Turkey's 'Kurdish question' won't go away

[Green Left Weekly, #1029, October 22, 2014]

Ever since the foundation of modern Turkey in 1923, the country's Kurdish population has endured severe discrimination and national oppression. The nationalist officers around Mustafa Kemal (Atatürk), the victor of Gallipoli, who led the struggle which established the republic, were ruthless Turkish chauvinists. They saw the large Kurdish minority as a problem to be dealt with.

'The defenders of Kobanê have given us an imperishable example of humanity, courage and determination'

[Speech at solidarity rally for Kobanê, Melbourne, October 11, 2014.]

Kobanê’s heroic resistance to the 'Islamic State' gangs has won admiration and support around the world.

Kobanê: Epic resistance increases pressure on US and Turkey

[Green Left Weekly, #1028, October 21, 2014]

OCTOBER 10 — Kobanê's epic resistance against the assault of the genocidal 'Islamic State' gangs has now entered its fourth week. The heroic defence has held out against overwhelming odds. The defenders have been forced back but their lines have not been broken. In some neighbourhoods street fighting is taking place.

Solidarity with Kobanê

[Speech to Kobanê solidarity rally, Melbourne, October 5, 2014.]

On behalf of Socialist Alliance, I want to express our solidarity with the people of Kobanê who are heroically resisting the forces of the genocidal Islamic State. Against overwhelming odds, despite being outnumbered and outgunned, the defenders of Kobanê have resisted the inhuman IS gangs. The IS thought Kobanê would fall in a week but it is now almost three weeks and they still have not taken the city.

Kobanê: Heroic defence resists ‘Islamic State’ assault

[Green Left Weekly, #1027, October 1, 2014]

Besieged since September 15, the northern Syrian Kurdish-majority city of Kobanê (Arabic name: Ayn al-Arab) has mounted an heroic, all-out resistance to the murderous 'Islamic State' gangs. As of September 25, despite all the superior heavy weaponry deployed by the IS, it appears that fierce resistance and determined counterattacks have halted or slowed the assault. Nonetheless, the IS thugs have pushed closer to the city centre than ever before and the situation remains perilous.

Say no to Abbott's new war

[Green Left Weekly, #1026, September 24, 2014]

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has committed Australia to join Washington's latest military intervention in the Middle East. Some 600 Australian military personnel and aircraft operating from a base in the United Arab Emirates will join US forces in bombing 'Islamic State' forces in Iraq and assisting the Kurdistan Regional Government with weapons and training.

Kobanê appeals for support against assault by 'Islamic State'

[Green Left Weekly, #1026, September 24, 2014]

Since September 15, the city of Kobanê in the Kurdish-majority liberated area of Rojava in northern Syria has been under intense attack by the murderous forces of the 'Islamic State'.

Amid relentless fighting, Kurds search for unity

[September 2, 2014; Links online magazine ]

Across northern Syria and Iraq, Kurdish forces are locked in fierce battles with the murderous 'Islamic State'. Whether directly or indirectly, the whole Kurdish people is being drawn into this struggle.

Kurds fight 'Islamic State' over vast front

 photo Kurds_map.jpg

[August 11, 2014; Links online magazine]

The Kurdish people are facing an unprecedented challenge. Across a vast swathe of northern Syria and Iraq, the region's Kurds are locked in a desperate and heroic struggle with the genocidal forces of the so-called Islamic State (IS). Fighting is raging from Aleppo and Kobanê in Syria to Mosul and Kirkuk in Iraq — and all points in between. (The 'front' is enormous: for example, the direct distance from Aleppo to Kirkuk is over 650km.)

Are you patriotic? Some reflections on a topical question

[Green Left Weekly, #1006, April 29, 2014]

'Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.' Samuel Johnson's aphorism (1775) is well known. But if a lot of scoundrels are patriotic, where does that leave patriotism itself? Are you patriotic? Should we be?

Climate action must include people-protection measures

[Green Left Weekly, #995, February 3, 2014]

Victoria's scorching January heatwave has focused a lot of attention on the problem of coping with the immediate fallout from climate change. According to the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine, in the period January 13-23 there were 139 deaths in excess of the expected average. There were reports of homeless people being forced away from airconditioned areas as they sought relief from the relentless heat.