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Sitting on bombs, ""Getting Dizzy with Success" in Syria; PYD and TR

We  have been witnessing  an interchanging dangerous state of mind and self-destructive actions by various groups and governments involved in Syrian war, where one or the other is "getting dizzy with success", acting overconfident, ignoring, underestimating the concrete situation  and going too far in a dangerous way.

Lenin’s evaluation of “little” imperialist wars is especially relevant with the war in Syria. Little imperialist war like this, can easily grow into a world war . The intensification of aggressive military actions in a local war, with the application of official doctrine of the US; "the “escalation strategy", , inevitably may  lead to a wider  extension of military conflicts and aggravate the danger of a world war.

There are two key sides that will ultimately affect the direction of  the developments in Syria , interdependently; PYD and TR.

PYD dizzy with success
I will not discuss in depth here the so called "Rojava Revolution "  and  PYD which is considered  without its class essence, character, and the content. However, the hype of "Rojava revolution" and its embracement worldwide by every revisionists and anti-communists  as an alternative to capitalism, laid the ground for its leadership in "getting dizzy " with a false success in terms of a propagandized "alternative democratic society".  İt was a success in terms of the fight against the US backed ISIS and other jihadist, ironically - or as planned- with the support of USA. 

As a brief background, reminding all that , contrary to the conception of PKK - PYD being a Marxist Leninist movement, it is a nationalist movement, has always been one, and always been anti-communist. Only one statement of its leader should suffice to expose this - among hundreds of.

Öcalan , in his interview with Michael Gunther states;
"All we ask for is real democracy in Turkey. I am more of a Turk than the Turkish leaders! … It is not possible for us to be communists. Why the Soviet Union collapsed and the United States did not? Because in communism the government is everything but a human being is nothing. USA is development. “(1) 
With the support of US , France, Germany  and others, including İsrael,  In Syria, the PKK- PYD, and it’s armed wing the YPG, was able to beat the ISIS attacks and  occupied predominantly Kurdish areas in the north of Syria and started the " self-administered "  Kurdish North. This was a success by all means for the Kurds. However, this was not a full success for the interests of  US and the West whose interest were at the control of oil , gas fields, oil , gas roads , and without Assad in Syria.

YPG spokesman Polat Can states:
“Air strikes are very effective … Some groups of the FSA (Syrian opposition) are here in the Kobane and help us … We have a direct relation with the coalition without any intermediaries. YPG representative is physically ready in the joint operation command center and transmits the coordinates… Hence, the victory of Kobane resistance means a victory for Kurdistan, coalition forces, USA and for every human being with a conscience. “ (2) 
It is not the oil and gas fields alone in which the İmperialists are interested, but the entire crossroads of energy from İran , from Qatar , from Egypt etc. to Mediterranean. Thus, they had to instigate and use the PYD in order to control the "energy and energy roads" which required the invasion and occupation of entire east of Euphrates River. "Dizzy with success" in Kobane, the leadership of Kurds, refused Russia's offers and "as a choice", allied with the Syrian Opposition Forces and US for the actions far beyond the Kurdish regions.

Following, the areas of the entire east of Euphrates River were invaded. İn these areas, - it is important to mention that- no Kurdish population does exist or significant in numbers. Simply put it, it is an  invasion, and annexation of lands for the interests of imperialists. What the attitude of the local population under occupation will be, is something to be seen soon. İf the non-Kurdish population at these areas , with the Support of Syrian forces, rise and start fighting, that will be a legitimate , just, and progressive movement.

Ethnic composition in Syria
” If we do not want to betray socialism" says Lenin " we must support every revolt against our chief enemy, the bourgeoisie of the big states, provided it is not the revolt of a reactionary class. By refusing to support the revolt of annexed regions we become, objectively, annexationists. It is precisely in the “era of imperialism”, which is the era of nascent social revolution, that the proletariat will today give especially vigorous support to any revolt of the annexed regions so that tomorrow, or simultaneously, it may attack the bourgeoisie of the “great” power that is weakened by the revolt.”  (3)

The most important question nowadays is, "being dizzy with success",  how far the PYD will go when the Syrian forces try to regain its territories from the US invasion.  Attacking the Syrian forces in alliance with the US and West, will ultimately change the character of PYD , whatever left to be, from  just and progressive in to unjust and reactionary. 

That will change the entire content  and character of  a "national movement" and the attitude toward the movement.

“ Hence the necessity for the proletariat of the "dominant" nations to support - resolutely and actively to support - the national liberation movement of the oppressed and dependent peoples", says Stalin and continues; "
" This does not mean, of course, that the proletariat must support every national movement, everywhere and always, in every individual concrete case. It means that support must be given to such national movements as tend to weaken, to overthrow imperialism, and not to strengthen and preserve it. 
Lenin was right in saying that the national movement of the oppressed countries should be appraised not from the point of view of formal democracy, but from the point of view of the actual results, as shown by the general balance sheet of the struggle against imperialism, that is to say, “not in isolation, but on a world scale."" (4)
The war in Syria is unique in the sense that it contains several types intertwined, and one type changing into another where each warring side pursues different objectives. This inevitably brings about the changes in the characters of warring sides within. Other than the two sides; USA as aggressor, unjust and reactionary, and Syria , in defense of father land, just and progressive characters to be remain as such,  the character of the rest of the warring factions may change depending on the side they will take during the course of the war. 

Stalin gives an example of this;
"The revolutionary character of a national movement under the conditions of imperialist oppression does not necessarily presuppose the existence of proletarian elements in the movement, the existence of a revolutionary or a republican programme of the movement, the existence of a democratic basis of the movement. The struggle that the Emir of Afghanistan is waging for the independence of Afghanistan is objectively a revolutionary struggle, despite the monarchist views of the Emir and his associates, for it weakens, disintegrates and undermines imperialism; whereas the struggle waged by such “desperate” democrats and “Socialists,” “revolutionaries” and republicans as, for example, Kerensky and Tsereteli, Renaudel and Scheidemann, Chernov and Dan, Henderson and Clynes, during the imperialist war was a reactionary struggle, for its results was the embellishment, the strengthening, the victory, of imperialism."  (4)
Any war that is waged by people for freedom and social progress, for liberation from exploitation and national oppression or in defense of its state sovereignty, against an aggressive attack, is a just war

Any war unleashed by the imperialists with the aim of seizing foreign territories, enslaving, and plundering other peoples, is an unjust war. 

For the war in Syria the characteristics of a movement will be determined by the side it takes; on the side of USA and West - for the victory of imperialism- is a reactionary one, on the side of Syria -  undermining and weakening the imperialism - is a progressive one.

Thus, the current character of PYD in Afrin is a progressive one, but in Raqqa it has reactionary features, and will be totally reactionary, if and when  it starts fighting against Syrian forces on the side of USA. 

However, a split within the US backed SDF, or even within the Kurdish factions is very possible depending on the shifts in the balance of powers, leaving US in a more difficult position than it is now.

Connecting to our second subject, TR as "dizzy with Success" , the example of SDF fighting in Afrin on the side of aggressor TR is a reactionary one, but those same SDF who came to Afrin to fight against the invasion , even though they are not on the side of Syria, are progressive in character.  This interchanging characters will continue during the course of the war in Syria and possible beyond. 

PYD s attitude, either the alliance remains as it is, or changes, will have serious impact on the overall strategic alliances, especially that of TR, and effect the direction and extent of the war.

TR - "dizzy with Success"

The "dizziness " of  finance capital and its government in Turkey (and tied to that of PYD),  actually makes up the most dangerous aspect of the war in Syria, and the possibility of war spreading and turning in to a world war.

Unfortunately, except very few, most Marxist Leninist movements are stuck in 1950s , and see the ruling class in Turkey  as a puppet  of, and having no  independence from the US imperialism. Only a year or so earlier, I had the same ignorance to the fact that changes are inevitable due to unequal economic developments. The resemblance of tactics used, and the development taken place in Turkey to those of Nazi Germany had woke me up to restudy the subject.

We forget that the unequal economic developments in various countries would lead to abrupt economic and political changes in the alignment of forces in the world capitalist system. These changes cause disturbance of the equilibrium within the capitalist system. The old distribution of spheres of influence among the finance capital, monopolies tend to be unacceptable by the newly emerged, and-or by fattened existing ones, thus creating clashes with the desire and activities for the new alignment of forces in the world.

With the new and old, already divided world, the aggravation of the contradictions between these countries - as bases of finance capital and monopolies -, and of  their coalitions always was, and is the main reason responsible for the striving of imperialist states to unleash wars. What makes it difference is that the new developments, especially the emergence of China as a super economic power, and its " New Silk Road" project, created an appetite for the bourgeoisie of countries along the silk road. This in turn created a struggle for the "New Strategic Alliances".  The determination and selection of "new strategic alliance" has become the current main agenda and duration for many countries and of their ruling classes. 

The finance capital in Turkey is not isolated from this "search for new Strategic Alliance".  As a result of the unequal economic developments, finance Capital in Turkey has become powerful enough to play its strategic and military cards for the new strategic alliance, and to be one of the "Main Players", especially in the Middle East. 

Intent of TR, not to be excluded from the division and plunder of Syria, and - or at least from the control of  "energy crossroad" and income from it, contradicted the plans and strategy of US and West in the region. Still not admitted as fact by the majority of left, TR, a NATO ally, and once a  puppet of USA  turned to Russia and indirectly to İran and Syria as ally. 

six of 12 TR Military Observation Points in İdlib
As I have written the first day of  the invasion operation of Afrin , TR has taken steps to prove its importance in the region as one of the main player in the conflict. The invasion of Afrin, where there are no oil fields, was not a serious issue for the US, however, against the interest of US, the operation indirectly helped Syria to concentrate its fight against the proxies on other regions. At the same time, TR established   six  of the (planned) 12 military observation posts in İdlib . The Jihadist groups are polarizing - as TR supported  JTS and US supported HTS-  and mostly fighting against each other. 

Syria's offer to PYD to transfer the power to Syrian authorities in Afrin, although not accepted except for few places, even if little but created a positive atmosphere for future relations, yet did not make the US happy, but made TR happy.

Originally limited to "securing of the borders", the İnvasion of Afrin, will continue and possibly will substantially be completed by a week or two.

The question of "if Afrin, an integral part of the Syrian state, will ever come under the legitimate government of Damascus again", is a difficult question to answer, because it totally depends on the developments and changes in the formations of strategic partnerships. Historically, long term invasion of a land  heavily populated  by locals, proven to be disastrous for the invaders. İn this sense, I tend to see that the strategic policy of TR  to be limited to the duration of conflict. Having said that,  they will most likely start another operation in Manbij, without any serious opposition from Russia and Syria, still not antagonistically contradicting the US up to the Euphrates River. 

The major risk in TR s "dizziness with success" will emerge together with these conditions and its selection of partnership in the final conflict;

Syria is concentrated on cleaning up and safeguarding the Damascus area while in the meantime reinforcing its military around Raqqa and DerElZor. That is the clear, and inevitable  indication of getting ready to fight against the US to regain her sovereignty.

Pockets of south  Syria is still under the control of US and İsraeli supported jihadists. Will those pockets be next , by risking a possible conflict with İsrael or , like northern Syria will be left to deal later based on the outcome of the conflict with US forces?

Either way the questions (obviously debated by the think tank policy makers) are;

* What will the attitude of TR be in the direct military conflict between Syria and USA at Raqqa and DerElZOr regions.?

* will there be splits and polarization at the region within SDF and Kurdish forces? (if the Syria keeps on cleaning the ISIS and other forces at other regions, and İdlib remains to be not a threat to Syria during this time, most likely there will be splits )

* will PYD act against Syria in alliance with US? (would be an act of suicide , unlikely but possible)

* how would the PYD's alliance with US against the Syria effect the attitude of TR ? (without a pre- agreement and concessions from US and PYD, it most likely be opportunistic)

* will TR take advantage of PYDs alliance with US and attack Kobane at all its borders with the same justifications that largely accepted to be legitimate (!) by US and the West? (will definitely be an opportunistic one)

* will Syria be against the TRs invasion of Kurdistan? (neither militarily nor strategically it is feasible during the conflict with US)

* will TR switch side during such a conflict and risk a war with neighbors; Russia, İran and Syria?
( would be an act of suicide, possible due to its "dizziness" and fascist leadership, but unlikely)

The  fact of the matter is that opportunism and "dizziness with success" have made both TR and PYD  in Kobane go too far, and still may, depending on the developments in the balance of powers which has taken in the direction against the US.

US will hold on, and try every trick in its sleeve, and either will make a "face saving"  agreement with which will be able to claim some kind of victory!  and withdraw, or the neo-cons will do everything in their powers to escalate, extend and expand this war . İf developments turn in to the direction of neo-cons' desire to escalate, at that point the "factors" of TR and PYD will come to play as -suicidal or otherwise-, crucial partners of either side.

March 17, 2018
Erdogan A

(1) M. Gunter, M. (1998, ). Middle East Quarterly.  Abdullah Öcalan: “We Are Fighting Turks Everywhere”

(2) YPG Spokesman Can: We are Working with the Coalition against ISIS. (2014, October 14)

(3) Lenin: The Discussion On Self-Determination Summed Up

(4) Stalin ;  Foundations of Leninism
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