[WSMDiscuss] Fwd: Re: [bedev_gwg] Response to ‘A Call to Defend Rojava’: consider signing, or first read this

Ashish Kothari chikikothari at gmail.com
Wed May 9 11:02:44 CEST 2018

Friends, the discussion below may be of interest, and perhaps some of 
you can give your perspectives to what seems like a rather complex set 
of issues. I'm adding Ansar and Mabrouka to this mail.


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Ashish Kothari
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-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: 	Re: [bedev_gwg] Response to ‘A Call to Defend Rojava’: 
consider signing, or first read this
Date: 	Wed, 9 May 2018 01:06:17 +0200
From: 	'Ansar Jasim' via bedev_gwg <bedev_gwg at googlegroups.com>
Reply-To: 	bedev_gwg at googlegroups.com
To: 	bedev_gwg at googlegroups.com, M'barek, Mabrouka 
<mbarek at middlebury.edu>, bedev_gwg at googlegroups.com

Dear Mabrouka,

Thank you for having sent this letter around. I was aware of the initial 
letter and also found it very problematic. But to be honest, both calls 
miss the main point: there is not mentioning, not even in a single word 
of the Assad-regime. War in Syria is not natural catastrophe which is 
just happening on the side. There cannot be any call for Syria without 
mentioning the Assad-regime, it is not a minor detail, it is the main 
factor. Also any call condemning the US-intervention, has to condemn any 
other imperial aspirations in Syria, so we cannot be silent on Russia, 
while talking on the US.

Also, the attack on Afrin cannot be understood outside the greater 
picture: Afrin and Eastern Ghouta were both so called de-escalation 
zones agreed on in the conference of Astana (and some follow up 
conferences). There was a military presence of Russia in Afrin and they 
withdrew their military from there before the Turkish assault 
"in exchange" Turkey was silent on the Russian military assault on 
Eastern Ghouta, which within two weeks demanded over 1200 dead and 
witnessed bombing with internationally outlawed weapons such as Napalm. 
However this inherent relationship between the two assault in not 
mentioned anywhere in any of these statements (and left out in any 
leftist discourses) as if Afrin is not part of the dynamics in Syria. 
This is a really dangerous short coming.

People from Eastern Ghouta were later forcefully displaced to Afrin and 
the displacement from other area in Syria under Russian leadership 
continues. Most of these people are brought to Afrin in a 
Turkish-Russian deal. This is highly problematic, anyone wanting to be 
in solidarity with the people of Afrin has to see that here, the most 
vulnerable, the IDPs of Afrin and the displaced from Ghouta are played 
against each other. Again, we learn that we cannot dissolve Afrin from 
the greater picture of what is happening in Syria.

Any call for solidarity has to embrace all progressive forces in Syria, 
this partial solidarity just concentrating (also uncritically!!!) on 
Rojava is really harming. There was a really progressive civil 
opposition in Eastern Ghouta, there was a really progressive civil 
opposition in Ar-Raqqa before it was occupied by ISIS. We cannot talk 
about Rojava being the only progressive force in the area, just because 
the other forces miss to use the language we need to identify them as 
progressive.  Partial solidarity also means to play different actors in 
Syria against each other, so it is actually sectarian and thus harming 
our causes in the area!

Probably some of your already heard that Russia is currently demanding 
that Turkey gives Afrin back to the Syrian regime, back to the tyrant 
who has murdered Kurds, forcefully displaced them, withdrawn citizenship 
from them, putting and "Arab belt" in their areas to disconnect Turkish 
regions from each other etc. Again, there can be no statement for Kurds 
in Syria, or any statement in Syria, without mentioning the Syrian regime.

There are so many more points to add to deconstruct both statements, but 
I just mentioned the most urgent ones.

Our comrades have written some great statements concerning Afrin, I 
advice everyone to read it: 

Also, don´t miss to read this wonderful article of this Syrian anarchist 
Leila Al-Shami: "  The ‘anti-imperialism’ of idiots" 

An example of the Russian and Turkish imperial politics in Syria: 

A read on the Russian imperial politics:




(Maboruka, in case the email again doesn´t go through the list, can you 
please forward it to the list? Thank you).

On 08.05.2018 17:52, M'barek, Mabrouka wrote:
> Dear all,
> Several well known anti-war scholars/activists (Judith Butler, Harvey, 
> Chomsky, Bookchin..) have signed a call to defend Rojava but by doing 
> so they are actually betraying their anti-war principles since they 
> are asking the US to continue occupation in Syria. Those 
> scholars/activists are demanding that NATO stop selling weapons to 
> Turkey as if NATO was an instrument of peace!
> There is a counter letter denuncing these dangerous contradictions 
> that I would encourage you to read/sign/circulate among your network: 
> https://mronline.org/2018/05/07/response-to-a-call-to-defend-rojava/
> In Solidarity &Gratitude,
> Mabrouka
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