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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL #294 - Read: André Hébert, "With the Kurds against Daesh" (fr, it, pt)[machine translation]

Date Sat, 25 May 2019 08:18:36 +0300

André Hébert was a volunteer with the YPG between 2015 and 2017. He delivers through this book a fascinating political testimony on the current revolution. ---- This book was first motivated by the need to twist the necks of the untruths circulating on the conflict that ignited and still sets Syria on fire. Indeed, after having initially supported the Free Syrian Army, which has for the most part been disbanded or recycled within the Islamic State and mercenaries in the pay of Turkey, the International Coalition[1]had to resign itself to support the YPG[2], the only force able to stand up to Daesh, despite their revolutionary ideology. In order to justify the current let-go, they now need to rewrite the history of the war against Daesh, diminishing the role of Kurdish and foreign revolutionaries on the one hand, and Turkey's support for the Islamic State of Israel. 'other.

They were however 700 foreign volunteers, including about thirty French, to join the YPG.

Read also:

"Volunteer fighter in Rojava: logbook" in 2016-2017
"A libertarian communist in the YPG: logbook" in 2017
"A libertarian communist in the IFB: logbook" in 2018
Democratic confederalism
André Hébert fought with them in several units, offering a rather diversified vision of the reality of the front: first alongside " apolitical " volunteers , then in the International Battalion, in a unit of deminers, etc. The story alternates these testimonies of the front with political reflections, based on the experiences of the young revolutionary. Thus, the liberation of a city occupied by the jihadists is followed by a chapter on the ideology of Daesh, backed up by the chilling discoveries made on the spot, pertaining to pure nihilism: cult of suicide, sexual slavery, drugs (while Daech punishes cigarette smokers), etc.

There are also descriptions of Kurdish democratic confederalism, different motives for engagement and volunteer journeys, Kurdish feminism, and Kurdish warfare, which aims to remain as human as possible in order to prepare for the after. At the time Amnesty International produces sloppy reports involving the Kurds, this testimony will reset the record straight[3].

His stay in Syria will be interspersed with a return to France, which illustrates the procrastination of states committed to the Kurds. André Hébert will indeed be arrested for the first time in Iraqi Kurdistan[4], and a second time in France, by the DGSI, while he is about to leave. They confiscate his passport and it will take recourse to the administrative court to be able to join the fighting again and participate in the release of Raqqa. Proof that France agrees to support by air strikes the fight against Daesh, but not to let French activists leave to fight alongside the Kurds.

At a time when evidence of doubtful foreign volunteers is multiplying on the Internet, it should be noted that there is no desire on the part of André Hébert to shine. He never ceases to recall the collective and united nature of the actions carried out, the engagement of activists who are sometimes no longer there to testify, or who will remain anonymous.

Nihilism of Daesh
The purpose of this book is therefore to "build a stream of opinion, talk about this revolution, understand it and see what can inspire us here: feminism, collectivization, direct democracy. We see for example with the movement of yellow vests that there is an aspiration for democracy, the democratic confederalism can perhaps give us tools to answer it"[5]. To make known this revolution makes all sense at a time when the revolution in Rojava is threatened: " European countries will align with the US decision to withdraw or not their troops, and let Turkey attack. But the Kurds have really shared power with other communities, but their adherence to democratic confederalism is still fragile. On a military level, if there are many members of other communities, especially Arabs, in the leadership of the Syrian Democratic Forces, the basic soldier could very well turn around for a few hundred dollars a month. "

Let us conclude that this book comes out in a prestigious collection, alongside works by J. Steinbeck, HG Wells or E. Jünger, and is remarkably prefaced by the journalist Pauline Maucort[6], who puts it very well within great political testimonies of revolutionaries fought away from home.

Gregoire (AL Orleans)

André Hébert, Until Raqqa. With the Kurds against Daesh , Les Belles Lettres, 2019, 256 pages, 21 euros.

[1] Coalition intervening since August 2014 in Syria, mainly via air strikes, regrouping the United States and their allies of NATO and oil monarchies. Russia is also involved, but independently, with its allies.

[2] YPG: People's Protection Units, the armed wing of the Kurdish Revolutionary Party of Syria, the PYD.

[3] Read about this topic "Did the YPG commit war crimes ?" , Libertarian Alternative, December 2015.

[4] In Iraq, the majority Kurdish party, the KDP, and its armed force the peshmerga, are capitalists allied politically with the United States.

[5] The quotes come from a telephone interview with the author on April 15.

[6] Author among other fascinating radio documentary "Engaged Volunteers, fight for his ideas" .

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