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The Iraqi Kurds must be confident that their offensive on Shingal will be decisive in their favor. The day chosen to start the offensive is flag day in Kurdistan (Kurdistan Regional Government, also known to Kurds as Bashur, which means the South). KRG Flag day is Dec 17. Flag day is not required to be observed by schools, but has become wildly popular. Shops that sell KRG flags and Peshmerga outfits for children have sold out. The Peshmerga leadership must believe that this offensive will become an important part of future patriotic celebrations. Incidentally, the KRG flag features a large 21 pointed sunburst in the center. This is a very specific pre-Islamic religious symbol. Why does a supposed Muslim people use their ancient pre-Islamic religious symbol as the sign of their nationhood? This become less puzzling when you learn that most Kurds are members of one of several highly secretive Sufi orders. Sufis are mystics, whose masters claim authority that is greater than any written doctrine.
There is a theory that Iran is fomenting a war between Sunnis and Shiite Arabs in Syria and Iraq, but that they don't really care if the Shiites win. The point is to weaken and divide the Arabs so that Iran can step in to restore order and end up in control of Arab oil. It seems that Turkey is playing the same game, except that they want Turkey to own all the oil. With the US deliberately stepping down as the world policeman, opportunities abound for budding Napoleons and Caesars.
Rudaw announced the beginning of a large scale Peshmerga offensive starting at 7am local time (a bout a half hour ago) to retake Shingal from ISIS. This offensive is taking place simultaneously on a number of fronts. There is also a blocking strategy to prevent reinforcements from Tal Afar. This followed intensive air bombardments the night before. This will be part of a necessary first step before approaching Mosul, to help cut off and surround Mosul.
There is another dimension of events in kobane that is not getting much attention. Kobane is one of the 3 cantons of Rojava, which represents a unique political and social experiment. "Social ecology", a concept that was founded by Murray Bookchin, is the guiding principle behind this experiment. This philosophy was embraced by Abdullah Ocalan after he became disillusioned with Marxist Leninist thought. There was a very deliberate effort to find an alternative guiding principle. On a governmental level it is about municipal confederalism, which rejects statism. Think "Articles of Confederation", but less centralized. On a social level it includes the ideal of a matriarchal society, which is presently the opposite of society in that area. It seems that the idea behind this is that the drive to dominate other people is part of the patriarchal social model, and they need to change their civilization before trying to implement a new political system The philosophy is still evolving. In recent years it has been cut loose from a previous association with anarchist thought. What is happening in Kobane has parallels with the Paris Commune of 1871, which inspired Karl Marx.
In response to:

Putin Meets with North Korea

Mike1116 Wrote: Nov 22, 2014 4:55 AM
The KRG (Kurdistan regional Government) is resisting a tremendous popular pressure for independence. Go to YouTube and search for "My Kudistan" (with English subtitles). Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and many former colonies in Africa were created out of several ethnic groups to deliberately make the people weak and unable to resist a Tyrant. These countries are inherently unstable without a Tyrant in charge. It is time the US recognizes the error of this policy. Dividing these countries along ethnic lines would create inherently stable countries that could be effectively ruled by the will of the people. Giving the Pashtuns a state of their own would take the pressure off of the rest of Afghanistan and give Pakistan something to do other than trying to destabilize Afghanistan.
The ideology of the YPG, the Kurdish militia of Syria that is defending Kobane, is hard to categorize. They follow the thinking of Abdullah Ocalan (Apo), which has changed from being Marxist Leninist at one time. They consider themselves to be social revolutionaries. They believe in a matriarchal society and ecology is very big with them. They are also against statism, whatever that means. They believe that society went wrong with the invention of agriculture. The tribal society is ideal. They believe that socialism did not work because it required the creation of a new civilization, which did not happen. They are taking the emphasis off of socialism and placing it on creating the new civilization first. Unlike standard leftists, they are extremely nationalistic, but they are completely tolerant of others as long as those others will leave them in peace. As you can see, they are highly motivated and dedicated and indoctrinated, and more than willing to die to defend their country and people. I notice that in many pictures of the women YPG fighters in Kobane (who seem to be the majority), they are often smiling and laughing and looking very at ease. In a video interview of the peshmerga commander in Kobane you could hear children in the background laughing and playing. Those who are wounded say how anxious they are to get back into the fighting. One gravely injured fighter was on her deathbed singing a patriotic song with power and feeling. These people are not going to fight our wars for us, but they will certainly hold their ground if given the weapons. A good strategy for for them and for us is for them to take a strip of land all along the Turkish border to seal off ISIS from the outside world and to unite the 3 cantons of Syrian Rojava.
Erdogans' statement that Kobane is not important or strategic may be a misdirection. The ISIL is landlocked and surrounded by enemies except for Turkey, which is almost certainly a sponsor and ally. This makes the rail junction of Kobane of key strategic importance for the viability of the Islamic State. A YPG commander in Kobane claimed that the East side of Kobane has been the most vulnerable because Turkey has brought in ISIL supplies and fighters by rail from the eastern side.
Turkey does not want heavy weapons to go to the Syrian Kurds. The air drop must have included heavy weapons and this caused Turkey to change its position to allow Iraqi Kurds to enter Kobane through Turkey. Turkey put two conditions: the Iraqi Kurds must be under command of the KRG and not under any political party, and the forces must retain control over any heavy weapons they bring and they must not leave those weapons in the hands of the Syrian Kurds. The US is also making conditions before it will help the Syrian Kurds: they must allow participation of all the Kurdish factions. Meetings are taking place to implement this and the meetings are going much farther than directed. There may be a governing council to coordinate Kurds from Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Syria. The roots of the USA were similar to this. Before King Phillips' War there was no coordination between the New England colonies. To deal with the war they formed a governing body to coordinate war efforts. This body did not have much power but it never went away and eventually became the United States of America. Kurdish armed forces from Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey are all actively fighting ISIL in Syria and Iraq right now. This will be more orderly and organized.
According to a report that may be biased, the core source of the problem between India and Pakistan is the water in the Indus River. It originates in India and is desperately needed in Pakistan. India also needs the water and has plans to build power stations using the water and to increase use of the water for irrigation. Both countries have seen massive increases in population and they are both short of water. Pakistan has already declared a policy of first use of nuclear weapons if certain trigger conditions are met, and apparently they have already been met.
The PKK said that they had no casualties from the Turkish bombardment. The PKK did not mention anything about attacking a Turkish military post, which was the reason given by Turkey for the attack. There is a Turkish movie you can see on the internet for free: Jin (2013). It is not about politics but reveals the atmospherics of the Kurdish Turkish relationship. Jin is a Kurdish guerilla fighter who leaves the mountains to try to reclaim a normal life for herself. It does not work out and she returns to the mountains. Critics have compared it to the fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood. Last week Turkish soldiers caught some Kurdish brothers sneaking across the border to visit relatives. They were all beaten, one was beaten to death and he was stripped and his body was tossed over the fence into Syria. I think if there were not a lot of media looking at this region it would not be news at all. This was not near Kobane. The attitude of Turks toward Kurds seems to be very similar to the way American Indians were seen by American cowboys in the mid 19th century.A news clipping from San Bernardino in Southern California told about how some Indian stole chickens from a farmer, so the local farmers got together and went to the local Indian village and killed every man, woman and child. This was minor news in the county paper with just a few paragraphs in a little blurb buried in the paper.
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