Saturday, November 21, 2015

Syria's Gordian knot

The Washington Post's David Ignatius has a piece on getting the factions in Syria to agree to   a cease-fire, as prelude to a breakup of monolithic Syria into a "more federal" system of cantons.

It might be nice if the TP and rightwing crazies read this piece, not to get them to agree with it, but to introduce them to the notion that politics there is complicated.

(More complicated than even Ignatius lets on; the problem of Syria/Lebanon, whether they are one country or two, remains.)

Well, RtO thinks this part is a non-starter:

Diplomats have also discussed ways to get Hezbollah and Iraqi Shiite militias out of Syria. One approach would allow the regime to get support from foreign militaries, such as Russia’s, or even Iran’s, to support the regime, but not foreign militias. The Syrians and Iranians are said to be willing to consider such a formula
Not because it's a bad idea (although it might be at that), but can you imagine the howls of rage from the Republicans? Of course you can.

As we learned this past week, the factions in Syria are sweet reasonableness itself compared to the crazies in the American rightwing.

Now that the Republicans have come into the open with their racism, bigotry and fascism, at least we do not have to argue about whether they are racists, bigots and fascists. They say so themseleves. Case closed.

SIDELIGHT: It was a tempest in a teapot, but the mayor of a small southern city, Roanoke, came out on the bigots side, but after getting schooled by, among many others, the daughter of my former Maui News colleague Gary Kubota, he changed his mind. He learned something.

This would hardly be worth mentioning except for one thing. He's a Democrat. You cannot name a Republican who's learned anything from this national embarassment.

I wouldn't bet many nickels that Ignatius's optimism is warranted, but this negotiation interests RtO because of one of RtO's persistent themes (along with the succculence of greasy pork): the moral and political desirability of America's backing a free and independent Great Kurdistan.

To get this will require the breakup of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey. We are halfway to that goal already, thanks to Bush II. If Syria is modified into more or less self-governing cantons, one will be Kurdish. And then the cantonal government can coordiante with what is already a pseudo or de facto Kurdish province in what used to be Iraq.

Little by little. I don't think I will live to see a Great Kurdistan, but I can see its stirrings of emergence.

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