On October 6, 2019, Donald Trump announced that the United States would once again abandon the Kurdish people to the regional powers like Turkey that deny them sovereignty and threaten their very survival. The seemingly overnight decision follows a phone call between Trump and Turkish president and far-right strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan as his military prepares to invade Kurdish-controlled areas of Syria. In light of this news, we are reposting this August 2015 Freedom Socialist Party statement calling for opposition to the counterrevolutionary role of Western imperialism in the Middle East.
“Turkey has joined the war on ISIS!” heralded U.S. politicians and their news media at the end of July. The New York Times joined the celebratory chorus calling Turkey’s turnaround a “major step toward confronting the Islamic State militant group and trying to address the Syrian conflict.” However, one must look beyond the “fog of war” to find the real reasons for the bourgeoisie’s party mood.
What has actually happened?
The U.S. got two air bases in Turkey for its war planes and drones. Turkey got U.S. and NATO approval to conduct air strikes on left-wing Kurdish-led forces — the most effective fighters against the Islamic State (ISIS).
Within hours of the deal between the two countries, Turkey pretended to attack ISIS with a single air raid. However, against the leftist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Turkey flew 75 F-16 and F-4E 2020 attacks, in three waves from July 24-26, while 300 bombs were dropped in 185 sorties against approximately 400 PKK targets.
In short, the war on the Islamic State has become a war on socialists and radicals.
Why target the Kurds?
Like the Palestinians, the Kurdish peoples have been abused, scorned and massacred for decades by Middle East tyrants and their imperialist backers. And like the Palestinians, the Kurds have steadfastly resisted, politically and in armed struggle, all the while demanding their freedom as an oppressed nationality.
Kurds have long asserted their legitimate right to sovereignty in Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran. They have been a thorn in the side of each of these repressive regimes, which cannot abide rebels — especially socialist rebels. And a good many Kurds are just that. Their militias, which include thousands of armed women warriors, are allied with rebels in Syria, Iran and Iraq and present a revolutionary threat to these pro-imperialist, capitalist-run, religious fundamentalist governments.
Turkey is particularly under the gun at the moment, because the left-wing Kurdish-led opposition party — the Peoples Democratic Party (HDP) — eliminated President Erdogan’s parliamentary majority in June 7 elections. HDP is a coalition of ethnic and religious minorities, most of Turkey’s Marxist parties, feminist and LGBT activists, and the youth-led civil rights movement that launched massive demonstrations in 2013. Erdogan used a murderous July 20 attack by ISIS on young Kurdish and Turkish socialists in Suruc near Kobani, just across the border in Syria, to justify a crackdown on freedom fighters in Turkey — letting the terrorists off the hook.
We stand with the PKK against ISIS and imperialism
Once again, the United States is dealing in dirty counter-revolutionary deeds — this time against the long-oppressed Kurds. Socialists, feminists, trade unionists and progressives worldwide have a stake in this fight. We must expose the lies and take a side against treacherous deals concocted by the U.S. and NATO with the real perpetuators of terror. We must stand with the courageous Kurdish, Syrian, Turkish, Iraqi, and Iranian rebels who risk their lives for us all.