Category: Turkey
Party of Communists, USA: Statement of the PCUSA Peace and Solidarity Commission on Global War

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Party of Communists, USA: Statement of the PCUSA Peace and Solidarity Commission on Global War

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/04/party-of-communists-usa-statement-of.html
Statement of the PCUSA Peace and Solidarity Commission on Global War.
US imperialist aggression and military preparations throughout the world are solely menacing an imminent outbreak of WWIII. All its desperate confrontational maneuvers in every embroiled theatre, whether through a growing number of European states to threaten the Russian Federation, or in Syria, Iraq or Yemen, on the Korean Peninsula or in the South China Sea threatening China, are toward that unified (rationally unthinkable) strategic objective.
US provocative actions globally are one in purpose; they are not at all comprehensible as interventions in separate conflicts. US disturbance in other countries is posed conjunction with its major front, NATO, through US inspired neo-Nazi movements in several European countries (notably the Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, and Romania); with its highly reactionary regional vassal states in Middle East (Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the Persian Gulf principalities), with its subordinates in Asia (Japan, South Korea, and Australia); by its promotion of civil unrest in Latin America (prominently in Venezuela at the moment); and by its rapidly increasing militarization of the Artic in conjunction with its servant Canada.
US military and political involvement raising protracted regional tensions has instigated violent crises in several countries in both hemispheres, whether by wars of indirect or direct aggression or subterfuge. Intervention is simply an empty pretext: it is not predicated on independent or pre-existing civil conflicts in other countries or propagandistically imagined threats to the peace of the world by other states. Neo-Nazi movements in Europe would not exist without US organization and funding for previously suppressed and dispersed criminal elements in those societies. There is no civil war in Syria, inherently a stable, secular society and republic, not divided ethnically or religiously. The war there is one of indirect aggression on the part of the US since 2011 through brutally barbaric foreign mercenary terrorists, not Syrian rebels, from over 80 countries, ostensibly seeking to impose a theocratic autocracy but serving as a purely invented rationale for intended US-Saudi-Turkish partition of Syria. Indirect aggression and the pursuit of pretext for intervention leads of false flag operations, such as the sarin gas attack in Syria in 2013 and the currently alleged sarin gas attack in that country, when the known supplies for sarin gas to US-backed terrorist elements in Syria is coming from NATO through Turkey. The struggle in Yemen is not one of an Iran allied Houthi minority posing a threat against a US ally, the Absolute Monarchy of Saudi Arabia, but the opposite: a national resistance struggle of all popular democratic forces in Yemen against US-Saudi imperialist aggression. Oppositional elements in Venezuela are being directly organized and funded by the US, which would otherwise have no power to disturb the political order of that popular Bolivarian state. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, seeking only to defend itself from constant US threats for its destruction throughout its existence after an artificially US imposed partition empowering Japanese collaborationists among Korean capitalists and landlords against the unified Korean anti-imperialist resistance, is being demonized absurdly as if a representing a threat of global aggression. All conflicts threatening the peace of the world today have been instigated or contrived by US imperialism, which are being resisted at national levels by popular and progressive forces in the different forms confronted.
The political style of US aggression, whether conducted at the sole initiative of the presidency or with the consent of the Congress (by either declarations of war or authorizations for the use of force), is not the issue: US imperialist designs now threatening WWIII are. The constitutional question is a serious misdirection of the US peace movement. From 1812, the Congress of the United States has overwhelming supported all US wars, whether apparently defensive or aggressive. The US Congress today is fully behind all current US wars of indirect aggression and of military strike build-up throughout the world. Formal declarations of war or stronger resolutions of authorization will only give the appearance of popular support for continued and intensified aggression that does not exist and provide a pretext for treating opposition as treasonous, as is already occurring within the government under the anti-Russia hysteria generated during and since the 2016 US presidential elections.
What needs urgently to be done as a first step to stop US imperialist aggression in the world is the illegalization by the General Assembly of the United Nations of all wars of indirect aggression, as the Soviet representative to the League of Nations, Maxim Litvinov, appealed for prior to WWII but failed to achieve, and of any moves outside the UN framework to disarm other states. The Peace and Solidarity Commission of the Party of Communists, USA, calls on all domestic peace and anti-imperialist organizations to support the illegalization in international law of wars of indirect aggression and to support universal disarmament by negotiations under multilateral treaties (the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in particular), and the illegalization of any show of force by one state to compel other states to disarm.
Kemal Okuyan: “Turkey does not have any other choice. We need socialism as we need air and water” (Interview with TKP’s First Secretary)

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Kemal Okuyan: “Turkey does not have any other choice. We need socialism as we need air and water” (Interview with TKP’s First Secretary)

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/04/kemal-okuyan-turkey-does-not-have-any.html
The interview by soL news portal with Kemal Okuyan, First Secretary of the CC of TKP (Communist Party of Turkey), on the results of the 16 April referendum in Turkey.
Source: International Communist Press, 17 April 2017.
soL: What can you say right away about the results of the referendum?
KO: We cannot talk about an arithmetical result. They did something they are good at, and they have stolen the results. Our logic, our mind and conscience tell us that ‘No’ won in arithmetic terms, too. 
Yet, there are other results. First of all, we see all they could muster despite all their repression, exploitation of public resources, and fraud; the picture speaks for itself. We saw that in reality their followers do not add up to more than 40 percent of the population in Turkey.

And still more importantly, the resistance in big cities increased rather than decreased. Istanbul and Ankara have been added to Izmir. We should also count Adana, Mersin, Diyarbakır, Antalya, Denizli, Aydın, and Eskişehir. With this picture you cannot change the constitution whatsoever. You only think you can. 

soL: Before coming to that matter, let’s talk about fraud. Did they really have a big impact on the election?
KO: If we take into account all violations as a whole, yes of course they did. Why don’t we call utilization of all public resources in favor of ‘Yes’ a fraud? The media lies, are not those fraud? The threats, the terrorization, aren’t those fraud? They limited the number of parties eligible to participate in the elections, decreasing the number of ballot observers, isn’t this a fraud? To all that, add what they did on the day of referendum. Missing ballot papers, unsealed ballot papers, images of people casting ‘Yes’ outside the voting cabins, even on the streets, thousands of people shamelessly showing off photos of their votes for ‘Yes’, photos of group of people standing all at once in the same cabin, unlawful interventions by the police and the gendarmerie, repeated voting, and finally the decision of the Supreme Committee of Election to accept unsealed ballot papers. When you take into account all this as a whole, the referendum is wallowed in mud. 
soL: Can anything be done about it?
KO: The people should respond. Yet, there is the Republican People’s Party (CHP), which stands as a barrier in front of the people’s reactions, a party which people still have faith in. Erdoğan should once again thank Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of CHP.
soL: What can CHP really do?
KO: CHP cannot do anything. They cannot; but we are the ones who know that. The mass base of CHP constantly get their hopes up, “maybe this time…”, and choose to wait. Each time, CHP very successfully fulfills the task of soothing the anger and the energy of the masses. Before the referendum, we were saying that there were CHP cadre who wished for a ‘Yes’ result with a slight margin. Those cadre also include Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of CHP.
soL: How can you be so sure?
KO: First of all, Kılıçdaroğlu was not ready for a ‘No’ result. What was he going to do if ‘No’ succeeded? The government would not accept the result and there would be a lot of tension… All along the referendum process, Kılıçdaroğlu did nothing but preached for ‘consensus’. There is nothing about ‘power’ here. Secondly, and most importantly, we should not forget that ‘Yes’ was the result aspired by a large section of the big capital and international monopolies. It is the bosses who have been advocating for the presidential system for years. We know that the imperialist centers also pushed for a system with strengthened executive powers. The only problem is the extremism and rash manners of Erdoğan. A ‘Yes’ with a narrow margin would have restrained Erdoğan on the one hand, and keep in force a ‘program’ with a wide space for maneuver for the capital on the other hand. They achieved what they desired. This is the personal mission of Kılıçdaroğlu for years.
soL: Then, will this lead to some relief? I mean, if this was what they wanted… 
KO: No. This is because the contradictions within the imperialist system have reached serious levels and Turkey is standing on a crucial juncture of those contradictions. On the one hand, Erdoğan is extending his political life exploiting these contradictions, and on the other hand, this continuously means new mines on Erdoğan’s path. There is no room for stability in this picture. Nor the internal dynamics of Turkey can produce stability. Erdoğan is an unbearable burder for Turkey. Culturally, ideologically, politically, and economically… And there is another fact that is slowly surfacing: the working classes of Turkey cannot withstand Erdoğan and his mentality. No matter what Kılıçdaroğlu does…
soL: What will happen then?
KO: The status quo in the Turkish political order has been shaken as of yesterday. There are serious problems in AKP. Let’s say they knew they had already lost Izmir; but a government party that has also lost Ankara and Istanbul… If the results had been a little bit worse, Erdoğan would not have had any choice but to rush to take up the presidency of AKP. 
CHP never ceases to have problems anyway. In all these years I have never met a CHP member who is happy with CHP.  There, the discussion never ends. 
And now there is a new reality in the Turkish bourgeois politics: Akşener. Her team will eat into AKP as Erdoğan and AKP face difficulties. This team has already become the representative of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). They will also attract the attention of the discontented in CHP. We know that there are preparations and dialogue for the construction of a new ‘center’. 
The other party in the parliament, People’s Democratic Party (HDP), showed that it has been able to successfully consolidate its grassroots despite all the repression. 
soL: So, what should we expect in politics: recovery or disintegration?
KO: For recovery, disintegration is needed first. However, at this moment Turkey seems far from such episodic classifications; ambiguities increase each day in the country. Especially in this world! This is why we argued that the referendum alone would not be able to determine everything at once. 
soL: That is where I was trying to get to. TKP said, “Continue the struggle whethre the result is ‘Yes’ or ‘No’”. After the referendum, can we attach new meanings to this perspective?
KO: TKP said so because if ‘No’ had succeeded, this would have been a big achievement, a step forward that would lead to positive results but it would never have been a solution in itself. There was not even a level of organization to protect the ‘No’ votes. And actually this was confirmed. Mathematically we know that more than half of the voters in Turkey voted for ‘No’. Yet, the party in power stole them and the response was no more than a few very valuable but weak actions. We also said, ‘Yes’ would not be the end of the world. Now is it the end of the world? Do we now have to pack and leave? No way! TKP was and still is calling for immediate escalation of organized struggle. Yet, on a different basis…
soL: What is that basis? 
KO: TKP is a party that defends enlightenment, secularism and the Republic against religious fundamentalism. Without any hesitation and from the beginning… And today in Turkey, the majority of the ‘No’ votes are centered on secularism, although not all of them. However, there is a clear fact in Turkey: the deadlock in Turkey cannot be solved through the polarization between secularism and religious fundamentalism. Secularism alone cannot push back religious fundamentalism, and vice versa. What they want is to reconcile these two poles and strengthen the transitive area in between. This would actually mean the triumph of religious fundamentalism. Just as ‘moderate Islam’ is an imperialist fabrication, there is nothing such as moderate Enlightenment or moderate secularism. Yet, the gang of bosses still wants that. This would be the defeat of the society in Turkey. The deadlock can only be resolved by a class-based polarization. Secularism also needs that. 
TKP is primarily a class party; we fight for the emancipation of the working class and we affirm that emancipation of the working class is the emancipation of the whole society. Here we do not pit secularism against working class struggle, the struggle for socialism. We just say: in this bourgeois world, in this capitalist order, forget about secularism; what you will find is its caricature.
soL: So, you mean without class-based politics, secularism cannot get the upper hand against religious fundamentalism. Then, Turkey will not be able to overcome this deadlock in the short term. Is that true?
KO: No, it won’t. However, in countries like Turkey, it is difficult to say what is the short term and what is the long term. Imperialism is in crisis. And the capitalist order in Turkey is on the brink of a very serious economic crisis. Lack of organization in such a period is fatal. We insist in our call. The people in Turkey should be organized. And secular sectors should leave behind the heedlessness, “We don’t mind the exploitation and injustices continuing as long as they don’t mess with our raki (an alcoholic beverage) or the length of our skirt”; there is no other choice.
soL: Can the pro-‘No’ sector go through such a transformation?
KO: Look, in a sense, the referendum is behind us. The result is illegitimate; this is an indisputable fact. But from now on, people should raise their heads from the ballot box and focus on the realities of life. This society is unorganized. We are unorganized in factories, in offices, in schools, in neighborhoods. Then, you cannot protect your votes either. It is not enough to sing the Anthem of Izmir. Those who are satisfied with this capitalist order but do not want to lose secularism will have to take care of themselves on their own if they remain satisfied with the system; they do not have the right to complain. However, the majority of the voters of ‘No’ are workers. We should start understanding that it was the bourgeois class who placed dynamites in the foundations of secularism in Turkey, and that what we call imperialism is an order of monopolies. And there is no way to deal with it unless you are organized.
soL: Do we need to address the pro-‘No’ sector only?
KO: Primarily yes. This is the only way to be able to extend hand to the working people in the social basis of AKP. If ‘No’ loses energy, if its self-confidence gets weaker, if the atmosphere of defeat becomes prevalent, nothing can be changed in this country. No one can be convinced. And there is only one single way to infuse energy and identity to ‘No’: giving it the color of the working class. This is not a mathematical operation but a political one. The day one tenth of the voters of ‘No’ take such an organized stance, everything will change. And nobody will be able to steal it! Neither the governing party, nor the official ‘AA’ new agency, nor the Supreme Committee of Election!
soL: Do you believe that such organization will be possible in the near future?
KO: This country does not have any other choice. TKP will make the utmost effort. We need socialism as we need air and water. We are in favorable conditions to explain this, we are in favorable conditions to get people to understand it, we are in favorable conditions to organize it. The idea of Republic also needs socialism. Turkey cannot bear Erdoğan and capitalism cannot bear the Republic. Then what? 
soL: Finally, what would you like to say?
KO: Before and on the day of the referendum many people worked for a ‘No’ outcome with great sincerity and self-sacrifice. These people are the honor of this country. Nobody should regret that all those efforts went for nothing. Nothing is in vain. Yesterday a very important lesson was learnt. If you are unorganized, you are nothing. If we fulfill the requirements of that lesson, there is nothing to be pessimistic about.

* * * 


Türkiye şaibelerle dolu bir oylama sürecini daha geride bıraktı… Gelinen tabloyu Türkiye Komünist Partisi (TKP) Merkez Komite Üyesi Kemal Okuyan’a sorduk.
 
soL’un sorularını yanıtlayan Kemal Okuyan, “Bu tabloyla anayasa filan değiştiremezsiniz. Değiştirdiğinizi sanırsınız. Türkiye Erdoğan’ı taşımıyor. Kültürel açıdan, ideolojik açıdan, siyasi açıdan, ekonomik açıdan… Yavaş yavaş ortaya çıkan bir gerçek daha var, Türkiye’nin emekçi sınıfları da Erdoğan’ı ve onun zihniyetini taşıyamaz” dedi. 
 
TKP’nin “Evet de çıksa hayır da çıksa mücadeleye devam” kararlılığını da vurgulayan Okuyan, “Başka çaresi yok bu ülkenin. TKP elinden geleni yapacak. Sosyalizm hava kadar, su kadar açık bir gereksinim. Bunu anlatmak için koşullar uygun, bunun anlaşılması için koşullar uygun, bunun örgütlenmesi için koşullar uygun. Cumhuriyet düşüncesinin de sosyalizme ihtiyacı var. Türkiye Erdoğan’ı, kapitalizm de cumhuriyeti taşıyamıyor” diye konuştu.
 
Referandum sonuçlarına ilişkin ilk başta, hemen ne söylenebilir?
 
Ortada matematiksel bir sonuç yok. İyi bildikleri bir şeyi yaparak, o sonucu çaldılar. Elimizde bir sonuç bulunmuyor. Mantık, akıl ve vicdanımız ise “hayır”ın matematiksel olarak da kazandığını söylüyor. Ancak başka sonuçlar da var. Bir kere, bu kadar baskıya, devlet olanağına, hileye rağmen çıkartabildikleri tablo ortada. Gerçekte Türkiye’nin yüzde 40’ı diyebiliriz, bu iktidarın peşinden gidenlerin oranı için. Bundan daha önemlisi, büyük kentlerdeki direncin azalmayıp artmasıdır. İzmir’e, İstanbul ve Ankara da eklendi. Adana, Mersin, Diyarbakır, Antalya’yı da hesaba katın. Denizli, Aydın, Eskişehir’i… Bu tabloyla anayasa filan değiştiremezsiniz. Değiştirdiğinizi sanırsınız.
 
Oraya geçmeden, seçim hilelerinden söz edelim. Gerçekten büyük bir etkisi var mı seçim hilesinin?
 
Bir bütün olarak tüm ihlalleri alırsak elbette var. Devletin bütün olanaklarının “evet” için kullanılmasına neden hile demiyoruz? Medya yalanları hile değil mi? Tehditler, estirilen terör hile değil mi? Seçimlere katılmaya hak kazanan partilerin sayısını düşürüp sandık gözlemcilerini azaltmak hile değil mi? Bunların üstüne referandum günü yapılanları ekleyin. Eksik pusulalar, mühürsüz pusulalar, dışarıda eğlene eğlene “evet”e mühür basma görüntüleri, “evet” tercihini arsızca teşhir eden binlerce kişi, oy kabinine iki-üç kişi girmeler, polis ve jandarmanın hukuksuz müdahaleleri, mükerrer oy kullanımı ve en sonunda mühürsüz oy pusulasının kabul edileceğine dair YSK açıklaması… Bunu bir bütün olarak aldığınızda her tarafı çamur bu referandumun!
 
Peki buna karşı bir şey yapılamaz mı?
 
Halkın tepki vermesi gerek. Ancak halkın o tepkisinin önünde duran, hâlâ insanların ümit beslediği bir CHP var. Erdoğan bir kez daha Kılıçdaroğlu’na teşekkür etsin. 
 
CHP ne yapabilir ki?
 
CHP bir şey yapamaz. Yapamaz ama bunu biz biliyoruz. CHP tabanı sürekli “bu kez acaba…” diye umutlanıyor ve bekliyor. Her defasında biriken öfke ve enerjiyi yatıştırma görevini büyük bir başarıyla yerine getiriyor CHP… Seçim öncesinde CHP yönetiminde az farkla “evet” çıkmasını isteyenler olduğunu konuşuyorduk. Bunlar arasında Kılıçdaroğlu da var.
 
Nasıl bu kadar kesin konuşabiliyorsunuz?
 
“Hayır”a hazır değildi Kılıçdaroğlu, bu bir… Ne yapacak “hayır” çıkınca. Hükümet kabul etmeyecek, bir sürü gerginlik… Bütün referandum kampanyası boyunca Kılıçdaroğlu “uzlaşma” demekten başka bir şey yapmadı. Burada “iktidar” yok. İkincisi ve asıl önemlisi, bu sonucun hem büyük sermaye, hem uluslararası tekellerin ağırlıklı kesiminin istediği bir sonuç olduğunu unutmayalım. Başkanlık sistemini yıllardır pişiren önde gelen patronlarımızdır. Emperyalist merkezlerin de, yürütmenin güçlendirilmesine yarayacak bir sistem için çaba harcadıklarını biliyoruz. Dertleri Erdoğan’ın aşırılıkları, başına buyrukluklarıdır. Az farkla çıkan “evet” bir yandan Erdoğan’ın elini kolunu bağlayacak, diğer yandan da sermayenin hareket alanının alabildiğine geniş olduğu bir “programı” yürülükte tutacaktı. İstenen oldu. Kılıçdaroğlu’nun kişisel misyonu yıllardır budur.
 
Peki bu bir rahatlama getirir mi? Yani eğer istedikleri olduysa…
 
Getirmez. Çünkü emperyalist sistem içi çelişkiler, çok ciddi boyutlarda ve Türkiye bu çelişkilerin düğüm noktalarından birinde. Erdoğan bir yandan bu çelişkileri kullanarak siyasi ömrünü uzatıyor ama öte yandan bu çelişkiler Erdoğan için sürekli yeni mayınlar döşenmesi demek. Buradan istikrar çıkmaz. Türkiye’nin iç dinamiklerinden de istikrar çıkmaz. Türkiye Erdoğan’ı taşımıyor. Kültürel açıdan, ideolojik açıdan, siyasi açıdan, ekonomik açıdan… Yavaş yavaş ortaya çıkan bir gerçek daha var, Türkiye’nin emekçi sınıfları da Erdoğan’ı ve onun zihniyetini taşıyamaz. Kılıçdaroğlu ağzıyla kuş tutsa taşıyamaz.
 
Peki ne olacak?
 
Bir kere düzen siyasetinde taşlar dün itibariyle yerinden oynadı. AKP’de büyük sorun var. Hadi İzmir zaten malum, üstüne Ankara ve İstanbul’u kaybeden bir iktidar partisi. Sonuçlar biraz daha gerileseydi, Erdoğan’ın hemen ertesi gün apar topar AKP’nin başına geçmek dışında seçeneği kalmayacaktı. CHP’de zaten her daim sorun var. Ben yıllardır CHP’den memnun olan tek bir CHP’liye rastlamadım. Orada tartışma devam eder. Sonra düzen siyasetinde artık bir Akşener gerçeği var. Erdoğan ve AKP zorlandıkça, AKP’yi kemirirler. MHP’yi temsil yetkisini de eline aldı bu ekip. Üstüne CHP tabanındaki hoşnutsuzların da ilgisini çekecektir. Zaten yeni bir “merkez” inşası doğrultusunda hazırlıklar ve temaslar olduğunu biliyoruz. Parlamentodaki bir diğer parti HDP ise onca baskıya rağmen kendi tabanını önemli ölçüde konsolide edebildiğini gösterdi.
 
Bir toparlanma mı, dağılma mı beklenmeli siyasette?
 
Toparlanma için önce dağılma gerekir. Ancak şu anda Türkiye bu tür dönemsel tasniflerden çok, belirsizliğin her geçen gün daha da artttığı bir ülkedir. Hele bu dünyada! Referandumun hiçbir şeyi tek başına belirlemeyeceğini söylememiz biraz da bu yüzdendi.
 
Oraya gelecektim. TKP “Evet de çıksa hayır da çıksa mücadeleye devam” diyordu. 
Referandum sonrasında bu değerlendirmeye yeni bir anlam yüklenebilir mi?
 
TKP böyle diyordu çünkü “hayır” çıksa, bu büyük bir başarı, olumlu sonuçlar yaratacak bir gelişme olurdu ama kendi başına asla bir çözüm olmazdı. “Hayır”lara sahip çıkacak bir örgütlülük bile yoktu ortada. Ve aslında bu doğrulandı. Matematiksel olarak Türkiye’de seçmenin yarıdan fazlasının “hayır” dediğini biliyoruz. Ama iktidar çalıyor o sonucu ve toplama bakıldığında son derece değerli ama cılız Boyun Eğme’yen tepkilerden ibaret hırsızlığa verilen yanıt. “Evet çıkarsa da dünyanın sonu değil” diyorduk. Şimdi dünyanın sonu mu geldi? Tası tarağı toplamamız mı gerekiyor? Hadi canım! TKP, örgütlü mücadelenin hızla yükselmesi için bir çağrı yapıyordu, yapıyor… Ama farklı bir zeminde.
 
Nedir o zemin? 
 
TKP gericiliğe karşı aydınlanmacılığı, laikliği, cumhuriyeti savunan bir parti. Hiç tereddütsüz ve başından beri. Türkiye’de de şu anda “hayır”ların tamamında değil ama merkezinde de laiklik duruyor. Ancak ortada çok açık bir gerçek var. Türkiye’deki kilitlenmeyi laiklik-gericilik kutuplaşması çözemez. Laiklik gericiliği, gericilik laikliği kendi başlarına geriletemezler. Bu kutupları uzlaştırmak, onların arasındaki geçişken alanı güçlendirmek istiyorlar. Bu aslında gericiliğin kazanması demek. “Ilımlı İslam” nasıl bir emperyalist uydurmasıysa, “ılımlı aydınlanma”, “ılımlı laiklik” de artık olmaz. Ama yine de bunu istiyor patron tayfası. Bu, Türkiye toplumunun yenilgisi olur. Kilitlenmeyi sınıf ekseninde bir taraflaşma çözer ancak. Laikliğin de buna gereksinimi var. TKP her şeyden önce bir sınıf partisi, işçi sınıfının kurtuluşu için mücadele ediyor ve işçi sınıfının kurtuluşu bütün toplumun kurtuluşudur diyor. Burada laiklikle işçi sınıfının mücadelesini, sosyalizm mücadelesini karşı karşıya koymuyoruz, sadece şunu diyoruz: Burjuva dünyasında, bu düzende laikliği unutun. Onun karikatürüne talim edersiniz. 
 
Laiklikle gericiliğin birbirine bu şekilde üstünlük sağlayamayacağını söylüyorsunuz. O halde kısa erimde Türkiye bu kilitlenmeyi aşamaz mı?
 
Aşamaz. Ancak Türkiye gibi ülkelerde kısa zaman dilimi nedir, uzun zaman dilimi nedir bu biraz karışık. Emperyalizm krizde. Türkiye’de de düzen çok ciddi bir ekonomik krizin eşiğinde. Bu tabloda emekçi halkın eli kolu bağlı durmayacağı açık. Lakin örgütsüzlük böyle bir dönemde ölümdür. Çağrımızda ısrarlıyız. Türkiye’de halk örgütlenmelidir. Laik duyarlılığı olan kesimler ise “sömürü olsun, adaletsizlikler sürsün ama rakımıza, eteğimize kimse karışmasın” aymazlığından çıkacak, başka çaresi yok.
 
“Hayır”cı kesim böyle bir dönüşüm yaşayabilir mi?
 
Bakın referandum bir açıdan geride kaldı. Sonuç meşru değil, bu tartışılamayacak gerçek. Ancak şimdi insanlar kafalarını sandıktan kaldırıp hayatın gerçeklerine odaklanmalı. Bu toplum örgütsüz. Fabrikada örgütsüz, ofiste örgütsüz, okulda örgütsüz, mahallede örgütsüz. E o zaman oylarını da koruyamazsın. İzmir Marşı yetmiyor. Bu düzenden memnun olan ama “laiklik elden gitmesin” diyenler eğer bunda inat edeceklerse kendi başlarının çaresine bakacaklar ve şikayet etmeyecekler. Ancak Hayır diyenlerin önemli bir oranı emekçidir. Türkiye’de laikliğin temellerine dinamiti sermaye sınıfının yerleştirdiğini, emperyalizm emperyalizm denen şeyin de tekellerin düzeni olduğunu anlayarak işe başlanabilir. Bununla örgütsüz baş edilemez. 
 
Sadece “hayır”cı kesime mi hitap edilmeli?
 
Öncelikli olarak evet. AKP tabanındaki emekçi insanlara el uzatmanın yolu da bu. “Hayır”daki enerji yok olursa, orada özgüven azalırsa, yenilgi havası yaygınlaşırsa bu ülkede hiçbir şey olmaz. İkna edemezsiniz. “Hayır”lara enerji ve kişilik aşılamanın da tek yolu var: Ona işçi sınıfının rengini vermek. Bu matematiksel bir işlem değil, siyasal bir işlem. Türkiye’de “hayır”ların onda biri böyle bir örgütlülüğe yerleşsin, her şey değişir. Üstelik bunu ne iktidar, ne Anadolu Ajansı, ne YSK çalabilir!
 
Böyle bir örgütlülüğü yakın gelecekte olası görüyor musunuz?
 
Başka çaresi yok bu ülkenin. TKP elinden geleni yapacak. Sosyalizm hava kadar, su kadar açık bir gereksinim. Bunu anlatmak için koşullar uygun, bunun anlaşılması için koşullar uygun, bunun örgütlenmesi için koşullar uygun. Cumhuriyet düşüncesinin de sosyalizme ihtiyacı var. Türkiye Erdoğan’ı, kapitalizm de cumhuriyeti taşıyamıyor. O halde? 
 
Son olarak ne söylemek istersiniz?
 
Referandum günü ve öncesinde birçok kişi büyük bir samimiyetle, fedakarlıkla “hayır”lar için çalıştı. Ülkenin onurudur bu insanlar. Bu emeğin boşa gittiğini düşünerek kimse hayıflanmasın. Hiçbir şey boşa değildir. Çok önemli bir ders çıkarıldı dün: Örgütsüzsen hiçbir şeysin. Bu dersin gerekleri yerine getirilirse, enseyi karartmak için bir neden bulunmamaktadır. 
Turkey referendum: The aspiring Sultan Erdogan and the militant activity of Turkish communists

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Turkey referendum: The aspiring Sultan Erdogan and the militant activity of Turkish communists

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/04/turkey-referendum-aspiring-sultan-and.html
EDITORIAL


The referendum which will take place in Turkey on Sunday is certainly a historic and important one. Voters will decide whether to approve constitutional changes that would replace the current parliamentary system with a presidential one. 

When we talk about constitutional changes we actually refer to 18 constitutional reforms which will strengthen the powers of the President thus giving Rejep Tayyip Erdogan a much more advanced status of authority (e.g. declare state of emergency, issue decrees, appoint government ministers, appoint half of the highest judicial body etc). 

Through this referendum Erdogan tries to upgrade his authority by accumulating more and more powers in his hands. A “Yes” vote will transform President Erdogan into a modern Sultan within Turkey’s political system. However, behind Tayyip Erdogan’s own aspirations, the proposed reforms reflect certain intentions of the country’s bourgeoisie to claim a better position for the Turkish capital in the inter-imperialist competitions and plans which are taking place in eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East.

Erdogan and his AKP government are the current political representatives of the most powerful part of Turkey’s bourgeois class. Through the consolidation and invigoration of Erdogan’s internal power, Turkey’s plutocracy aims in strengthening its own strategic presense in the broader region, claiming large shares from the huge energy “pie” in the Middle East and eastern Mediterranean, as well as significant gains in multiple fronts (e.g. in Cyprus, the Kurdish Issue, Syria, the  “war against terrorism”, etc).

Taking into account the above, it becomes clear that the proposed constitutional reforms consist part of Turkey’s intra-bourgeois processes which are taking place within the framework of the general inter-imperialist competitions in the region. No matter the result of the referendum, it is sure that the attack on people’s rights and against the working class, will escalate in the coming future. This is why the popular strata of Turkey, the country’s working class, must not be entrapped in fighting under the false flags of bourgeois political powers. 

All these days, the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) unfolded a militant activity, highlighting  the need to reject the reforms from the perspective of people’s interests. Despite the numerous obstacles by the authorities (such as the ban of the TKP rally by the Governorship of Istanbul), the communists of the TKP defied the difficulties, headed into the streets and raised the voice of “Hayir” (No!). 

Nonetheless, the “No” vote supported by the TKP is not the same as the “No” promoted by the bourgeois opposition: for the communists a “No” to the referendum must be accompanied by the fight against the capitalist system itself in order to open new channels of struggle for the revolutionary, working-class movement. 

On Monday, regardless of the referendum’s result, the class-struggle will continue. The working people of Turkey, under the continuous, militant guidance of the communists, must raise their own flag of struggle against the major enemy: the exploitative capitalist system which gives birth to poverty, inequality, authoritarianism and wars. 

Boyun Eğme!

Tears of a Clown Over Syrian Deaths
(Front row L-R) Denmark's Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen, Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, Switzerland's Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Qatar's Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Than and Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sabah Al Khalid Al Sabah pose along with other delegates for a group photo during a conference on Syria and the region at the Europa Building in Brussels on April 5, 2016

Tears of a Clown Over Syrian Deaths

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Boris Johnson, Britain’s foreign secretary, likes to clown around, even by his own admission. So much so, it seems, that when news emerged last week of an alleged massacre of children choking from chemical weapons in Syria, Johnson was still up for jolly-good fun.

Take a look at the above picture again. This was taken at a summit in Brussels last week when some 70 nations assembled in the Belgian capital pledging financial aid for war-torn Syria. Britain’s top diplomat Boris Johnson was central to the proceedings.

On the very same day, it emerged from Syria that more than 80 people, including dozens of children, were killed in an alleged chemical weapons incident in the town of Khan Shaykhun, Idlib Province. The politicians in Brussels immediately made political capital on the deaths.Johnson and other Western leaders, including US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, have cited those deaths as “evidence” of Russian “complicity.” Western media have been non-stop peddling the claims that Syria and Russia are to blame – without a shred of evidence.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is in Moscow this week to lay down an “ultimatum” to Russia to withdraw its military support for Syria.

Within two days of the chemical weapons incident, US President Donald Trump ordered his warships to strike Syria with 59 cruise missiles, which resulted in several civilian deaths, including children. Where are the Western tears for those children? Or supposed Western principles for international law?The emotional denunciations that have emanated from Boris Johnson and others over the chemical weapons incident, accusing Syria of barbarity, were instrumental in creating a political cover for Trump’s subsequent military strikes.

What actually happened in Khan Shaykhun is not yet known. Russia and Iran have condemned the US missile strikes as unlawful aggression against a sovereign state, and they have called for an impartial investigation into the previous chemical incident.

But immediately, last Tuesday, Western governments and media began blaming the deaths on Syrian government forces dropping toxic munitions. Britain has absurdly accused Russia of being responsible for “all the civilian deaths” last week in Syria owing to its support for Syria.

The only initial “evidence” on the Khan Shaykhun incident were videos and claims made by “activists” belonging to the so-called rescue group known as the White Helmets.That Western-funded group has been shown to be integrated as a “media outlet” for the Nusra terrorist network and have been implicated in fabricating propaganda videos, such as during the liberation of Aleppo at the end of last year, in order to smear the Syrian government and its Russian ally.

The Damascus government denies categorically that its air force used chemical weapons in Khan Shaykhun last week, or at any previous time. It says, besides, that its chemical weapons arsenal was destroyed in a United Nations-monitored process under a 2013 decommissioning deal brokered by Russia.

Russian military has said that the incident at Khan Shaykhun may have been caused by the Syrian air force bombing the militant base using conventional weapons, which could have resulted in an accidental release of toxic materials stored in an arms depot used by the insurgents. Alternatively, the militants could have deliberately deployed toxic chemicals on unwitting civilians for the despicable purpose of a false-flag propaganda stunt.The prompt video recording of dying children gasping for breath and the rapid dissemination of the images by Western media outlets raise suspicions. The same nefarious stunt involving mass murder by militants with lethal Sarin nerve agent was carried out in August 2013 near Damascus. To this day, Western governments and media continue to blame the Syrian government forces for that atrocity, when it has been convincingly demonstrated that it was actually perpetrated by the foreign-backed militants precisely for propaganda purpose.

In any case, what actually occurred at Khan Shaykhun last week remains to be seen.

Nevertheless, based on dubious information, Western governments and media have since last week asserted, apparently without the slightest doubt, that the incident was a horrific “war crime” carried out by the Syrian government. The West has also accused Russia and its President, Vladimir Putin of “complicity” since Moscow is the principal ally of Syria.Britain’s Boris Johnson said this week while attending the G7 summit in Italy: “If you think about the position of Vladimir Putin now, he’s toxifying the reputation of Russia by his continuing association with a government which has flagrantly poisoned its own people.”

Johnson is the lead voice lobbying the West to slap more economic sanctions on Russia as “punishment” for the alleged atrocity at Khan Shaykhun.

Tellingly, he says there is a “window of opportunity” for Russia to withdraw its support for Syria and to assist Western powers to negotiate a “peaceful” settlement in Syria’s six-year war by removing President Bashar al-Assad. In other words, this “window of opportunity” is not for Russia, but rather it is for the Western powers to achieve their objective of “regime change” in Damascus.

Washington and London are shamelessly using the deaths of Syrians to push their criminal agenda of regime change. First in the form of unleashing American military force directly in the Syrian conflict – a conflict that the Western powers instigated in the first place by using proxy terror groups. And secondly, by pressuring Russia into abandoning its Syrian ally with claims that Moscow is complicit in war crimes.The whole US-British double-act is nothing but a sordid charade to cover up for their own complicity in waging a covert war on Syria. The trumping up of war crimes charges against Syria and Russia over the alleged gas attack in Idlib last week is a sordid pretext to further the West’s aggression towards Syria.

Russia has rightly dismissed the British foreign minister as a clown whose antics are a flagrant bid to play politics over Syrian deaths.

As the saying goes, a picture is worth of thousand words. The image of Boris Johnson joking around with other world leaders in Brussels last week – as with his fooling around with other members of the G7 this week – shows a person who obviously does not believe in the gravity of what he is publicly claiming about “war crimes” in Syria.

As children were choking from exposure to lethal chemicals, Johnson was all-too-evidently more concerned with joking. And playing politics for his master in Washington.Concerns about war crimes in Syria are real enough. But, primarily, those concerns should be directed at Washington, London and other Western governments, along with their regional allies in Turkey and Saudi Arabia, who have sponsored and armed terrorist proxies to ravage that country. The continued bombing of Syria by US, British and French warplanes, as well as now cruise missiles, resulting in thousands of civilians being killed is another category of monumental war crime.

Western ultimatums to Russia over alleged war crimes are a base distortion of the truth about what is happening in Syria. One day, Western leaders should face prosecution for their crimes. Maybe then, just maybe, the stupid grin will be wiped off Boris Johnson’s face.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

Communist Youths in Thessaloniki: “Solidarity with the refugees. Our enemy is capitalism”

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Communist Youths in Thessaloniki: “Solidarity with the refugees. Our enemy is capitalism”

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/04/communist-youths-in-thessaloniki.html
Singing the ‘Internationale’ with the fists raised.
In a political event held in Thessaloniki, Greece on Saturday afternoon, communist youth organisations from six countries (Greece, Turkey, Spain, Italy, Serbia and Germany) declared their internationalist solidarity to the refugees. The event was organised by the Communist Youth of Greece (KNE) and was attended by representatives of five communist youths:
The Socialist German Workers Youth; The Collective of Communist Youths – Spain ; The Young Communists Front – Italy; The League of Yugoslav Communist Youth- Serbia and the Communist Youth of Turkey.
The event was addressed by the representatives of the communist youths who delivered greeting messages, as well as by KNE’s Secretary of the Central Council Nikos Abatielos. Among other things, Abatielos expressed the solidarity of the young communists of Greece towards the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) which faces the authoritarian and repressive policy by the Turkish government.
In a joint declaration, the six communist youth organisations call for solidarity towards the refugees and for the strengthening of the struggle against the imperialist wars and capitalism which produces crises, wars and refugees. In their declaration, the young communists strongly comdemn “the murderers of the people, NATO and the European Union” and, on the occasion of the centennial of the 1917 Great October Socialist Revolution they reaffirm the need to “invigorate the struggle for the only actual alternative to capitalist barbarity, socialism”.
The event also included a cultural part with songs and music dedicated to the refugees and immigrants.
Info: 902.gr / Translation: In Defense of Communism ©.
Daesh, Creature of the West
| March 24, 2017 | 9:28 pm | Analysis, Iran, political struggle, Russia, Syria, Turkey | No comments
This image posted online on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016, by supporters of the Islamic State militant group on an anonymous photo sharing website, purports to show a gunman firing at an unseen target, east of of Palmyra, east of Palmyra city, in Homs provence, Syria

Daesh, Creature of the West

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James Shea, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Emerging Threats at NATO – now that’s a lovely title – recently gave a talk at a private club in London on the Islamic State/Daesh. Shea, as many will remember, made his name as NATO’s spokesman during the NATO war on Yugoslavia in 1999.

After his talk Shea engaged in a debate with a source I very much treasure. The source later gave me the lowdown.

According to Saudi intelligence, Daesh was invented by the US government – in Camp Bacca, near the Kuwait border, as many will remember — to essentially finish off the Shiite-majority Nouri al-Maliki government in Baghdad.

It didn’t happen this way, of course. Then, years later, in the summer of 2014, Daesh routed the Iraqi Army on its way to conquer Mosul. The Iraqi Army fled. Daesh operatives then annexed ultra-modern weapons that took US instructors from six to twelve months to train the Iraqis in and…surprise! Daesh incorporated the weapons in their arsenals in 24 hours.In the end, Shea frankly admitted to the source that Gen David Petraeus, conductor of the much-lauded 2007 surge, had trained these Sunnis now part of Daesh in Anbar province in Iraq.

Saudi intelligence still maintains that these Iraqi Sunnis were not US-trained – as Shea confirmed – because the Shiites in power in Baghdad didn’t allow it. Not true. The fact is the Daesh core – most of them former commanders and soldiers in Saddam Hussein’s army — is indeed a US-trained militia.

True to form, at the end of the debate, Shea went on to blame Russia for absolutely everything that’s happening today – including Daesh terror.

Mr. Sykes and Monsieur Picot, you’re dead

Now let’s go back to the proclamation of the Daesh Caliphate in June 29, 2014. That was choreographed as a symbolic abolition of the Sykes-Picot border that split the Middle East a century ago. At the same time, abandoning the option of a military push to take Baghdad, Daesh chose to regionalize and internationalize the fight, creating their own transnational state and denouncing regional states as “impostors”. All that coupled with the amp up of any chaos strategy capable of horrifying Western public opinion.For large swathes of a Sunni Arab audience, this was powerful stuff. Daesh was proclaiming themselves, in a warped manner, as the sole real heir of the different Arab Springs; the only totally autonomous regional movement, depending exclusively on its own local base, made up of numerous Bedouin tribes.

But how did we get here?

Let’s go back once again – now to Iraq in the 1990s, during the Clinton era. The strategic logic at the time spelled out an instrumentalization of UN resolutions — with Washington de facto controlling Iraq’s oil, manipulating the price as a means of pressure over trade competitors much more dependent on Iraqi oil such as China, Japan and selected European nations.9/11 turned this state of affairs upside down – leading to the 2003 neocon ideological stupidity and subsequent amateurism managing an occupation in total ignorance of history and the ultra-complex dynamics between the Iraqi state and society. Saddam Hussein was the de facto last avatar of a political arrangement invented by imperial Britain in 1920. With the invasion and occupation, the Iraq state collapsed. And the Cheney regime had no clue what to do with it.

There was no Sunni alternative. So Plan B, under major pressure by Shiites and Kurds, was to give voice to the majority. The problem is political parties ended up being religious and ethnic parties. The partition of power, Lebanese-style — Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds – turned out to be a dysfunctional nightmare.

Between 2005 and 2008, this American attempt to rebuild the Iraqi state yielded a horrendous confessional civil war between Sunnis and Shiites. The Sunnis lost. And that largely explains the subsequent success of Daesh in creating a “Sunniland”.

The US occupation-Arab Spring love affair

Now let’s turn to the Syrian version of the Arab Spring in February/March 2011. Initial protests against Assad’s iron rule were peaceful – multi-communitarian and multi-confessional. But soon anti-Alawite rancor started to radicalize a significant part of the Sunni majority.

As historian Pierre-Jean Luizard, a specialist in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon at the French CNRS reminds us, Syria was the favorite land of Hanbalism – a most conservative branch of Sunni Islam that highly influenced the emergence of Wahhabism in the Arabian Peninsula. That implies a virulent anti-Shiism. Thus the emergence among the Syrian armed opposition of multiple Salafi-jihadi groups, most of all Jabhat al-Nusra – a.k.a. al-Qaeda in Syria.

Meanwhile, Assad fine-tuned a message to the West and his own Sunni bourgeoisie oscilating between allegiance and dissidence; it’s me, or chaos. Chaos ensued, anyway; horrendous structural violence, all-around institutional decrepitude, total territorial fragmentation.

So it’s fair to argue that both US occupation and the Syrian Arab Spring ended up producing the same result. With some differences; in Iraq, Daesh enjoys the (silent) support of a majority of Sunni Arabs. In Syria, Sunnis are divided; Daesh may rule the desert — Bedouin culture, but it’s Jabhat al-Nusra that captured significant Sunni support in big urban centers such as Aleppo. In Iraq, the borders between the three large communities – Sunni, Shiite, Kurd – are more or less frozen. In Syria, it’s a never-ending jigsaw puzzle.

What happens next is a mystery. The de facto independence of Iraq Kurdistan may solidify. The Baghdad government may increasingly represent only Shiites. Yet it’s hard to see Daesh consolidating its control of Sunni Iraq – not with the ongoing Battle of Mosul.

Blowback rules the wilderness of mirrors

It’s easy to dismiss Daesh as the apex of barbarian cultural idiosyncrasies. Even wallowing in gruesomeness, Daesh has been able to project a universalist dimension beyond its Sunni Arab Middle Eastern base. It’s like the clash of civilizations playing in a wilderness of mirrors. Daesh amplifies the clash not between East and West, or the Arab world and the Atlanticist hegemon, but mostly between a certain (warped) conception of Islam and assorted infidels. Daesh “welcomes” everyone, even Catholic Europeans while persecuting Arab infidels and bad Muslims.

It’s no wonder the Caliphate — a concrete utopia on the ground – finds an echo among young lone wolves living in the West. Because Daesh insists on the colonial Franco-British – and then neocolonial American — history of Muslims being trampled upon by a dominating, infidel West, they manage to channel a diffuse sentiment of injustice among the young.

Everyone – US, France, Britain, Russia, Iran — is now at war with Daesh (Turkey only half-heartedly, as well as the House of Saud and the GCC petrodollar gang; for them this not a priority.)But this is a war without a serious political long-term perspective. No one is discussing the place for Sunni Arabs in an Iraq dominated by the Shiite majority; how to put the Syrian state back together; or whether private donors to Daesh from Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the Emirates will simply disappear.

The encirclement of Raqqa and the re-conquest of Mosul will mean absolutely nothing if the causes of Daesh’s initial success are not addressed. It starts with the West’s mission civilisatrice as the cover story for unbounded colonial domination, and it straddles the methodical, inexorable, slow motion American destruction of Iraq. Blowback will continue to reign over the wilderness of mirrors; an attack near the British Parliament by a knife-carrying lone wolf “soldier answering “its call” killing four people mirrored by US jets bombing a school near Raqqa killing thirty-three civilians.

Petraeus may have trained them in the deserts of Al-Anbar. But most of all that rough beast, slouching towards Camp Bacca to be born, bore the touch of a Western mind.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

The ‘Birth Pangs’ of a New Middle East, Remixed
Villages in north-eastern Syria liberated from ISIL

The ‘Birth Pangs’ of a New Middle East, Remixed

© Sputnik/ Valery Melnikov
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You all remember former US Secretary of State Condi Rice’s notorious 2006 prediction about “birth pangs of a New Middle East.” True to the George “Dubya” Bush/Cheney regime, Condi got it all spectacularly wrong, not only about Lebanon and Israel but also Iraq, Syria and the House of Saud.

The Obama administration duly maintained a tradition that we could, light-heartedly, call The Sex Pistols School of Foreign Policy (“no future for you”). That’s perfectly exemplified by unflappable Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova in just a few sentences.Zakharova points out how Team Obama “didn’t have a consistent Syrian strategy in entire eight years: one day we bomb it, the next day we don’t, one day we pull out of Syria, the next day we go in.” That’s because “one branch of government did not understand what the other branch was doing.” And in the end “they just went ahead and dropped all Syrian politics without seeing it to its logical end. Then they focused on Aleppo, but not on resolving this situation, but solely on building up hysteria and an information campaign geared exclusively to the elections.”

And that leads us to the adults in the room in the Trump era, the ones that are actually monitoring the birth pangs of the real new Middle East: Russia.

That Iranian base in Latakia

Let’s start with the recent visit by Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu to President Putin.Bibi hit Moscow infused with biblical wishful thinking, essentially trying to seduce Putin to ditch the strategic partnership with Iran – complete with joining the much advertised, US-led from behind “Arab NATO” anti-Iran, anti-Shiite coalition featuring Israel coupled with the GCC petrodollar racket plus minor associates (Jordan and Morocco).

Bibi is desperate because Iran, with facts on the ground (Iranian and Hezbollah fighters) in partnership with Russian facts in the air, is actually winning the Syria proxy war for Damascus. And whatever happens next, post-Astana negotiations, Tehran will keep a permanent foothold in Syria – much to the ballistic outrage of the NATO-GCC-Israel combo.

A parallel implication is that Israel can’t attack southern Lebanon anymore. Last month, in Tehran, I had the confirmation that Hezbollah has now up to 40,000 fighters stationed and/or monitoring a maze of underground installations ready to defend Lebanon from everything; that’s up to ten times more than in 2006, an invasion that resulted in a humiliating Israeli retreat.

Ther’s nothing that Bibi could have offered Putin – apart from a hazy, unsubstantiated promise to order the powerful Israeli lobby in D.C. to soften hysterical, 24/7 Russia demonization.

Meanwhile, reports emerged that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad gave the green light for an Iranian naval base in Latakia, close to the Hmeymim airbase used by Russi’s Aerospace Forces. That came after Mohammad Bagheri, Chief of Iran’s General Staff, stressed that the Iranian Navy would soon need bases in Syria and Yemen.

Tehran sent mostly military advisers and instructors to Syria but the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) also contributed with hardcore soldiers.In Tehran, I had the pleasure of meeting Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, the top IRGC commander and a supreme tactician/organizer specialized in asymmetrical warfare, his vast experience acquired during the Iran-Iraq war and Hezbollah success in Lebanon in 2006.

That’s like meeting Marine Corps. Gen Joseph Dunford, the head of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff – but without the pomp and circumstance. A courteous, graceful man, Jafari did not have time to get into details, but other sources confirmed that without his battle-hardened knowledge Damascus by now would have been in big trouble.

What Russia wants in Syria

Then there’s an interview by Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mikhail Bogdanov, former ambassador in Tel Aviv and Cairo, and now also Putin’s special representative in the Middle East, that has, metaphorically, parted the Red Sea all over again.

Bogdanov offered to Arab audiences a concise guide to Russia’s Middle East policy – the absolute opposite of loony US neocon regime change dementia.

He compared the “tens of thousands” of foreign Salafi-jihadi mercenaries at war with Damascus to the Russia-Iran military presence officially request by “the legitimate government.” He dismissed the warped notion of Iran exporting the Islamic revolution (that applied to the early 1980s). He stressed how Moscow wants some sort of US-Iran entente cordiale – with (unlikely) the House of Saud on board. Negotiations could be held in Moscow or elsewhere.

The Kremlin, as Bogdanov expressed it, wants a secular Syria, beyond sectarianism, springing up out of free and fair elections supervised by the UN. Predictably, his words barely masked Moscow’s exasperation with Washington’s obsession in keeping Tehran out of Syrian peace negotiations. And he firmly dismissed the “moderate rebels,” whose only goal is “Assad must go” to stand trial in The Hague (“With this goal, the war can go on forever”).

And then, the clincher: “Russia wants to abide by international legitimacy. We are committed to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of any country, including non-interference in our internal affairs. We respect the democratic process and not color revolutions.”

Team Trump members might entertain the wishful thinking notion that Moscow will ditch Tehran – not only in Syria but in terms of Eurasia integration. Not a chance. Yet tell that to the House of Saud.

The House of Saud spent fortunes investing in Salafi-jihadi provoked regime change in Syria and an unwinnable war on Yemen conducted with US weapons that has generated a massive famine. Moscow might be able, with time, to instill some geopolitical sense into Riyadh. Once again, not a chance. Because the House of Saud is now convinced their best ally is President Trump.Geopolitically cornered, unable to shackle itself off its trademark paranoia, the House of Saud decided to go on the offensive, with King Salman investing in a lavish Asian tour, Beijing included, where he signed a rash of deals, and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman – actually The Warrior Prince, responsible for the civilian tragedy in Yemen – courting Trump in Washington.

The resulting spin now rules that Saudi Arabia will be an influential “close consultant” to Trump on Middle East security and economy, including the Palestinian tragedy and the Iran nuclear deal. No Dante circle of hell could have provided a more perfect “birth pangs” recipe for unmitigated disaster in a new Middle East.

All eyes on the Syrian Kurds

Predictably, neither Moscow nor Tehran was invited for the anti-Daesh meeting of 68 nations hosted by Washington next week. Yet another chapter of hardcore information war; for US public opinion, Russia and Iran simply cannot be allowed to be perceived as actually fighting – and winning — a real war on terror.Smash Daesh is a major Trump campaign promise. He won’t do it with several hundred US Marines with their sights on Raqqa – by the way, technically a minor invasion, because Damascus did not request their presence. So it’s back to Plan A, a.k.a. the Syrian Kurds.

First the top US commander in the Middle East, General Joseph Votel, went to Kobane to pledge Pentagon support for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Then the Pentagon released its (revised) Trump-ordered strategy to defeat Daesh, which boils down to No Sleep Till Raqqa.

That implies a brand new geopolitical alignment. Team Obama – especially the CIA and the State Department — was hostage to Turkey’s view of the Syrian Kurds as “terrorists.” Not Trump. And not Bogdanov, by the way: “Why Turkey agreed on Iraqi Kurdistan, but does not agree to the Kurdistan in Syria? I think that this is not their business. This is an Iraqi affair and Syrian affair. Syrian people and not the Russian or Turkish state should decide.”

The Pentagon is, to put it mildly, fed up with Ankara. For many reasons: from the non-stop purges (which get rid of strategically placed American assets) to the Turkey-Russia rapprochement, inbuilt in Erdogan’s threat to pivot East for good in case Washington supports the Syrian Kurds and/or does not extradite Fethullah Gulen, accused by Erdogan of being the mastermind of the failed 2016 military coup against him.

So how about the taste of the new blueberry cheesecake in town; Washington, Moscow and Tehran all allied behind the Syrian Kurds.

It’s complicated, of course. In the Astana negotiations, Turkey, Russia and Iran are theoretically on the same side. Yet Tehran backs some sort of Kurdish autonomy in Syria – an anathema for Erdogan, for whom the only acceptable Kurdish autonomy is for his Barzani-controlled friends in Iraqi Kurdistan.

So it’s up to Moscow to strike a balancing act – trying to explain to Ankara that there’s no other way apart from Syrian Kurd self-administration in a future Syrian federal state. The concept is extremely ambitious; Moscow aims to show East and West how the Syrian Kurds, as a real non-Islamist, secular Syrian actor, are the perfect instrument to fight Daesh and other forms of Salafi-jihadism.

No wonder Saudi Arabia is not impressed; fighting Daesh was never their priority. But what really matters is that Ankara is not convinced.

Erdogan has his total focus on the upcoming referendum that may turn him into a sort of Presidential Sultan. To win decisively he must court Turkish nationalism by all means necessary. At the same time, geopolitically, he cannot go against Russia/Iran and Washington in one go.Only a few weeks ago no one would have imagined the Syrian Kurds harboring potential strategic leverage capable of turning Middle East geopolitics – linked to Asia, Africa and Europe — upside down. China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) – that building frenzy of ports, pipelines, high-speed rail — firmly targets the Southwest Asia passage, from Iran (a key hub) to Saudi Arabia (China’s top oil supplier). Syria is also a future OBOR hub – and for that Syria must be peaceful and free of Salafi-jihadis. In silent, discreet Eurasia integration fashion, China supports what Russia and Iran are deciding.

By now it’s much clearer who’s configuring the birth pagans of a new Middle East. It’s not Israel. It’s not the House of Saud. And it’s not exactly Trump.

 

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.