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mashriq / arabia / iraq / imperialism / war / press release Tuesday January 30, 2018 23:58 byKAF

No to war, No to dictators and States, No to corporations, No to religions, No to nationalism!

Dear Anarchist Comrades wherever you are,
We, anarchists stress that we are against war, against military attacks and militias. We are strongly against killing civilians and launching attacks against villages, towns and cities killing innocent people discriminating and destroying their places.

No to war, No to dictators and States, No to corporations, No to religions, No to nationalism!

Dear Anarchist Comrades wherever you are,

We, anarchists stress that we are against war, against military attacks and militias. We are strongly against killing civilians and launching attacks against villages, towns and cities killing innocent people discriminating and destroying their places.

We believe neither any states nor any groups have the right to attack anybody else on the grounds of religion, nationality, land disputes and others. We believe whatever the justification is for attacking and launching wars are simply against freedom and humanity.

Our attitude and position against the current war that the State of Turkey has launched on Afrin, the rest of Rojava and its citizens is not because we are Kurdish or Kurdish-speaking. We are against all wars as a matter of principle in all corners of the world.

We stand up firm by our anarchism principles against whoever launches this kind of war. We have the same attitude and same position even if Kurds launch war to invade the freedom, cultures and society of any ethnics or groups. Our stand against the State of Turkey in launching the war against Rojava is from this position no more and no less. We are against war, against the State, against any kind of superiority, class division and against the capitalist system.

In view of the above we reject any kind of war whether launched by the State of Turkey against Rojava or another State against some nation or group elsewhere in the world.

We believe that we should be against war and denounce it, we should campaign in any way against glorifying war and war mango. It is our sole duty to encourage and persuade people to stand up against war. It is our duty to make people more aware that war only brings more profit and interest for the corporations especially the military fields. In the meantime it brings us more poverty, more misery, more displacement, losing our beloved ones, soaring prices, homelessness, unemployment, destroying our places & our climate as well as dividing us all.

We also denounce all TV channels and the social media in the region that since the aggressive attacks have started, they have tried to deny the rights of people in Afrin and Rojava and do not recognise their legitimate defence. They are deceiving people and trying to mobilise them in support of the State of Turkey under different reasons and bringing them falls justification.

No to State and nationalism
No to Authority
No to Religion’s power
No to Parliamentary System
No to Militia’s power
No to Political Party and Capitalism
Yes to self-organising and self-administration

Kurdish-speaking anarchist forum (KAF)

mashriq / arabia / iraq / imperialism / war / opinion / analysis Monday January 29, 2018 06:41 byDilar Dirik

In the battle for Afrin, we see the universal dimensions of popular struggles against fascism, dictatorship and death — and for democracy, freedom and justice.

As I write, the Turkish army is engaged in an illegal cross-border invasion of the Syrian-Kurdish region of Afrin. Claiming to fight “terrorists,” the Turkish state — an EU candidate, ally of the West and second-largest NATO army — launched an act of aggression against the same people who earned the world’s respect for defeating ISIS with their courageous sacrifices and historic resistance. The military campaign includes pro-Erdogan Free Syrian Army (FSA) troops and poses a threat to 800,000 civilians, half of whom are internally displaced people who sought refuge in Afrin from regions like Idlib and Aleppo.

The targeting of Afrin exposes every letter in the ABC of imperialism. The attack could not have been launched without the approval of Russia, which controls the airspace over Afrin, as well as the consent of Iran and Assad. According to officials in Afrin, Russia proposed to protect Afrin in return for handing over control to the Assad regime. But as the offer was rejected, Russia gave green light to Turkey’s invasion.

The United States, meanwhile, which conveniently used the Kurds as “reliable boots on the ground” in Syria for the last years in the international anti-ISIS coalition, stays quiet over their NATO ally’s ambitions to sacrifice the heroes of the ISIS war, merely warning Turkey to “avoid civilian casualties.” European governments, especially Germany, have their own stakes in the game, as mostly European weapons and tanks are used by the Turkish army; weapons in the hands of fascists, which drive millions of people to leave their homes and risk death to become refugees in Europe.

Seven years into the war, Syria is destroyed; ISIS came, killed and left; genocide and massacres have been committed; the region’s demography and ecology have changed; Assad seems to be here to stay. The legitimate demands of all Syrians who took to the streets and risked their lives to call for dignity, freedom and justice against the Assad regime have been betrayed bitterly. Meanwhile, the powerful state actors in the region and beyond seem to have come full circle, as more than half a million people died and around 6 million have been displaced. Activists speak of the Third World War taking place in this region.

It is within this context that Turkey launches its war on Afrin, far exceeding the historical hostility of the Turkish state towards the Kurdish people. The battle symbolizes the two options that the peoples and communities of the Middle East face today: between militarist, patriarchal, fascist dictatorships on the one hand, controlled by foreign imperialist interests and capital, or the solidarity between autonomous, self-determined, free and equal communities on the other. The defense of Afrin is an opportunity for the left to unite against fascism and mobilize against militarism, occupation and war.


Within the context of the war on ISIS, the same states that are known to have fueled jihadist forces inside Syria — especially Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar — became part of a coalition led by the same powers which invaded the Middle East for imperial interests, committed war crimes in the name of “fighting terrorism,” and thus established the ground on which ISIS would eventually flourish. The forces that represent systems of capitalism, authoritarian statism, religious fundamentalism and in some cases pure fascism, were put in charge of establishing democracy and peace.

Meanwhile, as ISIS captured the attention of the international community, the initial issue of Assad’s dictatorial and bloodthirsty rule was side-lined, as were any notions of a lasting and just peace for Syria. With the entrance of Russia on the Syrian war scene and the role of Iran, the false binary of Sunni-Shiite animosity — a commonly used trope to disable just solutions in the Middle East — was reinforced. Regardless of all the conflicting interests of the involved powers, their common practice was the suppression of meaningful dissent, grassroots resistance and projects for genuine democratic alternatives. On the ground, this led to the mobilization of fascist and sectarian ideologies for which people were willing to die and kill.

By default, any attempts at popular self-determination and self-defense against colonialism and capitalist exploitation would need to be annihilated for this concept to work. That explains all the hostility campaigns towards the liberationist Rojava revolution, including the attempts of big powers such as the US to use Rojava militarily and try to empty its politics of its revolutionary principles. Taking advantage of the contradictions emerging within the imperialist power games, the Kurds, trying to stay true to revolutionary ideals while being literally surrounded by fire and in temporary tactical alliances with some actors, have constantly been accused of being puppets of imperialism in their attempt to establish radical democratic systems of self-governance, while defending millions of lives from certain death by ISIS fascists.

Sadly, the sectarian and dogmatic sections of the international left were unable to read these emancipatory politics and act accordingly, allowing imperialism to go ahead by refusing to extend vital solidarity to the Kurds when it was most needed. There is still time to correct this mistake.


Only a few months after the largely Kurdish Women’s Defense Units (YPJ) announced the liberation of ISIS’s capital of Raqqa, where thousands of women had been held as sex slaves for years, outright religious fundamentalists under Erdogan’s command now chant fanatic slogans accompanied by bizarre neo-Ottoman folkloric war rituals upon crossing into Syria. The secular, nationalist sections of Turkish politics, which like to think of themselves as “modern,” also cheer-lead the operation with glorifications of fascistic militarism.

Although jihadist groups like ISIS and al Qaeda affiliates have been beheading, crucifying, gang-raping and burning alive innocent people for years at the Syrian-Turkish border, the Erdogan administration did not seem too concerned about “terrorism at its borders” then. Efforts to expose the military, logistic and political Turkish support for ISIS have met deaf ears, even when Erdogan could barely disguise his excitement over the possible fall of the Syrian-Kurdish town of Kobane to the hands of ISIS in 2014.

Once again it is clear that the women’s liberationist, multi-ethnic grassroots democratic experiment of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria, which started with the Rojava revolution in 2012, is a far greater threat to Turkish interests than any reactionary force of rapist murderers. In other words, the Turkish state under Erdogan is trying to finish what their accomplice ISIS did not manage: to annihilate the legitimate aspirations for self-determination of the Kurdish people, and with that the possibility of an alternative Middle East based on solidarity, justice and freedom.

Half a week into the operation, spectacularly named “Operation Olive Branch,” the Turkish state has already committed civilian massacres. In Turkish media, this violation of international law is called a war for “democracy, fraternity, and peace.” The doublespeak of the “war on terror,” started by the Bush administration in the US, is being employed to fool Turkish society and the world into thinking that this operation is necessary to protect Turkish citizens from terrorist attacks and to defend national sovereignty.

In reality, the invasion is led by the same state that has imprisoned children, community activists, legally elected MPs and mayors, journalists, lawyers, teachers, peace ambassadors, human rights activists, women’s rights defenders and academics for demanding peace, not war. Facts are being twisted, international law suspended. A truly historic crime is being committed in front of the eyes of the world.


The Kurdish saying “we have no friends but the mountains” is often repeated when referring to the countless massacres, injustices and betrayals that the people of Kurdistan have experienced throughout their history. Stretching over four of the most important countries of the Middle East — Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria — and constantly threatened with genocidal attacks from all sides, this expression resonates with lived experience more than it should.

The saying reflects why the Kurds — or anyone for that matter — can never trust states to back their desires for freedom and justice. The recent tactical cooperation with Russia and the US in Syria have been exposed in today’s Turkish assaults on Afrin as nothing more than imperial power games, with both major powers known to be willing to sacrifice the lives of millions of civilians in order to safeguard their wider geopolitical interests. The Kurdish freedom movement acted in awareness of this, and that is precisely why, at the moment of betrayal, their autonomous structures based on self-organization do not dissolve but prevail. The ordinary population of Afrin, with the consciousness and experience of self-organization acquired over years, is today ready to defend itself against any attacks and occupations.

It is now clear that the peoples of the Middle East can only rely on their self-sustained efforts at mobilizing popular power and international solidarity and comradeship. All over the world, Kurdish activists have once again occupied the streets to protest the international war on their freedom struggle. The massive months-long uprising across Kurdistan and beyond played a decisive role for the eventual victory of Kobane in January 2015. The demands of the current solidarity protests do not only concern the end of military attacks, but also the ceasing of arms trade with Turkey and calls to start genuine peace processes in both Turkey and Syria.

In the spirit of Kobane, it is crucial to mobilize solidarity quickly and massively again today for Afrin. We can never rely on states to take the lead in bringing about justice. Ordinary people, the oppressed, the resisting, freedom-loving people and communities of the world must be each other’s comrades. Just like hundreds of thousands of people from Argentina to Afghanistan to South Africa joined our rallies, occupations and protests in 2014 for the defense of Kobane from ISIS fascism, the Kurdish freedom movement and all democratic, progressive forces in Syria in particular — and in the Middle East more generally — rely on the power of international solidarity in this historic hour.

In the battle for Afrin, it is possible to see the universal dimensions of popular struggles against fascism, dictatorship and death — and for democracy, for freedom, for justice. Afrin’s future symbolizes the fate of a region that has been denied a life in dignity for too long.

It is therefore not an exaggeration to say that Afrin embodies the defense of humanity today. This is what the war against fascism looks like in twenty-first century Mesopotamia.

We must stand shoulder to shoulder and defend Afrin against fascism!

No pasaran!

mashriq / arabia / iraq / imperialism / war / opinion / analysis Monday January 29, 2018 06:38 byErcan Ayboga

How does the military cooperation of the Kurds in Rojava and Northern Syria with the US, Russia and other forces affect their standing in the larger Syrian context? [Note of Anarkismo -This article was written before the current Turkish invasion to Rojava]

Nowadays, with the defeat of the so called “Islamic State” (IS) on the ground in Syria the geopolitics of the Syrian Kurds is discussed more than ever. To be precise, we should speak of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and of the political structure “Democratic Federation of Northern Syria” (DFNS) of which Rojava (West/Syrian Kurdistan) is a part. What is of interest for this article is the criticism by some (or many) leftists against the military cooperation with the US. However, speaking only of the US would be too limiting, since in this particular conflict Russia, Turkey and Iran are also closely involved.

The geopolitics of the Syrian Kurds can be understood only in connection with the democratic-leftist Kurdish Freedom Movement (KFM). Starting with the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) in North Kurdistan (Bakur; Turkish part) in the 1970s, it spread to Rojava and East Kurdistan (Rojhilat; Iranian part) in the 1990s. When in 2003 the Party of Democratic Union (PYD) was founded, it accepted Öcalan’s political concept of Democratic Confederalism as basis. Due to the intensive repression by the Baath regime, the space remained small, but the organization of the population never ceased to exist.

In 2011, when the uprising against the Syrian regime started, the PYD saw its interest in benefitting from the weakness of the regime in order to organize people democratically in Rojava and the big cities of Syria. In the first months, the aim was to develop the self defense capacity as it was difficult to foresee further developments against the Baath regime as well as against the armed reactionary opposition. In the following months the revolutionary movement had been organized as TEV-DEM which apart from PYD included dozens of social organizations and people from the growing people’s councils all over Rojava. The Barzani-linked ENKS, the conservative Kurdish party bloc in Rojava, remained weak while TEV-DEM became the main player in Rojava. In spring 2012 when it was clear that the war is intensifying, the preparation for the liberation of Rojava started. The movement needed to be ready for the right moment.

TEV-DEM was faced with two basic decisions: Either Rojava will be defended by its own forces or it had to be given up. The second outcome would mean that other forces like the ENKS and/or the reactionary Syrian opposition would control Rojava.

Rojava was more difficult to defend than other parts of Kurdistan. On the level of terrain, the area is mainly flat and spread out. Furthermore, many international and regional powers had armed many warring forces in Syria. The unarmed democratic groups in Syria and the TEV-DEM, on the other hand, had no support from abroad. TEV-DEM had declared it a duty to defend Rojava, otherwise it would be a great setback for the KFM in all parts of Kurdistan. The point was to defend this revolution and to learn lessons from former revolutions in the world.

With the beginning of the successful liberation of Rojava’s towns in July 2012, the attacks against the area grew stronger. First, it was some FSA groups and Al-Nusra Front which could be defeated by the YPG (People’s Defense Units) and YPJ (Women’s Defense Units). Then came ISIS (later IS), and at first, from summer 2013 until May 2014, could be defeated as well. But with the occupation of Mosul IS had grew so strong to challenge even state armies. The Baath regime also attacked Rojava at times, motivated by the Iranian regime.

Currently the biggest threat to this region is the Turkish army which has been launching attacks since October 2015 almost daily at the borders and on the front lines. In fact, all of the regional and international powers had no interest in seeing an independent and democratic force in Syria become strong, this includes western states, which just ignored TEV-DEM, and Russia which met with TEV-DEM, but with no common goals. Even Turkey, Syria and Iran met with TEV-DEM politicians (later the Democratic Self-Administration (DSA) founded in January 2014 as a democratic enlargement), but with the sole aim to incorporate it into their own bloc.

In the summer of 2014 IS was at the peak of its power. The world was shocked and considered it a new major threat. This was the case in the Middle East as well as in the rest of the world. This was also the time when forces of the KFM were resisting against IS in Şengal, the main settlement of the Kurdish Ezidis in Başur. In the beginning of August 2014 both the PKK and YPG/YPJ rescued up to 80.000 Ezidis and prevented a bigger genocide – it was not the “international community” that saved these people, but those who who were till then either considered “terrorists” or ignored. From that moment, the perception of the Kurds in general, particularly of Rojava and the PKK started to change. A US led global coalition against IS was formed, at first focused only on Iraq.

Then, the large IS attack on Kobanî happened in September 2014. The Kurds resisted with whatever they had. Tens of thousands of people in Bakur gathered continuously at the border to Kobanî in order to show solidarity and protest Turkish states support for the IS. Around a thousand crossed the border to fight the IS. Because of the global IS threat and the successful resistance in Şengal the international media were also present at the border. Never before did the Kurds get so much attention. They were recognized not only as suffering, but rather as resisting. Kobanî was now well known and well seen worldwide.

The resistance was strong, but it was not enough in the face of IS. Because of the Turkish embargo, the YPG/YPJ from Cizîre, the biggest region in Rojava, could not join the resistance. If that was not the case, there would have been a balance of forces and international support would not have been necessary.

During the first days of October 2014 the US publicly declared that it could see no hope, even if it was already bombing IS in parts of Syria. A few days later, the US started to bomb IS systematically in and around Kobanî city. The resistance in Kobanî, a big uprising in Bakur/Turkey and the global public request for Kobanî support were the main driving factors for that. This intervention in Kobanî started under specific political conditions and it was not clear how long it will last. Only after that, did serious negotiations happen.

Motivations for the US and Syrian Kurds

On the short-term, the main motivation for the US was seeing that the defeat of IS in Kobanî would be very beneficial for their own strategy in Syria and Iraq. Indeed, Kobanî became IS’ Stalingrad. For the revolution of Rojava the defense of Kobanî was crucial, otherwise it could be marginalized in Syria. This is how two forces opposed ideologically ended up having the same short term interests.

The bombing of IS gave the US a strong partner in Syria. This comes after the US along with Turkey and some of the Gulf states had been supporting armed opposition groups. These groups however, were unable to overthrow the regime and were becoming weaker, or becoming more and more extreme in their Islamic ideology. Furthermore, these groups were less committed to their western sponsors and more to Turkey and the Gulf sponsors, which the US saw with suspicion. This is why a cooperation with the YPG/YPJ promised to give the US more influence in Syria and having an active role in designing a new Syria.

In the beginning of the military cooperation the USA planned to subordinate Rojava militarily to the government of Başur. The notes of the talks on March 14, 2015 between several HDP (People’s Democratic Party) parliamentarians and the imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan state that the US exercised pressure on the YPG/YPJ to accept to be part of the PDK-Peshmerga commando structure, and that Öcalan took position against that. This did not happen, but the cooperation continued.

There are certainly other long-term motivations for the US to start the military cooperation with YPG/YPJ/SDF. One is to come back to the Middle East political scene and appear as a positive force after the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan which turned the US into an unwanted force in almost all Muslim majority countries.

This military engagement also served to limit the influence of Iran in Iraq which increased especially in the years until 2014. This became yet more important after Trump was elected.

Another reason is pressuring the Turkish government which has been moving away from its western allies in the last years. Turkey, has been trying to benefit from the conflicts between different powers, particularly the US and Russia to increase its influence in the Middle East. The support for Al Nusra and IS was part of this strategy while bypassing the embargo on Iran. For several years, the NATO has looked at these actions with suspicion. Turkey’s main concern in its international policies are the Kurds.

Furthermore, the US has actively supported the big parties PDK and YNK (PUK) in Başur since 1991 which led to a status of autonomy. There were expectations, among others, that the two parties would dominate the three other parts of Kurdistan and push back the KFM. But they failed. Instead, their corruption pushed Başur into a big economic and political crisis. Also, the PDK has been influenced by Turkey’s policies, especially by the sale of oil through Turkish pipelines.

Öcalan’s vision, on the other hand, is an inspiration for a new inclusive and democratic approach. Democratic Confederalism is the most powerful democratic concept in the Middle East. Millions of people in Bakur and Rojava had the possibility of experiencing it. Successful coalitions for democracy are formed with Turks, Arabs, Assyrians and others.

Neither the western states nor the Russian-Chinese block can propose anything to the multidimensional crisis of the Middle East – they are out of ideas. The discussion is almost only about “defeating terrorists, stability and building walls against refugees”.

The US wants to instrumentalize the KFM for its own interests either by taming the whole KFM or by disconnecting Rojava from the rest of the KFM. This could be done by offering more military support and international political support in exchange for promises of a strong political status within Syria if the DFNS would distance itself from Öcalan, and reject the KFM in Bakur (and the PKK), while giving more space to the PDK of Barzani and the YNK. However, since the beginning of the military cooperation in October 2014, there has not been much change in the balance of power and dependency between the two.

It would be much harder for the SDF to defend its territory without American military cooperation. The DFNS would be more vulnerable to attacks from Turkey and the Syrian regime, now that IS in no longer an existential threat. Now the SDF have much more fighters, technical capacities, motivations and thus a higher defense capacity, even if they had been defending their territory before US support.

Russia’s cooperation

The DFNS has important relations with Russia too, since 2012. Russia’s has multiple interests in this relationship, including that the SDF not deepen its military cooperation with the US.

For Russia this limited cooperation with the SDF can be used against Turkey, and the same goes for the US. While Turkey wanted to overthrow the Baath regime in the first years of the Syrian uprising, since 2016 it focuses almost only on limiting the growing power of the new democratic project in Rojava/Northern Syria. This approach of the Turkish government gives Russia the opportunity to play on the Turkish fears.

Having strong political-economic-military relations with Turkey, Russia allowed the Turkish army to invade the triangle region between Jarablus, Al-Bab and Azaz in Northern Syria, in return Turkey cut the support for armed groups in Aleppo. This invasion disconnected Kobanî and Afrîn. And with the Turkish army in Syria, Russia can exercise pressure on the SDF. This is the case especially around Afrîn, the site of the Turkish assault and where Russia has observation points it uses against both Turkey and SDF.

Russia has also been trying to seek an agreement between the growing DFNS and the Baath regime. The DFNS have repeatedly declared that they seek a strategic agreement with the Syrian regime which would make Syria democratic and federal. It has become public that the two sides have met several times. In these meetings, the Syrian regime was only ready to accept cultural rights for Kurds and a strengthening of municipalities, while the DFNS insisted that the reality of a broad democracy in Northern Syria and a basic democratization of Syria as a whole will be accepted. However, at the end of October 2017 the Syrian Foreign Minister, Walid Muallim, said that negotiations about autonomy for the Kurdish regions can be discussed, a surprising development. But this is a dangerous and unacceptable proposal because it would divide the Kurdish and Arabic regions. Here the DFNS is in a more advantageous situation and continues to insist to be accepted by the Baath regime as a federal region.

The DFNS considers its relations with Russia beneficial in several terms. One objective is to limit the attacks by the Turkish state against the SDF liberated territories. Another objective is to use Russia’s influence to pressure the Syrian regime to negotiate a democratic solution and include the DFNS in the international negotiations to end the armed conflict in Syria. The third objective is not to deepen the relations with the US and benefit from the conflicting interests of the two international and regional powers. However, both states have in their international policies the interest to stay in contact or even to develop ties with the Kurds which now includes also the KFM – even if it is tactical.

Characteristics of the cooperation

The military cooperation has often characterized by tensions. One big controversial discussion was over Minbiç (Manbij) which the SDF wanted liberated while the USA focused on Raqqa. The SDF launched its operation in Minbiç anyway without American support, and was already in the outskirts of the city when the US gave support to the operation, and finally achieving its goal on August 12, 2016. This case shows that the cooperation between the SDF and the US is not one-sided.

When at the end of August 2016, the Turkish army moved to occupy Jarablus, the SDF tried to reach the city and strike back at the Turkish army by pushing out IS from the south. Although the Turkish army suffered losses, it could take over Jarablus city while IS retreated within one day without fighting. Several days later a de-facto ceasefire between the SDF and the Turkish army was negotiated by the Americans and came into effect. But with the American support of the Turkish invasion, the coordination between the SDF and the US fell into crisis for several weeks.

Nonetheless, the SDF was able to resist quite successfully against the moving Turkish troops around Al-Bab. The fight only ended when Russia and the US sent soldiers to the front around Minbic.

The number of US soldiers in Northern Syria should not be exaggerated as they are not fighting on the ground, except in Raqqa city. They are however involved in training and coordination of arriving military equipment.

One month before the liberation of Raqqa, the SDF started the “Cizîre storm” operation to liberate the whole region east of the Euphrates river in the Deir Ez-Zor province. The SDF commanders stated that they were going to carry the operation even if the Americans were opposed to it because it was urgent: the Syrian army was progressing quickly towards Deir Ez-Zor city. The operation was successful.

Although there is military cooperation between the SDF and the US led Global Anti-IS Coalition, it is not possible to speak about a political cooperation. The US makes a clear distinction between the political and military dimension and have not insisted that the DFNS is part of the Geneva negotiations. Although the US government refused public accusations by Turkey that the YPG are terrorists using American weapons that will eventually fall in the hands of the PKK, it has never said anything positive in public about the political process in Rojava/Northern Syria. Until now, no leading figure from the DFNS or SDF was allowed to visit the US.

Although the military relationship with Russia is much less developed than with the US, politically Russia gave more direct and positive statements about the Syrian Kurds and the DFNS. For example in the beginning of 2017 Russia prepared a draft for a new constitution which included that Kurds should be involved in the international negotiations. Just recently Russia announced a “people’s congress of Syria” to which the PYD/Kurds would be invited.

Background of the war

The KFM says that what is happening in the Middle East is the Third World War with Syria at the very center, and there are three main forces: first is international imperialism represented mainly by the US and Russia ; second is the regional status quo powers with Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia as the main players with imperialist characteristics ; and third is the revolutionary and democratic forces led by the Rojava Revolution and the PKK. These three forces are fighting among one another and the result is complicated with continuously changing coalitions and armed conflicts. Each force develops relations with those who seem to be opposed to the enemy, in order to achieve their strategic interests.

This is related to the deep and structural crisis of capitalism experienced violently in the Middle East. It is not enough to have an ideological and political approach as many leftist and socialist organizations do, rather an organizational and military approach is crucial. Without being dogmatic, it is necessary to fight against threats, but also to be able to restructure one’s organization according to the conditions and to understand the dynamics and contradictions of other players in order to be able to benefit from them. The goal must be to defend the gains and build a strong self-organized society wherever it is possible to strengthen one’s own power. The creation of zones of freedom is not only possible with friendly forces. A dogmatic position will lead to the defeat, so each step needs to be calculated well, particularly for the Kurds who have been colonized by four nation-states. Because the KFM acts on this approach since its foundation, it could achieve the current level of strength. The stakes are high: either the forces of imperialism and capitalism win, or a new space for freedom is forged for humanity in the region, and this is why international and regional powers are fighting so violently to preserve the status quo.

The people in Rojava

Irrespective of all developments and discussions it is important to see how the military cooperation with the US affects the society of Rojava. There are two main questions. First, how do political activists and the population consider this military cooperation. And whether and how the economic-political-cultural structures have experienced any changes through this cooperation.

Between February and March 2017 I held around 50 interviews with political activists and people from different administrative bodies on their political work and the political-social situation. Apart from one person, no one regarded the military cooperation without any concerns. The interviewees said mostly that this cooperation has come up because of difficult conditions - particularly in Kobanî - and numerous enemies, but does not include a political dimension. For them the US is cooperating for its own interests and the cooperation is a tactical one. There was a clear awareness that the revolution should not rely on this military cooperation which could end at any time, but should try to benefit from it. The same goes for Russia. These were important answers based on a critical perception and far-sightedness. Activists continue to develop and deepen their political work and insist on a strongly self-organized society. I observed that in Rojava a self-organized and self-sufficient society includes more and stronger communes, people’s councils and other political structures, a communal economy which produces its own needs as much as possible, an independent education and health system and self-defense in all neighborhoods, communes and villages. This approach is connected to a 40 year experience of the KFM which never depended on any other political power. In the general political discussions, the military cooperation with the US was seldom a subject.

Like other political and social structures, the press of Rojava does not put the military cooperation in the center of the news. Rather the focus is on the political project of democratic federalism/autonomy, defense, liberation, the building of new structures in society and public demonstrations.

I met few people who expressed a big expectation from the US. The silence of the USA/NATO states when the Iraqi Army attacked Kirkuk after the referendum in Başur in September 25, 2017 has confirmed that a critical approach is crucial.

The efforts to build up communes everywhere never ceased after the start of the military cooperation with the US; rather the number of communes doubled. Also the creation of cooperatives continued; today there are a few hundred of cooperatives. The democratic-communal economy continues to be developed. The anti-capitalist mentality was stronger in 2017 than in 2014 when I traveled for the first time to Rojava.

In discussions with YPG and YPJ members there was not much attached value on the relations with the US: it certainly provided more military equipment, but the human is always the strongest weapon in a war.

A member of the YPG, who is in direct relations with commanders in all areas, told me that the US military never tried to impose anything directly or tried to intervene in the political-social-economic model or life because they are aware that the SDF and DFNS would never accept any kind of intervention in their internal policies. He also emphasized that they are prepared for an end of the military cooperation with the US Army at any time. According to him the cooperation has some serious advantages, but has also risks. Particularly to get used to the US support over time is a risk which needs to be discussed permanently, thus the YPG has to take measures. Another challenge is that because of the US presence within Syria the disputes with the Syrian regime should not end up in a big war because the DFNS wants to come to a mutual and respectful agreement with the Ba’ath regime.

About whether the SDF coordination has fears that the cooperation could change the interest and political vision of the fighters, he said: “We believe that we have a strong political project with Democratic Confederalism which is an inspiring tool for us. What kind of ideas offer does the US or other states offer to us? We have a stronger democracy which is direct and inclusive and a gender liberation in rapid development. Most importantly, we have a vision for a new life for the people of the greater region. What the capitalist states have, is money, weapons and democracy in structural crisis, not more.”

I spoke to dozens of international volunteers who are still coming to join the Rojava revolution, mainly from Europe or North America. Most had a positive position on the development in Northern Syria and wanted to stay longer and learn how people organize themselves, discuss and share what they have.

The many internationalists do not consider the military cooperation between SDF and USA as an obstacle for their engagement in Northern Syria. There are at least several hundred internationalists, not counting the Arabs, Turks and other people of the Middle East. This fact should be considered when people only see the cooperation with the US and neglect all the other deep revolutionary and social developments in Northern Syria.

But if the US ends the military cooperation without any peace agreement for Syria, the SDF controlled territory would be more vulnerable to big military attacks from the Turkish army and the Syrian regime. This would mean a new intensification of the whole Syrian conflict with an unclear outcome. Furthermore, the continuing cooperation could develop over time into a dependency of the DFNS/SDF on the US due to deteriorating conditions in Northern Syria.

The risks of the military cooperation with the US are debated openly. And the population understands the positive and negative sides which creates a sort of immunity against dependency.

Another mechanism against dependency is to benefit from the contradictions between all powers involved in the Syrian war. For instance by maintaining relations with Russia which is interested to have relations with the Kurds in Syria and Iraq for its own long-term interests.

For the KFM it was possible to survive within the Syrian war thanks to the “revolutionary diplomacy”, while developing a new political model, first in Rojava and then in other parts of Northern Syria. The revolutionary diplomacy includes permanent evaluation in order to see upcoming risks as well as initiatives to be active in these political and military cooperations.

Another important mechanism – of course also a principle - is to develop the international solidarity with the revolution of Rojava and in general with the KFM, for instance with the internationalists who would transfer the revolution to their countries, or the continuous political work on international level. The resistance in Kobanî has created a solidarity movement worldwide, but it is not strong enough. International solidarity should not be underestimated as anti-revolutionary forces lobby against the revolution at all stages. Only a strong international solidarity – also in the Middle East - with this revolution will make the revolutionaries less dependent on military cooperations with the US.

If the revolution of Rojava would fail, this would probably be a setback for democratic and revolutionary forces in Kurdistan, Syria and also the Middle East and the world. Its survival and development, however, has the big potential to change the mindsets of millions of people in Middle East.

mashrek / arabia / irak / imperialismo / guerra / comunicato stampa Sunday January 28, 2018 17:41 byDevrimci Anarşist Faaliyet

Afrîn appartiene alla gente di Afrîn. La gente che vive nel cantone di Afrîn è nata in questa terra e vuole morire su di essa. Vivere lì non ha nulla a che fare con nessun piano o programma. Gli abitanti di Afrîn non vivono nel cantone di Afrîn per motivi strategici. Afrîn, per loro, è l’acqua, il pane, il cibo, il gioco, la storia, l’amicizia, la solidarietà, l’amore, la strada, la casa, il vicinato. Ma per lo Stato non è che un pezzo di una strategia. Una strategia che non si preoccupa certo della terra di Afrîn o della sua gente. [Türkçe] [English] [Castellano] [Ελληνικά] [Français]

L’aggressione militare contro il cantone di Afrîn è inserito nella strategia della guerra dell’Energia, che risulta dallo smantellamento della Siria e che porterà allo smantellamento di altri Stati della regione. Gli Stati creano l’illusione di fare queste guerre per “i loro cittadini”. Costruiscono una propaganda nazionalista conservatrice per convincere i loro abitanti di false credenze. Per gli Stati questo è un bisogno ineludibile sia sul fronte interno che su quello esterno. Sono menzogne necessarie per il fronte elettorale all’interno, e utili per i tavoli dii negoziato sul fronte estero. I dirigenti che prendono parte ai processi commerciali, in particolare l’estrazione, il trasporto e la commercializzazione delle risorse energetiche utilizzano ogni possibile risorsa per accrescere i loro profitti.

In queste discussioni, in cui il numero di fucili, di tanks e di aerei da guerra è importante, il numero dei soldati ha un suo posto fondamentale. Un soldato non è differente da una merce. Ecco dunque che serve l’illusione nazionalista conservatrice.

Chi si unirebbe a una guerra in cui solo qualcun altro ci guadagna? Chi combattebbe per il petrolio, che è sempre venduto dagli Stati o dalle Compagnie petrolifere, ma di cui una goccia costa più del pane? Noi, quelli che vivono sulla propria pelle la montata crescente dei prezzi causata dall’aumento del prezzo del petrolio, noi che perdiamo comunque, perchè dovremmo combattere per chi ci guadagna comunque? E infatti, nessuno di noi combatterebbe per loro. Per questo hanno bisogno del nazionalismo e del conservatorismo.

E oggi, loro urlano dai giornali e dai canali televisivi lo slogal nell’illusione: “La Nazione, la Nazione, la Nazione”. Volontà nazionale, unità nazionale. Non potranno mai dire chiaramente ” Vi stiamo derubando” , oppure “Combattete, così vi venderemo del petrolio , e chissà cos’ altro. Noi continueremo a farvi produrre, a farvi consumare, a sfruttarvi”. Ecco il piano, il programma, la strategia, la guerra degli Stati. Noi, quelli che stanno in basso, forzatamente cittadini e cittadine degli Stati, possiamo però cambiare tutto. Oggi, gli abitanti di Afrîn vivono liberamente perchè sono riusciti a cambiare tutto. Così come nel cantone di Kobanê, nel cantone di Cizere o nel Chiapas Zapatista. Ed è lì la differenza cruciale tra la guerra popolare e la guerra degli Stati. Nelle loro guerre, gli Stati attaccano e brutalizzano senza rispettare nessuna regola, per accrescere i profitti. Bombardano con tutti i loro tank e i loro aerei. Feriscono, uccidono, assassinano e sarebbero contenti di fare prigioniera ogni forma di vita. Mentre nella guerra popolare c’è la libertà.

Nel corso degli ultimi giorni, ognuna delle bombe lanciate su Afrîn, ogni proiettile, è stato un attacco alla libertà. Lo stato Turco, a cui piacerebbe aumentare la propria fetta di torta, ha lanciato la sua offensiva sul cantone di Afrîn. E’ una strategia fondata sul nazionalismo, sul conservatorismo e basata su menzogne. E’ una strategia elettorale. E’ una strategia completamente commerciale. La guerra di Stato è una strategia. Ma la guerra popolare è la libertà. E nessuno Stato può sconfiggere chi lotta per la libertà.

Afrîn vincerà.

Devrimci Anarşist Faaliyet (DAF) Turchia

traduzione a cura di Alternativa Libertaria

amérique du nord / mexique / luttes dans la communauté / communiqué de presse Friday January 26, 2018 22:48 byCollectif anarchiste Emma Goldman

Il y a quelque temps, au Saguenay, Michael Labbé, un compagnon Autochtone participant de plusieurs éditions de la Marmite Autogérée, a rendu l’âme au cours de l’incendie tragique de la maison de chambres où il avait trouvé toit.

Il y a quelque temps, au Saguenay, Michael Labbé, un compagnon Autochtone participant de plusieurs éditions de la Marmite Autogérée, a rendu l’âme au cours de l’incendie tragique de la maison de chambres où il avait trouvé toit. De la triste nouvelle, nous trouvions un énième rappel du prix du sang à payer par les plus pauvres et les gagnes-petits dans la Guerre de l’espace que nous livrent spéculateurs et embourgeoiseurs dans les centres-villes. Plus récemment, c’était au tour de la maison de chambres aux conditions les plus difficiles, le « 21 Price », de passer au feu. Le sang et les larmes qui coulent n’ont ému en rien les serviles bonnes gens à la recherche de « bonheurs » individuels. Au spectacle, nous sommes des corps-déchets.

Dans cette Guerre de l’espace qui fait rage, les pauvres doivent s’entasser dans de minuscules logis hors de prix et non-sécuritaires tandis que les bourgeois accumulent tellement de place qu’ils ne trouvent plus rien n’en faire à part de gigantesques stationnements. Depuis plusieurs années, le Collectif anarchiste Emma Goldman et ses allié-e-s cherchent à opposer une résistance dans le centre-ville de Chicoutimi. Sans plus attendre, nous avons cherché à tisser des solidarités et réseauter les actions sous diverses formes. Il y a eu autour d’une dizaine de Marmites Autogérées, événements durant lesquels nous avons occupé des espaces publics pour distribuer des repas, partager des biens inutilisés, partager nos créations, partager nos idées, partager bien plus encore. Nous avons réalisé des journaux et des films pour documenter l’embourgeoisement de la ville et des projections publiques pour que l’on mette ensemble le doigt sur de nombreux problèmes. Durant plus d’un an, nous avons maintenu l’Espace Social Libre, un centre social autogéré ouvert à tous et toutes. Sans financement et sans solliciter les permissions des autorités, nous avons soutenu le développement de formes créatives de résistance et cherché à insuffler un esprit d’auto-organisation dans le quartier. Le Parc du 19 Juillet, un espace au coin des rues Tessier et Jacques-Cartier laissé à l’abandon par la ville, en attente de promoteurs, a aussi été le terrain d’occupations durant plusieurs étés déjà. Dans la Guerre de l’espace, nous avons réquisitionné et aménagé ce parc. Au cours de la prochaine année, nous allons intensifier nos actions pour que le terrain soit cédé de manière permanente pour les usages des habitants et habitantes du quartier. Nous n’oublions pas nos camarades disparu-e-s, nous ne pardonnons pas aux promoteurs crapuleux et leur monde. Les morts vont prendre leur revanche.

Collectif anarchiste Emma Goldman
25 janvier 2018

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Rojava: Mensaje urgente de un compañero anarquista en Afrin

Rojava: Mensaje urgente de un compañero anarquista en Afrin

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