, , , , , , ,

First posted in 2016 and posted again this day, January 2, 2019, what Ankara has unleashed on the Kurds would seem most unlike NATO — but ask: what attributes has Ankara to validate its NATO status today? Under Erdogan, Turkish democracy and related ethics, principles, and values no longer exist. The state elected a dictator and has apparently got its collective wish.

“Medieval v Modern”

It’s a trope here on BackChannels, and it has an analog:

“Feudal Political Absolutism v Democratic Checked and Distributed Power”

More state of mind than state, “Kurdistan” has already its “Medieval v Modern” civil separation, and perhaps unwittingly, the Soviet-Era PKK, a NATO and U.S. State Department designated terrorist organization, remains mired in the flipped absolutism of the Bolshevik Revolution.

Another BackChannels trope, this one about Russia: “Two major revolutions in one-hundred years (1917-2017), three forms of government, and not one change in the nation’s affections in relation to ‘paternal authoritarianism'”.

For that last label, “paternal authoritarianism”, credit the late scholar Richard Pipes, but BC will not be looking up the specific source at this time.

The affection for strongmen — and perhaps helplessness before their “politically absolute” organizations — has the medieval world clawing the modern one backward.

Of course, the defectors from medieval worlds, those made refugee by them, those left bereft and without defenses, essentially drain the tapped resources of the same, leaving those worlds to become spiritually hollow, absent of conscience, lacking in their own humanity, and burnt out and purposeless.

Moscow, that “Third Rome”, has deals — call it what it is: “leverage” — with everyone: Assad, Khamenei, Hezbollah — low-hanging fruit: the “Syrian Tragedy”, BackChannel’s term, could not have taken place without Moscow’s endorsement and direct military support in arms and occasional actions (like bombing hospitals); Erdogan: “Turkish Stream” – Big Energy project demanding Ankara’s cooperation with Moscow: France – Marine Le Pen and the Newest Nationalism — but France is more brave in its defense of its still revolutionary democracy — Le Pen lost her bid for the presidency; Germany – energy supply dependence; Hungary – Orban’s bromance and narcissism; USA – only Mueller knows . . .

FTAC: From the BackChannels Reading Page on Facebook, January 2, 2019

The text about to be quoted accompanied as introduction on the BackChannels reading page on Facebook the URL to Roy Gutman’s December 28, 2018 political analysis in The Intercept in which he lays out aspects of character and control by the PKK that had been long supported by Moscow through the end of the Soviet Era and, obviously, 26 years beyond.

The problem BackChannels has seen has been that of Moscow operating the Syrian Theater in a way that perpetuates the existence of ISIS for as long as it remains a politically useful tool against the liberal and open democracies of the west.

In essence, it appears the Soviet methods in power imparted to the PKK during Russia’s Communist Party Era have become ingrained and difficult for western or liberal allies of the Kurds to displace.

In response and with reference to https://theintercept.com/2018/12/28/syria-withdrawal-kurds-pkk/


The Phantoms of the Soviet, a government dissolved in bankruptcy more than 26 years ago, continue to haunt or shadow the Kurdish Community in its bid for survival against the emergent Turkish Sultanate, as BackChannels views it, still supported by NATO, and ISIS, which is “handled” by Damascus as flanked by Moscow and Tehran.

In the ganglion of the Syrian Tragedy, too many threads lead back to Moscow — and Moscow has well demonstrated its peculiar absence of conscience in the general support of Assad the Tyrant, its own repeated bombings of Syrian hospitals, and its defense of Iranian advanced missile manufacturing.

Moscow has also partnered with Ankara on the Turkish Stream energy project.


The true battle is one having to do with time: the medieval world of feudal absolute power — the power known to the world’s dictatorships, none of them responsible to either the Earth or Humanity — wishes to overrun the modern one built on the freedom accompanying democratically checked and distributed power.

According to Gutman, the Kurds appear stuck with both old habits of mind and with the organizational habits that have flowed down from the Soviet Era.

Of late, Kurdish representatives online have taken to pairing the United States and NATO with the backing of Turkey, a state no longer even proto-democratic and one long bent on the cultural annihilation of the Kurds. While the rhetoric may be shrugged away, the character of the PKK, well described by Roy Gutman (as cited) but also by Kyle Orton (as referenced below) may not be so easily covered over or glossed.

What portion of the Kurdish People remain behind or with the PKK?

That’s an open question for BackChannels.

Defectors from the conscripted ranks of the organization apparently (so noted by Gutman) have some options within “Kurdistan”, but the impression made by the Soviet affiliate would today repulse all humanity-, freedom-, and peace-loving advocates of influence in western politics who would otherwise more enthusiastically support a true indigenous people’s striving for autonomy and self-determination.

This poster by the young Danish communist Rune Agerhus features three flags, and they are from left to right as follows: Socialist Party of Kurdistan; National Liberation Front of Kurdistan; People’s Liberation Army of Kurdistan. Source for Kurdish flag and pennant identification: https://fotw.info/flags/krd%7Dpkk.html

The flag better known to represent “Kurdistan” in the west (as judged at least by the “Flag of Kurdistan” page on Wikipedia):

During the seven-year course of the KGB Theater’s Production — call it “guided” (most likely) — of “Assad v The Terrorists”, Bashar al-Assad has managed to barrel bomb half his state into rubble and destroy or displace nearly half of his population (as known in 2011). He has won for his efforts the expansion of Russian and Iranian military interests on his formerly sovereign property and through related sadism — reference: Sednaya Prison — lost entirely the respect of the modern world.

As regards Soviet / post-Soviet alignment with Moscow, much less Damascus, the Kurds may not expect to sustain their alignment with the ruthless (who would even provide the useful enemy known as ISIS) while currying the favor of the democratic, humanist, liberal, and deeply socialized west.


Cultural Survival Quarterly Magazine. “Kurdish Repression in Turkey.” June 1982.

Gutman, Roy. “In Syria, U.S.-Backed Kurdish Fighters Face Trump’s Withdrawal — and the Legacy of Their Own Mistakes.” The Intercept, December 28, 2018.

Horvath, Zoltan. “Kurdistan”. CRW Flags, updated June 2, 2018.

Oppenheim, James S. “Reflexive Control Process: “Allahu Akbar Terrorism” -> New Nationalism -> New Feudalism.” BackChannels, March 11, 2017.

Oppenheim, James S. “Syria — Assad — ISIL — Background.” BackChannels, December 9, 2016.

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

Wikipedia. “Flag of Kurdistan”.

W.W. “Paternalistic policy: Against baby authoritarianism.” The Economist, June 11, 2012.

Yayla, Ahmet S. and Colin P. Clarke. “Turkey’s Double ISIS Standard.” Foreign Policy, April 12, 2018.

Addendum – January 3, 2018+

Szuba, Jared. “‘This is our reward?’: After 4 years fighting ISIS, Syrian Kurds face uncertain future as US pivots to Turkey.” The Defense Post, January 2, 2018.

Syrian Democratic Council.