I’m posting here the brief comment that I posted a couple of days ago on the ‘Tendance Coatesy’ page linked to above:
“The best thing most of us in the West can do for the leftist Kurds of Kobane is to expose and denounce Turkish state interference in the attempts by the PKK in Turkey to reinforce its comrades in Kobane. Unless things have changed in the last day or two, it seems that Turkey will allow only Kurds from the right-wing, pro-imperialist parties that rule the KRG in Iraq, and not the PKK, to send their troops to Kobane, hoping to eliminate Kobane as a PKK stronghold, even if it survives as a Kurdish town. And, while the U.S. seems more concerned with stopping IS than the Turkish state does, it still shares the Turkish state’s hostility to the PKK, if for capitalist-internationalist reasons rather than for nationalist ones.”
I’m curious if JD or other supporters of this web site disagree with me on this.
I don’t disagree (apart from the “pro-imperialist” nonsense) but it’s all rather besides the point. The peshmerga (not just the strange sect-cum-personality cult that – for all its members’ heroism – is the PKK) should be supported in their struggle against Islamic fascism.
The conflict, BTW, is not between the peshmerga and “Islamic fascism” but between the former and a particular group/movement calling itself “the Islamic State”? The former should, probably, be critically supported, but with no support to their ethnic sectarianism against (Sunni) Arabs, which is a part of what helped create support inside Iraq for the IS in the first place.
Somehow, the first part of my reply got left out when I had to re-submit it for whatever technical reasons. I lost my exact words, but the point is to question how you would characterize the KRG’s relation to Western imperialism, or whether you are dismissing it as being of no importance.
I’m a very recent viewer to this web-site and to Tendance Coatesy -mainly due to their sterling work in highlighting the efforts of the Kurds here and internationally to highlight the cause of Kobane.
As to what “we” in the West can do? Well, condemning Turkey for refusing the Kurds in their calls for reinforcements is pretty easy for the far-left. When it comes to the issue of supporting the Kurds in their call for American airstrikes against Isis, the response is more, how can I say, equivocal –
1. Bizarre and unrealistic (See John Rees – “We call on our friends, Hamas, the ANC and Venezuela to Arm the Kurds!”.)
2. The “Tin-Opener” solution. (“What the situation calls out for is United Working-Class Action across the Middle-East which can drive out Isis and Imperialism” – Socialist Party/Socialist Appeal)
3. The Defeat of Imperialism. (No matter the situation, Imperialism must be defeated – usually the catchphrase of SWP, CPGB-ML, Weekly Worker, RCG… However, to be fair, this has not been stated outright in their press but an article in WeeklyWorker 1031 (P. Smith) implied it).
To some up, I think it more interesting and informative to me to see (and have depressingly confirmed) that the vast majority of the far-left in this country are more concerned about seeing the Americans and their “proxies” defeated than what horrors take their place. In any way, the horrors can still be blamed on the Yanks! (see John Rees).
Luckily, the Americans have come to the aid of the Kurds, and if they have had to do a deal with the (so-called) devil to defeat Isis, then so be it. They will live to fight another day and for that we should all be happy.
Couldn’t agree more, john: support for the Kurds in this situation has to be no.1 priority. Those leftist who still go on about US intervention being the main issue, have got their priorities wrong – shamefully and desperatately wrong. The AWL (of which I am a member) has the right approach, but shouldn’t be so concerned about always expressing opposition to US bombing, which is obviously helping the Kurds. This AWL statement gets it about right: http://www.workersliberty.org/node/24069
If you were to change “condemning Turkey for refusing the Kurds in their calls for reinforcements” to “supporting the Kurds in their demand that Turkey stop attacking the PKK and allow the PKK to send fighters and arms to Kobane”, it would be a more honest presentation of the alternatives, instead of making “supporting the Kurds in their call for American airstrikes against Isis” the only way of “supporting the Kurds”.
I am, BTW, an “American” who considers that the defeat of “America” and its collaborators, especially the U.K. and Israel, along with other forces within the Western imperialist bloc, should be the central focus of the global left within the broader task of defeating global capitalism. The defeat of other oppressive forces, such as right-wing political Islam, that might be momentarily independent of, or even in conflict with, Western imperialism, may become very important at certain times and places, but they are not, when separate from the imperialist powers, the key problem for humanity as a whole.
“I am, BTW, an “American” who considers that the defeat of “America” and its collaborators, especially the U.K. and Israel, along with other forces within the Western imperialist bloc, should be the central focus of the global left”: all negative, then, Aaron: no positive programme that you’re in favour of?