deutsch |  english |  español  |  français  |  italiano  |  nederlands  |  polski  |  português  |  svenska  |  türkçe  |  中文  |  عربي  |  русский

latest news

Sweden
“Who could believe it?"

24/02/2017: What is behind Trump's attack?

  Sweden

Britain/Ireland
Dublin's #JobstownNotGuilty

23/02/2017: Defend the right to protest - stop this political vendetta!

  Ireland Republic

Ireland
A web of intrigue sparks government crisis

22/02/2017: Smear campaign against a prominent police whistleblower

  Ireland Republic

February revolution 1917
What lessons for today?

21/02/2017: 23 February 1917 (8 March in today’s calendar) marked the beginning of the socialist revolution in Russia, which sparked a revolutionary wave that would travel around the world.

  Russian Revolution

 Yemen
International protests in support of TOTAL/G4S workers

20/02/2017: Solidarity spreads for victims of wage robbery and killing by multinational corporations

  Solidarity, Yemen

Netherlands
Anti-immigrant Freedom Party leading polls ahead of general elections

18/02/2017: Only a choice between the “regular” and far-right?

  Netherlands

Britain
Council cuts can be fought - and they must be

16/02/2017: Corbyn needs to stand up to Brexit rebels

  Aceh

Spain
Pablo Iglesias wins clear victory in Podemos congress

15/02/2017: Time to build the class struggle on the streets

  Spain

US
A socialist strategy to defeat Trump

14/02/2017: Escalate the resistance toward shutdowns on March 8 and May 1!

  US

Scotland
Greens back SNP government austerity budget

13/02/2017: TUSC council elections candidates put forward 100% anti-austerity programme

  Scotland

India
Upheaval in Tamil Nadu

09/02/2017: Corruption, nepotism, and other crimes of ruling party exposed

  India

Britain
Universal basic income demand gains ground

08/02/2017: What approach should socialists take?

  Britain

Yemen
Workers protest at parliament against TOTAL and G4S

07/02/2017: Security workers demand wages and arrest of colleagues’ killers

  Yemen

CWI and Izquierda Revolucionaria – Towards unification

06/02/2017: Joint declaration of the CWI’s IEC and Izquierda Revolucionaria’s IEC

  Spain

France
After Sarkozy, Juppé and Valls, now Fillon is on the way out

06/02/2017: Space opening up to left of Socialist Party

  France

Romania
Biggest street protests since 1989

04/02/2017: What position should the left take?

  Romania

Syria
Is an end to the war in sight?

03/02/2017: New movements for change will need to arm themselves with the lessons of the Syrian tragedy

  Syria

Quebec
Terrorist Attack in Québec City

01/02/2017: Counter terrorism and hate with solidarity

  Quebec

 CWI
9th Latin American school a success

31/01/2017: Over 200 participate in Sao Paolo CWI continental gathering

  CWI

Sri Lanka
The year 2017

31/01/2017: Between oppression and struggle

  Sri Lanka

Canada
Where are Trudeau’s ‘Sunny Ways’?

31/01/2017: Battles of Indigenous peoples, youth, workers will test Liberal government

  Canada

US
Airport protests help block Trump travel ban

30/01/2017: Defend immigrant communities

  US

Russian Revolution Centenary
January 1917 - On the eve of revolution

29/01/2017: War, hunger, hated Tsarist regime: class tensions reach breaking point

  Russian Revolution

China
CWI member Hu Xufang forced to flee

28/01/2017: Xu and his family are victims of China’s deepening police crackdown

  China

Afghanistan
The limits of US power

28/01/2017: Imperialism’s 15-year adventure a bloody catastrophe for millions

  Afghanistan

US
Build 100 days of resistance to Trump’s agenda!

27/01/2017: Establishment deeply divided as mass resistance explodes

  US

Russia
Duma legislates to decriminalise domestic violence

26/01/2017: For unified struggle for women’s rights and against capitalism

  Russia

Tamil Nadu
Mass protests against state repression

26/01/2017: Support the right to assemble and protest - release those arrested immediately!

  India

Millions on women's marches around the world

25/01/2017: Reports from mass women's marches against Trump

  US

Bangladesh
Hartal protest against power plant

25/01/2017: Follows mass strike of garment workers in December

  Bangladesh

Côte d’Ivoire
Social revolts shake Ouattara regime

24/01/2017: Public sector strike and soldiers’ mutiny expose reality behind “economic growth”

  Ivory Coast

Taiwan
US foreign policy under Trump

24/01/2017: Island risks being pawn in his game

  Taiwan

Kurdistan

PYD leaders call for partnership with Bashar al-Assad’s regime

www.socialistworld.net, 06/08/2015
website of the committee for a workers' international, CWI

No faith in authoritarian rulers and Western powers!

Serge Jordan, CWI

The massive air campaign by the Turkish regime of Erdoğan on Kurdish PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) bases, and the subsequent reactions of the PYD (Democratic Union Party), a sister organization of the PKK in Northern Syria, has raised important questions in relation to revolutionary strategy, in a sharper way than ever before.

Since the summer of 2012, the PYD has been overrunning several patches of Kurdish-majority territory in the North of Syria, following the withdrawal of Syrian troops from these areas. This was engineered by the Bashar al-Assad’s regime in order to concentrate its military power in curbing the advance of Sunni armed groups in other parts of the country, thus allowing the PYD to fill in the vacuum.

This change of power into the hands of the PYD, a political force attuned to the plight of the Kurdish masses, and the party’s control of what has now come to be known as the Rojava cantons, ushered in a wave of enthusiasm among the Kurds population, in Syria as well as internationally. This was a welcome development for many Kurds who had been suffering under the iron fist of the Assad dictatorship for years, and denied basic rights, such as not being allowed the use of their own language in public.

Since then, the armed units of the PYD (the YPG and YPJ) have caught the imagination of millions due to their undisputed bravery in the fight against ISIS’s reactionary rampage, and thanks to their militant women’s battalions. Their stated attempts to build an alternative system of governance, arguably based on harmony between various religious and ethnic communities in the middle of a sectarian war zone, also had an electrifying impact on many young people, Left and Kurdish activists around the world.

However, from the start there has been a grey area when it came to the PYD’s stand towards Assad’s regime. It has to be pointed out that for around two decades since its creation in 1978, the PYD equivalent in Turkey, the PKK, enjoyed a cooperative relationship with the Assad regime, and received funds from it, before that regime eventually turned against the PKK. Although the exact nature of the relation between the PYD and Assad’s regime in the last few years has remained cloudy, it is clear that the PYD has so far preferred to stay out of any confrontation with the Syrian army.

In some parts of Rojava such as in Qamishli and Hassakah (among the largest cities of the area), while the Assad regime did pull back most of its security personnel, it has still kept government services under its charge, continuing to pay the wages of state employees, providing local administration with public resources and running some administrative offices. The school programmes have even remained the same as under Assad, with high school students still studying curriculums approved by the previously ruling Baath party.

At the same time, as ISIS grew, military collaboration was established last year between the PYD and US imperialism. While not making military aid in itself a matter of principle, especially in the context of the killing spree by ISIS fanatics, the CWI warned of the political dangers behind such collaboration from the outset. In particular, the perception it would create among the millions in the Middle East who have suffered, and continue to suffer, from the bloody interventions of US imperialism.

“No illusions should be created in the role of Western imperialism, whose actions will only further religious sectarian divisions (…) The history of the Kurdish people has shown many times that the imperialist powers and capitalist elites are no friends of the Kurdish peoples’ long-standing struggle for national liberation.” (socialistworld.net, ‘Kurdistan: The battle for Kobanê’ - 02/10/2014)

More generally, we argued against a strategy of trying to accommodate with the ‘goodwill’ of external capitalist powers, rather than of reaching out to working class communities across borders with a clear class appeal and a socialist program, based on the independent mobilisation against those powers.

It is not possible to simultaneously try to bring about social emancipation and multi-ethnic solidarity, while at the same time, cooperating with forces who exacerbate sectarian warfare across the region, and drive through their actions persecuted Sunni Arabs in the hands of ISIS.

We also explained that the lenience towards the PYD by Western imperialism and by Assad’s rule was the product of circumstances more than anything else: Rojava benefited from a precarious balance of forces because the ruling elites in the region and in the West had a bigger fish to fry, in the form of ISIS.

In the last two weeks however, important changes have taken place that could potentially alter this precarious equilibrium. In particular, the US has decided to turn a blind eye to the Turkish government’s recent military escalation against PKK bases in Turkey and Northern Iraq. The American silence was purchased by Turkish President Erdogan’s offer of allowing the US use airbases on Turkish soil for its campaign against ISIS.

This latest maneuver demonstrates, once more, that US imperialism is using the fate and the struggle of the Kurds as mere pawns in its power-game, ready to stab them in the back at the first opportunity. Exhibiting its nauseating hypocrisy, the US government has unilaterally called on the PKK to “stop the violence” in Turkey, while justifying as “self-defence” the Turkish army’s intensive air assaults on PKK targets, which have already killed a number of civilians.

It is in this context that in the last week or so, several officials from the Syria-based PYD have publically stated that Assad’s government could be contemplated as a collaborator. The co-chairman of the PYD, Salih Muslim, declared that “under the right conditions” the YPG, “could join the Syrian army”; Idriss Nassan, a senior PYD official from Kobanê, said that his party could ally with the Assad’s regime, “if it commits itself to a democratic future”.

In anticipation of the fact that its relations with the Americans could be put under serious strain following the recent events in Turkey, the PYD leadership is tentatively leaning back towards Assad, desperate, it seems, not to gamble on one horse only.

But if the struggle of the people of Rojava is to secure the critically needed popular support across the sectarian divide and beyond Rojava’s boundaries, this move by the PYD leaders is a strategy doomed to failure. These appeals to Assad are unlikely to go down well in particular among the millions suffering under Assad’s bombs or tortured by the notoriously vicious Shabiha militias. In the Kurdish community too, many have not forgotten that before the war Assad’s regime had been violently oppressing the Kurds and denying their identity for decades within Syria.

The American socialist, John Reed, once said, “Whoever takes Uncle Sam’s promises at their face value will pay for them with blood and sweat.” This is something the Kurds learnt the hard way, many times before. However what Reed said of “Uncle Sam” remains equally valid for pro-capitalist, sectarian and butcherous regimes such as Assad’s. If and when Assad gets the upper hand, he will no doubt go back to subduing and brutalizing the Kurds again. What will the PYD leaders then do?

It would not be wrong in and of itself to try and exploit the divisions between different ruling powers in order to reinforce mass struggle. But any tactic should be subordinated to a clear strategy, with the conscious goal of exposing the enemies for what they are at every stage, without nourishing the slightest illusions in their intentions. Socialists rely on independent mobilisation from below as the primary factor for change. Unfortunately, the PYD leaders’ approach is a totally different story.

They have a short-sighted policy of balancing between different capitalist powers, all of whom have consistently shown their utter disdain for the interests of the Kurdish masses. This represents a major mistake and an objective obstacle in building cross-sectarian solidarity with all the populations under assault outside of Rojava, whether from Assad’s regime or from US air power. This runs the risk of exacerbating sectarian tensions.

Only a strategy having at its core a consistent programme for united working class action and for democratic rights of all the peoples of the region, investing no faith whatsoever in imperialist powers and regional authoritarian rulers, has a fighting chance of securing a way out of the current catastrophe.



Europe

 video

Video: US Socialist Students build for student walkouts against Trump, 15/12/2016

 further videos

CWI - get involved


solidarity

tamil solidarity campaign kazakhstan

featured links

Socialist Party Ireland

cwi links

Marxist.net, CWI marxist archive

cwi comment & analysis

world economic crisis

analysis and commentary


cwi publications

marxism in today's world che

Che Guevara: Símbolo de Lucha

Por Tony Saunois

A socialist world is possible, the history of the cwi with new introduction by Peter Planning green growth, a contribution to the debate on enviromental sustainability

NEWS

Catalonia: Historic demonstration in Barcelona in support of refugees
25/02/2017, Esquerra Revolucionària:
'Volem acollir'

Sweden: “Who could believe it?"

24/02/2017, Per-Åke Westerlund, Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI Sweden):
What is behind Trump's attack?

Britain/Ireland: Dublin's #JobstownNotGuilty
23/02/2017, Neil Cafferky, from The Socialist (weekly paper of the Socialist Party, England & Wales):
Defend the right to protest - stop this political vendetta!

Ireland: A web of intrigue sparks government crisis
22/02/2017, By Cillian Gillespie, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland) :
Smear campaign against a prominent police whistleblower

Yemen: International protests in support of TOTAL/G4S workers
20/02/2017, Socialistworld.net:
Solidarity spreads for victims of wage robbery and killing by multinational corporations

Netherlands: Anti-immigrant Freedom Party leading polls ahead of general elections
18/02/2017, Pieter Brans, Socialist Alternative (CWI in Netherlands), Amsterdam:
Only a choice between the “regular” and far-right?

Solidarity: French presidential candidate Mélenchon backs #JobstownNotGuilty campaign
17/02/2017, socialistworld.net :
Support the international solidarity campaign

Britain: Council cuts can be fought - and they must be
16/02/2017, Editorial comments from the Socialist, paper of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) :
Corbyn needs to stand up to Brexit rebels

Spain: Pablo Iglesias wins clear victory in Podemos congress
15/02/2017, Izquierda Revolucionaria, Spain:
Time to build the class struggle on the streets

US: A socialist strategy to defeat Trump
14/02/2017, Kshama Sawant, Seattle City Council Woman and member of Socialist Alternative :
Escalate the resistance toward shutdowns on March 8 and May 1!

Greece: Athens’ bus cleaners win bulk of wages owed
14/02/2017, Eleni Mitsou (Xekinima - CWI Greece) and Apostolis Cassimere’s (Board Member of OASA - Athens Bus Workers’ Union):
The struggle continues!

Scotland: Greens back SNP government austerity budget
13/02/2017, Matt Dobson, Socialist Paty Scotland (CWI), Glasgow:
TUSC council elections candidates put forward 100% anti-austerity programme

Yemen: Workers protest at parliament against TOTAL and G4S
07/02/2017, Socialistworld.net:
Security workers demand wages and arrest of colleagues’ killers

Romania: Biggest street protests since 1989
04/02/2017, Mâna de Lucru (CWI supporters in Romania):
What position should the left take?

Quebec: Terrorist Attack in Québec City
01/02/2017, Socialist Alternative (CWI in Canada) :
Counter terrorism and hate with solidarity

CWI: 9th Latin American school a success
31/01/2017, socialistworld.net:
Over 200 participate in Sao Paolo CWI continental gathering

US: Airport protests help block Trump travel ban
30/01/2017, Socialist Alternative reporters, US :
Defend immigrant communities

China: CWI member Hu Xufang forced to flee
28/01/2017, chinaworker.info reporters :
Xu and his family are victims of China’s deepening police crackdown

Russia: Duma legislates to decriminalise domestic violence
26/01/2017, From Socialist Alternative (Russian CWI) website (socialist.news) :
For unified struggle for women’s rights and against capitalism

Tamil Nadu: Mass protests against state repression
26/01/2017, Isai Priya, from Tamil Solidarity website :
Support the right to assemble and protest - release those arrested immediately!

Bangladesh: Hartal protest against power plant
25/01/2017, Pete Mason, Socialist Party (CWI in England and Wales) :
Follows mass strike of garment workers in December

Côte d’Ivoire: Social revolts shake Ouattara regime
24/01/2017, Militant Côte d’Ivoire (CWI group in Côte d’Ivoire) :
Public sector strike and soldiers’ mutiny expose reality behind “economic growth”

Taiwan: US foreign policy under Trump
24/01/2017, Vincent Kolo, chinaworker.info:
Island risks being pawn in his game

US: CWI joins protests around the world against Trump
23/01/2017, socialistworld.net :
Photo gallery selection of CWI actions during weekend of mass protests

US: Kshama Sawant responds to Trump inauguration speech
23/01/2017, socialistworld.net :
Socialist council member speaks

Russian Revolution Centenary: New site celebrates and defends October socialist revolution
20/01/2017, socialistworld.net :
1917revolution.org brings rich lessons of 100 years ago to wide audience

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

February revolution 1917: What lessons for today?
21/02/2017, Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales), printed in the Socialist (paper of the Socialist Party):
23 February 1917 (8 March in today’s calendar) marked the beginning of the socialist revolution in Russia, which sparked a revolutionary wave that would travel around the world.

India: Upheaval in Tamil Nadu
09/02/2017, Sajith Attepuram, New Socialist Alternative (NSA) (CWI India) :
Corruption, nepotism, and other crimes of ruling party exposed

Britain: Universal basic income demand gains ground
08/02/2017, Judy Beishon, from The Socialist (weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party – CWI England & Wales) :
What approach should socialists take?

CWI and Izquierda Revolucionaria – Towards unification
06/02/2017, Socialistworld.net :
Joint declaration of the CWI’s IEC and Izquierda Revolucionaria’s IEC

France: After Sarkozy, Juppé and Valls, now Fillon is on the way out
06/02/2017, Alex Rouillard, Gauche Révolutionnaire (CWI in France) :
Space opening up to left of Socialist Party

Syria: Is an end to the war in sight?
03/02/2017, Serge Jordan (CWI) :
New movements for change will need to arm themselves with the lessons of the Syrian tragedy

Sri Lanka: The year 2017
31/01/2017, Siritunga Jayasuriya, United Socialist Party (CWI in Sri Lanka) :
Between oppression and struggle

Canada: Where are Trudeau’s ‘Sunny Ways’?
31/01/2017, Tim Heffernan, Socialist Alternative (CWI Canada), Toronto

:
Battles of Indigenous peoples, youth, workers will test Liberal government

Russian Revolution Centenary: January 1917 - On the eve of revolution
29/01/2017, Niall Mulholland, from 1917revolution.org :
War, hunger, hated Tsarist regime: class tensions reach breaking point

Afghanistan: The limits of US power
28/01/2017, Judy Beishon, from Socialism Today (February 2017 issue), monthly magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales)<br />
<br />
:
Imperialism’s 15-year adventure a bloody catastrophe for millions

US: Build 100 days of resistance to Trump’s agenda!
27/01/2017, Bryan Koulouris, Socialist Alternative, US :
Establishment deeply divided as mass resistance explodes

Millions on women's marches around the world
25/01/2017, Editorial from the Socialist, paper of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) and reports from US marches :
Reports from mass women's marches against Trump

China: New US President’s approach to China
21/01/2017, Vincent Kolo, chinaworker.info :
Outbursts raise fears of confrontation

Ireland North: Snap elections called to Stormont Assembly
17/01/2017, Daniel Waldron, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland), Belfast :
Build a socialist alternative to the ‘Orange’ versus ‘Green’ headcount

Spain: What kind of Podemos do workers and youth need?
17/01/2017, Izquierda Revolucionaria, Spanish state, editorial :
Debate within leadership touches on fundamental issues for future of party

US: Trump prepares vicious attacks
05/01/2017, Philip Locker and Tom Crean, Socialist Alternative (US):
Mass resistance needed!

Russian Revolution centenary
02/01/2017, Editorial from Socialism Today, Dec/Jan 2017 edition:
Defending the legacy in a new era

2017:Upheaval and fightback will continue
01/01/2017, Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) general secretary :
Everything to play for in 2017

Britain's shifting political contours
22/12/2016, Hannah Sell, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) from Socialism Today Dec/Jan 2017 edition :
Capitalist establishment in disarray

CWI International Executive Committee: European capitalism “battered by events”
16/12/2016, Kevin Henry, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland) :
Report of discussion on Europe at CWI IEC meeting in November

CWI International Executive Committee: World shaken by seismic political events
14/12/2016, Kevin Parslow, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Report of first session of the CWI International Executive Committee, discussing World Relations

World capitalism in deep crisis
08/12/2016, CWI :
Perspectives documents agreed by November CWI international meeting

Sudan: Three day nationwide strike shuts down the country, in unique defiance of Al-Bashir’s rule
30/11/2016, Serge Jordan, CWI:
Escalation of the struggle needed to overthrow repressive regime

US: Trump prepares attacks on working people,immigrants and women
27/11/2016, Tom Crean and Philip Locker, Socialist Alternative (USA):
We must prepare massive resistance!

Cuba: Fidel Castro, leader of 1959 revolution, dies at 90
26/11/2016, Tony Saunois, CWI :
Castro's life and the Cuban Revolution