Gunter: The Stupidity of American Foreign Policy

Professor Michael Gunter, secretary general of the EUTCC, has written a new opinion piece on US foreign policy towards the Kurdish issue, which we reproduce below:

 

THE STUPIDITY OF AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY

Although there can be no doubt that compared to most other countries in the world today and in the past, American foreign policy has been motivated by relative honesty and intelligence, currently there are several specifics in that policy that can only be characterized as sheer stupidity. The first point has to do with American foreign policy towards the horrific civil war in Syria. Although President Obama’s basic instinct not to enter another disastrous Middle Eastern war is sound, his administration’s continuing attempt to support increasingly non-existent moderate oppositionists against the Assad regime is at the best based on wishful thinking because with one exception (the Kurds) such moderates in Syria no longer exist.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)—now styling itself the Islamic State (IS)—has largely supplanted the moderates with the exception of the Kurds who have been battling the Islamists for more than two years. However, the United States opposes the Kurds because of a misguided belief that they are dividing the moderate opposition by insisting on Kurdish autonomy and probably even more are connected to the Democratic Union Party (PYD) that is largely in control of the Kurdish areas but is an off-shoot of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which the United States considers to be a terrorist movement. While the PKK link is real and largely explains the PYD’s success in fending off ISIS so far, the PYD is also a moderate secular movement and thus is everything the United States should want to support. This is even more so because for more than a year now, Turkey has been pursuing a serious peace process with the PKK. Thus, if the U.S. NATO ally Turkey is now dealing with the PKK/PYD, there is no further reason for the United States to shun it. American foreign policy has simply failed to catch up with the times and is thus shooting itself in the foot.

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Appeal to all Kurdistani people, supporters and humanitarian organisations to support Syrian Kurdish region

Appeal for funds from the Kurdish Red Cross. Please do what you can to support humanitarian efforts in Rojava:

Today the Syrian people in general and Kurds in particular are going through a violent proxy war. The Syrian Kurdish region is suffering most severely due to imposed double blockade of both the brutal Assad regime and the armed opposition. People in the Kurdish regions are suffering from lack of essential food and medicine and are becoming isolated in a crippling siege, which is threatening to become a severe humanitarian disaster in these hard winter conditions, the shortage of food, medicines and fuel for heating, bakeries, transports and electrical generators operation for hospitals and medical centres.

This situation is threatening people’s life, because of spread of diseases and lack of medical aids. However the Kurdish regions have been excluded from the international humanitarian aid despite hosting thousands of hundreds of refugees and displaced people from all Syrian war affected towns and cities.

The recent brutal attack targeting civilians in SereKaniye (Ras al Ain) on 16 January 2013 by Selafist armed mercenaries affiliated to terrorist groups, Turkey and others regional powers to destabilise and dragging the relatively peaceful Kurdish region into violent civil war which makes the Kurdish region a violent proxy war zone, targeting the civilians by killing indiscriminately and shelling civilians’  houses and properties which have been destroyed and looted and thousands have forcibly fled in horror and displaced.

We, the Kurdish Red cross crescent an humanitarian relief organisation established in Syrian Kurdish region to support the affected people in need and earnestly call all Kurdistani people, regional and global humanitarian Relief organisations, EU, UN, International community and public opinion to support the Kurdish region people and carry out their duties and responsibilities over the deteriorating humanitarian crisis in the region where vulnerable people are losing lives.

Looking forward to your support and contributions to save lives!

Dr Mohamed Mustafa,
Representative of Kurdish Red Cross/ Crescent in the UK.
Mobile: 07872 300836
The objectives of campaign:
– Inviting and asking everyone, all Kurdistani people  and humanitarian relief organisations to contribute in this campaign.
-Organising sub-committee for collecting of donations from businesses, shops, homes, families, individuals.
-Organising a fund raising event in the UK

Britain: Kurdish Red Moon, Address: Fairfax Hall 11 Portland Gardens / London N4 IHU
Registered Charity No: 10 93 741, Company No: 42 85 714

Bank Sort code: 20 46 60

Bank Account No: 40 91 23 87

 

 

 

KNK releases proposals for the future of Rojava

This useful information pack begins by situating Rojava in its recent political context, with short sections on the ‘Kurdish question’, Syria, the Ba’ath regime, Assad, etc.  It also explains how these factors have led to the continuing repression of Kurds in Syria. Taking into account recent developments and the various interests and ideologies responsible for them, the KNK assess the recent accomplishments of the Kurds in their struggles toward self-determination, and lays a blueprint for installing ‘democratic autonomy’ as an alternative political system. The proposals are thorough, thoughtful, and grounded on statistics which are provided inside the document.  Click here to access – Canton Based Democratic Autonomy of Rojava: A Transformation Process from Dictatorship to Democracy

PYD: Stand with us against ISIS

PYD Statement, 8.7.14

Statement to the Public Opinion
Since the ISIS took over Iraqs second largest city Mosul, seizing heavy weaponry in the process, it quickly turned its attention to western Kurdistan (northern Syria). ISIS has increased its attacks against our Self-Administration areas dramatically, using all kinds of criminal and barbaric methods. The recent attacks have mostly been in the Kobane canton, on the western countryside, including the villages Zormagar, Al-Bouaz, Dekerman and Al-Byada. Countless civilians, including women and children have been displaced as a result of their terrorist activities.
The ISIS does not recognize any code of conduct and has violated all international standards systematically. Once again our people, the Kurds, are facing mass killings and crimes against humanity with the tacit agreement of the international community!
ISIS has openly proclaimed that they are intending on altering the demography of the region. With their ruthless methods they have thrown the whole region into an uncertain and dangerous future. Continue reading

Report: The Kurdish Perspective on the Conflict and How to End It

REPORT

8 July 2014

 

A report of a political briefing hosted by Green Party peer, Baroness Jenny Jones, held in Westminster on 2 July and organised by Peace in Kurdistan Campaign.

The keynote speakers were a senior delegation of leading representatives from Rojava, Syria: namely, Saleh Muslim, co-president of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the Deputy General Coordinator of the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change in Syria (NCB); Basam Ishaq, chairman of Syriac Council (representing the Christian community); and Abdul Karim Omar, the spokesperson of Jazira Canton Foreign Affairs Department.

The delegation, visiting the UK to urge support for the people of Rojava, explained their independent perspective on the Syrian conflict before a specially invited gathering of parliamentarians, policy advisors and researchers. The majority population of Rojava are Kurds but the self-administration that has been established in the past few months had brought together all the region’s communities. This highly positive development needed to be more widely understood.

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KNK: “A widely planned massacre against the people in Kobane is feared imminent”

The Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) has issued a statement denouncing ISIS attacks against Kobane, Rojava, as an attack on Kurdistan by hegemonic powers who are using the group as tools.

06.07.2014

Urgent Call to the UN, USA, the EU and all international organisations

Stop the ISIS crimes against humanity

Since the beginning of March, there have been waves of attacks of ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) in the Kobanê Canton.  On July 2nd, ISIS launched a new major attack in Kobane Canton and widespread clashes are continuing. ISIS is attacking and brutally targeting all civilians regardless of age.

It is claimed that heavy weapons and artillery used by ISIS have been transported from Iraq after the invasion of Mosul in June.  It is publicly known that ISIS has transferred their heavy artillery and have shifted from Iraq to Rojava, Syria, after getting military supplies from Mosul.

Furthermore, the gangs have taken two out of three of the border crossings of Iraq and Rojava, Syria, under their control. On the other hand, the ISIS gangs are able to manoeuvre freely through the Turkish border to areas of Rojava. During the past year ISIS has been using Turkey’s borders without any serious obstacles, since the Turkish army and authorities have been turning a blind eye; ISIS has even been able to have their wounded members receive medical treatment in Turkish hospitals.

Along with the Turkish state, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and some Western powers have plans and are intent on using ISIS to achieve hegemony in the Middle East region. It needs to be stressed that ISIS has become a tool in the hands of those who are seeking hegemony in the Middle East. The power sharing conflict is now focused in the Kurdish areas in Syria and Iraq, but it will spread to other areas, if ISIS is able to defeat Kobane.

The Kurdish political authorities in Rojava have consistently urged the international community to take measures against those states, which support ISIS. Instead of diplomatic and political sanctions against states using ISIS to achieve their power interests, it was preferred to turn a blind eye. This political stance has only encouraged the gangs to continue to carry out crimes against humanity in Rojava, Syria and Iraq.

Now a widely planned massacre against the people in Kobane is feared imminent.

We therefore appeal again to the international community to stop immediately the attacks against Kurdistan in Kobane particular and in Rojava generally by taking concrete diplomatic, political, economic and legal measures in line with international law.

Kongreya Neteweyî ya Kurdistanê
Kurdistan National Congress
Congrès National du Kurdistan

 

 

 

 

PYD responds to Human Rights Watch report

Human Rights Watch recently published a report in which their investigators claimed the Kurdish authorities in Rojava have committed arbitrary arrests, violations of due process and other abuses. In particular, the report singles out the Democratic Union Party (PYD) despite it not being the sole authority in the region, and the Foreign Relations body of Democratic Self-Rule Administration has now issued a response to the report in which they clarify certain points:

Available for download here (pdf)

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Civaka Azad Press Release: Initiative for a Democratic Syria

Civaka Azad

Press Release 23 June 2014

Initiative for a Democratic Syria

Start of a Kurdish initiative for democratic transformation in Syria on the basis of unity and plurality – Discussions with the Syrian National Council (SNC) in Istanbul – Discussions with representatives of the Assyrians and of the National Coordination Committee for Democratic Transformation of Syrian Forces (CNCD) in Syria – Discussions with the Kurdish National Council of Syria (KNC – ENKS) – further discussions with various opposition groups and individuals from Syria in Europe.

The Initiative, for a democratic transformation on the basis of unity and diversity, was introduced to the public in Qamislo (Al-Qamishli) on 8 May 2014, at a press conference where a foundation text outlining its principles was presented. These principles are the basis for discussions with progressive opposition groups on the future of Syria.

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Living Freedom: The London launch of Adem Uzun’s important new report

 

A packed meeting took place on the evening of 20th June at SOAS University to mark the UK launch of an important new report by Adem Uzun titled, Living Freedom: The Evolution of the Kurdish Conflict in Turkey and the Efforts to Resolve it.

The report published by Berlin based non-governmental organisation specialising in conflict resolution methods, the Berghof Foundation provides a succinct account of the history of the Kurdish struggle, transformations in the Kurdish movement, their current demands and the prospects for peace.

Adem Uzun was unable to be present in person at the meeting but recorded a video message in order to offer his contribution to the meeting.

The meeting was organised by Peace in Kurdistan in collaboration with CAMPACC and hosted by the SOAS Kurdish Society.

The discussion was chaired by Dilar Dirik, a PhD student from Cambridge, who began by situating the current Kurdish conflict within its wider international dynamics and the larger global issues.

Luxshi Vimalarajah, Programme Director of Dialogue, Mediation and Peace Support Structures at the Berghof Foundation, briefly introduced the work of the NGO and stressed some common features between negotiating processes to end protracted conflict situations.

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KCK: “We need unity to defend Rojava and South Kurdistan”

 

KCK-INFO

Kurdistan Democratic Communities’ Union -Info

Koma Civaken Kurdistan – Info

 

 

TO THE PATRIOTIC PEOPLE OF KURDISTAN AND THE PUBLIC OPINION

 

The bandit-marauder ISIS organization backed by some international and reactionary regional forces is posing many threats to South Kurdistan. This bandit organization whose main aim is the elimination of the entity and freedom of the Kurds, has been carrying out bloodthirstily attacks against the Kurdish people in Rojava for two years. But it suffered successive blows and historic defeats against the heroic resistance of YPG forces and the people of Rojava. Failing to achieve its aims in Rojava Kurdistan, it has now started to launch brutal attacks on South Kurdistan. ISIS is now fighting against the patriotic and resistant line of struggle in the Middle East. Eliminating all the gains of the Kurdish people and especially the gains of South Kurdistan is the main aim underlying the invasion of Mosul.

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