The Rojava revolution is under siege: The Welsh left must respond


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vicky moller
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vicky moller

I heard the same admiration for this movement from felix padell, eminent writer based in India and Wales and campaigner who enabled the ardivasi to oust Tata Steel in Orissa, to a modest extent. Thanks for this call for our support

Lewis Owen
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Lewis Owen

You’re welcome. Thanks for your kind words.

JR Humphreys
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JR Humphreys

No foreign entanglements!

Lewis Owen
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Lewis Owen

Where exactly in the article did I suggest military intervention?

JR Humphreys
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JR Humphreys

Of any kind.

Benjiman L. Angwin
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Benjiman L. Angwin

While I support an independent Kurdistan, more along the proposed Iraq-Kurdish model mind, and believe the West should be arming Kurds, I disagree with the use of the word ‘progressives’ and ‘progressive’ in this article. It has a sanctimonious and self-righteous tinge, because using ‘progressive’ in this context insinuates 2 things. 1. That there is end goal driven by the political Left that we agree we are moving towards. I do not consent my agreement to this redefinition of the word progressive. 2. That any one who disagrees with this end goal may be branded ‘regressive’ by the implied and… Read more »

Wrexhamian
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Wrexhamian

You’re right, Ben. The word ‘progressive’ stuck out like a sore thumb. Self-congratulatory and very student-like from another era.

Lewis Owen
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Lewis Owen

Hi Wrexhamian, thanks for your constructive feedback. Which word would you suggest substituting for ‘progressive’ in the article? Incidentally, I am actually a current history student, so maybe your description of my prose style as ‘very student-like from another era’ is apt!

Wrexhamian
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Wrexhamian

Dim trosedd, Lewis, it’s just that the word ‘progressive’ seems a little meaningless in such a context. Any group that advocates change can go around call itself progressive, including the BNP. I also think that ‘left’ and ‘right’ are likewise throwbacks that have little validity in much of modern politics.

But the Kurdish cause is a morally just one, and I think most Welsh people (myself included) would be on their side in their struggle for national self-determination. We’re now seeing the Turkish government in its true colours.

Trailorboy
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Trailorboy

A very disturbing article – thanks for bringing the idea of a socialist caliphate to our attention. Too many are playing these types of games in Syria.

I have great respect for the Kurds and their long struggle for a state, but beyond that this ideological meddling is no better than the origins and intentions of IS.

Red Dragon Jim
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Red Dragon Jim

I completely agree with it but it is spoilt by the snipe at Catalonia. The “centre-right administration” is a coalition between liberal democrats and socialists, with parliamentary support from an anti-capitalist party. “Disgruntlement about subsidising deprived regions”. They’re in jail for goodness sake! They’re in exile and have been arrested! Catalonia has lived under fascist dictatorship in living memory! My support for Rojava does not depend on this article, thankfully. But I won’t be getting involved with anything which attacks the Catalans. This stinks of the Brit Left. The Catalans are in jail but because they built a decent economy… Read more »

Lewis Owen
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Lewis Owen

Thanks for your response. Without wishing to get bogged down in a lengthy debate on the Catalan issue (which has been covered extensively already in Nation.Cymru), I’d just like to pick up on a few points you made: 1. You are right when you say that the pro-independence coalition in the Generalitat, Junts pel Si, is a coalition that does include some parties that may be defined as ‘socialist’ or ‘social-democratic’. That said, I think you overstate the broader influence of the left within the grouping (particularly since the departure of the Republican Left of Catalonia during the run-up to… Read more »

Red Dragon Jim
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Red Dragon Jim

OK, some good points there. You are wrong about Puigdemont who is effectively a liberal democrat. I spent a period of my life visiting Catalonia regularly and under his predecessors it was hardly a neoliberal nightmare, and easily a more social state than Britain. But it is a pointless debate. I think really your inclusion of Catalonia in the article was not necessary, but we move on.

Lewis Owen
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Lewis Owen

@TrailorBoy You find an article describing a democratic movement that seeks to promote the rights of women and ethnic minorities to be ‘disturbing’? Fair enough, but I think that you might feel more at home on the Daily Mail message boards in that case. Your interpretation of the term ‘caliphate’ is rather baffling too: a ‘caliphate’ refers to a specifically theocratic form of government that is based on Sharia Islamic law. As a self-declared secular entity, which has spent most of its existence leading the fight against a hostile caliphate, none of those characteristics remotely apply to the DFNS. I’ll… Read more »

Trailorboy
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Trailorboy

Lewis my objection to this article, was that it was a rallying call to the Welsh Left to support fellow socialists in Syria. I found the history of Spain to be equally offensive in that respect – it was not our fight, we have no moral high ground on which to preach to others what is right and wrong and we should not have become involved. In my mind the spreading and nurturing our beliefs and ideologies in other countries is wrong – I also disagree the notion that we should spread democracy and everything else, in the believe that… Read more »

Lewis Owen
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Lewis Owen

Hi Trailorboy, thanks for your response. I take issue with your assertion that the article calls for us to ‘impose our ideas on other countries’. Given the fact that I have already described the grassroots nature of the Rojava Revolution and how it has been directed by local councils of Kurds and other ethnic minorities in the region, I find this accusation to be rather strange. You are absolutely right to criticize the conduct of the US and other Western powers during the Syrian conflict (particularly in terms of their support towards a number of rather dubious groups within the… Read more »

Lewis Owen
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Lewis Owen

@Benjiman

A far more considered critique. Thank you!

I understand your reservations towards the use of the term ‘progressive’, and perhaps I should have been more nuanced in that regard. That said, I do think that, within a fundamental, humanistic context, the ‘progressive-reactionary’ dichotomy is broadly applicable in the case of the respective treatment of women and ethnic minorities by the DFNS and Daesh.

Benjiman L. Angwin
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Benjiman L. Angwin

Diolch.

Fabra
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Fabra

It is untrue to say that Plaid Cymru have been silent on the Kurdish issue. Plaid has been working closely with members of the Welsh Kurdish community, frequently send representatives to their events, and have invited them to conferences. Jonathan Edwards also frequently speaks about the Kurdish issue in the UK parliament, despite them only having 4 MPs. Plaid Ifanc has a strong relationship with Kurdish organisations too and has been one of the only organisations to demand that the EU takes the PKK off its list of terror organisations. And it is far easier for Leanne Wood to meet… Read more »

Lewis Owen
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Lewis Owen

Hi Fabra, thanks for your comment. I did apologise for my oversight in neglecting to mention Jonathan Edwards’ contributions on the Nation.Cymru Facebook group, though in my defence this article was actually written before he raised the particular issue of the Afrin offensive in Parliament. Also, most of the links you’ve supplied here are in reference to the Kurdistan independence vote in Iraq: as I mention in the article, it is very important to distinguish between the KRG in Iraqi Kurdistan and the DFNS in Northern Syria, which have pursued very different ideological agendas in recent years, often leading to… Read more »