PKK – A Few Impressions and Notes on the Kurdish Struggle for Autonomy and Unification

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Kurdish defense elements may represent an amalgam of Kurdish interests largely beneath the authoritarian semi-socialist umbrella of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK). Conceived in the Far Left zeitgeist of the 1970s, an era saturated in and partially shaped by agent provocateur, disinformation, and money pouring off of Russia’s “Active Measures” programs, the PKK appears to have followed the pattern known to other Soviet-associated “liberation fronts” in relation to ruthless consolidations of power, funding through criminal means, and the launching of violent revolutionary actions against forces impeding organizational ambitions, concepts, and ends.

Be that as it may, the PKK has had also unquestionably repressive or even genocidal foes in the states in which the Kurdish community had been divided and politically diminished in power, but none were perhaps as awful in their intent to destroy Kurdish culture as Turkey (reference, for example: Wikipedia: “Human rights of Kurdish people in Turkey”). In the recruitment of Kurdish forces to fight ISIS, that issue has been well recognized —

In 2013, Erdogan promised to recognize Kurdish identity and language, and increase Kurdish liberties. A truce followed, but hostilities resumed in 2015. Erdogan said he was responding to PKK terrorism. The PKK claimed Erdogan destroyed the ceasefire by building dams and security stations in Kurdish regions. In either case, a war was on. Erdogan attacked with helicopter gunships, artillery and armored divisions, murdering thousands and displacing 335,000 mainly Kurdish citizens. A UN report described destroyed villages as moonscapes.

https://www.newsweek.com/turkeys-erdogan-kurds-opinion-1050039 – 7/31/2018 – Wachtel, Jonathan and Albert Wachtel. “Turkey’s Erdogan Wants to Crush the Kurds and Recreate the Ottoman world | Opinion.” Newsweek, July 31, 2018.

The recruitment of mixed Kurdish forces to fight ISIS necessarily involved diplomatic magic as some best trained and experienced in the business of fighting were to become those fighting Assad’s idea of “The Terrorists” — ISIS.

Here’s a section representing one starting point — the American State Department’s continuing designation of the PKK as a “Foreign Terrorist Organization” — and both the required finesse to shift popular impression plus an expression of America’s intent to defend its Kurdish allies (and front line) in the effort to defeat Islamic State —


The Department of State has reviewed and maintained the Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) designation of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), pursuant to Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended (8 U.S.C. § 1189). The PKK was originally designated as an FTO in 1997.

. . . .

Today’s actions notify the U.S. public and the international community that the PKK remains a terrorist organization. In addition to its continued status as an FTO, the PKK has also been designated as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order 13224 since 2001.

https://www.state.gov/state-department-maintains-foreign-terrorist-organization-fto-designation-of-the-kurdistan-workers-party-pkk/ – 3/1/2019 – U.S. Department of State. “State Department Maintains Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) Designation of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Media Note, Office of the Spokesperson, March 1, 2019.
Posted to YouTube by R&U Video January 25, 2017.

BackChannels refers often to the “Phantoms of the Soviet”, a mixture of KGB-Era ideas, methods, personalities, and relationships that have for about 26 years outlived the Soviet Union. Wherever cultivated, the same have fairly suspended geopolitical space in the barbarism and political repression best associated with feudal / medieval political absolutism.

The PKK’s role in potential Turkish-Russian escalation should be viewed through the lens of Moscow’s deep historic ties with the group — and with Damascus. In the 1970s, the PKK was established with Soviet support in the Beqa Valley of Syrian-occupied Lebanon. As one of two NATO countries boasting a land border with the Soviet Union, Turkey was considered Moscow’s soft underbelly during the Cold War, providing Washington with numerous assets such as listening bases capable of intercepting communications across the Black Sea. The Russians saw the PKK as a means of undercutting a key U.S. ally.

The PKK also enjoyed support from Bashar al-Assad’s father, Hafiz, who cast his regime as the champion of Turkish Kurds despite oppressing Syria’s own Kurdish community. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan lived in Damascus while his group ran training camps in Lebanon and used Syrian territory to attack Turkey.

Moscow’s support for the PKK eventually dissipated with the end of the Cold War and the emergence of pressing political and economic problems at home. Syria ended its own support in 1998, after Ankara threatened Damascus with war for supporting what had become a terribly destructive PKK campaign throughout Turkey. As part of this abrupt shift, Hafiz al-Assad expelled Ocalan.

https://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/the-pkk-could-spark-turkish-russian-military-escalation – 5/25/2016 – Tabler, Andrew J. and Soner Cagaptay. “The PKK Could Spark Turkish-Russian Military Escalation.” The Washington Institute, May 25, 2016.

The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) emerged from the radical ferment that swept the Western world in the 1960s. It was founded in 1978 as a Marxist-Leninist organisation infused with Kurdish nationalism and a cult of personality around its leader, Abdullah Ocalan. The PKK spent much of this period attacking other Kurdish and left-wing groups, and its own dissidents – hundreds of whom would be killed over the years – in an attempt to monopolise the support base for its ideas.

http://henryjacksonsociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/3053-PYD-Foreign-Fighter-Project-1.pdf – 2017 – Orton, Kyle. “The Forgotten Foreign Fighters: The PKK in Syria.” PDF. P. 5. The Henry Jackson Society, 2017.

While BackChannels happily and humbly defers to The Henry Jackson Society’s wizard of political science, Kyle Orton, it recognizes inherent value in the Kurdish community as singular among the worlds ethnic and tribal cohorts and with that equally inherent rights to autonomous self-determination and dignity — in defense terms: freedom from cultural and religious persecution.

BackChannels, being neither international organization or potent state, however may best demur to an analyst closer to the issues and altogether more experienced — in this instance, Michael Rubin of The American Enterprise Institute:

More importantly, PKK tactics have changed: There remains low-level military insurgency, but gone are the days when the PKK targets Turkish civilians (alas, the reverse is not true with regard to Turkish forces and Kurdish civilians, as the residents of Cizre, Nusaybin, and Sur can attest). Certainly, breakaway factions of the PKK such as the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK) have claimed attacks, but such factionalism is common when former terrorists come in from the cold. That was the case with the “ Real IRA ” which emerged after the IRA entered into a peace process in Northern Ireland.

http://www.aei.org/publication/its-time-to-acknowledge-the-pkks-evolution/ – 1/25/2019 – Rubin, Michael. “It’s time to acknowledge the PKK’s evolution”. American Enterprise Institute (AEI), January 25, 2019.

A little more than six months ago, BackChannels published “Moscow as Medusa with All the Snakes Attached” (January 2, 2019), and what it had had in mind was Russian President Vladimir Putin’s leveraging of arrangements involving leadership in several EU / NATO states fit for the flattering of an emperor. He had President Erdogan apologizing to him for shooting down two MIGs overflying Turkish air space (and, lo and behold, the “Turkish Stream” energy project got back on its feet) and, later (about now), purchasing Russian air defense technology suited to knocking NATO air power out of the sky . . . .

Elsewhere in EU / NATO, the “New Nationalism” responded to what BackChannels believes to have been manipulated “Islamic Terrorism” and — most certainly forced — mass migration from the Syrian Civil War: Viktor Orban (and family) had their premise for handling Hungary as an increasingly family-based enterprise; in France, Marine Le Pen had a (Moscow-sponsored) mission (she lost her run at the Presidency — and later the “Yellow Vests” appeared); and in the United States, an autocratic and reactionary conservative Donald Trump rose to power above a cloud of innuendos, lies, and improprieties involving foreign interference in the 2016 elections (for an introduction, see the film Active Measures) as well as an assortment of other and frequently sordid business.

So here with the above in mind is reference to “east-west” and “medieval v modern” conflict that continues to validate the idea of the presence of the “Phantoms of the Soviet” and their generally impeding progress toward modern governance in the near and middle east:

The Kurds have historically played an important role in Russian efforts to exert its influence in the Middle East. During the Cold War, the Soviet Union used the Kurds to bypass America’s containment strategy in the region.

Shortly after World War II, Moscow supported the creation of the Kurdish Republic of Mahabad in Iranian Kurdistan to increase its influence in the region. After the Iranian army crushed the Kurdish forces, the fighters led by Mustafa Barzani took refuge in the Soviet Union.

https://warontherocks.com/2017/12/why-is-turkey-silent-on-russias-cooperation-with-the-syrian-kurds/ – 12/19/2017 – Tol, Gonul. “Why is Turkey Silent on Russia’s Cooperation with the Syrian Kurds?” War on the Rocks, December 19, 2017.

Political analyst Gonul Tol appears in the third video featured in the next section, which presents another set of impressions having to do with the Kurdish struggle for Kurdish autonomy and unification.


Posted to YouTube by i24NEWS English December 26, 2018.

Posted to YouTube by Vox, March 12, 2018.

Posted to YouTube by the Middle East Institute, January 22, 2018.

Related Online

BBC. “Who are Kurdistan’s Workers’ Party (PKK) rebels?” November 4, 2016.

Cagaptay, Soner. “Syria and Turkey: The PKK Dimension.” The Washington Institute, April 5, 2012.

CNN Library. “Kurdish People Fast Facts”.

Orton, Kyle. “The Forgotten Foreign Fighters: The PKK in Syria.” PDF. The Henry Jackson Society, 2017.

Orton, Kyle. “The PKK Roots of America’s Ally in Syria.” Terrorism Monitor, 17:12, The Jamestown Foundation, June 14, 2019.

Orton, Kyle. “The Problems With the West’s Partners Against the Islamic State.” Kyle Orton’s Blog, May 10, 2017.

Rational Wiki. “Communalism”.

Rubin, Michael. “It’s time to acknowledge the PKK’s evolution”. American Enterprise Institute (AEI), January 25, 2019.

The Kurdish Project (Web Site) | The Kurdish Project (Facebook)

Tol, Gonul. “Why is Turkey Silent on Russia’s Cooperation with the Syrian Kurds?” War on the Rocks, December 19, 2017.

Wikipedia. “Democratic Confederalism”.

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FTAC: MEC: A Little Wisdom for the Medieval of Mind

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Presented here: a flurry of the editor’s opinion prompted through the daily round of chatyping/expressing on social media. Probably, others, including Palestinians, have had these notions on their minds for some time


A narrative through which the Palestinians have been lied too for more than 70 years is not something either Israelis or Palestinians need to or should respect. The soul of the conflict sustained by PLO / PA has to do with Palestinian intentions for Israel far more than the history of the place, but the accompanying demonizations of Jews and of Israel is not something that Israel, the west, or modern Palestinians need to accept or tolerate. Those old lies, that propaganda from another age, needs to drift into the past and, at some point, be sealed in it.


The Hamafia has before it the ultimate jihad: the struggle to change itself. Otherwise, it probably will be diminished in its ability to wage a continuous war of displacement against the Jews of Israel. Think about what Hamas has taken from the Palestinians. It has looted them; it has deflected construction and development funds to war purposes (e.g., “terror tunnels”); it has robbed Palestinian children of modern educations; and it has stolen from them their ability to express themselves politically and engage in regular and fair and free elections. Hamas occupies the Gaza Strip by force.


Regarding sentiment related to “Judea and Samaria” v “Palestinian Territories”, I would think most of moderate temperament would hold open the option of a two-state solution with semi-autonomous Palestinian statehood adjusted according to level-of-threat in relation to terrorism and genocidal will on the part of the Palestinians.

As things stand, the PLO / PA and Hamas have a functionally complex relationship with Israel, but the two are very much the Administrators of their turf. They may abuse the Palestinians all they want, and it seems neither Israel nor the west will interfere with them. However, for basic services and trade, Palestinian government cooperation with Israel seems unavoidable and, in fact, long established.


Back in 2006/7, the election results came as a surprise to Washington and to the PLO / PA.

Hamas was to more firmly establish its power on the Gaza Strip by force.

“In 2006, Hamas won a slight majority of the seats in the Palestinian Authority legislative elections. This would have put Hamas in a commanding position for both the West Bank and Gaza, but there was a problem: Hamas refused to accept previous deals that the PA had made with Israel. That lead Western powers to freeze out aid, which the PA depends on, to any Hamas-led PA. Tensions between the PLO and Hamas eventually escalated to outright war between the two factions, which ended up with Hamas governing Gaza independently from the West Bank–based PLO” — https://www.vox.com/2018/11/20/18080058/israel-palestine-hamas

Hamas brutality toward the Palestinians has been well noticed.

https://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/gaza-news/Mladenov-condemns-Hamas-violence-against-Palestinians-in-Gaza-583724

The Hamas methods of absolute rule and brutal political repression may be worth thinking about for those who believe themselves “in solidarity” with the organization.


Related Online

https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2018/gaza-strip .

https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2018/west-bank


Toameh, Khaled Abu. “What Happens to Palestinians Who Demand a Better Life?” Gatestone Institute, April 12, 2019.


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Funny Things Happen at Sea – Azov, South China, Hormuz, Oman

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Related: “The battle for Azov: Round 1 goes to Russia” | Brookings, December 3, 2018 | “Russia confirms signing agreement with Ukraine on fishing in the Sea of Azov” | UAWire, March 4, 2019 — Brookings had recounted the Russian vessel ramming of a Ukrainian fishing boat earlier in 2018, a period in which the Ukrainian fishing fleet on the Sea of Azov had been harassed and run off its own territory.

DW Documentary posted to YouTube March 26, 2019.

It remains to be seen whether the treaty will see Ukraine’s Sea of Azov fleet restored to normal operations in frequency, area, and yields.


“Chinese Ship Sinks PH Vessel, Abandons 22 Pinoy Fisherman | ABS-CBN News, 6/12/2019 — ” The Armed Forces’ Western Command said the incident was “far from accidental” and likened it to a “hit and run.”

The above referenced incident also involved a direct ramming but against a target at anchor.

What was its purpose?


“Tankers Off Iran Hit by Suspected Torpedos” | WSJ \ 6/13/2019

Earlier: “Two Saudi oil tankers among ‘sabotaged’ ships off UAE coast” | Al Jazeera, 5/13/2019.


“Gulf of Oman tankers attacked” | CNN, June 13, 2019, Updated 1:30 p.m. ET.

BackChannels wonders if the enemies of liberal democracy have not chosen the subtleties of seaborne violence to launch attacks that may be received as ambiguous by the western public. The Bush Administration’s WMD cover, which may have been more true in behind-the-curtains details and regime tendencies than in blatant near-time evidence may have damaged future-claims credibility as regards the authenticity of official narratives in the run-ups to war — or, for this blog, the bridge between less obvious and more obvious war.

Did the clump of snow just happen to fall on one’s shoulders or was it hurled?

🙂

Almost by definition, remove events, and especially those at sea, would seem little observed by other than dock and seafaring workers and then, of course, the parties to military listening-watching activities.


China, Russia, and Iran appear to wish for every greater power and control over populations and wealth in the world through the imposition of Draconian laws using Orwellian methods or tools to keep their elites enriched and their subject populations dumb in relation to their grooming at best (and literally so beneath the shadow of the “Islamic Revolution” in Iran) or, at worst, their invisibility (have a look into poverty in the three states operated by wealthy political elites).


CNN, Posted to YouTube June 13, 2019.

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FTAC: Middle East Conflict: At the End — Mourning

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Inspiration for the post: the question as to why the Palestinian bloc resists reciprocity in so many open online forums surrounding the middle east conflict.

Of late, the editor has been trotting out two or three significant articles involving shared Israeli-Palestinian experience:

https://www.thenation.com/article/palestinians-israelis-mourning-our-dead-together/ | https://www.wsj.com/articles/desperate-for-tech-talent-israel-turns-to-an-untapped-labor-pool-palestinians-1541854800 | https://institute.global/insight/middle-east/israeli-palestinian-trade-depth-analysis

What follows: a few words From The Awesome Conversation —


Much of the Arab World and the Palestinians (who have been separated from the same even while touted as an Arab cause) are in a pickle in relation to the benefits of the modern world that are so ubiquitous within it that we take them for granted.

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2015/05/gaza-palestinians-tortured-summarily-killed-by-hamas-forces-during-2014-conflict/

https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/14057/hamas-gaza-protests-torture

We all miss the good conversation with the Palestinian side because their political communities demand conformance and otherwise appear inflexible as well as deeply and viciously politically repressed.

While the puppet masters — advisers, financiers, manipulators — are elsewhere in the Arab, Persian, and Soviet / post-Soviet worlds, cognizant Israelis and hapless Palestinians are stuck on the fault line between “east” and “west”, and the hell of it is neither can do much for authentic Palestinian liberation.

One friend, Mohammed S. Dajani Daoudi, had the audacity, courage, loving motivation, and spirit to bring a class of Palestinian students to Auschwitz, a breakthrough in peace making if ever was. His reward: a torched automobile courtesy of the nefarious political mafia power n the Palestinian midst. Today, some hold a hard line even though they know what I know as regards the KGB’s meddling in the middle east (see also the last section of this post as regards a true telling of the Palestinian experience). While Daoudi searches for the middle path, he sees no going backward on the “Palestinian narrative”, which has been such an invention in language — and in academe, an intellectual infection — that none (who are of the west and disinclined toward “magical thinking”) can work with it.

That’s my explanation for the question, “Why is it so difficult to expect the same thing” — fair and forward-thinking reciprocity — from the Palestinians. Political and social methods of repression work, and the “leaders” have made a mint while managing what is just one among the world’s “frozen conflicts”.


The focus of the world really should be on the PLO / PA, Hamas, and, one big step up in the world of foreign affairs, the malicious political creativity of Moscow and Tehran. The old Arab side power nodes have not been much better, but with the Shiite v Sunni conflict in play, Washington has been trying to pull the Kingdom forward while addressing the “Islamic Revolution” with punitive measures.

Related on BackChannels

My argument for the Palestinian People: after 70+ years of comparative isolation associated with Arab Apartheid, the cohort defined by the Arab refugees of 1948 have indeed become a People, but they have been also deeply intellectually poisoned. The big lie as a thought left unaddressed to fester . . . to whip resentment into boiling anger: “The Jews stole your land and God wants to you to seize it back (and annihilate the Jews)”. Never mind the Turkish land registries, the land purchases that began long before WWII, the agricultural industry that drew Arab labor into its economy, or the continuous presence of Jews in Roman-named “Palestine” across millennia.

The myth: Israel was an invasion.

The truth: Israel has been an investment legitimately obtained.

The cruelties to which the Palestinians — in some radicalized part — remain subject: Hitler’s license for the harboring of genocidal ambitions now supported by Hamas, at least; Uncle Joe’s and Father (I guess) Andropov’s reliance on “Information Warfare” and political repression in the ordering of their own delusional worlds.

https://conflict-backchannels.com/2019/05/18/ftac-palestinian-integrity-palestinian-liberation/

Peace for Israelis and Palestinians may turn out a thing that swells up into political space rather than something forced by arms, it being more the natural inclination of humanity to establish a natural security through heightened interaction and more normative reciprocal and trustworthy social behavior.

By David Bedein and posted to YouTube February 2, 2017.

Posted by i24News to YouTube on May 7, 2019.

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George Will: Independent

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Charles Lane: . . . . that brings us to the present day and present President whose name, by the way it’s Donald Trump, does not appear in your book. Now that can’t be an accident.

George Will: The names of Charlemagne and Audrey Hepburn and Duke Ellington don’t appear in the book either [Lane: That’s true] because this is a book about ideas and the current president is not part of that discussion. He has nothing to do with conservatism. He really to his credit has never pretended to be a conservative. He’s an entrepreneur in politics and he’s maximizing whatever he wants to maximize. This is a book about important arguments, and he’s not part of that.

Lane, Charles. “George Will wrangles with God, the conservative sensibility and the dangers of progressivism.” YouTube, 9:33-10:15. The Washington Post, June 2, 2019.

Posted to YouTube by Washington Post, June 2, 2019

BackChannels will leave to others, especially the young, familiarization with one of America’s most iconic of conservative opinion makers: George F. Will.

Curious about “important arguments”, BackChannels has made the purchase.


Related Online

East, Kristen. “George Will leaves the GOP”. Politico, June 25, 2016.



Related on BackChannels

https://conflict-backchannels.com/2017/02/02/united-states-of-america-basic-training/


Also Related on YouTube


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Venezuela: Lying to The People

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Dickey, Christopher. “How Cuba Helped Make Venezuela a Mafia State.” Daily Beast, June 2, 2019.

InSight Crime. “Venezuela: A Mafia State?” Seven-part series, May 16, 2018 to May 25, 2018. Full report: InSight Crime. “Venezuela: A Mafia State?” Report (PDF): 1) “7 Reasons for Describing Venezuela as a ‘Mafia State’”, Mary 16, 2018; 2) “Drug Trafficking Within the Venezuelan Regime: The ‘Cartel of the Suns’”, May 17, 2018; 3) “The Devolution of State Power: The ‘Colectivos’”, May 18, 2018; 4) “The Devolution of State Power: ‘The Pranes’,” May 20, 2018; 5) “Colombia and Venezuela: Criminal Siamese Twins,” May 21, 2018; 6) “Honduras and Venezuela: Coup and Cocaine Air Bridge,” May 23, 2018; 7) “Dominican Republic and Venezuela: Cocaine Across the Caribbean,” May 24, 2018; 8) “Venezuela and El Salvador: Exporting Aid and Corruption,” May 25, 2018.



BackChannels readers should be more sophisticated than those who embroil themselves in arguing for or against capitalism, communism, and socialism.

For what Venezuela has come to experience, all of the “isms” are superfluous.

Venezuelan dictatorships have chosen repeatedly to ignore good advice. Credit the Chavez Regime for its contribution to this illuminating report from Foreign Policy: https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/07/16/how-venezuela-struck-it-poor-oil-energy-chavez/

Maduro?

Venezuela is rich in natural resources, and that far beyond oil!

And yet, the “socialist” dictator would not encourage the diversifying of the economy through even modest individual capitalization or devotion to good ideas.

Now people have gotten the message and they’re scraping gold off of the earth — and growing gardens with earnest interest in bare survival.



Migration: 4 million, according to the above Fox network video.

And yet Maduro and his cronies will attempt to assure Venezuelans of the government’s ability to recover (while demonizing The North).

Venezuela has failed.

The state needs valued cash supply, humanitarian aid, and a transition that puts the latent wealth of the nation into fair and just use.


Related on BackChannels for political meditation: https://conflict-backchannels.com/coins-and-other-terms/anthropolitical-psychology/malignant-narcissism/

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Europe Medieval or Europe Modern?

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DW, posted to YouTube May 20, 2019.

Europeans who may wish to see fewer “3rd world country people” in their neighborhoods would do well to address the state leaders who sent them: Putin, Assad, and Khamenie.

How?

By applying “Reflexive Control” in the manipulating of Islamic Terrorism and the shaping of their wars.

http://www.businessinsider.com/exploring-al-qaedas-murky-connection-to-russian-intelligence-2014-6

https://conflict-backchannels.com/2017/03/11/reflexive-control-process-allahu-akbar-terrorism-new-nationalism-neo-feudalism/

https://conflict-backchannels.com/2016/12/09/syria-assad-isil-background/


Method #1: detect and amplify any present national, racial, or religious suspicion into self-righteous anger and resentment — and crank it up;

Method #2: develop and deploy appropriate agitprop and agent provocateur — and for the Devil’s sake, don’t worry about anything having to do with ethics, ideals, principles, or values: in fact, dispense with the possession of conscience altogether and reduce all complexities — also, all cultural richness and intercultural relations to two essential dimensions: will and survival.

Method #3: Prepare the violence to come: arm convinced militia and move the same toward perceiving slights or promoting provocations, for either will serve the dual purposes necessary for the inhabiting of a renewed medieval world governed by feudal arrangements in support of “absolute power” (to be shared between political criminals and similar life forms).

Method #4: In hybrid, highbrow, and lowest manner, infiltrate target organizations and states for purpose of abetting their destabilization, perpetuating disinformation, and for ultimately exploiting legitimate business and labor for gain leveraged by bribery or extortion / reward for cooperation and threat for independence in either thought or action.


Also accessed in the writing of this blog:

Hinnant, Lori. “French yellow vest movement dogged by intolerance, extremism.” Daily Herald (Chicago), January 29, 2019.


Oltermann, Phiip. “Austria’s ‘Ibiza scandal’: what happened and why does it matter?” The Guardian, May 20, 2019.

Centrist leaders across Europe hope the fallout from the “Ibiza scandal” will be felt beyond Austria in the European parliament elections this week, in which populist, nationalist and far-right parties have been forecast to make gains.

Strache’s apparent eagerness to embrace corruption is in stark contrast to the “drain the swamp” rhetoric populists routinely deploy in their attempts to portray politics as a battle by decent ordinary people against a venal elite. The FPÖ is a key member of an alliance of European nationalist parties led by Matteo Salvini of Italy’s League.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/20/austria-ibiza-scandal-sting-operation-what-happened-why-does-it-matter

Sheldon, Michael. “The Small World of French Foreign Fighters.” Medium, February 4, 2019. Primary Source: Atlantic Council Digital Forensic Research Lab.


Add to the title: “We want to be free.” Posted to YouTube on February 10, 2014.

BackChannels has embedded with many posts the key word or phrase, “medieval v modern”, and that has worked for the editor, but what has emerged in Russia, Turkey, Hungary, and elsewhere also could be called a “Reactionary Conservatism” that fits with the anti-democratic and piratical renewal of feudal absolute power. Where such has succeeded, so far, the same has devolved into patently criminal cronyism.


Added 5/23/2019 —

BBC on Orban’s Hungary and its “Populism” — Posted to YouTube May 22, 2019.

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FTAC: Palestinian Integrity: Palestinian Liberation

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State of Affairs: Palestinian leaders needs must treat the Palestinian main base as captives to be kept from free and open discourse and research in relation to their own history.

For BackChannels, “The Palestinians” exist, but the idea of the “The People” differently than presumed by the dictatorships and kleptocrats that have chosen to exploit as weapons “the refugees of 1948”, i.e., the many Christians and Muslims abandoned between armies as Arab forces abandoned their mission to annihilate the Jews of Israel.


Genuine peace may have something to do with shared integrity, not my-side-your-side and the wheedled detente that is ever a ceasefire, never a peace.

My argument for the Palestinian People: after 70+ years of comparative isolation associated with Arab Apartheid, the cohort defined by the Arab refugees of 1948 have indeed become a People, but they have been also deeply intellectually poisoned. The big lie as a thought left unaddressed to fester . . . to whip resentment into boiling anger: “The Jews stole your land and God wants to you to seize it back (and annihilate the Jews)”. Never mind the Turkish land registries, the land purchases that began long before WWII, the agricultural industry that drew Arab labor into its economy, or the continuous presence of Jews in Roman-named “Palestine” across millennia.

The myth: Israel was an invasion.

The truth: Israel has been an investment legitimately obtained.

The cruelties to which the Palestinians, in some radicalized part, remain subject: Hitler’s license for the harboring of genocidal ambitions now supported by Hamas, at least; Uncle Joe’s and Father (I guess) Andropov’s reliance on “Information Warfare” and political repression in the ordering of their own delusional worlds.

Today we know what happens to Palestinian dissidents.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/10/23/palestine-authorities-crush-dissent

And “collaborators”.

Haven’t The Palestinians an inherent right to question their leadership — it has been a long time since the last casting of ballots for them — or to read and discuss, I don’t know, say, Benny Morris, Efraim Karsh, or to engage with Israels as each may see fit without fear?

https://www.timesofisrael.com/quietly-israeli-high-tech-companies-contract-gaza-engineers/

An authentic Palestinian Liberation Movement would be helpful.


BackChannels has addressed this “Medieval v Modern” topic quite a few times over the years. Among the editor’s favorite echoes: https://conflict-backchannels.com/2018/10/20/ftac-mec-palestinians-a-people-waiting-to-be-born-again-honestly/

The Soviet / post-Soviet seduced Left / Far Left — the Corbynites, the Cult BDS Waters of the world — are not for the Palestinians but for those who have enriched themselves championing their misery in service to the corruption of those who most purport to represent them.


Soviet cartoons distributed in the Middle East to leverage “the masses” into the Soviet camp.

Might Russia’s animus with the Jews go all the way back to the Viking encounter with the Khazar Kingdom that received tribute from east-west trade?

That’s possible. The Khazar, representing a Turkic Khaganate, had converted en masse to a Karaite form of Judaism and would have been regarded as Jews by those whose eastern trade they had taxed. The ever expanding-contracting-expanding range of Nordic / Russian power overtook the Kingdom has it would Kiev as well as half of Britain: the Vikings were to hold sway in what is today thought of as “The West”, or one might say the European tribes north of the Roman Empire.

Has anti-Semitic hate traveled forward from that far in the past?

That too is possible, the calendar of the Hebrews dating back 5,779 years this year.

How primary in the life of polities are fundamental beliefs and accompanying attitudes?

Would Great Britain be “British” without the anti-Semitic depictions of Shakespeare’s Shylock and Dickens’ Fagin, both far predating the encouragement of Russia’s Okhrana and later Bolshevik KGB?

Add the thought to conjecture.

Whatever history may tell the scholars, today’s hatred of the Jews, i.e., contemporary anti-Semitic ideation and obsession, seems a part of the medieval world and its views, not the modern one of integrity, reason, and study.

For The Palestinians, living as subject to the capricious and unquestionable power of Fatah (via the PLO / PA) and Hamas (thanks to its financial supporters), their dignity, freedom, and human rights will remain in the hands of their true captors, and that is the present Palestinian “leaders” who have led them into the most absurd and dark of dead ends.


The cry for freedom is the same the world over. Vocalist Jamala, 2016 Eurovision Song Context, posted to YouTube February 22, 2016. For the story behind the song: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/tv/2016/05/11/jamalas-ukraine-eurovision-song-stirs-up-russia/

Related Online

There’s a great deal of material “related online” — and in the libraries — but this happened to cross my desk while the post was still a week or so new, and I though I would recommend its reading:

Danzig, Micha. “The True History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, and the ‘Nakba'”. The Algemeiner, May 17, 2019.

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