Arthur Aberlin on the difficult navigation between temporary alliances of the YPG with imperialist powers and their unavoidable abandonment.
YPG-Training camp for international volunteers, canton of Cizîrê, May 24th, 2017
This is an old saying which means that throughout history the Kurds could only rely on themselves in their fight against oppression and I think this sums up pretty well how they perceive the help provided by imperialist powers for their fight against Daesh. We openly discuss this matter with the YPG-fighters and leaders. They have no illusions about the motivations behind the support they receive from the USA, France and Russia.
So why do they accept this poisoned gift? I think, as I said in my previous post, they have no choice. Should the YPG have refused this help, which would have lead to the total destruction of their revolutionary project, only to preserve some political pureness? Should they have taken the risk of their families and comrades getting massacred by Daesh, just not to be called “traitors” by some pencil-theorists?
Temporarily converging interests
Even now, the air strikes protect the lives of many YPG and YPJ-fighters. “What if the air strikes stop?” we asked. The comrades answered: “Well, we will continue to fight as we did before.” The Kurdish comrades make it clear that they don’t want any alliance with imperialists but that the air strikes are the result of temporarily converging interests.
The Kurdish movement doesn’t forget that the CIA and Mossad are primarily responsible for the arrest of Abdullah Öcalan in Kenya in the 1990s. And that currently the western imperialist powers deliberately ignore the deportations, massacres, use of chemical weapons in Bakur (Turkish Kurdistan), only a few kilometers behind the frontier.
This duplicity of the imperialist states only confirms the idea that the Kurds have about the essence of state entities. To them, nation states are cold monsters that will never govern the interests of the people. They are construction that serve to oppress and enslave. They know very well that when they will have to chose, the imperialists will prefer their alliance with Turkey, an important member of the NATO despite its support to Daesh, to their temporary support to the values of the YPG fighters.
Playing for time...
What is more, the YPG have learned to play the game of contradictions between the imperialists – especially between US-Americans and Russians – by carefully never choosing either side. These imperialists will certainly support us until the downfall of Daesh, just as they have supported other movements without sharing their convictions ; history gives us plenty of examples.
In the meanwhile, every life of a revolutionary we can save, every minute we win by navigating between these alliances, allow us to bring the revolution forward and to prepare for the unavoidable abandonment.
I started this post with a quote, I will end it in the same way with – just the once will not hurt – a saying by Lenin: “The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.”
Makes some valid points but -
Makes some valid points but - Navigation skills exercised by the smaller powers through the complexities of the shifting alliances of both the major global powers and bigger regional powers may provide breathing spaces for survival within the existing power relations but not progress towards the defeat of global capitalism.