Saudi Arabia has recently issued statements supporting an independent Kurdistan:
“Saudi supports the establishment of a state of Kurdistan A legitimate right of the Kurdish nation to live in peace” [sic]
This change of policy occurs in the context of the United State’s increased support for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The People’s Protection Units (YPG), an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, (PKK) forms the backbone of the SDF. It is the YPG under the SDF banner that has pushed into Raqqa, Syria, the Islamic State’s capitol.
Recently, the United States may be making a subtle shift in policy by targeting Sunni terrorism in the Middle East by applying pressure on US allies who finance it. Both Saudi Arabia with its backing of al Qaeda (and others) and Qatar with its backing of the Islamic State are some of the main countries supporting terrorism. Turkey and Israel also back these groups. Their support for Sunni terrorism is part of a regional sectarian war: the Gulf states, Turkey, Israel, Jordan, etc. vs. Iran, Syria, etc. US president Donald Trump’s trip to the Middle East might indicate a shifting policy. In the past the United States supported or turned a blind eye to those who supported Sunni terrorists against Syria. The neo-liberals of Empire used terrorists as agents of chaos to clear the way for total regime change and nation building. This support was mainly through US allies: Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Israel,etc. However, the United States is now reigning in such support. Saudi Arabia and some others may now be following suit. And Qatar has become a scapegoat for all the Sunni terrorism that exists in Syria and Iraq. After Donald Trump condemned terrorism and singled out Qatar,several Middle East countries hypocritically have imposed sanctions on Qatar.
One of the countries that has refused to tow the line against Qatar is Turkey, which came out in support of Qatar. Turkey is supporting Qatar because it fears Kurdish power will rise if the Qatari-backed Islamic State falls in Syria. Turkey fears a Kurdish state on its border would fuel the spread of Kurdish independence inside Turkey where most Kurds live. Both Qatar and Turkey are allies in supporting the Islamic State against the Kurds. In an effort to punish Turkey for its support of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and its closest allies are now supporting Kurdish state aspirations.
This apparent shift by the United States may have to do with several things. Assad’s Syrian regime has been winning the war militarily and politically. The momentum is in his favor. The Islamic State, with its nightmare politics, has proven itself a unviable candidate to replace the Assad regime. The SDF is unviable also because it is a mostly Kurdish force, not Arab. There is no viable force to replace Assad in Empire’s eyes. There is no Syrian candidate for the nation-building aspirations of neo-liberals. Plus, world opinion is slowly shifting in favor of Assad. He is not in danger of losing the support of Iran, Russia, China, etc. Furthermore, neo-liberal regime change is currently unpopular in the First World. Populist movements have arisen in the First World that have disrupted the neo-liberal status quo of Empire. This is reflected in the contradictions within the US government between the neo-liberal establishment and the isolationist demands of some of Trump’s base. Furthermore, Empire may not be able to win all of Syria, but the neo-liberals could project their ambitions on an independent Kurdistan. Such a new Kurdish state would be totally in Uncle Sam’s pocket. Like Israel, such a weak state would be totally dependent on the United States and serve as a proxy to project Empire’s foreign policy, especially against neighboring Iran, which has been gaining prestige and influence in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, and Bahrain. Empire may be cutting its losses in Syria and settling for a Kurdish state despite Turkey’s protests.
It is interesting to note how so many First Worldist revisionists reveal themselves to be shills for Empire. First Worldists were easily manipulated by First Worldist feminism and the identity politics of self-hate and guilt into cheering for Empire’s proxies. Images of sexy Third World women with guns trumped revolutionary science amongst the vast majority of the First Worldist, including Maoist, so-called “left.” Once again, the Leading Light can say: “We told you so!”
Geopolitical realities are shifting. Although it is important to realize that the neo-liberal consensus of Empire is not dead despite a few high-profile conflicts like Syria and the rise of nationalist populism in the First World countries. The Empire consensus has been solidifying for over a century. It is entrenched in the global mechanisms of power and culture. Although it is possible it could be replaced by a return to traditional, multi-polar imperialism with its cycles of World Wars, it is very unlikely. The most plausible trajectory for the future is a renegotiation of the Empire consensus to allow for a bigger role for Russia and China, but not a fundamental shift. A return to a true multipolar imperialism would be favorable to the proletariat, but we should not count on it. Our path and orientation must remain the same: Global People’s War of the Leading Light, loyalty to the founders, the creators, our soldiers, our fighters, our prisoners, all those who make the real sacrifices, the Leading Light.