Tag Archives: international relations

Arming the Kurds won’t stop Iraq’s brutal civil war

It will be a disaster for Iraq’s Kurds if the West succeeds in hijacking their cause, argues Ken Olende

Peshmerga women fighters in Kurdistan

Peshmerga women fighters in Kurdistan (Pic: Jan Sefti/Flikr)

David Cameron has announced that Britain will arm Kurdish forces fighting the growth of the reactionary Islamic State group in Iraq. 

Many on the left think this a good alternative to direct Western intervention, which has been responsible for the spread of sectarianism in the region.

The Kurds live in an area divided between Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey and have been fighting for a Kurdish state. Socialists support this struggle.

But only Western imperialism will benefit if in the process the Kurds become a pawn in the spiralling conflict.

Injecting Western arms will not stop Iraq’s slide into sectarian civil war. 

The West has always defended its own interests in the region through backing brutal dictators. 

The US backed the rise of Saddam Hussein and the war he launched against neighbouring Iran in the 1980s. His brutal suppression of Iraqi Kurds led Kurdish guerrillas, the Peshmerga, to fight on Iran’s side.

Hussein’s forces got revenge with the chemical attack on the city of Halabja in northern Iraq in 1988. 

This killed around 5,000 Kurdish people.

The US government did not call for “humanitarian” intervention. It blocked serious investigations into its ally’s war crime.

By 1991 the US had fallen out with the Iraqi regime, and armed Peshmerga forces during its first invasion of Iraq.

But its Nato ally Turkey had been fighting a guerrilla war against Kurdish separatists for a decade. It was determined that no Kurdish state should be established. 

The US has attempted ever since to make sure the Kurds in northern Iraq are strong enough to help US interests, but too weak to threaten Turkey. 

The war that tore Yugoslavia apart in the 1990s showed the reality of the West arming rebels.

Nato called for “humanitarian” support for Kosovans who were being attacked by Serb forces. 

The British prime minister Tony Blair said in 1999 that a “new generation” of world leaders was enforcing “a new internationalism where the brutal repression of whole ethnic groups will no longer be tolerated”.

Many on the left knew that bombing would not help, but thought that arming the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) guerrillas was an alternative. 

The bombing went ahead and the KLA was armed.

But far from supporting a multi-ethnic society, the Nato intervention oversaw the expulsion of 200,000 Serbs and Roma from Kosovo. The KLA was among the most enthusiastic ethnic cleansers.

More recently, after the Syrian revolution the US set out to find “trustworthy rebel partners” to arm. 

The CIA offered support to sections of the opposition in September of last year. The US wanted “moderates”. This excluded both Islamist fighters and revolutionaries.

Isis, as the Islamic State was then known, used the threat of Western intervention to declare war on rebels.

One opposition fighter in Homs said, “We know that this is a pretext for them to interfere in our country to end our revolution and attack the revolutionaries.”

Already in some parts of northern Iraq protests have taken place demanding the expulsion of Arabs from Kurdish areas, as if they were all Islamic State supporters. 

Poor nationalist movements can’t always choose who to source arms from. 

But despite the horror at what the Islamic State is doing, Western intervention will only prolong the fighting and intensify the divisions.


Europe feels American cholera at doorstep


Europe feels American cholera at doorstep. 53245.png

The United States has virtually occupied Europe. In the EU, many already say: “Brussels is the bridle, which the US has thrown on all European countries to speed us together.” Well-known publicist Israel Shamir, who lives both in Europe and in Russia, shared his views on the subject with Pravda.Ru. 

“This is very interesting time that we live in. Usually, summer is a holiday season, when nothing special happens. This summer is absolutely crazy. The relationships between the USA and its European allies are especially interesting. Tensions have been rising there steadily. Now they are rising between Germany and the USA. The recent spy scandal is only one of many. German gold in U.S. vaults has mysteriously disappeared. The spy intrigue between the U.S. and Germany clearly and openly started brewing after the figure of Edward Snowden came to public attention. His arrival and stay in Russia is a very powerful thing. It revealed all hidden henchmen, friends, agents of influence of the United States in Russia. All of them came to the surface, even such inveterate people as the owner of the Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper, whom I always considered a great Russian patriot. But then he came out and said, ‘No, we must immediately deliver Snowden. Snowden was, of course, a great bombshell.

"Who made a bigger contribution to these titanic moves in big politics: Assange or Snowden?”

“I have personal sympathies to Assange, whom I know personally. Again, this is not clear – could Snowden emerge if it wasn’t for Assange? After all, it was Assange and his assistant Sarah Hendrickson, who saved Snowden. Sarah took him from Hong Kong to Moscow a few hours before Snowden was going to be jailed. She was holding his hand all the time while he was at Sheremetyevo. Assange exposed a lot of materials for us and then went into the background. They are two very different figures. But Snowden, of course, drove a big wedge between Germany and the United States. Everybody wanted that to happen." 

"Germany remains an occupied country. American troops are garrisoned. British troops are garrisoned too. What can change the pattern of the existing world?”

“Germany is indeed occupied. However, no one has canceled the German wish to get rid of the American occupation. They managed to escape from the Soviet occupation in 1990, thanks to Gorbachev. Now they want to get rid of the Americans. Against this background, Snowden came up with his information about US special services eavesdropping on Merkel. It was a big blow for Merkel, who, for some reason, thought that she was a great ally, a friend, and that they do not spy on friends. After that, it was suddenly discovered that a young employee of German intelligence services was selling materials to the Americans, and the Americans were willing to buy. There was a very interesting and curious Russian angle in that situation. The Americans at first got very offended, but then they said that it was their own business. The Germans were a little dumbfounded and then said, "you know, that man wanted to sell everything to the Russians too.” Then there was another scandal, when another American spy came up. In fact, while Ukraine is becoming a US-German and pan-European colony, Germany is making tentative steps towards its own liberation.“

"What about France?" 

"In France, the situation is quite interesting too. Jacques Chirac stuck to an independent position. But after Sarkozy came, everything became different … Until recently, France thought that it should be friends with America. But then a terrible earthquake happened – the European Parliament elections. It turned out that the whole system, the whole structure, the whole paradigm – all of it collapsed. And then Hollande, who was the obedient American poodle at the time, suddenly felt chilled to the bone and made ​​a U-turn. The Americans put pressure on the French and began to demand a huge amount from them – about nine billion dollars of fine that they wanted to impose on Paribas bank. The bank financed operations with Sudan, Iran and other countries, with which America does not allow to work. What  difference does it make for a French bank, what America allows? Hollande met with Obama and said: we will defend our bank interests. Apparently, nothing came out of the idea. There was another serious thing, during the Norman meeting. Hollande was the only one among all, who mentioned Russia’s huge contribution in the destruction of Nazism during World War II. All the rest silenced it carefully. France is willing to step aside from the American dictatorship. This can be seen in how France proceeds with the execution of Mistral contracts with Russia. The United States asked the French to refuse from their delivery. Interestingly, in Russia, many criticized the purchase of those ships, but now we see that with those vessels, Russia acquired some friendship with Paris. These all very tricky things. 

"There is a huge shift in world politics going on now, independent power centers appear in front of our very eyes. There is no longer a bipolar world, where the United States and Europe stand against China and Russia. A new, multipolar world is emerging. Do you think that Russia has been increasing its influence lately?" 

"Absolutely. Indeed, Russia can be more or less fine only if great powers of the West are in conflict with each other. The tremendous growth of the Soviet Union in the 1920-1930s was connected with the fact that there was confrontation. And now it is the same. Of course, if we could win the support of Europe, to make it independent, balancing against the United States, then we all would live in the world, where Russia could breathe freely. Yet, the Americans take great care of the garden of European policy. That is, they nurture young politicians across Europe. As soon as pro-American cholera appears, they nurture it even more to make it grow. If an independent person appears, they try to bring him down. As a result, we see scandals with prostitutes, drugs, or other petty scandals that ruin people’s reputations.

"You live in Stockholm and in Moscow. Do you know what united Europe is?" 

"Thee is no united Europe. For the time being, this is a tool for the United States to keep European countries in a pack to drive it forward. This feeling is very strong, especially in France. The French say that Brussels is the bridle, which the US has thrown on all European countries to speed them together. When six European countries united at first, it was different.”

Prepared by Yuri Kondratyev

Read the original in Russian

For USA, Russian economic growth is aggression

Putin Confident About Successful Cooperation Between Russia, China

Putin Confident About Successful Cooperation Between Russia, China

11:16 15/07/2014

FORTALEZA, July 15 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has no doubts about the success of Russian-Chinese cooperation.

“Cooperation is building up in all spheres, we are working very actively,” Putin said during a meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping at the BRICS summit Tuesday.

“We feel your personal interest in developing Russian-Chinese relations and all the plans, I am sure, will be implemented bringing our relations to an even higher level,” the Russian president noted.

Putin also suggested to his counterpart to talk about the steps that can be taken “to intensify the dialogue and solve the tasks that were set.”

Xi Jinping in his turn confirmed that the two leaders are taking the relations between their countries to the next level.

“Over the last two months that passed since your visit [to China] we have been actively holding consultations, the shifts were outlined in all spheres,” Chinese leader said.

According to him, cooperation between Russia and China is shaping up in a “dictum-factum” manner. Xi Jinping urged to continue developing the bilateral contacts.

President Putin said he hopes his next visit to China to the APEC summit in November will be as productive as the previous one.

“We have reached very objective, important, major agreements,” Russian leader underlined.

“I enjoyed visiting China, especially with such results,” Putin stressed.

“If you do not mind, I will come again in November, this time for the APEC summit,” he added.

Russian president arrived to Brazilian Fortaleza to attend the BRICS summit that starts Tuesday.