The parliamentary group of the Red-Green Alliance (RGA – Enhedslisten) voted together with all out parties for sending a Hercules airplane to Iraq at the request of the Iraqi government. The plane will transport weapons and ammunition to the Kurdish militias fighting Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS).”
Archive for the ‘Fascism’ Category
Danish Revolutionary Socialists Says: Arm Kurdish Freedom Fighters!
Danish socialists voting for a parliamentary decision to send a military plane to Iraq under US command is not usual. Even more unusual is the fact that I – considering myself a revolutionary Marxist – voted to support that decision. Nevertheless, that is what happened a few weeks ago.
Reports Michael Voss (of the Danish Red-Green Alliance, Enhedslisten – De Rød-Grønne), known as Enhl, and SAP (Socialistisk Arbejderparti) in International Viewpoint (journal of the Fourth International).
The nightmare of some ‘anti-imperialist’ hipsters has had a real political impact…..
Why Danish leftists supported military aid to Iraq Monday 15 September 2014
Comrade Voss made the honest point that,
In that way there is a temporary coincidence of interests between imperialism and socialists on the simple issue of fighting IS. We want to supply the Kurds with weapons, and US imperialism want to supply the Kurds with weapons – for the time being. Not supporting it, only because of the US command, would be as if Lenin had refused to travel in the sealed train supplied by German imperialism through imperialist Germany to Russia in the middle of the Russian revolution, as another NL-member said.
I don’t think that much argument is needed to back the fact that revolutionary socialists also want to fight and stop IS, a murderous, sectarian and deeply reactionary force. A victory for IS will set back any social, democratic, pro-women or anti-imperialist development that may have taken place in parts of Syria and Iraq.
But that their MPs made sure that,
- that the Danish Hercules plane cannot be used for any other purpose than delivering arms to the forces fighting IS
- that this decision does not allow any other Danish military activity in the region;
- that whatever happens, a new parliament decision is necessary if the government wants to prolong the activity of the airplane after 1 January 2015
As a follow up to the decision the RGA have taken other initiatives to stop military and financial supply for IS, to popularise the fight for the Kurdish peoples’ right to self-determination and to have the PKK removed from the US and the EU list of so-called terror organisations. A special Danish aspect is the fact that the TV-station of Kurds for all Europe was based in Denmark until it was recently banned, and 10 people from the Kurdish community face trial for collecting money for organisations that – according to the police – transfer the money to PKK.
When the first shipment of weapons to the PKK/YPG by a Danish airplane under US command has taken place, it will be hard for the authorities to explain that they are supporting a terror organisation.
This decision took place in mid-August (reported in International Viewpoint on the 15th of Septmeber.
Danish arms to support Kurds in Iraq
25. aug. 2014 13.14
The Red-Green Party’s central committee has agreed that its parliamentary group may vote yes to send Danish arms to support Kurds fighting in Iraq.
However, final approval by parliament on Wednesday is needed before a Hercules transport aircraft containing a consignment of light weapons can be sent as Denmark’s contribution to the USA’s action in Northern Iraq, where Kurdish fighters are being hard-pressed by the militant Islamic State (IS).
“I’m pleased that the central committee has approved the parliamentary group’s proposal for Denmark to support the campaign by sending a transport aircraft with weapons and ammunition to the hard-pressed Kurdish fighters in Northern Iraq,” said Nikolaj Villumsen, spokesman on defence for the Red-Green Alliance.
The government received the final support of all parliamentary parties on Sunday after the remaining parties had acknowledged their approval at a meeting of the Foreign Policy Committee on Thursday.
Today, the government will present its proposal to send the aircraft to Iraq as soon as possible with a consignment of weapons and solders to protect the aircraft.
“The Islamic State is one of the most perfidious movements the world has seen for many years and must be forced back before it commits new crimes against humanity.
“It must be emphasised, however, that our support for this limited action will not entail any Danish military intervention in Iraq and is purely intended as support for the Kurds to help them defend themselves against the Islamic State. We are not entering into a new war in Iraq,” said Villumsen.
Put in their place in 2011
In March 2011, the Red-Green parliamentary group was quickly put in its place by the party when it wished to support the use of Danish F-16 fighter aircraft to support the Libyan Army.
At the party’s AGM, a procedure was established for how the parliamentary group could support Danish military action, when it was made contingent on approval by the central committee.
The authorities are indeed concerned,
Some Danish politicians, however, are sceptical that the Danish involvement could inadvertently support the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which the European Union (EU) labels a terrorist organization.
Since IS captured about a third of Iraq in June, the PKK, which is based in Iraqi Kurdistan, has become part of the war. The PKK’s affiliate, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Syria, are fighting IS alongside the KRG’s Peshmerga troops. Rudaw.
The Red-Greens are noted for their support for a foreign policy based on human rights.
Enhl initially backed plans for UN-led intervention in Libya but pulled back, after party protests, once the campaign got underway.
The Red-Green Alliance currently has 12 seats in the Danish Parliament (Folketinget) with 6,7 % of the vote.
Wider Backing for Military Action Against Islamic State/Daʿesh
Support for the Kurdish and other democratic fighters against Islamic state is widespread on the European left, a stand that contrasts with the isolationist Stop the War Coalition in Britain.
As the Guardian prints Richard Seymour’s hipster take on ISIS the StWC has just published the weighty reflections of Russell Brand: Will Obama’s bombs stop the ISIS beheadings?
By contrast over the weekend one of the Editors of the French Communist Party daily l’Humanité, and MEP, Patrick Le Hyaric, said of the Islamic State, Da’esh, , “il faut briser les reins à ces égorgeurs.” – we must break the backs of these murderers.
He continued, “Nous avons, à cet instant, une pensée particulière pour nos frères et pour nos sœurs kurdes qui combattent en première ligne contre la cruauté sauvage de l’Etat islamique, en Irak comme en Syrie..” We have a special place in our thoughts for our brother and sister Kurds who are fighting in the front line against the savage cruelty of the Islamic State,in Iraq as in Syria.
Le Hyaric emphasised however that military action should be decided by Parliament and endorsed by the United Nations, and not take place through the channels of NATO.
The French Nouveau parti anticapitaliste, NPA, (the largest group associated with the Fourth International) has yet to publicly take a position on their Danish comrades’ decision.
Other articles in International Viewpoint, such as one by David Finkel published on the same day as the above contribution, repeat the well-known refrain that, “the global terror of imperialism generates its ugly local and regional counterparts from Taliban to the “Islamic State.” The terrorist forces arising in shattered societies can’t be eradicated without uprooting the global system that inevitably breeds them.”
The British FI group, Socialist Resistance has shown deep sympathy for the Kurdish struggle and the fight against ISiS.
“Isis is tweeting, often with a wry, sardonic edge that makes them sound like New York hipsters turned salafists.”
Bombs won’t solve the Isis problem, but “Even the left is demanding quick solutions to the horror and immediacy of the Isis beheadings. But the situation in Iraq is too complex for simplistic thinking.” writes Richard Seymour in his latest cromulent discourse (Guardian Bombs won’t solve the Isis problem. 15.9.14).
Everybody’s favourite intersectionalist and opponent of liberal murder observes, “beyond the Westminster spear-carriers for American empire, there is a muted, hardly enthusiastic, but nonetheless real sentiment in parts of the left. It runs something like this: “I marched against the war on Iraq, I detest US domination, but in this case I have no problem with American airstrikes.”
“The answer is Islamic State. Isis goes to your head and gets under your skin; it leaves you feeling infested. Back in the days when one didn’t know much about the jihadis carrying out beheadings, it was possible to think that they were just – as David Cameron has denounced them – “monsters”, savages, beasts.”
Infested, goes to your head, under your skin, is Seymour describing some malady, or as he would put it, something that creates astheneia?
That detesting ISIS is an illness that saps our will to ‘resist’ ?
From this pleasing thought Seymour moves into explanations for the rise of Islamic State and ISIS.
Was the force behind by the Islamic State created by the US-led occupation?
That is, “A brutal occupation produces a brutal insurgency.”
No, “that argument was always vulgar, and it would be even more vulgar now to say that Isis’s success can be explained by reference to an occupation that no longer persists.”
Vulgar: another example of how poor fools are unable to grapple with phenomena like mass ethnic and religious cleansing, slaughter, torture, and the butcher videoed beheading David Haines, and American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff are “infested”.
In reality, Seymourian wisdom tells us,
Isis succeeds because of the support it enjoys within much of the population it seeks to rule. And this support, be it noted, is gained on the basis of vicious sectarianism.
Be it noted! Indeed! Islamist genociders have support on the basis of hatred of other religious groups!
Yet, the hegemonic discourse that articulates the formation is a novelty,
Whereas “al-Qaida in the Land of the Two Rivers” communicated principally in the medium of shaky videos with hostages reading bombastic messages from their host-killers, Isis is tweeting, often with a wry, sardonic edge that makes them sound like New York hipsters turned salafists.
Shit, dude, my bad!
“Take the character who has been referred to as “Jihad John”, the man supposedly behind a number of the killings. The immediate dilemma faced by the anglophone press is explaining how a British person “from a good area” could be tempted to participate in such grim spectacles. The desperate search for motives, sifting hopelessly through his rap lyrics for clues, is indicative of how misplaced this approach is.”
Indeed we have spent hours, if not days, going through his rap lyrics for some textual discursive clues. All we found was a blood-thirsty racist and sadist.
We were mislead, totes!
It’s all much more complicated!
The Wissenschaftler (as Seymour would say) points out that, “of course (indeed….. ‘of course’) .. in the absence of explanation, we are very quick to believe anything we hear about Isis. For example, the story of 40,000 Iraqis stranded and starving on a mountain – invoked by supporters of intervention – turned out to be exaggerated. The Isis siege, far from requiring the flexing of US muscle, was broken by Kurdish peshmerga.”
Perhaps he might explain what was exaggerated?
And what exactly is his explanation for why somebody becomes a sadistic killer in a gang with more than a little in common with the World War 2 Einsatzgruppen?
Except that “vicious sectarianism” is rife.
Seymour and Ethical Austerity.
Back to the politics and morals of the present dude...
How does our intersectional chum intend to back the same Kurds who broke the genociders’ hold?
Nothing is offered.
Instead Seymour turns his gaze at the Other elsewhere, and scorns any form of “humanitarian intervention.”
Or, ” the illusion that there is a simple techno-military solution to grave humanitarian exigencies”.
Airstrikes can destroy bodies, but they can’t destroy political antagonisms. Nor would a renewed occupation solve the problem. The formerly occupying coalition which constructed that authority are in no position – even if they had the ability – to replace it with something plural and democratic. There simply are no shortcuts.
How exactly something “plural and democratic” will emergence remains a mystery of the dialectic.
To repeat: What is he going to do?
He has his column to discourse……
What does he say to people fighting for dear life?
What does he say to the victims of ethnic and religious cleansing?
That there are no “short cuts”.
That it’s all too complicated for “simplistic thinking”.
Forget the Genociders of Daʿesh: we need to chillax!
Keep Sweden Swedish: Swedish Democrats, the early years.
France-Inter this morning compared the success of AfD (Alternative für Deutschland) and the Swedish anti-immigrant party, (which while it no longer uses the sticker pictured still stands for keeping Sweden Swedish) the Swedish Democrats (Sverigedemokraterna, SD) to the rise of the French Front National and the British UKIP.
A conservative German anti-euro party, Alternative for Germany (AfD), has won seats in two more regional parliaments.
Local elections in eastern Germany on Sunday gave the AfD 12.2% in Brandenburg and 10.6% in Thuringia.
The party entered a regional parliament for the first time two weeks ago in Saxony – another eastern German state.
The AfD is mounting a growing challenge to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats. It wants to scrap the euro and sees law and order as a priority.
The party is attracting right-wing supporters, while avoiding links with nationalist extremists.
The Social Democrats (SPD) won in Brandenburg with 32% and are set to remain in power in coalition with the socialist Die Linke who polled 18.9%.
The Christian Democrats (CDU), polled 33.5% in Thuringia, only a few points ahead of Die Linke, who won 28% of the vote.
Until now, the CDU has been in coalition with the SPD in Thuringia but could lose the state to Die Linke if the Social Democrats switch allegiances.
The staunchly pro-euro CDU refuses to form any coalition with the AfD.
The AfD was among many Eurosceptic parties which made large gains in the European elections in May.
The AfD, founded just over a year ago, has seven seats now in the European Parliament. Its MEPs sit in the same grouping as the UK Conservatives, demanding fundamental reform of the EU.
The party campaigns against bailouts for southern European countries, angry that taxpayers’ money has been used to save the euro.
“We are the force that’s renewing the political landscape,” said AfD leader Bernd Lucke, 52, an economics professor.
“One can’t deny it anymore: the citizens are thirsting for political change,” he said. BBC.
Not noted by the BBC report is that the left party, Die Linke, lost more than half of its votes in this election in Brandenburg (Linke verliert mehr als die Hälfte der Stimmen) while it scored a record total in Thüringen with 28,2%.
Sweden‘s Social Democratic party, which on Sunday ended its longest spell in opposition in a century, faces a weak minority government after the far-right Sweden Democrats emerged as the third-largest party.
The below seems reasonable comment (extracts) by Hela Sverige (Spectator) ,
Who are the Sweden Democrats?
They call themselves “Sweden’s only opposition party”, the implication being that the Stockholm elite is one indistinguishable blob of vested interest. Like UKIP, they say they are neither left or right. I’d put them closer to Maine Le Pen’s National Front in being anti-immigration and protectionist. Is Ms Romson fair to compare them to racists? There is no doubt that the Sweden Democrats have moved towards the mainstream in recent years and tried to address racism within their ranks. Their language is a mixture of Salmond/Farage-style anger at the elite and populism.
….what unites these Scottish, UK and European nationalist parties is the strategy of posing as the insurgent, out to stand up for the people against a Westminster elite/Riksdag elite etc.
At 2’07, the Sweden Democrats’ video shows the EVIL ELITE in a limo and the narrator says:-
“We want to hit out against the elite who have let our society disintegrate for decades. They are to blame for the problems in our society… It is, therefore, no mystery that politicians want to be elected on the same policies which caused the problems in the first place… Their failed integration politics is solved by more mass immigration. And the problem of begging is solved by having even more people come here to beg.”
Then at 3’03, cut to a picture of a herd of cows…
“And the strangest thing of all: no matter what the other parties say, they still tend to think the same thing. Sometimes they think so similarly that they use the same campaign slogans.”
They accuse the other parties of changing their policies to suit the confected outrage of the Twitter elite in Soder (Stockholm’s equivalent of Islington). They (5.50, with the hard rock music) say they haven’t gone to political school, but worked out their policies from real life. At 6’32 they show a crowd with a placard saying “no to racism” and the narrator saying: “they’ll say anything to shut us up”. This, of course, is what the BNP said here: it almost relished the racism charges.
Over on the New Statesman, George Eaton offers some wider context,
In total, the centre-left alliance won 43.7 per cent of the vote to the centre-right’s 39.1 per cent. Social Democrat leader Stefan Lofven will now seek to form a coalition with the Greens and the Left Party, but the worryingly high level of support for the Swedish Democrats, who only entered parliament at the last election in 2010, presents the grim prospect of the anti-immigration party holding the balance of power.
Having fallen short of an overall majority (by 15 seats), while refusing to work with the far-right, the centre-left is danger of legislative gridlock. As outgoing finance minister Anders Borg said: “It is clear that from a broader perspective that this is difficult for Sweden. We go from having one of Europe’s strongest governments to having a weak government power with considerable uncertainty about economic policy.” The Feminist Initiative Party split the left-wing vote by winning 3 per cent (up from just 0.4 per cent in 2010), but fell short of the 4 per cent required for parliamentary representation. Their rise in support, combined with the far-right insurgency, means that despite finishing first, the Social Democrats only increased their vote share by 0.4 per cent.
From a UK perspective, the result is damaging for David Cameron in two respects. First, he has lost one of his closest EU allies in the form of Reinfeldt (part of his “Northern Alliance“), further tilting the odds against a successful renegotiation if he is still prime minister after next May. Second, the rejection of the Moderates, whose vote fell by 7 per cent, marks a backlash against welfare cuts and privatisation after a series of free school failures and care home scandals (policies emulated by the coalition). The ideological wind is no longer blowing the free market right’s way in the Nordics.
One final point worth noting, as Rob Ford suggests, is that the result looks eerily like a preview of the British election in May 2015: an unpopular centre-right government is expelled as voters protest against privatisation; a weak centre-left takes power without a majority; and the populist right (Ukip) surges into third place.
Like France-Inter I am principally struck by the rise of rabid right-wing populism in Germany and Sweden.
The Islamic State group has released a video purporting to show the beheading of British aid worker David Haines – an act described by the British prime minister as “pure evil”.
The video, released late on Saturday, shows Haines, 44, being killed in a desert location by a masked man. The father of two children, from Perth in Scotland, was abducted last year while working for the French aid agency Acted.The video comes after the murder of James Foley and Steven Sotloff, both American journalists, in similar settings and manners.
The masked man in the latest video states Haines was killed because the UK’s prime minister, David Cameron, had promised to arm Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in Iraq against the Islamic State fighters.
“This British man has to pay the price for your promise, Cameron, to arm the Peshmerga against the Islamic State.”
The Guardian states,
In the video, entitled A Message to the Allies of America, a masked man is shown carrying out the beheading of Haines, whose life had earlier been threatened in a film showing the murder of American journalist Steven Sotloff. The video, which runs to two minutes and 28 seconds, ends with a warning that a second British hostage would be the next to die. He has been named in international media and on social media as Alan Henning, a British aid worker.
The killer, swathed in black, then makes a statement in which he makes a direct reference to the British government’s aid to Kurdish fighters.
He says: “This British man has to pay the price for your promise, Cameron, to arm the Peshmerga against the Islamic State. Ironically, he has spent a decade of his life serving under the same Royal Air Force that is responsible for delivering those arms.
“Your evil alliance with America which continues to strike the Muslims of Iraq and most recently bombed the Haditha Dam will only accelerate your destruction. And playing the role of the obedient lapdog, Cameron, will only drag you and your people into another bloody and unwinnable war.”
The BBC adds, that the killer, “appears to have a British accent.”
This is a terrible event, and we are deeply saddened.
But let us avoid rhetoric about an “‘an act of pure evil’ (David Cameron).
Some more precise points:
- It is to be hoped that nobody from the Stop the War Coalition or elsewhere will blame this killing of an innocent aid worker on Western foreign policy. The murder is the responsibility of the person who carried it out, and the Islamic state leaders who directly ordered the beheading . The person killed, David Haines, bears no collective responsibility for the actions of the West. He bore no responsibility for what the Royal Air Force is doing now. He was an aid worker. The butcher who decapitated him had no right to take the right over his life to himself.
- It is equally to be hoped that the StWC and others will not repeat the phrase about a “bloody and unwinnable war”. This is not a matter of Cameron “not saying no” to the Americans, a lapdog of the White House. It may be wrong it may be right, but if the West did not arm the Peshmerga, the Islamic state will not stop religious cleansing, torture and genocide.
- The murderer says, “This British man has to pay the price for your promise, Cameron, to arm the Peshmerga against the Islamic State.” The killer is not an agent morally capable of making Haines “Pay” anything. You cannot transfer a debt – real or metaphorical – from one unrelated individual, the Prime Minister, to another person, particularly one who is independent of his field of action
- Nobody can lay the Haines’ death directly at Cameron’s door: it is the decision of Islamic state, an act of their will, in order to further their aim of enforcing a Caliphate over the corpses of ‘heretics’ and ‘unbelievers’.
- The individual who slaughtered Haines was, according to all accounts, British. Will he, and other foreign Jihadists, continue these actions and try to kill other British people that he considers responsible for attacking the Islamic state?
It would be appreciated as well if people would stop repeating that Islamic State/ISIS/Daʿesh has nothing to do with real Islam.
We are not in a position to know what ‘real’ Islam is.
Daʿesh claims to be Islamic: it is one form of actually existing Islamism. (1)
Fawaz A Gerges on Radio Four this morning underlined that it is marked by unrelenting sectarian hatred, above all of Shias.
This clearly has nothing whatsoever to do with Western foreign policy.
This is not to deny the complications at work in Iraq and Syria and few would be inclined to lay out the battle lines in black and white.
There remain plenty of contradictions at the heart of the US-led operations, ranging from the lack of fixidity in the roles of Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the Arab League, to the (sectarian) nature of much of the Baghdad government and the long-term goals of the Kurdish regional authority (see Rue89).
One aspect of Daʿesh, nevertheless, does concern us here with absolute clarity: every European jihadist may be held accountable for their crimes, tortures and murders.
They should be brought before a War Crimes Tribunal.
The Parti Communiste Français (PCF) declared in July,
The Islamist terrorist organisation Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which decreed the creation of a Caliphate which straddles Iraq and Syria, has launched a military offensive against independent Syrian Kurdistan.
Taking advantage of the disintegration of Iraq and seizing heavy weapons, they have taken their fight to Kurdish districts in Syria, areas in which the population has for months waged a heroic struggle against these obscurantist forces – supported by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
The “West”, including the United States and France bear a huge responsibility in this regional disintegration and in the violence against civilians. Turkey has also shown a benevolent attitude towards this offensive, which fulfils their aim of breaking the democratic experience of the (autonomous Kurdish) town and surroundings of Rojava.
With the Kurds threatened with new massacres indifference is shameful and inhuman.
The French Communist Party expresses its solidarity with the Syrian Kurds. It calls the French government and the European Union to use all their power to stop these crimes.
French Communist Party
Paris July 7, 2014 (adapted)
The PCF has since that date issued numerous appeals.
Support for the Kurds is a priority. Anything that can help, such as the withdrawal of the PKK’s designation as a ‘terrorist organisation’, should be encouraged. France could, as a member of the Security Council initiate a regional conference to help reconciliation, rebuild the Iraqi state and preserve the unity of the Middle East. There is still time to contain the conflagration sweeping the region.
The PCF expresses its support and solidarity with the Kurdish forces and commits itself on the side of the democrats and Kurdish forces against the Iraqi ISIS. In this terrible ordeal, Communists will spare no efforts to ensure that peace and democracy can win out.
Stop the cruelty and persecution against the Kurdish people and minorities in Iraq (August 23rd) called for support for a demonstration in Marseille that day in support of minorities in Iraq.
PARIS, France – High-profile French politicians are urging greater international support for Iraqi Kurds in their fight against jihadists of the Islamic State (IS), saying the autonomous region is fighting for Western democratic values and should be helped in its protection of Christians and Yezidis.
“The Kurds are fighting also for our democratic values and for our safety,” said a petition published in the French newspaper Le Monde.
“Let’s help Kurdistan protect the Yezidis and the Christians. Our values depend on it,” said the appeal, an initiative of the Kurdish Institute of Paris.
It was signed by former Prime Minister Lionel Jospin and Michel Rocard, former ministers of foreign affairs Bernard Kouchner and Hubert Vedrine, the current mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, and former ministers Cecile Duflot, Francois Loncle and Pierre Lellouche, among other high profile academics and intellectuals.
Their statement referred to the grave situation faced by the Kurdistan Region, which has received hundreds of thousands of refugees escaping the war by Islamic jihdists. Erbil also is having to protect over 1,000 kilometers of its border against the highly armed forces.
“Since June, Iraqi Kurdistan has been receiving hundreds of thousands of refugees and displaced people fleeing the massacres committed by the jihadists of the Islamic State. Among them are tens of thousands of Christians, Yezidis, Shabaks and members of other religious minorities,” the statement said.
“Coming after the first wave of 250.000 Syrian refugees, this massive flood far exceeds the Kurdistan Regional Government’s hosting capacities,” it noted. Kurdistan “does not have, on its own, the material means to provide for the accommodation of this additional population of over a million people,” it added.
It noted also that, as the KRG struggles against this deluge, Baghdad has cut monthly budget payments to Erbil over an oil row, cutting deeply into Kurdish finances.
The Kurdish Peshmerga forces have been the toughest line of defense against the jihadis, backed with air support by the US and Iraqi air force.
Erbil has also allowed refugees to cross into its borders, regardless of religion or ethnicity.
“Such a rare example of democracy in the Islamic world not only deserves encouragement but it also needs active and massive solidarity of the citizens and the governments of the Western Democracies,” the French appeal said.
The group called for the intensification of humanitarian aid by the UN agencies and the European Union, implementation of promised arms supplies and measures to enable the KRG to protect minorities in the frontlines. It also called for action to encourage oil-rich Gulf countries to finance the ongoing relief efforts in Kurdistan.
“An international air protection should be provided to Christian and Yezidi areas of the plain of Nineveh in order to enable the return of these vulnerable peoples,” it pointed out.
The petition also urged France, which took the initiative of mobilizing the European Union, to propose a resolution at the UN Security Council to force Baghdad into restarting the constitutional budget payments to Erbil.
Finally, the petition asked the European Union to appoint a special envoy to ease direct mediation, and re-establish dialogue among Iraq’s Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites.
Original, Le Monde 8.9.14. “Aidons le Kurdistan à protéger yézidis et chrétiens, nos valeurs en dépendent.”
A sceptical approach to arming the Kurdish Regional Government and others, which argues that they will use them, “pour affirmer l’autonomie grandissante de leur région, voire leur volonté d’indépendance, ce qui serait un pas décisif vers l’éclatement de l’Irak.” , Questions sur l’armement des Kurdes d’Irak. Alain Gresh. (Blogs, 18th August. Le Monde Diplomatique)
Will the StWC Back Kurds Fighting Islamist Genociders?
(Photo NBC News, Meet the Kurdish Women Fighting ISIS in Syria)
In today’s Ipswich Star.
Ipswich: Meet the Kurdish refugees who call Suffolk home…but still live in fear of ISIS
An estimated 1,000 Kurds live in Ipswich and the surrounding area and they have been an established part of our community for a number of years.
They have jobs, they run businesses, they speak English, their children go to Suffolk’s schools – they lead successful lives.
But their fear of the Islamic State, also known as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), means they dare not be photographed or even named.
We have used aliases to project their identity.
Ian Stewart, chairman of Suffolk Refugee Support, said: “We know that in the UK as a whole an estimated 500 people have left the UK to go and fight with ISIS.
“Kurds in the UK are worried that if they are named or photographed or publicised there will be repercussions for their relatives in Iraq or Syria and that their loved ones will be under threat.”
Mr Stewart added: “Their families come from the towns and cities that ISIS have taken over and they are deeply concerned for the welfare of their families and friends.”
“At the moment they are trying to sell the women – they are selling them for like £1,000. I have heard that about 50 children at the moment about 12 years old have been taken by ISIS.
“My extended family are fighting with the pashmigra against ISIS. They are scared of them – everyone is scared at the moment. No one knows what is going on. It is all politics stuff, it’s not just in Sinjar. The problem is there is no border between Syria and Iraq.
“No one actually knows who ISIS is. They are coming from other areas.
“At the moment ISIS are trying to come forward and take more of our cities but because American airstrikes support the pashmirga, they can’t come forward – hopefully.
There follows two moving personal accounts of the background of Kurdish refugees, under the names of Mohammed and Ahmed.
Mr Stewart said: “Ethnic Kurds are fleeing for their lives. They have their own fighting force called the Peshmerga which is like a home guard. Many Suffolk Kurds have family and friends in the Peshmerga and some served in it themselves against Saddam Hussein.”
Mr Stewart said the charity would not comment on whether Britain should be involved in military action in the conflict.
He said: “This crisis is directly affecting people in Suffolk. Most people we talk to support the American airstrikes against ISIS. We have already dropped humanitarian supplies.
“ISIS now has anti-aircraft weaponry. The question is do we follow the Americans into combat?”
I know something about the Ipswich Kurds.
I have helped the Refugee Council English teaching service, and some Kurds (from Turkey as well as Iraq) are people I know well.
Well this is what the Stop the War Coalition wants us to tell them about American airstrikes and weapon supplies to the Kurds.
Fact 1: Many experts argue Western airstrikes are counterproductive and will likely energise ISIS
Fact 2: The US and UK’s 2003 invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq played an important role in the rise of ISIS
Fact 3: The US and UK enabled the growth of ISIS by supporting the rebels in Syria
Fact 4: US-supplied arms to Syrian rebels have ended up in the hands of ISIS
Fact 5: Turkey, a NATO member, has supported ISIS
Fact 6: Western allies Qatar and Saudi Arabia have played an important role in the rise of ISIS
Fact 7: Supported and armed by the US, the Iraqi Government perpetrates serious human rights abuses – which likely increases support for ISIS
Fact 8: The US and UK are not interested in democracy and human rights in the Middle East
None of these answer the question: do we support giving military help to the Kurds in their life and death fight against Islamic State and ISIS genociders, themselves helped by murderous British, and other European jihadists?
It would be very generous of the StWC to speak on behalf of the Kurds, from the PKK (Kurdish Workers’ Party) to the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), to other political groups, and simply ordinary people, and refuse any Western arms and military support.
Very generous indeed.
Update (Channel Four)
Growing UK movement
Up to a quarter of a million Kurds are recorded as living in Britain.
Turkan Budak of the Kurdish People’s Summit (pictured, below), who has been part of the Kurdish movement in the UK since the 1980s, said between 50 and 100 British Kurds have left to fight in the last 20 years, but as a result of the battle against Islamic State more now want to go.
Budak said: “Even now people are going to fight Isis. I know some of them [those out there]. They have gone to fight terrorism.
“They are family men with kids but at the end of the day they say our people are dying there. Innocent people. Civilians dying every day and a lot of Kurdish men cannot ignore it.”
Memed Aksoy is a Kurdish activist based in London, who told Channel 4 News he has raised funds for the PKK. He described the PKK as a movement growing in confidence and numbers.
“(The IS conflict] has raised the Kurdish consciousness,” he said.
“Now is a time when we are going to push ahead to make sure the Kurdish movement and the PKK, the armed forces of the Kurdish people, can engage in a strong war with the Islamic State and defeat the Islamic State.”
Members and supporters of the PKK know that the party is now aligned to western interests and a new generation of British and western European-born Kurds believe the Kurdish question can now be solved with diplomacy rather than arms.