Kurds protest at White House after Trump declares he will remove US troops as Turkey requested

On the 19th of December, Donald Trump announced the last 2,000 US troops would be withdrawn from Kurdish areas in what is now Syria, possibly within 24 hours. This is suspected of being to get them out of the way of a Turkish bombing campaign and invasion of Rojava. In response. Kurds and allies supporting the YPG and YPJ gathered in front of the White House on the evening of Dec 19 demanding that the US troops remain but above all that US ally Turkey cease and desist their armed aggression against the Kurdish people

Turkey would probably cancel their planned invasion if the US threatened a trade embargo and a severance of diplomatic relations, or if Europe and the US together threatened to expel Turkey from NATO in response to any such invasion. Trump however has issued no such warnings, and may in fact be removing troops only to pave the way for invasion. Only Trump would find a way to use the withdrawal of US troops from anywhere(normally a difficult to achieve anti-Imperialist goal) as a means to massacre some politically inconvenient former allies, whom he now wishes to throw away like yesterday’s trash.

The US along with seemingly everyone else was allied with the YPG and YPG in the war to overthrow Daesh,the so-called “Islamic State” of terrorism, torture, and summary beheadings that rose from the ashes of the US war in neighboring Iraq.That war could have gone either way, but the Kurds in a desperate “goal line stand” stopped a ISIS onslaught against Kobane in winter 2014-2015 in a battle many have compared to Stalingrad. Like Stalingrad, the Battle of Kobane was the turning point of the entire war, and the march on Raqaa(Daesh’s former Syrian capital) began with that victory. Throughout that war, ISIS fighters entered Syria from Turkish territory with little opposition while YPG/YPJ volunteers had a more difficult time getting in. As this war drew to a close, Turkey launched a series of bombing campaigns and invasions of territories liberated by the YPG/YPJ from occupation by Daesh.

Turkish president Erdogan is almost universally suspected by Kurds of being a covert supporter of ISIS, and his actions in assaulting Kurdistan have saved ISIS’s bacon by forcing Kurdish fighters to cancel a final offensive to finish off Daesh so troops could be moved to the Turkish border instead to resist the new threat. Erdogan like ISIS leader Baghdadi (who may or may not have been killed by an airstrike) is a “political Islamist” or believe in theocracy, in which church and state are one and the same. The closest equivalent movement in the United States is “Christian Dominionism” which believed the Bible and the Constitution should be considered equally in US law. The most prominant follower of Christian Dominionism in the US is believed to be Vice President Michael Pence.

Trump for his part has praised dictators around the world for assaulting protesters, muzzling the press, and similar actions. He ensured the US did little about it when Turkish President Erdogan’s security guards beat and kicked pro-YPG/YPG protesters in Sheridan Circle here in DC outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence on May 16, 2017. Photos exist of Trump and Erdogan shaking hands. Both Turkey and Russian strongman Vladimar Putin have demanded the US remove troops whose presence in Kurdistan is obstructing a planned Turkish invasion, and it stands to reason that both Putin and Erdogan have considerable influence over Donald Trump. In fact, two associates of former Trump foreign policy adviser Michael Flynn have been charged with lobbying for Turkey without registering as foreign agents, and Flynn himself participated in a failed campaign to get the US to extradite exiled Turkish cleric cleric Fethullah Gulen on trumped-up charges of organizing a failed military coup attempt.

Neither Trump nor Turkey will be able to prevent an invasion of Kurdistan from killing US citizens, as not all fighters from the US in Kurdistan are members of the US military. Also present are international volunteers, many of them Anarchists and anti-Fascist activists from the US and Europe. In the past year there have been at least two anarchist funerals (one in Baltimore) for US anarchists killed by Turkish troops while resisting Turkey’s aggression against Kurdistan. Trump can withdraw the US military but he cannot withdraw the international volunteers defending Kurdistan from Turkey and ISIS alike.

While the YPG and YPJ may well stand their ground and fight to the death against Turkey’s invasion, it is probable that all efforts will be made to get children and noncombatants out of the path of the war. If a Turkish invasion of Kurdistan leads to a massacre and an occupation, Trump and the US will have the moral if not the legal obligation to admit every last Kurdish refugee into the United States. In addition, there is the serious danger that ISIS will recover and expand again in Syria once theor great enemies the YPG and YPJ are removed from the battlefield. If this occurs, the US will then be responsible for accepting every last Syrian refugee of any religion or community background who flees the resulting carnage.

Video of the Kurdish emergency protest in front of the White House 1 min 17 sec

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