News of an impending chem weapons “deal” in Syria is a reminder of how surreal Middle Eastern politics can be. There is next to no chance the terms of the deal will have any reality but that does not seem to matter much.
Assorted rebel factions are shooting at each other while Assad, not quite believing his luck, keeps up the pressure. It’s a mess.
The only bright spot I can see is the quiet emergence of a Kurdish enclave in Syria just across the largely imaginary border from the semi autonomus Kurdish region of Iraq.
There are very few good reasons to support any of the facrions in Syria, Iraq, Iran or Turkey. In most cases the choice is between the bad and the awful. However, the Kurds – though Muslim – seem to avoid the fanaticism which infects so much od the Middle East. They would like their own country carved out of various other countries – and they have pursued low level wars to attain that; but they are more slaughtered than slaughtering.
From the West’s perspective, supporting Kurdish independence would weaken any number of bad actors in the ME and might establish a second, pro-Western nation in the region. At the moment the West, and paticularily the US, is playing a directionless, losing game. Changing that game by supporting Kurdish nationalist ambitions might establish a course toward a more stable Middle East.