9 October 2019   Leave a comment

It appears as if US President Trump is going to make the charge that the Democrats favor “socialism” on his campaign for the presidency in 2020. It is not clear that the President has a clear idea of what he means by the term. The Pew Research Center did a poll of American citizens on their feelings about “socialism” and “capitalism”. Interestingly, the Center does not itself define the terms but chooses instead to place both words in quotation marks (air quotes). The results of the poll suggest that the charge of being socialist has lost much of its negative power and that many Americans believe that socialism has some redeeming features. A political campaign is probably the worst situation to have an intelligent discussion about the differences between capitalism and socialism, but it does appear that that discussion needs to take place.

As anticipated, Turkey has launched a military offensive in northeast Syria as US troops have withdrawn from the region. The purpose of the invasion is to dislodge Kurdish forces from the area because Turkey regards the Kurds as a terrorist group intent on supporting an independent Kurdish state. Indeed, the Kurds in the region call the area Rojava (western Kurdistan) and some Kurds that live in Turkey, Syria, Iran, and Iraq have national aspirations as well. There are between 25 and 35 million Kurds making the Kurdish nation one of the world’s largest without a state. The Kurds lost about 10,000 troops fighting alongside the US against ISIS, but the US has little leverage vis-a-vis Turkey now–the US troops withdrawal created a power vacuum which the Turks were willing to exploit. Hemin Kobane is the Syrian Democratic Forces liaison with the international coalition against the Islamic State and he has written an op-ed for the Washington Post on the betrayal of Kurdish forces in Syria. It is a worthwhile read.

Possible Limits of a Future Kurdistan

Posted October 9, 2019 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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