Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

As International Solidarity with Kurds and Kobane Grows is Counterfire Splitting?

with 4 comments

Düsseldorf Kurden Demonstration Terror IS 11.10.2014

IS= Fascism. Arms to the PKK and YPG!

A word of introduction.

There is a great respect in the broad labour movement for Counterfire activists.

They have helped, indeed initiated, the People’s Assembly. They have acted with  selfless dedication to help create an important bloc of organisations that has brought together  people on the left, trade unionists, and campaigners. The People’s Assembly is effectively the only mass movement in the UK challenging austerity and acting for a wide range of left policies and causes.

In view of this, and (some might say) breaking with the habit of a lifetime, this is not a sectarian attack but expresses some genuine concerns.

Last Saturday John Rees, a leading member of Counterfire, spoke at the London Demonstration in support of Kobane.

This protest  was but one of the expressions of solidarity with Kobane that have been sweeping the world, from Turkey and  Europe to Australia (the comrades at Shiraz signal how a local group can help).

Rees noted the manoeuvres of the regional powers, the unhelpful impact of the US-led intervention, and,.above all,t eh disgraceful stand of Turkey – sitting and watching as the beloved people of Kobane face the genociders of Isis.

Rees stated, very clearly “arm the Kurds!” (1)

As if to back this declaration up Counterfire  published (October the 9th) this declaration by the Kurdish-Turkish Day-Mer centre,

Nato member Turkey is effectively allowing Isis to destroy the Kurdish city of Kobane. This press release by Turkish Kurdish organisation Day-Mer, calls for international solidarity and for Turkey to allow Kurdish heavy weapons through to defend the city

On the same site,  pointedly marked “Opinion” we had this, from  Lindsey German and Robin Beste (October the 12th), Ten reasons to oppose military intervention in Iraq and Syria. It concentrates on the reasons for the conflicts, blamed entirely on the ‘West’. Terrorism is apparently, the “product of the west’s disastrous foreign policies, endless wars and backing of barbaric regimes in the Middle East There is only one section dealing specifically with the Kurds . It reads.

The issue of the Kurds is central to countering Isis expansion in the region. The Iraqi Kurds are close allies of the west, but there is a very different attitude to the Kurds in Turkey and Syria. The PKK, which has been struggling for Kurdish self-determination for decades, is still listed as a terrorist organisation by the EU and the US. This is despite the PKK and its allies being prominent in the battle against Isis. Turkey has oppressed the Kurds for many years and will not help those in Kobane, now under imminent threat of seizue by Isis. Turkey could open its border to the Kurds, but refuses to do so, in contrast with its support for Isis in the past. Instead the Turkish parliament has voted to create a ‘buffer zone’ at the Syrian border which will involve the disarming of the Kurds.

Bombing (again no mention of US strikes near Kobane) will be “counter-productive” and not help anybody.

Their only practical demand is that,

Iraq and Syria should be flooded with humanitarian aid, particularly for the millions of refugees who have been fleeing the wars. The refugees should receive the aid and support they need, and not be treated as potential terrorists within Europe.

So, we are left in no doubt that some Kurds are “close allies of the West (bad), the PKK (good? it’s not explicitly said, ) and Kobane are threatened by Isis.

What the defenders of Kobane (and other Kurdish areas) should do (providing that is they are not “allies” of the West is left hanging in the air.

As are the Kurds facing the genociders of Isis.

It would seem that one part of Counterfire backs arming the Kurds and the other does not. 

Meanwhile German’s isolated Stop the War Coalition has published a disgraceful  morally corrupt article by a certain, Musa al-Gharbi.

One of its sections reads,

Finally, many Westerners have been horrified by ISIS’s persecution of religious minorities (especially crimes against Christians). However, the United States is complicit in this as well: US policies in Iraq helped spark this cycle of sectarian violence.

Meanwhile, its own armed forces were indoctrinated with anti-Muslim propaganda– complete with recommendations for servicemen to resort to “Hiroshima tactics,” in a “total war against Islam,” in which protections for civilians were “no longer relevant.”

Reflective of this mentality, the armed forces have been heavily infiltrated by white-supremacists, neo-Nazis and other hate groups who believe and act as though they are engaged in a holy war to begin in the Middle East and then be carried back into America.

This institutionalized misrepresentation of Islam and dehumanization of Muslims probably played a significant role in the aforementioned atrocities.

Musa al-Gharbi tries to deflect blame from those culpable of gencodical crimes by whataboutery.

His specious rhetoric about ” misrepresentation of Islam and dehumanization of Muslims” is not accompanied by any concern for the fate of the directly dehumanised Kurds.

Al-Gharbi  is silent – there is no “Authentic Outrage” from this special pleader about the need for armed help for the beloved people of Kobane.

Well, he would be quiet, wouldn’t he? 

 (1) He also , hat-tip GH, “totally bizarrely called for Hamas, Venezuela, the ANC/SA, to arm the Kurds .. as if that could possibly happen!” But we let this pass.

4 Responses

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  1. Thank you, Andrew.

    Re the effectiveness of airstrikes, the Kurds on the ground at Kobane seem to think they are being very helpful, and I suspect they are better at evaluating this than Lindsey German and co. Here is an interesting and inspiring interview with a PYG official, explaining how things are working better:

    http://civiroglu.net/2014/10/14/ypg_usa/?blogsub=confirming#subscribe-blog

    What can you tell us about the air strikes by the coalition led by the United States?

    “For the last few days, the air strikes have been numerous and effective. We can clearly state that, had these attacks started a couple weeks ago, ISIS would not have been able to enter Kobane at all. ISIS would have been defeated 10-15 kilometers away from the city, and the city would not have turned into a war zone.”

    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 comung from you?

    “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.”

    We will all – apart from German and co, of course – wish that these co-ordinated strikes had started much earlier. We can wish even more was being done to help Kobani’s defenders. However, that does not change that they are now being useful and they are right now most necessary. We should support any and all resistance against ISIS. “True partnership comes to realization when the situation is difficult and parties support each other.”

    Things have looked slightly better in the past two days. Let’s hope that continues.

    Lamia

    October 14, 2014 at 8:24 pm

  2. as important as this is; you cannot miss this, i kid you not, Bob Avakian is the Jimi Hendrix of revolution

    http://revcom.us/a/357/you-have-a-chance-to-see-the-jimi-hendrix-of-revolution-live-en.html

    Eric

    October 14, 2014 at 8:57 pm

  3. Avakian is “Jim Jones ” and RCP is cult . Remember RCP members must turn over all their
    money so Avakian can live high off the hog French Rviera in France in a mansion. Remember
    cult leader Jim Jones also claimed to be revolutionary communist too. Lyndon Larouche cult
    lader as well and Fred Newman. Remember all Jim Jones folowers of People Temple denied they
    were a cult a month before suicides and killng at jonestown ! Did you know Avakian has a harem
    too.

    chisco

    December 3, 2014 at 12:41 am

  4. Andrew: you’re too kind to ‘Counterfire’ and Rees: they’re “my enemy’s enemy” bankrupts, just like Saumas Milne over at the ‘Guardian.’ They’re anti-working class petty bourgeois who deserve no support whatsoever from us Marxists.

    Jim Denham

    December 6, 2014 at 2:43 am


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