For the unity of the peoples of the Middle East! Fight the real enemy, US imperialism!
How disgusting to see Bush and the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan sit comfortably in the Oval Office of the White House and plot together against the Kurds of Turkey! The very same Bush who, taking under his wing the Quislings Barzani and Talabani, has been posing for years as the protector of the downtrodden Kurds! A fine protection indeed to promote the interests of the several million Kurds of Iraq and lend a helping hand to the Turkish state in its effort to repress its own tens of millions of Kurds! The very same Erdogan who, on a visit only a couple of years ago to Diyarbakir, the major Kurdish city in Turkey, hypocritically evoked the “Kurdish question” and vowed not to repeat the “mistakes of the past”, is now preparing for a new incursion of the Turkish army into Northern Iraq, repeating the 24 already made in the 1990s, in order to try to smash the PKK, the Kurdish guerrilla movement!
A large-scale Turkish military operation in Northern Iraq has been in the air since the Turkish parliament passed a resolution on 17 October giving the government powers to stage an operation any time within the space of one year and as many times as it may deem necessary, a veritable multiple entry visa, except that it is not accorded by the host country! The talks between the U.S. and Turkey in the White House seem to have postponed this until an unknown future date. However, these talks also seal once again the close alliance between the US and Turkey against the Kurds and prepare the ground for the future complicity of Turkey in the dirty business of the U.S. in the Middle East. Already Turkey has troops in Afghanistan, where it has taken over a commanding post twice in the past and is going to resume that duty once again in the near future, and in Lebanon. Bush will probably be asking for Turkey’s helping hand in a future US assault on Iran and, possibly, a more visible role in the future for Turkey in Iraq.
Given the entente between the two countries, the hypocritical attitude of the Turkish establishment and the so-called nationalist left during the last few weeks in attacking the US as supposedly the power behind the PKK loses all credibility and is exposed for what it is: a blackmail to force the US into letting Turkey deal freely with the Kurds. Turkey has been the long-time oppressor of its Kurds and the international working class movement is duty-bound to stand up against Turkish incursion into Iraq. Turkey also dreads any kind of Kurdish autonomy in Iraq out of fear that it may prove contagious for its own Kurds. A part of the establishment also has irredentist dreams of taking back Kirkouk, a previously Ottoman possession, with eyes set on its rich oil reserves. Thus, even an attack by Turkey on the US-sponsored Kurdistan of Iraq would be a reactionary war, since both sides are pro-imperialist and that kind of war would simply amount to a suppression of Kurdish aspirations by a long-time oppressor nation.
The recent developments have also revealed the total bankruptcy of the liberal left in Turkey, together with the Cliffites, which supported the semi-Islamist AKP of Erdogan as a democratic force as against the military and the Kemalist forces. No sooner had the elections for parliament and president taken place, both won by the AKP, did the government turn to a belligerent policy. The AKP government is today a war cabinet and the shame of having flirted with that government casts a long shadow on major sections of the Turkish left. The DTP, i.e. the Herri Batasuna of the Kurdish movement, for its part, had almost strategically placed its hopes in the AKP. During the elections of 22 July, it was only the Turkish section of the CRFI, the Initiative for the Revolutionary Workers’ Party, and a few other organisations that stood up against this policy of flirting with the AKP.
Today, the so-called nationalist left simply tail-ends the establishment and the liberal left takes a purely pacifist position in the face of the threat of cross-border war. This pacifist position was taken to its illogical conclusion by the major spokesperson of the liberal left, the only independent left-wing deputy in parliament: As soon as the threat of Turkish military incursion into Iraq became concrete, this deputy demanded that the PKK disarm! Demanding that a guerrilla movement that is under the imminent danger of total assault disarm will probably go down in the annals of war policy as one of the most shameful capitulations of pacifism!
In the atmosphere of chauvinist hysteria that has submerged the masses in Turkey, the fascist movement, probably in collusion with agents of the state, has been attacking the party buildings of the DTP and staging mini-lynch attempts. The danger, ever-present for the last two years, of a mob-lynching of Kurds in the Western cities of Turkey has now become concrete. The working class movement should stand in total solidarity with the Kurds and fight fascist-led mobs physically if necessary.
The whole development shows that the longer the US and its European allies remain in the Middle East, the more the peoples of the region will be divided and cast against each other in bloody strife. Until today it was Shiite against Sunni in Iraq. Today it is the Turk against the Kurd. Tomorrow it will probably be the Turk and the Kurd against Iran. Turkey, Syria and Iran are playing into the hands of imperialism with their rabidly anti-Kurdish policies. The leaderships of the Kurds in different countries are playing with fire by siding with the US or at least hoping to benefit from its contradictions with the local oppressors of the Kurds. What the peoples of the region need is an internationalist policy that will unite Kurd and Turk, Shiite and Sunni, and all the countries that are played against each other by the US. Only a federation of the Middle East can provide the framework for an end to the bleeding problems of the region. That federation can be brought about only by the working class and its allies, i.e. it can only be socialist.
__Stop Turkish military incursion into Northern Iraq! Peace with the Kurds, war on the US!
__Fight, physically if necessary, the escalation of fascist-led attacks on the Kurds of Turkey!
__Recognize all the rights of the Kurds of Turkey, including self-determination, through a political solution to the Kurdish question!
__Pull Turkish troops out of Afghanistan and Lebanon! Turkey out of NATO!
__Hands off Iran!
__All imperialist troops out of Iraq and the Middle East!
__For a democratic, secular and socialist republic bringing together Jew and Arab in the entire historic territory of Palestine!
__For a Socialist Federation of the Middle East