Wednesday, September 03, 2014



I have seen my share of evil in the world, but not much that I can think of approaches the evil known as ISIS or The Islamic State.  These people are more than fascists, more than nazis, more than extreme theocratic fundamentalist medieval bastards.  These people are psychotic.  What is the most amazing thing someways to me is their ability to attract vicious killers from all over the world to what they call a cause?

This is not cause.

This is brutality run amuck.

This is absolute power corrupting absolutely.

These guys make Hitler and Pol Pot look good.

These jackals make Rwanda look like a birthday party.

These pigs make George Bush look like just a good ole boy.

Before you come back and tell me how the USA is responsible for them, let me say, I get that. Washington’s brutal interventions wrecked Iraq and created the present crisis. However, that was then and this is now.  

As is so often the case at times like these the world stands by wringing its hands, mouthing off, dropping a bomb here or there, but doing nothing all that much.  Wasn't that the case with Hitler, Pol Pot, and George Armstrong Custer?  Didn't the world stand by during the genocide in Armenia and Rwanda?  Hasn't most everyone looked the other way for the last five hundred plus years while the indigenous population in North America was the victim of genocide, too?

What is the freaking deal?

So what to do?

Well, here is a thought.  How about arming the Kurds?  I mean really arming the Kurds.  They seem to be the one group of human beings willing, ready, and eager to confront ISIS face to face.  Hell, they're doing it.  It is clear that delivering weapons to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) would strike a blow at ISIS.  Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) Executive committee co-President Cemil Bayık  said recently that resisting ISIS and helping in cooperating against it was a humanitarian duty.  He is absolutely correct.  DIHA writes:

Bayık went on to add that if Germany was considering arming the Kurds it needs to consider the effectiveness of the PKK in stopping ISIS. 

'It was the PKK who most deserved armed support'

Bayık made it clear that while they were not against the arming of South Kurdistan by the USA, Germany and other European States that they were in a position to say it was the PKK who most deserved such support. To arm the PKK would be a blow to ISIS, Bayık said. It would also mean protecting Kurds, Christians, Turkmen and all other faith and cultural groups. “For this reason” he concluded “we see it as the responsibility of the USA and European States, above all Germany, to aid the PKK and are people who are resisting with weapons without delay.”

The PKK reportedly has currently  approximately 20,000 fighters in Syria with up to another 40,000 fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Turkey.  One of those fighters Kawar Singali, is quoted at Systemic Capital:

The Iraqi army collapsed and the Peshmerga failed. We are the only force who has repeatedly defeated jihadist. They fear us, and although no one is helping us, we are getting bigger and more experienced.

Fighting to date without heavy weaponry, forced to buy their arms on the black market, the PKK have utilized guerrilla tactics to show some serious capabilities in defeating ISIS. 

The PKK Syrian units, for example, got through Islamic States lines to assist tens of thousands of Yazidis escape from Mount Sinjar where the Christian based groups escaped as the IS (Islamic State) overran their homes in Mosul. The Yazidis were threatened with extermination by the IS, which regards them as “devil worshippers”.  Although many thousands perished and thousands of women were kidnapped, an escape corridor was established through which 200,000 refugees were evacuated to Rojava. Since then they have worked to train Yazhidi youth, male and female, to fight with them.  Other Kurdish forces from the Federal Kurdistan Region have also been fighting ISIS with some success.  However, as McClatchy News reported three weeks ago those forces were stalled until the arrival of the PKK forces:

Visits to frontline positions...made it clear that an influx of fighters with links to the Kurdish Workers Party, known by its Kurdish initials PKK, had played a major role in driving the Islamic State from key areas within a 30-minute drive of Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government. It was Erbil’s possible fall last week that ended weeks of Obama administration inaction on Iraq.

“The PKK took Makhmour” a peshmerga fighter at a checkpoint outside Makhmour acknowledged, shaking his head in admiration. Then, using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State, he offered an explanation: “They’re very experienced from fighting Daash in Syria and are true guerrilla fighters from their time in Turkey. They have more experience and training than we do.”

KRG president Massoud Barzani came to Maxmur on August 13 to publicly acknowledge the contribution of the PKK fighters.

The USA and other Western States considers the PKK a terror organization and therefore will not “officially work with them.”  So what the hell, work with them unofficially if you want.  I don't care much about your motive at the moment just help the PKK do what the world should be doing.

CDN writes in this vein:

Iraqi terror expert Nasser Kataw said: “There has been a re-drawing of battlefield alliances as people who were once enemies have joined together to try and defeat the scourge that is the Islamic State.”

Well, they should anyway...can't say that I agree that they have. 

Turkey which has long waged a campaign of repression aimed at the PKK and the Kurds in general has negotiated with the PKK recently, though lately their have been setbacks.  However as Links Journal explains:

In July 2013, for the first time in modern Kurdish history, tentative steps were taken to convene a Kurdish National Congress. An organizing committee made up of representatives from all four parts of historic Kurdistan met in Erbil and projected a three-day planning conference for late August with 500-600 delegates. But the project foundered on the political differences between the major forces.

In July this year PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, held in a Turkish prison since 1999, called for the urgent convocation of a national congress in view of the threat posed by the IS, particularly in Rojava.

And in August, in an atmosphere dominated by the terrible events unfolding in Shengal, 400 Kurdish NGOs in Turkey also issued a call for a Kurdish National Congress that would be able to effectively organize the Kurdish people to deal with the tremendous challenges they face.

Writes the Daily News in Turkey:

 Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş has said Turkey should consider sending arms to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in its fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

“The PKK is fighting [against ISIL]. Turkey should consider what to do if the PKK asks for arms. Why not [send arms] when we consider the current peace process? It might sound strange, but why not send arms to the PKK if peace comes and the PKK stops using arms against Turkey and fights against ISIL?” said Demirtaş. 

He also touched on the progress of the peace process, saying President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan would "continue to monitor it."

“Erdoğan wants to have control over the issue. I think he sees himself as being responsible for the issue. So far, there is no time frame written on the table regarding the issue, but they say they want to work with haste,” said Demirtaş.

The HDP co-head said several laws will be enacted by Parliament in October or November concerning the peace process, adding that government officials made clear they do not want to delay their work, including on reforms regarding freedom of speech. He said the government could work on plans for the return of PKK militants to Turkey, rather than an amnesty, in the coming months. 

Demirtaş also said his party would support an independent Kurdish state in Iraq if it was announced. “We also want Turkey to be the first state to recognize such a state,” he added.

In a region where almost everyone oppresses women the Kurds and the KPP are different and that difference is telling.    In the YPG-YPJ (People’s Defense Units-Women’s Defense Units — the military arm of Rojava, the Kurdish liberated area in northern Syria) women make up around 30% of its forces. A similar situation exists with the PKK. Recently a leader of the organization said in an interview that a third of their fighters are women.

A recent report carried by the Firat News Agency, “YPJ fighters demolishing taboos," makes clear the appeal of the liberation armed forces for women in a very patriarchal society.

Women have played a key role in the defense of Kobanê [Ayn Al-Arab] after the revolution, and have created a revolutionary transformation in social attitudes. YPJ (Women's Protection Units) fighters in the forefront of the defense of Kobanê are inflicting heavy blows on ISIS gangs and also demolishing taboos based on male domination …

Destan explained that before she joined the ranks of the YPG two years ago: “my life was between four walls. I had no social or economic life” …

Destan replied to our question as to what had changed after she had joined the YPG-YPJ, saying: “I never used to believe a woman could be the equal of a man before. For instance, in our family the man was always deemed the dominant one and I always considered that normal and legitimate. Here there is a genuine understanding of equality and freedom. I understood in the ranks of the YPJ that male domination was not a normal part of life but was, on the contrary, against the natural order. This created a great feeling of freedom in me.” …

A woman fighter named Roza, who joined the ranks of the YPJ six months ago, sums up the last two months of women's resistance thus: “The most important gain of this conflict has been, in my opinion, the breaking of feudal value judgments in Kobanê. In the last month women have been fighting on the frontline. It may be said that women have inflicted the most crushing blows on the ISIS gangs. Many women have died after putting up heroic resistance. It is now up to us to carry on the struggle in the path of all those who have fallen, first and foremost the women.”

Remarkable?  It shouldn't be, but it is. 

Links Journal concludes:

The Kurds have every right to acquire the weapons they need to defend themselves, even from the US. But the historical record makes it absolutely clear that Washington is no friend of the Kurdish people and any confusion on this score is only going to lead to a lot of grief.

Two key conditions for defeating the IS would seem to be: first, the creation of a genuinely democratic, non-sectarian Iraq which -- among other things -- would address the grievances of the Sunni population and undercut its support for the IS; second, NATO member Turkey must stop supporting the IS gangs and reach a genuine “internal peace” with its own Kurdish population.

Obviously the answer to the mess America and the West has created does not lie in the USA or in NATO...or with the governments of the Gulf States, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, etc.  It lies with the people of the region, with the multitude.

Saying that does not mean that it wouldn't be nice for Obama to quit wrinkling his brow, babbling about air strikes and boots on the ground, about coalitions, and Congress.  Dude, just approve sending arms to the PKK, privately, publicly, whatever, and who cares.  Just do it.  Maybe for one brief, strange moment in time, USA weaponry could be put in the hands of some good people, fighting a good fight, and for a good reason.

This seems unlikely for the reasons expressed below in the article  from CounterPunch.  Global Capital doesn't really want to see what Kevin Carson describes as the

..."democratic confederalism — also influenced by horizontalist struggles like Mexico’s EZLN — as an alternative to both Western corporate capitalism and the Soviet command economy...

Global Capital is not excited about this type of thing appearing in the region as an obvious alternative to itself or USA hegemony.  Oooooh, that sort of idea infesting the heads of the multitude is not at all what the Global Bosses have in mind, not at all.

Still, maybe, those Bosses will "goof up" in the face of their fear of ISIS and do the right thing for whatever reason.  After all, sometimes the world is a strange place and some times the best laid plans of the Global Rats can go astray....

Stay tuned...

Keep your fingers crossed...

Try and figure out what we might be able to do to make something good happen as a result of something awful. 

Obama Wants to Defeat ISIS–But Not That Badly


The Obama administration recently announced a policy of limited intervention in Iraq, using drone strikes to stave off conquest of Kurdish autonomous areas by ISIS. The main US ally on the ground is Massoud Barzani’s Kurdistan Regional Government, and US support against ISIS is limited to Kurdish areas inside Iraq.
Barzani’s main competitor for the loyalty of the Kurdish people is Abdullah Ocalan, leader of the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), which is active in all four nations with substantial Kurdish minorities.
While leading the originally Marxist-Leninist PKK from inside a Turkish prison, Ocalan studied the work of anarchist Murray Bookchin and adopted a form of his “libertarian municipalist” philosophy (which he renamed “democratic confederalism”). Bookchin’s philosophy came to Ocalan’s attention as part of a larger wave of interest in libertarian socialist thought among Kurdish nationalists after the fall of the USSR. Ocalan saw democratic confederalism — also influenced by horizontalist struggles like Mexico’s EZLN — as an alternative to both Western corporate capitalism and the Soviet command economy.
Democratic confederalism became the basis for the Group of Communities in Kurdistan, a PKK attempt at territorial administration in Kurdish areas.  It adheres closely to Bookchin’s model of federated direct democracies on the model of the Paris Commune, the soviets that emerged in Russia after the February Revolution, and local anarchist bodies in the Spanish Revolution. The economy is governed by a mixture of worker self-management and participatory planning. Women figure prominently in its municipalities and militia units, and have fought valiantly — for understandable reasons — against ISIS.
PKK is still listed as a terrorist organization because of its violent insurrection against the Turkish government, although it has maintained a truce with Turkey for the past year and gained significant regional autonomy for Kurdish areas in eastern Turkey. Since the truce the PKK moved the bulk of its fighting forces into Iraqi Kurdistan this April.
Supporting the PKK would arguably be far more effective if Obama really wants to stop ISIS penetration of Iraqi Kurdistan, especially given the party’s peace with Turkey and de facto independence of Kurdish areas in northeastern Syria. The PKK and allied militia in Syria have been more successful militarily against ISIS forces than the Western-backed Free Syrian army. PKK defended the Yazidi areas of Iraqi Kurdistan and relocated endangered civilians, when Barzani’s Peshmerga forces melted away. PKK fighters from Turkey have prevented the fall of Kobane in Syrian Kurdistan, which sits across lines of communication between ISIS areas in Syria and Iraq. Ocalan and the PKK, unlike Barzani, have popular support throughout Kurdistan — not just the Iraqi part.
But that’s unlikely to happen. The one thing worse than an ISIS victory, from the American state’s perspective, would be the demonstration effect of an alternative to both corporate capitalism and state socialism, based on decentralism, direct democracy and self-management.
Kurdistan has much in common with postwar Korea. In the power vacuum left by the retreat of Japanese forces from the Korean peninsula, as William Gillis writes (“Mass Graves,” reproduced at Austro-Athenian Empire, May 25, 2008), “something amazing happened. The Korean Anarchists, long the champions of the resistance struggle, came out of the woodwork and formed a nationwide federation of village and workers councils to oversee a massive project of land reform.” Soviet occupation authorities in the north quickly put a stop to this, liquidating the anarchist project and installing the Kim regime. American forces were considerably slower to arrive, giving southern Korea a respite of peace and freedom. When they did arrive, though, American military commanders “had no protocol for dealing with regional federations and anarchist communes.” Accordingly they restored land to the dispossessed aristocracy and helped the landlords set up a military government. With the start of the Korean War the military regime’s murder of anarchists and other leftists, already underway, kicked into high gear. At least 100,000 suspected anarchists, socialists and communists or sympathizers were buried in mass graves.
The American state would rather ISIS not win. But as with the farmers in Orwell’s Animal Farm, the men have one interest in common with the pigs that trumps all others: they don’t want the “animals” — ordinary people — to rule themselves.
Kevin Carson is a senior fellow of the Center for a Stateless Society ( and holds the Center’s Karl Hess Chair in Social Theory. 

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