Joined up thinking for the Irish Left
New Books Worth Reading Mon Sep 19, 2016 23:25 | Seán Sheehan
13 Billion ? Lucky for some? Mon Sep 05, 2016 13:04 | Tony Phillips
Rebuilding Ireland: Long on Promise, Short on Detail Mon Aug 29, 2016 22:20 | Eoin O'Mahony
Brexit and Other Issues: Comments on the Current Situation Mon Aug 29, 2016 21:52 | Brendan Young
Bin Charges: From Private Circus to Public Service Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:38 | Michael Taft
Irish Left Review >>
What is Dogmatism and Why Does It Matter? Wed Mar 21, 2018 08:10 | Sylvia Smith
The Case of Comrade Dallas Mon Mar 19, 2018 19:44 | Sylvia Smith
Review: Do Religions Evolve? Mon Aug 14, 2017 19:54 | Dara McHugh
Fake News: The Epistemology of Media Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:52 | Gavin Mendel-Gleason
Officials and Provisionals Sat Apr 01, 2017 22:54 | James O'Brien
Spirit of Contradiction >>
Life should be full of strangeness, like a rich painting
Some Thoughts on the Brexit Joint Report 11:50 Sat Dec 09, 2017
IRISH COMMONWEALTH: TRADE UNIONS AND CIVIL SOCIETY IN THE 21ST CENTURY 14:06 Sat Nov 18, 2017
Notes for a Book on Money and the Irish State - The Marshall Aid Program 15:10 Sat Apr 02, 2016
The Financial Crisis:What Have We Learnt? 19:58 Sat Aug 29, 2015
Money in 35,000 Words or Less 21:34 Sat Aug 22, 2015
Dublin Opinion >>
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Happy 70th Birthday, Michael Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake
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Gayle Killilea Dunne asks to be added as notice party in Sean Dunne?s bankruptcy Fri May 17, 2013 12:30 | namawinelake
NAMA Wine Lake >>
AFRIN IS NOT ALONE! WORLD DAY FOR AFRIN MARCH 24
An International Day of Global Solidarity has been called for Afrin, Rojava, Saturday, March 24… Make noise… so that together we can say its long past time when lunatic dictators with an addiction to power and violence can hold half the world to ransom...
Once we have purged the terrorists (from Afrin) we will then cleanse them from Manbij, Ayn al-Arab, Tal Abyad, Ra’s al-Ayn and Qamishli,” Turkish President Recip Tayipp Erdogan
The fascist and misogynistic dictator of the Turkish state, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has stated publicly that through this invasion against an autonomous territory inside a sovereign country, it wishes to “return Afrin to its real owners”. But behind this charade, it’s actually carrying out an ethnic cleansing and a genocide against the Kurdish people and other minorities, that have been living in Afrin since time immemorial. Afrin has been one of the few territories that has enjoyed a relative peace in the bloody war of Syria that has been raging for the last 7 years. Many families displaced by war, have sought shelter in this territory. Now Erdoğan is trying to take advantage of this instability and the suffering that grips the peoples of Syria so as to legitimize its imperialist power grabs, dreaming of reconquering the territories that were once occupied by the Ottoman Empire. (ANF)
On November 1, 2014 an International Day of Global Solidarity was called for the vicious and bloody struggle for Kobanî (Rudaw), the ISIS/Daesh besieged Kurdish city in northern Syria that won its freedom at no insignificant cost through the determination and courage of its ‘children’ in the spring and summer of 2015. Since then, and along with the military successes by the People’s Protection Units over the jihadi’s ‘caliphate’ in Syria and Iraq, hopes have grown that the experiment that is ‘Rojava’ would be given an opportunity to develop.
The Internationalist Commune of Rojava: “Kobane suffered a terrible siege in 2014 under the black flag of daesh. Today Afrin is in the same situation under the red flag of Turkey. The colors may be different, but the people behind these two attacks are the same. Erdoğan’s army is trying to annihilate the Kurdish resistance under the slogan ‘Allahu akbar’.” (Internationalist Commune of Rojava)
Despite the marginalisation of the Kurdish people, an estimated 35 million people still exist with no homeland to call their own – mostly divided between 4 states (14.5 million in Turkey, 6 million in Iran, about 5 to 6 million in Iraq, and less than 2 million in Syria) thanks to an international community that was content to defer to the decisions made by the ‘victors’ in their crude carving up of the Ottoman Empire following the first World War.
With the fall of Afrin to Turkish and Islamic fundamentalists in recent days, it is time to remember now, in case it be forgotten, that it was struggles like Kobanî, Manbij and Raqqa and the many small and often nameless places where Kurdistan’s children gave up their lives so that many others could live free from the oppression of a tyrannical regime and a fanatic religion with its boundless contempt for anything different to itself, that should have brought, to the Kurds at least, more than the promise of a right to speak their own language and organise themselves as they see fit in the regions they live in.
Nevertheless these struggles and in particular the fall of Raqqa city in October 2017 did bring the Kurds to world attention and no doubt fueled their hopes for respect and recognition from the international community, in particular their need for peace, autonomy, and freedom…
While at the same time a radical democratic revolution was taking place in northern Syria (now organized as the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria) following the collapse of Bashar Al-Assad’s regime in the area: local democracy, a co-operative economy and ethnic and women’s rights along with the vision of a new post-capitalist society of equals, using the model of democratic confederalism as a possible solution to the crises affecting the entire tormented Middle East…
And while this has drawn some attention internationally, not always and not all of it, has been positive. Understandably, so.
Turkey and more particularly its now-ruling autocrat, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his AKP regime, having decided to follow a path of aggression against the Kurds for their own machiavellian reasons and following the collapse of peace talks with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), now, it appears purposely, as investigations into the murder of Sakine Cansiz and her colleagues in Paris by the Turkish National Intelligence Organization [MİT] seem to be pointing towards…
…by July 2015 it was apparently decided that peace is not good for business – the business of holding on to power in a country that has struggled, and is now losing the battle, to maintain basic democratic norms in an island of turmoil and dictatorship for so long.
Robert Fisk: “Take my well-educated Kurdish driver (anonymous, almost needless to say). “We know (President Recip Tayyap) Erdoğan deliberately destroyed our peace process with the Turks,” he says. “We understand the kind of nationalism he represents and the kind of religiosity he represents.” The Independent
And so instead: the choice of violence, the choice of war, the path of a scorched earth policy, firstly in south east Turkey (Northern Kurdistan), now in north west Syria (Western Kurdistan – Rojava) and, just in recent days, the threat of Turkish troops in Northern Iraq has come from the presidential palace – along with many other strategies (including assassinations in Europe it seems) against the Kurds and since the failed “coup” also, anyone who gets in President Erdoğan’s way…
Thus since January 20, 2018 and despite utilising the latest NATO and homemade technology against a technologically-poorly-equipped Kurdish defense forces… Turkey has spent nearly 60 days bombing and bombarding the Afrin Region of north western Syria, bombing it with mortar, artillery, rocket and fighter-jet fire, bombing it with F-16 fighter jets, T129 assault helicopters and drones, back into the middle ages – bombing as a prelude to their seizure of the land of Kurds and the Yazidi and the Arabs and the Christians that live and have lived in this area possibly for thousands of years….
“A few thousand SDF fighters, armed only with light and outdated weapons and displaying legendary courage and determination, confronted NATO’s second largest army, which acted in utter disregard for international humanitarian law.” Kamran Matin writes (theregion.org)
Land – Power – Profit – War…
…and fear and suffering for ordinary people.
How rotten must the ruling clique in Turkey be today?
How devoid of any promise for the future for anyone other than a ghost or a corpse? Or, of course, those who wish to maintain their grip on power:
“Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is rich. How rich is unknown. Critics estimate his wealth at several billion Euro, the product of rampant corruption and cronyism in the Turkish state since his Justice and Development Party (AKP) took power in 2003.”
For an International Day of Global Solidary for Afrin
And so Erdoğan’s war against the Kurds does not happen in a vacuum. It is also the international community who allows this to happen as Gokcan Aydogan says:
“The problem here is not what Erdoğan thinks or does. In history, there have always been dictators like Erdoğan. The problem is the inability to condemn what he does or stop him. The dull and ineffective international rules, dirty arms deals, the very immoral refugee deal, the secret political agendas of the EU, the US and Russia strengthen Erdoğan’s hand in his assault against the very same people who sacrificed their lives fighting against the “common evil” ISIS.”
If this is the case, it is clear then, that the outrages we have witnessed over the last 60 days are set to continue.
While the international community continues to do what it does best…
The Russians who slipt away in the dead of night, as they find it apparently difficult to face the light of day and seem to prefer to work in the dark, with assassins and proxies, like Turkey itself with its Islamist fanatics in the frontline and its hitmen in Europe? America who, as we know has always spoken out of both sides of its mouth as it throws its wealth (often appropriated ‘illegally’ from the rest of the planet) around and of course the Syrian State of Assad itself, propped up by the Russian air force who find it easier to murder civilians in eastern Ghouta from 2 miles in the air…
…and of course don’t forget NATO who is happy to have its smart technology utilized and tested in preparation for its next adventure… like Germany’s Leopard tanks (“Turkey operates 354 Leopard 2A4 tanks”) and its other shiny technology, like the F-16 fighter jets and the assault helicopters, capable of bombing a simple rural people back to the stone age… ask Henry Kissinger (“The American bombing of Cambodia resulted in 40,000-150,000 deaths from 1969 to 1973, including at least 5,000 civilians” – Wikipedia). Also don’t forget the European Union, but then, does the most powerful of EU states not make handsome profits selling weapons and technology to Turkey?
…Business, as usual…while children are bombed to death.
Oh, and don’t forget the sordid EU-Turkey deal on refugees…
Finally now…before we come to the reason why an International Day of Global Solidarity is so important… don’t forget the United Nations (sic), sitting on its hands in its expensive offices, talking endless hot air from a toothless mouth… this U.N. who time after time shakes its head and walks away when no one is looking…maybe it is time to pack up shop, resign, hand it notice, Mr. Guterres, and leave the space for someone and some organisation with some shred of integrity left to voice the people’s demands for peace and for respect and human rights… Does anyone listen to the UN anymore? Is anyone “in power” listening at all, anymore, you would wonder, such seems to be the depths we have sunk to?
And so in despair once again and with no one left but ourselves to rely upon
The international campaign in defense of Afrin has called on the international community – meaning you and me – (not these assassins stalking the shadows with murder in their hearts – not the sleeping-dead (i.e. politicians) in their almost-terminal-comatose banality, not the careerists nor the carpetbaggers nor the profiteers), but what is left of the people or rather what will become “the people” that Neruda spoke about so eloquently, so long ago, in a different time and a different place:
“I distinguish him among all
who are his equals
and it seems to me it cannot be,
that like this we go nowhere,
that to survive like this holds no glory.
I believe that this man
must be enthroned, rightly shod and crowned.
I believe that those who made such things
must be the masters of all these things.
And that those who made bread should eat!”
(The People – Pablo Neruda)
An International Day of Global Solidarity
…has been called for Saturday, March 24… Make noise… so that together we can say its long past time when lunatic dictators with an addiction to power and violence can hold half the world to ransom because the other half of the world is ruled by politicians whose only concern is their own grasp on the petty power that they have in an era where power is worthy – just like the murderous outrages of this Turkish military machine and its bearded foot-soldiers – of nothing but utter contempt…
Saturday March 24, 2018 and in the days folowing: tell the world we are here and we care…
Tell the Kurds and the Yazidi and the Arabs and the Christian and the Muslims in Afrin…we hear you…
Tell the world that our hopes and our dreams for the future are stronger than their poisonous fire and sharp metal and this barbarism that is burning these Kurdish children alive…
March 24, a Day of Global Solidarity
Almost one hundred years ago, on 1 August 1915, in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin, Ireland, then another colony of another corrupt and decaying empire, the soon to be ‘martyred’ Patrick Pearse gave the graveside oration for O’Donovan Rossa, the Irish revolutionary with a fondness for dynamite, warning the coloniser that things were about to change:
“Life springs from death; and from the graves of patriot men and women spring living nations. The Defenders of this Realm have worked well in secret and in the open. They think that they have pacified Ireland. They think that they have purchased half of us and intimidated the other half. They think that they have foreseen everything, think that they have provided against everything; but the fools, the fools, the fools! — they have left us our Fenian dead, and while Ireland holds these graves, Ireland unfree shall never be at peace…” (Graveside Oration – PDF)
So be it also, now in this new century, for the Kurds, in every place where these 35 million citizens-and-internationalists of the future touch the soil of Mother Earth…
March 24, for our friends the Kurds – now and once again – being driven into the mountains…
World Day for Afrin…
…to tell our so-called “leaders” to end their silence, “on our behalf”, their collusion in this murder, these massacres, this ethnic cleansing, this ruthless ‘unholy-war’ by an arrogant and ultra-right-wing Turkish State, ruled by another would-be dictator with a lust for power, along with the lust for an empire that has already been squandered and luckily so, long past… A regime that must now be digging its own grave in the dark, one where, in hope, with enough voices raised in protest, the world’s tolerance will finally run out…
If not the rulers – then the people…
A Day of Global Solidarity – to tell our elected leaders enough is enough…
A Day of Solidarity to stand up and be counted…
A Day of Solidarity to end this silence that allows innocent people to be bombed to death while Turkish President and Chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party in Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Press Agency talks of “neutralizing terrorists”!..
A day of solidarity – a day of hope also? For ourselves, living within this forest of lies, as much as for the people of Syria, condemned to a normalization of war and darkness..?
…So, that on “the last day”, when all the dead are counted and your children ask you (demanding to know) where were you? What did you do? What world did you prepare for us to live in…?
– you will have an answer to give them.
Here are some of the Actions:
The North American Kurdish Alliance and other American groups (Demand Utopia, Institute for Social Ecology, Kevok, Friends of Rojava in North America, Olympia Assembly, Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement, American Kurdish Association, and Solidarity Rojava NYC) suggest a list of actions for the day:
– Immediate condemnation of the Turkish and jihadist invasion of Afrin.
– Demand for the immediate withdrawal and cessation of hostilities against Afrin and the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria, with economic sanctions imposed until the Turkish state complies.
– Immediate cessation of arms sales to Turkey.
– Immediate implementation of a no-fly zone over northern Syria and Afrin in particular.
– Arm the YPG/YPJ in Afrin with MANPADS to defend against Turkish bombings of civilians.
What you can do
Organize a rally in your area to raise awareness or put pressure on a person in power to implement the demands listed above.
Consider targeting [elected representatives] in your area.
Turkish Consulates [everywhere] can be found online:
and in the USA: https://embassy-finder.com/turkey_in_usa
Organize a letter writing or call in session to your [elected representatives] asking for the demands listed above.
Host a fundraiser to assist with essential supplies needed in Afrin. Donations can be submitted to the International Aid Campaign for Afrin which is raising funds for critical medical support: see: http://www.heyvasor.com/en/ji-bo-efrine-besdari-kampany...ibin/
Do a banner drop or hand out flyers to raise awareness about the situation in Afrin.
Host an educational event to build support for Afrin in your area.
and more… much more…
…because Rojava lives in all our individual and collective imaginations.
As a world waiting to be born…