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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kirilov
Oct 16 2014 07:25

Your "solidarity with the immigrants" sounds dangerously close to humanitarian aid for refugees.

Solidarity, on the other hand, is an active and symmetrical relationship manifested entirely in struggle. In this instance, it implies all and everything that contributes, whether directly or indirectly, to the complete eradication of ISIS forces and the total destruction of the Turkish state.

I am not defending the PKK, but I strongly doubt that the US "supports" a group that has for so long been placed on their black list.

Towards the liberation of Kobane!

mikail firtinaci
Oct 16 2014 07:45

Kirilov,

I don't see how "total liberation of Kobane" helps the total destruction of the Turkish state (which I am all for!). PKK fought with Turkey for years and could not defeat it militarily. Now its leader Ocalan is calling for Turkey's recognition, shows his respect to "Ataturk" (so-called founder of Turkish Republic) and in his trial he openly said that he is "in the service of Turkey".

Class solidarity with immigrants is not humanitarianism. Immigrants face pogrom threats and forced to work for horrible wages, lower than already low minimum wage. Struggling together with them against nationalism (Turkish and Kurdish) and the bosses, is the only thing that can eventually abolish Turkey. PKK who asks arms from NATO can not and will not be instrumental in this task. Working class is alone.

kurekmurek
Oct 16 2014 07:36

Congrats Mikail you made it to the eighth page without saying anything really.

Quote:
I am in no position to tell what people in Kobane should or should not do.

But you constantly comment on what they should do, even your following sentence (and ones in earlier comments imply that)

Quote:
Majority of them already escaped to Turkey.

so I guess the ones who are stayed behind (and according to Salih Muslim there is at least 2000 civilians left in the city, including children) are not that important. Also refugees, there is a great life awaiting them I guess right? Wiped out from everything they own, their land, their life, and in a new country they even do not speak their language? You speak a lot about refugees, but I wonder if you really do something for them. And I wonder how would you communicate with, them on what sort of communication between you and them can take place. Because all the refugees I meet escape not from PYD, but from IS (not just Kurds also Arabs - One Arab boy I communicated actually, but still-) They were in fact pretty ok PYD fighing against IS. I am not sure but if the situation becomes stable (and non-violent again) they would probably wish to go back to Kobane. Where is your sudden sympathy for sympathizers of militarist, nationalist, terrorist organizations (that prevent the upcoming world revolution) come from?

Quote:
About the US; it actively supports PKK by bombarding the ISIS, in fact that enabled PKK to repel ISIS.

Yeah I mean nobody said otherwise. This is just a fact.

Joseph Kay
Oct 16 2014 07:41

Posting this for information, not an endorsement: Kobani: What’s In A Name?

Three points jump out. Two on why the left should support PKK/PYD/YPG:

1. Because while they receive superpower backing, so did Cold War national liberation movements which the left supported.
2. Because the military conflict in Kobane may strengthen the electoral hand of the pro-Kurdish parties in Turkey.

What struck me here is these are some of the same arguments e.g. Devrim has made against cheering the PKK, i.e. 1. Yeah, the left has always supported nationalist stalinist gangs and 2. The blood of idealistic youth is the price for electoral manouvring.

The third point, probably the main claim, seems broadly correct though:

3. There's no non-engagement with geopolitics, since it's a powerful structure which any revolution would have to deal with. The question is what terms of engagment, what degree of independence from imperial machinations etc.

While broadly I think that's right, I still think the idea of demanding unconditional US military support of socialist revolution is very revealing. If what was happening was a socialist revolution, the US would be backing ISIS all the way, or at least letting ISIS wipe it out before supporting a Turkish occupation.

kurekmurek
Oct 16 2014 07:44
Quote:
Struggling together with them against nationalism (Turkish and Kurdish) and the bosses, is the only thing that can eventually abolish Turkey.

This is just Bullsh*t and it means that you actually did not even had speak to one of these refugees. You are just making a political fantasy of revolution on your computer. So Mikail you will make a revolution against Turkey with refugees? Your perspective of reality is hugely distorted.

kirilov
Oct 16 2014 07:51

I agree with you and Gorter: the working class is utterly, entirely, and completely alone.

However, it doesn't exist in a vacuum. And that doesn't mean, once again, that I'm supporting the PKK.

War usually eats revolutions, but things are entirely up for grabs now. You can turn a blind eye, and wait for the revolutions of the past to replay themselves - the first time tragedy, the second time farce., the third time is just highly unlikely Yet, the world is neither static nor is it cyclical, which is why comrades want to enter into history on the ground, and do their best to move things in an emancipatory direction.

I salute their courage!
Again, towards the liberation of Kobane!

rooieravotr
Oct 17 2014 02:21
Quote:
Can we say there is an official relation between the YPG and the coalition?

Yes, we are acting in concert with international coalition forces. We are in direct contact with them, in terms of intelligence, on a military level, and in terms of air strikes.

I guess the coordinates for the airstrikes are coming from you then?

Yes. One of our special units in Kobane gives us coordinates, and the YPG transmits these coordinates to coalition forces, and then air strikes are directly realized. I would also like to mention that we also benefitted from the assistance of certain Kurdish factions, and this assistance is ongoing.

Source: http://civiroglu.net/2014/10/14/ypg_usa/

It s not just that US airstrikes are to the advantage of YPG. There is active collaboration between the two. And when a small small guerrilla force cooperates with the US military machine, it s the latter which dominates utterly. YPG and PYG are in the process of becoming an auxciliary force of US imperialism. If there ever was any autonomy of this part of the Kurdish struggle, it seems to be disappearing fast. I am for the right of the Kobali community to defend themselves against IS with whatever is at hand. But let's stop pretending that it 's a revolution they are defending.

Marx-Trek
Oct 17 2014 04:06

Mikail said,

Quote:
Class solidarity is reduced to donations for armaments, internationalism is reduced to dying in Kobane, struggle against reaction is reduced to the support of a nationalist-stalinist army.

Again, what is of interest here is the Rojava, the other Cantons, and the other Kurdish political regions and areas organized along more libertarian-leftist and communalist lines. Yes we get it, the PKK and other leftist organizations in the region have a history of being what you refer to as a "nationlist-Stalinist army" (use for the sake of conversation) but that is not what is being defended and aligned with in the spirit of solidarity and mutual aid, etc...

Yet again, I do not think most of the anarchist/communist/libertarian-socialists are cheering for the past but the recent developments and push for a large region in Kurdistan to have embrace something beyond the "nationalist-Stalinism" you are so afraid of.

Obviously people are very interested in the region, I suggest for the sake of making your comments relevant to the larger conversation going on here please criticize what people are discussing. We are not discussing the pre-communalist/pre-autonomy but the developments since the ideological an organizational changes.

And yet again, having such a staunch political line and political demands prior to solidarity is such a simplistic argument that reduces actual revolutionary anarchistic/communistic class struggle to only the activities you see fit - perhaps the most Stalinist political line of all.

Quote:
Willingness to struggle is...a changing and evolving collective spiritual-material mode of class stance. It expresses itself in proletarians' real struggles against their material conditions. And revolution is just one, most clear stage in its crystallization.

I some what agree with you. Class struggle is a changing and evolving collective realization of the need to engage in collective struggle against capitalism. The crystallization of revolutionary class struggle does not express itself in the proletariat engaging in class struggle but instead emerges when the proletariat engages in class struggle for the precise reason to negate the dialectical relationship that constantly reproduces the daily life of capitalism with the desire to create post-capitalist anti-capitalist anarchistic/communistic societies that freely associate, etc...

Quote:
Internationalists will take a stand and fight for the morale of their class, relentlessly condemn all the shameless military adventurists, nihilism, chauvinism.

Why are you fighting for the morale of our class? Also, why do you abstract yourself from our class by discussing it as an entity that you do not belong to? Being that you are such a strong advocate for our class? But yeah, why are you fighting for your own morale, that literally means you want us to fight about feeling good about what we are doing and feeling convinced that what we are doing is just and right? No, no, I get what you are saying this struggle is not just because it is not a true working class struggle - we disagree.

A question needs to be asked, is there any struggle worth fighting for that which is not a struggle that both upholds the proper proletariat ideology for workers liberation and struggles pointedly against our relation to capitalist dynamics and capitalism? Is it not worth fighting against these negative social symptoms within capitalist society, the very social symptoms that heighten the contradictions and sectarianisms within our class (being that such struggle s are based on class perspective, anti-capitalist, and anti-statist perspectives)?

Quote:
By creating the illusion that class struggle is "an abstract idea" which doesn't have any chance "in the real world", Kobane war went beyond effecting the lives of the poor peasants and workers in Northern Syria, and spread a feeling of demoralization and ineffectiveness.

Honestly, I think your statement here is a more valid critique of your own position. Your perspective abstracts class struggle and puts class struggling into a box that can only be opened up with by theoretically and ideologically correct groups that then unleashes the power of negation upon "their" class. Class struggle does in fact have a chance in the real world. Class struggle happens everyday (a point I think we both agree).

How will class struggle begin to communize itself if we do not engage in daily struggle, participate and do solidarity work with organizations and groupings of people fighting for similar ideals, and learn and figure out how to grow our communizing struggle?

Quote:
We have to resist the idea that there is anything "radical" or "democratic" (!) about national wars.

Again, again, again, why are you stuck in the past? We are not discussing the PKK of the past at this moment. We are not suggesting that Stalinist tendencies of the PKK's past need to be supported. We are not suggesting that people should go to Syria to fight for the past. What is interesting is the emergence of something new within the region and that is worth fighting for.

To close out on your point, with the logic used in your arguments Spain 1936-39 should not have been fought for because it too demoralized the working-class and reduced class struggle to only an anti-fascist war and not a true revolution. After all, there was a republic that contained representative democracy and the CNT even have representatives within that government. The Spanish Civil War was merely a war against a super big and fascist capitalist nation-state but for leftists soft nation state that would institute more "fair" "democractic" capitalism.

OR,

The CNT-FAI, the POUM, Durruti, and other anarchists/communists realized that if they launched a working-class struggle against fascism and capitalism, while seizing the opportunity of a weak nation-state to begin to create collectives and embryotic communism/anarchism, then the possibility of revolution could be both ideologically and materially realized. Sometimes it worth to engage in less than true communist/anarchists struggles precisely because struggling creates opportunities for the crystallization of struggle that can lead to revolution.

-------------------------------------------------KURDISH DISCUSSION BELOW------------------------------------

kurremkarmerruk, I was bummed to find out that the book is about autonomous Kurdish activity in Turkey and not Syria. However, the ideological, political, social, and economic discussions being had here in the thread are being had in the book too! I think it will offer some insight into the political and economical developments within the Kurdish struggle. I will probably be able to finish the book over the weekend and would be into creating a different thread to further discuss it.

I think it would be interesting to compare developments in Chiapas and Spanish collectives from the within the civil war with the Cantons and developments within the Kurdish regions. Just having recently realized that there are so many different Kurdistans within Kurdistan.

Marx-Trek
Oct 17 2014 04:19

Joe Kay,

Quote:
While broadly I think that's right, I still think the idea of demanding unconditional US military support of socialist revolution is very revealing. If what was happening was a socialist revolution, the US would be backing ISIS all the way, or at least letting ISIS wipe it out before supporting a Turkish occupation.

Demanding unconditional US military support of socialist revolution is very revealing, who do you suggest is doing this? Us on here by supporting Kobane resistance against ISIS and support and wanting to further learn about the Cantons and the autonomous development in Kurdish sections? Or do you mean that the PKK/YPG/etc... are demanding unconditional US military support? I would assume that they YPG are demanding airstrikes from the US for strategic military reasons not for some ideological reason.

I think the US is very hesitant to support YPG precisely because of geopolitics, Turkey being a strategic ally, Turkey is in NATO, and the US wants to stave off ISIS and not allow ISIS into Turkey or further West. I think that the US bombs come down upon ISIS not for Kobane or for the Kurds but to guard Turkey and Syria (until the US figures out who is going to win in Syria and who they can then strategically support and gain another ally). Also, I think the US does not care if ISIS wipes YPG and the Kurds off the map so long as ISIS does not flow into Turkey and further West. Also, I think the Turkish attacks and repression of Kurdish organizing within Turkey is another indicator of the US and Turkey's true intentions. The US does not seem dead set on ridding the world of ISIS b/c they could, the US does not want to lose Iraq, Turkey, and the entire Middle East to ISIS and then be stuck with Iran as an ally, its geopolitics.

I agree with you, geopolitics and imperial power in the world is very strong and something we as anarchists/communists need to deal with...somehow...perhaps establishing autonomous regions that want to fight against capitalism/power as positive...

Marx-Trek
Oct 17 2014 04:40

Rooie,

I do not think what is happening in Rojava is revolution in the historical or academic sense of the word. However, I do think the Cantons are beginning to transform themselves into something that is very interesting, autonomously interesting.

Again with the Spanish comparisons, despite the brilliant comment about time and history not being repeated, did USSR/Stalin's support for the international brigades cheapen or lessen the actions and activities of the CNT-FAI, etc... in Spain? I would say no. Also, within the spirit of same comparison, I would agree with you that if the YPG began to accept weapons from the US based on conditions to change its politics and economics, as did the groups that feel under Stalins grip in Spain, then yes, your point would be valid. However, has this happened yet? I highly doubt that the US will support the YPG outright beyond what is strategically useful (in the premeditated defense of a NATO ally, Turkey).

And I believe the Kurdish YPG sentiment is the that they will not change their views for anyone but themselves. the groups in question were fighting the NATO/US supported nation of Turkey before ISIS was around and I am sure they will continue to defend their interests after they run through ISIS.

Marx-Trek
Oct 17 2014 04:50

Great statement by WSM.

The WSM sums it up perfectly and make a very correct point about ideology!

From: https://www.facebook.com/WorkersSolidarityMovement?ref=br_tf

The WSM considers the struggle for Kobane and the autonomous zones of Rojava to be crucial for the development of a political alternative for the region. We view Daesh as the toxic excrescence of the results of global and regional imperialist intervention in Syria and Iraq.

On the one hand this has taken the form of the US 2003 invasion of Iraq, and its ever more bankrupt policy since of funding corrupt clientelist hirelings, the infamous "moderate militias". The problem with such "non-ideological" forces, hired for their compliance with American views and their hostility to ideological opponents of US imperialism in the area, is that they are a paper tiger. Shortly before his assassination, Ahrar al-Sham leader Hassan Aboud, said of the Iraq army's rout by Daesh was "because the army has no military ideology,".

In contrast to US and Western blind search for "moderate militias", the regional imperialisms of the AKP-led Turkish state, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE, have been happy to fund and support forces fuelled by the negative ideology of sectarian hatred. While each, in their competition with the others, had their own favourite brigades, the combined effect of their open gates to money and weapons to all sectarian jihadists, whether Ikhwanite or Salafist, was the nourishment that allowed Daesh to grow from a marginalised Iraqi guerilla to an internationally recruited threat across Mesopotamia and the Levant.

Today in Kobane two strong ideologies confront each other. One them, t̶h̶e̶ ̶b̶a̶s̶t̶a̶r̶d̶ ̶l̶o̶v̶e̶-̶c̶h̶i̶l̶d̶ of imperialism, celebrating slavery and sectarian totalitarianism, the other fighting for the ideals of autonomy and freedom. In such a confrontation it is no surprise that Turkey and its Western allies have decided that the most threatening of these two ideologies is the idea of freedom. The WSM condemns utterly the brutal actions of the AKP regime in blockading Kobane, while allowing reinforcements and weapons through to Daesh. We condemn further this morning's strikes by the Turkish air force against alleged PKK positions in Daglica. We support the struggle of YPG/YPJ volunteers in Kobane and Rojava and that of Turkish Kurds against the oppression of the Turkish state.

The experience of Rojava in beginning the implementation of the KCK's ideology of Democratic Confederalism is in our opinion as significant for the development of political alternatives in the Middle East as the earlier experience of the Zapatistas was for Central and South America. If political movements like the KCK, and the Zapatistas before them, have moved from an authoritarian left position towards more libertarian politics, it is not because anarchism in the 21st century is playing the role of the most powerful and prestigious alternative to reformism and social-democracy, as the Bolsheviks once did in the wake of 1917. Rather it is because that anarchism is not a brand but a toolkit of principles and practices for the self-liberation of the oppressed and exploited. We see it as our duty to express our solidarity with Rojava and the kurdish movement, not because they have ideologicaly made a step in our direction, but because they represent hope in this region and because they are the oppressed fighting the oppressors and whatever may be the imperfections of their process we will stand in solidarity.

Note - this statement 'WSM International Secretariat on the defence of Kobane' arose from a request made to us by Devrimci Anarşist Faaliyet for a short piece giving our perspective for inclusion in a publication they will be distributing in Kurdish areas of the Turkish state (and we hope in Kobane once ISIS have been driven back and out of sight).

Marx-Trek
Oct 17 2014 05:12

Despite the authors strange tone and use of words this article introduces some interesting points concerning geopolitics and media:

http://pando.com/2014/10/16/the-war-nerd-nobody-could-have-predicted-isl...

enough quotes from US military leaders and ideologues to really blow a whole in the whole US/YPG/PKK collaboration and usurping and destruction of Kurdish autonomy in exchange for weapons bought with pro-neoliberal strategy in the region.

Joseph Kay
Oct 17 2014 06:10

Marx-Trek, I was responding to the argument of the linked piece:

Kamran Matin wrote:
the western left’s success in pressurising US-led collation states into providing unconditional military-logistical assistance to the Kobani’s defenders would be an important tactical victory in the left’s wider anti-imperialist strategy.

Marx-Trek
Oct 17 2014 06:44

Joe Kay,

Fair enough. I think Kamran's statement is pretty off. I think the Pando article posted above does a pretty good job of stating why thinking US support is at all relevant, needed, or even some indication of Kurdish collaberation with US neo-liberal agenda is happening.

Someone bombs my enemy, I am not going to lose sleep or have to reassess my ideology, especially when they are bombing ISIS for their own strategic interests in the region not on the Kurds behalf.

kurekmurek
Oct 17 2014 07:39

Marx-Trek

Yeah I am waiting for thread. As I know the situation of Kurdish movement in Turkey more. I can even report back with live interviews with people involved and contribute to discussion. Or I can read quote important parts or summaries of Ocalan etc... It would be fun grin

kurekmurek
Oct 17 2014 15:26

I also do not think the article in disorder of things is correct (especially in terms of unconditional US aid etc...) The writer considered whole article based on politics of a global left and its political pressure to effect governments (or global coalitions). This makes the article very insturmentalist in its approach. So although it makes some good and interesting arguments it is hard to defend as a whole:

But for example I liked this part:

Quote:
So the basic question regarding the relation of geopolitics and progressive politics is under what specific circumstances such forces engage with international and regional powers. In the current conjuncture PKK and PYD are movements that have successfully combined a popular grassroots movement, a highly innovative and resilient form of armed struggle with a remarkably independent foreign and regional policy. As a result, although they might suffer tactical defeats, they are unlikely to be manipulated into imperial intrigues. In fact, PKK and PYD have consistently called on Syrian opposition forces, other Kurdish parties, and KRG to revise their uncritical alignment with US foreign policy in the region.

In the case of Kobani, the request of military assistance made by PKK and PYD therefore simply represents a tactical exploitation of the contingent convergence of their specific interests with that of US led anti-IS coalition for a wider strategic political project. For victory in Kobani will have important and wide-ranging ramifications beyond Syrian Kurdistan.

I think the point he makes here about how PYD is the only "real" force that can prevent Kurdish population (and other ethnic populations in autonomous region) from sucked into imperialist wars is an excellent one. I wrote this now in another thread so I will not explain it in detail again. (Link: http://libcom.org/forums/news/isis-17062014?page=7#comment-545723 )

Joseph Kay

I personally find your comment half right. I think you are missing some of the stuff article discusses for example the point I emphasized above. Moreover stuff that is wrongly discussed in article like: "Because the military conflict in Kobane may strengthen the electoral hand of the pro-Kurdish parties in Turkey." -according to me of course- lead you to wrong conclusions on what is debated here between me, Marx-Trek and mikail (for example I think my posts never emphasized any electoral politics. The significance of the issue here is much beyond that, Electoral politics are actually tiny (mostly instrumental) part of the actual content of Kurdish movement and what it stands for)

However I am debating it in too much forums now, I am really tired. I am also very tired to make new translations to support my arguments (as a lot of stuff related to Kurdish movement, is newly translated/produced into English) I think we can do it much better in the upcoming forum thread by Marx-Tek that will focus on the real content of Kurdish movement and its comparative evaluation in face of other militant libertarian/democratic socialist/communist/communal movements in the past and present.

Khawaga
Oct 17 2014 15:22

Marx-Trek and kurremkarmerruk doth protest too much. The latter even going so far as to being a rape apologist of Öcalan, even though the imprisoned nationalist really should not be of any significance if Kobane really has moved towards organizing itself communistically. Such argumentation smacks more of a belief, nay faith, born out of a desperate hope that Kobane really is what is written in their constitutional scripture. I don't know either way what is happening in Kobane, but just saying that the way the two of you argue is not helping, especially kurremkarmerruk.

kurekmurek
Oct 17 2014 15:30

Thanks man, you are the most helpful.

Khawaga
Oct 17 2014 15:54

You're welcome! I'm glad you thought so.

Marx-Trek
Oct 17 2014 17:14

Khawaga,

We doth protest too much and our points may seem to be very repetitive, believe you me, I am very aware of boringly repetitive nature going on in this thread. However, its is very hard to move beyond our collective dementia because we cannot get passed deadlocked conclusions of both sides.

Perhaps I can offer another solution. Instead of our long winded posting back and forth we can agree to disagree, won't happen, and come to the two sentence conclusion I am offering up.

1. One side, based on ideological reasoning, does not like the idea of supporting groups (organizations, collectives, social movements, social forces, etc...) that are not reacting from pure proletarian communistic/anarchistic conclusions and desires to destroy Capital through class struggle and the methods of such a struggle must be held to the highest standards determined by said ideology (and seemingly this group does not agree that "warfare" can or will be an aspect of said struggle because it is not class based and militaristic).

2. Another side, based on analysis of the conditions and developments on the ground, like the idea of supporting groups (organizations, collectives, social movements, social forces, etc...) that are reacting and struggling to defend themselves against an extremely reactionary murderous force, and on a positive note, apart from struggling against reaction, if movements have taken an organizational step that makes solidarity generally accepted even for the most staunch anarchist/communist ideologues will give full solidarity to said groups (seemingly this group agrees that "warfare" may be a part of said struggle that is encapsulated within the larger struggle - class struggle).

I think this fairly sums up the two sides here and all the rest is just polemical nonsense. I will become subjective again and make this point; I believe that the other side in this debate is not taking serious or even reading all the comments we are posting or the links to information we are posting. I believe that the other side's position has locked itself into a position and will remain there despite what is happening or not happening in the Kurdish region. For the other side this is not a discussion about events and conditions but purely a logic exercise and ideological exercise. The debate swings back and forth between the same point counterpoint because the other side will not address or engage in the conversation being had. Instead we jump from the rape topic to the stalinist topic to the adventurism topic to US-imperialist lapdog topic and it repeats itself. Some other people here have posted and responded to the comments and linked information and that has provided for a very interesting conversation.

Quote:
Such argumentation smacks more of a belief, nay faith, born out of a desperate hope that Kobane really is what is written in their constitutional scripture. I don't know either way what is happening in Kobane, but just saying that the way the two of you argue is not helping, especially kurremkarmerruk.

I think you could not be more off than you are here. I will flip it. I think such argumentation of the other side smacks of an ideologically predetermined conclusion, nay faith, born out of an abstract and idealist understanding of how the world is and how revolution works. For communists to rely so heavily on abstraction and idealism is very odd since our ideological godfather's view on idealism and conclusions on idealism are exactly why we are against idealism and instead rigid materialists.

You not knowing what is happening on the ground is an honest observation. Though I would offer, no suggest, to you that you do not need direct personal experience of something in order to get an understanding of some development in the world. For example, you can look at any movement or social event that occured in the past that you do agree with and ask yourself why you are allowing yourself to support such a thing.

As to reduce my fair amount of looking into and digging up of things to better understand what is happening in the Kurdish region with respect to autonomy and communal organizing into a belief in Constitutional "scripture" is pretty funny. However, the humor is at your expense not mine. My method of understanding things I am not directly involved in is nothing short of what people generally do. I will not bore myself or offend your intellectual capacity by spelling out how to study, research, and come to conclusions based on said research. That would be about as offensive as your comment above.

I do not understand your need to make a psychological assessment of me and determine that I suffer from some condition that makes me have some base need to believe that what is happening in Rojava is autonomous. I assure you my political commitment does not rely on the existence of Rojava. This is simply incorrect.

If it proves that all this incorrect and all we have if is something that is more like, say Iraqi Kurdistan (which appears to be more of a semi-autonomous state with institutions and bureaucracy that manages the social relations not all that much different from perhaps a socially democratic European nation), I will concede, and simply say, OK, I was wrong and what is happening in the region is nothing more than a secular socially liberal modern political development (even though that development would be interesting as well for completely different reasons).

I am not a rigid ideologue. However, I very strongly am attached to being an autonomist-leftist. And I do not believe that solidarity is only deserved by those who share my almost identical political views. That's just being an asshole and the exact opposite of solidarity and networking.

Also, its not that any of us, a very large portion of the autonomous-left (anarchist/communist/libertarian-left/etc...), are supporting the resistance and developments in Kurdistan (Rojava, Cantons, etc...) simply because we want to. Support has developed because this event has happened, the social development are happening, and people from all over have either traveled there or have contacts that are informing them of these developments. And from pretty basic methods of understanding something and deduction, we have deduced that, yes, this is something worthwhile new and interesting that needs further understanding. To make my point even clearer, these developments have been going on for longer than ISIS attempting to take Kobani. Unfortunately, I was one of the ones that only passively tolerated PKK at demos in Europe and had no real interest in the region until after I saw a non-fucking religiously or sectarian insane group battle it out with another insane group on behalf of further bloodying up the region that inadvertently allows for Western (capitalist) interests to run amok (a side note, the western interests and end result is falling flat on its face).

-----------------------------------------------KURDISH/KOBANI UPDATE-------------------------------------------

It appears that ISIS is being pushed further back!

Al Jazeera article: After Repelling ISIL, PKK Fighters are the new heroes of Kurdistan; http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/10/17/pkk-s-rise-in-iraqikurd...

Of course the Pentagon is now taking credit for making that happen, though not missing a line to indicate that their interests and strategy has not changed (blowing yet another whole in the argument that YPG are just US collaborators, etc...) . As can be seen in Western news sources:
http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/16/world/meast/isis-threat/index.html

Here is a taste of the rationale,

Quote:
"There's been no strategic shift here, as far as I know, at least from the military perspective, about Kobani or any other town," Rear Adm. John Kirby said, making a unique appearance at the State Department's daily briefing.
In recent weeks, administration and U.S. defense officials have said it wasn't essential to keep the city, not far from the border with Turkey, from becoming the latest in Syria to fall into ISIS hands.
"We never said Kobani didn't matter," Kirby said. "What makes Kobani matter for us from an airstrike perspective is that (ISIS is) there, and that they want it."
Kirby said the number of airstrikes in Syria or Iraq depends on how "target rich" an area is. The past few days around Kobani have seen more ISIS targets, he said. There are more ISIS fights there with more force, Kirby said.

Marx-Trek
Oct 17 2014 17:26

Again, I am correct in assuming there pretty big differences between Iraqi Krudistan the Peshmerga militia and PKK/YPG Turkey, Syria, etc...?

Nevermind, the article pretty much reiterates what has been already explained and answers my question.

Marx-Trek
Oct 17 2014 17:31

Here is another article discussing geopolitics as it relates to the many different Kurdistans within Kurdistan.

Here: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/08/iraq-turkey-kurds-fight...

kurekmurek
Oct 17 2014 19:01

And this Aljazeera news is really interesting as it shows how its influence seems to increase in Iraq kurdistan. Their fight certainly gives them political influence in the region. This can lead to power in every way. It is also interesting that this news is reported by Aljezeera as it is actually more sided with FSA due to quatar and arab islamism. Even today there were a protest of it in turkey by members of socialist democracy party.

Khawaga
Oct 17 2014 19:03

Marx-Trek, fair enough, my comment was in anyway more direct at your "compatriot". I have no way or little time to evaluate all the various writings on Kobane, don't have time to look into who is writing what accounts and why, and in the fog of war much will get lost (and in any case, the little time I have to spend on politics is more directly related to organizing here rather than spending energy on something that I have very little opportunity to do anything about).

My main point, however is that you "doth protest too much" and that therefore you are undermining your own argument; arguments that others may be more receptive to if you didn't post up essay length comments, sometimes one after the other (again kurremkarmerruk is more guilty of that than you). kurremkarmerruk even doesn't want to concede any criticism; even rape accusations are just bs! That really is undermining his/her position and I can't but help to think that s/he is arguing from an ideological position as much as those that you accuse others of (and I think that you are, to a considerable degree correct in that accusation; some more than others).

I guess my mistake was to lump you together with kurremkarmerruk and having his/her argumentation sow doubt on what you're arguing (and tbh I can't for the life of me remember the difference because I did lump you together) so for that I apologize.

kurekmurek
Oct 17 2014 19:58

Thanks now i am judged by people who even did not bothered to read anything written here. Super nice!

Marx-Trek
Oct 17 2014 20:37

Khawaga, your sincerity is much appreciated. Thanks.

Yeah, I am almost sadly convinced that there is no use in discussing the issues any further with the most commentators on this thread because it seems that most, not all, of them don't even bother to read. And now, apparently the length of people's responses to questions or statements have become a problem. So now not only is the positions put forth the problem but so too the length of someone's comment. I get the sentiment or the frustration of reading a long comment, but then again, people should not make such grand over-generalizations or ask questions that do not demand answers beyond yes or no... I come to Libcom to read, learn, and engage with what I have learned...sometimes it takes longer sometimes it does not.

Also, it is kind of hard to not write longer posts than most when one has to constantly explain and re-explain their position prior to discussing some new aspect of the larger conversation. I am not the one that is constantly demanding one's position to be validated and I am not the one that is attempting to hold under lock and key what counts and doesnt count for good anarchism/communism. Hence, me having added the ---------------LINES------------------ indicating that the shit above is yet another re-explanation of my position, that again goes completely unnoticed even though the response was basically asked for, and then below something that actually contributes to the conversation about Kobani and the developments within the cantons.

As for you not having time, ok fine, we are all busy, I have no idea what you are doing and you have no idea what I am doing besides posting on here. But here is the thing, you seem to be interested and invested enough in what is happening in Kobani since you are following a thread on the issue. Also, I am glad that you are doing exactly what the Kobani Kurds are doing, being to busy with their own shit and issues than to worry all that much about what someone else thinks or does in some far off region of the world.

But all in all, I just dont get the constant need to seemingly engage in a conversation about something and then instead of actually comment back concerning the issues previously raised, ignore someone's response, and instead jump to the next argument without even engaging the issues brought up. The problem is not difference of opinion or perspective. The fact that people are arguing in circles, some more than others, are not actually engaging with the conversation being had but instead are talking at the conversation.

As for being lumped together, that is fine when there are similarities but when there are difference there are differences. However, I am not really sure what the differences really are other than everyone keeps accusing "K" of being a rape apologist, an accusation thrown less at me. And here we are again, discussing the rape issue (then it will be Stalinism and then US imperialist lapdog strategy and then class struggle and then back to rape). After having read all the information provided by "K" about the rape issue, reading the accusatory comments, and trying to find more info myself; I am silent on the issue because nothing glaring pops out other than some Turkist nationalist site discussing the rape issue. Its not that rape is not an important issue but when you have to search and search and search and find nothing really worth discussing the point seems moot.

Also, I am not all that interested in some imprisoned persons sexual activity, as already stated over and over, but instead in what is going on in the Cantons, at point which I think "K" and I agree on. So yeah the only difference I guess is that "K" seems to have more knowledge and infomation about Ocalan and I seem not convinced of the rape, nor am I all that interested in defending his actions or non-actions because I do not now. And again, this has already been discussed in several posts prior to this one. Again the length of the posts are determined not by me but what I and "K" are constantly asked to respond to. Then for some reason those responds fall on deaf ears, but thanks to you not this time! thanks for engaging (since that is what forums are for, right?).

Khawaga
Oct 17 2014 21:27
kurremkarmerruk wrote:
Thanks now i am judged by people who even did not bothered to read anything written here. Super nice!

Telling that kurremkarmerruk PM'ed me to only ask how I knew the rape accusations against Ocalan was correct. Apparently contacting someone about the reputation of someone is more important than trying to convince someone that what is happening in Kobane really is a social revolution. Telling of kurremkarmerruk's position.

And by the way, what I wrote was:

Quote:
I have no way or little time to evaluate all the various writings on Kobane, don't have time to look into who is writing what accounts and why,

meaning that while I have read quite a bit of the content pointed to by the links various people have posted, I cannot judge for myself what statement and analysis is more truth worthy or correct than other. Especially since I cannot read either Turkish or Kurdish; it is an admittance of not being able to evaluate something. That is something completely different than not reading, which is what kurremkarmerruk think I wrote. It indicates insincerity.

Note I did not refuse that what is happening in Kobane may actual be a social revolution, only that your way of arguing is counter-productive and seems to come from a place of faith rather than reason (granted a rather poor argument on my behalf). But since I critiqued, I must be attacked and dismissed. The difference in Marx-Trek and kurremkarmerruk respective replies is telling.

And for what it's worth Marx-Trek, I've found both your posts and kurremkarmerruk's informative and even interesting, and so the other long comments by people opposing you. This thread is where I follow the events in Kobane. Since I don't claim by any means to have a special insight into what happens there I evaluate what I read here, and truth be told, I can't make up my mind abut what is going on, though being a cynic and seeing how the left and anarchists often jump at anything that may constitute some communist movement as the next big thing (due to the general lack of militancy in our own countries) I am sceptical. Nothing would make me more happy than to eat my cynicism and find out that really is going on turns out to be what you are arguing. Delighted even.

boomerang
Oct 17 2014 22:28

(I'm re-posting this from the thread "PKK political evolution")

Inspired by this debate, I got in touch with DAF (Devrimci Anarşist Faaliyet), an anarchist organization in Turkey, to ask them their opinion on all this. They were kind enough to take the time to write me a reply, from one of their comrades who speaks English.

They make the point that the movement in Rojava is similar to the Zapatistas, which I think is a good comparison, because the Zapatistas also are not anarchist (or anti-capitalist) but they are influenced by anarchism and use decision making processes within the tradition of anarchism. Generally, anarchists are in solidarity with Zaptistas, simultaneously celebrate the many positive things in their movement while also being critical of deficiencies (their not being anti-capitalist), and I think this same approach is appropriate in Rojava.

I'm going to copy/paste the email in a new post, but not using the quote blocks, because that makes it harder on the eyes to read.

boomerang
Oct 17 2014 22:28

QUOTING AN EMAIL FROM D.A.F. (Devrimci Anarşist Faaliyet - TURKISH ANARCHIST GROUP)
======================================================================
We can divide your questions in three part;

-effect of Bookchin to theory of Kurdish Movement
-the situation in Rojava
-the position of PKK

Firstly, it is true that Ocalan (the popular leader of the Kurdish Movement) theorise "Democratic Confederalism" referencing Bookchin, Kropotkin and Bakunin. He also declared that he had passed over Marx. This declaration is something like a break point of movement which had a leninist tradition. (But please pay attention that I am using as Kurdish Movement insistently.

Party had also put away the hammer and sickle signs from their flags. So this attitude of party shows something about the changing. Of course,this does not simply show that they have changed their ideas to anarchism.

Democratic Confederalism is a new theory by Ocalan. As I mentioned they reference some anarchists, but Ocalan did not say that it is an anarchist theory. But many similarity with social anarchism.

Ok we have to accept that Bookchin even do not consider his theory as part of anarchism,he thought that it is a new theory (I think this point is another discussion between anarchists). So we can say like, it has relation or similarity with anarchism, like the way of understanding democracy, patriarchy and centralism where Ocalan's theory mostly focuses on.

Especially in 2000s PKK become more social, now it is really hard to say that the decisions are determined by the party headquarter. That is why I am using as Kurdish Movement. Kurdish Movement reference party, HDP which is in Turkish parlament,Ocalan and Kurdish People.

We can easily say that we are witness in decentrification of movement. Direct Democracy is mostly used in arguments of party and also used in the practice that is trying to be built.

I,personally, think that Kurdish Movement and Zapatist Movement have many similarities. Comrade, how can we describe Zapatista Movement? They are also not anarchist, but we are giving importance to this popular movement too.

Now there is a war in Rojava where Kurdish people are trying to maturize a revolution. There could be many defficiency. But it is our responsibility as revolutionary anarchist to solidaire with Rojava Revolution, because revolution has no borders and the real main opposition with turkish state is Kurdish Movement and there could be chance for expand this fire of revolution in west part of anatolia.

As DAF, we can not be far away from this social movement. This is also our understanding of anarchism: be in solidarity with oppressed ones.

I hope this information may help you to understand the situation. Do not hesiatate to ask me detailed question.

boomerang
Oct 17 2014 22:32

The DAF also sent me this excerpt from their interview with with Alternative Libertaire (French Anarchist Newspaper):
Rather than repost the whole thing, you can find it here: http://libcom.org/forums/middle-east/pkk-political-evolution-17082012?page=1#comment-545763