Rojava News

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Spikymike
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Aug 17 2017 14:31

The SWP not my usual preferred source of information and opinion in this area but I did give it a quick listen. The speaker is probably right about the Gulen movement's influence and role both previously and in terms of the attempted coup as well as some other specific points about the subsequent policy of the Turkish government and it's PKK and HDP opponents in relation to the Kurdish 'movement' and specifically the rise of the PKK inspired mini-state in Syria.The discussion to some extent illustrates the confusions of these Leftists aspirations to 'leadership' when it come to their lopsided 'anti-imperialism' and support for the various often conflicting national liberation movements. It's noticeable as well that for an organisation that claims to be in the vanguard of working class struggle there is a distinct absence of any class analysis in relation to the Kurdish populations dispersed across the Turkish-Syria-Iraq-Iran axis of states. This post is perhaps more relevant still to the other 'Turkey News' thread and relates also to some comments I added to the very end of this earlier thread:
http://libcom.org/news/miliary-coup-turkey-15072016
Perhaps proletarian could explain their own views about the value of their posting this video?

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propofread
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Aug 18 2017 10:19

Washington's main Syrian ally in the fight against Islamic State says the U.S. military will remain in northern Syria for decades after the jihadists are defeated, predicting enduring ties with the Kurdish-dominated region,
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-usa-exclusive-idUSKCN1AX1RI

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mikail firtinaci
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Aug 18 2017 18:45

Roni Marguiles is one of the leaders of the Turkish spawn of the SWP. They have a such a disgusting and dishonorable history that it would require a huge article to list all of it. During 2010 constitutional referendum in Turkey they supported Erdogan and his proposed amendment to the constitution. AKP won the referendum and in his victory speech Erdogan even thanked DSIP (Marguiles' party - the Turkish SWP) by name - this is unusual because no one except the radical left even know about its existence in Turkey. But for a long time they served well to Erdogan as his little scab group in the left. AKP municipalities plastered all the big cities with pro-amendment DSIP posters and signs, which would be plainly impossible for this extremely small party to do by solely its own means. That referendum also consolidated Erdogan and Gulenist's power over the state - at the time they were allies. DSIP/Cliffites and other left liberals around it tremendously helped mobilizing the left voters behind AKP's amendment by creating the illusion that if it passes, the political liberties would expand and the army's strength would be curtailed. Neither have happened...

In 2016 wikileaks released personal correspondences of several high ranking turkish officials in Erdogan's cabinet, including his son-in-law, Berat Albayrak. In one of those exchanged DSIP was mentioned as "tied to higher ups", suggesting that they were linked to the Gulenists somehow.

Here is the news article about this - this is a left wing/socialistish paper: http://www.birgun.net/haber-detay/berat-albayrak-in-maillerinden-dsip-de-cikti-138551.html

So, the turkish SWP is an extremely dirty organization which openly sided with Erdogan and tried to whitewash his policies in the name of reformism and created a huge confusion by equating everyone opposing the AKP to Kemalists and morally condemning and isolating them.

In this speech R. Marguiles is continuing his dirty and shameful work on sawing confusions. He is trying to clear AKP from its actions during the latest referendum. This latest referndum practically made Erdogan the dictator of the country by concentrating all executive, legislative and judicial control in his office. And AKP actually stole the referendum through deceit, illegal tricks, voting manipulations and frauds in vote counting. There were protests for days afterwards and countless of proof showing that majority of the Turkish people did not actually support AKPs proposal in the referendum. Even the international observers from the EU reported that there were several irregularities with the voting that otherwise could have led to defeat of the referendum.

Anyway, Marguiles is showing once again the same old shameless, spineless and slimy DSIP opportunism in the last part when he talked about Rojava. He accepts that there is not a revolution in Rojava or any real social change. But he also says that "as a Leninist" he cannot "openly criticize" PKK since that would mean rejecting the rights of nations to self-determination principle! That is just disgusting opportunism and he is just discrediting the radical left by this pseudo-radical phraseology - as this is the only real function of the Ciffites. Still, he is at least honest about the fact that there is no genuine social change in Kurdistan. You can never hear them say that in Turkey - as he openly admits. And coming from this deceitful, dirty group even that truth may get stained.

Spikymike
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Jan 18 2018 11:55

Turkish state on the verge of militarily attacking USA supported Kurdish forces both directly and via Syrian proxies amidst USA attempt to secure its diminished place in the carve-up of influence in the region otherwise at odds with it's Turkish NATO ally. Has Turkey assumed too much that the USA would abandon it's Syrian Kurdish allies as soon as ISIS appeared to be defeated?

Spikymike
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Mar 5 2018 11:28

So whilst this Forum is still retained thought this useful contribution should be listed here as well:
https://libcom.org/blog/defense-afrin-proletarian-internationalism-05032018

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R Totale
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Dec 21 2018 13:52

Anyone have any takes on the US withdrawal, escalated threats from Erdogan, etc? The whole situation seems pretty grim all round.

Mike Harman
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Dec 21 2018 16:34

Not much but a few things came up around it:

It coincides with Turkey and the US agreeing a $3.5b Patriot missile sale. That could be a massive coincidence or it could explain the 'why' for the withdrawal. A few different sources reporting this, but Bloomberg had some commentary where they reckoned Assad, Iran, and Russia might still be a deterant to a full Turkish annexation of Rojava. They also reckon the US deal with Turkey could mean cancellation of arms deals between Turkey and Russia.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-19/state-department-backs-missile-sale-to-turkey-in-breakthrough

This idea that the US should stay in Rojava to 'protect the Kurds/Rojava' (I've seen this Chomsky interview go around on twitter again: http://www.kurdistan24.net/en/news/13cf816e-8e40-41c8-bb76-d453a3261d8b) seems to misunderstand why the US is in Rojava at all - i.e. it's war on terror and a geopolitical bulwark against (mainly) Iran, not to actually support the YPG. Their presence means that both Turkey and Assad will try to avoid direct military confrontation with US troops but not much more.

The announcement of 50% of troops being withdrawn from Afghanistan too I haven't seen as much about - but there were noises earlier this year about privatising the operation there - would be worth keeping an eye on: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/military/officials-worry-trump-may-back-erik-prince-plan-privatize-war-n901401

Mike Harman
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Dec 26 2018 19:04

SDF/YPG apparently just handed over a town to the Syrian army to stave of an attack by Turkey. Not sure what this source is like.
http://www.basnews.com/index.php/en/news/middle-east/489850

Flint
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Dec 26 2018 22:11
Mike Harman wrote:
SDF/YPG apparently just handed over a town to the Syrian army to stave of an attack by Turkey. Not sure what this source is like.
http://www.basnews.com/index.php/en/news/middle-east/489850

BasNews is pro-Barzani/KDP news.

Last year in 2017, Russia (and maybe SAA) also held Arimah. Russia withdrew from the Manbij area and also stopped protecting Afrin's to green light Turkey's invasion of Afrin, as part of a deal for Erdogan to call anti-Assad opposition fighters out of southern Syria (Ghouta, Daraa). It was similar to the deal they reached when Putin allowed Turkey attacking ISIS in Jarabulus and al-Bab; in exchange for Erdogan calling fighters out of Aleppo (which caused the fall of the opposition in Aleppo).

MANBIJ FORCES REACHES AGREEMENT WITH RUSSIA OVER DEFENCE AGAINST TURKEY BACKED FSA, March 2nd, 2017, Plymouth University’s Dartmouth Centre for Seapower and Strategy (DCSS)

American, Russian troops in Manbij: Preventing an all-out Turkish-Kurdish face-off?, March 5, 2017, T-Intelligence

Syrian government forces 'enter' Kurdish-controlled Manbij region, December 12, 2018, Al Jazeera (Qatari-based)

If this story is true it would be the SAA/Russia/Iran alliance returning to positions they held in 2017. In 2017, they positioned there to stop Turkey's threats on Manbij and Afrin. At the same time, the U.S. also deployed flagged units to Manbij city proper and the north side of Manbij along the Sajur river to also deter Turkey's threats.

Then in January 2018, Russia (and the SAA) withdrew from the Manbij area, and Russia withdrew from Afrin. This allowed Turkey's successful invasion and occupation of Afrin to occur over a two month period. At the same time, the U.S. maintained its positions in Manbij and dissuaded Turkey form attacking there.

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R Totale
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Dec 26 2018 21:50

Yeah, I was going to say that that story feels like a re-run of March 2017 (except I had to look the date up). While you're here, would be genuinely interested to know your take on the current situation in general? Do you think there's any prospect of a "good" outcome at this stage, or is it just a choice between one defeat or another?

Flint
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Dec 26 2018 22:05
R Totale wrote:
Yeah, I was going to say that that story feels like a re-run of March 2017 (except I had to look the date up). While you're here, would be genuinely interested to know your take on the current situation in general? Do you think there's any prospect of a "good" outcome at this stage, or is it just a choice between one defeat or another?

I had hoped that the war was ending and focus could be on reconstruction. Everything is in chaos now. Anything could happen now. The U.S. leaving in this way is a manner that most weakens the YPG's bargaining position. Also, with the U.S. pulling out, at first glance it looks like Erdogan gets what he wants... but it puts him in a weaker position over all facing Assad/Russia/Iran without U.S./Coalition support.

From what we observed, the U.S. had a relatively lighter hand on TEV-DEM's internal politics and economics than we can expect from either Erdogan or Assad.

Some hope that France and a coalition of other countries could form a deterrent to Turkey. Seems like a slim hope.

Can the YPG cut a deal? Or is it Turkey's occupation and a return to guerilla war, but much worse than we currently seen in Afrin?

I would caution people against writing reqiuems yet. That won't stop some of you from doing so.

Mike Harman
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Dec 28 2018 09:58

Official confirmation from YPG that they're inviting the Syrian army to hold positions: https://twitter.com/DefenseUnits/status/1078573294402588672

And confirmation from Syrian Army.
https://twitter.com/ferozwala/status/1078591277116084230

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R Totale
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Dec 29 2018 17:58

Longish analysis from an anarchist in Rojava here: https://crimethinc.com/2018/12/28/the-threat-to-rojava-an-anarchist-in-syria-speaks-on-the-real-meaning-of-trumps-withdrawal

Obviously, very pro-PYD, which in turn means that, in this current situation, the author ends up verging on "soft Assadism" in some places, but I thought these bits were good:

"As anarchists, we have to talk very seriously about how to create other options for people in conflict zones. Is there any form of international horizontal decentralized coordination that could have solved the problems that the people in Rojava were facing such that they would not have been forced to depend on the US military? If we find no answer to this question when we look at the Syria of 2013-2018, is there something we could have done earlier? These are extremely pressing questions...

Finally, you can think about how we could put better options on the table next time an uprising like the one in Syria breaks out. How can we make sure that governments fall before their reign gives way to the reign of pure force, in which only insurgents backed by other states can gain control? How can we offer other visions of how people can live and meet their needs together, and mobilize the force it will take to implement and defend them on an international basis without need of any state?"

I guess the only other option that I could see to prevent a total destruction of any emancipatory prospect at the hands of either Erdogan or Assad would be "the old mole" rearing its head again in either Turkey or Syria (maybe spreading from Iran/Iraq), but I dunno what the odds of that are.

baboon
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Dec 29 2018 21:51

I've no agreement with the aspirations of Kurdish nationalism, particularly as expressed in Rojava, but I'd like to thank the author of the piece linked by R. Totale for its information and humanity. I don't think that it overestimates the Turkish state's capacity for massacre and terror which these latest developments could well bring about.

Just a couple of points:

The US and its coalition allies have lost the war in Syria. The leading world power must confront another set-back in the Middle East which has weakened its position and this will have consequences on the wider imperialist chessboard as well as the detailed perspectives laid out by the author. Kurdish nationalism and Kurdish "assets" are part of this chessboard and are once again paying the price for it.

There is nothing "new" or "startling" about Trump's decision to withdraw from Syria; he talked about it in his election campaign as part of his "America First!" policy, touched on it frequently and six months ago gave a six-month time scale to pull out of Syria. The author says that the move "makes no sense" for "US global, military hegemony". But it makes perfect sense. The biggest concern for US imperialism at the moment is, I think, the movement of Erdogan's Turkey towards Russia - the author talks about the "multi-polar" world and I agree that centrifugal tendencies are a dominant development of imperialism making them unpredictable and dangerous and this is an example of it. It's not just "missile sales" between Russia and Turkey but the existence of a massive, well-organised and battle-hardened military on Nato's southern flank, i.e., the Turkish state, going towards Russia that is the danger to the US. It is absolutely vital for US imperialism in the longer term that Turkey is moved away from deeper alliances with Russia and is fully and decisively integrated into Nato. If that means sacrificing the Kurds you can just picture Trump shrugging his shoulders. Erdogan is playing the game with the March elections and beyond in mind by pitting one against the other with the one thing for sure being that the general imperialist carve-up is just being displaced. There is no peace.

On the perspectives, it can only be the class struggle, workers' assemblies, self-organisation intrinsically breaking ethnic and nationalist divisions. There have been significant episodes of class struggle recently in Iran, Jordan and Iraq and the potential of the working class in Turkey and elsewhere remains intact. The working class is the only possible force able to push back at the bourgeoisie and with a bit of luck eventually overthrow it. But all forms of nationalism have to go with that, not least because nationalism is part imperialist war.

But good luck "anarchist in Rojava". Keep your head down and keep analysing and discussing the situation.

ajjohnstone
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Jan 5 2019 08:38

FYI

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/01/04/why-are-leftists-cheering-the-potential-demise-of-rojavas-socialist-experiment/

Quote:
It does seem quite reasonable to hope for a socialist experiment to avoid being destroyed by Islamic State fascism, Turkish ultra-nationalism or Syrian absolutism rather than clinging to dogmatism.
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propofread
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Jan 5 2019 18:14

Factcheck on the smear piece about Rojava by Roy Gutman on The Intercept:

Quote:
1/ yes, SDF conscripts, like EVERY other major force in Syria. They're defending their land against ISIS & NATO's second-largest army lol.

"Erka Parastin" (defence work) only lasts a year & conscripts are usually controlling traffic on some desert road, not sent to the front.

https://twitter.com/hashtagbroom/status/1080858562816020480