[Marxism] Fwd: Swans Commentary - Special Iraq - "The Kurdish Pawn, " by Louis Proyect
lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Sep 29 11:45:25 MDT 2016
In a November 25, 2003 New York Times Op-Ed piece, Leslie Gelb proposed
that Iraq be divided into three distinct states, with the Kurds being
awarded the oil-rich north. With his background as a Times editor and
president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, we must assume
that this proposal has some backing in the foreign policy establishment.
What should the attitude of radicals be toward an independent Kurdish
state? For over twenty years, this cause has been embraced by many on
the left. For Christopher Hitchens, who began lurching rightward during
wars with Iraq and Yugoslavia, the Kurdish and Kosovar causes became
litmus tests for radicals. When successive US administrations appeared
to him more zealous in taking up their cause, he switched horses.
On the other hand, Noam Chomsky has been able to remain a principled and
effective opponent of US imperialism while maintaining a commitment to
Kurdish rights, including self-determination.
Unfortunately, much of the discourse around this beleaguered people has
tended to remain within the framework of human rights and has lacked a
class analysis. The purpose of this article is to take a hard look at
the Kurdish national struggle and place it into the larger context of
the overall struggle against imperialism. For activists who are facing
maneuvers of the kind put forward by the Leslie Gelbs of the world,
getting up to speed on these questions is an urgent task.
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