Syria

Thu
21
Jan

Noam Chomsky tells Al Jazeera “I’m not an absolute pacifist”

In an interview with Al Jazeera English’s flagship current affairs show, ‘UpFront’, MIT professor emeritus Noam Chomsky a long-standing critic of US foreign policy and overseas interventions, said he supported U.S. air strikes against ISIL.

“I’m not an absolute pacifist,” he said. “I think there are times when the use of military force defensively is legitimate.“

"Defending the Kurds against the ISIL attacks, yes, that’s legitimate,” he added, explaining that the "Kurdish areas of Syria” constitute a “fairly decent society” which “certainly merit support” from the US air force.

Chomsky condemned the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan who in a public address criticised “so-called intellectuals” like Chomsky for supporting Kurdish separatists and invited the MIT professor to visit Turkey.

Thu
21
Jan

This One Small Book Explains the Inspiring Rojava Revolution

by Steve Rushton
Occupy.com

Rojava’s social revolution deserves more global attention and solidarity. The Kurdish autonomous region in Northern Syria is a working experiment creating a society based on direct democracy, with women’s empowerment central in that model. It is being organized beyond and outside a state-centric capitalist system; mutual aid and cooperation are challenging structural exploitation and inequality. Remarkably, all of this emerges out of the Syrian crisis where the predominantly Kurdish Rojava experiment continues despite an existential fight against ISIS, the fascist and genocidal caliphate.

Fri
15
Jan

The Sieges in Syria

from IRIN

LONDON — At precisely the same time as aid lorries pulled into the besieged Syrian village of Madaya on Jan. 11, too late to save those who had already starved to death, convoys also entered the besieged areas of Fua and Kefraya. The timing was no coincidence. Last week's deal to allow aid into Madaya, which is surrounded by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, including Hezbollah fighters, was more of a swap by warring parties than a humanitarian gesture: the same militant group inside Madaya surrounds Fua and Kefraya.

That this was the only way the war's belligerents could agree to rescue the estimated 42,000 civilians of Madaya, who had reportedly been eating spiced water and tree leaves, points to the complications of delivering aid through a blockade.

Fri
15
Jan

Rojava 2015 – A Review

The following article was written by somebody who currently resides in Rojava for the Crimethinc Ex-Worker podcast’s review of the year 2015…

Dear friends,

A friend told us you‘re collecting impressions and reviews on the year 2015 out of a emancipatorian, revolutionary perspective, which seems quite a good idea to us. It’s always good to strengthen our collective consciousness and awareness; to understand the unity of all the revolutionary processes, the great story we‘re in – the global struggle for a new world, in which all worlds fit.

We‘re writing you from Cizre Canton, Rojava, Syria, as some friends, who came here from central europe. We wanted to learn from the Kurdish struggle and connect our different backgrounds to its great treasure of experiences, its philosophy and its methods of organizing.

Sat
19
Dec

America's Best Allies Against ISIS Are Inspired By A Bronx-Born Anarchist

Akbar Shahid Ahmed
12/18/2015
Foreign Affairs Reporter, The Huffington Post

ISTANBUL -- Last fall, Islamic State fighters launched a coordinated, large-scale assault on the Kurdish town of Kobani on Syria's northern border with Turkey. Fresh from victories that granted them an aura of invincibility, the extremists were about to remove the single irritant on a wide swath of the border they otherwise controlled.

The world watched in resignation. The lone superpower said it would not help. U.S. officials grimly predicted the city would fall. Yet the small band of Kurds held on for days, then weeks. The U.S.-led coalition against the self-described Islamic State began to help, first with a smattering of airstrikes then with daily assaults. And by January, in a stunning turnabout that has been called a contemporary Stalingrad, the Kurds won.

Wed
02
Dec

Beyond #dontbombsyria; Some Thoughts and Suggestions, with Solidarity and Hope

Plan C
Wednesday December 2, 2015

Wed
02
Dec

The Hard Truth About Daesh and How to Fight It

by Bilal El-Amine
December 1, 2015
CounterPunch

Beirut, Lebanon.

Many factors combined to produce the nightmare that is Daesh (ISIS): the US invasion of Iraq, Gulf Arab sponsorship and financing, as well as Turkish complicity on many levels. To this list could be added the growing power of Iran, the sectarian reign of Iraq’s former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, the barrel bombs of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and Hizballah’s intervention into Syria (a list that is de rigueur for the Gulf and Western media complex).

The roots of Daesh, however, go much deeper and are much older. To uproot them would take a great deal of time. But that does not mean that Daesh—easily one of the greatest dangers this region has ever faced—cannot be defeated. The fact that the group has decided to stake out a territory, a first among radical Islamist groups, is the key to its destruction.

Utopia by the Sword

Wed
02
Dec

From National Liberation to Autonomy: The Trajectory of the PKK

By Ramor Ryan
TeleSur
December 2, 2015

Paul White’s new book, “The PKK – Coming Down from the Mountains,” is a useful critical analysis exploring the group’s history and ideological evolution.

Kurdish liberation forces have come to global attention as the front-line defenders in the heroic battle against the marauding Islamic State group threat on the ground in northern Syria.

Hand in hand with beating back the advance of the Islamic State group, the Syrian Kurds – organized in People’s Protection Units (YPG) – are also implementing a democratic revolution within the liberated territory of Rojava, part of the historic homeland of the Kurdish people.

To better contextualize these rebels–currently supported by US-led coalition air strikes, and also a source of inspiration for leftists the world over – one must look beyond Syria into the greater Kurdish region, and at the YPG’s much-larger affiliate, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Wed
02
Dec

Rojava: Paradoxes of a Liberatory Ideology

by Janet Biehl
1st December 2015
Kurdish Question

Since 2014 solidarity activists, independent leftists, and others have been crossing the Tigris to study the developments in Rojava, the independent multiethnic enclave in northern Syria. Here the Kurdish people, whose aspirations have been stomped on for generations throughout the Middle East, are building a society structured institutionally around an assembly / council democracy and a commitment to gender equality. Most remarkable of all, they do so under conditions of brutal war (defending their society against the jihadists Al Nusra to Daesh) and economic and political embargo (from Turkey to the north).

Wed
25
Nov

A Radical Experiment in Democracy Is Happening in Northern Syria. Americans Need to Start Paying Attention

By Michelle Goldberg
Slate

There is an astonishing story in Sunday’s New York Times about Rojava, a Kurdish region in Northern Syria that’s ruled by militant feminist anarchists. Rojava’s constitution enshrines gender equality and religious freedom. An official tells journalist Wes Enzina that every position at every level of government includes a female equivalent of equal power. Recruits to Rojava’s 6,000-strong police force receive their weapons only after two weeks of feminist instruction. Reading Enzina’s piece, it’s hard to understand how this radical experiment in democracy in one of the bloodiest corners of the world isn’t better known internationally, particularly on the left.

At the start of piece, Enzina himself isn’t quite sure Rojava is real. It sounds too fantastical:

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