KURDS, CEASEFIRES AND VIDEOTAPE

“If you ever see me being beaten up by the cops, put down the video camera and come help me, alright?”
~ Bobcat Goldthwaite.

Someone else has made some comments on the PKK/HPG video, for which I posted a link earlier in the week (Note: The video appears to be no longer available, so I will have to think about uploading it somewhere, in order to keep it available).

The other comments on the PKK/HPG video are found at Atlas Shrugs. Although I think I understand the general drift of the comments, I’m a bit confused about their details.

For instance, I don’t understand how PKK could have started out “wrong.” What, exactly, does that mean? If it is in reference to the Marxist origins of PKK, I really don’t know what else one would expect, given the Turkish political milieu of the 1960’s and ’70’s, about which more information is found here. At the time, the left, particularly the Marxist left, was where one would find the main opposition to the state. The development of industrialization and modernization, the inability of the Turkish left to fully comprehend the repression of Kurds, and the Algiers Accord of 1975, were developments that lent fuel to the Kurdish nationalist fire in the North.

Then came the 1980 coup, backed by the US, which was the torch that lit the flame, and in 1984, the first PKK operations were engaged. More info on that can be found here:

In fact, behind the left-wing rhetoric, the PKK had always been a nationalist movement. Its promise to save the exploited of Turkey and the rest of the Middle East notwithstanding, its very formation represented a break with the Turkish Left and abandonment of the ‘‘common struggle.’’9 To be sure, this may have been directly and indirectly caused by a Turkish Left that sought recruits from the east and southeast as cannon fodder in its own particularistic struggle of the 1970s. Hence, its assumption of a nationalistic image is in fact not just in keeping with the times but also a return to its real self. Although a product of the doctrinaire Turkish leftwing movements, the PKK watched from close these groups’ destruction by the military in 1980. The radical and violent Left failed to succeed anywhere in Europe or the Middle East. By contrast, nationalist groups proved to have much longer shelf life. Nationalism has proven to have no equal in mobilizing them.

(Note: The two sources titled “Origins of the Problem: The Roots of Kurdish Nationalism ” and “Enter the PKK” are from the late 1990’s, but are very useful as historical reference to the Kurdish national movement in North Kurdistan.)

Is the reference to PKK starting out “wrong” a reference to the conduct of PKK’s resistance? If so, then PKK itself has admitted that there were mistakes made in the past, especially during its 5th Congress, and later with the ideological changes it made that resulted in the creation of KADEK, KONGRA-GEL, and most recently by the establishment of the Koma Komalên Kurdistan (KKK). The idea of confederalism, the basis of KKK, is one that is already underway, as symbolized most recently by the DTP presence at the KRG unification ceremony in Hewlêr. Practically speaking, all Kurds have been looking to South Kurdistan since 2003, seeing it as an inspiration for other parts of occupied Kurdistan.

The Kurdish Diaspora has also had a huge role to play in the idea of confederalism, which ignores the borders that artificially divide Kurdistan, and which has been described as “transnationalism” by Martin van Bruinessen. It is Kurdish transnationalism that very well may be the root of confederalism and, given that the enemies of Kurdistan have attempted to destroy the wider transnationalism (i.e. through attacks against Roj TV, Kurdish publishing and print journalism, murders of Kurdish leaders in diaspora, to name a few instances), it is clear that confederalism is seen as a threat. Hence the massing of enemy troops, their attacks, the refusal to deal with legal Kurdish parties, and the targeting of Kurdish civilians.

As to a “complete end to all terrorist activities,” I agree. The TSK and all covert Turkish security operatives must be removed from Kurdistan immediately. They have conducted terror operations against the Kurdish people for decades. The same holds true for Iranian and Syrian security forces. Until these hostilities against the Kurdish people end, there is a continuing need for Kurds to exercise the right of self-defence against these genocidal regimes. As Cemil Bayik recently stated:

We have no other option but to resist such attacks. Resistance is our legitimate right. Resistance is a right enshrined under international law. As long as the Kurdish Question remains unresolved we will resort to our legitimate right to resistance. We will not accept surrender or death.

What is certain is that US accommodation of its Turkish ally means that Kurds cannot look to the US for justice, so abandonment of self-defense would be more than foolhardy; it would be suicide. Neither can Kurds look to the EU for justice. Everyone can search in vain for an EU statement against the Turkish and Iranian attacks against Kurds. Such a statement would go against the EU’s policy of support for the Ankara and Teheran regimes.

As for ceasefires, well, PKK has tried that a number of times, most recently from 1999 to 2004, although fighting on the part of HPG didn’t really resume until last year. For all intents and purposes, the ceasefires have been completely useless because there is only one side engaged in ceasefire. Certainly, either the US or the EU could have encouraged the Ankara regime to negotiate. They could have ceased business deals, particularly on the American side, with all the military assistance they have given to Turkey.

But that didn’t happen, so we can relegate those ideas to the “What if” file.

Let me also make clear that the Turkish, Iranian and Syrian regimes have used their own internal propaganda to foster hatred of Kurds. One example, from an Iranian, can be seen at comments on this DozaMe post, and another, from Turkey, can be seen in this video. Pay attention to the comments posted on that page in order to get an idea of the anti-Kurdish racism which is totally acceptable in Turkey. This is something that is almost impossible to explain to someone who has not encountered it, but it does not happen that people are born with this hatred in them; it is taught and reinforced, first by the family and then by society. There is a problem, too, in that Kurds do not discuss this racism enough, especially with outsiders. Is that because the problem is ubiquitous or because of the suspicion that no one will believe it?

Let’s not be naive here and fall for the lies. Turkish, Syrian and Iranian “democrats” are dead set against extending “democracy” to the Kurdish people. Even Iraq has continued to insist on its “Arab character,” thus, once again, disenfranchising the 4 to 5 million Kurds who are trapped within its borders. All of these “democrats” wax eloquent on the subject of “democracy” and “equality” and “brotherhood” within their respective regimes, but mention the K-word and the fantasies they attempt to pass off to ignorant Westerners vanish like smoke on a windy day.

Wrap your brain around all of that and then come and tell me who the terrorists are.

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