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Bahadır: Let’s grow the resistance front

Bahadır, one of the SYPG representatives, made evaluations about the year 2023. Pointing to the impasse and contradictions of the imperialist capitalist system, Bahadır stated that the attacks on the oppressed will increase in the coming days, and called on the labouring leftist movement to move away from reformism and to grow the revolutionary resistance.

Haydar Bahadır, one of the representatives of the Peoples’ Unity and Solidarity Institution (SYPG), evaluated the developments in Kurdistan and the Middle East in 2023 in the Özgür Rojava programme broadcast on Özgür TV.

Bahadır’s answers to Dîcle Awaz’s questions are as follows:

Which agendas have come to the forefront for the oppressed peoples in the Middle East and Kurdistan in the last year? Where did the Rojava revolution stand in these developments?

When we look at the last year, it has been a very intense, very hard, struggling and costly year from the oppressed side. There was an intense conflict and resistance on all fronts against fascism, capitalism, imperialism, colonialism, the patriarchal system and states. On this occasion, I commemorate the martyrs of freedom, socialism and revolution and bow to them with respect.

As I mentioned at the beginning, it was a very intense period of struggle. In terms of the Rojava revolution, the Kurdistan freedom movement, the oppressed in Turkey, the labourers, the working class, especially women, experienced an intense attack on every front, in the mountains. But against this, a great resistance emerged and very heavy prices were paid. The Middle East axis was one of the two main phenomena that came to the fore here. The struggle of the peoples and women in Rojhilat for women’s freedom with the slogan “Jin, jiyan, azadî” turned into a broad uprising that included the Baloch’s and all other peoples and Kurds. Likewise, in Kurdistan, there were very intense attacks against the guerrillas in Bashûr, Rojhilat and Bakur, and a great resistance was put forward against this, and prices were paid. In the Middle East, the women’s movement, especially the Iranian resistance, stood in a prominent place. Because capitalism, regional dictatorships, reactionaries aimed to destroy the most resistant groups that are the subject of the revolution. Therefore, they committed all kinds of war crimes by committing massacres, using chemical gases and bombs as in Palestine. We object that chemical bombs were used only in Palestine, they were also used in Kurdistan. They were used in the mountains, stones, caves, tunnels used by the guerrilla in Kurdistan. Moreover, the guerrilla also published them.

There have been great resistances in Turkey, from women defending their living space and struggling against the patriarchal system to the working class. Each time, dictatorship, fascism, capitalism, the imperialist globalisation system tried to crush, frustrate and defeat these resistances by using its instruments of force, violence, oppression and terror. But despite all this, the Middle East in particular – we know from the uprising in Iran – has put forward the great resistances of its history, even though there have been retreats. Great prices were paid.

Our answer to the question whether the capitalists have achieved their goals in the region is no, they have not. For example, when we look at Turkish Kurdistan, they have not. The guerrilla is still very strong and continues its resistance. Revolutionary, communist organisations, parties, are heroically, valiantly fighting, resisting, not being liquidated. Fascist dictatorships and imperialist states together implement this policy not only in the Middle East but all over the world. In other words, wherever there is a focus of resistance, they apply a policy of crushing and destroying it without discrimination. The contradictions have reached such an irreconcilable dimension that when it comes to revolutionaries, the policy of crushing, murdering using chemical weapons, extrajudicial executions and imprisonment continues everywhere. It insults, tortures, rapes, kidnaps, murders women, instils and spreads this violence in society. Resisting against this picture, against all this encirclement, stands in a very important place. Naturally, as we know in the Middle East, Kurds are at the centre of this resistance, and Kurds are leading the way. The Kurdish freedom movement continues the struggle together with its comrades and friends in the trenches. There is an economic, political and military siege against the Rojava revolution. There are continuous attacks by the colonialist occupying fascist Turkish state. Not just one day, two days, but every day, revolutionaries, communists, patriots are bombed, revolutionaries, communists and patriots are massacred with the support of collaborators and agents. But despite this, the Rojava Autonomous Administration is taking steps to take its revolution one step further in response to colonialism and occupation. Just a few days ago, it declared the Social Contract and united all its cantons. It secured the gains of the revolution.

This does not mean that all of these will be implemented tomorrow. But through people’s councils, city councils, people’s assemblies, communes, it is aimed to take a movement forward, to secure it, and to create awareness in society. All of these have gained a legal basis. It is very important to protect and strengthen this. We can say that this achievement of the Autonomous Democratic Administration of Rojava was a very important step forward in the last days of the year, both for the freedom of Kurdistan and for the oppressed peoples, labourers and women in the region.

Countries in different imperialist blocs are preparing for a regional or global war with their military organisations such as NATO. The Middle East and the Caucasus stand at the centre of imperialist interests, contradictions and conflicts. What has been revealed in this respect in the last year?

Now, if I may, before we come to the last year, it would be useful to take a very brief look back. With the collapse of the revisionist socialist bloc, a unipolar world was declared. Capitalism was sanctified, it was declared that it must be worshipped. The US imperialism was the pioneer of this. In other words, it was said that capitalism is omnipotent, there is no other world beyond it. In other words, according to them, there is no need for resistance, struggle, socialism, the search for a classless, exploitation-free, gender-neutral world. Of course, for the oppressed and revolutionary organisations, this created a decline in the name of socialism, a political-organisational liquidationist wave.

It is necessary to remember the Marxist-Leninist analysis of Capitalism. Capitalism is a system of exploitation. It is based on maximum profit. It has brought and will bring nothing but plunder, slaughter, poverty, dictatorship and fascism to labourers, women and nature. In the early days of the first and second wars of division, the imperialist states wanted to redivide the world. At the same time, the contradictions and conflicts between the imperialists increased during these wars. This is inevitable. One of the existential laws of capitalism is internal war and contradiction. There are irreconcilable contradictions between capitalists and imperialist states who want to dominate the world. They want to redivide the Middle East, Africa and the Indo-Pacific region. For this purpose, they are making agreements, establishing trade routes and increasing military structures.

The conflict between capitalists and imperialist states has always been resolved by wars. On the other hand, the contradiction between the imperialist capitalist system and the oppressed is deepening. All over the world, the rights of workers and labourers are being taken away, and the biggest massacres of nature in history are taking place. From the Amazon forests to Kurdistan, nature massacres are taking place all over the world. In Turkey, there is an incredible massacre of nature through mines, dams, etc. In terms of women’s rights and the struggle for freedom, there is a great siege all over the world. The capitalist system, in search of a way out, brings out fascist movements. Since the reformist, leftist governments are unable to create a consistent power of struggle against capitalism, colonialism and fascist dictatorships, the masses turn to fascist movements.

Can capitalism, fascism, colonial systems have anything to offer to the oppressed? No. Then that contradiction is increasing. This means that there will inevitably be a historical conflict between the oppressed and the rulers. It will be much harsher than today.

In order to establish its economic system and political hegemony and to rule the world, US imperialism has around 800 large and small military bases all over the world. The cost of this is 200 billion dollars. The US budget for 2024 is 886 billion dollars. It does not allocate this budget for peace in Palestine. We see what kind of policy it is pursuing in Palestine. Or it does not allocate this budget for Kurdistan, for the Kurdish nation to gain rights and for Rojava to be liberated. Or in Turkey or in another country in the Middle East. As in the Middle East, wars are being waged all over the world in order to take the oil and natural gas deposits under the control of the city, to plunder the world again, to share it, and to prevent the loss of market areas.

Other imperialist powers, led by Russia and China, also want to change this situation. Because their interests are not in line with this. They have made some agreements in the last one or two years. There is the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. As you know, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, with Russia and China at the centre, were later joined by India, Iran and Pakistan, and there are observer countries. There is an agreement called British. They have 85 per cent of the world trade. Now they do not want to lose this market. They have 80 per cent of the world income.

Very recently, England has rehearsed a simulation of the third world war. It did this officially. These are preparations. This means the following: The capitalist imperialist system cannot solve any problem arising from the elements of its own existential crisis. They cannot solve the problems against the oppressed either. The war of interests, tensions and contradictions among themselves will inevitably lead them to a war. This means that a very brutal war will start against the oppressed. They are already waging it and they will increase it even more, we need to see that. Today, wars are being waged at other levels through their various representative organisations. Wars are being waged in Ukraine, Palestine, Karabakh, Kurdistan and all over the world. But what we call world war is something that goes far beyond these.

Both in the period of the second imperialist war of division and in the period of the first imperialist war of division, theories such as “These world wars will not happen anymore. Why should capitalists fight each other so much when there is so much profit?” theories were widespread. But in a short time their theories were bankrupt and how did these wars turn into bloody wars? In the second one, it resulted in a war that caused the deaths of 75 million people and 25 million Soviet citizens. This is important for us revolutionaries, communists. There is a very serious ground for struggle against reformism here.

We are heading for a regional and global war. As these conditions are maturing, what are the duties of socialist patriots and the vanguard forces of the Rojava revolution, the communist component?

Theory and politics are not things to be written at a desk. You make politics depending on certain data, the movement of counterrevolutionary forces, their interests, their political preferences, the way they present themselves. In other words, you have to make the politics of the objective conditions of the concrete ground. Capitalism is intensively preparing for war in order to increase its exploitation, expand its market areas or gain new market areas. Here we see the arms race, armament budget, industry of the colonialist fascist Turkish dictatorship, right? We know how it is armed against Rojava, how they are developing new weapons and technologies against the guerrilla war, against the oppressed. They have atomic bombs that can destroy the world ten times over. They are making them to use them against all the oppressed, the poor, women, workers, revolutionaries, communists. OK, they are also using them against each other, but in the end the final clash will be between us and them.

Despite its serious shortcomings and weaknesses, the Rojava Revolution is in a position that far exceeds this, just as we claim the Paris Commune. It is populist, women’s libertarian, social egalitarian. Okay, it is not of a socialist character at the moment, but when we look at the uprisings and revolts of all the oppressed in the last decades, we have a libertarian, populist, democratic, women’s libertarian revolution in front of us that has resulted in a revolution, resulted in gains, resulted in struggle. This is at the same time an important model for the peoples of the region, as well as a position and an achievement of the Kurdish nation against the colonialists. Why is the fascist, colonialist Turkish state afraid today? Why is it constantly bombing, looting and occupying Rojava? Why? Because it is afraid of the spread of such a revolution. It will spread whether they want it or not. In other words, it will spread to Rojhilat. It will spread in Syria, it will spread in Turkey. Because the oppressed have no other way but resistance. This is a revolution in which the oppressed take their own freedom into their own hands with their own power.

The Rojava Revolution is waging an organised and armed struggle against organised colonialism, using the right instrument. It is creating its own self-defence based on force. Why was the popular movement in Iran defeated? Millions of people did not leave the streets for a year. This is not something unique to Iran. This is still a reflection of the revisionist reformist movements of the ’90s and its ideological siege. How nice it is; there are individual freedoms, then what is the need for Marxist-Leninist organisations. What is the need for a vanguard party. Let the masses govern themselves. The masses can do anything without a vanguard. There is no such world. You can achieve temporary palliative gains, but if you don’t have a central structure, if you don’t have a central structure to manage that central structure with a political military war strategy and organisation, if you don’t have an organisation, a force, a headquarters, the ability to manage, military and political mass power, the power to manage it, to mobilise it, to organise its possibilities, they will chase you with a stick. This is what happened in Iran.

Now there is such a historical and political achievement in Rojava. There is a mass that has proved, lived and seen the truth of this. There is a pioneer, there are pioneers. Then it is necessary to claim it, to develop it, to spread it to Turkey, to spread it to Bakûr, to spread it to Rojhilat. It is necessary to prepare for this with organised struggle and armed struggle. Only in this way can colonialism and the capitalist system be overthrown. There is no other solution for the oppressed.

One of the prominent developments of 2023 was the occupation attacks of the Zionist state of Israel against Palestine and the resistance of 12 resistance organisations in Palestine. How do you evaluate the 7 October Aqsa Flood move in terms of the Palestinian national liberation struggle?

It is necessary to draw attention to a few points here. Firstly, this is a problem of the Palestinian people, the Palestinian resistance had a more democratic revolutionary character in the 60s and 70s. Yesterday they could not raise this struggle to a better level. Today it has turned into a liberation movement with an Islamist character. But the essence is this: There is a resistance movement with an Islamic motif for the freedom of the Palestinian people. This resistance is led by Hamas, but it is not only the resistance of Hamas. 12 resistance organisations have made a declaration. This includes the PFLP and the DLFP. There are also a few other large and small revolutionary organisations. So now these organisations are coming together and fighting for the freedom of the Palestinian people against Israeli Zionism and US imperialism. So what do these people expect the people who are caged in a cage to do?

The language used by some groups about Hamas is also the language of the rulers. It is said that they are Islamists, fascists, beheaders. I mean, we cannot defend them, but we must also say that Hamas and ISIS are not the same. These discourses condemn Hamas and the Palestinian movement. And what do they say? The Palestinian people are one thing and Hamas is another. And what do they say? What do the same rulers say about the PKK? “Kurds are separate, PKK is separate. The PKK is terrorist, but we are not against the Kurdish people, we are against terrorism”. There is no difference. Then we must not fall into this trap. Then we, the people standing on this front, will say look, they are saying the same thing to you. They are doing the same thing through Hamas. In other words, it doesn’t care about the left and the right and so on. It is enough for it to be a centre of resistance and to threaten imperialist interests. Hamas played a role that threatened imperialist interests. That is why they attacked so fiercely. That is why they sent all US military ships from the Red Sea to the Eastern Mediterranean on the second day. That is why, against all the massacres, the rotten institutions of the European Union did not admit that any human rights crimes were committed. There are Biden’s US statements.

Secondly, we absolutely need to see this. Those who call themselves secular leftists and the like should not be mistaken. This imperialist capitalist fascist system, as the contradictions increase, no matter what you look like, whether you are liberal, leftist, Marxist-Leninist, patriotic, Kurdish or national libertarian… As soon as you threaten their interests, they will apply massacres to you with various labels, doing even worse than what they did to Hamas and the Palestinian people. The rulers are making plans to crush the resistance of the oppressed in accordance with the logic of capitalist war, just as they did during the imperialist war of division, and they are announcing this to the whole world. This is why they all stood behind the attitude towards Hamas and the massacre attack against the Palestinian people. In other words, even if the most secular, most modern leftist movement in Palestine had done something similar, they would still face the same massacre, the same persecution and genocide. They ignore this. As if Europe is modern, secular or something. Hamas is also religious, reactionary. That’s why they deserve it. This is very wrong. So there is both ideological and political wrongness here. At the same time, those who are on the resistance front, on the labouring left, those who resist fascism, colonialism, capitalism, the male-dominated system, ecological destruction, cannot see what will happen to them tomorrow.

What kind of a year do you predict 2024 will be for the oppressed? What can you say on this basis? What is your call to the political vanguard?

The contradictions are obvious. The solution from the front of the oppressed is different, the solution from the front of the imperialist capitalist system is different. And they have no common ground. Naturally, from our point of view, the solution is the problem of revolution, the problem of socialism, the problem of building socialism. It is so clear and clear. The front of the oppressors is rotten, corrupt, rotten… We see this in the state of the Turkish state, the reactionary, fascist dictatorships in the region. These contradictions will be resolved with the destruction of the capitalist imperialist system of exploitation.

Then the subject, the revolutionaries, that is to say us, have great duties. Here, ideologically and politically, the labouring left front faces two choices. We continue our revolutionary, militant, warrior, resistance, non-surrender, despite all kinds of weapons, massacres, bombs, torture, torture and imprisonment of the imperialist capitalist system. There is this preference. On the other hand, there are reformist demands against this, and projects to reform capitalism with a perspective.

The owners of the imperialist capitalist system, no matter what guise they wear, whether reactionary or fascist, have one goal: to destroy us. To crush the resistance fronts and resistances. To destroy the social revolutions, socialist revolutions that these contradictions will bring about, to ensure that they do not arise. And to crush the forces that can bring this about. Okay, all right, we are fighting them, no problem. But the reformist line on the front of the oppressed is experiencing an eclipse of reason, pinning its hopes on the CHP. It swings easily, ideologically it does not take its roots from revolutionary values, revolutionary heritage, history of the oppressed, Marxism-Leninism, it thinks and acts daily. This is the voluntary preference of some of them.

Then there are two main tasks in front of revolutionaries. The first is to be a destructive force against fascism, capitalism, the male-dominated system, to resist, to know that freedom will not come easily, will not be given easily, to struggle more, to fight more, to go more on the enemy. Secondly, ideologically and politically, to wage a strong ideological, theoretical political struggle against reformism, the liquidationism imposed on us, the false left liberal discourses that block the path of revolutionary liberation, freedom and socialism.

Finally, do you have a message?

We greet our comrades and friends who fight and struggle against fascism, capitalism, colonialism and the patriarchal system in dungeons, mountains, factories, workshops, above ground, underground, in every position and wish them all success in the new year.