Thursday, 10 December 2015

Greens on the Rojavan Revolution

Last week saw the British Government get its way in proposing that UK jets should join in aerial bombing in Syria. Since then, the litany of bad news from the area has continued - ISIS continue to murder and oppress; Russian bombers attack Syrian rebels but not ISIS; Turkey continues to weave a devious path through the maelstrom, allegedly buying cheap oil that finances ISIS and blocking Kurdish attempts to seal off the self-styled Caliphate's trade routes; British planes attack the Assad regime, which was not part of the debate in Parliament; millions of people continue to flee, thousands are killed and whole affluent cities are brought to dust.

But in one part of Syria, there is good news. In the three Kurdish cantons of the northeast, collectively known as Rojava, not only has ISIS been pushed dramatically back, but the inhabitants have embraced an incredible, egalitarian revolution that is transforming their society and offering a model for sustainability and social justice to the whole region and beyond.

In the UK, perhaps because endorsing Rojava in the battle with ISIS would mean endorsing social revolutionaries, the Cameron Government has largely ignored what some refer to as the "stateless state". But on the Left, many have come to see it as an entity needing our backing and none more so than many in the Green Party, which some months ago formally voted in favour of calling for British and international support for Rojava's struggle.

Here are links to three pieces by Green Party members on Rojava and the hope it provides in winning hearts and minds as well as battlefields from the pernicious fascism of ISIS, but without yielding to the twisted agendas of self-styled Great Powers which have to date caused so much deep seated and lasting harm to the entire region of the Levant.


- Derek Wall, Green Party International Co-ordinator in "The Morning Star" (published 2/12/15)

THE media and political class pre-frame debates so we are left with limited choices. Often a simple analysis of the situation shows that the positions advanced are nonsense.The current debate over how to fight Islamic State (Isis) in Syria is a typical example. The debate is framed as bombing Isis versus a pacifist position. We are set up to agonise over intervention. 

On the one hand Western intervention in Iraq and Libya has created the chaos which led to the birth and growth of the so-called Islamic State. On the other, after the bloodshed in Paris, to do nothing is not an option, so many of us reluctantly are tempted to support British bombing of Raqqa and other areas controlled by Isis.

However even a cursory examination of the facts on the ground suggest that, far from opposing Isis, the British government is actually campaigning against the most successful of its opponents — the revolutionary Kurds led by the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and organised in the Peoples Protection Units (YPG).

Also see a comment piece for the Green Party of England & Wales by Derek Wall in October 2014 on "Western Blindspot: the Kurds' Forgotten War in Syria."


- Martin O'Beirne, Ecosocialist blogger  (published 28/11/15)

Contrary to what I think I should probably think - I don't agree that there should be no bombing/air campaign at all in the fight against Da'esh ever by anyone.

I disagree with Cameron's crude strategy of UK airstrikes and heavy bombing of Raqqa. What I do agree with is the following 1. Political intervention (in particular pressuring Turkey to reconsider its increasingly blatant support for ISIS) 2. A complete reassessment of our arms trade with Saudi & Israel 3. The left doing several things that broadly come under the rubric of 'defending the greyzone' including, supporting Corbyn and attacking the media and messages it is portraying. The Sun and Daily Mail have by any standards been vile. The Caliph the conductor and we the conducted and finally 4. Being very mindful indeed with the use of the Prevent program. Administered in any other way could be counterproductive and there are reports that this is so.

I strongly disagree with the drive for militarization over the next decade, billions planned for new aircraft and trident renewal. A pillar of neoliberalism that has inevitably created this situation. This money could pay for a million climate jobs several times over, amongst other things. But I do agree with one thing. Despite playing a major role in birthing ISIS in to this world, they, ISIS, should be stopped. If the left acknowledges this, a strategy is lacking in much of the discourse, and the above mentioned strategies are only mitigation.



- Adrian Cruden, former Green Party Parliamentary candidate in "The Point" (published 6/12/15)

Political delusion reached some sort of tragic apogee last week with the British Parliamentary debate on bombing the Islamist ISIS/Daesh “Caliphate” straddling eastern Syria and north-western Iraq. Responding to the complaints that bombing alone would do little, Prime Minister David Cameron summoned up 70,000 “moderate” Syrian fighters who, although currently invisible, were apparently ready to take on the 30,000 soldiers of the Caliphate and battle their way to the Daesh stronghold of Raqqa, there to bring the conflict to a dramatic conclusion.

The Government has admitted the figure is a totalling of small groups of rebels primarily focussed on fighting the Assad regime (and each other) and the provenance of many is questionable: a good number have links with both al Qaeda and Daesh. Reportedly, officials warned Cameron not to use the figure, but he ignored them, a decision he may come to regret.

The Prime Minister’s wishful thinking, however, excluded one real source of potential military power which other pro-interventionists have been quick to point to as his Army of Moderates has sunk into the desert sands. Maajid Nawaaz of the Quilliam Foundation, speaking on BBC’s Question Time, referred to them portentously as “The Kurdish Warriors” and seemed to suggest they could be Cameron’s troop against Daesh. However, his assumption that the Syrian Kurds might be co-opted into Cameron’s military strategy demonstrates a misunderstanding of both the Kurds and Cameron but, for those of us on the non-pacifist Left, the issue does raise some serious questions about what robust alternative we can offer to the aerial bombing campaign.


Below: Rojavans in Efrin go to the ballot box as democracy wins through...

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