The Bluff Package Trump. Syria smashed to protect oil

A comment by Uli Gellermann.

Donald Trump still has the reputation of the “maybe-yet”: Maybe he is different from Obama and other US presidents, maybe he is not continuing the old imperialist strategy of the USA, maybe he secretly wants to end the old East-West conflict. He once said that the USA “cannot continue to be the world policeman”. It was at the Al-Asad air base in the western Iraqi province of Anbar, a country in which around 9,000 US soldiers are still demonstrating world power, that he announced the supposedly new role of the USA. Also in Afghanistan, a country from which Trump also wanted to withdraw troops, about 14,000 American soldiers are currently stationed. Finally, he recently announced the complete withdrawal of US troops from Syria. But in the middle of October the old real estate tycoon screams “April fool!” and prefers to protect the Syrian oil fields. There is still money to be made with these properties so the profiteer will not give it away for pure protection reasons.

The vocabulary “protection” or “security” always gets a rotten smell in the mouth of the US empire: sometimes one had to go to Afghanistan apparently for the protection of women’s rights, then again for the protection of general human rights in Iraq, in Libya there was even a no-fly zone for the protection of democracy. The protection of oil fields is at least more honest: tanks to protect market shares. This is unusually frank. For the victims of this openness, however, the justification for their deaths is irrelevant.

The latest Kramp-Karrenbauer proposal is also on the protection line: “Protect Northern Syria from destruction – before it’s too late” writes the regional government of the Kurdish autonomous zone in Syria to Chancellor Angela Merkel. And FOCUS gives in to a German mood when it writes: “Oil fields are protected, Kurds not”. People still remember the headlines about the heroes of Kobane, the Kurdish stronghold of resistance against the IS. The Kurds are the tragic figure in a struggle for raw materials and military bases. They live scattered across Iran, Turkey, Iraq and Syria. Even before the end of the Ottoman Empire, they were without a state of their own, without protection of their ethnic group, and since the colonial Sykes-Picot Agreement of 16 May 1916 they had been dependent on the goodwill of their respective hosts. In Iraq they gained the “Autonomous Region of Kurdistan” in the aftermath of the US war. And they obviously speculated, as a result of the war against Syria, to get at least a share of the Syrian cake here as well. As understandable as this wish may be, in an alliance with the USA, which cares nothing about the interests of the Kurds, they have only become partners in an imperial raw materials war.

The Russians, who have contractually a military base in Syria since 1971, have so far proven themselves to be reliable partners of the Assad government. And they call a spade a spade when they accuse US troops in Syria of oil theft. For under the pretext of protecting the region from the IS, the US military is on the move in the vicinity of Syrian oil production. Syrian oil is still produced and marketed by the “Syrian Petroleum Company”, a company that is half owned by the Syrian state and makes a significant contribution to the country’s energy supply and the state budget. Whoever has the control over Syrian oil controls what is left of the Syrian state. Thus the “protection of oil” reveals itself to be the key to Syria’s existence.

The Kurds in Syria are the country’s largest ethnic minority. They make up 10 percent of the population. Many of them came from Turkey between 1924 and 1938, when they were harassed by the Turkish military. In a country where many ethnic groups and different religions live side by side, dialogue between the groups is the prerequisite for its existence. Only in this way will Syria survive and also be able to offer a home to the Kurds. The oligarch Trump does not want to know about such perspectives. He is interested in power and profit. From the remains of a smashed Syria, figures like Trump can still squeeze profits. Those who ally themselves with criminals of this kind defile themselves.


Picture source: Aaron-Schwartz/shutterstock


This article was published on 21 October 2019 on the Rationalgalerie blog.


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