One thing that the ‘contradictions’ of Rojava has revealed in the Left is its unaddressed, ongoing racism; perpetuating the ongoing hegemonic view that only certain accepted people within the categories of accepted and recognized racial groups are deserving of liberation.
Elements of the ‘anti-imperialist’ Left provide unconditional support to the Assad regime dismissing or outright denying- the regime’s long and horrendous history of racially motivated massacres and assimilation policies- condemning the oppressed, particularly the most oppressed minority the Kurds, to accept such a system. Either consisting of elements that reside outside Syria or former Ba’athists that benefited from the Regime directly through great financial rewards, they are never subjected to the above terrors themselves. Conveniently willing to accept Turkish invasion of Syria so long as that invasion and violence is directed towards the Kurds, while wholeheartedly supporting imperialist Russia- and likewise ignoring that regime’s long history of oppression and dictatorship towards other minorities- they demonstrate an ideologically reprehensible position devoid of ethics, subjecting people and lives to self interested ideological purity. Reminiscent of ‘let the poor eat cake’ approach, they are personified by the view: “let the oppressed deal with a few periodical massacres and chemical weapons use so long as our privileged, ideological purity surmounts all other interests and values”.
Then there is the other ‘pro-rebel, anti-imperialist’ elements, who provide an uncritical and unconditional support to the ‘rebels’, among whom exist child-beheading terrorists that could still teach ISIS and Assad a few things about violent massacre and abuse of civilians. They are conveniently vocal on the abuse of Arab civilians but make no mention of past oppression towards non Arabs in Syria. Personified by a benign racism, ignoring the ‘Rebels’ periodic racially motivated attacks against the Kurds, they would rather home grown and foreign invading terrorist groups replace a secular, murderous Ba’athist dictatorship with an Islamist, murderous dictatorship, rather than entertain any alternative solution proposed by the ‘un-Islamic, imperialist’ Kurds. Fueling racial tensions through painting the Kurds as Islamaphobic- while failing to realize the Kurds themselves are predominantly Islamic; but retain the right to create a secular socio-political system that frees them from religious based racially motivated hierarchies.
Both engage in regular dialogue with each other, while completely erasing and silencing the Kurdish Alternative in the north. Both are conveniently silent on the long history of racially based policies, the Arabization processes, the conveniently forgotten ‘Arab belt’, the stripping of citizenships let alone cultural representation- and the legitimacy of Kurdish rights and grievances. Both envision Syria as a centralized state left to its own Arab dominated narrative as to internal racial and minority based issues. Remaining silent or outright denying the reality that as the central and southern parts are torn apart by Rebel/terrorist/Assad conflict, literal thousands of displaced flee to the safety of the northern parts controlled by the Kurds. Supporting the rights of 11 million Palestinians to liberation but denying- through complete silence and outright refusal to even mention Kurdish rights- the rights of 50 million Kurds. Remaining silent on the possibility of a Kurdish role or even voice in the dialogues involving a solution for the Syrian War- failing to realize in their ideological praxis that the democratic confederalism model can not only be a solution for Syria but the entire Middle East.
And the international Left, devoid of basic understanding of regional and historical facts often tacitly but usually implicitly supports racial and Arab chauvinism by continuing to erase and perpetrate racial tensions against the Kurds- the fourth largest indigenous minority in the region- as foreigners, as outsiders; fit only as house slaves, as the poor laborer condemned by deliberate policies to the worst paid, dirtiest and hardest manual roles in society but never liberated, never rising, never master of her own fate, never proposing and enacting a radical new system that disrupts the dirty genocidal and racist politics of Leftest, socialist ‘Ba’athist’ dictatorships or Islamist motivated authoritarianism.
Its any wonder, surrounded by such ignorant, ideologically fickle, fascist and racially motivated chauvinism that the result is a deep feeling of a real, existentially based crises that leads the Kurds to accumulate self- preserving weapons. Self defense is an inalienable right, the Kurds are not perfect and will make mistakes. And yet despite the availability of an array of self motivated power and state based models, the Kurds continue to enact a stateless democracy centered on the importance of ethno-religious harmony, co-existence and power sharing, demonstrating that without addressing racism- both internalized and that of their oppressors- no one can be free in the region.
Dr. Hawzhin Azeez.