What Letter Does not Say: Kurdish Fighters need our Support.
Bombing will make the ISIS problem worse (Guardian 24.9.14.)
Along with most British people, we opposed an attack on Iraq in 2003. The brutal reality of the invasion and occupation confirmed our worst fears. At least half a million died and the country was devastated.
Now, less than three years after US troops were pulled out, the US is bombing again. The British government is considering joining military action, not just in Iraq but in Syria too.
All the experience of the varied military action taken by the west in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya shows that such interventions kill innocents, destroy infrastructure and fragment societies, and in the process spread bitterness and violence.
While we all reject the politics and methods of Isis, we have to recognise that it is in part a product of the last disastrous intervention, which helped foster sectarianism and regional division. It has also been funded and aided by some of the west’s allies, especially Saudi Arabia.
More bombing, let alone boots on the ground, will only exacerbate the situation. We urge the government to rule out any further military action in Iraq or Syria.
Caryl Churchill playwright
Brian Eno musician
Tariq Ali writer and broadcaster
Jeremy Corbyn MP
Lindsey German convenor of the Stop the War Coalition
Diane Abbott MP
Mark Rylance actor
Ken Loach film director
Michael Rosen author and broadcaster
Kate Hudson general secretary of CND
John McDonnell MP
Sami Ramadani Iraqi writer and campaigner
Len McCluskey general secretary of Unite
Amir Amarani film director
Mohammed Kozbar vice-president of the Muslim Association of Britain
Dr Anas Altikriti
Walter Wolfgang Labour CND
Andrew Murray chief of staff Unite
The great unanswered question is: will supplying arms to the Kurds, the Peshmerga, and the PKK/YPG, make the ISIS problem worse?
Yesterday on Newsnight Geoffrey Robinson rightly underlined the genocidal threat posed by Islamic State/ISIS.
The signers of this letter advocate standing aside from the crimes of the Islamists, and their European recruits.
The Stop the War Coalition are going to protest – again.
Emergency protest: Don’t bomb Iraq, Don’t bomb Syria. Lobby your MP
• PROTEST: Downing Street. 5.30pm Thursday 25th September
Isis is a reactionary force, but it is in part a product of the disastrous occupation of Iraq by Western powers. Isis is funded by some of our main allies in the region, including Saudi Arabia. Escalating Western military intervention will do nothing to stop them but will create more suffering and further destabilise the region.
Stop the War is calling on its London supporters to protest on Thursday 25 September evening outside Downing Street from 5.30pm till 7.30pm. (Nearest tubes: Westminster and Charing Cross)
There is no call whatsoever for ways to stop the genociders’ killings, to help the Kurds, the oppressed religious minorities, Christians, Yazidis, and the masses under the murderers’ rule.
By contrast many on the European Left, from the Danish Red-Green Alliance, (Enhedslisten – De Rød-Grønne) to influential groups on the French left (Ensemble, Parti Communiste Français) support the Kurdish fighters.
The PCF has released this statement (23rd September): Contre la barbarie islamiste : solidarité avec les kurdes de Syrie.
They demand aid for the Kurdish refugees and that France and other countries….
….Elles doivent soutenir les forces kurdes du PYD et du PKK qui sont aux avant-postes de la défense des valeurs universelles des Droits de l’homme. Immédiatement, le PKK doit être retiré de la liste des organisations terroristes.
….must support the Kurdish forces of the YPD and PKK, who are in the front line of the defence of the universal values of human rights. The PKK must immediately be taken off the list of terrorist organisations.
There is now a call for them to be supplied with arms.
This seems a better reply than those who limit their opposition to the jihadists to a bald statement that they “reject the politics and methods of Isis.”
This is the present plight of our Kurdish sisters and brothers,
People of North Kurdistan will protect 160 km of border
ANF – URFA24.09.2014 10:30:10
The solidarity protest initiated in the Suruç district of Urfa in order to support the resistance of Kobanê against ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham) has been continuing for 5 days.
The people who have not left the area despite the heavy attacks of the Turkish troops, have moved the tent which was set up in the village of Etmanik to the village of Dewşan.
After the news that the Turkish state had conveyed ISIS gangs to the border with Rojava by trains, buses and other vehicles appeared in the media, the area of the vigil has been widened.
The vigil which was originally carried out at one point will from now on be maintained by activists at the Urfa-Kobanê border along a 160 km stretch.
After a decision taken by the Kurdistan People’s Initiative, thousands of the people spread out along the border.
Meanwhile, the DBP (Party of Democratic Regions) declared that all town and city organisations will be at the border today. It is expected that the people coming from different cities will keep vigil at different points of the border.
Thousands arrive in Suruç, then head for border
This morning thousands of people arrived in Suruç in response to the DBP appeal, before going by bus to the Kobanê border. Following the call by the DBP, thousands of people from many cities in North Kurdistan arrived in Suruç early this morning. From there they will spread out along the border.
The European left has a special responsibility to show solidarity to the Kurdish left: they are our kith and kin.
The letter against US bombing is distinguished by its deathly silence on this burning issue.
We can begin by signing this petition.
Deproscribe the PKK
Responsible department: Home Office
The Kurdish PKK and its Syrian sister group the YPG are at the forefront of the battle against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. PKK fighters are credited with opening a corridor allowing Yazidi refugees in the Sinjar Mountains free passage to safer regions in Iraq and Syria.
The politics of the PKK have changed since they were proscribed, from militant Marxism fighting the Turkish state, to an organisation pursuing a largely non-violent strategy aimed at greater regional autonomy. They have been engaged in peace talks with the Turkish state since July this year.
The UK should recognise the changes that have taken place and how the situation on the ground has changed and deproscribe the PKK.
Sign the Petition: Here.
And this Petition,
One year ago, Peace in Kurdistan Campaign sent out an appeal for the governments of the UK, EU and Turkey to remove the PKK from their list of terrorist organisations, and have been collecting signatures ever since. The list of the first signatories to this appeal includes prominent public figures such as Gareth Pierce and Michael Mansfield QC, as well as campaigners, journalists, and members of the British and European parliament.