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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL #289 - Read: Lebrujah, "Understanding Rojava in the Syrian Civil War" (fr, it, pt)[machine translation]

Date Tue, 1 Jan 2019 08:49:23 +0200

Raphael Lebrujah is a good connoisseur of Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava) and the revolutionary experience that has animated this region since the Arab Spring of 2011. ---- He has nurtured many conversations with Kurdish revolutionary activists in exile in France but also in Kurdistan where he made two trips. ---- His highly descriptive work focuses on the geostrategic and military analyzes of the battle of Kobanê (2014), whose heroic resistance projected the Kurdish left in the spotlight, to that of Afrîn (2018), the first Burning setback inflicted by the Turkish army and its Islamist auxiliaries. The Rojava-Democratic Federation of Northern Syria is still at war, it must be remembered, and that absorbs 70 % of its meager resources.
Nevertheless, the Kurdish left is keen to ensure the popular foundation of its project of democratic confederalism. The Federation thus paid the luxury, in this chaotic Middle East, to organize free elections in December 2017. The cantonal assemblies are representative of the ethno-religious mosaic of the country, include men and women. women, and a minority of opposition linked to the KDP of Massoud Barzani, the PKK's great rival in Kurdistan.

In a country in ruins, self-government encourages the revival of production through the creation of cooperatives, under the control of municipalities, but self-managed by workers. Without coercion, rather encouraging the voluntary membership of small owners. The author mentions the functioning of these cooperatives (agriculture-food, clothing ...), which can not represent the alpha and omega of an economic policy. What about the great feudal properties for the moment untouched ? What about oil production, hydro-electric (Tabqa dam), or cement (Lafarge) ? What about major infrastructure (Qamislo airport, still under the control of the Damascus regime)? The author remains cautious about the major choices and challenges facing the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria, whose autonomy is very relative, and which must constantly negotiate with domestic actors (feudal tribes) and external (Damascus, Ankara, Washington, Moscow, Paris ...) that threaten this territory as big as Switzerland.

One of the most original parts of the book tries to define the doctrine of the democratic confederalism, whose orientations escape the traditional categories: neither libertarian, nor marxist, nor feminist, nor atheist, nor ecologist ... but at the same time a little of all that to that time. Flexibility or ambiguity ? We have not finished questioning ourselves.

William Davranch

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