cultural coherence, cultural self-determination, developing democracy, ISIS, Kurdish community, Kurdistan, middle east politics, neo-feudalism, neo-modernity, Peshmerga, political coherence, post-Soviet politics
Posted by Clarion Project, May 9, 2017.
BackChannels has repeated made the case and point that ISIL had been incubated — protected early on from annihilation — by Assad’s preferring to fight the west (and democratic liberalism in the distribution of power) first at the outset of the Syrian Tragedy, and that decision had been flanked by Moscow and Tehran.
By electing to make the primary enemy “The West” and only halting the advance of al-Nusra and other al-Qaeda-type organizations at critical points, Bashar al-Assad created conditions in which the true terrorist opposition could gather and grow. While Syrian forces were creating the horrific conditions that would spur the influx of jihadists into Syria while also inducing mass displacement and migration, it turns out that Saddam Hussein’s old Baathist officer corps had in mind some similar ideas regarding their own lives as puppeteers.
Haji Bakr was sent by the group into Syria in late 2012, as a part of a tiny advance cluster, with the mission to help plot out the steps for the emergent “Islamic State,” to capture as much territory as possible in Syria, and from there to launch an invasion back into Iraq. Haji Bakr settled obscurely in the small Syrian town of Tal Rifaat, north of Aleppo, where he put his immense knowledge of Saddam’s intelligence and totalitarian practices to work, charting out the invasion of Syria and emergence of the “Islamic State”—plans that were later meticulously carried out by ISIS.
Haji Bakr was killed by a Syrian rebel group in 2014, but not before he had transmitted his knowledge and intelligence plans learned inside Saddam Hussein’s former totalitarian regime to the nascent “Islamic State.” The documents he produced, discovered after his death, consist of 31 pages of handwritten organizational charts, lists, and schedules, all of which describe how to step-by-step subjugate a nation.
It is into this greater intersection between “east and west” — actually: feudal dictatorship and western democracy — that the pro-democratic talking Kurdish presence and armed Peshmerga have emerged as forces for modernity.
Given, perhaps, that few in the general public get this far into the machinery of war, it’s possible that “Moscow-Tehran” and “baby Damascus” (between them) may now engage ISIS . . . more sincerely, with Moscow recovering some face and flexibility for doing so. As much may account for the Peshmerga’s wishing to work with Moscow against ISIS, but as ISIS has made for Moscow, Damascus, and Tehran the most useful enemy, there may be a little bit of funny business in attempting that.
Duplicity would seem much less known where American forces and political resolve have been involved although Turkey’s preference for suppressing the Kurds (while developing its own dictatorship) has complicated the Yankee do-good in the Syrian-Iraq theaters.
BackChannels feels that Washington and others may try to match Moscow in the realm of corrupt “realpolitik” but may suggest that working modern ideals against bad deals may better suit everyone’s future. Moscow may make a show of shutting down ISIS, but its clinging to dictatorship and totalitarian show business bodes ill for genuinely western and western-leaning cooperation.
“Right now, Sunnis, Shias, and Kurds can’t live together under a single administration.”
While the Hebrews are back in the Land of the Hebrews and mighty independent about being so, Baloch, Kurdish, and Pashtun communities, among others, continue to struggle against the dominance of hitherto more powerful states.
BackChannels would promote ethnolinguistic cultural community and political autonomy — i.e., what is really meant by the term “cultural self-determination of a People” — with central and margin-bearing features. To get there, however, requires great strength in independent cultural identity plus the cooperation of tribal leaders in producing a coherent unified proto-national politics.
Is the once communist Kurdish PKK the same as it was back in the 1970s, and may that account for some turn toward Moscow today?
BackChannels hasn’t that answer today. The last time this editor looked into that question was 2007 (as a rank political science beginner on an entirely different blog: http://commart.typepad.com/oppenheim_arts_letters/2007/10/turkeys-pkk-hot.html — Turkey looked every inch a democracy back then; and the PKK looked like old bandits holed up in caves and just about finished as a political force.
Oh my how things have changed!
At this time, it appears that fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria has brought the multiply suzerain Kurdish community together as never before. Now it needs to sustain its cohesion and strength against the pressuring of the errant Arab and Persian worlds once swayed by the Soviet Union and still hungover from the increasingly anachronist experience.
A little BackChannels rah-rah for the home team:
What has given the American model its power has been first and foremost the immense adventurousness and imperialism of the British Empire AND it’s intellectual experience and loading with equal measures Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian cultural experiences. Had the ideals of the Cyrus Cylinder held sway in the middle east, the conversation would be quite different, but its Magna Carta that has worked its will through the western experience and now returns to intercede on behalf of cultures overrun by gross and malign power.
From the Kurdish general:
“Iraq needs to be divided into three neighboring countries, and each country to govern themselves according to the reality of the region. Sunni and Shia Arabs have different approaches in making relations with others. The Kurdish approach is different than both of them. These things have to be considered, so then each one will be responsible for their people, place and country. And these three groups are better as neighbors. Our message for the world is that Iraq is no longer the same, only its shell remains.”
At the moment, Turkey is not what it was either!
BackChannels suggests the United States would do well to deepen the bond with the pro-democracy forces of the Kurdish political community.