[Marxism] Turkey in Syria

Jeff meisner at xs4all.nl
Fri Dec 7 14:22:27 MST 2012

At 10:58 07-12-12 -0500, Red Arnie wrote:
>For another perspective on what's going on in Syria, see this interview on
The Real News Network:

Well I listened to this man (who I assume is Turkish) and the presenter
talk all about Syria in terms of geopolitics and Turkish interests, and I
really don't think I learned a single thing of relevance. They managed to
yak for 13 minutes without once mentioning that a revolution is underway in
Syria while instead only contemplating the interests of various other
states plus the Muslim Brotherhood which they just assumed would come to
power when Assad falls without explanation. They also talked about American
and Turkish intervention in the Syrian conflict as a given without even
telling me what they hell they were referring to. It is just as if someone
wrote a history of Russia in 1917 and the role of the Czar, Kerensky, and
Lenin in relation to the world war but failed to ever mention the two
revolutions that took place that year.

The stock responses from the left I keep hearing (thus also from the Real
News Network) in relation to Syria seem so totally disconnected from
reality that I almost find it embarrassing. Since the beginning of the
Syrian revolution I hear time and again that the latest news report is
"just the excuse needed" for the imperialists to intervene, and this gets
repeated month after month. The latest one is the mention of chemical
weapons possibly being used by Assad as another hot pretext for imperialist
intervention which starts with the placing the patriot missiles on the
Turkish border, which doesn't even make any sense. (Note: this is a VERY
different discussion from the imperialists stated interest in "securing"
the chemical weapons AFTER Assad has been defeated; in that regard I don't
doubt their inclination to act at all.). 

If someone had asked me I would have said that, beyond dealing with the
influx of refugees, any active role of Turkey is remarkably absent given
its border with Syria. The most surprising thing I see in regards to the
deployment of the patriot missiles on the border, is what a very limited
response it is in relation to what's happening right over the border. Given
that shells have landed in Turkey killing people, as a NATO member Turkey
could have formally called for collective offensive action by NATO. Perhaps
I am naive, but I truly have no reason to disbelieve the news reports to
the effect that the Turkish government is under pressure by its citizens
living in those areas to take action (there have been repeated protests)
and the patriot missiles are a symbolic response to placate those demands
(if they had really wanted missiles that worked, they would have obtained
the ones made in Israel!). Yet so many leftists are so sure of their
preconceptions that they will continue to read those preconceptions into
anything that develops there, again and again raising the alarm over
imminent imperialist action in support of the revolution, which Obama
essentially ruled out when he said that the "red line" was use of chemical
weapons, thus telling Assad exactly how far he could go with impunity.

- Jeff

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