By Javad Heirannia

No-one condemns Turkish aggression in Afrin: Michael Walzer

January 27, 2018

TEHRAN - Michael Walzer is a well-known American political theorist and author who has written 27 books and published over 300 articles on topics such as unjust wars, economic justice and Zionism. Additionally, this prominent American intellectual has been professor emeritus at the Institute for Advances Studies in the U.S. and is the co-editor of the magazine Dissent.

While addressing Turkish aggression on the Kurdish populated northern district of Afrin in Syria, Prof. Walzer says, “The international community can't be counted on to defend people in trouble; it doesn't really exist as a real community.”
Below is a brief interview with Michael Walzer:

Q: Recently, a group of people including you endorsed an open letter calling on world powers to stop Turkey’s aggression against Afrin. What was the purpose of that letter?

A: The need was urgent because of Turkish threats to attack the Kurdish enclave in Northern Syria. The Kurds are one of the Middle Eastern peoples most in need of protection, most in need of a state of their own, actually, though that doesn't seem possible. If not a state, then some degree of autonomy wherever they live.

Q: Why doesn’t the international community condemn the aggression of Turkey against Afrin?

A: The international community can't be counted on to defend people in trouble; it doesn't really exist as a "community." And since no-one is prepared to fight for the Kurds, no-one wants to condemn Turkish aggression. The U.S. should at least be providing the weapons that the Kurdish militia needs to fight the Turks, but I doubt that we are doing that.

Q: The presence of the U.S. and Turkey in Syria are similar. Both of them are in the Syria without the Syria government’s permission. What is your opinion on that?

A: I don't think that the Syrian government is the only legitimate authority in Syria entitled to invite other countries in. Civil war means that legitimate authority is contested. I would be satisfied with a Kurdish invitation, but I'm not sure that's what we have. Russia and Iran are supporting a government that has, I suppose, some legal standing in the society of states, but no moral standing. Some of the groups opposing it (not ISIS) have moral standing but possibly no legal standing. Where would you rather be?
 

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