Bring U.S. troops home from Syria

BY:National Board CPUSA| January 14, 2019
Bring U.S. troops home from Syria


The CPUSA opposed the stationing of troops in Syria and their removal is an important development.  There is no prospect of a military solution to the Syria civil war, a situation aggravated by the presence of U.S. forces.

We therefore call for greater efforts to promote peaceful negotiations and maintain our opposition to the stationing of U.S. troops and the establishment of military bases on the soil of other countries.

To support the presence of U.S. troops in Syria also sets a very bad precedent for intervention in other countries. We, therefore, while deploring the reactionary Trump government and its aggressive foreign policy, cannot join in the demands that U.S. troops stay in Syria.   They should never have been there in the first place.

In addition, we oppose the Trump administration’s policy in the Middle East which is allied with many of the most reactionary forces in the region and connected to its Syrian policy. We reject withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Deal and the campaign waged by neo-cons like National Security advisor John Bolton to isolate and create a pretext to attack Iran. Bolton also vociferously opposed the troop withdrawal from Syria, seeing it as a necessary counterweight to Iran and is a leader of efforts to walk it back.

The CPUSA also opposes Trump support for the Saudi intervention in Yemen, including the sending of weapons, which has created the largest humanitarian crisis in the world today and U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and relocation of its embassy there, a step that blocks a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian crisis.

The Communist Party USA notes that the resolution of disputes like the one involving Syria are one of the main reasons the United Nations was created.   However, since imperialism has found itself less and less capable in recent decades of manipulating and controlling UN decisions and actions, there has been a deplorable push toward unilateral interventionism and the undermining of the United Nations.  In the Middle East region especially, there has been a push to promote institutions like the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a military alliance of major capitalist powers, as the “solution” to problems that should be the purview of the UN.

We demand an end to the undermining of the United Nations and a return to a situation in which world conflict situations, including especially the one in Syria, are resolved by it.  In Syria specifically, the existing UN peace mission should be strengthened and supported.

We are aware that the announcement by Trump that he will be withdrawing a contingent of about 2,000 U.S. military personnel from Northern Syria has set off a firestorm of controversy internationally but also within the United States, including among centrist, progressive and even left forces.

The criticism of Trump’s announcement has had various threads.  The most cogent one has to do with what the results of this will be for the Kurdish minority in the area affected, and specifically for the YPG (Kurdish People’s Protection Units) fighters who have been effectively battling ISIS (Daesh).   Some argue that the withdrawal of the U.S. troops will lead to a revival of ISIS, but this appears unlikely.  In that part of Syria the Kurdish fighters have been doing well, and the small U.S. contingent’s removal seems unlikely to reverse that.

The larger danger is Turkish intervention. The right-wing government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sees the YPG as an extension of the Marxist PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party), with which Erdogan has been carrying out armed struggle for years, and thus as a more dangerous enemy than ISIS.   Erdogan once again threatens to invade Syria in order to crush the YPG forces.  That this may not be mere bluster is shown by the ruthless actions of the Turkish government in the Kurdish majority town of Afrin, in Northern Syria, in early 2018.

This is an extremely dangerous situation, but it has not all been “caused” by Trump’s announcement on troop withdrawal, but by a long process of imperialist machinations in the region, going back to the First World War and beyond.  It is fraught with danger not only for the peoples and nations of the region, but for world peace in general.

There is already a United Nations peace mission in Syria, and to strengthen it may be the best prospect. Bring the troops home!












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