[Marxism] UN Syria Commission clears YPG/J and SDF of ethnic cleansing charges

Nick Fredman nick.j.fredman at gmail.com
Fri Mar 17 17:32:07 MDT 2017


I started this thread specifically to point to the UN commission's
conclusion here
http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/SY/A_HRC_34_CRP.3_E.docx that
there was no evidence that the PYD-led movement had engaged in ethnic
cleansing. This conclusion reinforces the rebuttals made by a Syrian
National Coalition investigation team and the Syrian Observatory for Human
Rights in 2015 that I've previously cited. Countering this charge isn't an
irrelevant strawperson argument: The charge was widely spread by mainstream
media and some leftists, with the clear intention to represent the movement
as having the same sectarian and chauvinist politics as the regime and more
reactionary rebels.

Human rights might not be the main issue, and irregular forces simply can't
operate the way regular forces are meant to by international law. But the
extent to which political and military forces respect human rights within
the constraints placed on them — and not just possibly unintended killing
of civilians but also political repression and arbitrary arrest, torture,
execution etc — are one indication of how progressive they are and would be
if they held more power.

The idea that the abuses documented in this report by the PYD-led movement
and the rebels are comparable is laughable. The former is accused by not
looking after everyone properly it moves for military reasons, of
conscription — without mentioning the YPG/J are volunteer forces and
conscripts are strictly adults who only serve in the civil defence HXP —
and the abuse of one young man who refused conscription. Rebels — with the
worst being Jabhat Fatah al-Sham but others implicated as well — are
accused of widespread indiscriminate attacks on civilians, of conscription
of child soldiers, of widespread summary execution of prisoners, and both
JFS and Jund al-Sham are accused of setting up sharia courts in Idlib that
regularly dispense arbitrary imprisonment, torture and execution. E.g. in
the period of this report, Liwa al-Aqsa executed 128 prisoners in one
brutal job lot, and JFS stoned to death a women for adultery in Heish
village in Idlib, and shot the man allegedly involved. Let's let the
stoning to death of a woman and the shooting of a man for adultery sink in
for a minute. Some revolution.

It's true regarding chlorine weapons I misread this report while
concurrently reading an earlier Amnesty report on Sheikh Masqod, and this
report makes clear they found chlorine in the period under review only used
by the regime (as Chris notes this Amnesty report had more serious evidence
of chlorine use by rebels that Mike claims).

Louis claims relations with the regime are a more fundamental question. But
there's also a clear pattern by some of exaggerating and distorting the
PYD-led movement's limited, ad hoc and frequently broken arrangements,
accompanied by frequent assertions by both sides of their incompatibility
of aims and regular fighting (Hawzhin Azeez  says on Facebook fighting
between the regime and SDF forces is happening in Efrin right now). Louis
for example once asserted that Assad's claim to have "documents" to prove
his arming of and overall alliance with the PYD-movement, was proof of this
alliance. A strange person to place such trust in and such documents have
of course never appeared.

I for one now have a hectic weekend of domestic labour and family
activities, so it's over and out from me.

On Thu, Mar 16, 2017 at 11:18 PM, Louis Proyect via Marxism <
marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:

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> On 3/15/17 11:01 PM, Nick Fredman via Marxism wrote:
>
>> I've criticised Roy Gutman and
>> called his Nation articles rubbish not just because he seems to be a
>> cruise
>> missile liberal who's a shill for Erdogan, but also because at least two
>> of
>> his sources have complained about his distortion of their words, because
>> this has also happened in his previous work, because he leaves crucial
>> facts out, because claims made by his anonymous sources are often absurd
>> and/or completely contradicted by other evidence, etc.
>>
>
> Frankly, human rights abuses are not uppermost on my mind in a situation
> where violence has become so generalized. There were human rights abuses by
> Sandinista soldiers against Miskitos, while the Red Army was positively
> barbaric as it swept westward against Hitler in 1945,
>
> My issue with the PYD is the deals it cut with Assad. While one can not be
> exactly sure what happens on the battlefield in the fog of war, we do know
> exactly what words came out of Saleh Muslim's mouth: Assad was being framed
> for using sarin gas in Ghouta; if he was overthrown, there would be mass
> murder against Christians and Alawites, etc.
>
> Disgusting.
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