Bookchin-Öcalan correspondence published for the first time Reply

By Joris Leverink

ROAR Magazine

In 2004, Kurdish leader Öcalan reached out to Murray Bookchin from his prison cell, where he had been studying the work of the American radical thinker. Their correspondence is now made public for the first time.

The Bookchin-Öcalan correspondence has been published as part of a long read exploring the ways in which the Kurds were inspired by Bookchin’s ideas to continue their struggle for freedom and democracy. The article was written by Akbar Shahid Ahmed and posted on the Huffington Post’s blog. What follows is a short excerpt of the article. The links to the documents containing the correspondence can be found in the article, or by directly clicking this link.

In prison, Ocalan dove into radical, post-communist literature, looking for a new way forward. A famously voracious reader whose book selections were regularly leaked in the Turkish and Kurdish press, he began to devour Murray Bookchin. By 2004, Heider and others advocating for Ocalan’s cause felt the time had come to connect him with the aging Vermonter. Establishing some form of dialogue was critical to them, Heider told HuffPost, because conservatives in Kurdish circles were pushing for the movement to completely abandon leftist thought.


The Paris Atrocities: The Most Probable and Bankrupt Response of Our Own Government (2015), by Sean Gabb Reply

By Dr. Sean Gabb

Libertarian Alliance

Because Keir Martland has already commented with great brilliance, and even a certain nobility of tone, I will make no comment directly on the Paris Atrocities or their probable causes. I will instead deal with our own Government’s most likely response to them. This will be a new Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill. It will require Internet and telephone companies to store all communication data for a year, and to make this available to the police and security agencies.

The stated reason for this will be that we are in danger, and in particular danger from Moslem terrorists. What happened yesterday in Paris was only the latest episode in a campaign of terror that began with the American Bombings in September 2001, and proceeded through the Madrid Bombings, and the London Bombings, and the murder of Lee Rigby in Woolwich, and the Charlie Hebdo killings. How long before a coordinated terror attack in planned again for London? We are at war, and war calls for a deviation from the normal course of government.

I will not deny that the latest atrocities are shocking, both in their effect and in the careful planning that they show. I will not deny that mass-immigration from the Third World into Europe was always at least a mistake, and that the latest wave of immigration inspired by Angela Merkel is an existential threat to the civilisation of which we are a part. I will not argue against the proposition that further immigration should be prevented, and even that some of the immigration we have so far experienced might usefully be reversed.

For the avoidance of doubt, I will also agree with the general proposition that there are times when what is undesirable becomes essential.


The Karma of Terror 1

By William T. Hathaway

Terrible terrorists are killing our soldiers in their countries and killing us here at home. How can we stop them?

The answer is simple: Stop terrorizing them. We started this war. What we do to others comes back on us.

In addition to centuries of crusades and imperial conquest, the past 100 years show a clear pattern of Western aggression in the region. During World War One the British persuaded the Arabs to fight on their side by promising them independence. Thousands of them died in battle for the Brits because of this promise of freedom. But after the victory Britain refused to leave; it maintained control by installing puppet kings — Faisal in Iraq and Ibn Saud in Saudi Arabia — to rule in its interest.


Ex-CIA’er to Ex-KGB’er: Defeat, Mr. Putin, lies in ignoring the Islamists’ words and waging less than total war 4

By Michael Scheuer


From this distance, Mr. Putin, it appears that when you unleashed the Russian air force on 30 September 2015 you expected to save Bashir al-Assad’s regime and bring order to Syria and Iraq in a relatively short period of time. Well, the application of Russian air power is continuing, but only a month after its start, the Islamic State’s (IS) fighters responded by executing a superbly professional operation that destroyed a Russian airliner flying over the Sinai, killing the 224 people aboard.

Damn tough luck, Mr. Putin. It is clear that Russia has a serious strategic problem with the Islamists, but in the past six weeks you behaved as a reckless, ignorant, and really rather dumb jackass, as have Mr. Clinton, Mr. Bush. Mr. Obama, Senators McCain, Graham, Rubio, and Cruz, former-Secretary Clinton, Mr. Cameron, Mr. Blair, Mrs. Merkle, Mr. Hollande, and sundry other lesser European leaders.

You have behaved as if your air force would be sufficient to deliver victory, that it would intimidate the mujahedin into quitting, and that Russia would suffer few casualties as you unfolded in Syria a Russian version of the Cheney-Rumsfeld “cakewalk” in Iraq. The odds also are enormous that you never bothered to read a word of what the mujahedin have said and written since Osama bin Laden declared war in 1996, and so you were entirely ignorant of the kind of enemy you were facing. Frankly, Mr. Putin, these are very bad grades for a man that history will assess as aspiring to be “Tsar of all the Russians.”

Since the year of 1996, Islamist leaders, sub-leaders, theologians, field commanders, and fighters-in-the-trenches have said U.S./Western interventionism had motivated them to wage war, that they would kill as many of their enemies as was necessary to rid the Islamic world of Western military interventionists, and that they were waging a religious war, one that their faith required them to fight until they won or were eradicated.

The Islamists also told their foes that they intended to geographically expand their war as quickly and as far as possible, and that they believed that, while victory could only be granted by Allah, they could assist the divinity by inflicting casualties on their sophomoric, casualty averse-enemies. They also explained that, Allah willing, they would cause a steadily increasing drain on Western nations’ treasuries — especially that of the United States — which had already been bankrupted by the devastatingly destructive spendthrifts who govern them. Allah, it seems clear, has delivered in spades to those on whom his favor falls.


The Fourth Generation Warfare Handbook Reply

By William S. Lind

Traditional Right

The Fourth Generation Warfare Handbookco-authored by Lt. Col. Greg Thiele and myself, is now available on Amazon. At present, it is only an e-book; the real book should be available early next year. The publisher is Castalia House Press.

The Fourth Generation Warfare Handbook is a follow-on to my Maneuver Warfare Handbook, which was published in 1985 and is still in print. The new book’s origins lie in the Fourth Generation Warfare seminar Lt. Col. Thiele and I taught for some years at the Marine Corps’ Expeditionary Warfare School. That seminar wrote a number of field manuals for 4GW, published as manuals of the K.u.K. Austro-Hungarian Marine Corps. Greg and I distilled the content of those manuals, added a good bit of material of our own (especially on true light infantry, normally the most effective force against 4GW opponents) and have published it in a form we think will reach more readers than have the field manuals.

The new book presumes the reader is familiar with the framework of the Four Generations of Modern War, although it does offer a summary of the first three generations in an appendix. After a discussion of the theory of 4GW which focuses on the dilemmas it poses to state armed forces, dilemmas which usually lead state militaries to defeat themselves, it turns to the practical problems 4GW presents. This is consistent with its nature as a handbook: its purpose is not academic discussion but providing useful ideas to those serving in state forces.

One of the potentially most useful tools it offers is the grid: a nine-box square with the three traditional levels of war, tactical, operational, and strategic, on the vertical axis and Col. John Boyd’s three new levels, physical, mental, and moral, on the horizontal axis. State armed forces (including police) can use the grid to evaluate planned missions by asking what results the mission is likely to bring in each of the nine boxes.

At present, most missions are evaluated in only one box, the tactical/physical. These are the two weakest levels of war. The blowback the mission brings at more powerful levels, especially the most powerful box, strategic/moral, helps explain why state militaries usually lose Fourth Generation wars. By using the grid to anticipate negative results at higher and more powerful levels, it may be possible to avoid those negative effects by changing what is done tactically and physically.

Keith Preston: Russian campaign on behalf of Assad in Syria angering US Reply

Press TV. Listen here:

The Russian military campaign on behalf of the Syrian government has exasperated the White House because it goes against the US policy of “eliminating” President Bashar al-Assad, says a journalist and analyst in Virginia.

“The issue that the United States has with this Russian intervention in Syria is simply that Russia is intervening on behalf of President Assad,” Keith Preston, director of, said Thursday.

Anne Patterson, US assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, echoed the Obama administration’s concern Wednesday that Russia’s air campaign was aimed at strengthening the Assad government instead of targeting Daesh (ISIL) terrorists.

In testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the top diplomat said Moscow has “dangerously exacerbated an already complex environment,” where “at least 120,000 Syrians have been displaced as a result of regime offensives aided by Russian air strikes.”

“When the American State Department expresses concern about alleged civilian casualties or alleged displacement of refugees and so forth; that is merely holocamera, that is not something that we can really take seriously,” Preston told Press TV.

“Already there had been millions of refugees generated by the destabilization program that the United States has imposed in Syria; that is a major reason why we are seeing this influx of refugees into the European counties at more recent times,” he added.

“The Russian intervention in Syria thus far has been far more restraint than the American intervention in Iraq in 2003 and the American intervention in Afghanistan in 2001. The United States wants to see the same thing happen to Syria that has happened to Iraq; that has happened to Afghanistan; that has happened to Libya,” the analyst noted.

According to the United Nations, more than 250,000 people have been killed and millions displaced due to the turmoil that has gripped Syria for over four years.

So far this year, about half a million people have undertaken the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe, official figures show. About 2,800 have died en route.

Preston said what actually sparked the Syrian crisis was the “insurgency backed by the United States.”

The US and some of its regional allies, including Saudi Arabia and Turkey, have been backing what they call “moderate” militants fighting against the Syrian government.

Some of those militants, who received American arms and training, later jointed the brutal ISIL movement.

“However, the United States didn’t want the ISIL or Daesh movement to spread into other regions, where American allies might be threatened there, particularly Israel, Saudi Arabia and some others,” Preston said, calling the US air campaign against the terror network a “containment” strategy.

“But the goal of the United States is for the region to be thrown into chaos, because a chaotic Middle East is something that is more easily controlled,” he added. The US objective is to “have puppet regimes in power all throughout the Middle Eastern region.”

“If that’s not feasible, then the goal is to simply create failed states, un-stabilized regions that the United States can dominate due to a power vacuum,” he noted.

“The American objective is to simply maintain a complete monopoly over the trade and oil and natural gas and other resources that exist in that particular region, as well as to create the pretext whereby Israel can continue its expansion and activities and create a ‘greater Israel,’” Preston said. “That’s the basis of American foreign policy in the Middle East.”

Keith Preston: US losing geopolitical ground to Russia 1

Press TV. Listen here:

The United States is sending its Special Operations Forces to Syria out of concerns over losing its “geopolitical ground to Russia,” says a political analyst.

Keith Preston made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Tuesday when asked about why the US has decided to send some 50 special forces to Syria to “train, advise and assist” militants fighting against the Daesh (ISIL).

“What the United States is trying to do is create a new alliance of groups that are fighting in Syria that are somehow anti-Assad and anti-ISIS [ISIL] and also in opposition to the Kurdish independence movement,” Preston said.

“The United States is apparently very worried about its own geopolitical position in Syria,” he said, adding “since the Russian entry into the conflict in Syria, the United States has suffered a number of important embarrassments.”


Showdown at the UN Corral: Obama vs. Putin – who won? Reply

By Justin Raimondo


If there was any doubt that Washington has learned absolutely nothing since George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq, then President Obama’s address to the United Nations has confirmed the world’s worst fears. It was an oration that combined the most egregious lies with the wooly-minded “idealism” that has been such a destructive force in world affairs since the days of Woodrow Wilson. First, the lies:

The evidence is overwhelming that the Assad regime used such weapons on August 21st. U.N. inspectors gave a clear accounting that advanced rockets fired large quantities of sarin gas at civilians. These rockets were fired from a regime-controlled neighborhood and landed in opposition neighborhoods. It’s an insult to human reason and to the legitimacy of this institution to suggest that anyone other than the regime carried out this attack.”

The evidence is far from “overwhelming,” and the only insult to human reason is the dogmatic repetition of this American talking point. As Seymour Hersh pointed out in the London Review of Books:

“Barack Obama did not tell the whole story this autumn when he tried to make the case that Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons attack near Damascus on 21 August. In some instances, he omitted important intelligence, and in others he presented assumptions as facts. 


Violence instead of democracy: Putin slams ‘policies of exceptionalism and impunity’ in UN speech Reply

Russia Today

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses attendees during the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. Headquarters in New York, September 28, 2015. © Mike Segar

The export of so-called ‘democratic’ revolutions has continued, but has unleashed poverty and violence instead of the triumph of democracy, Russian President Vladimir Putin said addressing the UN General Assembly.

Attempts to push for changes in other countries based on ideological preferences have led to “tragic consequences and degradation rather than progress,” said Putin in his speech to world leaders and policy makers gathered at the UN General Assembly’s anniversary 70th session in New York on Monday.

“We should all remember what our past has taught us,” Putin said. “We, for instance, remember examples from the history of the Soviet Union.”

It seems however that some are not learning from others’ mistakes, but keep repeating them, he said, adding that “the export of so-called ‘democratic’ revolutions continues.”


The Kurds’ Democratic Experiment Reply

These are the folks that anarchists should be paying attention to, not “social justice warriors” or American libertarian kooks.

By Carne Ross

New York Times

Across an empty and arid plain, south of a town in eastern Syria called Tell Brak, there is a long berm marking the front line of the war against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS. A levee of gravel about 20 feet high was raised by excavators operated by men and women who were often killed by distant Islamic State snipers. Every few hundred feet, there is a sentry point or dugout for a platoon of the Kurdish militia known as the People’s Protection Units, or Y.P.G., that holds the position.

Along this stark boundary, the Kurds are there not only to fight against the Islamic State, but also to defend a precious experiment in direct democracy. In Rojava, the Kurdish name for this region of eastern Syria, a new form of self-government is being built from the ground up.

After the authority of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad collapsed at the start of the Syrian revolution in 2011, the Kurds took advantage of the vacuum to set up government without a state. There is no top-down authority, even within the military. One Y.P.G. commander gently corrected me when I addressed him as “general.”


Keith Preston: US, Russia tensions over Syria can escalate into confrontation Reply

Press TV. Listen here:

The United States and Russia are pursuing “polar opposite objectives” in Syria which can lead to a serious military confrontation between the two powers, an American political analyst based in Virginia says.

Keith Preston, the chief editor and director of, made the remarks in a phone interview with Press TV on Thursday while commenting on a joint statement by the United States and Russia on the situation in Syria.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, attended a joint conference after a meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York on Wednesday. Lavrov said the two countries were working to “avoid any unintended incidents” and adopt a “safe approach” while conducting airstrikes in the Middle East region.

“It’s clear I think that the United States and Russia really do not want to have a confrontation with one and other. And it seems to me that the purpose of this statement is to avoid such a confrontation,” Preston said.

“I don’t think that either nation really regards a confrontation between the United States and Russia as being in their own interests,” he added. “However, it is a difficult situation, because both nations have entirely different, in fact polar opposite objectives in Syria.”

“In President Obama’s speech to the United Nations [on Monday], he mentioned that the Assad regime needs to go, that’s precisely the opposite position that the Putin government and Moscow takes,” the analyst noted.

Russia sees Assad govt. as bulwark against terrorists

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Preston said that the Russians consider the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as a “bulwark” against Takfiri terrorists wreaking havoc in the Middle East.

“The Russian position is that the Assad regime must be allowed to stand at all costs, and the reason for that is they see the Assad regime as a bulwark against ISIS terrorists and against other comparable terrorist organizations in the region,” he said.

“And Russia regards the existence of these terrorist groups as a threat to their own national security,” he stated. “They are concerned about these movements growing and expanding. They are concerned about them spreading into the nations that are border nations with Russia. They are concerned about the terrorist incidents sponsored by these kinds of organizations within Russia.”

“That’s the position of the Russians. They want to keep Assad in power as a bulwark against these terrorist organizations,” the analyst stated.

Assad’s Syria not a US client state

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

Preston said that “the United States has a polar opposite objective, and that is to remove Assad from power as a primary objective, and the reason for that is that… [the Assad government] is not a client state of the United States and is opposed to Israel.”

“For nearly half a century or longer, the primary objective of the United States in the Middle East has been to eliminate regimes that offer opposition to Israel or offer opposition to the American hegemony,” he observed.

“So the removal of Assad is the primary goal that the Americans have and the preservation of Assad is the goal that the Russians have. So they have polar opposite objectives,” he stressed.

“So it will be interesting if the United States and the Russians are able to pursue polar opposite policies and yet manage to avoid stepping on each other’s toes in the process. So it’s a very tense situation and it is certainly something that can escalate into a much more serious confrontation between the two powers,” Preston concluded.

Keith Preston: US doesn’t want direct confrontation with Russia in Syria Reply

Press TV. Listen here:

The United States does not want a direct military confrontation with Russian forces in Syria, an American political analyst based in Virginia says.

But the primary objective of the Obama administration is the overthrow of the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with the assistance of terrorist groups including Daesh (ISIL), said Keith Preston, the chief editor and director of

Preston made the remarks in a phone interview with Press TV while commenting on a statement by Republican Senator Bob Corker, who said on Wednesday that the Pentagon should target both the Assad government and ISIL.

Corker’s comments came shortly after Russia carried out its first airstrikes against ISIL terrorists near the Syrian city of Homs.

“The Obama administration seems to be pulling back from waging the war on ISIS,” Preston said, using an alternative acronym for the terrorist group, which is operating in Syria and Iraq.

“They are conducting military operations against ISIS, but I don’t think the total destruction of ISIS is something they are really that motivated to achieve, because they see ISIS as the weapon against the Assad regime,” he said.

“I think that the first objective of the American foreign policy in Syria is to bring down the Assad regime. They see ISIS as perhaps the useful force towards that end, but they are also concerned ISIS potentially threatening American allies,” the analyst noted.

“Now that the Russian have gotten involved, I think the Obama administration really doesn’t want a direct confrontation with the Russians,” he observed.

“Bob Corker comes from the opposition party, from the Republicans, which take a more hard-line perspective on foreign policy than the Obama administration,” Preston said. “He seems to be more eager for a confrontation with the Russians.”

“I think he wants [the US] to fight ISIS more aggressively and tries to take down the Assad [government] at the same time. And that’s totally unrealistic objective, because there’s no viable alternative in Syria,” he pointed out.

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since March 2011. According to reports, the United States and its regional allies – especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey – are supporting the militants operating inside the country.

Daesh terrorists, with members from several Western countries, have been active in Iraq, Syria and more recently in Libya, committing acts of terror against people of different religious and ethnic communities, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians and others.

3 AK-47-wielding women reportedly decimate ISIS militants Reply

Women in the World/New York Times

Embedded image permalink

A trio of women has formed an all-female fighting force to seek revenge on ISIS for atrocities committed against Yazidi women in Iraq, and it’s reportedly been decimating the enemy recently. The women hail from Turkey where they left their ordinary lives to travel to Kurdistan, in northern Iraq, and take the fight right to ISIS. According to The Daily Mail, the three AK-47 rifle-wielding and grenade-throwing women have been killing up to 10 ISIS jihadists per day of late in what are often bloody showdowns on the battlefield. The women are not the only all-female group of warriors taking on ISIS in the region. “When we heard ISIS were coming to Sinjar and killing women, we came to stop the humanitarian crisis,” Roza, 22, told The Daily Mail. Raparin, another of the women fighters, said the three “smuggled” themselves into Iraq from Turkey, and she vowed total vengeance for the enslavement and killing of Yazidi women. “We were sometimes killing 10 of them a day,” she said. “We are one with the Yazidis and will fight ISIS to take revenge for what has happened to the women.”

Read the full story at The Daily Mail.

Russian Marines on the move in Syria, showdown with ISIS expected soon Reply

Here it comes.


Russian troops during the 2008 invasion of Georgia.
Russian troops during the 2008 invasion of Georgia.
Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

In Hezbollah stronghold, Lebanese Christians find respect, stability 1

By Ariel Zirulnick

Christian Science Monitor

Randa Gholam, a Christian living the Hezbollah stronghold neighborhood of Harat Hreik, stands next to a poster of Hasan Nasrallah in her home on November 15, in Beirut, Lebanon. Gholam supports and admires Hezbollah leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, and says she feels free to worship as a Christian in a predominately Shiite neighborhood.

In a home in a Shiite neighborhood in southern Beirut, images of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah share mantel and wall space with the Virgin Mary.

The face of the revered Shiite militant leader appears on posters, a calendar, and in several photographs nestled amid those of Christian homeowner Randa Gholam’s family members. Mr. Nasrallah is, Ms. Gholam asserts amid a string of superlatives, “a gift from God.”

Lebanon’s sectarian divides are legendary, and the residents of the historically Christian neighborhood of Harat Hreik, now a Hezbollah stronghold, remember well the civil war that set Beirut on fire. They were literally caught in the middle of some of the most vicious fighting, with factions firing shots off at one another from either side of their apartment buildings.


Brazil: Incendiary attack against an ITAU Bank branch by Movimente Insurgente Anarquista 1

Insurrection News

Claim of responsibility for an incendiary attack against a branch of the ITAU Bank in São José dos Campos, São Paulo, Brazil on 13.09.15 by Movimente Insurgente Anarquista (MIA) received and translated by Insurrection News. 


“We have this fantasy that our interests and the interests of the super-rich are the same – as if, somehow, the wealthy will eventually become so full that they will explode and rain sweets down on all of us as if they were some kind of benevolent piñata. But here’s the truth about the piñatas…they do not break by themselves, you have to hit them with a stick.”

The recent attack on a branch of Bradesco bank raised some doubt among corporate media journalists. Indeed, the bomb placed in the third box did not explode. The motive reported by some media was the theft of their rotten money. After all, a bomb containing 5 liters of gasoline and some additives would never explode an ATM.

Our intention was to burn down one of the numerous temples of capital that today stand like tentacles on every corner.

So on the night of September 13, 2015, we carried out another incendiary attack against a bank branch. This time we targeted ITAU who in the second business quarter of 2015 made an obscene income of R$5.9 billion.

Apparently, cashing in on interest and speculating on other people’s work is the only thing that actually continues to move the already rust gears of the capitalist superstructure. It’s the insanity of our times, where the weakest live in crisis while those at the top feast at our expense. The attacks upon the lower classes they call the ‘adjustment’, any attack against the upper classes they call ‘terrorism.’

As if that was not enough, the puppet Dilma Rousseff attacks the workers with harsh austerity measures, divestment and cuts to social programs and we still have to swallow a congress full of rats and worms – and all strains of parasites – fattening their stomachs with money coming from the lobbying of corporations, companies, banks and agribusiness. Suits acting in their own interests against the wishes of the people. This is what is known as ‘democracy.’


Murray Bookchin and the Kurdish Resistance Reply

By Joris Leverink

Roar Mag

Kurdish woman waves Kurdish colours at Kurdish New Year celebration. Photo by Uygar Önder Simsek.

Bookchin’s municipalist ideas, once rejected by communists and anarchists alike, have now come to inspire the Kurdish quest for democratic autonomy.

The introduction to the new book The Next Revolution: Popular Assemblies and the Promise of Direct Democracy (Verso, 2015), explains how Murray Bookchin – born to Russian Jewish immigrants in New York City in 1921 – was introduced to radical politics at the age of nine when he joined the Young Pioneers, a Communist youth organization. This would be the start of his ‘life on the left’ in which he would turn from Stalinism to Trotskyism in the years running up to World War II before defining himself as an anarchist in the late 1950s and eventually identifying as a ‘communalist’ or ‘libertarian municipalist’ after the introduction of the idea of social ecology.

Even though Bookchin never even attended college – except for a few classes in radio technology right after World War II – he wrote dozens of books and published hundreds of academic articles, besides founding several journals and setting up the Institute for Social Ecology in 1974. Possibly his most important contribution to radical politics was to (re)introduce the concept of ecology to the arena of political thought.


How Anarchy Works: Security Without The State Reply

Government Denies Knowledge

Whenever someone is exposed to the ideas of market anarchy, their first thought is “but what about the roads?” Soon after this, more interesting questions arise, mostly relating to security issues. How would the law work? How would an anarchist society repel armed invaders? Who stops the bad guys? What’s to stop a powerful gang from looting everyone else (as though that isn’t precisely the situation we have with governments)? And so on.


Will the Real Military Please Stand Up? Reply

It appears that the state’s military is gradually being hollowed out from the inside while being demoralized with perpetual failed wars.

As revolutionary anarchists, out ambition should be the establishment of Hezbollah and PKK model fourth generation militias that eventually surpass the state’s military forces.

By William S. Lind

Traditional Right

Several weeks ago, something very important in the development of Fourth Generation war happened. On our own soil, the U.S. “military” had to be protected by civilian volunteer militiamen.

The protection of U.S. military recruiting offices by armed volunteer militiamen occurred in response to the Islamic attack on two recruiting centers in Chattanooga. The Defense Department soon asked the militiamen to cease and desist, which they did. The fact that a militia’s defense of the U.S. “military” lasted only briefly does not undo its significance. The sort of thing we are used to seeing in hollow states such as Lebanon happened here.

The militia’s action was not required, let me stress, because the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines who man our recruiting stations are incapable of defending themselves. The can do so, and would be happy to do so (well, the men anyway). Accounts of the Islamic attack suggest many of the recruiters behaved bravely, risking and sometimes giving their lives to protect others. They could not defend themselves because they are not allowed to be armed.


Shocking Images of Dead Kurdish Fighters: Turkey Accused of Using Chemical Weapons against PKK Reply

By Daniel Steinvorth and Yassin Musharbash

Der Spiegel

German experts have confirmed the authenticity of photographs that purport to show PKK fighters killed by chemical weapons. The evidence puts increasing pressure on the Turkish government, which has long been suspected of using such weapons against Kurdish rebels. German politicians are demanding an investigation.

Turkish soldiers on patrol in a Kurdish area of southeastern Turkey: Did the Turkish military use chemical weapons against the PKK?

It would be difficult to exceed the horror shown in the photos, which feature burned, maimed and scorched body parts. The victims are scarcely even recognizable as human beings. Turkish-Kurdish human rights activists believe the people in the photos are eight members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) underground movement, who are thought to have been killed in September 2009.

In March, the activists gave the photos to a German human rights delegation comprised of Turkey experts, journalists and politicians from the far-left Left Party, as SPIEGEL reported at the end of July. Now Hans Baumann, a German expert on photo forgeries has confirmed the authenticity of the photos, and a forensics report released by the Hamburg University Hospital has backed the initial suspicion, saying that it is highly probable that the eight Kurds died “due to the use of chemical substances.”

Did the Turkish army in fact use chemical weapons and, by doing so, violate the Chemical Weapons Convention it had ratified?

Repeated ‘Mysterious Incidents’

German politicians and human rights experts are now demanding an investigation into the incident. “The latest findings are so spectacular that the Turkish side urgently needs to explain things,” said Claudia Roth, the co-chair of Germany’s Green Party. “It is impossible to understand why an autopsy of the PKK fighters was ordered but the results kept under seal.”

The politician said there had been repeated “mysterious incidents of this type that are crying out for an independent investigation.” Roth demanded that Turkey issue an official statement on the possible use of chemical weapons “in order to nullify further allegations.”

Ruprecht Polenz, a member of the German parliament with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union and the chairman of the Bundestag’s Foreign Relations Committee, sees it the same way. “Turkey needs to urgently look into these accusations,” he told SPIEGEL ONLINE, adding that an international investigation would be the best approach.

Turkey has been suspected of using chemical weapons for years, points out Gisela Penteker, a Turkey expert with the international medical organization International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. “Local people have said that again and again,” she explained. Finding proof is difficult, however, she said, because bodies were often released so late that it was hardly possible to carry out a thorough autopsy.

‘PKK Propaganda’

In Turkey, human rights advocates have long demanded an investigation. The army, however, has refused to comment on the issue. Similarly, the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been stubbornly silent or tried to portray the accusations of war crimes as “PKK propaganda.”

“The prime minister is not interested in human rights violations,” says Akin Birdal, a member of the Turkish parliament whose pro-Kurdish BDP opposition party has repeatedly questioned in parliament if Erdogan’s war in the southeast of the country is really being conducted legally. In Birdal’s view, the only thing that matters to Erdogan is that the army eradicates the PKK problem once and for all “by any means necessary.”

The Turkish Foreign Ministry has rejected the accusations, according to the Berlin daily newspaper Die Tageszeitung, which reported on the case Thursday. Turkey is a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention, and its armed forces do not possess any biological or chemical weapons, the ministry reportedly said.

The newspaper also reports that it has obtained additional, shocking pictures in the meantime, supposedly autopsy photographs of six other killed Kurds. These images, too, have now been submitted to the Hamburg-based experts.

From Cheerleader to Enemy of the State 1

Chapter 7 of the book

RADICAL PEACE: People Refusing War

By William T. Hathaway

The long, flouncy curls from Judy Davis’s cheerleader days are gone. Her straight blonde hair is now cut short. Large blue eyes stand out in a face pale without makeup. Her soft Southern drawl has an undertone of determination. “It’s taken me awhile, but now I’m glad to be considered an ‘unsuitable influence.’ That was how the school board justified my firing. That and ‘deviating from the curriculum.’ It’s like they were implying I was a deviant. And according to their norms, I am.”

The twenty-nine-year-old was fired for teaching her high school students how US foreign policy has provoked terrorism. This struggle with her school board turned her from a Republican into a revolutionary for peace. More…

Perspectives on the Revolution in Rojava Reply

Black Rose Anarchist Federation As revolutionaries in North America we would like to outline the foundations of our political perspective as well as how we as an organization have agreed to relate the recent events and the struggle underway in Rojava in the Middle East. Our Perspective The Rojava Revolution has probably made more concrete progress towards libertarian socialism than any other large-scale struggle at least since the Zapatista insurrection. For this reason alone it is important to engage with this struggle to support the most revolutionary elements of it and to hold it up as an international example of what the self-activity of the popular classes can accomplish. While we have many questions about the overall political ideology of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Democratic Union Party (PYD) (which would need to be addressed in a separate and longer article), the specific project of democratic confederalism (which is only one part of their political vision for “democratic modernity” and the reorganization of society) has set the popular classes of Kurdistan in motion, constructing autonomous alternatives to capitalism, oppression and the state. In Rojava, and in some cases also in Bakur (north Kurdistan) when state repression doesn’t forbid it, workers’ cooperatives are being formed, land is being collectivized, women’s collectives are spreading, neighborhood assemblies are taking on power, restorative justice is replacing the court system, a democratic militia is defending the region, and other aspects of self-governance are being organized. This is not all that there is to this struggle – much of the land and capital is intended to remain in private hands, the PYD has created a new minimal state instead of abolishing the state, forced conscription has occasionally been implemented, PYD politicians have been lobbying western countries, foreign corporate investment is pursued, etc. But despite much remaining vagueness about the exact details of what’s happening on the ground (even among those who have been to Rojava), it is clear that much of the popular classes in Kurdistan are engaged in a revolutionary process that we should support. It is also clear that since a democratic revolution is based on the will of the people, it will only be through the long-term political education and organizing work among the popular classes of Rojava that the revolution will generalize beyond the current active minority and continue to take shape. We believe that we have a responsibility to both contribute to that process and to learn from it. Black Rose / Rosa Negra sees the Rojava Revolution as a very broad social movement with many social forces pushing and pulling against each other within it. These social forces represent contradictory class interests and political visions. While Abdullah Öcalan’s political vision is the dominant ideology of the movement, this vision is itself often very vague and open to different interpretations by different social forces. For example, queer activists within the movement raise the point that the essentialist feminist ideology coming from the PKK guerrillas excludes queer and trans identity, and this will need to be overcome for the revolution to progress. Another contradiction is that the economic program of ‘democratic socialism’ emphasized by some in the movement will inevitably come into conflict with the interests of the conservative landlord class within the movement. While we are hopeful that the movement has the tools necessary to continue to take internal critiques and strengthen its fight against oppression, it remains to be seen how conflicts over class exploitation will play themselves out as they develop between groups with very different material interests. In all these debates between different forces, revolutionaries will have to take sides, in order to strengthen our own politics and the forces of our comrades in Kurdistan. We support this movement in Rojava and the rest of Kurdistan as one of the strongest mass advances towards feminism, libertarian socialism and a directly democratic society that the world has seen in recent decades. In order to continue advancing towards those goals, the forces within the movement that are closest to these political goals need to be strengthened and supported by the international left. Otherwise the movement will face either death at the hands of its many military enemies, or re-integration into capitalism (at best social democratic capitalism). The same results will also come about unless we seriously take this opportunity to bring the revolutionary struggle home to attack the foundations of US imperialism and global capitalism. The left, and anarchists specifically, face many questions about how we can do this. Through our meetings and observations in Kurdistan, we have seen many different models for how revolutionaries – Kurdish, Turkish and international – are engaging with the struggle. We have seen that the struggle in Rojava and Bakur, despite its broad nature, cannot be detached from the “official” organizational structure of movement – the different interlocking political structures that together implement Öcalan’s ideology, such as the PKK, HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party), PYD, DTK (Democratic Society Congress), KCK (Union of Kurdistan Communities), etc. As far as we are aware, every left group that has seriously engaged in the Kurdish freedom movement – from Stalinists to insurrectionary anarchists to Apocu – has done so by allying with these official structures in some way. However, there are some who have made these alliances while completely dissolving into those structures, while others have done so while maintaining different levels of organizational and political autonomy. These different models present a very complex array of options for how distant revolutionaries can engage with the different social and political forces within the movement through working with comrades in Kurdistan. Such choices will need to be evaluated carefully based both on the situation in Kurdistan, and our own situation, capacity and political goals.

Despite the widespread support and interest in the Rojava revolution among the left in the US and Canada, there’s been very little organized support, although recent weeks have seen some spread of organizing. There are Rojava solidarity groups in two major cities and a scattering of online efforts. We see the reasons for this being first of all the disorganized and fragmented nature of the left in the US and Canada, and specifically the libertarian left. Secondly another significant factor is the lack of a large Kurdish community here, and the lack of connections between the left in North America and the left in Kurdistan or the region around it. We believe that it is our responsibility to be part of changing this and moving the left and social movement groups towards engaging with the Rojava revolution, while taking lessons from our history with the Zapatista and Palestine solidarity movements.

Our Tasks

Black Rose / Rosa Negra sets as its organizational goals the following:

  • Create an internal commission to coordinate the efforts of Black Rose / Rosa Negra and work with other solidarity groups to build a continental Rojava solidarity network. A larger network can help organize coordinated protests at Turkish consulates demanding the embargo be lifted, collect material support for legal sections of the Kurdish freedom movement, build direct relationships with the movement, do political education on Rojava and the politics of autonomy, and push the US government to take the PKK off its list of terrorist organizations.
  • Develop a clear set of political principles from which to base our work and from these, further develop our contacts in Kurdistan and begin efforts towards fundraising and material support, both for specifically anarchist organizing in Kurdistan and broader coalition work.
  • Prioritize the exchange of militants between the US and Kurdistan, organizing speaking tours in the US and sending comrades to participate in the reconstruction of Kobanê.
  • Promote the revolutionary struggle in Rojava and carry out education around it by sharing frequent reports of solidarity work, writing news and analysis on the situation in Kurdistan, and translating material from Kurdistan. Likewise, translate material and political propaganda for distribution to our comrades in Kurdistan.