Archive for the 'Turkey/Kurds' Category

HIRISE

The ‘new’ HIRISE developments in Libya point to the spread of the complex region wide wars that are now a permanent state in our current era of a slow motion great depression.

Egyptian thug ruler Sisi has just threatened to intervene if the Libyan government continue their offensive saying “Sirte and Jufra are the red line.” so naturally there has been a response from the Libyan government

I don’t think a major war is imminent but if a major war eventually breaks out, after the years of slaughter in Syria, it wouldn’t surprise many in the region. I wonder how many Marxists it would surprise?

No doubt ½ theorists are all aware that penniless Putin-not-quite-Tsar of all the Russians, has sent a small ‘mercenary’ (Wagner group) air force contingent to a Libyan base and that those aircraft have overflown Sirte.

Then a couple of days ago the Egyptian coup leader Sisi declared this Jufra air base right at the center of Libya part of his ‘red line’ Club Med Protectorate.  This coalition of the willing anti-democrats includes the UAE as a banker for the project and has both Saudi and even French support. This coalition is defying the UN arms embargo, and the UN recognized government, protected as it is by Turkey (supported by Italy).

Having lost the fight for the whole of Libya another enclave ‘solution’ is being established with a foundation of Russian air power. The inland air base and the city of Sirte on the coast splits the country. Libya is currently being broken into chunks -like Syria, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine have been from previous renditions of the Putin playbook.

Putin obviously has a belief in Russian ‘greatness’ and the basic method of war fighting that made it a great power.  Peter, Catherine even Stalin and now Putin apparently.  Grab and hold territory seams to be about as crude as it gets. He knows how the territory he controls was historically established; looks like he didn’t get the memo about this being the 21st century.  But I suppose he could reason that if it’s good enough for Israel to annex other peoples land…

In the 21stC, long after it was well known that nations want liberation and ‘countries want independence’, the democratic revolution for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is being vigorously resisted by the fascists in a peculiar new COW.

The KSA and the UAE have got on board with Russia and Egypt and at the same time have backed right off in the case of Syria.  The KSA having threatened the country of Qatar (that was then granted complete protection by the Turks as a response) and then after murdering Khashoggi in Turkey have fallen out with Turkey completely.  They know that Turkey is serious about bringing their own system -democracy- to Syria.  So the ruling elite of the KSA and the UAE know what’s in their interests.  Wahhabi extremism is being wound back in the UAE and the KSA.  Even as the hated Shia are still being targeted in the northern parts of the country and down in Yemen.

Predictably, that currently in power side is fighting back so that gangster-ism is preserved in these countries just as it is being extended or more accurately deepened, across the world in places like Hong Kong.

Push is at shove and western leadership is not up to the task of effectively resisting the gangster regimes, so western interests that actually start with the spread of the democratic revolution are and will continue to suffer. The ‘west’ is a headless chook and sanctions are virtually all the current western ruling elites are using to push back.  Like a Maginot line policy, it can’t work!  The US military sits brooding on the sidelines while the enemy flaunts their interventions and simultaneous shameless denials.

Putin started his rule by turning the Chechen capital of Grozny to rubble; and then running the whole region as a gangster region. He couldn’t hold all of the Ukraine so he simply invaded and took what ‘Russian sectors’ he could get hold of. He did the same earlier with Georgia when the Georgians wanted to stop gangsters operating in their country. It’s what he has done in Syria where he has run up against an immovable opponent in democratic Turkey. Putin can’t put in the effort that the democratic Turks can and do, so thankfully, this ‘problem’ of the democracy seeking Syrian peoples -now with a people’s army backstopped by Turkey- won’t go away.

Putin can and does make sure that they do have to put in that huge effort for every square kilometre.

Putin thinks he’s a world scale map maker. He isn’t. He’s a slow acting poison that’s destroying the Russian economy. He makes enemies on every border and he has distant but unstable ‘friends’.

Eventually, Europe will have to accept the price that must be paid for it’s clear self interest and effectively help Turkey as it continues pushing back against Russia. Eventually, so the theory goes, no respectable country will do business with the Russians and a repeat of the collapse of the USSR will unfold. But how long that takes is an unknown known.

How many ‘non-respectable’ countries will do the required business is a relevant factor. How long can the fascists in countries like Egypt and Iran keep their people terrorized and prevent them achieving democratic norms?  Democratic revolution for the MENA is underway and will not be stopped. Draining this swamp is the big picture but Syria has shown the world what preventing democracy looks like and does so as a direct comparison to the US enabling democracy in Iraq by destroying just the mechanized aspect of the Baathist army.  That still left the vast bulk of the human element of that army still around for the Iraqi masses to take on over a protracted period of war.  There had not yet been the years of systematic fighting comparable to the annihilation of the nazi troops in WW2 and of course there had to be.  These fighters were not just going to vanish.  The Iraqi peoples could now realistically deal with them and they did!  Why all along the rotten western liberals lamented the new conditions in Iraq.  Lamented the terrible mistake!  We can all see the price that dealing with them cost in an inescapable war that democrats must wage and we can all see the comparison with not destroying the mechanized element as Obama who agrees with Trump demonstrated to the world in Syria!

Jump to 2020 and ‘In late May, USAFRICOM reported that at least 14 MiG-29s and several Su-24s were flown from Russia to Syria, their Russian markings were painted over to camouflage their Russian origin! These aircraft were then flown into Libya in direct violation of the United Nations arms embargo.’ https://www.africom.mil/pressrelease/32941/new-evidence-of-russian-aircraft-active-in-li

This is a textbook Russian deployment to oppose democracy. These airplanes are more than ‘ trip wire’ platforms and they will be at work soon enough killing any advancing revolutionaries. The Russian and the Egyptian fascists know they will be fighting ‘soon’. When they eventually start their attacks the danger of a clash with the Turks-or the US-is very real. So they would rather win by bluff.  This is push and shove enclave building! But if something does go wrong what then? Would this spread a consequence back to Syria? Who knows.  Often enough ‘from little things big things grow’ so we’ll all watch this space with more than just a little interest.

I for one hope something does ‘go wrong’ because it’s better to fight now than to let the Russians and the Egyptians take over half of Libya (and the oil rich half at that).

It seems that the Turkish ‘push’ in defense of democracy has brought on the anti-democratic shove back and the big picture for the MENA is all moving along as not much more than another front to the Syrian adventure for Russia. All just another logical step for the Russian military adventurers. But in 2020 NATO is split and the US is openly in LA LA land with a self obsessed POTUS. The prize for Russia could be seen or imagined to be potentially very big and the UAE and even the KSA is footing the bill no less. That thinking is a total illusion but look at the track record of Russian war making since Putin took charge. His type rather obviously sees the world very differently than I do.

At this point (4 years into the ‘Wagner’ meddling in Libya) it resembles a rerun of the Syrian play of almost 5 years ago. So it looks like Putin is a reasonably predictable gangster and this time he has huge numbers of allied ‘infantry’ from Egypt ready to occupy. This time Russia is fully backed by the neighborhood power who has made everything crystal clear. This time it ALSO includes the KSA and the UAE and has French and even some US support -sort of- yet it’s almost the same beast that has turned vast amounts of built Syria to rubble.  Russia is still central to the whole coalition project. Russia is a massive arms dealer!  What could be better than another display and the constant rat-a-tat use of the expensive ammo?  Not to mention some blood for the oil that Libya is full of, and boy are the Russian and Egyptians keen on that black ‘gold’.

It’s not really a major escalation to this part of this region’s wars at all. It’s as predictable as reminding everyone that Sisi and Putin are world class gangsters. It very effectively lays a godfather’s claim to dominating not just ½ the country of Libya but as time goes on it must be expected to build and eventually present a size 14 footprint in Africa where Russia is already, according to a US report ‘… the number one arms dealer in Africa. Russia continues to profit from violence and instability across the continent. Russian government backed PMCs, such as the Wagner Group, are active in sixteen countries across Africa. It is estimated that there are about 2,000 Wagner Group personnel in Libya.’ !

These Russian aircraft are being run by so-called mercenaries! Please…the Russian state even orders the murder of people on the streets of England! They have given the US a chance with silly denial to go to war against ‘mercenaries’ but they are dealing with Obama’s replacement, so that is no problem for them. The Russians will get away with this! The Club Med stop over in Syria now has a further purpose for transit movements even further south.

Now you would expect that if say Bolton, were POTUS, he would crush this move right now but HE was on the wrong horse from where he would have had to back flip, and anyway despite Bolton’s errors, alas Trump is POTUS. Macron and Trump! How bad can this get? The world still has 6 months of this farce and then we get Joe Alzheimer!

Speaking of Joe, why NOT select Michelle Obama for VP, and let Mr Charming loose on the Corona restrained campaign trail? After all Bill and Hillary almost pulled it off and there is this big Black Lives Matter movement to exploit. Every 4 years like clockwork, out comes the Democrat race card and they have played it early this time. Now given how much I despise his 8 long years of ‘anti-war’ Syria policies – of turning away from mass murder- I can’t say I’m keen for another dose in the form of Bumbling Joe and Mrs O. I am however fully prepared for it.

2 years into his term Joe Biden might even hand over the baton! Reagan didn’t though and they got through that. I’m keen to see what’s going to unfold over in LA LA land. We will all just have to wait to see the morning come when all these gifts to humanity have been unwrapped. How exciting for the hysterical anti-Trumpers. I expect even more idiocy from the US in the face of aggressive Chinese and Russian fascism. I expect nothing sensible from Boris and the Euro in-breds for a few years yet.  In short, the government I expect to carry the burden is headed by Erdogan as has been the case for the last 4 years.

Anyway; so everyone currently knows what is going on in Libya and yet…silence.

The Egyptians are now standing up as a senior member of the messy HIRISE cow.

The US military in the region are furious but so what? The US military leadership are not happy they don’t want advanced Russian weapons systems targeting them from Libya! Trump’s military advisors may even think like Bolton and even be able to execute the back flip, but given Trump’s current anti-war stand they would be very slow to get any progress with him. I’m sure Trump could care less about a major point of conflict developing in Club Med land. He’ll easily resist getting drawn in and is to the extent that he would understand it, opposed to drain the swamp theory because he likes the old policies of backing strongmen. People that he thinks he can understand and do business with! His moves with Israel are the antithesis of a sensible retreat from the failed war for Greater Israel. Trump would rather go with the old policies that kept thugs like al Sisi in power, though even Sisi knows it’s against the US interests as famously spelt out by Condoleeza Rice in Cairo no less.

Something very dramatic would have to happen for Trump to win re-election from here. The only thing he has going for him is that he is up against Biden. But on the assumption that nothing that dramatic unfolds AND that Biden doesn’t just implode in some manner (and that can’t be ruled out) I’m calling Trump gone! Trump’s presidency will have ended before anything dramatic happens unless somebody spectacularly miscalculates and events run well ahead of all expectations.

Unfortunately as far as the next 2-3 year period is concerned this next 4 months is crucial for the MENA’s democratic revolution. Turkey is now carrying a huge load, and Egypt in throwing it’s ‘reserve’ strength on the scale is bound to bring on a cautious next step from Turkey. Actually, Erdogan has always danced this revolution backwards, while the HIRISE take the lead in direct opposition to the masses striving for the ‘Arab Spring’. He’s a conservative and has always behaved like one. No doubt with the rear view mirror he would have done things differently but so would ½ theorists! The real issue is how do we all stand now?

In this global supply chain era, the catastrophic disruption of this interestingly inconsistent pandemic has brought on an inevitable long term economic ‘unwinding’. That’s simply because capitalism in recession is musical chairs and the music has stopped; consequently who owns what is an international issue that is resolved right at the top of countries like Russia and China; just as is on display right now in Syria with their massive falling out at the top of the dung heap. It will take some time, and currently no one knows where this depression is headed off to; but as this all attempts to work through over the next few years the one clear issue that we can predict is that it just can’t be good news for the people’s in countries like Iran, Egypt, Syria etc. They are held in blatant open bondage while mass poverty now spreads in all directions. Once the sullen masses are on the streets again all bets will be off. But these ruling Cabals have focused their minds on how the Syrian tyranny has clung to power, as the alternative is a grim prospect for them. In the end these countries are ‘giants with feet of clay’.

The current gold medal of hanging onto power is the Syrian model. The anti-democrats around the world have learned by this example to resort to mass murder as rapidly and savagely as the Assad regime. Terror is now the first and only choice for Egypt and Iran and similar places. And they need a Godfather gangster supply chain like Russia has been!

A great example of the shrinking Russian play pond is the behavior of the thug leader of Belarus who has just arrested his political opponent prior to upcoming elections. They move on their opponents because they are worried! Police state Russia is rapidly heading in the same direction as Egypt and Iran.

Meanwhile al Sisi has simultaneously drawn a clear and blood red line that divides the ‘former’ country of Libya and denies the right of the current.Libyan government to recover the rebellious east! Given the history of Obama and his Syrian red line – that turned out to be no line at all there ought to be no mistake about what this statement is about. Turkey is standing firm but, without the US and a united NATO, is I think a little overstretched. If Egypt intervenes in a really big way, and I think that they have then Turkey will be stretched in just recovering Sirte. Uniting the entire country is beyond them at this stage. So without the US and Europe, Russia is now putting down it’s footprint!

Egypt and Russia (funded by the UAE) have in a business as usual manner for Putin effectively divided Libya with a small military force and the threat of a much larger one – all while talking about a political settlement. They are (on this front as they are in Yemen once again supported by the Saudi regime that is (or were) at one and the same time opposed to their Syrian HIRISE developments. Welcome to the MENA. HIRISE have established either a ‘state of war OR enclave’s; take your pick!’ This is the situation in another ‘civil war’ that they have been meddling in for 4 years. The Turks had turned up some months back and undone the situation and this is the response to that reversal.

From a revolutionary democrat POV (and in this region that means an Islamist POV) HIRISE elements can’t be permitted to get away with this if the revolution is to make any progress! But note this; the Islamists in the Libyan regime are so infiltrated with Al Qaeda sorts, that the Macron led French are stupidly collaborating with the Russians and the Egyptian thug regimes. Macron in this practice does not accept the drain the swamp theory! This is particularly confusing to me as the French have been involved with fighting Islamofascists all around Libya for some years now, with the Mali intervention being only perhaps the most public.

The Italians are on side with the Turks so NATO is thus divided! Unfortunately the latest nutter attack in England is from a young man with Libyan background! That is going to colour public attitudes to Islamist led governments. Erdogan has got a hard row to hoe and is currently (because they are still at war) intervening against the PKK in Iraq. There are however good signs that the Kurds in Turkey want this war ended and the democratic developments they were enjoying under Erdogan resumed. I for one hope the PKK leadership wake up to themselves and stop their collaboration with Assad and return to the productive ceasefire that existed prior to the Syrian war destroying that better situation. The Kurdish peoples’ of the region have much to gain from the democratic revolution and nothing to gain from Assad style tyranny continuing to exist.

Run!

No choice but to run for their lives.

Artillery is for destroying a military opponent or any ‘legitimate target of war’ and I’m always glad to hear of any people running away from artillery directed at military forces operating near them. Naturally directing such fire at civilians is a war crime and so is systematically bombing hospitals from the air. When that bombing is the reality, plausible denial is sought. Putin is a criminal perpetrator and is bombing hospitals as policy. This has been a continuation of Assad’s policies. Yet even reckless aerial bombing really is the same as directing artillery fire at civilians. The HIRISE coalition doesn’t have any credibility remaining over refugee making issues like hospital bombing. Quite simply Putin is a war criminal assisting Assad who is another war criminal and Steve obviously knows this just as well as I do. So my question is; what is the plan to stop these criminals from committing their ongoing crimes? It can’t possibly be to declare that the criminally conducted war is over and that these criminals won! Any declaration that the war is over just permits a return to their smaller scale, day by day normal crimes. It’s no plan to stop the war criminals.

So what is or ought to be the ‘western’ plan to stop them committing crimes? After all, even people like Steve are not opposed to revolution or so he proudly says; and we are to understand by that, not opposed to a revolution for democracy, meaning very broadly, almost across the political and cultural swamp of the middle east. So we are to understand that Steve is all for the draining of that swamp, that is to say, the changing of the politics and culture from brute tyranny to liberal democracy at some stage 1 level. (whatever that exactly means for their region). The west had to start somewhere and so will they. It won’t look like the current west anymore than a trip back in time would take us to some good old days.

What such ‘support’ for revolution means (at a minimum) is acceptance of democratic elections under a constitution that protects the minority from the oppression of a majority in the manner of the Iraqi constitution, and then the ongoing struggle to make those words a living functioning reality. All pretty basic stuff for people who say ‘And this doesnt mean I’m against communism or against revolution it just means Im against stupid.’ sic We all remember that Jefferson owned slaves, and there are demonstrations, riots and killing in Iraq right now!

Now I have often objected to actions from people who while nominally on my side do things that are ‘stupid’, one only has to go back a couple of days and see how deadly and obviously harmful such rotten actions can be. I called it out straight away but that didn’t stop Steve from making use of the same crime to attack the whole war. Democrats are opposed to all such crimes but we can’t forget those bigger crimes that set the stage for these other crimes. Those bigger crimes have driven ½ the population of Syria out of their homes and they haven’t stopped yet! Ultimately 500,000 deaths stem from the crime of a tyranny holding on to power when the peaceful revolution made its clear demands. And what have NATO leaders been doing to end the big HIRISE crimes? Other than killing ISIS not much!

Now having killed enough ISIS thugs Trump would like to take his troops and go home but his military advisors have told him that he actually has to go back in and so now the whole world hasn’t got a clue what will happen next. This is a very confusing period for anyone.

But the PKK ought to know that their old strategy is now in tatters, even if their western cheer squad has (as usual) no clue what is happening and wait to be told what to think. ISIS has worked out the same thing for its strategy, and Al Qaeda, who told them from the start that they would fail with their adventurous land grab strategy, can now shake their heads as they themselves go deeper underground to continue to hide among the good Muslims! That has always been their method for Syria and it is very sound. What the pseudo-left can’t deny is that there is such a thing as good Muslims and that they constitute the current majority in all the countries of the Middle East that is going to go through any democratic revolution. These good muslims must come to power from any such democratic process. So consequently there will be deep Islamofascist sleepers within these political formations. That really can’t be stopped and must be constantly countered. That is just how the world works. People very often pretend one thing and work towards another just look at al Sisi saluting his political leader not long before he staged a coup and arrested him!

The enemy fights back and that is why such a democratic revolution is protracted despite any wish that it were not so. They have often won in the past and will always have a fightback of some sort.

Now, what of the Turkish, Erdogan style Islamists? These people have waged a struggle for democracy against exactly the enemy coup type militarists etc., for decades. Just what are these Islamists up to?

They have to work to keep the good Muslims from further radicalising, while fully understanding that they are committed to Islamic norms; and that includes some notion of Jihad because that is the culture that they are in.

Now this is when it gets complicated and westerners have to look to what Erdogan has done at home as an indication of what his intentions are next door. He ordered the Army in for this 4th occasion and so that is now both a very big footprint of territory and a large army. The Turks have on every occasion they deployed made a great show of the number of troops being sent in! The great size of these deployments is almost right out there on full display. A bit like Mao along the lines of if you need 10 send 20 or 30 and quite unlike the Rumsfeld method. Not quite as plain, but for a keen observer like me something like the demonstrations breaking out in Lebanon that are now on show. Don’t go asking for proof that they are the biggest army, because it is just an assertion that I make with no intention of proving.

Rather than Erdogan, it is Putin who is the well-known liar that once even ½ fooled the ½ theorists that used to post their thinking about Syria at this site. They gave up posting about Syria and I gave up annoying them about their foolishness. But now Steve is making the assertion that the very big military forces commanded by Erdogan are in a coalition with Islamofascists. He wants me to ‘…recognise that Turkey and IS were in an informal alliance.’ He is asserting that perhaps the vilest style of Islamofascist that we have seen since well…ever really, and that is up against some stiff competition – and Erdogan are mates! This accusation is commonly made by ‘the usual suspects’ and to be expected even from the MSM and I have an answer.

We,that is everyone that has ever been positively contributing to this site have opposed such vile creatures that we term Islamofascists since well before 9/11. We have ALSO always stood up in opposition to all those pseudo-leftist ‘stop the war coalitions’ and all their ‘hands off’ and never unite lines. The track record is now over a very long time. All of us have supported armed revolution to overthrow oppressors.

I have always had consistent ‘rotten’ Maoist politics that are founded on support for the underlying democratic revolution. We have often argued that one can’t be a communist without first being a revolutionary democrat and I have never stopped learning about and thinking about Syria even though I haven’t posted much recently. From my studies, it is apparent that HIRISE is the issue the western world has to overcome in order to stop the crimes that Steve ought to call first line ‘stupid’, rather than focus on the second tier crimes that will eventuate even as we try our best to ensure they do not.

The second tier will nevertheless happen because there are weak link allies on the democrat side and also enemies concealed within. That is the nature of not just our war but all revolutionary war. What the Assad-HIRISE has been up to for all these years is not an accident and near miss collateral damage but targeted terror bombing. HIRISE is waging a terror war and driving off the Syrian people who wanted to live free of the current undemocratic tyranny. Refugees and Rubblestan were both obviously created as policy! The second tier crimes that happen from the democrats side are not in the interests of the Islamist democrat types that Erdogan has shown himself to be over decades of struggle. That is the answer.

Back in 2011 Syrian soldiers who would not fire on their own people formed the FSA and ran for their lives for the protection of the Turkish border and the other borders as well. But Turkey is where they are principally based. Then they started to fight back and that is why the animation looks as it does. The first green territory was very often right on the border. It was the ‘green team’ because it was never just soldiers that ran for their lives who formed the FSA and then fought back. It was the masses that came out from Friday prayers who were subsequently shot down in their peaceful demonstrations who formed the majority of those that fought back. They didn’t just accept orders from any FSA, composed as it was of former regime soldiers anyway! They stood up separately and made their own revolution. They have negotiated from their own POV and relative strength and not just accepted orders. Civil war complications from the very start were the reality for Syria and understood to be so from the very start of the resistance by any experienced western observer.

By 2019 however; through a protracted and massive struggle, Turkey has helped build (shelter, equip and train) a force with sufficient discipline that now has the ‘mass’ to pull in to its orbit many other smaller rebel groups as it goes forward under that Turkish protection with Turkish supplied arms etc.. This force is now called the Syrian National Army and that name spells out what it is designed to do in the future rather than what it is doing now.

What the SNA is doing now is taking shelter from HIRISE bombing under the protection of a massive mechanised army that is very capable of defeating the HIRISE professionals it faces off against. In reality, HIRISE is most assuredly battle-hardened but still not comparable to the fully integrated Turkish armed forces it faces. Turkey is a better fighting force in all respects in my opinion and no one ought to doubt, up to whatever task might come its way and also is strategically placed to quickly throw the Assad backing Syrian Arab Army (SAA) out of Aleppo for just one example of what it could do if all this goes pear-shaped.

Arthur has long held the Russion deployment in contempt and I have always agreed with that view in the strategic sense. A paper tiger that Mao depicts. Tactically though it is still a real tiger. But I don’t doubt this puffed up bunch of terror bombers will become that paper tiger and in the not too distant future.

The Syrian rebels that are going to defeat Putin were once mostly reluctant freedom fighters; they were mostly everyday Islamic believers who had no choice but to organise with the only people they could trust, and just as often could not trust – because Syria was a terror police state with spies and informants everywhere! As often as not trust could only be established when under fire when your real comrades are fighting for their lives with you. That is the reality of civil war generally. It is a universal truism that applies from Ireland to China and everywhere in between.

The conclusion is that people have to learn how to make a revolution on the job and with the raw materials that they have to hand and in Syria they have and are, learning the most with the Turkish government!

Erdogan knows he faces a facist warmongering coalition led not by Assad who he holds in obvious utter contempt, but now by Putin who is a puffed up fascist and not much more than a strategic incompetent destroying relations with all his neighbors in a vain attempt to turn back the clock to the old era of Russian superpower status. He is well overstretched and Turkey is just stepping up to its task and that task is to help the Syrian peoples make revolution against the Putin led HIRISE troops.

Over the last couple of weeks, this running away from artillery has been happening in an enclave in the Nth East of what used to be Syria. The media has presented this advance as an attack on the Kurds, but Erdogan has explained for years that this territory is run by the PKK, and the western world has long designated them as a terrorist organization – which the Turks have every right to protect themselves from and continue their war against.

The history of the PKK is not now at issue, nor the former practices of the Turkish terror regimes of the past.

Today the issues and solutions are not what they were when the PKK formed up to fight all those decades ago. The new reality must be correctly identified or the whole war will be misunderstood and progressive westerners will not know what is going to happen next.

For several years now this enclave has been colored yellow on maps and has been expanding. It is essentially controlled by the PKK, with only an SDF fig leaf for plausible denial. The Turkish government and Syrian National Army they back are not buying this cover story. This ‘Rojava’ had also contained 3 smaller Assad enclaves colored pink. The pink is now spreading and butting up against SNA green and there is shooting between them. So now, with the Turkish led action the whole enclave is ‘in play’, and there are currently reports of at least one small Russian force coming under direct fire, from which they withdrew and then told the world it never happened, but it was caught on film!

So what is likely to happen? Will Assad get back control of all this Yellow territory (including the oil) or will the Syrian National Army under the protective wing of the Turkish military steadily take over at least most of it and then another period of regrouping drag on?

These are fundamental questions. How will the democratic revolution make progress in Syria if Assad makes the gains that the HIRISE forces are currently enabling. Turkey is a democracy and so is led by a reasonably conservative islamist party. Almost every county in this region would be if the democratic revolution is underway to that stage 1 level, and that Steve is what I am advocating as a supporter of democratic revolution.

Fascists are making war and I really want to know how they are to be defeated by democrats.

Assad

Erdogan now the most important political leader in the world.

A long time ago I put that heading up and then shrugged my shoulders and didn’t write anything under it – but given all the current drama I had better spell out, just for the record, what I think is underway now.

4 years after the Russian intervention the world is now watching as a VERY large mechanized army is being inserted in part of what was Syria. They are on the opposite side to those Russians! Many people have failed to notice that this is the biggest picture in this complex development. Most yabbering in the MSM notice only that the Kurds have a big problem and forget that the whole picture of the region must be considered.

What I have termed HIRISE (Hezbollah, Iran, Russia, Iraq (Shia militias) Syria (undemocratic Assad), and Egypt (undemocratic militarists) is going to be the big loser when all this settles down and it will settle down with a FSA Islamist footprint.

The PKK/SDF do not have to join with Assad and his HIRISE suporters. They don’t have to go up against the Turks and the FSA. They have had choices for many years and they have not been willing to make those choices in the interests of genuine democracy. They have not shared power with the FSA but worked willingly with the root of all problems Assad. It is they who have been ethnically cleansing areas and not sharing power with the FSA so this fight was bound to come to them. People should remember that they are as often as not young ‘Turks’ and ‘Iraqi’ Kurds. They are very often non Syrian players just as they demonstrably were not when the Peshmerga turned up to fight ISIS in Kobani. They were correct to show up then and they would do well not to fight now. They are Kurds from the region being given the chance to join with the FSA and stand united against the undemocratic Assad supporting HIRISE. The region is at war.

The Turks for their part are going to continue to make a bigger footprint in Syria and that footprint will resemble current Turkey (a place that has genuine democracy and consequently naturally an Islamist government that is at war with a) islamofascists and b) Kurdish nationalists/separatists. The current Turkish government did not start either war and they have no real choice but to be at war with this Kurdish movement and no choice but to make war to end the HIRISE footprint. The genuine peace effort (despite the coup attempt and historical ill will across Turkey that can be wound back by more democractic practice) can be resumed. Kurdish oppression is still apparent in large parts of the population but change was underway and can be resumed with good will and an end to the armed struggle. I think that good will is on offer in Istanbul and other parts of Turkey and ought to be grabbed with both hands by the Kurd leadership but I think that it will not be and there will be yet another setback.

The refusal to remove themselves to the east of the Euphrates and allow the FSA to occupy that Arab territory was the indicator of what this would lead to. The young Kurds have been very badly led and sadly they will pay a terrible price for that poor leadership. It is very sad to see this slaughter of people I so admire and instinctively side with. But the Kurdish nation can not be liberated at the expense of the Arab peoples that constitute the vast bulk of the Syrian peoples. They must deal with the FSA not Assad.

There is even now a way forward for the Kurds and that is with a genuine democratic process and that process genuinely is being regionally led by Erdogan who is clearly opposite to HIRISE and the PKK in all its forms including as the SDF. The Kurds are not democratic yet but I hope that they will take that turn. The same turn that is required of the masses in Iran and in Egypt and so on. The region requires democratic revolution rather than nationalist border wars that the Kurds must back down from. The YPG etc and the SDF is just a PKK ruse. The SDF ought be made real.

The SDF has made war on the FSA just as the HIRISE troops have. They have collaborated with the HIRISE and are scrambling to do so now but it won’t work. The Turks are moving too fast for the HIRISE and are prepared to spread the war out from Idlib if they start being attacked by them so this is a push and shove moment.

We could say ‘I don’t blame the Kurds at the moment’ but the long term problem is that there can be zero democracy while millions of Syrian’s are displaced and not permitted to return to a safe country and that must be a democratic country. They can’t return if ‘Assad’ remains. HIRISE is no solution and is a fascist preserving enclave that has to be overthrown. It is a long term project.

Only Turkey and NATO who, apart from Trump (and who can tell with ga ga Trump) do not yet support the Turks, can do that liberation in anything like a realistic time frame. But with Russians involved that timeframe is not short.

The Turks have upped their involvement just as I said they would be eventually forced to do. They have taken this next move at about the right time and the people who will benefit from it are the returning Syrians who can only return to democracy. They have shown that they can take control of Islamist Syria and control the Islamofascists. They can’t however return people to paddocks and little towns so big cities must come on the agenda next.

The Kurds are not very happy but they have played their side and are still sitting in Manbij so they have given zero ground and now want to invite Assad and the Russians into Manbij. It ain’t going to happen.

The Kurds ought to have pulled out years ago and made some other substantial consessions to the Turks and re-established a genuine peace process that had been underway till the Syrian Civil war brought it back from deaths door.

This advance into Syria is the Free Syrian Army backed by democratic Islamists!

The Turkish military are under the control of the genuinely democratic and elected government of Turkey and they are the best in a rotten region.

The Islamist revolutionary fighters can best be controlled by this force.

What makes this a great problem for the HIRISE is that the US military is STILL very much around and in great demand now apparently. This lurking force is not going to let any significant territory fall to ‘Assad’.

HIRISE is the big loser from this.

This move forward is going to shake things up and despite the ABC/BBC commentary stability is not to be hoped for.

PKK commander threatens to resume war

Cemil Bayik, the PKK’s top field commander, is interviewed by Al-Monitor in the Kandil Mountains, September 2014. (photo by Amberin Zaman)

Exclusive: From

On Sept. 24, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) issued a highly critical statement. In a nutshell, it said that Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) had “eliminated” the conditions of a mutually observed 18-month cease-fire between the PKK and the Turkish army. It said that, in response to “the AKP’s war against our people, our leadership council has decided to step up its struggle in every area and by all possible means.” I had heard similar words on Sept. 21 from Cemil Bayik, the top PKK commander in the field, during a three-hour meeting I had with him in a tent in the Kandil Mountains.

In an exclusive interview, the Kurdistan Workers Party’s (PKK) top military commander, Cemil Bayik, says that Turkey has sabotaged the peace process and the PKK is ready to resume open conflict.
Author Amberin Zaman Posted September 25, 2014

“We may resume our war at the end of September. We have the authority to resume the war,” Bayik said.

“What of the PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan?” I asked.

“We have a division of labor. Our leader has the authority to make peace,” he replied.

I couldn’t believe my ears. “Are you sure?” I asked repeatedly, because his words could have profound consequences for Turkey and its government.

Bayik responded positively: “We will be making a statement to this effect,” he said.

I thus decided to wait for the PKK to make its statement before publishing this interview. I did not want to be the first to impart the gloomy news. Because in the repressive climate that is gripping Turkey, I might have been accused of warmongering. So, is there a real risk that the insurgency will resume? Won’t Ocalan have the final say? Is the PKK’s statement no more than a tactical move aimed at putting pressure on the government? I would say yes to both questions. That said, with every passing day that the AKP government fails to take concrete steps to solve the Kurdish problem, the risk of the cease-fire’s ending grows. I raised all of these issues with Bayik, who hasn’t set foot in Turkey since 2000.

The following are the highlights of the interview he gave to Al-Monitor:

Al-Monitor: How is the Islamic State [IS] onslaught against Kobani [the Syrian Kurdish-majority town of Ayn al-Arab on the Turkish border] affecting the peace process in Turkey?

Bayik: The attacks by Daesh [the initials of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham] against Kobani helped elucidate two things. One was whether Turkey’s collaboration with Daesh is continuing or not. The other is whether the peace process is continuing in the north [i.e., Turkey] or not. What emerged is that Turkey is continuing its relations with Daesh and that Turkey will not solve the Kurdish problem in the north. Because a Turkey that supports Daesh’s attacks against Kobani, that seeks to depopulate Kobani and lobbies for the establishment of a buffer zone cannot sever its ties with Daesh. Because if it did so Daesh would expose all of Turkey’s dirty laundry, and document the links between them.

Al-Monitor: Are you able to prove that these links exist?

Bayik: Before Daesh attacked Kobani, Turkish officials contacted the YPG [the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units] official responsible for Kobani. They warned him that should the YPG attack the Shah tomb [the Ottoman Tomb of Suleiman Shah inside Syria, which is guarded by Turkish troops and considered Turkish territory] that Turkey would retaliate in kind. I repeat, they said this before we were aware that Daesh would attack. Isn’t this strange?

Second, two days after the campaign against Kobani started, a Turkish train stopped at an Arab village near [the IS-controlled] Tell Abyad border gate and unloaded weapons and ammunition that were taken by Daesh. There are eyewitnesses to this transfer. And during this period the [Turkish] hostages [held by IS in Mosul] affair is supposedly resolved. These events are all interlinked. Turkey then opens the Mursitpinar border gate with Kobani just as Daesh fires Katyusha rockets at Kobani and surrounding villages to sow panic among the people. Turkey opens the border gate on the third day of the attack so that the people can flee to Turkey. This is what Daesh wants as well. This proves the collusion between them. Because Turkey has long wanted the establishment of a buffer zone. Its aim is to prevent the Kurds in Rojava [Syrian Kurdish areas in western Kurdistan] from winning a formal status. By emptying Kobani and provoking a mass exodus of people, Turkey can then claim before the international community that its own security is at stake and set about establishing a buffer zone.

Al-Monitor: Very senior Iraqi Kurdish officials told me that Hakan Fidan, the head of Turkey’s national spy agency [MIT], had as recently as last week offered to mediate between the Kurdistan Regional Government President Massoud Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party [KDP] and the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party [PYD]. Doesn’t this contradict your claims?

Bayik: Not at all. Turkey always supported the KDP against the PYD. Now they [the Turks] are supposedly trying to drive a wedge between the PKK and the PYD and to draw the PYD into an alliance with groups that are close to [the Turks] and to bring them in line with their own [Turks’] Syria policy. There are thousands of Syrian Kurds within the PKK. During the war [against Turkey] 1,500 Syrian Kurds were martyred. Many Syrian Kurd commanders from the PKK went over to Rojava to train YPG forces and to help them in the fight against Daesh. Such matters do not always work the way Turkey intends them to through money and weapons. And there is no friction between the YPG and the PKK as claimed. They are acting together in the south [Iraqi Kurdistan] in Kirkuk, in Shengal, in Rabiya. The only force to defend Rojava is the PKK.

Al-Monitor: IS has some very modern weapons. Aren’t you having trouble combating them?

Bayik: Yes, they have modern American weapons they seized in Mosul. Our own weapons aren’t effective against the American tanks that they use. Besides, we are used to fighting in mountainous terrain and now we are forced to do so in open plains. But we are a movement that adapts quickly to new circumstances.

Al-Monitor: Getting back to the peace process, you say that you have realized that the AKP will not solve the Kurdish problem

Bayik: We realized this a while back. There is tremendous pressure on our leader [Ocalan] and a very ugly psychological war that is being waged against him. Propaganda is being spread to demean him in the eyes of the people.

Al-Monitor: To the contrary, what we see is that Ocalan has been legitimized before the public as never before.

Bayik: You may not see this, but there are those who know and it’s reached all the way to us. I am telling you openly: Turkey must immediately stop these psychological ops tactics and end its pressure on our leader.

Al-Monitor: Can you be more explicit. What kind of pressure?

Bayik: I do not want to share all the details. It may not be appropriate at this time. But there is no improvement in the internment conditions of our leader. Recently, his sister and nephew visited him and they were put in a room where nobody could breathe. The nephew protested to the prison guards, saying they were aware of our leader’s breathing difficulties. Their response was that they would have to meet there and that was all. Moreover, they forced the meeting to end before the allotted time. The new government is trying to force our leader to roll back his demands by applying pressure on him. This applies especially to the negotiating points. But as they know he won’t back down, they are going to use this as an excuse to set the stage for war.

Al-Monitor: Are you saying that Turkey wants to resume the war?

Bayik: Absolutely. If this were not so, they would have worked harder at solving the problem. They would have improved the internment conditions of our leader. They would have accepted the presence of third-party observers in the peace talks. And they would have allowed the negotiating sides to carry equal weight. All they have done is to pass a bill to “end terrorism” in the parliament [legislation that effectively formalized the talks without actually referring to their substance]. And they did so kicking and screaming. We are concerned with actions, not words. The negotiations have still not started. They want to keep the talks on a dialogue level. They want to deceive our people. We have been in dialogue for years. We went back and forth to Oslo for years [the secret Oslo talks that ended in 2009].

Al-Monitor: Did you go to Oslo?

Bayik: No.

Al-Monitor: Have you had contact with any Turkish officials over the phone?

Bayik: No. I haven’t touched a phone since 2003 for personal security reasons.

Al-Monitor: During the presidential campaign of [the left-wing People’s Democracy Party (HDP) Kurdish candidate] Selahattin Demirtas the Kurdish political movement gained a lot of ground. Demirtas won support from most unexpected quarters. By talking in this manner, aren’t you undermining peaceful politics?

Bayik: As we are at the center of this process, if we say there is no progress in the peace progress, that means there is no progress because there is no one better placed to assess this. We have paid a very heavy price during 40 years of conflict. Thousands of our fighters and cadres were martyred. Thousand of Kurdish villages were burned and destroyed. Thousands of our people fell victim to extrajudicial killings. And now we see that the numbers of village guards [a state-paid anti-PKK Kurdish militia] are growing. Army garrisons are being built, together with supply roads. We are sticking to the cease-fire but they are not. And they took advantage of the cease-fire to launch a war against Rojava. We gave them time. We said they had until the end of September to take certain steps. We said that unless they do so by the end of September the war would resume.

Al-Monitor: Did you say “we will resume” or “may resume”?

Bayik: “May resume.”

Al-Monitor: But don’t you need Ocalan’s authorization for this?

Bayik: We decide on war. The authority to end the cease-fire lies with us. But our leader Apo [as Ocalan is often called by his followers] decides on peace, on the continuation of the peace process. His role is different from ours. We are complementary.

Al-Monitor: But if Apo says peace must prevail, you won’t be able to decide on war. Thus, the final decision rests with Apo.

Bayik: Ocalan is our leader. We are a movement that obeys its leader. We are loyal to our leader. But unless Turkey takes some steps, how can our leader say, “No, do not fight?” We are having trouble restraining our fighters as it is.

Al-Monitor: What are your demands from Turkey?

Bayik: The internment conditions of our leader need to be improved. We cannot negotiate in his present conditions. Third-party observers must be allowed to take part in the negotiations. They can be from civil society, from the parliament or from an international organization. It can also be a foreign power. And the support being given to Daesh against Rojava must end. Rojava is part of the peace process. This is clear.

Al-Monitor: Just as you have won plaudits for your role in helping the Yazidis in Sinjar and for your prowess in combating IS, and just as the international community is debating delisting the PKK and American cooperation with the YPG, would you not be throwing this all away by attacking Turkey, a NATO member?

Bayik: No. We are a legal movement. And nobody can blame the PKK. Until now we have declared nine unilateral cease-fires since 1993. In 2013, on the occasion of Nowruz [the Kurdish New Year], we freed all our prisoners. We ended the war and began to withdraw our fighters from Turkey. We are not eyeing anyone’s territory. We are not seeking independence. All we want is to live freely with our own identity, culture and values in democratic conditions.

Al-Monitor: But is it not risky to open a second front against Turkey when you are fighting IS in Rojava?

Bayik: We have been fighting for 40 years. If need be, we shall fight for many more years. We are fighting because we are being forced to do so. We are not going to surrender after 40 years. No power can implement its strategies in the Middle East without taking the PKK into account.

Al-Monitor: You speak of democracy but in recent days a group that calls itself the PKK’s youth wing has been burning down schools in the southeast of Turkey. Do such actions have any place in a democracy?

Bayik: Burning schools is wrong. But our people built schools there with their own means. They want to study in the Kurdish language, so why is the state forbidding this? There is a great deal of anger among our youth. Even we are having trouble restraining them. When we ask them why they burn schools, they respond, “Why are our schools being shut down?” There is a lot of alienation. The number of people joining our ranks last month has exceeded that in 1993. In 1993, around 1,000 people would join every month. Last month, 1,200 people joined.

Al-Monitor: The Turkish government spokesman Huseyin Celik said that we can now talk with Kandil [the PKK leadership]. No sooner did Ahmet Davutoglu become prime minister, he made very positive statements about the peace process. For the first time, a government is talking directly to Ocalan and announcing this to the public. It has done more than any of its predecessors to solve the Kurdish problem. Does none of this mean anything? Besides, why would the government want to go to war before the elections?

Bayik: Yes, the government continues to speak positively about the peace process. And the pro-government media is helping to propagate this upbeat mood. This is a delaying tactic, a deception. They are trying to portray Apo as being optimistic when in fact he continually criticizes the AKP during the talks. They want to drain the process of all its substance and they want to manage it at their whim. What was their aim? To win the [March 2014] local elections and then the [August 2014] presidential elections. And now they want to win the 2015 [parliamentary] elections.

It’s true that they would not want to resume the war before the elections. They want the cease-fire to continue, but they want it to continue without making any concessions, save for a few unimportant gestures. After the 2015 elections, their position may change.
Amberin Zaman
Columnist

Amberin Zaman is an Istanbul-based writer who has covered Turkey for The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Daily Telegraph and the Voice of America. A frequent commentator on Turkish television, she is currently Turkey correspondent for The Economist, a position she has retained since 1999. On Twitter: @amberinzaman
Original Al-Monitor Translations
Türkçe okuyun

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/09/turkey-pkk-commander-bayik-threatens-resume-war.html#ixzz3Ef8umk6J