Rojava: Direct Democracy for Syria’s Kurds

Rojava: Syria’s Unknown War

VICE News (2014)

Film Review

In this documentary, a VICE news journalist illegally crosses the Turkish border to provide viewers a tour of Rojava, the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of northern Syria. This is an ethnically diverse (with Christians, Jews and Sunni and Alawite Arabs) farming region possessing 60% of Syria’s oil. The Kurdish YPG (male) and YPJ (female) armies provide security (from terrorist attack) for the region, with assistance from farmer militias of other ethnicities. Men and women serve (unpaid) on an equal basis, although women are preferred as snipers. They supposedly make better snipers because “they’re more patient.”

Rojazava is presently under siege from Al Nusra, Islamic State and Al-Sham jihadists. Based on passports the YPG recovers from dead jihadists, most are foreign – from Iraq, Libya, Morocco, Chechnya and Afghanistan.

Turkey, which has sealed the Turkey-Rojava border to humanitarian aid and journalists, allows foreign jihadists to cross freely into Rojava. They have been strongly criticized by both the US government and Human Rights Watch for doing so.

2 thoughts on “Rojava: Direct Democracy for Syria’s Kurds

  1. Well, we know about it in Turkey – and the slant is a little different. The very fact that the US government and Human Rights Watch are on the same side should sound warning bells 😉 The US government has been using Kurds in the region for years – eg against Saddam Hussein in Iraq – and no doubt promising them their support for an independent Kurdistan. Who wants this? Certainly not most of the Kurdish people in Turkey, and absolutely not the government of Turkey. Why would the US government want such an entity? To have an oil-rich grateful puppet state in the region? Are Putin and the US government on the same side in this issue? That sounds like a question that begs examination. And by the way, journalists illegally crossing international borders surely know the risks involved, and have only themselves to blame if they end up behind bars.


  2. Well, like they say, Alan, even a broken clock is right twice a day. As a strong feminist my interest in Rojava relates mainly to the direct self organization of women in the YPJ. Rojava is the only place in the world where women have organized to essentially stop rape and domestic violence. I think they serve as a powerful model for women in industrial society that through organizing they can eliminate the horrible oppression women everywhere face living under the constant threat of violence from men.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.