Kobane Experience Will Live On

It is nearly a month since the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [ISIS] terrorists began their assault on Kobanê. The brave men and women of Kobanê have courageously confronted these forces of darkness in the most heroic ways.

It is nearly a month since the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [ISIS] terrorists began their assault on Kobanê. The brave men and women of Kobanê have courageously confronted these forces of darkness in the most heroic ways.

ISIS fighters are highly trained and well equipped with money, resources, tanks, guns and latest technologies. This arsenal has been deployed with the aim of destroying Kobanê and its people. In addition Turkey - along with other reactionary governments in the region - has been discovered to be helping and supporting ISIS.

Kobanê has stood alone but its people have been resisting without any logistical or arms supply. Their key resource is their own will power, determination and humane ideals. It is this resource that has kept them going. They fight with a visionary politics of social justice, gender equality and secularism. They are faced with one of the most brutal forces of modern times. ISIS and their vision of society are totally opposed to the Kobanê version. The ISIS agenda is of the dark ages: killings, beheadings, chopping off hands, veiling women and gender apartheid, as well as rape and sexual slavery. In a statement ISIS declared that Kurds are not muslims and they have to submit to the will of ISIS, and to pay taxes. If not then their blood, women and children will be Halal i.e. they will kill and rape the women. The US and the west turned their back to Kobanê, and they say it's none of their concern if Kobanê falls. Their alleged air raids of ISIS under international pressure were not even effective.

Why does the west have no interest in properly arming the Kurds of Kobanê?

First of all, I would personally never want to see US or Western intervention in any part of the Middle East. Every time they intervene, they leave the population in a long and never ending conflict, letting alone the bloodshed and political turmoil. The governments they install only bring more suppression and division to an already ravaged society. In the first place it was the Western government who carelessly drew these borders and divided Kurdistan into four parts, and ever since generation after generation experienced war, ongoing political violence, state terror, imprisonment, deprivation, executions and genocide. Over a period of almost three years since the upheaval in Syria began, Kurdish people have risen up. They have long been suppressed and denied their most basic rights. Throughout this time, a new model of politics built upon and defending the experience of collective self-rule has emerged.

Kobanê is a critically endangered example of an extraordinary democratic, secular and egalitarian self-rule. Under this self-rule half of all official posts are held by women, people run collective grass-roots activity regardless of their "ethnic" and "religious" origins. This self-rule is commune-centred with a constitution explicitly rejecting the form of nation-state and advocates the protection of the environment and ecology. This is exactly in opposition to the aim and ideals of western powers who have always wanted the Middle East to be in conflict and 'governed' on the bases of ethnic, religious and tribal differences. In addition gender equality and children's rights are at the heart of the social programme of Kobane's revolutionary people.

We have seen very little support given to the struggle of the brave freedom fighters/Peshmarga from Western governments and it is obvious why they do not want to support Kobanê. They refuse support because it's not the kind of political model or society that the West aspires to see. The only form of society that is advocated is a neoliberal one based on individualism, the 'free market' and class division. This kind of society is not concerned with collectivism, politics or revolutionary ideals but is instead obsessed with careerism and consumerism.

Therefore the example of Kobanê does not match the US and Western neoliberal model of ethno sectarian regimes like those installed in Afghanistan and Iraq after their occupation. Kobanê is different: it's a common based and inclusive politics; it has gender equality at heart. Free market and selfish individualism is not advocated by these fighters. What is happening in Kobanê is a new revolution at all levels. Facing ISIS and keeping hold of an experience of running society on the basis of collective action, gender equality and cultural progress is an extraordinary example.

Kobanê and its people - both men and women - are dedicated to their cause and are setting a new example of politics new to the Middle East. The west does not want to see this cause spreading. They will not tolerate or support such an alternative to capitalism. We live in a world where people are reduced to sects of religion, ethnic and tribal members. The Middle East has long been a place of such politics whereby one group oppresses the other on the basis of a religious and ethnic divide.

The new alternative that the revolutionary women and men of Kobanê are providing is of human solidarity, cutting across gender, class, religion and ethnic boundaries. I would argue that the Kobanê experience and example of revolution and struggle for freedom will live on. Kobanê will never fail and it will never be defeated.


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