[Marxism] David Graeber: manufactured ignorance: the strange case of Juan Cole and the Kurdish freedom movement

Chris Slee chris_w_slee at hotmail.com
Thu Mar 1 02:11:32 MST 2018


Louis Proyect says:

"Waiting to see a single article since 2013 about the brutal siege of
East Ghouta. Maybe if Assad left them alone, they'd have a chance to
organize seminars on Murray Bookchin's writings and see the light."

Assad is not the sole problem for democracy activists in eastern Ghouta.  Reactionary armed groups control the area, and violently repress those who challenge their rule.

Four prominent activists, Razan Zaitouneh, Wael Hamada, Nazem Hamadi and Samira Khalil,  were abducted by armed men in December 2013 in the town of Douma in the eastern Ghouta area.  They have not been seen since.  They are believed to have been murdered by the Army of Islam, the strongest militia in the area.

Yassin al-Haj Saleh refers to "the two-fold character of the battle imposed on Syrians: against the Assadist necktie fascists and against the Islamist long-bearded fascists."  (Quoted in Burning Country, page x)

I don't know if anyone in eastern Ghouta ever read Murray Bookchin's writings.  But some residents of the area were certainly inspired by Omar Aziz, who advocated and worked for the formation of local councils.  Aziz died in one of Assad's prisons.

Walid Daou has written an article on "The experience of local councils in the Syrian revolution":

http://www.al-manshour.org/node/7415

While supportive of the councils, Daou points out their "shortcomings...at least in terms of application."

He says:

"Armed groups remained outside the supervision of local councils. At the same time, the Syrian National Council, the Syrian interim government, and the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition forces monopolized the "high political rhetoric."

"Thus, the original idea behind the councils became meaningless. Under the hegemony of weapons and conditional funding, the space for council work closed up. Thus, the possibility of building an alternative, democratic authority from below, which could lead the revolution and speak in its name, was diminished."

Another problem was the limited participation of women.  According to Razan Ghazzawi:  "Women and youth have very little representation in the ranks of either the local councils or the Syria National Coalition".

https://www.opendemocracy.net/north-africa-west-asia/razan-ghazzawi/seeing-women-in-revolutionary-syria

This contrasts with the role of women in Rojava and the broader Democratic Federation of Northern Syria.

My point is not to denigrate the work of activists operating in very difficult circumstances, under attack from both the Assad regime and reactionary rebel groups, but rather to highlight the achievements of the DFNS.

Chris Slee


________________________________
From: Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com>
Sent: Friday, 23 February 2018 11:37 AM
To: Chris Slee; Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition
Subject: Re: [Marxism] David Graeber: manufactured ignorance: the strange case of Juan Cole and the Kurdish freedom movement

On 2/22/18 7:17 PM, Chris Slee wrote:
>
>
> The FSA was never a single united organisation, so we can't speak of "the FSA" doing anything.  But Turkish-backed groups, some of which use the label "FSA", have attacked Rojava on numerous occasions.

Reference, please.


> We prioritise solidarity with the Rojava revolution because of its socially progressive nature - women's rights, ethnic and religious inclusiveness etc.

Waiting to see a single article since 2013 about the brutal siege of
East Ghouta. Maybe if Assad left them alone, they'd have a chance to
organize seminars on Murray Bookchin's writings and see the light.

>
> Turkish-backed groups committed war crimes in Aleppo too.  See Amnesty International report:
>
> https://www.amnesty.org.au/syria-armed-groups-war-crimes-aleppo/
Syria: Armed groups committing war crimes in Aleppo ...<https://www.amnesty.org.au/syria-armed-groups-war-crimes-aleppo/>
www.amnesty.org.au
Armed groups surrounding the Sheikh Maqsoud district of Aleppo have repeatedly carried out indiscriminate attacks on civilian targets.



>

Well, at least this Kurdish neighborhood had a non-aggression pact with
Assad at the time or else it would have been hell to pay. Fortunately
for the neighborhood, Russian and Syrian jets liquidated the jihadi
threat to Murray Bookchin's anarchist experiment.




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