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In reply to comrade Chris Slee, I want to make two brief comments:
First, the discussion started when he distributed the nonsensical
statement of the YPG that HTS would participate in the Turkish assault
against Afrin. Until now no serious person has confirmed this. The
argument that may be some ex-members of HTS are participating is
nonsense. Shall we start to discuss the past of the various SDF units?
Secondly, and more interesting, is comrade Slee’s statement: “The RCIT
places a lot of importance on the fact that HTS rejects the Astana
agreement. But groups should be judged on what they are for, not just
what they are against. HTS stands for theocratic dictatorship. They are
enemies of the Syrian revolution - if by "Syrian revolution" we mean the
struggle for democracy that began in 2011.”
Right, let us judge force by what they are for, not only what they are
against. Naturally, we shouldn’t start with some rhetorical ideological
commitments. Hence we don’t judge the PKK/YPG in the first place by
their crude mixture of Kurdish nationalism and Anarcho-Stalinism.
Neither do we judge the imperialists by their claims that they would
intervene for the sake of “democracy”, “human rights”, “fight against
We judge them all by their deeds, not their phrase-mongering.
The deeds of the imperialist Great Powers are undisputed in this forum
so I will not dwell in this.
The deeds of the YPG are that they have played for years a crucial role
in helping US imperialism to build a strong basis in North and East
Syria (including many military bases), that they have collaborated with
the Assad regime and that at no moment did they join the Syrian
Revolution. This is what these people are for in deeds (not in
ideological phrases reprinted naively in “Green Left Weekly”!) This is
the difference in deeds. For us Marxists this difference in practice is
In opposite to the YPG, the HTS and other forces are confronting Assad
and the imperialist forces – not inviting and serving them like the YPG.
True, they combine this with a reactionary Islamist utopian program. We
have seen such combinations various times in history. To give just two
examples: the liberations struggle in Morocco against the Spanish and
French imperialists led by the Islamist Abdel Karim in the 1920s (and
strongly supported by the communists) or the resistance of the
Palestinians led by Hamas.
All those Islamophobic “leftists” who refuse support for such movement
because of the latters Islamist agenda, are lost for the
Am 13.03.2018 um 06:31 schrieb Chris Slee:
> RKOB says that "Turkey is hostile to the HTS", and claims this is the
background to "the current attack of Zenki and Ahrar against the HTS in
the north of Syria".
> But HTS has previously attacked Ahrar al-Sham and other groups, so
the latter probably don't need Turkey's encouragement to hit back.
> It is not uncommon for rebel groups to fight each other. In 2014,
for example, Jabhat al-Nusra attacked the Syrian Revolutionaries Front,
a Free Syrian Army coalition with a strong presence in Idlib province.
Some of the survivors of the SRF fled to Afrin and later became part of
the Syrian Democratic Forces. Others fled to Turkey.
> I agree that HTS is not fully under Turkey's control. But they have
in the past worked together to attack Rojava.
> Kurdish sources have claimed that "Jabhat al-Nusra" members have
joined the Turkish invasion of Afrin. I am not sure if they are
referring to current members of HTS, or people who have in the past been
members of Nusra and retain a similar reactionary ideology.
> HTS has had various splits, and reportedly still has internal
divisions. See Charles Lister:
> Hence it is conceivable that one part of HTS is collaborating with
Turkey to attack Afrin while another part of HTS is busy fighting Ahrar
> The RCIT places a lot of importance on the fact that HTS rejects the
Astana agreement. But groups should be judged on what they are for, not
just what they are against. HTS stands for theocratic dictatorship.
They are enemies of the Syrian revolution - if by "Syrian revolution" we
mean the struggle for democracy that began in 2011.
> Their reactionary politics repel the majority of Syrians, causing
some (particularly the religious minorities) to see Assad as the lesser
> Meanwhile Turkey is invading Afrin with the goal of crushing those
fighting for democracy and women's liberation. Solidarity with the
revolution in northern Syria should be our main task.
> Chris Slee
Revolutionär-Kommunistische Organisation BEFREIUNG
(Österreichische Sektion der RCIT, www.thecommunists.net)
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