The myth of the Rojava revolution: a reading list

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Craftwork
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Mar 24 2018 19:07
The myth of the Rojava revolution: a reading list

- The Bloodbath in Syria: Class War or Ethnic War? - http://www.leftcom.org/en/articles/2014-10-31/the-bloodbath-in-syria-cla...
- Rojava: reality and rhetoric - Gilles Dauvé and T.L. - https://libcom.org/library/rojava-reality-rhetoric-gilles-dauv%C3%A9-tl
- Rojava: the fraud of a non-existent social revolution - https://libcom.org/library/rojava-fraud-non-existent-social-revolution
- Internationalism is the only response to the Kurdish issue - https://en.internationalism.org/icconline/201304/7373/internationalism-o...
- Abdula Ocalan - The life work of a “liberator”... - http://www.leftcom.org/en/articles/2000-10-01/abdula-ocalan-the-life-wor...
- In Rojava: People’s War is not Class War - http://www.leftcom.org/en/articles/2014-10-30/in-rojava-people%E2%80%99s...
- Rojava in the Vortex of Inter-Imperialist Antagonisms - https://internationalistperspective.org/article/rojava-in-the-vortex-of-...
- Report of a meeting organized by internationalist comrades from Kurdistan - https://libcom.org/news/report-meeting-organized-internationalist-comrad...
- Is the defense of Afrin proletarian internationalism? - https://libcom.org/blog/defense-afrin-proletarian-internationalism-05032...
- An anarchist in love with Mao’s China - Herbert Read’s ‘letters from China’ ... Plus a list of dubious accounts of ‘successful’ revolutions, from Russia to Rojava - https://libcom.org/library/anarchist-love-mao%E2%80%99s-china-herbert-re...
- ‘I have seen the future and it works.’ – Critical questions for supporters of the Rojava revolution - https://libcom.org/library/%E2%80%98i-have-seen-future-it-works%E2%80%99...
- The grim reality of the Rojava Revolution - from an anarchist eyewitness - https://libcom.org/library/grim-reality-rojava-revolution-anarchist-eyew...
- A Letter to ‘Rojavist’ Friends - https://libcom.org/news/letter-%E2%80%98rojavist%E2%80%99-friends-120820...
- The Chameleons of Rojava - https://libcom.org/news/chameleons-rojava-23092016
- Negri, Harvey, Graeber, Wallerstein, Holloway, the cult of Abdullah Ocalan and the Rojava Revolution - https://libcom.org/library/negri-harvey-graeber-wallerstein-holloway-cul...
- Dear cheerleaders, we need to have a chat about imperialism - https://libcom.org/blog/dear-cheerleaders-we-need-have-chat-about-imperi...
- PKK, Democratic Confederalism, and Nonsense - https://libcom.org/library/pkk-democratic-confederalism-nonsense-%E2%80%...
- Stalinist caterpillar into libertarian butterfly? The evolving ideology of the PKK - https://libcom.org/history/stalinist-caterpillar-libertarian-butterfly-e...
- On David Graeber: 'Victory in Kobane. What next in the Rojava revolution?’ - https://libcom.org/library/david-graeber-%E2%80%98victory-kobane-what-ne...

Reports of abuse and ethnic cleansing via NGOs:
- Syria: US ally’s razing of villages amounts to war crimes - https://www.amnesty.org/en/press-releases/2015/10/syria-us-allys-razing-...
- Abuses in PYD-run Enclaves of Syria - https://www.hrw.org/report/2014/06/19/under-kurdish-rule/abuses-pyd-run-...

Burgers
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Mar 25 2018 07:15

Cheers for putting this together.

Salvoechea
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Mar 25 2018 09:11

This is a sample of selfdefeatism in left. Unable to empatize with popular processes with the excuse of ideology. Citing Amnesty or HRW, a tool of western imperialism after accusing kurds of being a puppet of US strategy is quite laughable. These NGO have not said a word about Afrin while agitating for East Goutha.

By the way, I wonder if there is an ongoing imperialist infiltration in radical left by demobilising and dividing international left opinion and action. An example of this is the role of anarchist in Venezuela, a few of them publicly working for an NGO largely funded by Soros.

You won't support Rojava? right. But denying there's a progressive society being born in there when there're thounsands of international witnesses or when there're anarchist or communists comrades dying every two or three days is at least suspictious. Who are you supporting? Al-Assad's government? Turkey? Islamic Status?

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R Totale
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Mar 25 2018 10:37
Salvoechea wrote:
Citing Amnesty or HRW, a tool of western imperialism after accusing kurds of being a puppet of US strategy is quite laughable. These NGO have not said a word about Afrin while agitating for East Goutha.

I'm also not completely convinced how much use this list is, but it is worth pointing out that the above statement is just factually untrue. A few seconds' googling brings up, for example:
Syria: Hundreds of civilian lives at risk as Afrin offensive escalates (Amnesty)
Syria: Civilian Deaths in Turkish Attacks May Be Unlawful (HRW)

By all means, argue against the perspectives of the above texts, but I don't think there's much use in making false claims when doing so.

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Alf
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Mar 25 2018 16:23

http://en.internationalism.org/icconline/201412/11625/anarchism-and-impe...

This also focuses on the question of Rojava, though in a broader historical context

Spikymike
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Mar 25 2018 16:57

Perhaps Salvoechea has been infiltrated by imperialist interests seeking to divide genuine internationalist anarchists and communists - difficult to tell.

meerov21
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Mar 29 2018 10:15

How

ajjohnstone
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Mar 26 2018 12:49

With extreme difficulty, if the members lack political astuteness

Gustav Noske, the butcher of 1919, a year previously was appointed chairman of the Workers and Soldiers Council in Kiel as being SPD he was viewed as an ally. Within days he had restored the authority of the officers.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustav_Noske

Salvoechea
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Mar 26 2018 13:39

I do have a couple of friends in Rojava, so I have some first hand info. Nevertheless, I do support PYD above other political actors in Syria, as it leads to a democratic and free society quite better than the society that russians, assadists, turks, or yihadist could ever build. Maybe there're still some rebel communities with some democratic and grassroot structures... we don't know. But afaik those communes were destroyed by yihadists. Probably the democratic confederalist paradigma is not perfect, but hell, I would prefer to live under it than under Assad's or Iran rule.

Do they have help from the USA? They've said it. When people reads about an anarchist revolution in the Spain 1936, we tend to forget that CNT/anarchist had, in fact, allies. They were the socialist party, the communist party, republicans, catalan and basque burgeosie, and even some states like USSR, Mexico or France during some months. CNT managed to buy weapons in Hamburg (nazis) through a complicate deal that lead to be politically attacked by communists. Some of those alliances (for instance with UGT) lasted through all francoism. Whatever, they were in the middle of a war - not only a revolution - and had to do everything to survive. the same as kurds.

Do you think - imagine we had a country with industry - they won't prefer to be aided by a leftist society that by the USA (the same guys helped to lock their leader Ocallan)? Do you think they're idiot? They're doing everything to survive. And in my point of view they need to have a deal with Al Assad, but they're not going to do it because they don't see it useful for their needs.

meerov21
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Mar 26 2018 16:32

[i]ajjohnstone With extreme difficulty, if the members lack political astuteness
Gustav Noske, the butcher of 1919, a year previously was appointed chairman of the Workers and Soldiers Council in Kiel as being SPD he was viewed as an ally. Within days he had restored the authority of the officers.
[/i]

That's a different question. In Germany there were real Council of workers ' deputies, and not imitation (imitation with one-party system). Therefore, there were different factions. This does not mean libertarian faction necessarily win. It can lose and stay in the minority. But the basis of the social revolution is the direct democracy of the councils. It is not a guarantee of the success of the revolution. It is a necessary but not sufficient condition of success. But if it is not here, then there is no subject for talks about the social revolution.

Spikymike
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Apr 25 2018 10:48

Maybe add this text to the list as well:
https://libcom.org/library/international-communist-party-kurdish-nationa...

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R Totale
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Nov 24 2018 19:35

This article is intended as pro-Rojava, but you can definitely read it as an interesting expose of the elements of cultish authoritarianism that linger below the new libertarian rhetoric:

Quote:
Confronted with the un-militant aspects of my own personality – frivolity [my emphasis], a weakness for drugs and alcohol, a tendency to solitude – I have struggled to overcome them...
“It can’t be revolution all the time,” Renas hollered in my ear as we pogoed around the wedding-hall, “sometimes we have to celebrate as well.” Against my better judgement, my heart agreed...
Just as it is not my place to tell young Syrians they should not flee their war-ravaged country, I do not think it is my place to tell them they should not disco-dance at weddings if they want to.

But it is our responsibility as internationalists to model a different way of life as best we can. After that conversation with the driver, I resolved to renew my efforts to be a 24/7 militant here in the commune, rather than seeing my revolutionary responsibilities as finished when my formal work is done for the day.

What would Emma Goldman say?

Battlescarred
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Nov 26 2018 07:43

I've edited this post as the information provided comes from Turkish sources and may indeed be fake news. Untiil there is corroboration from more reliable sources that the Saudis and UAE are realy invested in Syria, disregard previous posting

redschlog
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Nov 25 2018 15:39
Quote:
When people reads about an anarchist revolution in the Spain 1936, we tend to forget that CNT/anarchist had, in fact, allies. They were the socialist party, the communist party, republicans, catalan and basque burgeosie, and even some states like USSR, Mexico or France during some months.

Salvoechea you must have been drinking from the Anarchist-Communist matey meme stream. The communists were the ones who suppressed the free communes (!) in Aragon and closed down the revolution (as they always do). And then encouraged the bourgeois government to indulge in disastrous set piece battles. With allies like these who needs enemies.

redschlog
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Nov 25 2018 15:43

It's an interesting analogy though. Just like Russia and their local allies fucked over anarchist Spain, the US is likely to fuck over Rojava.

Flint
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Dec 3 2018 22:12
Battlescarred wrote:
I've edited this post as the information provided comes from Turkish sources and may indeed be fake news. Untiil there is corroboration from more reliable sources that the Saudis and UAE are realy invested in Syria, disregard previous posting

Setting aside the largely one-sided and repetitive portrayal of Rojava from a highly critical to the point of total rejection perspective (including the jihadist "Chameleons of Rojava" article) of the originating "reading list" post, allow me to confirm that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have stated they intend to fund reconstruction in northeastern Syria (particularly Raqqa) in amounts of $100 million from Saudi Arabia and $50 million from UAE. That these pledges have been made are documented in numerous sources and there is little reason to doubt that these governments have made these pledges, prompted by Trump's freezing of $230 million pledged to Syria reconstruction. Whether they follow through remains to be seen. Is $150 million sufficient for reconstruction in Northeastern Syria? Probably not. Is $150 million enough to rebuild Raqqa? Probably not.

U.S. raises $300 million from allies for Syria stabilization, Reuters

Saudi Arabia Says It’s Given $100 Million to Northeast Syria, VOA News

Saudi Arabia to Contribute $100 Million to U.S.-Backed Efforts in Syria, Wall Street Journal

I'm not really committed to engaging in discussion in this forum on this topic, but I thought I would confirm this statement.