay fighters, they can buy arms, they can conduct operations,” Esper said.

    On the same day however, Trump repeated his intention that the US should take possession of the oil in the region.

    “We’re keeping the oil. We have the oil. The oil is secure. We left troops behind only for the oil,” Trump said.
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...ps-isis-turkey

  8. #322
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    "We’re keeping the oil. We have the oil. The oil is secure" reads like Burroughs.

  9. #323
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    There are oilfields in Syria but the idea that the US is there for that reason is mistaken. Who knows what Trump is free associating about this time? Idk if you've encountered the whole "pipelines" theory but that's similarly batshit.

  10. #324
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    Yeah, I mean for a start Syria doesn't even have that much oil - about a sixtieth of Iraq's reserves and slightly less than the UK's:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...n_oil_reserves

    It sounds like something you'd say to reinforce the idea many people hold that oil is the only fulcrum around which politics and conflict revolve from Libya to Kazakhstan.
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  11. #325
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    Why Trump would want to encourage that or if it was even intentional, who knows?
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  12. #326
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannyL View Post
    There are oilfields in Syria but the idea that the US is there for that reason is mistaken. Who knows what Trump is free associating about this time? Idk if you've encountered the whole "pipelines" theory but that's similarly batshit.
    It may be over specific but one reason the US is unable to stay away from the Middle East is oil. Energy security is crucial.

  13. #327
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    Any discussion of geopolitics in the Middle East that ignores oil is inane.

  14. #328
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    But there's a lot of analyses out there that start and stop with "oil" and ignore the complex social realities of the countries they're talking about. That's really inane.

    If you want to talk about any country, you need to understand it with a degree of depth. You need an analysis that focused on specific conditions, grounded in the experience of those who live there. A lot of analysis that focuses on "oil" lacks that. There's a lot of stuff that treats Syria as Iraq Mk 2 that'd be funny if it wasn't racist af.

    Starting to see some of this kneejerk anti-imperialism in circulation with regard to Bolivia. Now, I have no idea what's happening there. But lots of people are trotting out the "it's a US coup" line while at the same time being no more informed than I am.

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  16. #329
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    Complex social realities are all well and good but have no bearing on American actions in the region.

  17. #330
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    But lots of commentators ignore said realities while blaming largely imaginary US interests. An event too complex too understand? Don't worry, just blame the USA, shout oil a lot and you'll get a bazillion social media likes.

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