Betrayal and Solidarity: Rojava on the Brink of War
The United States, as expected, is abandoning the Kurdish movement, and leaving revolutionary forces to face a multi-pronged assault from reactionaries: the Turkish state and ISIS.
The US recently opened the Rojava-Turkey border, on the east of the Euphrates to joint Turkish and US military patrols. It was clear at this point, with Turkish forces entering into Rojava, that a line had been crossed.
Erdogan, then, took the opportunity to announce on Sunday, October 6th, that Turkish forces will immediately invade Rojava, continuing the takeover they began in Afrin. The US announced the following day that it will not stand in Turkey’s way and, in fact, their troops will abandon their positions so Turkey can invade with no US resistance.
In this grim moment, we stand in solidarity with revolutionaries on the ground, and with the people of the region as they prepare for a fight for their lives.
Turkey has, since its inception, executed racist policies against its Kurdish population, and imprisoned, tortured, or killed, anyone who resisted. Turkey has materially and ideologically supported ISIS (Daesh) in its fight against the Kurds. Yet in spite of this support and Daesh’s brutality, the Kurds were able to push Daesh out of Kobane, and turn the tide against Daesh fascism. The US, seeing an opportunity to halt Daesh’s advances, and gain a logistical foothold in the Middle East (particularly as its power and influence is waning), supplied the Kurds with weapons and tactical aid in their fight, peculiarly allying themselves with a left-wing movement.
As supporters around the world knew, this alliance was self-serving and temporary. But the betrayal is still devastating. Recently, for instance, the US requested the Kurds remove their border defenses for the joint patrols. This act set the stage for an unimpeded Turkish invasion. To add insult to injury, the US announced it was going to hand over Daesh detainees to the Turkish state, essentially returning fighters to the battlefield and reigniting the war in an unpredictable and heinous fashion. The war is about to take on a new, even more vicious form.
The United States’ betrayal comes as no surprise. Historically they have forged duplicitous alliances with the Kurds which lead to historically well known massacres.
During the Iran-Iraq War the US supported Saddam, giving him diplomatic cover and military aid as his regime launched the Anfal campaign which was one of the most genocidal acts in recent history. Then during the Gulf War, in the early 1990’s, the US encouraged the Kurds to rise up against Saddam and abandoned them as Saddam launched a savage campaign of repression.
During this recent juncture, the US has been consistently playing a double game. In November of 2018, U.S. State Department offered a $12 million bounty on information about the Kurdish guerrilla leadership. Even as the US sent bombers in support of Kurdish positions in Raqqa they were selling Erdogan weapons and giving him logistical support as he hunted guerrillas in the mountains of Iraq.
Why the US is selling out the Kurds at the particular juncture is unclear, but we do know that far right states, even when they are at war, depend on each other for their continued existence. The rise of political Islam ran concurrently with the rise of fundamentalist Christian political power in the US; similarly to how the rise of Putin and Berlusconi was a prelude to Trump and Bolsonaro. The mutual understanding of these regimes run deep: from authoritarian ruling practices to ruthlessly extinguishing resistance movements to maintaining strict social hierarchies in order to rule.
In the euphoric moment when the Kurds began to prevail in Kobane, anarchists from around the world began to flock to Rojava, joining other revolutionaries who had already found their way to the region. A beautiful moment of solidarity erupted: revolutionaries from all backgrounds fighting side by side for the liberation of oppressed people.
The anarchists had come to support an active anti-state, anti-imperialist, feminist social movement in its infancy. But, with the hindsight of the past in clear focus we anarchists have always maintained: collusion with imperialists is a mistake, and the United States is a totalitarian beast.
The tyranny the US imposes within its own borders, on people around the world with its history of colonial, imperialist violence leaves no debate about where America stands.
The United States is the regime at the helm, with Turkey and Daesh as appendages of its ruthlessness. Its very existence depends on the extermination of revolutionary forces, and it will continue to combat, deceive, and destroy us all. To establish a liberated society, all reactionary forces, particularly the US, must be completely destroyed.
RAM stand in solidarity with the people of Rojava - the Kurds, Arabs, Assyrians, Syriacs, Yezidis, and Armenians - who are yet again going to be in a fight for their lives, and would like to live free of all authoritarian regimes.
RAM stands resolutely with Tekoşîna Anarşîst (Anarchist Struggle) - the anarchist militant group in Rojava- and the revolutionary forces who will now have to fight both Daesh and the Turkish state.
Long live anarchism!
Long live the revolutionary struggle!