SYRIA'S KURDISH CONTRADICTION

Kobani

by Bill Weinberg, Los Angeles Review of Books

A strange paradox of the vertiginous world situation is that a radical left movement strongly influenced by anarchism is being massively backed by the Pentagon in the war for northern Syria. This movement, in fact, is now the United States’ closest partner among the indigenous forces in the Syrian war.

The Kurds of northern Syria call the region Rojava (sunset or west in their tongue), and since 2012 have had their own autonomous zone. Two years later, the celebrated battle of Kobani opened as this town within the autonomous zone was besieged by the self-declared "Islamic State" (ISIS). Kurdish women fighters with a consciously feminist ideology driving back the ultra-reactionary ISIS became a global meme.

The US, after initially writing off Kobani, started aiding the Kurdish fighters as they began to turn the tide, against all expectations. Warplanes were sent in their support, and the pact between the Pentagon and the revolutionary Kurds was forged. US military advisors were embedded in their militia. Kurdish-led forces are now fighting to take the ISIS de facto capital Raqqa in a Pentagon-directed campaign backed by US air-strikes.

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See full text at Los Angeles Review of Books, Oct. 8.

Photo: YPG via Flickr.

Titles reviewed:

A ROAD UNFORSEEN
Women Fight the Islamic State
by Meredith Tax
Bellevue Literary Press, New York, 2016

REVOLUTION IN ROJAVA
Democratic Autonomy and Women’s Liberation in Syrian Kurdistan
by Michael Knapp, Anja Flach and Ercan Ayboga
Pluto Press, London, 2016

STRUGGLES FOR AUTONOMY IN KURDISTAN
& Corporate Complicity in the Repression of Social Movements in Rojava and Bakur
by Eliza Egret and Tom Anderson
Corporate Watch, London, 2016

KHIYANA
Daesh, the Left & the Unmaking of the Syrian Revolution
by Jules Alford and Andy Wilson, eds.
Unkant Publishers, London, 2016

A SMALL KEY CAN OPEN A LARGE DOOR
The Rojava Revolution
by Strangers in a Tangled Wilderness
Combustion Books, New York, 2015

THE NEXT REVOLUTION
Popular Assemblies & the Promise of Direct Democracy
by Murray Bookchin
Verso Books, London, 2015

CONFLICT, DEMOCRATIZATION, AND THE KURDS IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria
by David Romano and Mehmet Gurses, eds.
Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2014

DEMOCRATIC AUTONOMY IN NORTH KURDISTAN
The Council Movement, Gender Liberation, and Ecology —in Practice
by TATORT Kurdistan
New Compass Press, Norway, 2013

From our Daily Report:

Syria: Russia denies bombing Kurdish forces
CounterVortex, Sept. 18, 2017

See also:

A FEMINIST FUTURE FOR FREE KURDISTAN
Interview with Houzan Mahmoud
by Scott Douglas Jacobsen, Conatus News
CounterVortex, July 2017

SYRIA'S NONVIOLENT FIGHTERS
Key to Ending the War
by Maria J. Stephan, Waging Nonviolence
CounterVortex, April 2017

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Reprinted by CounterVortex, Oct. 8, 2017