Rojava is in Syria’s northeast, where Kurdish fighters from the YPG try and control their territory during the chaos. From Jan 2nd, 2014. Many Christians have simply fled, while remaining Arabs, Kurds and even some Alawites must figure out how to protect their own, including the threat from non-Syrian militias and radicals from around the Muslim world.
Should they ally with the anti-Assad Free Syrian Army?
A lot of these people are farmers.
How are the Turks and the Iranians influencing events?
Even the NY Times notes that Western fighters heeding the jihadi call into Syria pose a risk upon return.
All that righteousness and fighting experience with nowhere to go.
Walter Russell Mead notes Obama may be moving towards a more interventionist stance in Syria or at least placating the interventionists (why Libya and not Syria for humanitarian intervention is still a tough case to make, in terms of protecting our interests and the stakes involved):
‘The President’s qualified optimism notwithstanding, there are no guarantees that U.S. efforts to empower moderate rebels will be successful. And even if the United States does pick the right moderates to arm, there are no assurances that those forces will be effective; political “moderates” aren’t always the best warfighters’
The longer these things go on, the worse people and groups tend to fill in.
Even some folks at NPR may be pining for the days of Clintonesque humanitarian intervention, as they bring in some analysts to compare the mess in Syria to the former Yugoslavia.
The activist on the street and the aging liberal boomer must find common ground somewhere under the Left-liberal tent.
Many Kurds are as close to pro-American sentiment as we’re going to get.
See Also: Dexter Filkins ‘From Kurdistan To New York’
During Christopher Hitchens’ 2009 appearance on Australia’s Q & A, he wore a Kurdish flag pin in solidarity and fielded a question from a Kurd (starts at minute 1:30…mentioned as the rest of the debate may be worth your time):
In his new book Where The West Ends, Michael Totten describes visiting Northern Iraq briefly as a tourist with a friend, and the general feeling of pro-Americanism in Kurdish Northern Iraq that generally one can only feel in Poland, parts of the former Yugoslavia etc.
***A pretty damned good overview of Syria for the non-initiated, including what’s been going on since 2011 and the backstory at the thehowardbealeshow. Recommended. Really.
Adam Garfinkle At The American Interest: ‘What Did The Arab Spring Really Change?’…Liberal Internationalism is hobbling us, and the safety of even the liberal internationalist doctrine if America doesn’t lead…Via Youtube-Uncommon Knowledge With Fouad Ajami And Charles Hill
Is Bernhard Henri-Levy actually influencing U.S. policy decisions..? From New York Magazine: ‘European Superhero Quashes Libyan Dictator’…Bernhard Henri-Levy At The Daily Beast: ‘A Moral Tipping Point’…Charlie Rose Episode On Libya Featuring Bernhard Henri-Levy, Les Gelb And Others…