As ISIS Slaughters Kurds in Kobani, the U.S. Bombs Syrian Grain Silos
By fw_gadget via Flickr (CC by 2.0)
Ajamu Baraka writes at CounterPunch:
The U.S. is conducting a curious humanitarian war against ISIS in Syria.While Kobani, the largely Kurdish district that straddles the border with Turkey is being attacked by ISIS forces and facing the very real possibility of mass civilian killings if it falls, U.S. military spokespersons claimed that they are watching the situation in Kobani and have conducted occasional bombing missions but that they are concentrating their anti-ISIS efforts in other parts of Syria. Those other efforts appear to consist of bombing empty buildings, schools, small oil pumping facilities, an occasional vehicle and grain silos where food is stored to feed the Syrian people. Turkey also seems to be watching as the Kurds of Kobani fight to the death against ISIS.
The humanitarian concerns of officials in the U.S. with the plight of Kurds in Kobani could not be more different than what occurred in Iraq when ISIS forces made a push into Kurdish territory. When the Kurdish city of Erbil was under attack by ISIS, U.S. forces unleashed the full power of its air force in tactical coordination with Kurdish forces to push ISIS back.
So what is the difference in the two situations?
The difference and the reason why the Kurds of Kobani are to be sacrificed stems from the fact that they are the wrong kind of Kurds. Masoud Barzani and the bourgeois Kurds of the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) are the “good Kurds” and the predominant force among the Kurds of Iraq. Their control of almost 45% of Iraqi oil reserves and the booming business that they have been involved in with U.S. oil companies and Israel since their “liberation” with the U.S. invasion makes them a valued asset for the U.S. The same goes for Turkey where despite the historic oppression of Kurds in Turkey, the government does a robust business with the Kurds of Iraq.
The situation is completely different in the Kurdish self-governing zones in Syria. In Kobani, it is the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or Y.P.G., that is linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (P.K.K), a Turkey-based Kurdish independence organization that both the U.S. and Turkey have labeled a “terrorist” organization, that provides the main forces resisting the ISIS attack. Also, the ISIS attack in Kurdish territory neatly converges with the strategic interests of Turkey. Both the U.S. and Turkey saw the control of territory by militant Kurds as a threat. Turkey in particular wanted to undermine the self-governing process among Kurds, Christians and Sunni Arabs in those self-governing zones and turn the territory into a battlefield in order to steal Syrian territory and isolate and attack the “bad” Kurds of the PKK.
Turkey pushed and apparently secured an agreement from the U.S. that it will not oppose it taking parts of Syrian territory. To consolidate that land grab Turkey also wants to establish a “buffer zone” along the Syrian-Turkey border. This is why U.S. government spokespersons have been floating the idea of a no-fly zone in Northeastern Syria in the U.S. state/corporate media. The zone is being framed as necessary to protect civilians from attacks by the Syrian forces – the humanitarian hustle again.
Yet for the “bad” Kurds of Syria like the “bad” Palestinians of Hamas and Gaza, there will be no humanitarian intervention.
To placate the Turkish government in exchange for its increased cooperation in what is being set-up as a final push on Damascus, the people of Kobani will be delivered to ISIS.