Rojava economy and class structure

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Spikymike
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Mar 19 2015 17:10

Flint,
The extract in your post No 30 above adds nothing new by way of clarification to previous political declarations on 'the economy of rojava' and nothing at all on 'class' and is no evidence of any anti-capitalist or libertarian communist social movement, although the rest of the extensive declaration linked does indicate a pragmatic redefinition of the aspiration for a modern democratic Syrian nation-state based on pluralistic mutli-cultural lines uncommon in the current civil war conditions.

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Red Marriott
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Mar 19 2015 18:42

We're told #31 is a programmatic expression of the leading elements of the greatest revolutionary anti-capitalist movement of our time, a 'revolution' that supposedly compares well with the greatest revolutionary movements of history. Well, you'd have to search hard through those earlier movements to find anything as banal, vague and garbled as that piece of pro-market unsubversive crap.
Edit; I was referring to post #31, not 30.

Flint
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Mar 19 2015 21:05

Spikymike, In post #30 Its a description of the economic situation under control of the capitalist KDP. KCK and the KDP are competing for influence in both Iraq and Syria. Sorry you don't find that relevant. I do.

If you are referring to post #31, the statement from TEV-DEM on a Project for a Democratic Syria, the small section on economics has a rejection of interest from profit of capital accumulation, but a statement of allowing trade and markets, though the markets are subject to local controls. That is a disappointing position for TEV-DEM to take from a communist position. They seem to want to do away with finance capital but keep shopkeepers.

Also, notably lacking from the TEV-DEM statement is anything about the ongoing collectivizations, worker-controlled cooperatives, etc... and words like "worker" and "socialism" don't even appear.

Seems that the TEV-DEM that issues this statement is economically to the right of a lot of the things going on in different locals. It seems like we are looking at a very mixed situation.

It is unfortunate that TEV-DEM sees something positive with market allocation.

I think its a useful document to reference because it is a statement of TEV-DEM, not an individual minister or witness. Presumably, a group of people agreed to this statement.

I'm interested in understanding what is going on and I'm sharing information about it. Sorry if when I do so and it shows that TEV-DEM isn't pushing a communist line that it doesn't meet someone's expectation that I have to always agree with TEV-DEM or whatever.

I've posted lots of other information that shown they had decidedly uncommunist practices going on in different cantons, like Afrin having "high rents".

kurekmurek
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Mar 20 2015 11:06

As a note to Spikymike and Red Marriott

The document Flint shared is not written to fulfill the desires of "western" communists grin right? Go read it if you want but it is basically a call to all active forces in Syria to end this bloody and meaningless war and to start to discuss how an "democratic" Syria to be established. Ok? (and for me: any communist should oppose such wars and support the calls for their end)

So it is I think very normal that it does not mention worker's cooperatives or anything. As there is no consensus between sides whether there should be worker's cooperatives now. I can give example of Turkey and its "peace process" with Kurds now as it also does not include any "communistic" organizational rules. As it would be stupid to assume that Turkey will agree to any of this. However the war with the Kurds is directly related to establishment of Turkish state as a capitalist nation-state. Thus an end to this war that decentralizes the Turkish state (or democratizes as Kurds use the word*) and ends the national war going on in Turkey 1) is positive in itself (it is a war damn it, people get nationalistic because of it) 2) is a condition to development (or rather extension) of local or "national" communistic practices (which Kurdish movement supports and compatible with ideologically).

So, let's not again mix the importance of this document shall we? It is a document to call for the end the civil war, not a discussion of economical plans of Rojava as a regional government (it has only ten sentences maybe related to economy), Ok?

*I mind you by the way in the terminology of Kurdish movement democracy does not mean "popular will" but rather means "decentralization".

kurekmurek
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Mar 20 2015 10:49

Also Flint,

Quote:
Also, notably lacking from the TEV-DEM statement is anything about the ongoing collectivizations, worker-controlled cooperatives, etc... and words like "worker" and "socialism" don't even appear.

Well It is impossible to see them use word socialism/communism nowadays. As they associate it with old socialist states. (I am really not into discussing terminology) anyway I just write it if you did not know about it.

Of course it is debatable what IS commuism/socialism etc. however I was always impressed by the Ranciere's text in the Idea of Communism (edited by Baidou), well as far as I remember he basically says even if we call ourselves and discuss communism we should not forget the real power nowadays that calls itself communist is the Communist Party of China and it is doing very good job of authoritarian government and capitalist transformation. (So I kind of get why kurds wish not to make themselves associate with such words now)

Spikymike
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Mar 20 2015 11:06

Yes I was referring to linked text in post 31 not 30 - sorry for my error. I think the 'pragamatism' I refer to is understandable in so far as any call for a 'ceasefire' in the current military stalemate is better than continueing with the apparently unwinable civil war in present conditions but it also underlines the essentially 'democratic' approach in capitalist national terms of the politics of the PKK and the Kurdish movement in Rojava, only obscured by the different language of 'democratic confederalism'. The terms 'socialism' and 'communism' have a bad name in common usage ( even if used more correctly on libcom) since they generally refer to various versions of the political administration of capitalism so their avoidance is understandable in new movements but some new language can also be a means of obscuring old approaches as well.

kurekmurek
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Mar 20 2015 11:10

I just added a note to my comment (#35) and now I saw your comment spikemike. You are far off again in my view and just again ideologiese everything. And even a call for end to a meaningless war appears to you capitalist development per se. That is a shame.

Spikymike
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Mar 20 2015 14:42

kurrem..,
Just to be a bit clearer my reference above to the 'democratic' approach is meant to refer to the rest of the text not particularly the call for a 'ceasefire' which however unlikely to be successful would of course be a welcome development if it happened despite inevitably leaving the current power relations in the region still largely intact.

Flint
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Mar 20 2015 15:25

kurremkarmerruk,

Thats a really good point about the audience and purpose of TEV-DEM's "Project for a Democratic Syria" is intended as proposal to everyone in Syria for what TEV-DEM thinks could end the civil war--and that is is not a description of how the Rojava cantons are currently administered or their end goals--but rather they feel that the "Project..." is a confederal structure that they could continue to do their thing in.

Frankly, as a peace proposal, I found that its rather bold since it effectively calls for the elimination of not just Daesh but also Al-Nursa and it seems also like something Assad and the Ba'ath could not agree to (or atleast the Syrian state would no longer be much like how the Ba'athist state was).

As a peace proposal... its a really long document. Before I'd seen it, some of the summaries of main points seemed far more concise; but even then it seemed to show TEV-DEM was rejecting Ba'athist attempt to negotiate.

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Red Marriott
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Mar 20 2015 18:18
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The document Flint shared is not written to fulfill the desires of "western" communists right?

Of course not - more for capitalist powers it wants to accomodate itself to and for the desires of gullible romanticising liberal/leftists.

When PKK & co leaders repeatedly make blatantly pro-market statements there’s always an excuse, implying that this is just for clever ‘pragmatic’ reasons and needn’t be taken very seriously as its largely irrelevant to the ‘real’ libertarian projects on the ground. I remain unconvinced by that.

I wonder who/what would enforce the necessary rules, currency, banks, interest rates, class relations etc of that idealised self-contained market economy? Surely not something like – a nation-state?

kurekmurek
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Mar 20 2015 20:52

Yeah Red Marriott, I am sorry: they should definitely try to start a discussion with you to end the civil war, -and not any local real actors- yeah, definitely that would work.

Flint
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Mar 20 2015 20:59

Red Marriott,

Whats the excuse for the People's Economic Plan and its implementation so far in bringing "buildings, land, and infrastructure" under the control of the local councils, with 3/4ths of private property now treated as the commons, with establishment of worker-controlled cooperatives, with price setting by local councils, with local councils taking action against hoarding, with local councils determining distribution of agricultural product, with local councils making wheat and oil either cheaply or freely available, with local public hospitals making medical care freely available to the poor, etc...

And, as to "who/what would enforce interest rates", etc... they have been very specific on disallowing interest. As well as disallowing the sale of usufruct property.

Who would enforce? People with guns. We do have at least one report of the local TEV-DEM demanding the Asayish (police) take action against a sugar hoarder.

All that matters a lot more to me than what is in that TEV-DEM statement about the cease-fire requirements.

There has been almost no discussion on the PEP and its implementation as described in "Small Key". That's post #27 by klas batalo. I'd think that would be far more interesting to communists than this latest TEV-DEM statement. It also corresponds with a lot of the other information thats been coming out. It seems rather odd that no one wants to discuss that. Someone should at least dismiss it as "reformist", "stageist" or "socialism in three cantons"!

Whether confederation of cantons operating as a "democratic autonomy" that has a majority (if not a monopoly) of force and can abolish interest and the selling of usufruct property, etc.. should be defined as a "nation-state", I might leave that matter to the rhetorticians. It seems from the TEV-DEM statement "Project..." that their usage of "Nation-State" and their rejection of it focuses on the "Nation" part in that in their definition a "Nation-State" demands a monolithic nation of one culture. But they are also pretty clear about wanting to reject centralized control of location or economy from some distant capitol.

kurekmurek
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Mar 20 2015 21:02

Spikymike, I think they want to shake the power relations "quite a bit" in the region for their democratic confederalist project. however I do not think they will try to shake the power relations as you "wish" them to be. Though I do not blame them on this as I myself see no possible way for that to emerge just now. Moreover I would not be very surprised if their project revitalizes the left in the region for a better future.

Flint
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Mar 20 2015 21:18

By the way, the introduction of "A Small Key Can Open A Large Door: The Rojava Revolution" is available freely on the web in HTML or as a pamphlet PDF

http://www.tangledwilderness.org/a-mountain-river-has-many-bends/

I have added it to the Libcom library: http://libcom.org/library/mountain-river-has-many-bends

kurekmurek
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Mar 20 2015 21:53

Flint, thanks for the pdf

Well I think, recently Ba'ath regime publicly declared something like “we are ready to give the Kurds autonomy”. So I guess they understood that the Syrian regime will never be the old unified one. I am skeptical of course whether they might accept all of the proposal. But I think they would be VERY willing to sit on the table and make “democratic changes” in constitution.

I am also confused about Al-Nusra remarks. My guess is it just points to the fundamentalist arab groups who joined to ISIS and not other groups currently active near cantons. Moreover nowadays Kurds make cooperation against ISIS with these groups. These groups used to also fight against Kurds. However after ISIS become bigger and beat also these other Arab groups they now revised their politics. They now cooperate against ISIS with Kurds. Well I do not know if these groups would sit on table with Asad.

Lastly on the international side, I also think Kurd’s peace politics (being closer to Arab forces etc.) also parallel to coalition’s demand for greater cooperation against ISIS in the region. (well, USA is happy about it) Parallel to that it seems inevitable that some sort of independent power will be called to watch over the peace negotiations (this is where the part "United Nations" in document comes in) Of course I am not sure how will be end in the result, but I do think Kurds will try their best to realize their model. Anyway these are my “realistic” expectations on a possible peace in Syria.

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Red Marriott
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Mar 20 2015 22:13
kurre wrote:
Yeah Red Marriott, I am sorry: they should definitely try to start a discussion with you

No thanks, I'll limit my discussions with defenders of market economies to the likes of you. But your regularly implying that what is said here by any critics is irrelevant to what happens on the ground in Rojava surely would apply as least as much to your own far more frequent comments.

Flint wrote:
Whats the excuse for the Popular Economic Plan and its implementation so far in bringing "buildings, land, and infrastructure" under the control of the local councils, with 3/4ths of private property now treated as the commons, with establishment of worker-controlled cooperatives, with price setting by local councils, with local councils taking action against hoarding, with local councils determining distribution of agricultural product, with local councils making wheat and oil either cheaply or freely available, with local public hospitals making medical care freely available to the poor, etc...

You missed out conscription and imprisonment of draft evaders, some reported suppression of political opposition etc. You also ignore the question of the relation of party to class – historically always a fatal error for 'libertarians' and an apparent blind spot for many Rojava supporters - eg, whether one party dominates the democratic bodies and other aspects of social life (and why/how), whether the councils etc have any input into the state-building activities of PKK diplomatic relations and what goals are being pursued by that diplomacy etc. As I pointed out long ago, in Spain 36 the democratic self-management etc existed in parallel with increasing Stalinisation of the state. My comments are as much about future developments as the situation now. If the self-management experiments on the ground were really so radical, anti-capitalist and important as claimed then it would surely be crucial to point out the threat of the basic contradiction between them and the pro-market position of PKK leaders; yet Rojava cheerleaders generally only seem concerned to dismiss, excuse or bury the contradiction.

Regardless of 'what matters to you in the statement’ there are clearly reasons why the PKK & co leaders have repeatedly described their goal of a market economy. That it is included in a proposal for peace is no accident, it is part of the basis on which ‘peace’ is proposed to neighbouring ruling classes. The Tev-Dem doc also describes the apparent PKK goal of regional autonomy under the umbrella of the larger bourgeois state(s);

Quote:
one that effectively provides for the participation of peoples and of diverse small groups and even individuals, so as to build, protect, and develop a new democratic regime....

determination and commitment to a constructing a democratic, pluralistic, decentralized, secular Syria based on respect for the democratic rights of each constituent as provided for by laws and international norms and guaranteed by a new democratic constitution. ...

the first demand of a democratic Syria is that it recognize the rights of all ethnic and religious groups to manage themselves according to their own free will, and to put no obstacles on the path of becoming a national democratic society. It must affirm the democratic the right of peoples to self-determination.

Democracy and the state can play their roles under the same political roof, and the democratic constitution sets the boundaries between their spheres of influence. If the ruling state is really committed to democracy, it should not hamper it or impose a ban on the formation of a democratic society.

In the Democratic Nation, those rights will be guaranteed in a constitution, including a right to semi-democratic independence. Thus, all of Syria’s genuine social constituents can have the character of free individual in a democratic community along with the constitutional citizenship of the mother state, interactively and synchronously. In other words, citizenship will be bilateral and dual.

So they propose a regional 'democratic society' compatible with the capitalist "mother state".

kurekmurek
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Mar 20 2015 22:50

Red Marriot thanks you are so anticapitalist you are the hope for a better future for all of us. thank you for bothering to discuss with us here thank you

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Red Marriott
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Mar 20 2015 23:41

Why thank you. I know you're a big fan of movements based around cult of personality - but really, modesty demands that I refuse such a role.

Flint
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Mar 21 2015 03:31

I think conscription is a terrible idea and we should agitate against it wherever it occurs.

Here is the most recent as well as the most detailed document on conscription in Rojava I can find: "SYRIA: Military Service, Mandatory Self-Defence Duty and Recruitment to the YPG" by Danish Immigration Service, 26 February 2015

Quote:
In the Kurdish areas administered by the PYD3 (Partiya Yekîtiya Demokrat or the Democratic Union Party) - that is Jazeera, Afrin and Kobane - the law on mandatory self-defence duty was adopted on 14 July 2014 by the Kurdish autonomous administration making it compulsory for all Kurdish men between the age 18 and 30 to perform self-defence duty for a period of six months. Women can voluntarily perform the duty. The law applies to all men regardless of their ethnic or religious background and regardless of whether they have completed their military service in the Syrian army.

Apart from performing self-defence duty, both men and women can join the YPG (Yekîneyên Parastina Gel, or the People’s Protection Units) and the YPJ (Yekîneyên Parastina Jinê or the Women’s Protection Units) respectively on a voluntary basis, however there have been reports of cases of forced recruitment. Although one finds persons from non-Kurdish groups of Christians and Arabs, Kurds comprise the majority of the YPG.

...

Syrian authorities are present in some parts of the Kurdish areas, namely Jazeera canton and alHasakah province. However, the government still pays salaries to employees in the civil administration in the PYD administered areas (Jazeera, Afrin and Kobane cantons). The Kurdish security forces, Assayish, is responsible for enforcement of the rule of law and internal security in the PYD-controlled areas. However, one source, namely TEV DEM, asserted that the Kurdish administration is fully in charge of the civil administration in the areas under its control and that it is the Kurdish administration which pays the salaries of the employees in different sectors.

...

2.3. Mandatory self-defence duty in the PYD controlled areas27

The Kurdish administration passed the Law on Mandatory Self-defence Duty in the Democratic Autonomous Areas (“Ghanoon Ada’ Wajib al-Difaa’ al-Zati aan Manatiq al-Idara al-Zatia alDimoqratia”) on 14 July 2014 (see Appendix B). According to TEVDEM the law was implemented in Jazeera on 20 November 2014 when the first group of persons were recruited and started their training. The law has not yet been implemented in the two other Kurdish cantons, that is Kobane and Afrin.

TEVDEM explained that self-defence duty can be postponed or one may be exempted for different reasons. For example, only one child from each family is obligated to enrol in the service, and if afamily only has one son, he will be exempted. One could also be exempted due to medical reasons. Students may use their three months summer vacation in two consecutive years to complete their service. Self-defence duty can be carried out for a total of six months within one year. The length of service will be the same in the three cantons of Jazeera, Afrin and Kobane. If a conscript is married, he will receive 20,000 Syrian pounds per month as salary.

2.3.1. Profile of conscripts

The mandatory service law is the same for all cantons and applies for everyone (Kurds, Arabs, Christians, etc.) regardless of their ethnic or religious background according to TEV DEM. An individual who has completed his military service in the Syrian army is not exempted from performing the obligatory self-defence duty in the Kurdish cantons.

The age of persons called up for self-defence duty is between 18 and 30 as stipulated by the law. TEV DEM underlined that no one under the age of 18 will be called up as it is against the law on self-defence duty. There are special schools that offer theoretical teaching in self-defence for those under the age of 18. Enrollment in these courses takes place on a voluntary basis.

2.3.2. Process of recruitment to mandatory self-defence duty

There are a number of mandatory self-defence centres (“markaz wajib al-difa’ al-zati”) operating under the defence committee of the Kurdish administration, who are responsible, together with the security police Assayish, for recruiting people for mandatory service.

TEVDEM explained that a group of three recruiters, comprising of two persons from the local selfdefence centre and one person from Assayish, go from house to house asking families with male children to send one person to mandatory service. If the person from Assayish is not able to participate in the recruitment, he will be replaced by a person from the self-defence centre in question. It is up to the family to decide which one of their sons is to enlist. All families with sons eligible for mandatory service in the area will be contacted. Upon the visit by recruiters, conscripts should report to the recruitment office (“Markaz al-Tajmid”) in the city where they live.

However, as the demographic composition is different in different cantons, the way the law is enforced in each canton may vary slightly. As an example, TEV DEM mentioned that in a canton with a Syriac population, it is people of Syriac background who go from house to house asking people to participate in the training.

2.3.3. Training

Training lasts about one and a half months and it takes place in training centres in the city where conscript lives. Trainers are experienced YPG fighters and the aim of training is to teach conscripts the importance of defending their cities and to train them in key elements of self-defence. The training comprises both military training and education in political issues. Upon finishing the training, conscripts will be assigned the task of guarding their cities for the remainder of their selfdefence duty period. TEV DEM emphasized that those who finish the training will not be sent to the front in order to fight as fighting is taken care of by the YPG. However, it is possible To enlist in the YPG and be sent to the front on a voluntary basis.

2.3.4. Consequences of draft evasion and desertion

TEVDEM explained that if someone does not show up within one week upon being called up for self-defence duty, his name will be passed to Assayish. The Assayish keeps a list of names of those who do not show up, and if such a person is stopped at checkpoints manned by Asayish, he will immediately be sent to mandatory service. However, Assayish would not search for such a person at his home.

If a person deserts from the self-defence duty and he gets arrested, he will be taken to court. The court will then investigate the case and will, depending on the situation, put the person in prison for a certain period. According to Tev Dem, the purpose of the imprisonment is to educate the deserter about the importance of the self-defence duty. The courts in the Kurdish area are still discussing the situation of deserters and may find new, appropriate and fair methods to process desertion cases according to the source.

Regarding consequences of failure to enlist for self-defence duty, KURDWATCH reported on 1 January 2015 that “the defense committee for the transitional administration for the canton of Jazirah, which was appointed by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), has designated January 20, 2015 as the final deadline by which all affected residents must fulfill their compulsory military service (…). According to [a] notice published on December 17, 2014, anyone who has not registered with the PYD’s People’s Defense Units (YPG) by this date must expect legal consequences.” 28

...

2.4. Recruitment to the YPG

According to TEVDEM, one finds people from different ethnic and religious origins in the YPG although the majority are Kurds.

2.4.1. Forced/voluntary recruitment

Regarding the way the PYD recruits to the YPG, UMAM D&R commented that the PYD sends notifications to families and calls the heads of the families to tell them that they want the family to send one or more family members to join the YPG. Both men and women are recruited by the PYD to serve in the YPG and the YPJ as the PYD wants to present itself as a party that supports gender equality. Whether women are obliged to serve in the YPJ, depends a lot on the local situation as the Kurdish authorities, for instance, avoid recruitment of women in conservative areas. However, UMAM D&R added that whenever the Kurdish authorities can, they encourage recruitment of women. It was however emphasized by the source that this information about recruitment of women had not been confirmed yet.

Both Nadim Houry (HRW) and the Western analyst stated that recruitment to the YPG takes place on a voluntary basis. Nadim Houry added that there are a large number of volunteers. The Western analyst explained that the YPG appears to enjoy significant support from Kurds living in the PYD-controlled areas, and some non-Kurdish groups of Christians and Arabs have joined them.

The source emphasized though that Kurds comprise the majority of YPG. Abdelaziz Abdelaziz (OHCHR) referred to reports29 on complaints about forced recruitment over the previous couple of months (in the context of the IS attacks on Kobane), but Abdelaziz emphasized that these reports had not been verified.

2.4.2. Recruitment of minors

Nadim Houry (HRW) stated that HRW had heard that minors are being recruited again in Kobane due to an urgent need for resources, but HRW has not monitored the area recently and could therefore not confirm that. The Western analyst said that the PYD appears to have made an effort to stop recruitment of minors, possibly in order to improve their image in the West according to the source.

Abdelaziz Abdelaziz (OHCHR) stated that Kurdish officials have informed OHCHR that they have released 149 children serving with the PYD in Afrin and al-Hasakah,. However, children are reportedly still fighting alongside the PYD in Kobane, according to Abdelaziz Abdelaziz (OHCHR). However, Institute for the Study of War reported in its Syria Update 6-12 January 2015 that on January 11, 2015, “Kurdish residents of Amuda, west of Qamishli in Hasakah Province held a demonstration protesting the compulsory conscription of minors for service in YPG forces following the conscription of a 16-year-old schoolgirl in the town.” 31

Also the Daily Star, Lebanon, reported on 30 January, 2015 that recruitment of minors, including girls, for the purpose of serving as YPG conscripts still takes place in Afrin and Jazeera cantons.32 It is however, not clear to the delegation whether the above-mentioned reports on forced recruitment of minors refer to recruitment to mandatory self-defence duty (see 2.3.) or whether minors are, according to these reports, recruited as ordinary fighters to the YPG.

...

28 KURDWATCH, Al-Qamishli: Final deadline for »volunteer« recruitment, 1 January 2015. http://www.kurdwatch.org/?aid=3315&z=en&cure=1029

29 Abdelaziz Abdelaziz (OHCHR) referred to Syria Deeply, YPG's Mandatory Military Service Rattles Kurds, 27 August 2014 http://www.syriadeeply.org/articles/2014/08/6014/ypgs-mandatory-military... and War Resisters’ International, Conscription begins in Kurdish region of Syria, evasion elsewhere, 29 August 2014 http://www.wriirg.org/node/23519

30 According to a report from UN Human Rights Council published on 13 August 2014, “Instances of recruitment of children under the age of 18 by YPG were documented in document A/HRC/25/65. Pursuant to their pledge on 5 July to abolish such practices, YPG have demobilized child soldiers from their ranks and undertaken to monitor adherence to their commitments.”; UN Human Rights Council, Report of the independent international commission of inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, 13 August 2014 http://www.refworld.org/docid/53fed8134.html

31 Institute for the Study of War, Syria Update: January 13-19, 2015 http://iswsyria.blogspot.dk/2015/01/syria-updatejanuary-13-19-2014.html

32 The Daily Star, Lebanon, Mobilization efforts on the rise in Syria’s war of attrition, 30 January 2015, http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2015/Jan-30/285810-mobiliza...

Here is the website for Desteya Parastinê, or Protection Forces.http://d-parastin.com/

Flint
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Mar 21 2015 03:42

They've graduated six groups so far through the 45 day trainings. It amounts to probably fewer than 1200 fighters (conscripts and volunteers).

I seriously wonder why they bother with conscription at all with those kinds of numbers.

kurekmurek
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Mar 21 2015 11:37

Red Marriot any comments on that? what about a comparison to Machnovist army to Ypg based on calls for conscription? If you bother to discuss with primitive people of course

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Red Marriott
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Mar 21 2015 12:24

It confirms my point that conscription and imprisonment is imposed in Rojava, however effectively or not.

On the Makhnovists, make your own mind up - https://libcom.org/forums/theory/makhno-conscription-anarchism-third-wor...
The evolution of the Makhnovist movement was very different from the PKK/PYG etc and their social revolutionary goals were far more radical than anything expressed in Rojava - so the comparison isn’t very useful at all. But the Makhnovists themselves termed it a voluntary mobilisation – while others saw it as in practice an obligation. In practice circumstances – shifting territories etc in the civil war zone – apparently meant no effective mobilisation of that type occurred anyway.

But even if one believes the Makhnovists did, or wanted to, conscript nearly 100 years ago – it doesn’t have much real relevance to Rojava now or excuse conscription and imprisonment there; unless one is being as abstract as you regularly accuse others of being and are merely trying to score ideological points in some imagined battle between ideologies or movements.

Your reduction to sarcasm suits you, btw.

kurekmurek
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Mar 21 2015 15:26

Red Marriott, You are insulting me from the start of this thread, I wrote a comment clarifying on my account what that document is, ok? I did not said anything against you in person, but you start to call me cultist, market lover or some other shit which is only an evidence of your style of argumentation, and nothing else.(Well after that I pissed off at you and start to write sarcastic one sentence comments).

I do think we should be realistic what anarchism was in the past as otherwise it is very meaningless for me to call oneself anarchist (especially a social one) I still insist that there is important similarities between historical social anarchism and current autonomy project. I am not saying this to make YPG do whatever they want (as you imply). But as a real historical comparison of movements, which is legitimate to do anyways (because it can also show they are not compatible/unrelated etc...). And I am all for knowledge, otherwise we would repeat out own cliches like priests of some sort. And I see no point in doing that.

However this can only be done if you are willing to open your eyes. Otherwise youy will just romanticize on the one side super idealist past versus a corrupt present. Which is a totally unproductive perspective of things to my view.

And you are deliberately making a fictional case again on army thing. Nobody is defending conscription. I wrote it many times here. Flint also said he/she is explicitly stated he is against it. However I am just saying this: Unless you are a total liberal passivist, you should approve at some point individuals have some sort of obligation to their collectives which might (in times of war especially) take the form of military service. Be this collective your class or any other thing. If we agree on it. I can temporarily agree that if there is a war for autonomy and security of the population well I agree people should support it somehow. I see nothing "contrary" to any branch of socialism, in this statement.Even yesterday some suicide bombers attacked and killed civilians in Newroz. Who will protect the civilians? Is it not a real issue to deal with? Will we just say: if they come there voluntarily in a meeting held in autonomous region, should they just blow of and it is ok?

I never said what PYD do is unimportant. I said do not try to abstract hastily from a political power game. It is just bad politics and also bad ideology in my view. It is totally to alien the life that politics necessarily needs to take place. However you are trying to fight a battle in your mind between propagandists and super-good-anti-capitalist people

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Red Marriott
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Mar 21 2015 18:25
Quote:
Red Marriott, You are insulting me from the start of this thread, I wrote a comment clarifying on my account what that document is, ok? I did not said anything against you in person, but you start to call me cultist, market lover or some other shit which is only an evidence of your style of argumentation, and nothing else.(Well after that I pissed off at you and start to write sarcastic one sentence comments).

That’s not accurate at all, my first 2 posts weren’t even responding to you;
#21 http://libcom.org/forums/middle-east/rojava-economy-class-structure-1710...

#33 http://libcom.org/forums/middle-east/rojava-economy-class-structure-1710...

The first hint of rudeness or sarcasm came from yourself, here #35;
http://libcom.org/forums/middle-east/rojava-economy-class-structure-1710...

... and has carried on in your later comments. So your martyrdom complex is based on a fantasy. It seems like you’re happy to dish out the sarcasm and smart-arse remarks but not very good at taking a bit back.

As for conscription, all I’ve said is that it exists and imprisonment is used to enforce it, both true – not the “fiction” you claim.

But, yes, you do support a movement dominated by a personality cult and a pro-market leadership - the facts are indisputable. If you’re uncomfortable about that – well, good.

kurekmurek
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Mar 21 2015 19:37

Red Marriot, what do you mean ? what does martyrdom complex have to do with this? What I am not taking back?

I am sorry if you think I attacked you first. But you quoted me and I thought what you wrote related to our discussions. Why do you like it better when we are engaged in a meaningless debate here. Based on personal insults what does it bring to anyone?

Quote:
As for conscription, all I’ve said is that it exists and imprisonment is used to enforce it, both true – not the “fiction” you claim.

You totally get what I wrote wrong. I said there is an agreement on your idea. Nobody is saying anything against that. It is a fact. Why do you think anyone here refutes such a basic fact? Did I said anything like that? However if you want to discuss my point it was this: Some sort of conscription can be called for in a time of war 1) a any social anarchist can not be absolutely against in ideological terms that 2)This had happened also before in anarchist history, ok?

(By the way, this historical comparison can be extended to many issues in anarchist history from; voting, to participation in government, to debating and cooperating with "real" states etc... If your point of view says these were historical mistakes well have it your way, but I do not think so. I think such rules can never satisfy complex historical situations)

Quote:
But, yes, you do support a movement dominated by a personality cult and a pro-market leadership - the facts are indisputable. If you’re uncomfortable about that – well, good.

What do you know about kurdish movement may I ask? What do you know? What did you read? Do you know kurdish? Where do you get your indisputable facts?

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Red Marriott
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Mar 21 2015 19:48

If you're saying there's no truth in my "facts" I'd say your comprehension of available sources is pretty hopeless.

kurekmurek
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Mar 21 2015 19:52

I really do not get it. What is the facts? how do you know them? Share to me so we can all discuss your "available sources" and even we can compare them to mine (to see which is better) You know this is the best forum to do so the headline is economy and class structure, let's do it.

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Mar 22 2015 01:14

All my sources in this thread and generally on these forums are posted here from those more supportive of PKK etc, like yourself. Iirc that is all I've commented on. If those sources are unreliable, tell why. But if, as seems apparent, you merely resent the interpretation of that info, well, tough.

But it looks to me like in your desperation of not having any credible reply to the clear points I've made above you are desperately trying to personalise the debate - something you've previously yourself complained about.

Flint
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Mar 22 2015 04:14

As much as the dialogue between Red Marriott and kurremkarmerruk about who insulted whom and assigning political positions to others they may not hold may be fascinating, could we get back to talking about class and economics in Rojava.

For instance, this oil deal cut between the PYD, the Shammar and the Baath state February, 2014.

Quote:
The oil-rich area of Rumailan in northeastern Syria saw a meeting between representatives of the Syrian Regime, Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), the Shammar Arab tribe and the Iraqi customs official to discuss possible reopening of Tel Kocher crossing at the Syrian-Iraqi borders and the returns of oil industry in the area...

According to the source (M.A.), the oil proceeds will be divided among the three parties (Syrian regime, PYD and Shammar tribe) according to specific percentages, of which the Syrian regime will receive a major share.

“The agreement signed by the parties entails that the PYD and Shammar tribe receive 15% each, while the remaining 70% was specified as returns to the regime,” said the source...

The oil-rich Rumailan area is under the control of the PYD-led forces of the Popular Protection Units (YPG) since April 2013. The Shammar Arab tribe −known for its strong ties with Syria’s Kurds− is considered an influential group in the Syrian northeastern areas, the fact which led the Syrian regime to include the group in the agreement in order to guarantee full domination over Rumailan oil fields and Tel Kocher (al-Yarubiya) crossing, observers argued.

The PYD −affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)− has reportedly received the military officer of the PKK Murat Qaraylan in Rumailan earlier this month, local sources said. Qaraylan held meetings with the PYD’s executive committee in Rumailan. According to observers, the recent agreement between the Syrian regime, PYD and Shammar Arab tribe came after the blessing of Qaraylan, who has a considerable influence on the PYD−which is in control in Rumailan.

http://aranews.net/2014/02/oil-rich-rumailan-syrian-regime-pyd-and-shammar-tribe-reach-an-agreement/

Flint
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Mar 22 2015 04:21

The deal was supposedly different in November 2013.

Quote:
“As four parties jointly run the region, the agreement included a distribution of oil outcomes between them. The PYD will be receiving 25% of the outcomes, while the regime’s outcome will constitute 60%. As for the pro-Assad Crhitian militia, 10% was specified, and the regime-linked National Army (Arab tribal militia) will receive 20%,”

http://aranews.net/2013/11/oil-fields-north-syria-the-undeclared-pyd-ass...

Who knows how much of this is true, if any. The math on it is impossible. 25+60+10+20= 115%.

We do know that TEV-DEM has sold surplus oil.