Rojava Betrayed. An End to our Dream of Revolution?

The Syrian war(s) have so far resulted in at least 570,000 deaths  (SOHR figures) and approximately 14 million displaced (both internally and externally) along with years of misery. Endless misery

séamas carraher, global rights • 10/10/2019 • Global Rights • 138 Viste

“We have given all kinds of warning regarding the (area) east of the Euphrates to the relevant parties. We have acted with enough patience,” Erdoğan said.

 “We will not hesitate to turn any unprovoked attack by Turkey into an all-out war on the entire border to DEFEND ourselves and our people,” SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali tweeted Saturday.

 

“In a sudden news announcement last weekend media reported the sudden deaths of US president Donald Trump and Turkish President and Chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who had recently spoken together in securing agreement for another invasion into war weary Syria. The results of these deaths is likely to stall Turkish plans to invade the democratically administered Kurdish region of north and eastern Syria, which, despite sustained attacks by both Turkey and ISIS down the years has maintained a stable environment for its people to live and contribute to the rebuilding of a Syria post-catastrophe…” (Fake News)

 

Of course, this piece of news didn’t happen.

 

Except the bit about Trump calling Erdoğan and the two agreeing that more butchery in northern Syria would be more than acceptable to those, who, of course, won’t be sitting within a 1,000 kilometers distance of the fire and steel, blood and human misery of the carnage proposed by the Turkish president and, it seems, now about to rain down on the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria…

 

‘Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into northern Syria. The United States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operation, and United States forces, having defeated the ISIS territorial “Caliphate”, will no longer be in the immediate area.” The White House told us, while, Turkey, through its autocratic President added:

 

“We’ve made our preparations, we’ve completed our operation plans, given the necessary instructions.” He added that air and ground actions could start “as soon as today or tomorrow”.

 

Sunday, 6th October:

 

“White House Press Secretary released a statement that said, ‘Today, President Donald J. Trump spoke with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey by telephone. Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation in Northern Syria…’ The statement does not make it clear if U.S. troops will fully withdraw from Syria or if they will just relocate. The statement also says, ‘Turkey will now be responsible for all ISIS fighters in the area captured over the past two years.’” Media reported, causing shock and incredulous reactions:

 

“The idea of handing over the responsibility for imprisoned ISIS fighters captured in North and East Syria over the past few years to the Turkish state is both ironic and ridiculous, as many of these fighters came from Turkey and were backed by the Turkish state in the first place.” (The Kurdistan National Congress)

 

The White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham had said nothing about the Kurds. But the approximately 1,000 U.S. troops in the region “will pull back from the area — and potentially depart the country entirely should widespread fighting break out between Turkish and Kurdish forces”.

 

“Erdogan knows what Trump’s decision means. It is a green light to move Turkish military forces east, over the Euphrates, into Kurdish-held territory with no fear of coming into contact with even a handful of US troops. No contact, no awkward confrontation between NATO allies.” Tim Black, from Spiked reminded us, as if anyone aware of what has been going on in the region needed the reminder…

 

The Syrian war(s) have so far resulted in at least 570,000 deaths  (SOHR figures) and approximately 14 million displaced (both internally and externally) along with years of misery. Endless misery. And despite all denial and pretense that we, in the “rest of the world” can live with it – someone needs to say it – who the fuck would want to?  Who chooses that these conflicts are allowed to be played out on the stage of ordinary civilians’ lives while their so called leaders and their friends and families sit in comfort in presidential (and other) palaces?

 

Here now, apparently, is chaotic Turkey’s third bloody adventure across their neighbour’s border into democratic North and East Syria.

 

Between August 2016 and March 2017 Turkey carved out its first enclave in Operation Euphrates Shield with its so-called Free Syrian Army Islamist allies. Likewise then in 2018 in Afrin resulting in countless death along with 160,000 refugees now sheltering right in the path of this new military invasion having just escaped the previous onslaught!

 

There can be no doubt that this new bloody adventure from one more warmonger plaguing our planet at this historical conjuncture is designed to steer attention away from his regime’s failures closer to home and it can only increase the suffering and trauma for the people of Syria, to the extent that:

 

“The destruction and population engineering caused by such an intervention will also fall into the category of a crime against humanity with respect to international law…” the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in Turkey recently said.

 

The less-than-functional United Nations itself, aware that more than one media resource is drawing attention to the potential for (if not promise of) “massacre” (with echoes of the outrage of the “Armenian genocide”) drew a striking parallel with the tragedy of the wars in Yugoslavia. Recalling the Srebrenica massacre Panos Moumtzis, the UN Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis pointed out  “…that the UN had seen a “bitter history” regarding ‘safe zones’. We are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst,” adding that there are “a lot of unanswered questions” about the consequences of the operation.

 

And so, burdened as we are (at least 51% of “the people” who would want to live in a just peace) with these corrupt and war mongering leaders, leaderships, regimes and administration, surrounded also by the ineffective and weak calls to respect human rights by both U.N. and E.U, it would appear that war, being good business, is also increasingly being accepted as business as usual. And dissenting voices are few and far from the places of power.

 

To add to the confusion, in December, the now close-to-impeached-President Donald Trump had already announced that he was withdrawing American troops from Syria but was met with widespread condemnation for abandoning the Coalition (against ISIS)’s Kurdish allies to the threatened Turkish assault. The then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, resigned in protest and a flurry of activity ensued to try and protect the Kurds and the other minorities in the region from the carnage that the NATO ally was sure to bring.

 

Likewise since January, in the complex dance between these NATO partners, the U.S. has colluded and assisted in the creation of a so-called “safe zone” in northern Syria to provide a security buffer between the Turkish military and the Kurdish people, despite no threats coming from northern Syria. However Turkey has repeatedly objected to its “slow implementation”. Instead, it seems, war is good business. Also good politics for a leader apparently starting to lose his public appeal?

 

Contrast all this belligerence, chaos and political-hot-air with the ongoing work by the people of Northern Syria following the enormous sacrifices they made to defeat the barbaric regime of ISIS/Daesh, rebuild their country and contribute to the future of a democratic Syria…

 

This post was in my email the other day: “Tomorrow will be beautiful”

 

“In coordination with the Youth Committee and under the slogan “Tomorrow will be beautiful” the Women’s Committee organized on Sunday, an awareness campaign for women to encourage them to educate themselves, to attend school and to strengthen their role in the community…” (SDF Press Office) …just one example of the uncountable projects ongoing to rebuild peoples lives in the region after the barbarity of ISIS. Read these reports from Kobane, also directly in the path of the upcoming Ottoman invasion and due for the same occupation and terror experienced in Afrin.

 

Again compare all this belligerence, brutality and cruelty with the ongoing work of the people of North and East Syria (Rojava) …a revolutionary Syria… with the revolution now, this late in the day (post 1917) meaning the construction of a radically democratically organised society where various ethnic groups, many of them Kurds, but also other ethnic and religious groups indigenous to the region, Arabs, Christians, Armenians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, and Syriacs, Turkmens, Chechens, Alevites, and Yazidis are given a voice in the administration of their regions, areas, cantons and a democratic voice at that…

 

…not, as we too-often experience it here in the west, by voting these generally useless (if not actually corrupt) and ideologically motivated puppets (“politicians”) into positions of power we will never be allowed have access to…

 

…whereas in this part of Syria there is being developed a participatory space where each voice raised in the responsibility to support their society finds a mechanism to shape its future. (See: The Constitution of the Rojava Cantons) All this from a system that, as Sarah Glynnn says “champions grassroots democracy, women’s rights, multiculturalism and ecology.”

 

Not the norm neither in this part of our tormented world apparently, as the Kurdistan National Congress (Kongreya Neteweyî ya Kurdistanê) also points out:

“Many of these groups have, for the first time, been given a voice in their own affairs by the establishment of the democratic autonomous self-administration, and now face massacres at the hands of the Turkish military and their jihadist allies.”

 

An End to our Dream of Revolution?

 

With all other crises currently converging and heading us towards the catastrophe of the future, we are now forced to witness travelling towards us…

 

– thanks to a belligerent Turkey with its ‘dreams’ (sic) of empire making up for its current stagnation –

 

…one more enormous train wreck…

 

…if  the situation in Syria – already almost irrelevant to “the so-called free world”, and now being manipulated and actively engineered by this cabal of notorious gangsters (“politicians/leaders”) Assad, Putin, Khamenei, Erdoğan and Trump – is allowed to deteriorate and if these less-than-democratic regimes are allowed to continue to shape Syria’s future in order to guarantee business as usual for the well off and more chaos for the other 99% of humanity, already and for too long forced to endure these warlords, ex-spies and TV celebrities and the regimes they invent to protect their shirt-sighted interests and keep the doors to the future of humanity securely closed?

 

When you think about it, hasn’t  Rojava / The Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria and its democratic revolution, appeared out of nowhere (if not our dreams of a genuinely human future) and more importantly, as a light in the midst of the last century’s escalating darkness (whether that darkness was emitted from the Left or the Right, a darkness that promised “humanity” just more of the same with its virulent cynicism and profiteering)..?

 

Not to last, it seems..?

 

…Hearing these warlike cries from these throwbacks to more-than-one barbaric era.

 

Trump, Erdoğan, Putin, Khamenei, Assad. And the rest.

 

In Conclusion

 

While the United Nations “is in contact with all sides to explain where clinics, schools, water points, markets and residential areas are located, and to urge them ‘to stay away from civilian people’… As well as drawing up ‘contingency plans to reach people who might flee south with food and medical aid…’ Any (military) operation that takes place at the moment has to take into account to ensure that we don’t see any further displacement,” Panos Moumtzis, U.N. regional humanitarian coordinator for the Syria crisis, speaking to reporters in Geneva:

 

“We are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst”.

 

 Some fucking hope.

 

So, it seems the Kurds (along with Arabs, Christians, Armenians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, and Syriacs, Turkmens, Chechens, Alevites, and Yazidis, all residents in the northern part of Syria close to the Turkish border) are once again betrayed and wait now for the advanced technology of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to slaughter them in a fury of fire and steel…

 

“No friends but the mountains…” It seems, once again, endlessly.

 

…While the century, still so young and with almost nothing left to believe in (after the catastrophe of the last one) with perhaps now its one dream of revolutionary democracy, respect for justice, peace and above all the dialogue much needed to open a door to the future – now going to be, once again, buried beneath the fire and blood of Turkish F16s and F-4 fighter bombers, artillery, tanks, troops, jihadist gangs and endless lies.

 

Whole cities, towns and countless lives turned to rubble and buried alive?

 

It is almost too dark to conceive. A dream being turned into a nightmare by those with the  power and technology to destroy but with none of the humanity, wisdom or passion to create?

 

“I’M terrified for my friends and for all that they have done to establish a beacon of hope in their corner of the Middle East – and I’m terrified for a world that can blithely contemplate their extinction.” Sarah Glynn, the Scottish Kurdish activist says…

 

…yes and yes…

 

I’m also terrified, Sarah, to live (however shortly) in a world without hope. To belong to a (half-human) species without a future and, witnessing the inability of the world to make real its people’s needs for peace and sustainable development – an Enormous Lie for an identity…

 

As the Military Councils in the Al-Jazeera region of Rojava said: “We have provided thousands of martyrs, wounded in self-protection, this is a dignity and a victory for all the people of Syria, and it was an unprecedented hope and victory for all of humanity.”

 

Quickly forgotten, of course, as war rolls across the Turkish border…

 

“Therefore, we call upon the United Nations, European Union, Council of Europe, other members of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, and the US Congress to take a clear stance against the Turkish state’s aspirations to invade and occupy North and East Syria.

 

We also call upon the international communities and civil society organizations worldwide to take action immediately against the threat of the revival of ISIS and the annihilation of the peoples of North and East Syria by the Turkish state.” Executive Council of the Kurdistan National Congress

 

Is that the only choice now as the warplanes gather on the runway in the Turkish airfields and the jihadists we watched burn Afrin down sharpen their knives?

 

“Yet again, it is up to ordinary people to stand up and try and force the world to see sense.” (Sarah Glynn)

 

POSTSCRIPT:

 

Wednesday, 09 October, 2019:

The Turkish Armed Forces, together with the Syrian National Army, just launched #OperationPeaceSpring against PKK/YPG and Daesh terrorists in northern Syria. Our mission is to prevent the creation of a terror corridor across our southern border, and to bring peace to the area.

— Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (@RTErdogan) October 9, 2019

 

séamas carraher

 

Image: Photo by Janet Biehl  in Rojava

Women’s assembly near Qamislo

 

Video

Turkish President Erdogan says Syria offensive has started

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTlC1D-xifs

 

Syria: Kurds’ fury as Trump orders US troop withdrawal

 

Turkish-led forces in control of Syria’s Afrin city: AFP

 

Destruction of the cemetery of the Kurds and Christians in the city of Afrin

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIHhs8wapDI

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