Then their anger was diverted to the statue of Felix Dzerzhinsky, the KGB’s founding father. A couple of men climbed up and slipped a rope round his neck. Then he was yanked up by a crane. Watching “Iron Felix” sway in mid-air, Mr Kondaurov, who had served in the KGB since 1972, felt betrayed “by Gorbachev, by Yeltsin, by the impotent coup leaders”. He remembers thinking, “I will prove to you that your victory will be short-lived.”
Those feelings of betrayal and humiliation were shared by 500,000 KGB operatives across Russia and beyond, including Vladimir Putin, whose resignation as a lieutenant-colonel in the service had been accepted only the day before. Eight years later, though, the KGB men seemed poised for revenge. Just before he became president, Mr Putin told his ex-colleagues at the Federal Security Service (FSB), the KGB’s successor, “A group of FSB operatives, dispatched under cover to work in the government of the Russian federation, is successfully fulfilling its task.” He was only half joking.
1. Phantoms of the Soviet
Reference Abdullah Ocalan’s vision that misrepresents liberalism and true representative democratic process, which may in turn replicate what the Soviet axis always produced using “sweet words” combined with the rapacious temperament of the politically privileged in an autocratic system: kleptocratic strongmen in palaces and manipulated “masses” around them.
2. Phantoms of the Soviet – PKK
Related to the first point, the PKK set up in the Soviet Era with, apparently, related dogma for intellectual definition, and in that its presence in persons may persist beneath other banners, the same may serve to block western enthusiasm for an independent Kurdistan. In other words and in relation to the Phantoms of the Soviet (a category referenced frequently on BackChannels in relation to other conflicts), the persistence of PKK ideas and actions, whether vengeful or provocative, cloud western support. The only answer to that is to reconsider what is advanced in Kurdistan as regards practical ideals and political language (across languages) and adjusting for the distance in intellectual history between states of affairs in 1984 and those of this day.
3. Putin’s Feudal Revanche
Putin’s Russia represents another rapacious autocracy bent on producing conflict worldwide within a global system of feudal absolute power certain to drive wars of all against all.
The Federation represents Russia’s third flip — two revolutions, three governments — within 100 years of the days of the tsars, and appears now to leverage deals on that basis, e.g., in range of Putin’s sway (and leveraged by the Turkish Stream energy pipeline project, Erdogan has diminished the democracy that initially empowered him and all but returned Turkey to a feudal estate from which he cannot be politically (by mere elections) ejected.
4. Moscow / Moscow-Tehran’s Totalitarian Approach to the Creation and Presentation of Conflict
The intent was to produce a large piece of theater, truly, that would make Assad look good — he envisioned and helped into power the enemy wanted — while producing a major headache for the west. By remaining somewhat fixed in past arrangements and ideas, the Kurdish community has perhaps been maneuvered into aiding the devil that most seeks to control it (and everyone else).
Related term of art for look-up: “malignant narcissism“.
5. State of Kurdish Administrative and Constitutional Development
It has been hard to see the coordinating and self-subordinating (“for the greater good”) character of Kurdish leaders to an overarching administrative and democratic (power checking, power displacing, power distributing, and culturally and politically evolving) system. The latent Kurdish state in fact that may be defined by the subordination of officials to greater institutional arrangements may be there, but the western / publishing-in-English journos haven’t laid out relationships, or I’ve missed that coverage, or the same is not wanted.
In deference to Ocalan’s “democratic communalist” vision, there may be little incentive (by way of example too) to bring western commercial elements and associated vulgarity into a culturally independent Kurdistan. There are many other ways to pursue and sustain both cultural and political evolution and distributed economic development across a new polity (reference authors Brown, McRobie, Schumacher, among others).
Addendum to the Above: Found Posted on YouTube – October 17, 2017
6. Modern Kurdish Defense Considerations Against Adverse Feudal Estates
Much in favor of the defense of Kurdish independence may be the reversion of the Turkish government to feudalism and its history of persecution of the Kurds and others. Clearly, the Kurdish community needs an effective defense against adverse egomaniac and ill-willed potentates.
7. Armed Proxies of Iranian Fascism
Washington needs to be pressed hard about the powering up and evident fielding of Iranian-backed Iraqi Shiite militia in the latest suppression of Kurdish independence. At this point, Moscow / Moscow-Tehran’s kleptocratic totalitarian ambition should be glaring, and the western public should join the Kurdish community in blocking greater Iranian fascism through armed proxies.
If there’s a secret to peace all around, it may be in the separation of the present western-backed governments from the external meddling of rogue dictatorships that wish to drag the region backward toward feudal barbarism using the most nefarious of political methods to do it. The leaders in that aggression have learned how to make money off the misery of others while they themselves remain remote from the nightmares they have created.
The KGB and its counterparts in the countries of the Warsaw Pact kept on infiltrating neo-Nazi organisations in West Germany and some other Western countries, but then with a different aim, namely to goad them into extremist activities, only to accuse Western countries of the alleged resurgence of Nazism afterwards. One example of such initiatives was the ‘swastika graffiti operation’ devised by Soviet KGB General Ivan Agayants, who at that time headed the KGB Department D (disinformation), and carried out in 1959– 1960 in West Germany. 79 In that period, KGB agents painted swastikas and anti-Semitic slogans on synagogues, tombstones and Jewish-owned shops. Jewish families received anonymous hate mail and threatening phone calls. The initial KGB operation would stir up residual anti-Semitic sentiments in the West German society and, consequently, produce a snowball effect where troublemakers would carry out anti-Semitic activities on their own.
Shekhovtsov, Anton (2017-09-08). Russia and the Western Far Right: Tango Noir (Routledge Studies in Fascism and the Far Right) (Kindle Locations 1272-1279). Taylor and Francis. Kindle Edition. (Publishers URL).
Note: the above relayed passage was highlighted while reading and before encountering Michel Casey’s interview with the author, in which it is described as “One of the most widely cited moments in reviews on your book . . . .”
It has been BackChannels hope that readers less specialized in political history and dimensions within it will nonetheless appreciate some bridging between the world of the ambitious academic and the information bombarded generalist who may most of all appreciate a point made fast and indelibly.
As its editor and, I’m sure, it’s readers have figured out, more material of interest often winds up in reference than in the main body of the post. At near publication on this post, a quick look-up was given the terms, “Putin, political technologist” — here’s the image of first page results (Oct. 16, 2017):
Also related on BackChannels as regards the “KGB Playbook”, two posts, one related to the incubating of ISIS by Bashar al-Assad and the other the “application” of Islamic Terrorism to the development of what this blog refers to as the “Newest Nationalism”:
The Kurdistan region enjoys autonomy in Iraq, and that has meant running its own airports; borders; maintaining its own Peshmerga security forces; and exporting oil through its own economic management.
Baghdad now wants to use the referendum as an excuse to roll that back.
With the war on the Islamic State seemingly close to an end, Baghdad wants to punish the Kurdish region for seeking independence.
BackChannels has turned up the following themes related to the Kurdish struggle for independence:
- Iranian resistance expressed in Iraq via Iran aligned and backed Shiite militia.
- Persistence of the Kurdish PKK and a perhaps too robust relationship with a persistently feudal and political absolute, criminal, and totalitarian Russia.
- Inability, so far, to attenuate the power of chiefs and produce a disciplined and power balancing democracy.
Reference – Iraq: Iran Aligned Shiite Militia
Note, please, the date year associated with reference. Whether 2015, earlier, or later, BackChannels’ Kurdish source has cited Iraq’s Iranian-aligned Shiite militia as posting a persistent challenge to the defense of the Kurd’s ancestral land.
Washington’s response to the Islamic State’s (IS) advance, however, has been disgraceful: The United States is now acting as the air force, the armory, and the diplomatic cover for Iraqi militias that are committing some of the worst human rights abuses on the planet. These are “allies” that are actually beholden to our strategic foe, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and which often resort to the same vile tactics as the Islamic State itself.
. . . from the KRG perspective, two Shia militia forces—Asaib Ahl Haq and the Badr militias—are uncontrollable.
Both these militias are backed by Iran, and the their military operations are effectively overseen by Qassem Suleimani, the head of the Qods Force, which serves as the external arm of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).
Rudaw. “Peshmerga commander warns Shiite militias a threat to Kurds.” September 8, 2016. The piece winds around but ends this way:
Hashd al-Shaabi is the defender of “Iraqi sovereignty and its unity,” he declared, and it will not fight any other group except ISIS.
Kurdish Peshmerga and Shiite militia forces have clashed several times in Kirkuk’s southern ethnically-mixed city of Khurmatu in recent months. Several people from both sides were killed in the confrontations.
A century after the breakdown of the Ottoman boundaries, Iraq remains a forced union of peoples whose national aspirations and sense of identity have been suppressed. Members of my family spent decades in exile from successive Iraqi governments that, since the turn of the 20th century, butchered generations of Kurdish men, women and children who struggled to find their place in this artificial state.
Thus there has always been a lingering, unresolved question of identity for the Kurds of Iraq. That identity will finally achieve resolution when the people of Iraqi Kurdistan vote in the referendum. This expression of popular will should not only close a long chapter of grief but also bring new certainty and stability to an increasingly volatile region plagued by sectarian conflict and bloodshed.
Of special concern was the possibility that Iran-backed Shiite militias in Iraq could seek to gain political advantage by challenging Kurdish control in the oil-rich, ethnically mixed city of Kirkuk and other disputed territories also claimed by the central government in Baghdad.
John Hannah relays a chilling list of actions taken or threatened by Iraq and Turkey in their pique with the Kurdish referendum. He goes on to note the following and then pleads for Washington’s regaining its own initiative in moral courage in partnering with the Kurds and forestalling the escalation of force applied in keeping them captive to forces clearly out of step with Washington’s moral and political missions:
I was taken aback by the intense frustration and anger directed at a critical wartime ally and longtime, loyal U.S. partner whose history of oppression and even genocide at the hands of other nations leaves it with — if nothing else — an almost unimpeachable moral case for self-determination.
Reference – Kurdish PKK
Posted to YouTube August 21, 2017.
Posted to YouTube June 29, 2017.
Backgrounder (January 2, 2014)
(More is in the works).
The illegitimacy of two deeply authoritarian, corrupt, and kleptocratic governments may need acknowledgment along with the continued meddling if not discernible presence of two “greater” others as well. Distill down so many issues, all that would seem wanted is integrity — honest, responsible, reliable, responsive governance — in Palestinian territorial-to-state rule. What makes that autonomy and self-respect so difficult to attain? After 70 years of Arab Apartheid and related political abuse, one might think a People might wish to be truly their own People.
Related on BackChannels
Related on the Web
It is a great honour for me to give the first Tom Lantos Rule of Law Lecture. I would like to thank Annette Lantos, Katrina Lantos, and their whole large family for all their support over these 10 long years.
Today, the outside world is seeing Russia more and more as an aggressive country with an outmoded economy…
Against the background of the latest scandals about interference in elections, military adventurism in Syria and the Donbass, and the seizure of territories in Crimea, my country is more and more often being mentioned in the same breath as places like Iran and North Korea.
Of course, I don’t agree with this, but I cannot help but notice that we are regularly starting out from the position of an aggressor. Of a country that disrupts the world order, an exporter of tension and corruption. And the fact that we are not the only country like this gives me no comfort whatsoever.
I can’t help but notice that my country’s ambition to be a world leader is not supported by the viability of its economic system and the results it produces.These are becoming ever more dismal as the country has stalled its way into stagnation.
The Kurds have also been persecuted by the Turkish government for decades. Gültan Kışanak and Fırat Anlı, the co-mayors of Diyarbakır, for example, were arrested on October 30, 2016 for “being members of a terrorist organization,” and Turkish authorities then appointed a custodian to run the city. In addition, there are currently 13 Kurdish MPs — including the leaders of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) — in Turkish jails.
While the Kurdish community garners western sympathy in its effort to survive both Arab and Turkish efforts to diminish and eventually destroy its existence, the fight between the two appears often to take place in the shadows and with fathomless ambiguity.
The “TAK” AKA “Kurdistan Freedom Hawks”, appear to operate autonomously from any Kurdish command structure, including the PKK’s, a U.S. Department of State listed terrorist organization.
Of course, one may suppose that for a secret war an intensely secretive military organization — there would seem no other option! — would fit with state adversary whose own aggression and transgressions were apparently masked off from general public view. Then too, Turkey appears to have chosen to interpret rebel reactions to its own assaults in the most gross terms: in the state’s mind, all of the Kurdish community is PKK (just as all opposition to Assad must be ISIS or “The Terrorists”), and the community needs be sustained bare for eventual cultural erasure beneath the Turkish banner of Islam.
Related in Wikipedia:
Certain academics[who?] have claimed that successive Turkish governments adopted a sustained genocide program against Kurds, aimed at their assimilation. The genocide hypothesis remains, however, a minority view among historians, and is not endorsed by any nation or major organisation. Desmond Fernandes, a Senior Lecturer at De Montfort University, breaks the policy of the Turkish authorities into the following categories:
Forced assimilation program, which involved, among other things, a ban of the Kurdish language, and the forced relocation of Kurds to non-Kurdish areas of Turkey.
The banning of any organizations opposed to category one.
The violent repression of any Kurdish resistance.
As if the confusion accompanying a secretive lowest-intensity war between Kurdish rebels and a new autocratic and potentially fanatic Turkish state were not enough for the devil’s amusement, the rebel’s hero Abdullah Öcalan draws from the defunct Soviet perspective for his presentation of democracy as prelude to the popular soft “democratic communalism” that would preserve the Kurdish community and make way for a hypothetical cultural Eden:
That the solution to all national and social problems is linked to the nation-state represents the most tyrannical aspect of modernity. To expect a solution from the tool which is itself the source of problems can only lead to the growth of problems and societal chaos. Capitalism itself is the most crisis-ridden stage of civilisation. The nation-state, as the tool deployed in this crisis-ridden stage, is the most developed organisation of violence in social history.
The short excerpt from the book may be considered an injustice given the lengthier reflections of the author; however, as well demonstrated in Syria by Moscow-Tehran (with baby Damascus between) if not elsewhere in the post-Soviet sphere of influence, deriding liberalism and the solutions produced by the west to ecological, economic, and humanist interests needs must come first: the conflation of unbridled capitalism with the nation-state is treated as unassailable and the very idea of nation-states (and their boundaries) needs must go.
With that in mind, have a look at where “Assad v The Terrorists” began in 2011 and how the state looks today.
Given the usefulness of what might be a binding ideological cause — and who would not be for Earth and her People? — there would seem in Ocalan’s latest book the persistence of dreadfully romantic ideas already long failed and left behind.
For the record, BackChannels may suggest that all successful polities pay mind to cultural, ecological, and social issues within their purview to construct in law and physical fact the distribution of capabilities and responsibilities that may then create healthy and productive regions — ask any urban or rural developer or planner you may know about who builds “infrastructure” and how that gets done, economically, politically, and physically.
Also worth noting of the post-Soviet sphere: the littering of the globe with kleptocratic dictatorships that appear to offer convincing and sweet-sounding programs to their people while in fact exploiting the same in the development of powerful systems of patronage .
With the Soviet Union dissolved 26 years ago (Dec. 25, 1991), the true hearts of communism have perhaps turned — say as the Communist Party has done with Jacob Zuma in South Africa — to calling out the crooks among their own.
Still, must everyone wind up alienated and enslaved by by remote power?
Must all minority cultures — anywhere — assimilate themselves into disappearance becomes of some asshole’s fascist jones for one language, religion, or national purity, or political solidarity within or beyond his own area of influence and zone of control?
We should all hope not!
It would seem most natural for communities and person to seek for themselves good accommodations without reversion to criminal force where opportunity and respect may be considered as given.
BackChannels does not know how central the PKK, much less mysterious autonomous spin-offs like the TAK, are to Kurdish cultural integrity, but it appreciates for the communities representing the earth’s fewer than 7,000 living languages the idea of ethnolinguistic cultural survival and co-evolution. From that perspective, the Turkish speakers would be noble to leave the Kurdish speakers with freedom and security on the land across which their language developed — and the Kurds would seem right to push back against the forces of their own cultural annihilation.
Since 2015, the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been attacking Kurdish-majority areas in the country. … The clashes have taken their toll on Turkey’s Christian population, which is caught in the crossfire. According to a November 2016 report in The Armenian Weekly,
Entire neighborhoods have disappeared, reduced to rubble. The Surp Giragos Church in Diyarbakır has escaped the fighting relatively intact structurally… But the Turkish security forces have used it as an army base, desecrating the church, burning some of the pews as firewood, with garbage and smell of urine everywhere.
Last week, the Turkish government announced it was joining the war against ISIS. Since then it has arrested more than 1,000 people in Turkey and carried out waves of air raids in neighboring Syria and Iraq. But most of those arrests and air strikes, say Kurdish leaders, have hit Kurdish and left wing groups, not ISIS.
During Turkey’s war for independence, Turkish leaders, promised Kurds a Turkish-Kurdish federated state in return for their assistance in the war. After independence was achieved, however, they ignored the bargain they had made.
Months after the declaration of a Turkish republic, Ankara, under the pretext of creating an “indivisible nation,” adopted an ideology aimed at eliminating, both physically and culturally, non-Turkish elements within the Republic. These “elements” were primarily Kurdish and Armenian.
A 1924 mandate forbade Kurdish schools, organizations and publications. Even the words “Kurd” and “Kurdistan” were outlawed, making any written or spoken acknowledgement of their existence illegal.
According to Association France-Kurdistan, between 1925 and 1939, 1.5 million Kurds, a third of the population, were deported and massacred.
There are State Security Courts in eight cities in Turkey, dealing with thousands of cases brought under the Anti-Terror Law. The definition of “terror” contained in this law is so broadly drawn that alongside cases of political arson and murder, a State Security Court may try respected politicians, journalists, human rights campaigners, and schoolchildren. Defendants branded as terrorists by conviction in State Security Courts include Recep Tayyip Erdogan, mayor of Istanbul, currently serving a ten-month sentence for quoting a poem that had been approved by the Ministry of Education but was deemed as provocation to religious hatred by the court, and Yasar Kemal, Turkey’s most prominent novelist, arraigned for writing about the Kurdish minority in a German magazine.
The Kurds, as individuals and as a society, must conceive, internalise and implement the construction of a democratic nation as the synthesis of all expressions of truth and resistance throughout their history, including the most ancient goddess beliefs, Zoroastrianism and Islam. The truths that all the past mythological, religious and philosophical teachings as well as contemporary social sciences have tried to teach and that all resistance wars and rebellions have individually and collectively tried to voice are represented in the mind and body of constructing a democratic nation. It was this reality and its expression as truth that was my point of departure, not only when I re-created myself at times but especially arriving at the present as I tried to re-create myself almost at every instant. In this way, I freely socialised myself, and concretised this as a democratic nation (in a Kurdish context), and presented it as democratic modernity to all humanity, to the oppressed peoples and individuals of the Middle East.
The fine voice from the Left would seem laced with the last century’s intellectual poison.
From a different source:
The religion of ancient Persia as founded by Zoroaster; one of the world’s great faiths that bears the closest resemblance to Judaism and Christianity.
The tiny world wide communities of Zoroastrians are no doubt pleased to get any mention in Cif belief – even if it is only to provide alphabetical balance to a list starting with the Bahá’ís. Even those who take a close interest in the more exotic or esoteric of religions tend to have a vague grasp on what the followers of the ancient Persian (or maybe Bactrian) prophet, Zarathustra (Zoroaster in Greek) – born around 800 BC – actually believed. This is a great pity since even a non-believer must be impressed with the evidence of how the religious ideas first expressed by Zoroaster were fundamental in shaping what emerged as Judaism after the 5th century BC and thus deeply influenced the other Abrahamic religions – Christianity and Islam.
As conceived or delivered by Muhammad in the 7th Century, Islam may not be said to have been an ancient — much less practiced ancient — belief or belief system. To say or suggest so is to pander to the very egoism of the listener or reader for whom the Qur’an appears to have intended humility before God.
At stake — and so often mentioned in this blog — seems ever a contest between feudal absolute power plus medieval worldviews and modern checked and distributed power accompanied by extraordinary pluralism and tolerance.
In the end, all of God’s children — our 7,000 living language cultures — are all on one Earth and together visible, all to all and to the All.
The use of Kurdish language, dress, folklore, and names were banned and the Kurdish-inhabited areas remained under martial law until 1946. In an attempt to deny their existence, the Turkish government categorized Kurds as “Mountain Turks” until 1991. The words “Kurds”, “Kurdistan”, or “Kurdish” were officially banned by the Turkish government. Following the military coup of 1980, the Kurdish language was officially prohibited in public and private life. Many people who spoke, published, or sang in Kurdish were arrested and imprisoned. Since lifting of the ban in 1991, the Kurdish population of Turkey has long sought to have Kurdish included as a language of instruction in public schools as well as a subject. Currently, it’s illegal to use the Kurdish language as an instruction language in private and public schools.
The prompt: ” . . . in Las Vegas something happened that possibly characterizes the psychological state of society.”
The psychological state of the society has been pretty damn good, and that by way of observing the local response to the atrocity at the time. From “first responders” to concert goers who were themselves in danger throughout — and could not have known themselves not in danger — our society pitched together against blood and chaos.
What to say of the asshole?
He’s been a little bit mysterious. There’s one image of him hanging out with an ANTIFA crowd . . . but there appear no signs of affiliation characteristic of that crowd, which existence responds primarily to white supremacist bullying beneath the radar of local police. So that image (of Paddock associating with an ANTIFA event — once) is there but doesn’t mean much.
Perhaps the girlfriend’s testimony has changed in some way or other evidence has been uncovered, but the last I heard, “Paddock” — what a name: so close to horses; so close to herding — maintained no political affiliations and “scant” social media presence.
The only thing “Vegas” characterized was Paddock’s own lost soul.
It seems everyone around him, by comparison, had theirs fully intact and good to go.
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