Syria

Why we don’t look to “the international community” to defend the Kurds

Published on: Wed, 23/10/2019 - 09:24
Author

Duncan Morrison

“The policy that attempts to place upon the proletariat the insoluble task of warding off all dangers engendered by the bourgeoisie and its policy of war is vain, false, mortally dangerous.

“’But fascism might be victorious!’ ‘But the USSR is menaced!’ ‘But Hitler’s invasion would signify the slaughter of workers!’

And so on, without end.

“Of course, the dangers are many, very many. It is impossible not only to ward them all off, but even to foresee all of them. Should the proletariat attempt at the expense of the clarity and irreconcilability of its fundamental policy to chase after each

Self-determination for the Kurds!

Published on: Wed, 23/10/2019 - 07:19
Author

Pete Boggs

A temporary ceasefire for five days in Turkey’s invasion of majority-Kurdish areas of Syria was negotiated by the USA on 17 October.

The American delegation to Ankara, headed by Vice President Mike Pence, agreed a 120-hour period for the Syrian Democratic Forces (the Kurdish-led forces in the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria) to withdraw from a 20-mile deep area which Turkish president Erdoğan has decreed as a “safe zone”. In reality, this is a zone which has been designated for occupation and ethnic cleansing.

Even the temporary halt to the violence is good. According to the

Turkey: the poverty of “anti-imperialism”

Published on: Wed, 16/10/2019 - 10:48
Author

Jim Denham

In a letter to prime minister Boris Johnson leading figures from 13 UK unions have urged the UK government to condemn outright the Turkish aggression against the Kurds, triggered by Trump’s precipitate decision to withdraw all US troops from Syria.

They describe Trump’s move as “a green-light to a Turkish military invasion of North and East Syria, which, as we have already seen in Afrin, will undoubtedly lead to ethnic cleansing and genocide of the Kurds as well as a resurgence of ISIS.

“We therefore call on the UK government to immediately condemn Turkey’s threats of invasion and to work with

Turkish troops out of Syria!

Published on: Wed, 16/10/2019 - 07:21
Author

Pete Boggs

Since the Turkish invasion of Kurdish-controlled northern Syria started on 9 October, over 160,000 civilians have been displaced, with at least fifty civilian deaths already.

The invasion immediately followed the announcement by Donald Trump that US troops would be withdrawn from northern Syria.

Trump’s “America First” policy is confused and totally inconsistent. Attempts by the White House to portray Trump’s move as a step in disengaging the US from overseas conflicts were shown to be a scam when Trump also announced sending 2,000 soldiers to Saudi Arabia in a move against Iran.

The decision

Trump’s shift puts Rojava at risk

Published on: Wed, 09/10/2019 - 09:14
Author

Pete Boggs

Donald Trump has announced the withdrawal of American troops from Northern Syria, and given effective consent to President Erdoğan’s plan to invade.

This marks a slight shift from Trump’s previous stated position. Back in December he announced that American troops would leave Northern Syria within the medium-term future, but that it was conditional on guarantees from Turkey regarding the safety of the Kurds.

Those guarantees have now ceased to be a consideration, and the United States is perfectly content to leave Rojava to the mercy, or lack thereof, of the Turkish army.

This new announcement

A lazy day in the office

Published on: Wed, 02/10/2019 - 12:16
Author

Jim Denham

Life isn’t always easy for Steve Sweeney, International Editor of the Morning Star. Earlier this year he was detained and interrogated by Turkish police when he landed at an Istanbul airport.

Thoughts of what had happened to Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate six months before in the same city flashed through his mind.

The Morning Star – quite rightly – is highly critical of the Erdoğan regime in Turkey.

But when it comes to regimes that the paper approves of — “anti-imperialist” Venezuela or Syria, for instance, or “socialist” China, Steve’s job is a lot easier. Most of the time he just

Dissident voices of the international left

Published on: Wed, 14/08/2019 - 09:10

In Dissidents of the International Left, Andy Heintz’s first book, he interviews 77 figures from across the international left - many of them, especially those from the global South, notable “dissidents” from what is taken in the USA and Europe to be left “orthodoxy”.

Many of them have not had much hearing in English language publications, though several have been interviewed by or spoken to Solidarity and Workers’ Liberty: Yanar Mohammed, Maryam Namazie, Houzan Mahmoud, Pragna Patel, Marieme Helie Lucas...

Andy Heintz talked with Stephen Wood from Solidarity about his book. Heintz is a

The record of Chris Williamson

Published on: Wed, 03/07/2019 - 13:04
Author

Keith Road

The issue with the suspended Labour MP Chris Williamson is not, as some in the Labour Party think, one off-beam remark in a Sheffield Momentum meeting, or a few incautious tweets.

Detailed web postings by RS21 member Dave Renton and socialist blogger “Bob from Brockley” have shown that Williamson has used his position as a prominent Corbyn-supporting MP to give the ideas of a segment of the far right a channel into the labour movement.

Williamson’s support for Vanessa Beeley, who makes an industry of supporting Syrian dictator Assad and his allies, came to prominence in August 2018 after he

Pitfalls of knee-jerk “blame Israel”

Published on: Wed, 03/07/2019 - 12:30

Morad Shirin (Solidarity 511) has casually speculated that Israel (or, perhaps, another regional power allied to the USA, but no other state is thought worthy of mention) is probably responsible for the attacks on the Norwegian and Japanese oil tankers.

No evidence is offered, but rather a Galloway-style deduction based on which state would benefit from the most obvious suspect being punished. It isn’t often, thankfully, that this type of argument is promoted in the pages of Solidarity.

“We have to ask: ‘Which state is going to benefit from delaying, or maybe even preventing, a deal?’ That

Israelophobia is Stalinist regression

Published on: Wed, 03/07/2019 - 11:04
Author

Barry Finger

Barry Finger reviews Paul Kelemen’s book The British Left and Zionism: History of a Divorce (Manchester University Press, 2012)

This volume, which joins the herd of independent minds in churning the same old depleted groupthink, purports to challenge the claim that changes over the decades in the left’s appraisal of Zionism and the Palestinian cause stem from antisemitism.

Whose claim? Even the people Kelemen whom has a go at would most probably argue the opposite: pro-Palestinian sympathies do not stem from antisemitism. However, antisemitism often finds a greenhouse atmosphere in pro

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