PKK and the Imperialism

“I would like to point out that the airstrikes of the coalition have saved many civilian lives, as well as contributed to the YPG resistance. Therefore I am conveying my hopes that the bombings will not cease. They are exerting a strong influence on the friendly ties between our people and the forces that are fighting for world peace and democracy. In the name of my Party and the people of Kobane, I would like to express my gratitude to the International Coalition and the people around the world who have given us support.” – Salih Muslim

With these words the president of PYD and the leader of the Kurdish Armed Forces in Syria had brought to an end the press-conference concerning the “liberation” of the Syrian city of Kobane.1

There was a hush among the leftists following Mister Muslim’s statement. Leaving aside the Indian Maoists and the African national socialist party (APSP), we can safely say that the entire global left-wing, being liberal or radical, has been vigorously propagating and encouraging the Kurdish struggle for the defense of the city of Kobane in Syria, as well as in northern Iraq, where the Islamists have succeed in making an armed breakthrough into the territory under the Kurdish control. The “civilized” and “progressive” Kurds as opposed to the “primitive” and “fanatical” barbarians, higher degree of women emancipation as opposed to patriarchal “oppressors” etc. These are some of the images which propagandize the Kurdish “cause”(the opposite of what they are doing to the Islamic one).

The fact that this narrative was installed mostly by the liberals and leftists of the developed nations and was indisputably accepted by most of the left on the periphery and the semi-periphery, further stresses out the newly-acquired habit of evading class analyses, anti-imperialism and poor understanding of the “evil” nature of the supremacist ideology of “the empire”, so the lack of theoretical framework needed for analyzing and understanding the complexity of the current situation in the Middle East (as well in the other epicenters of the world) doesn’t come as a surprise.

Had the leftists by any chance observed the events concerning the relationship between the Kurdish political representatives and the imperialists over the last fifteen years, and not only after the erupting headlines in the corporate media, Salih’s speech wouldn’t have surprised anyone.
In the absence of real information from the media regarding the background of this relationship, we are going to put an effort to bring about some of the less known details regarding this. As well as offer an analysis of the situation from the Marxist point of view.

PKK is not a Marxist organization.

PKK was formed in the year 1978. Under the name Worker’s Party of Kurdistan, by the Kurdish students under the leadership of Abdullah Öcalan. The primary and completely legitimate goal of this organization was to create an independent state of Kurdistan; made up of territories belonging to Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria, where the Kurds made most of the population. Also, it is estimated that in Turkey, the Kurds make up around 20% of the population. Marxism-Leninism was the official ideology the Organization. From the year 1983, the Organization has been employing the method of armed struggle, creating paramilitary formations which have been operating mostly on the Turkish territory. By the end of the 1980-s, the PKK had gained a massive support from the Kurdish population and had gained first military accomplishments by succeeding in taking over and administrating some parts of the Turkish territory near the border with Iraq and Syria , which they have been winning and losing periodically. One of the combat methods they were employing were the suicide bombing attacks with which Turkey was then confronted for the first time.

In the beginning of the 1990-s, after the collapse of the USSR, the organization looses its greatest financial injection, and for the sake of survival moves to alternative financing methods, including the distribution of narcotics.2 In the mid 1990-s, under pressure from fierce offensives of the Turkish Army, they were periodically retreating to inaccessible areas of the Southern Mountains; from where they would launch guerilla assaults on the Turkish Army, causing it considerable losses. By putting pressure on the International Community, the Turkish authorities have succeeded in adding the PKK on the international terror list. That kind of stalemate, which also diminishes the security and soverenity on the Turkish side, and causes considerable economic losses, while at the same time prevents the Kurdish side from gaining important military and political victories, was the basis for imminent negotiations and peace talks by which, with help from western imperialists both sides involved in the conflict reached important political achievements. All that, of course, in the name of economic “stability” of the region, and the American hegemony in the Middle East, at the expense of the peoples of Iraq and Syria.

Contacts with the Turkish authorities and the United States that led to progress in the Turkish-Kurdish conflict were already being held. It is speculated that Öcalan was offered kind of autonomy in Turkey, as well as a significant role in the political life of Iraqi (and later Syrian) Kurdistan, after the invasion of Iraq, which the Americans planned in early 2000. All this, of course, provided that the PKK disarm, renounce Marxism-Leninism and the goal of an independent state on the territory of Turkey. The first publication of contacts and cooperation involving the PKK and the MIT-TV (Turkish secret police) was published by the journalist Ugur Mumcu, who sadly paid for that matter with his life, and his executors have never been found.34 Ankara proved to be a tougher negotiator, and what followed on the Kurdish side was supposed to be a shock to the entire world left, but it seems that important political decisions and ideological contortions among the Third World movements remain relatively poorly observed, due to the dominance of Eurocentric discourse and opportunism which, quite wrongly, assumes that solving the main antagonisms today shall be dealt with within the core countries, with a domino effect in the periphery, as we’ve previously written. Öcalan (who was hiding in Syria at that time), gave an interview to Michael M. Gunther5 , the professor of the University of Tennessee, where he promoted the new concept, Federalism, as a substitute for previous goal of independence, and refused to be labeled a communist:

“The dialogue between Turkey and the PKK, then the agreement would be good for Turkey and would make it stronger. All we ask for is real democracy in Turkey. I am more of a Turk than the Turkish leaders! … It is not possible for us to be communists. Why the Soviet Union collapsed and the United States did not? Because in communism the government is everything but a human being is nothing. USA is development. “- March 1998.

Further indications of willingness of Öcalan to renounce revolutionary activity we notice in his statement that he could not cooperate with the DHKP-C (the Turkish revolutionary organization)6 because they are “responsible for several murders of prominent businessman”, thereby showing his readiness to condemn the attacks on big capital owners.

The dialogue which Öcalan referred to, went on hold, since he was only a few months later denied hospitality by the Syrian government, and after a temporary stay in Moscow and Athens, got arrested in Nairobi in a joint operation by the secret services of Turkey, Israel and the US, and was delivered to Ankara .7 Turkey seems to have won a victory, holding a trump card which would facilitate future negotiations needed. Öcalan was initially sentenced to death for betrayal, but his sentence was, as expected, renamed to life imprisonment.


Pro-Kurdish protest in the USA

Öcalan ‘s Democratic Federalism

During the first few years of captivity Öcalan developed his theory of “Democratic Federalism” in details8 , based on the works of Murray Bookchin and his “Libertarian Municipalism” model. This emerging structure aims not at eliminating private property nor the abolition of classes, and the fact that the tribal system remains, and that the tribal leaders are involved in the administration shows that the goal is not to eliminate feudal and capitalist relations of production, but instead “building a democratic nation.”9

Socio-economic vision of the PKK, in the short term, is the economy based on cooperatives, which would, as they say, “contributed to the democratization” of society. The Co-president of PYD, Asia Abdullah, on the instructions of the “ideological center”, spoke of the economic ideas to rebuild Rojava, in February 2014:

“Who should own the means of production? The state, the cantons, the capitalists? In general we have to protect private property. However, the property of the people must also be protected. ” 10

Öcalan’s analysis of the collapse of “real socialism” is reduced to the already well-known liberal ideas of the idealists that the Soviet bloc collapsed because of “totalitarianism”, and so the historical and materialist discourse of that development is absent. For him, socialism and the workers’ struggle is of secondary importance in relation to questions of religious and ethnic identity and democratic freedoms, and he believes that recognizing the democratic rights of all these different identities would lead to a new “democratic civilization”. According to him, the twentieth century was marked by “the disappearance of the material basis of class division,” because of “technological progress”, but the possibility of a society without class divisions remains unfeasible because “the state controls the social structure”.11 Any discussion on the capital is, of course, absent.

It remains a mystery how Öcalan’s “pluralistic democratic structure” solves the class issue, if not striving towards the elimination of capitalist relations of production, but we will not pursue that any further, since we suspect a different pragmatic motive behind the transfiguration of Öcalan and the PKK, and we attribute the theoretical ambiguities and contradictions to the lack of dialectical materialism, as well as the fruitless attempt to transfer the “inevitable” opportunistic and juggling practice to paper or a new ideological framework. In his defense, Ocalan often repeated that the world has changed, but we know that for the proletariat, the dominant role of capitalist class society has not undergone a change. In war or in peace, the proletariat is obliged to be able to discern the reality of class society from fantasy, so the idealistic vision of Öcalan and Bookchin about the alleged overcoming of political categories such as nation, state, and class antagonisms, we see as ignorance or betrayal of the proletariat. In either case they serve the reaction, because the truth remains that all these categories are very problematic, real, tangible and alive for the proletarian class, and the only way to overcome those is precisely the class struggle.

What we are most interested in, is the right turn and ideological transformation of the PKK leader, under the direct influence of the new circumstances of the prison environment and cooperation with the imperialists, of which the “Democratic Federalism” is the first step. Öcalan suddenly equates the Democracy with parliamentary, capitalist countries of the West: he argues that the European countries developed the “high level of democracy” and that it led to “the supremacy of the West”, therefore the “Western civilization can be labeled a democratic civilization”.12 “In general, the Western democratic system – which was set up by the huge sacrifices – contains everything needed for the solution of social problems.”13
In the courtroom he continued with reinterpretation of history and ideology of the PKK, where he expressed regrets over the death of Turkish soldiers. When the court asked whether it would be right to transcribe his words as an apology, he agreed. He did not mention the suffering of the Kurds but found time to praise Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, and has gone so far as to say that if Turkey would faithfully follow the ideas of Ataturk, there would be no “Kurdish issue”. He added that the goal of an independent Kurdish state is unattainable, even in the long run, and that it is not even desirable.14

Soon after, at the eighth Congress of the PKK, held on 16 April 2002, the “democratic transformation” was voted, which meant that the PKK rejected the violent means to achieve the “liberation”, demanding political rights of Kurds in Turkey. Since that Congress, the PKK has been transformed by creating a new political organization, “Freedom and Democracy Congress of Kurdistan” (KADEK), whose task was to fight exclusively by democratic means. It was also decided that the Armed Forces (HPG), the military wing of the PKK, will not be dismantled yet. Over time, the KADEK turned into more moderate “Kurdistan National Congress” (Kongra-Gel), so as to be allowed to take part in talks with the Turkish authorities and to facilitate the participation in the parliamentary arena. It is also the main body of “Democratic Federalism” and, in essence, the proto-state of Kurdish people under the direction of the PKK, and gathers many other Kurdish forces that recognize the supreme authority of the PKK.

PKK and friends

This new, reformed PKK acquired new friends in the international arena. When in May 2010, after the terrorist attack on Iskerun, one of the leaders of the PKK, Kenan Yıldızbakan, was arrested, close links between the Kurdish organization and the State of Israel were revealed, which turned out to have lasted for eight years, since the eighth Congress in 2002. In Yıldızbakan’s possession, wiretapping equipment that was supplied by Israel, was found, as well as evidence of logistic support. Israel has used the fictitious company established in Azerbaijan to deliver the PKK listening devices produced by an Israeli telecom company “Tadiran”. The units were shipped to Iran from Azerbaijan and then to Turkey through northern Iraq. In 2010, just between February and June, the PKK was equipped with 60 air communication systems and 35 VHF/UHF communication systems.15

Israeli-Kurdish relationship could also have been the missing link in communication between Western imperialists and the organization they classified as “terrorist“. Late last year, after a “surprising” military alliance with the international coalition led by the United States, co-founder and one of the senior officials of the PKK Cemil Bayik said: “Co-operation and contacts between the international coalition and the PKK were held in secret, and implemented through intermediaries.”16 At the same time we heard from other PKK officials who openly acknowledged direct contact, as with US military officials also with CIA operatives.17

Regional power and geopolitics

Salih Muslim with CIA operatives and US diplomats

Salih Muslim with CIA operatives and US diplomats

From Öcalan’s prison “enlightenment” and “democratic transformation” of the organization, a smaller part of the armed forces of the PKK remained in Turkey as a trump for negotiations with the government, but it’s bulk moves to Iraq where, due to the massive support, it installs itself as an important factor in creating a political atmosphere and contributes to political developments.

Iraqi Kurdistan during the rule of the Baath Party of Saddam Hussein enjoyed an autonomy, and with American assistance at the end of the nineties hit the degree of independence. The two dominant parties in the political arena of Iraqi Kurdistan have been and still remain the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) led by Djelal Talabani, and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), led by Massoud Barzani. Both parties with identical, neo-liberal economic views, were often used by the US to destabilize Iraq in the nineties, and were then engaged in a failed attempt to murder Saddam Hussein in 1996, planned in Washington, which led to the brutal revenge by the Iraqi authorities.18

Ruthless power struggle in Iraqi Kurdistan, between the KDP and PUK errupted int an armed conflict, which could not be resolved without the intervention of the already present and influential force – the PKK. Öcalan’s organization decided to support Talabani’s PUK and managed to turn the tide of the conflict in their favor. Then the Turkish air force decided to cross over the Iraqi border and deliver air strikes against the PKK and PUK positions, helping Barzani’s KDP.19

Using the general chaos, the Iraqi authorities lifted the aviation, and engaged in the conflict, which concerned the Americans who resolved to end the inter- Kurdish conflict once and for all, before the Iraqi government managed to regain sovereignty over its northern province. The ingenious US plan was put to work in 1998, by offering the two leaders (Barzani and Talabani) eleven million dollars in bribes to stop the conflict and sign a peace agreement.20 Under the agreement, the warring parties were committed to power sharing, as well as not to allow the return of the Iraqi army to Kurdistan, the United States commited to protect the Kurds from any possible future aggression by Saddam Hussein, and the Kurdistan’s air space was declared the “non-flying zone”.21 Such “independence” of Iraqi Kurdistan meant the exemption from sanctions imposed on Iraq in 1992, which are responsible for the deaths of half a million Iraqi civilians22 , thus the standard of living in the northern province has greatly improved, and a large number of foreign companies rushed to oil-rich province, to grab their part of the pie. The US military Special Forces have been given the task of organizing and training Kurdish fighters called the “Peshmerge”, who in 2003, during the US invasion of Iraq, took part in the fighting against the Iraqi regime on the side of the imperialists.23 What we find most interesting, is the fact that the PKK armed forces and their leadership got the green light from the new KDP-PUK government to remain in Iraqi Kurdistan, where they are still mostly stationed, and it is more than obvious that decisions of this caliber aren’t taken without consultations with the United States.24 It is more than a solid proof that the imperialists did not see the danger to their economic interests and investments from the new, reformed PKK.

The occupation of Iraq, “Democratic federalism” and the Sunni insurgency

The invasion of Iraq in 2003 was code-named “Operation Iraqi Liberation” abbreviated OIL (oil). In very short time 148,000 US troops, 70,000 Kurdish Peshmergas, 45,000 British, 2,000 Australian, 1,300 Spanish and 194 Polish soldiers overran Iraqi troops and so crowned the ten years of imposed sanctions with the complete military collapse of the Iraqi government.25 In contrast to Kurdistan, where the imperialists were welcomed as liberators, the people of Iraq treated the invasion as an occupation which they continued to resist even after the overthrow of the Baathist regime.

Shiite militias in the south of the country during the first two years of occupation intensively attacked the British and American troops, until the peace talks in 2004, which were put into service by the new regime dominated by Shiite and Kurdish politicians. In Sunni areas of the province of Anbar, the resistance has not faded, and with more or less success has continued ever since. The remnants of the Baathist regime, Islamists and tribal militia, offered fierce resistance to coalition allies, and expanded the military operations against the newly formed neo-colonial regime in Baghdad and the new Iraqi army. Full destruction of cities such as Fallujah and Ramadi in 2003 and 2004, and a continuation of the genocidal policy of the new Iraqi authorities in 2007 and 2010, had not achieves the desired effect. The siege and indiscriminate bombing of Sunni cities led to massive civilian casualties, but also further radicalized the local population, as we have already written. Thus, contrary to the advertising campaign of the mainstream media, an organization such as ISIS has not suddenly sprung out of the nowhere, but is the result of a decade of struggle which the oppressed and abandoned Iraqi population waged against the imperialist, colonialist and racist oppression of the empire and its subjects. The Islamists did not have to sell their doctrine to be accepted but only prove effective in the fight against the empire.

Meanwhile, the development of political life in Iraqi Kurdistan led to fertile conditions for the profit of the dominant class of external power centers, foreign investment, market opening, a very small tax on profit of foreign corporations and the abundance of cheap labor and raw materials. Among the oil companies that profit the most dominate the American, British, Canadian, Turkish and French companies, but neither Russia nor China have not remained unrewarded for the tacit support of the invasion, and the non-use of the veto in the Security Council (the recipe that was repeated during the invasion of Libya, 2011) .26 The raw materials that the new Kurdistan authorities were permitted to keep to themselves found their way to foreign markets of Israel, the US, Italy, Germany and Netherlands.27

Due to the US “suggestions”, the Kurdish authorities renounced aspirations for independence and accepted federalism as the offered model of operation. According to the Constitution of 2005, Iraqi Kurdistan is a federal Iraqi entity, with its own assembly and parliamentary system.28 In the presidential election that year, Barzai and his KDP achieved victory, while his rival and leader of the PUK, Talabani, became the president of Iraq in 2007. That same year, former US President Bill Clinton at a donor party explained to the richest Americans why their troops, after the announced withdrawal from Iraq, must remain in Iraqi Kurdistan: “The Kurds are reconciled with each other and enjoy relative peace and security … And if we leave , not only may they again engage in a civil war, but the Turks may be tempted to attack them, because they do not like the fact that the PKK guerrillas are sometimes stationed in northern Iraq, where they are hiding after the attacks carried out in Turkey. ”29

Iranian PJAK, PKK sister organisation

Iranian PJAK, PKK sister organisation

All these data shed light on the question to why the air force of the international coalition responded instantly when fighters from ISIS stationed in Mosul waged their first attacks on the fringes of the Kurdish cities of Iraq and later in the town of Kobane in Syria. When big economic interests are at stake, the imperialists do not tend to lose time. In addition to the air strikes, military aid in arms was delivered directly to Kurdish authorities30 even though the mainstream media claimed to the contrary, and the military “advisers” and experts from the US31) , France32 , Germany and Sweden33 , Britain and Norway34 , joined the already present Israelis35 , which since 2004 trained and armed the Kurdish “militias” in Iraqi Kurdistan. Israeli Prime Minister had already openly and loudly called for support to the Kurds and the complete independence of Kurdistan36 , and the public is informed of the fact that a company owned by former Mossad chief Danny Latom and businessman Schlomi Mikaels does business with the Kurdish government, providing strategic consultations on economic and security issues , and has delivered “a ton of equipment, including motorcycles, tractors, sniffer dogs, systems to upgrade Kalashnikov rifles, body armor, etc …”37

Let’s see how the PKK organizes in this bastion of imperialism. The PKK continued engagement in the political scene of the region through the newly established organization in Turkey – HDP38 , Iraq – Gorran39 , in Syria – YPD and its armed wing YPG40 . In Turkey, the peace process is coming to an end, and the remaining soldiers of the PKK, were commanded by Öcalan to relocate to Iraqi Kurdistan where the entire military force of the PKK is now placed.41) After the complete disarmament of the PKK, the military units leaving Turkish territory, and legal political activity conducted through the HDP, what remains is to determine the details around the federal status of Turkish Kurdistan, a new electoral law and the future release of Ocalan from prison.

On the political scene of Iraqi Kurdistan, the PKK has grown into one of the three key political players, so the parliamentary results of the political movement “Gorran” are expected soon, as it was announced42 , while the military forces of the PKK actively participate in combat operations against Isis, side by side with the international coalition and the Peshmergas.

In Syria, the PKK operates through the PYD, and it’s armed wing the YPG, which during the first days of the Syrian crisis, occupied predominantly Kurdish areas in the north of Syria and by now largely self-administer the entire Kurdish North.

Of course, the “Democratic Federalism” would not be complete without the territory inhabited by the Iranian Kurds, on what issue the armed forces of PJAK, the Iranian branch of the PKK have been working intensively, until recently43 , funded by … again Israel and the United States.44

It is absurd, that inspite it all, the PKK enjoys the support of both liberal and “radical” left of the First World, and, as expected, the sympathy in liberal circles in the West, where more and more voice their support of “decriminalization” of the organization, and demand their removal from the EU and US terrorist list.

“Islamic” pipeline and Syria

Syria is not a “big” oil producer, but until the outbreak of the Civil War Damascus was making a negligible four billion US dollars a year from oil sales – one third of the state budget. However, Syria is more important as the “energy crossroads” than as a manufacturer, and serves as a “conductor” of the Arab gas pipeline (AGP) from Egypt to Tripoli (in Lebanon) and IPC pipeline from Kirkuk, in Iraq, to ​​the port of Banias (this flow is out use since the US led invasion of 2003). Syria in 2011 announced that it has discovered a promising gas field around the city of Homs, which will later see some of the fiercest battles between the government forces and rebels. But the majority of Syrian oil reserves lie in the Kurdish northeast, which is geographically located between Iraq and Turkey, and the rest is along the Euphrates River, in the south.45

Qatar, home to the world’s largest natural gas fields besides Iran, proposed the gas pipeline from the Gulf through the Syria to Turkey, from where, through the Mediterranean, the gas would be delivered to Europe. This plan was supported by the US and the EU, however, Assad in 2009, rejected the proposal, and instead, accepted the offer from Russia and Iran to build “Islamic gas pipeline” Iran-Iraq-Syria, which would have ended in the Russian military bases, Latakia and Tartus on the Syrian Mediterranean coast. Upon completion, the project would drastically reduce the strategic energy power of the allies (Qatar and the US) and eliminate Turkey from the future pipeline, which has long wanted to become the main bridge in distribution of natural gas and oil between East and West. Iran, Iraq and Syria signed an agreement for the construction of 3480 kilometers of gas pipeline back in 2010, and the deadline for the opening has been set for 2016.46 ,47

Favoring Russia and Iran against Western energy interests would cost the Syrian government dearly, and even before the construction of the agreed project began, Syria was hit by the terrible civil war, so that the whole project was stopped until further notice. In his address to Congress in 2013. Secretary of State John Kerry said that the Arab friends offered to pay for the cost of US military intervention in Syria. Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen asked for the estimated amount by which the Arabs can contribute, and Kerry responded that they offered to pay the full cost of the invasion.48

Such a scenario that excluded Turkey from the “Islamic gas pipeline” was not approved by the Kurds who make up nine percent of the population of Syria – about 1.6 million people – because every land flow of natural gas to Turkey inevitably passes through Kurdish territory of Syria or Iraq. Upon realization of the plan of federalism, which includes the Syrian Kurds, the issue of a direct route for oil exports from Iraqi Kurdistan to the Mediterranean would be sorted out, as well as an absolute control over 70 percent of Syrian oil reserves.49 In general, each post-Assad scenario that envisages the release of the gas pipeline to Turkey, relies on the peace and stability in Kurdistan, and the reformed PKK as a guarantor of security of imperialist interests. The safety factor definitely accelerated the Kurdish-Turkish peace process and successfully brought it to an end.

YPG and FSA in common operations

YPG and FSA in common operations

During 2003 and the US invasion of Iraq, PKK activists of Syrian origin established the PYD, a branch of the organization in Syria50 , and members of the PYD do not deny their subordination to PKK whose name they off the record continue to use. They recognize the “National Congress of Kurdistan”(KONGRA-GEL), as the highest organ of the Kurdish people.51 What we can say with certainty is that the PYD is not established in order to legally take part in political life in Syria because the Syrian Constitution prohibits political parties which are based on national, religious, regional or tribal basis, so due to the prohibition of action, until the start of the Civil War in Syria, it was based in Iraqi Kurdistan. In 2012, the Syrian army was forced to withdraw troops from the Kurdish areas and regroup them around the city of Homs, where some of the fiercest fighting against the “Free Syrian Army” (FSA) took place, and so immediately after the withdrawal, the YPG, the armed wing of PYD, entered and occupied these territories and proclaimed the Kurdish self-rule.52

In spring 2012, the President of Iraqi Kurdistan Massoud Barzani organized a meeting of all Kurdish organizations from Syria in order to form a single organization “Kurdish National Council” to assume the role of administering conquered areas in Syria, as well as the establishment of units “Popular Defence Forces’ military wing organization. PYD, as a branch of the PKK, accepted the invitation, and joined the “Kurdish National Council,” which declared it’s main aim was to fight against the Assad regime.53 Following the takeover of the city of Kobane after the withdrawal of the Syrian army, the flags of the PKK and of Iraqi Kurdistan were hanged at the municipal building. Asked about it by journalists, the PYD spokesman stated: “The PKK is not able to administer the western Kurdistan on it’s own. We need the unity of all organizations. ”54 Shortly afterwards, a statement was issued by the PYD to the Kurdish population of Rojava, which issued a ban on leaving the province, and threatened those who want to leave their villages by seizure of assets55 , so as to preserve the Kurdish region in Syria of the potential demographic change. This was followed by another shocking statement of the PYD leader Salih Muslim for TV station “Selek“, where he said: “One day, those Arabs who have immigrated to the Kurdish region will have to be driven out”56 , referring to the Syrians who for decades inhabited those areas, in their own country.

The battle for the Kobane

What began as a rebellion of the Sunnis in Iraq has turned into a successful march against the neo-colonial regime in Baghdad, the Kurdish collaborators in Iraq and Syria, and less successful conflict with national authorities in Damascus. Intoxicated by continuous successes in the territory of the size of Western Europe, which certainly would not be achieved without the support of the locals, ISIS fighters tactlessly , but more or less successfully engaged on several fronts at once, untill the inclusion of the international coalition led by the United States in the conflict. The attack on the Kurdish town of Kobane was the “straw that broke the camel’s back”, just as was the armed threat to Iraqi Kurdistan, and under the pretext of “human rights, freedom and democracy” as always, the imperialists started off the military campaign in the service of preserving their own interests. ISIS attacks are, of course, directed mainly towards the oil-rich areas, and by 2012 the PYD controled about 60 percent of Syria’s oil facilities, which were continuously delivered to the Iraqi Kurdistan57 , where they found its way to Western markets, as we have already shown.

Opaque meetings and contacts with the imperialists of which we hear subsequently, provide clues to how the relations of production are to be regulated and how the “revolution” will win in Rojava, and given that the consultations take place in Turkey58 , London59 , Paris60 and Washington6162, the afore mentioned statement of the co-president of YPG’s about protecting private property, comes as no surprise. What we are told is that Mr. Salih Muslim, leader of the YPG, the president of Iraqi Kurdistan, Massoud Barzani, and “the highest US security and diplomatic officials” agreed on how the Syrian Kurdistan will be administered.63

During the armed conflict in Kobane, instead of class and geopolitical analysis on the Left, mostly rumors and conspiracy theories dominated, which liberal and “wannabe” radical sectors of the left promoted in order to hide their own ignorance and inertia. So according to the majority on the left, apparently the Turkish government was “definitely on the side of Isis” whom they supported with armes and logistics, while obstructing the YPG. Thus, the United States were also “arming and training the Islamists”, “very ineffective in the bombing” and were intentionally delaying the dispatchment of heavy weapons to the Kurds because they supposedly had no interest in seeing the “left-wing revolution” achieve victory in Rojava, etc, etc …

US volunteers in Kobani

US volunteers in Kobani

To the other ones, who in their analysis track the flow of money (the only true spokesman of imperialism), a denial that followed did not come as a surprise. The President of Kurdistan, Massoud Barzani subsequently declared that the Turks, immediately after the Iranians, were among the first to send armed assistance to the Kurds during the conflict with ISIS, but have requested for personal reasons, not to go out public with that information.64 The Turks have also took care of the wounded PKK/YPG soldiers in the military hospitals in Turkey, during the conflict with the Islamists, so 422 wounded YPG and 40 PKK soldiers from Kobane were transported directly to military hospitals in Turkey where they were treated.65

Further earthquakes continued to arrive. The following straight from the PKK officials, who have revealed that they were in direct contact with the Americans since 2012 via the US ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, and special envoy for Syria Daniel Rubinstein, regarding the arms sent to YPG, and a possible coalition with the Syrian, pro-Western Opposition FSA66 .

Then, the PYD leader Salih Muslim in an interview to “Daily News” stated that the relations with the Americans are very good, and on the question of journalists whether they were armed by the US only in relation to a Kobane, Muslim replied: “No, they will send us weapons whenever request. ”67

And finally, the tip of the iceberg, a YPG spokesman Polat Can declares:

“Air strikes are very effective … Some groups of the FSA (pro-Western Syrian opposition) are here in the Kobane and help us … We have a direct relation with the coalition without any intermediaries. YPG representative is physically ready in the joint operation command center and transmits the coordinates… Hence, the victory of Kobane resistance means a victory for Kurdistan, coalition forces, USA and for every human being with a conscience. “68

A few months later, Turkey and Kurdistan signed a contract on the construction of a joint gas pipeline as part of the “Southern Gas Corridor”, from Irbil in Kurdistan to the Turkish port of Ceyhan69 , the United States opened a new military base in Kurdistan, near Irbil70 , PYD explained to Fransois Oland: “We are fighting against those who attacked Charlie Hebdo. Our resistance is your resistance. PYD and YPG are your friends. ”71 PYD agreed an alliance with the FSA (Free Syrian Army) and clashed with the Syrian army in Aleppo and Hasaka72, Salih Muslim thanks the imperialists for the help73 , yet the loud and vigorous support and contribution from the World Left no one seems to remember, even though it has played a significant role in securing unimpeded popular support for the neo-colonial project, because if we by some chance were to practice Marxism, write class analysis, organize debates, protests, pressure the imperialists, challenge its propaganda, and who knows what more radical and extreme, perhaps this imperialist plot would not have succeeded.


How does Öcalan’s statement of 1998 differ from Salih Muslim’s a few months ago? For Öcalan the imperialists are “development”, and for Muslim “forces defending peace and democracy in the world”. Abandonment or misunderstanding of Marxism-Leninism by the leadership of the PKK, as well as by the Western Left, may lead to dangerous errors of opportunism, the alienation of the oppressed masses and open or tacit support to the geopolitical games imperialists conduct daily against the peoples of the Third World, paving the way for their own economic interests. Taking to such lines tremendously damages the reputation of the left among the masses of the underdeveloped countries, it does not offer an anti-imperialist alternative to the oppressed and openly pushes away revolutionary subjects with the anti-imperialist sentiments into the hands of the Islamists, which explains their growth and strengthening.

If we accept that the US occupation of Iraq (as well as any occupation) is illegitimate and guided by clear interest in profit and capital accumulation in the centers of power, then we accept that the installed regimes in Baghdad and Irbil, which enable the realization of such, unhindered enrichment of the foreign centers of power on the expense of the Iraqi people, are also illegitimate, and that the resistance of the marginalized, alienated, impoverished, militarily and politically oppressed Sunni population is quite legitimate.

To quote Lenin: ” If we do not want to betray socialism we must support every revolt against our chief enemy, the bourgeoisie of the big states, provided it is not the revolt of a reactionary class. By refusing to support the revolt of annexed regions we become, objectively, annexationists. It is precisely in the “era of imperialism”, which is the era of nascent social revolution, that the proletariat will today give especially vigorous support to any revolt of the annexed regions so that tomorrow, or simultaneously, it may attack the bourgeoisie of the “great” power that is weakened by the revolt.”74

Things are simple as far as the struggle against imperialism is concerned, what weakens them abroad weakens them at home, so any attack on neo-colonial regimes in Baghdad and Irbil should be supported and benefits from the crisis effects that such blows inflict on imperialism should be taken advantage of. However, the problem of inertia arises as the proletariat of the developed countries, although it is not participating in the exploitation of the proletariat of the Third World, directly benefits from such exploitation75 , and the alliance with the bourgeoisie in the core countries seems unavoidable, and opportunism “inevitable”. An even greater problem is that such a proletariat, and such Left, of the imperialist core, dominates and dictates the ideological trends on which the left of the periphery gathers and wholeheartedly follows (at their own expense). This opportunism slowly but surely penetrates into our world view, and gives it a certain liberal ideological framework that favors anti-authoritarinism over anti-imperialism.

But to us, the proletariat of the Third World, it is the imperialism, not the reactionary aspect in social and cultural issues, that should be the primary enemy, because our lived experience of oppression means that, unlike the Western Left, we can not afford the luxury of not being clear on the nature of the”Empire“. And therefore we can not afford to, such as opportunists, provide tacit support for imperialism and attribute a progressive role to the murederers of mankind. That, very racist liberal framework adopted by the Left, which equates imperialism with reactionary cultural and social practices of the Islamists, really helps to build popular support for neo-colonialist project, and we want to make it clear that the alleged superiority of Western civilization and its values, is simply based on constructed lies and myths. The contradictory nature of European self-understanding and self-perception is completely excluded from it’s practice, and we know how many people in the world see five centuries of European hegemony as a continuous hell.

Kobani air strikes

Kobani air strikes

For such Left, fifty million African slaves (half of which ended at the bottom of the Atlantic)76 , the African holocaust committed against the local population in European colonies where only in Congo ten million people were killed77 , not to mention the rest of Africa, Asia and Australia, the longest genocide in the history of the world, over the American Indians that took the lives of forty million people in four centuries78 , four million children who die of hunger each year79 , a number of victims of imperialist aggression against Iraq, Somalia , Libya, Mali, Serbia, El Salvador, Vietnam, etc., the systematic impoverishment of the Third World for the sake of enriching the First, the international banking system, a brutal economic exploitation of three-quarters of the planet, etc., etc. – is equalized with the reactionary social practice of women oppression by ISIS, and “uncivilized”executions of a dozen of imperialist journalists. Ask yourself which cause such Left serves.

Using the Maoist principle to pay the attention to the main contradiction, Indian Maoists support the anti-imperialist aspect of the Islamists, while also struggling against the reactionary ideology of the social and cultural issues80 , using Marxism-Leninism as the basis of understanding the nature of imperialism. “Where will the revolution start? Where, in what country, can the front of capital be pierced first? “Writes Stalin. “Where the industry is more developed, where the proletariat constitutes the majority, where there is more culture, more democracy? No! – Answers the Leninist theory of revolution. Front of capital will be pierced where the chain of imperialism is weakest, because the proletarian revolution results in cracking the chain of world imperialist front at its weakest link; and it may turn out that the country that started the revolution, which broke through the font of capital, is less developed in a capitalist sense than other, more developed countries, which still remain in the framework of capitalism. ”81

Does this mean that we openly support the ISIS? For those who are less familiar with the fundamentals of Marxism-Leninism, let us explain. There is no unconditional support for the movements and organizations that do not seek the abolition of capitalist relations of production, private ownership of the means of production and strive not for socialism. But Marxism is dealing with the objective antagonisms, and the situation as it is and not as we would like it to be, based on imaginary scenarios. Accordingly, we support the progressive functioning of certain movements directed towards the destruction of the old, still existing relations and withdraw it where the operation is aimed at combating more progressive relations. Those unfamiliar with dialectical materialism will ask how the same thing is and is not, and how can we simultaneously support and condemn the same movement. To explain by an example: the communists always support the “democratic revolutions”, as they seek to destroy the reactionary feudal relations, but at the same time criticize them as they seek to establish a new, exploitative, capitalist relations.

In the case of Sunni, Baath/ISIS resistance, we support the people’s struggle against imperialism, even though we internally criticize reactionary ideology and social appearance of Muslim fundamentalism, yet we do not privilege it in relation to a key and principal contradiction, responsible for “hell on earth”. We consider that any attack on the collaborators of imperialism is an attack on imperialism itself and serves its weakening and undermining, as it contributes significantly to the loss of funding of the centers of power, and thus a weaker standard of the proletariat of the empire, as well as its re-engagement as a revolutionary subject.

We’ll make a brief analogy of Sunni insurgency in Iraq and the many uprisings of slaves in the West. During the 400 years of slavery in the West, contrary to popular opinion, numerous uprisings of slaves were recorded. Led by such names as Gaspar Janga, a Baptist priest Samuel Sharp, Nani Marun, Nat Turner, etc., many of which were under the influence of Christian teaching, to which they, due to material circumstances, offered their own reinterpretation. The case of mentioned Nat Turner sparked revolt and anger amongst white population of America’s 19th century, even in regions where the idea of ​​slavery did not have huge support. Nat Turner killed the landlord of the plantation where he worked, and later with a group of slaves he set free, murdered the landlords of all of the surrounding plantations, including their families, wives, children, and animals that he found on the farm. He spared only a few homes because he believed that poor whites did not have much better treatment than blacks.8283 Turner also believed that the revolutionary violence served to awaken the attitudes of white people about the reality of the inherent brutality of slavery, a concept similar to the 20th century philosopher Franz Fanon about the idea of ​​”violence as being purgatory.”84 He was responsible for the murder of sixty whites, then caught by national organized militia and hanged. If we support Turner’s revolt, and we, of course, won’t hesitate to, does this mean that we support the Christian fundamentalism, which inspired him ? Or are we willing to accept such ideas as a product of Turner’s material circumstances?

Captured pilot of the "International coalition" forces

Captured pilot of the “International coalition” forces

Instead of denying support to the attacks on imperialists and their puppets, due to the extremist religious cultural practices of the rebels, as do the liberal left folks, we understand the suffering of the oppressed peoples caused by the imperialists and their local allies, and aspirations of the people of the Third World to free themselves from the yoke of imperialism. As Marxists, we believe that it’s not the idea, but the material circumstances that shape the reality, we understand that in accordance with such realities oppressed people of Iraq seek anti-imperialist interpretation of existing, dominant and offered ideas. Accordingly, Islamic fundamentalism seems like a logical and realistic option. But such an approach at the same time carries a large dose of self-criticism, because we are aware that our militant disengagement and lack of clear attitude, action and cooperation, leaves room for less progressive ideology and movements to organize such a struggle.

What does it mean on the paper? In the clashes of Baath/ISIS team against the puppet Iraqi government, the Kurdish collaborators and the international coalition, we support the Baath/ISIS coalition and applaud at every endangering the safety of imperialist interests. In the clashes between ISIS against the Syrian authorities (Iraqi Baath is not participating in this conflict) and Hezbollah, we support the Syrian government and Hezbollah. Why? We have shown that the Syrian government refuses to be a puppet of the West, insisting on the promotion of local interests at the expense of foreign powers and foreign companies. It leads a state that is based on anti-colonialism, anti-imperialism, Arab nationalism and the (non-Marxist) socialism, it’s disobedient to the Empire, and does not put the interests of foreign investors to make profits ahead of economic development of Syria. The State Department regrets that “ideological reasons” prevent Assad to move towards “liberalization” of the economy85 , while the American “Library of Congress” disapproves of the “socialist structure,” of the Syrian government and economy.86 Any attack on Syrian state and government, currently serves only the interests of the imperialists.

As for the Kurds and the right to self-determination, we know that Marx and Engels in a given time supported the right of individual nations to self-determination and denied support to other nations during the 19th century.87 The reason for this was that they felt that some of the newly-established, nationally liberated countries would be a prolonged hand of the then Russian Tsarism, and had consequently taken a position against the national liberation of the peoples in that, specific moment. The key here is that we have shown the link between all of the objective forces of Kurdistan and the imperialists. Why is this the key, Comrade Lenin had explained: “Many of the requirements of democracy, including self-determination, are not an absolute, but only a small part of the general – democratic (now: general – socialist) world movement. In some specific cases, part may contradict the whole; and if so, must be rejected. It is possible that the republican movement in one country is only instrument of the clerical or financial-monarchist intrigues of other countries; If so, we can not support such a movement. “88

Comrade Stalin added: “… The proletariat does not have to support every national movement, everywhere and always, in each individual case. Support must be given to such national movements which seek to undermine, overthrow imperialism, and not to strengthen and preserve it. Lenin was right in saying that the national movement of the oppressed countries should be appraised not from the point of view of formal democracy, but from the point of view of the actual results, as shown by the general balance sheet of the struggle against imperialism, that is to say, “not in isolation, but on a world scale.

To those who don’t understand the importance of the anti-imperialist character of the movement under siege, and who tend to repeat the liberal mantra on division between the “progressive” and “reactionary” anti-imperialism, Stalin explains: “The unquestionably revolutionary character of the vast majority of national movements is as relative and peculiar as is the possible revolutionary character of certain particular national movements. The revolutionary character of a national movement under the conditions of imperialist oppression does not necessarily presuppose the existence of proletarian elements in the movement, the existence of a revolutionary or a republican programme of the movement, the existence of a democratic basis of the movement. The struggle that the Emir of Afghanistan is waging for the independence of Afghanistan is objectively a revolutionary struggle, despite the monarchist views of the Emir and his associates, for it weakens, disintegrates and undermines imperialism; whereas the struggle waged by such “desperate” democrats and “Socialists,” “revolutionaries” and republicans as, for example, Kerensky and Tsereteli, Renaudel and Scheidemann, Chernov and Dan, Henderson and Clynes, during the imperialist war was a reactionary struggle, for its results was the embellishment, the strengthening, the victory, of imperialism. For the same reasons, the struggle that the Egyptians merchants and bourgeois intellectuals are waging for the independence of Egypt is objectively a revolutionary struggle, despite the bourgeois origin and bourgeois title of the leaders of Egyptian national movement, despite the fact that they are opposed to socialism; whereas the struggle that the British “Labour” Government is waging to preserve Egypt’s dependent position is for the same reason a reactionary struggle, despite the proletarian origin and the proletarian title of the members of the government, despite the fact that they are “for” socialism. There is no need to mention the national movement in other, larger, colonial and dependent countries, such as India and China, every step of which along the road to liberation, even if it runs counter to the demands of formal democracy, is a steam-hammer blow at imperialism, i.e., is undoubtedly a revolutionary step.”

Therefore, the liberal ideological frame must be removed, not only from our ranks, but also detected and removed from our heads. This model is based on supremacist positions of colonial consciousness and survives to a greater extent as on the imperialist Right, also on the liberal left in the power centers and the semiperiphery. Through revolutionary violence, colonized recreate themselves, and our task is to start, see through and end that process.

In the very end, we shall quote Franz Fanon, and so cement our position regarding anti-imperialist struggle of the peoples of the Third World:

” Decolonization is quite simply the replacing of a certain “species” of men by another “species” of men. Without any period of transition, there is a total, complete, and absolute substitution Its unusual importance is that it constitutes, from the very first day, the minimum demands of the colonized. To tell the truth, the proof of success lies in a whole social structure being changed from the bottom up. The extraordinary importance of this change is that it is willed, called for, demanded. The need for this change exists in its crude state, impetuous and compelling, in the consciousness and in the lives of the men and women who are colonized. But the possibility of this change is equally experienced in the form of a terrifying future in the consciousness of another “species” of men and women: the colonizers. In decolonization, there is therefore the need of a complete calling in question of the colonial situation. If we wish to describe it precisely, we might find it in the well-known words: “The last shall be first and the first last.” Decolonization is the putting into practice of this sentence. That is why, if we try to describe it, all decolonization is successful.“89

  1. Personal Website of Mutlu Civiroglu. PYD Leader Thanks US Led Coalition Against ISIS | Personal Website of Mutlu Civiroglu. 

  2. Federation Of American Scientists -. MFA – V. The PKK’S Role in International Drug Trafficking. 

  3. Aydin, Zulfikar Ali (27 July 2008). “PKK-MİT ilişkisini yazamadan öldürüldü”. Sabah (in Turkish). 

  4. Ugur Mumcu – Journalists Killed. (1993, January 27). 

  5. M. Gunter, M. (1998, ). Middle East Quarterly. Abdullah Öcalan: “We Are Fighting Turks Everywhere”. 

  6. Ibid. 

  7. (1999,). Washington Post: Breaking News, World, US, DC News & Analysis. 3 Kurds Die in Berlin as Protests Continue. 

  8. Ocalan, A. (2011, ). The Road Map for Democratization of Turkey and Solution to the Kurdish Question . 

  9. Abdullah Öcalan, The third domain. Reconstructing liberation. Extracts from the submissions to the ECHR, London 2003, p. 52, 53. 

  10. Thomas Schmidinger, Krieg und Revolution in Syrisch-Kurdistan. Analysen und Stimmen aus Rojava, Vienna 2014. 

  11. Öcalan, Declaration on the Democratic Solution, p. 59 

  12. Ibid. 

  13. Abdullah Öcalan, Prison Writings. The PKK and the Kurdish question in the 21st century, London 2011. p. 71. 

  14. Aliza , Marcus. Blood and Belief: The PKK and the Kurdish Fight for Independence. NYU Press, 2008. Print. 

  15. Today’s Zaman, Turkish daily news, Latest News. Israel supported PKK terrorists by providing intelligence. 

  16. Hawramy, F. Exclusive: Senior Kurdish rebel leader warns Iraq must stay united to defeat ‘savage’ Isis | World news | The Guardian. 

  17. Zaman, A. (2014, September 16). Fight against IS helps PKK gain global legitimacy – Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East. 

  18. Pollack, Kenneth (March 25, 2003). The Threatening Storm: What Every American Needs to Know Before an Invasion in Iraq 

  19. John Pike. “Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK)”. Retrieved January 28, 2013. 

  20. R. Gibson, B. (2012, June 11). In His Father’s Shadow. 

  21. John Pike. “Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK)”. Retrieved January 28, 2013. 

  22. Cole, J. (2013, January 1). The American Genocide Against Iraq: 4% of Population Dead as result of US sanctions, wars. 

  23. Tucker, Mike; Charles Faddis (2008). Operation Hotel California: The Clandestine War inside Iraq. The Lyons Press. 

  24. Natali, D. (2013, January 1). PKK Challenges Barzani In Iraqi Kurdistan – Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East. 

  25. Surrogate Warfare: The Role of U.S. Army Special Forces – MAJ Isaac J. Peltier, US Army 

  26. List of Oil Companies in Kurdistan | Iraq Business News. (2013, January 1). 

  27. EXCLUSIVE-Israel, U.S. import disputed oil from Iraqi Kurdistan. (2014, May 15). 

  28. Davis, E. The Puzzle of Federalism in Iraq | Middle East Research and Information Project. 

  29. Bill Clinton: We need to stay in Iraq to protect the Kurds from the Turks. (2007, January 1). 

  30. Abdulla, N. (2014, January 1). Qubad Talabani: US Has “Directly” Armed Kurds. 

  31. US sends 130 additional military advisors to Iraq’s Kurdistan. (2014, January 1 

  32. Reuters – French to send 40 troops to train Iraqi, Kurdish forces. (2015, January 22). 

  33. Metzger, M. (2015, January 1). Germany and Sweden to Send Troops and Increase Aid to Kurds. 

  34. More British, Norwegian army personnel sent to Iraqi Kurdistan. (2015, March 8). 

  35. Bengio, O. (2014, January 1). Surprising Ties between Israel and the Kurds.. 

  36. Israeli PM Netanyahu endorses Kurdish independence citing chaos in Iraq. (2014, June 29). 

  37. Bengio, O. (2014, January 1). Surprising Ties between Israel and the Kurds.. 

  38. Bill Clinton: We need to stay in Iraq to protect the Kurds from the Turks. (2007, January 1). 

  39. Natali, D. (2013, January 1). PKK Challenges Barzani In Iraqi Kurdistan – Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East. 

  40. Hawramy, F. Exclusive: Senior Kurdish rebel leader warns Iraq must stay united to defeat ‘savage’ Isis | World news | The Guardian. 

  41. PKK rebels ‘begin leaving Turkey’ (2013, May 8 

  42. Natali, D. (2013, January 1). PKK Challenges Barzani In Iraqi Kurdistan – Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East. 

  43. Jane’s intelligence digest: the global early-warning service, P1, Jane’s Information Group, 2009 

  44. Sedat Laciner, “Why Is Israel Watching the PKK?” al-Monitor (Washington, D.C.), Jan. 10, 2013. 

  45. Escobar, P. (2012, August 6). Syria’s Pipelineistan war. 

  46. Minin, D. (2013, May 31). The Geopolitics of Gas and the Syrian Crisis: Syrian “Opposition” Armed to Thwart Construction of Iran-Iraq-Syria Gas Pipeline. 

  47. Ahmed, N. (2013, August 30). Syria intervention plan fueled by oil interests, not chemical weapon concern. 

  48. Klein, A. (2013, July 9). Is this what Syria war really about? 

  49. Escobar, P. (2012, August 6). Syria’s Pipelineistan war. 

  50. Hawramy, F. Exclusive: Senior Kurdish rebel leader warns Iraq must stay united to defeat ‘savage’ Isis | World news | The Guardian. 

  51. Peyamner News Agency:- More Kurdish Cities Liberated As Syrian Army Withdraws from Area. (2012, July 21). 

  52. Ibid. 

  53. Ates, H. (2012, July 16). Barzani Unites Syrian Kurds Against Assad – Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East. 

  54. Peyamner News Agency:- More Kurdish Cities Liberated As Syrian Army Withdraws from Area. (2012, July 21). 

  55. PYD forces to confiscate private property of displaced Kurdish families – ARA News. (2013, September 29). 

  56. PYD Leader Warns of War with Arab Settlers in Kurdish Areas. (2013, November 24). 

  57. Zenturk, A. (2013, May 5). The EU’s Misguided Decision To Lift Syrian Oil Embargo – Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East. 

  58. Hurriyet Daily News | Haber Detay. (2013, July 7). 

  59. PYD’s Salih Muslim on a diplomatic visit to London. (2014, July 3). 

  60. Taştekin, F. (2015, February 12). Hollande-PYD meeting challenges Erdogan – Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East. 

  61. U.S. Department of State. (2012, May 8). 

  62. U.S. meets with Syrian Kurds in sign of shifting allegiances. (2014, October 17). 

  63. Yaseen Kurdi, M. (2014, December 9). PYD co-leader, former US ambassador meet for talks on Kobane. 

  64. Barzani says Turkey sent arms to KRG, PYD members treated in Turkey. (2014, October 13). 

  65. Ibid. 

  66. Rida, N. (2014, October 19). US officials in contact with Syrian Kurds “for more than two years”: PYD spokesman. Retrieved March 17, 2015 

  67. Özer, V. (2014, December 13). A conversation with Salih Muslim. 

  68. YPG Spokesman Can: We are Working with the Coalition against ISIS. (2014, October 14). 

  69. Turkey and Iraq agree on natural gas pipeline project. (2015, January 20). 

  70. US opening air base near Erbil, Kurdish official says. (2015, February 11). 

  71. Taştekin, F. (2015, February 12). Hollande-PYD meeting challenges Erdogan – Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East. 

  72. Ibid. 

  73. Personal Website of Mutlu Civiroglu. PYD Leader Thanks US Led Coalition Against ISIS | Personal Website of Mutlu Civiroglu. 

  74. Lenin, V. (1916, July 10). Lenin: The Discussion On Self-Determination Summed Up. 

  75. Kovačević, I. (2014, October 6). Radnička aristokratija i imperijalizam. 

  76. “Middle Passage.” Dictionary of American History. 2003, & “Middle Passage.” Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. (2003, January 1 

  77. O’Ceallaigh, L. (2010, December 22). When You Kill Ten Million Africans You Aren’t Called ‘Hitler’ – Diary of a Walking Butterfly. 

  78. Alan Taylor (2002). American colonies; Volume 1 of The Penguin history of the United States, History of the United States Series 

  79. World Child Hunger Facts. (2012, September 22). 

  80. Interview with Ganapathi, Leader of India’s Growing Maoist Revolution. (2009, October 17). 

  81. Stalin, J. The Foundations of Leninism. 

  82. Oates, Stephen (September 1973). “Children of Darkness”. American Heritage Magazine 24 (3). 

  83. Bisson, Nat Turner: Slave Revolt Leader (2005), pp. 57-58. 

  84. James H. Harris (1995). Preaching liberation. Fortress Press. p. 46 

  85. U.S. Relations With Syria. (2014, March 20). 

  86. A Country Study: Syria. (2011, March 22). 

  87. Cliff, T. (1969, January 1). Rosa Luxemburg and the national question. 

  88. Lenin, V. (1916, July 10). Lenin: The Discussion On Self-Determination Summed Up 

  89. Fanon, F., & Sartre, J. (1965). The wretched of the earth. New York: Grove Press. 

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