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Sunday, December 23, 2018


by Peleg Held

Wednesday's surprise announcement that the U.S. will quickly withdraw all its troops from Syria is the stuff of nightmares for many of the Kurds living under the protection of U.S forces and the American-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). “Everyone is upset, sad and afraid,” one SDF member from the Kurdish-dominant Syrian city of Kobane told Fox News. “It’s a historic mistake. We wanted to be part of America. We are surrounded by enemies, and ISIS isn’t even finished yet.” “Everyone is confused and scared. This will mean that Turkey will likely attack us. We are in shock because we thought the U.S. would help us achieve peace after ISIS. We didn’t think that they would help us defeat the terrorists and then leave us alone to face the horror of Turkish forces and its extreme factions,” lamented Mazloum Kurdy, a 33-year-old father and teacher from Kobane. “Now people are thinking to displace themselves from their homes here again, but nobody knows where a safe place to go is.” In his words, it is an ultimate betrayal by the United States. —Fox News, December 20, 2018. 

 . . . only when the mountains are no more, only when Ocalan’s solitary resistance no longer lights our way is the day we should say “Kurds are no more” . . .    —Hawzhin Azeez

You waver, thinning wisp of a republic,
as the smoke of betrayal is drawn into our chests.
Drift into infamy. You say you are freedom itself
and now no longer owe any promise to liberty.
In Kobane they will grip their fate in their own hands,
in Rojava they will look to the mountains as their only friends.
A great people will once again be backed to the wall
while cowards rub their heels and take
the bows for the sacrifices of others. The watchers
on the walls tonight see you turn your back. Resigned
but not surprised. The only Empire that does not betray
is the one that, clutching the stone of its own delusions
finally sinks under. When your time comes,
as it will, for the last sparks to go cold into the black
earth, no one will come to sing over your ash.
Under a red flag the last architects of Armenia
march to mark your enduring work of this day.
Waver, thinning wisp of a republic
as the smoke of betrayal is drawn into our chests.

Peleg Held lives in Portland, Maine with his partner and his dog Emitt. There is also the semi-feral cat, Smudge. And a kid or two. pelegheld(at)