Anarchists join fight against IS to defend Kurdish autonomous areas

Anarchists join fight against IS to defend Kurdish autonomous areas

Taken from a report by the French Anarchist weekly paper Alternative Revolutionaire this short article gives a taste of developements on the ground in the fight against Islamic State.

On Friday 26th September Alternative Libetaire reported that "Istanbul anarchists along other leftists and feminists, have managed to cross over into Syria and the northern town of Kobane which is currently threatened by ISIS.”

“For several days at the Syrian-Turkish border, the city of Kobanê is besieged by forces of the Islamic State (Daesh). Kobanê is a strategic turning point. If the city falls, the whole of Syrian Kurdistan is threatened, and with it a political and social model, that of "democratic autonomy" and "democratic confederalism" built since July 2012.

More than 100,000 inhabitants and residents have become refugees on Turkish territory.
The city is defended by the People’s Protection Units (YPG), militias linked to the PKK, and in which alongside the majority of Kurdish fighters, are also Arabs, Turks, Muslims, Yazidis, Christians or atheists, united against the fanatics of Daesh/ISIS.

Thousands of young people, socialists, trade unionists, revolutionaries, feminists, libertarians have poured in from all over Turkey to Kobanê. They go there to support the refugees and defend the city.
The Turkish army tries to disperse them, yet is accused of being much more permissive with the jihadists who are also trying to cross the border to join Daesh/ISIS

Despite the blockades of the Turkish army, hundreds of activists and militants have managed to cross the border. Among them, the comrades of the Revolutionary Anarchist Action Group, who made the trip to Istanbul to join the defence of Kobanê.

Posted By

Glimmer
Oct 3 2014 21:42

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kurekmurek
Oct 11 2014 00:33

Leo:

1)

Quote:
Mehmet Cahit Sener

Yeah I replied to that above. I also mentioned stuff about killing your own comrades a little more above.

2)

Quote:
In English, presumably. If you read Turkish, you'll see that the internet is full of reports of such incidents. You can even find interviews with some of the victims.

What report? You mean reports like this: http://arama.hurriyet.com.tr/arsivnews.aspx?id=3886942
But come on You know this is from a news paper whose motto is "Turkey is owned by Turks" (not fictionally it is written everyday under their name in newspaper Hürriyet) This is what I mean by state propaganda.

3) Yeah but these are the same quotes given to same text again again and again, so if you qoute something that means it becomes hard evidence! Even the quote itself is not agressive itself, it is very egoistic maybe but. Come on do we condemn people now just by that, why are we obssesed to prove this without any evidence?

4)

Quote:
Believe what you want but if you have any direct contact with the radical millieu in Turkey don't claim that you don't know about any of this because everyone here knows.

Sorry where are you? Unfortunately this debates proved me over and over that people can believe in stuff without any proof. Again you are making stuff up! don't do that please.

5)

Quote:
No. People tend not to when they are teenagers.

Seriously? seriously? people tend not to know? what people, the abstract people that becomes baby, child, teenager, (wo)man elder etc...? Or you mean a Kurdish child in 90's in Istanbul that is educated in a language that is foreign to him/herself, so (s)he constantly becomes alienated from school. Or a Kurdish boy that tries to hide the Kurdish newspaper he delivers from cops. Or a Turkish teenager that is humiliated by cops as his ID indicates he is from Diyarbakır (the capital of Kurdistan) Or child that attacks cops with stones? What you discuss is so far away from any realities of the Kurds situation I really do not get it where are you from? How come you are totally oblivious to all these?

6)

Quote:
No, however joining the PKK is not really a good alternative.

I am really sick of answering people back that on what right you judge Kurdish women. This debate itself become meaningless. Maybe they act intelligent and ask you what to do you.

7)

Quote:
My analysis of the "Kurdish women's movement" is that it doesn't exist, that the PKK is actually a deeply macho and male-dominated organization which doesn't really challenge the patriarchal family institution in Kurdistan and its propaganda about liberating women has solely the aim of recruiting the women who have to run away from the horrors of the patriarchy and it thus exploits this situation. Your mockery of the influence of the family in Kurdistan shows that you have no idea what you are talking about.

but how you get such huge amounts of knowledge? maybe out of your ass? This is debated so much times enough is enough. please watch this stupid video I am tired: http://vimeo.com/107639261

And I congratulate you, as now you again managed to accomplish to reply back without anything new. (except finding the quote whose origin can not be found in two more other texts) Still no incident, no policy, no witness to nothing you just continue to shout your totally subjective point as if it is whole of the truth.

Tyrion
Oct 11 2014 00:44

These recent posts are really a sad reflection of how even "radicals" are far from free of the toxic influence of patriarchy.

Leo
Oct 11 2014 00:48

Kurremkarmerruk, since you've started saying that even Ocalan's quote admitting his actions is not that bad, you are openly and consciously an apologist for rape and I have no interest in discussing with you any further.

Marx-Trek
Oct 11 2014 02:47

This is ridiculous.

Any updates on the Kurdish struggle against ISIS?

Tyrion
Oct 11 2014 03:03

Yes, objecting to rape apologism and sexual abuse is so ridiculous when there's far more important matters for anarchist men to discuss.

Marx-Trek
Oct 11 2014 03:59

Oh my god now wanting to discuss the situation in Kobane and Kurdish resistance is about being a rape apologist. And yes, this is still ridiculous (don't get it twisted and try to accuse people of being rape apologists or staunch supporters of one man or his sexual activity).

I am interested in what armed left wing women are doing against ISIS not about Ocalans sexual activities (true or false). I would love to see the commentators on here who are derailing the conversation about Kobane and Kurdish resistance have a discussion with Dilar Dirik.

kurremkarmerruk the Dilar Dirik talk is amazing!

Marx-Trek
Oct 11 2014 04:05

Please keep Libcom.org a site for deeper discussion and not trolling or sub-pop-cultural anarchists snippets, please use anarchistnews.org for such internet behavior.

Marx-Trek
Oct 11 2014 04:20
Marx-Trek
Oct 11 2014 04:57

Tyrion I agree with you, these comments are a sad reflection of lack luster analysis and gross generalizations of an entire dynamic movement that is currently at war with ISIS and defending itself specifically on feminist grounds and yet people have to nerve to simplify their efforts, struggle, and deaths as nothing more than brainwashed cultist sex slaves.

If arming yourself and fighting against extremist reactionary forces is sex slavery then I could only imagine what horror women, anarchist feminists, and pro anarchists feminists (myself included) in the West have to endure in order to be able to look at what is happening in Rojava and think the need to be doing more to fight against sexism.

Again, I am not claiming that any of these leftist groups in the region are free from productive critique but from what I critiques raised here sound more like the Turkish op-ed pieces I read on the issue.

What is troubling is that Turkish rightwing nationalist groups are mounting attacks against minorities and the Kurds are currently fighting ISIS. Sounds like a hot, hot situation.

Does anyone have any good articles or exposes on that Turkish nationalist group wolf something or another...?

bastarx
Oct 11 2014 05:06

Marx-Trek that entire dynamic movement at war with ISIS includes such staunch defenders of human freedom as the US Navy and Royal Australian Airforce.

Looks like the media have hit on the right formula in this age of identity politics for getting a whole swag of leftists to line up behind US humanitarian military intervention.

Marx-Trek
Oct 11 2014 05:27

bastarx, we have already covered your statement concerning anyone who is interested and stands in solidarity with the seemingly autonomous fighters in Rojava as being merely US imperialist lapdogs.

Here we go again, I just do not follow the logic that because you support people who are fighting for their own interests and are defending themselves against ISIS is somehow open approval of US capitalist intervention for other motives than revolutionary struggle within the Kurdish region.

Are you political convictions so frail and your need to be the sole actor for "what is right" and if you are not the sole actor or defender of some cause it somehow is cheapened and no longer worthy of support or an attempt to understand it. The people living in the region of Kurdistan were fighting long before ISIS or US airstrikes rained down, and they will continue to fight for their interests long after ISIS is gone. Seriously, the US for its own ends acts and this somehow trumps the desire and worthiness of feminist forces fighting against ISIS? If some fucking nation wanted to drop a bunch of bombs on the reactionary force I was engaged in bloody deadly warfare, good I don't care. After that battle I still would not owe my alligiance to any nation, I would continue to fight against my enemies regardless if they carry the black flag of ISIS with beheadings or they are 19 year old marines thinking they are saving the world.

I am sorry but get some perspective, have an analysis, and attempt to understand what is going on.

With that kind of logic, gays who are not up to your radical pureness should not be even passively supported because at the end of the day they just want to get married and that is nothing more than capitalist patriarchy nonsense. Teachers who want better work conditions and better schools for children should not be supported unless they are pure enough radicals.

Again, I recommend you watch the New World Summit talk on Rojava and read the prior posts on here.

Marx-Trek
Oct 11 2014 05:33

Anyone got any thing to say about this group or action. I know its from August of this year but still interesting.

http://www.anarsihaber.org/izmirde-rojava-katliamina-karsi-eylem

Marx-Trek
Oct 11 2014 06:22

antifa support for Kurdish resistance: http://www.antifa.de/cms/

Marx-Trek
Oct 11 2014 08:28

Whats next? Franz Fanon is a fraud?

kurekmurek
Oct 11 2014 09:38

I am outside now. I will translate some news on current situation of protest in turkey now. I am reading this it seems to be very informative http://roarmag.org/2014/10/kurdistan-kobane-turkey-isis/

bastarx
Oct 11 2014 09:29

If disagreeing with you means I don't have a perspective or analysis then there's no possibility of argument is there?

kurekmurek
Oct 11 2014 11:00

They really startex to do good reporting this roarmaghttp://roarmag.org/2014/10/kobane-human-shields-turke/

teh
Oct 11 2014 11:53

1) Why is women fighting as soldiers supposed to be seen as some sort of egalitarian measure? Is men serving in armies something beneficial to them and/or is egalitarian? In the same light is more women placed in positions in the managerial class or as MPs based on quotas also egalitarian?

2) Where is 'Kurds will be massacred if this one city falls' coming from? Sure combatants that IS refers to a "communists" will be but Kurds as a ethnicity as keeps being suggested- I don't know where this is coming from. IS (as well as Kobanes FSA defenders) targets civilian populations based on sect not ethnicity. IS has Kurds fighting in its army. Maybe not in great as numbers as an ethnic based army like YPG but it hasn't captured as much Kurdish majority territory yet so they haven't gotten a large enough recruitment base yet.

3) The secular army that has been fighting IS for three years now and has allowed Konabe to stay in YPGs hands for this long is the SAA. Why hasn't the passionate defense shown here for the PYG been shown to the Baath government of Syria? The only thing that has prevented the minority sects of Syria from going the way of the 'blacks' of Libya or the Serbs of Croatia is the Syrian government headed by president Assad. Yet apart from some Syrian expatriates and a narrow layer of progeny of the pro-Soviet bloc left in the West most political people have been rooting for the forces trying to overthrow this government. Maybe I don't watch enough Western television (though I think I do) or get too much news stories from a narrow base on Twitter but it seem to me that I've overlooked some media campaign that has been driving this sentiment. Suddenly people are worried about Islamist atrocities and the like. Where was this when Kessab fell? Ok that was with Al-Qaeda and other non-IS jihadist groups that aren't conquering the Western client state in Iraq but is that it? Or is it political support for the PKK?. Coming back to question 2 why are Kurds being equated with PKK. There were a bunch of Islamist groups in Kurdistan attacked by the PKK but the media-and I think here- didn't refer to them as Kurd based, even though they arent any less than the PKK.

4) Why are we supposed to side with the Sunni Kurds against the Sunni Arabs (sticking with the PKK=all legitimate Kurds thesis)? I don't know much about the rural population of Syria where the Islamists come from apart from that supposedly Baath liberalization hurt their lot economically but in neighboring Iraq, where IS is originally from, opposition to the US installed Shia Islamist neocolonial order was crushed by sectarian cleansing culminating in the cleansing of Baghdad during 'the surge.' These people have lived in continuous violence of the West for at least 23 years (and on and off since the Ottomans were destroyed). If they are defeated they- as a people- will suffer greatly. Capturing/controlling the border with a NATO state away from a hostile terrorist organization is crucial for them in this respect.

5) Women have fought on all sides in the Syrian civil war. Women soldiers is not unusual, being used as gi jane pin ups is more rare however. This is what the IDF does, borrowing from via its 'socialist' heritage from the Bolshevik countries of yore. I get the feeling NATO will start to employ this pr gimmick much more prominently too in the not too distant future.
Anyway my point is:
Women traveling to join the YPG in Konabe is presented by some here as heroic - agents changing the material conditions that surround them - and by others as at least worthy of sympathy. Why do the women traveling to join IS not get the same glamor treatment?

Quote:
Dozens of French teenagers, including a young Jewish girl, have fled the country to join Islamic State militants fighting in Syria and Iraq, French intelligence has revealed. At least 100 girls and young women from France have left to join terrorists in Syria in recent weeks, up from just a handful 18 months ago when the trip was not even on Europe's security radar

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2787892/jewish-girl-joined-isis-...
Now granted they are presented in this news piece as- you guessed it- sex slaves and not soldiers but I wouldnt give it too much credence. As kurremkarmerruk said about the YPG: "People go there voluntarily. People fight there with "bad" weapons not because they are stupid morons or sex slaves or romantics etc. They go there and fight because to have establish a better future. And if this requires war than so be it. They are not PR." And to flip Marx-Treks quote one could only imagine what horror women in the West have to endure in order to be able to look at what is happening in Syria-Iraq and think of the need to go there to join up.

Leo
Oct 11 2014 12:29

Having sufficiently established the patriarchal history of the PKK and the true aims of its propoganda related to the gender issue, lets move on to other points.

In another thread, the words of Salih Muslim, the leader of the PYD calling for the expulsion of the Arabs from Syrian Kurdistan was quoted. I will add to this the words of Bese Hozat, the co-chairwoman of the KCK (the main roof organization of the PKK and other groups around it) and Ocalan himself attacking the Armenian and Greek "lobbies" (http://t24.com.tr/yazarlar/aris-nalci/ermeni-lobisi-ve-paralel-devlet,82...). It was a shock for their leftist supporters since people are generally used to hearing such statements from the Turkish nationalists. Of course it is known that there was a significant Kurdish participation in the genocide against the Armenians and other non-muslim minorities in 1915 so it is not very surprising. Also is the fact that the PKK has traditionally had a position against the Zaza people, considering them Kurdish and condemning them whenever they describe themselves as a separate ethic group to the Kurds (In the interview here, for instance, Ocalan is saying that "Gladio" developed Zazaism against the PKK http://haber.sol.org.tr/devlet-ve-siyaset/ocalan-benim-yapacaklarim-bitt...).

There is also the fact that in September 2014, the YPG (the army of Syrian Kurdistan) signed a treaty with several Syrian opposition groups, including Jihadist groups and formed the Euphrates Volcano. (http://www.ozgur-gundem.com/index.php?haberID=118383&haberBaslik=YPG%20v...) Among these groups are the Al-Tawhid Brigade which has ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, Liwa Thuwwar al-Raqqa which is a splinter group from the Al Nusra Front (that is the Syrian Al Qaeda), Liwa al-Jihad fi Sabeel Allah which translates as Jihad in the Path of God Brigade, the Jarablus Brigade which has an Ottoman style logo including a Turkish flag. Earlier they had signed a peace treaty with the Al Nusra Front itself (http://www.diyarbakirhaber.gen.tr/guncel/el-nu-ra-ve-ypg-bari-anla-ma-i-...). What the PYD is doing in Kobane in particular and in the Syrian Kurdistan specifically is defending the area it has taken control of, not defending any principles. They are quite willing to work with Islamists and Jihadists who'd be massacring minorities and heretics and degrading women like the ISIS is doing now if they came to power. So the war in Syria is between radical Islamists and a coalition of Kurdish nationalists and other radical Islamists. Not that supporting the Kurdish nationalists would be alright if they weren't allied with other Jihadists against the ISIS - rather that this example demonstrates the true political character of the Kurdish nationalists. As for their fans in Turkey and abroad, this turns supporting the "Rojava revolution" into supporting the lesser of two radical Islamist evils.

And what exactly is the "Rojava revolution"? In reality, it is not a revolution in any way - the PYD didn't even overthrow anyone to take power. Rather it was left to them as the largest Kurdish party in the region as Assad's army withdrew from Syrian Kurdistan. The constitution of Syrian Kurdistan "guarantees the right to property and private property" (point 41), aims for "the strengthening of national soveirgnity". In fact for all the rhetoric of being against nation-states, a quite traditional nation state has been organized in Western Kurdistan, with its army (the YPG), police (Asayis), ministeries and bureaucracy. It's true that the constitution isn't a parliamentary democracy. To be honest, with the immense cult of personality around Ocalan, de-facto power in the hands of the PYD and the attempt to have a show of "direct democratic" processes, the "democratic autonomy" practiced in Western Kurdistan seems most similar to Qaddafi's Libya to me. And the new PYD regime, for all its talk of "democracy" and "democratic modernity" is in no way tolerant of dissent: in 2013, the YPG opened fire to a group of demonstrators in the city of Amude, killing several and injuring many (http://www.kurdistanaktuel.com/Arsiv/haberler/kuerdistan/12495-amude-kat...).

All these are of course rather typical of national liberation movements. Here we see a political organization which came to power in agreement with the Syrian state, which has a deeply patriarchal nature and history, has voiced dangerous slogans towards other ethnic groups and has allied with Islamists and Jihadists, which organized itself as a state with its own army, police, ministeries, which defends private property is not in any meaningful way opposed to capitalism, which is dominated by a cult of personality and which is quite brutal against any sort of dissent, going as far as shooting demonstrators. This maybe enough for leftists who fantasize about guns and revolutions by decree, however it is nothing but another nationalist armed gang participating in a disastorous war devestating the lives of all the workers in Syria, regardless of whether they are Kurdish or Arabic, Muslim or Christian, Sunni or Shia.

mikail firtinaci
Oct 11 2014 15:22

In addition to Leo's excellent post, here is a new proof of PKKs collaboration with islamists and other reactionary forces: a journalist recently reported that 8 FSA brigades are fighting with PYD in Kobane. The "moderate islamists" of the FSA are those who massacre or threaten to massacre the Alawites, Shias, and Christians in Syria.

Here is the source:

http://www.radikal.com.tr/yazarlar/fehim_tastekin/egit_donat_bir_batak_h...

Marx-Trek
Oct 11 2014 15:54

bastarx, its not that you cannot disagree, it is rather that the issue you raised has already been addressed and you seem to have chosen to not answer or critique mine and other's previous responses to that very critique concerning US airstrikes. Its not much of a discussion if you choose to no respond to mine and other's answers to your critique or statements now is it? My comments about getting perspective and analysis goes further and criticizes your position and accusing such a position for lack analysis and perspective. So if you really want to discuss your issues with US led airstrikes, please reread the earlier posts and the latter. Address your concerns and critiques and then I can respond. However, its impossible to have a discussion when your posts do not say much of anything. Please go deeper and explain your position.

kurekmurek
Oct 11 2014 17:11

To Leo and Mikail:

Here me again defending the Kurdish movement once more. However I really realized this whatever I say, you will just be sure truthfulness of your conviction (like on the rape accusations or thousand women accusation) moreover you will change the subject (like you do now for example Zaza issue or Armenian genocide) and take a quote out of its context or come up with a very old position of PKK that is changed in last decade to frame whats going on in Kobane as an illegitimate action of an reactionary organization.

I actually would not give a damn about what you said if this was a Turkish forum. However as most of the people in this forum lack the language to reach important resources and thus can not check the validity of your (and mine of course) resources I feel obliged to reply back and show the other side.

The accusations made here has the potential to grow as wrong misconceptions. It is now my conviction that this is also your purpose. I actually started to think to associate this with the illegitimate act of censorship of Internationalist Communist poster (discussed in a earlier comment). I think what we are witnessing here is another lesson for political movements not to be restrictive and authoritarian upon others. However I think Internationalist Communist current members unfortunately decided to reply back to this very bad act not by way of producing and organizing in a much more libertarian way.

On the contrary they decided to reply back to this by producing one-sided and manipulative reports and comments of Kurdish movement and try to shame them in the most powerful places they could (and it is this website I guess). There is a saying in Turkish meaning, roughly translated as: "A mad man throws a stone to a well and 40 intelligent men could not bring it out." Unfortunately the insensible actions of these Kurdish students are now came back as this misrepresentation of Kurdish movement to wider public and I feel like no rational argumentation, no appeal to proof will help "bringing it back". International communists seem so decided that PKK is a nationalist and anti-working class movement that any argument to contrary (of their egalitarianism, direct democracy and all of these recent changes) is neglected. Let's hope this mindless and proofless of accusations by International Communists will not throw to another stone to another well (that is the Kurds) and alienate them from Internationalist or communist struggle.

I will answer all these new accusations in the follow up comment and this will be the last time if no new "issue" is not invented about Kurdish movement.

kurekmurek
Oct 11 2014 17:29

To Mikail:

Quote:
n addition to Leo's excellent post, here is a new proof of PKKs collaboration with islamists and other reactionary forces

Come on please don't do this again? What is your plan then: Should they decide to kill each and every "reactionary force in the region? Except them who they can cooperate in their desperate situation ? Should they just lie down before ISIS? Or launch a suicidal attack to all sides at once? Or maybe it would be better for them if they would be "good" kurds and do nothing? Nothing at all?

This is just totally insufficient to decide on a real political agenda of a group. I repeat my bet: Are you willing to reconsider your position according to result of this war? I argue if PYD survives this bloodbath, even if makes any cooperation with any of the powers involved: THey will not give up their most basic Autonomist principles. I also wish to name three of them: 1) Their co-leader system and systematic positive discrimination 2)Their autonomy (cantons) and Confederate organization of them 3) Their internal constitution (of Cantons) will be secular and will not have ethnic reference ( I mean will not declare it is a Kurdish caton etc.)

So basically: I underline the fact that they are the only group there that has at least a little chance to realize and makes lives of many people better and open up a better future for all of the left in global scale. I am sure that they will never give up at least these three principles (as opposed to strategic stuff you mention above, as what you say is basically means, an instance of war: What I emphasize is political principles of an organization) If you are so sure about your convictions why not you challenge me?

Marx-Trek
Oct 11 2014 17:54

Teh - I have chosen to answer many different issues and people's prior comments by addressing them in your format of 5 sections. This post is not a total attack against your position. If it comes off as such I didn't mean it in that way and apologize.

1.) Women in positions outside of the traditional woman's role is it more egalitarian? Well , I would say both yes and no. Yes, I think it is pretty obvious in that if different bodied categories and social categories are required representation that there is more of a chance that the issues specific to such groups will more then likely be heard, raised, dealt with, etc... Also, I think there is something to be said about a society's view on gender and the sexes if women are less compartmentalized into certain roles. For instance, and I will make broad comparisons to make 4 points:

(a) There are way more women Chinese executives , leaders, and women in positions of authority in "communist china" than in Western countries due Chinese urban life being more neutral on the issue; Israeli women fight in their armed forces along side men without much discussion because Israel is more neutral on the issue of gender; The Black Panther Party had a more neutral view on gender and women worked along side men in a more equal environment; Women in the Zapatistas and Chiapas work and struggle alongside men in a more equal environment; radical leftist and anarchists groups have, at times, organized and structured their groups with a need for large percentage of women within the group to maintain representatives of women's needs and issues withing organizing; and as in Spain 1936-39 the various armed militias contained women's brigades.

(b) now, as your statement suggests, such methods of building groups and organizing women is not a guarantee that feminism or gender equality will reign undisturbed within a society or organization. Furthermore, putting women into the armed forces of a political project does not automatically guarantee that gender equality will be established. A specific body, the women body, in itself does not conjure feminists improvements to reality. Women themselves can even uphold patriarchy. I believe you agree with me on that point, seeing that such a critique appears to be very strong concerning the Kurdish resistance. Though I have not read much about the issue, there even appears to be women's organizations, why woudln't there be, within the larger ultra-conservative militant islamic social current. So women involvement, even armed women involvement, does not guarantee feminist conclusions and feminist improvements in daily life.

Which brings up the third point,

(c) Hence the existence of feminism. Feminism is a political and social analysis that comes up with various conclusions on how to interact with people from an individual level on up to a political level. Feminism or pro-women's analysis that critiques and combats the negative, and at times deadly, impact of sexism (etc...) upon women and society is not solely concerned with putting more women into positions of power or authority ,but instead changing how societies interact and view women. Acknowledging that there are many forms of feminism out there, I assume that since we are discussing this in a revolutionary/radical/insurrectionary/communist/anarchist way we do not need to delve any deeper on that issue. Point being, in relation to the fighting women of Kurdistan (or Kurdish autonomy) is that they are not mere statistics within the militias or armed wings of politics but something more. Their positions within the militia are organized specifically along feminist lines with a feminist analysis of society in general and the organizations needs in particular. Again, I am still confused why this specific issue is so contested with respect to the Kurds fighting for autonomy (an that autonomy seemingly becoming more similar to Chiapas than national self-determination). I do not relate to or understand the almost conspiratorial conclusions being drawn here that all this "feminism" within the Krudish region, Rojava specifically, is just some rouse or mere propaganda to further sexually abuse women as some have suggested or further deepen the patriarchal ties between men and women (being the more logical argument against Kurdish feminism).

and,

(d) and I will openly and gladly concede the point that women's involvement does nto guarantee a feminist project or conclusion. However, could it be that people are not being fetishistic about armed women fighting? Rather, could it be that people see in those representatives of armed struggle a struggle worth understanding and taking a deeper look? Could it be that these armed women are not merely fetishized but are glorified for their efforts in a fight against an extremely sexist organization (ISIS) and who have been fighting sexism in the region long before ISIS was a blip on the radar?

Now, of course all of this does not guarantee anything or guarantee a glorious feminist revolution in the region or in any part of the world for that matter. But again, I am highly skeptical of the position being upheld on this forum that this Kurdish feminism is something less only becomes it steams from the politics of the Kurdish region. That in itself seems like a strange conclusion.

However, I could understand that the region is so ripe with sexism and violent patriarchal interactions that in order for women to protect themselves a fighting force was needed to be built in order to combat it (something that we seem to not need here in the West, activism seems to do the job that armed women in Kurdistan are doing for themselves).

Again, and of course, none of this if true guarantees anything. But yet again, why is such a strong critique needed to be levied against the women fighting and their organizations? For the most part all I see coming from this polemical position is that these women are not quite good enough for even passive support or empathy because their political current is not exactly in line with ours.
That conclusion seems to be a mere theoretical exercise more so than an analysis of the situation on the ground.

2.) Kurds, for better or for worse, in a political and social context is a term that represents the aspirations of Kurdish liberation (whatever that liberation looks like) and therefore is a social category that has political and social implications. Much like the political and social terms: American, Arab, Jew,Christian,etc... ISIS even has Americans and Brits within its ranks, but does that somehow completely change the political and social context of "America" or "American"? Of course not. So the same for "Kurds". The Kurds fighting in ISIS are not political Kurds but are ethnic Kurds who are fighting to establish a Caliphate not some left wing type Kurdish region. Despite all of that the terms themselves still have social and political meaning. White American men who wish to allign themselves with ISIS or ultra-conservative political Islam are more than welcome to do so, this however does not change the fact that the term "America" is still a political term that describes American in a generalized manner. Hence, "America". Come on, even anarchists and American anarchists use the term "America" to roughly mean the same thing that ISIS or any jihadi groups uses. Why are we discussing such basic semantics. I think this point is more a semantics argument than a political one. I am interested in discussing the issues, actions, and politics on the ground. I am not interested in either side, you or I, attempting to simply win an argument as if this was some debate with the conclusion of one side winning. I want understanding and critique not semantics or purely ideological arguments or conclusion. Those types of discussions are fruitless. Such a debate could then be about anything, because at that point the topic itself is moot and the only thing that matters is this debate. Not interested.

3.) some valid issues are raised among questions and issues that have already been discussed (see above and previous posts on those issues). However, with respect to questions about supporting PKK and the "sudden concern with Islamic atrocities" is a newer issue raised that can be further discussed.

(a) With respect to supporting the PKK either outright or simply in a passive manner (where I find myself not absent with reservations) are important distinctions and something that each individual commentator and political actor in the world needs to address for themselves. Since I am not an autonomous-leftist who needs every political organization to reflect ideology extremely close to my own before giving token support, I allow myself the simple pleasure of viewing the resistance in the Kurdish region in a more favorable light than negative light. Sure I have concerns and more questions than answers. However, I still do not see the dramatic polemic being generated on this forum.

(b) Why are we so concerned with people "all of a sudden" being so concerned with Islamic atrocities?

(i) I think at the basic level, this counter to people being concerned goes back to what I view as a very abstract and alienated view that somehow discussing Kurdish resistance as being a lapdog for US imperialists interests. Sure, if and when the Kurdish resistance has allied itself with the US and fought for specific US regional interests that is problematic. Besides the 1991-92 Kurdish rising against the Iraqi State/Saddam Hussein, I do no see many examples of clear allegiance to US interests in the region. Even with the 1991-92 rising, I am not convinced that was in futherance of US interests either, more opportunism and betrayal if anything. Sure, opportunistic fighting and opportunism as a political strategy can be problematic. Again, I do not really see the need for such adamant negativity towards the Kurdish resistance. Critique and questions are always necessary but why such hostility?

(ii) I think the "all of a sudden" contempt for Islamic atrocities is just a political reality of the current climate and political conditions we, the world, find ourselves in. Despite, right or wrong, we have to pick our battles and critiques wisely to not allow ourselves to be viewed as islamophobic in the West. Such as, there would be real concerns if leftists allied themselves and began marching in EDL (English Defense League) marches to protest against, just as much it was problematic after 9/11 as American leftists to criticize Islam outright because the environment was so extremely anti-Islam and anti-Arab. Here it seems we agree on this issue and agree that people need to be aware of what they are saying and in what context and with whom the align themselves. But we obviously disagree not only over the degree of support, whether token or open support, that should be given to the women, anarchists, and people fighting in the Kurdish region. However, I will admit, my concerns of Islamic atrocities is not something new but now in the Kurdish context I can become more vocal over the dangers and backwardness of Islamic fundamentalism. I can become more vocal because now that a force opposing such views has emerged on the world stage and it cannot be automatically be lumped into pro-West pro-capitalist interests. Seemingly, seemingly, commentators for some reasons are doing precisely just that. And again, I am confused as to why that is. The world is more than the West and Islamic binary. That binary wants to polarize the world in such a manner and I absolutely disagree with that logic.

A similarity can be drawn here to the various organizations that fight for Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. Though I do not ultimately agree with Hamas nor do I share their world view, I still understand their desire to fight against Israel and defend Palestinians. Further, I understand though do not wholeheartedly agree why Palestinians would support Hamas because they represent and are one of the strongest groups that will fight and stand up against Israel. Now, that does not make me a staunch Hamas combatant supporter. Then we have the PFLP, a leftist non-islamic fighting force for Palestinians against Israeli occupation. Interesting and more aligned with my worldview. Again, I am not a total supporter of PFLP, dont know enough to make such a conclusion, however I will not damn them for fighting or people who join.

(4) sure, ok, interesting geopolitical concerns and would be an interesting future discussion. Perhaps people could stop the sex slave, sex abuse, and US imperialist lapdog arguments and maybe point 4 could be further discussed.

(5) women fighting, feminism, and gender has already been addressed above and in earlier posts. and yes your concerns for oversimplifying feminism and women with guns is a valid concern. However, think about the impact of any image portraying armed struggle and armed women's struggle and ask yourself what those images convey and mean to you. I don't think this specific point is all the specific to Kurdish women or radical women in general. Che, Marcos, Lenin, Khaled, Palestinian children with slingshots, antifa posters, feminists posters, etc...

Finally!

Now granted they are presented in this news piece as- you guessed it- sex slaves and not soldiers but I wouldnt give it too much credence. As kurremkarmerruk said about the YPG: "People go there voluntarily. People fight there with "bad" weapons not because they are stupid morons or sex slaves or romantics etc. They go there and fight because to have establish a better future. And if this requires war than so be it. They are not PR." And to flip Marx-Treks quote one could only imagine what horror women in the West have to endure in order to be able to look at what is happening in Syria-Iraq and think of the need to go there to join up.

Fair enough and thanks for actually writing something with substance and presenting an articulated argument that could be responded to.

Marx-Trek
Oct 11 2014 18:11

Also, some quick wiki reading got my attention concerning the Turkish Grey Wolves (a right wing turkish nationalist if just outright neo-fascist organization). They appear to have had CIA training back during Cold War years and appear to still be openly hostile to Kurdish political interests and ethnicity in general. If were are to discuss US interests in the region I think this history would be an interesting sidebar discussion concerning Kurdish resistance and Kurdish politics.

mikail firtinaci
Oct 11 2014 18:41

Kurremkarmerruk:

I am not in a pissing contest with you here. I simply want to understand myself, and discuss with others what PKK really is, and what is its role in the current ethno-religious sectarian massacres in the Middle East.

So far, your defense of PKK was solely based on the alleged Bookchinism of the PKK. Hence, you claimed that it has to be defended. So, for a promised self-managed Kurdish municipality in Kobane, the international left is asked to lend its support to PKK. To me even as a clear bait this is too little for a promise. Nobody who is defending PKK is giving clear and convincing answers to those questions:

1- If PKK/PYD is really a secular force defending different minorities, why PYD is in a coalition with the murderous FSA gangs?

2- If PKK is an "independent" force why is it asking for a US bombardment? Why PKK is demanding NATO weapons?

3- If PKK is really led by the rank-and-file, why it still acts under the orders of Ocalan - who is basically an asset in the hands of the Turkish Republic? In fact, who gives the orders? Who decides the policy changes?

4- If PKK/PYD is "communalistic," why then in the Rojeva constitution it is stated that the administration's goal is to preserve and protect private property?

All the evidences clearly show that PKK is a reactionary and anti-working class force, which do not hesitate even for a moment to push the Kurdish youth, women, and proletariat into a bloody massacre rather than losing its own political grip over them. The only contrary evidence presented is the PKKs sudden "bookchinist" turn; a turn that was artificially imposed by Ocalan over the party, when he was in prison; and this sudden turn came after Ocalan's trial in which he clearly said that he was willing to serve the Turkish Republic by all means at his disposal, as a humble servant of the state. And albeit this sudden and cynical "libertarian" turn, PKK still doesn't for a moment stop calling Ocalan as "the leadership", which is -of course- "unquestionable" and "indisputable".

No single answer to those questions... There are only contradictions... And you expect that the magic word, "democracy" would do the trick and clear the doubts? Sorry, I just don't buy that...

Marx-Trek
Oct 11 2014 19:09

AK Press's facebook ( https://www.facebook.com/AKPress ) just posted book: Democractic Autonomy in North Kurdistan ( http://new-compass.net/publications/democratic-autonomy-north-kurdistan ) and several links discussing Kurdistan (Kurdish resistance). I just ordered it. Perhaps a worth a read...

kurekmurek
Oct 11 2014 19:53

Hi again Leo, nice to see your totally irrelevant (to topic) attack on Kurdish movement again. It is always a pleasure (no just kidding it is not, don't do it again please)

As I sated in above comment I feel obliged to correct the mistakes (and one-sidedness) you made in your recent comment about Kurdish movement. As I am afraid it might reproduce your bias toward in other people.

Quote:
Having sufficiently established the patriarchal history of the PKK and the true aims of its propaganda related to the gender issue, lets move on to other points.

no you still did not? You still fail to mention a case. your whole argument is still basically consist of attacks made by three man to frame others (Ocalan, Curukkaya and Sener) They call themselves rapist and immoral person etc. without no real proof or anything.

I will not speak about this anymore, as anyone can make up his mind reading the discussion so far.

Quote:
In another thread, the words of Salih Muslim, the leader of the PYD calling for the expulsion of the Arabs from Syrian Kurdistan was quoted

You mean the Discussion I had with Mikail on Autonomy Experiment? I also showed with links to interviews he is not anti-arab. he even says we organized quotes for representation of every ethnicity in our Cantons. I mentioned it in comments. And you know, you know Turkish man why do you try to manipulate discussions. Why you are determined to misrepresent? It really reached an unbelievable level for me now?

Quote:
Ocalan himself attacking the Armenian and Greek "lobbies"

This is totally true.and It was criticized by Kurds and leftists however even in the link (http://t24.com.tr/yazarlar/aris-nalci/ermeni-lobisi-ve-paralel-devlet,82...) you provided the writer mentions HDP (legal party related to Kurdish movement) Even if you search the net you would find his "explanations": (This is from an Turkish Armenian newspaper) http://www.agos.com.tr/haber.php?seo=bese-hozat-lobi-sozlerine-aciklik-g...
In it "he clearly says he does not condemn people. It is true that the history of Armenians' is one of genocide victims. He wished only to mean the top elite etc..." Why do you only selectively report.

Quote:
Of course it is known that there was a significant Kurdish participation in the genocide against the Armenians and other non-muslim minorities in 1915 so it is not very surprising.

Now what you do here is the hugest lie so far. 1) So in what sense the Kurds' participation in genocide relates to PKK? did PKK made it? 2) Don't you know PKK was the earliest political organization that recognised, condemned and excused for Armenian Genocide?? If you are so into Turksih politics and you are a Kurd how come you don't know it? This is pretty much the basic fact known by all leftists in Turkey. PKK actually made the best example of issue. They even accepted the obvious Kurdish participation in it without hesitation. 3) And because of this very important figures of critical official history academicians and genocide studies scholars for example Prof. Büşra Ersanlı and Ragıp Zarakolu (who are imprisoned for their views, as it is still forbidden to say there is genocide in Turkey) side with Kurdish movement.

This really showed me you lied. Even if you are a Kurd you are totally oblivious to real political stance of PKK.

Again we are discussing another completely different issue: Let's discuss Zaza issue (under this topic about Kobane)

Quote:
Also is the fact that the PKK has traditionally had a position against the Zaza people,

Yeah again it is true however the key word here is traditionally.. For example it is part of the party programme of HDP that the education in Zaza language should be provided in state schools. There is a Zaza organization in HDP. Nobody denies that Kurdish movement was decidedly nationalist and hierarchical in its first 15 years of so. However they are changing their position on it. and this is why the presidency candidate of Kurdish movement win in Dersim (an ethnically Zaza City.) Why you deny to comment on these new developments?

Quote:
at the PYD is doing in Kobane in particular and in the Syrian Kurdistan specifically is defending the area it has taken control of, not defending any principles.

The same argument made by Mikail. Please read my above comment. I want to challenge you (in hopes of at least getting something really discussed after all these events) that they will not give up their principles for anything. You are welcome to make your own predictions etc. If you are so sure about it please contribute.

Quote:
And what exactly is the "Rojava revolution"?

I think this paragraph is actually good and important point. I have much knowledge of. all I know is this there are also parties in Rojava that are supported by Iraq Kurdish Region, however their policies are reactionary they do not have good (but not totally worse also) relations with PKK. I think they accused them because of it. I am not a supporter that progressive organisations should much have tolerance for reactionary opinions in themselves. However I lack any real knowledge of events so yeah basically you can be right on this point. I really wish that we could focus on stuff like making real critiques of how the democratic model could be improved.

Quote:
All these are of course rather typical of national liberation movements. Here we see a political organization which came to power in agreement with the Syrian state, which has a deeply patriarchal nature and history, has voiced dangerous slogans towards other ethnic groups and has allied with Islamists and Jihadists, which organized itself as a state with its own army, police, ministeries, which defends private property is not in any meaningful way opposed to capitalism, which is dominated by a cult of personality and which is quite brutal against any sort of dissent, going as far as shooting demonstrators.

Unfortunately if we have to have such high standards (by the way do you aware these are mostly ethical, normative super-imposed standards) to support, (even in a relative way) then it means there is nothing to support in this world.It is totally insensitive to life.Still worst I think it is really judgmental for anyone (individual or collective) that wishes to act. An act I think it has no right to do so.

Quote:
This maybe enough for leftists who fantasize about guns and revolutions by decree, however it is nothing but another nationalist armed gang participating in a disastorous war devestating the lives of all the workers in Syria, regardless of whether they are Kurdish or Arabic, Muslim or Christian, Sunni or Shia.

Unfortunately what I see here is total abstraction of class from any particularity that is imminent to human life.It is no surprise that the worker subject you desperately seek for did never raised in the region. (Class as a universal, as an abstaraction) I hope you a satisfactory life seeking it.

Marx-Trek
Oct 11 2014 19:56

Mikail have you watched the Dilar Dirik video posted? I think Dirik's talk begins to shed some light on your concerns.

1.) I am not keen on this and cannot speak on the issue with certainty. First, are the two forces joining together and forming one political and military fighting force or are they engaged in battles against the same battlefield enemies?

2.) Are the Kurdish forces willing to take arms from the West (NATO, US) in order to fight for their own interests or are they asking for weapons in exchange for a complete ideological turn around and are willing to accept weapons and bombardments in exchange for giving up their own agenda? Again, this seems all to simplistic of a critique. How many times does the issue of US airstrikes have to be raised? OK the use bombarded ISIS, how in anyway does that change the political and social developments in "autonomous Kurdistan"? Its one thing to take weapons, orders, and represent interests from another government and quite another to welcome airstrikes against your enemy (despite who and why those airstrikes happen). Can we please move past this point and circular arguing.

3. Again, watch or rewatch the Dirik video where she describes the political changes, such as the development of "dual leadership" or whatever it was called (and please spare us the semantic rants on "leadership").

4. Concerning Private Property.

Article 41 & 71 of The Constitution of the Rojava Cantons:

Quote:
Article 41

Everyone has the right to the use and enjoyment of his private property. No one shall be deprived of his property except upon payment of just compensation, for reasons of public utility or social interest, and in the cases and according to the forms established by law.

and,

Quote:
Article 71

Searches of houses and other private property must be done in accordance with a properly executed warrant, issued by a judicial authority.

I think it is an interesting aspect of the Constitution that could be further discussed. But from my quick glance at the entire Constitution and the articles concerning property and private property, there appears to be clear differentiation between personal private property and resources and things that are considered private property within modern capitalist system.

For example:

Quote:
Article 39

Natural resources, located both above and below ground, are the public wealth of society. Extractive processes, management, licensing and other contractual agreements related to such resources shall be regulated by law.

and,

Quote:
Article 42

The economic system in the provinces shall be directed at providing general welfare and in particular granting funding to science and technology. It shall be aimed at guaranteeing the daily needs of people and to ensure a dignified life. Monopoly is prohibited by law. Labor rights and sustainable development are guaranteed.

Now, as I am reading/skimming through the Rojava Constitution I am automatically weary because we see how systems such as the United States which has a Constitution but makes daily practice of eroding said Constitution. However, on its face the Rojava Con is dramatically different from the US Con, highly more socialistic in how it describes key economic aspects and factors of a society. Again, I think you missed the point being made in the Rojava Con concerning "private property". Again, your argument is more about the actual words being used than the point behind those words, what the words are actually attempting to express.

Though the Rojava Con would be another very interesting conversation, a very relevant conversation to have, but please refrain from making gross generalization and over simplifying the discussion (oh no! the words private property are used.)

Point being, from what I read and see in context to the whole Rojava Con concerning "private property" the Constitution means something that closely resembles what I consider "personal property". I would hope that you dont want to live in some anarchist/communist society where your car, bike, clothes, or food on your plate cold be used by anyone else at any moment simply because you are completely against the private property as a notion in any of its iterations or forms.

For me, I am more interested in seeing how this will develop in practice and since it seems to be written down as a general principal in Rojava I think its more a protection of one's house or things used and not about protecting the private ownership of say the river by damning it and creating the resource into a commodity to be produced, bought, and sold for the creation of surplus value. Which I think is of more importance to attack as a concept of "private property".

Again, what will develop and how it will function and what Rojava will look like in 1 month, 1 year, or 10 years will determine the forwardness and socialistic aspects of that society and its Constitution.

Its pretty clear for just giving the Rojava Constitution a quick read that it is way beyond any Modern liberal capitalist Constitution. Now will this usher in an anarchist utopia or is this some stage in communization, I won't comment on that now, dont know enough about it, but on its face and what I have read and heard over the last 24 hrs., all that lays way more weight on this discussion than you and others constant comments that rest on the same arguments over and over.

This is becoming quite repetitive. Instead of shifting to now back to criticizing the feminisms of the region or the military strategy or Ocalan's sexual activities could instead comment on my or anyone else's response to your concerns or comments.

I really do appreciate your latest post because it moves the discussion forward.

kurekmurek
Oct 11 2014 20:14

Mikail:

Quote:
1- If PKK/PYD is really a secular force defending different minorities, why PYD is in a coalition with the murderous FSA gangs?

2- If PKK is an "independent" force why is it asking for a US bombardment? Why PKK is demanding NATO weapons?

3- If PKK is really led by the rank-and-file, why it still acts under the orders of Ocalan - who is basically an asset in the hands of the Turkish Republic? In fact, who gives the orders? Who decides the policy changes?

4- If PKK/PYD is "communalistic," why then in the Rojeva constitution it is stated that the administration's goal is to preserve and protect private property?

Yeah I started to write replies one by one and I realized it won't do any good. I think your position lacks any understanding politics as a social process,so it just becomes a pure abstraction it is like an imperative to be held ( Anything that is politically valuable must be: 1 and 2 should not be polluted with any relation to any un-communist element. 3 must be totally democratic once and for all. 4 must abolish capitalism immediately [this is at least what you demand from Rojova])

I guess you are totally against any separation between aims and means, right? And you persistently apply it to your political life and practice? As I said above you equate a strategy, a means, a small term arrangement with an end. This is not a possibility, well basically because it would kill you! You basically demand impossible measures to be met from a small experiment. But this is why I am repeatedly saying that let the time settle it. If the Kobane lives, I am sure it will develop the most progressive organization in the region and its inspiration will possibly help others.

Your understanding of politics or political action has no time in it it just wants the immediate perfection from the day one. This makes you blind to the fact that PYD's constitution is a huge progressive force that could show the world that a society itself can build itself. ıt obviously has no even comparable alternative for a progressive and moreover Kurdish movement is (and maybe because of effects of Ocalan) is the only source that can really realize such an progressive constitution. In short PYD now holds (possibly) the best formulation of a relation between a social consciousness (and its collective power to action) and a progressive political project in the context of the region. It is this fragile, dangerous and hard to reach relation (in praxis) that is inspiring people.