Rojava, officially the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, is the only real beacon of hope in a region torn apart by war, authoritarianism, and discrimination. It’s founded on the ideas of democracy, equality, liberty, diversity, and ecological sustainability, and their model of governance, known as Democratic Confederalism, is in my opinion one of the best models for our future as a species. But now another Turkish invasion poses an existential threat to their existence, and there’s no other word to describe it besides heartbreaking.
Over the past few years, they faced significant amount of criticism by self-described Anti-Imperialists, who hate military intervention abroad unless it’s under a red flag. Sure the Syrian Democratic Forces, Rojava’s defense forces, took aid and support from the United States (who arguably is the largest imperialist power today) in their war against the Daesh fascists, but I’d love to remind these armchair activists that the Soviet Union, often their favorite country, took American aid during World War II because they shared a common enemy. If the SDF began bombing villages and building McDonalds’ and Walmarts in their place, the argument would have some credibility.
Regardless, now is not the time for fighting over ideologically purity. Rojava has been betrayed to Turkey in the name of ending endless wars now that Daesh has been crushed. You don’t stop endless wars by selling weapons to dictators like Erdoğan so they can pick up where you left off, you end them by not being the world police and by empowering people to bring democracy and stability to their own homes. You end them by supporting people like the SDF. It’s strange seeing NeoCons describe themselves as anti-war now, when all they’ve done is figure out how to finally outsource war to the third world.
We all need to stand up for Rojava. Now. Call or email your representatives. Join a protest. Do something. Show some solidarity.
And to the brave people of the SDF. Werin Barîkadan. To the barricades. Our hearts and minds are with you.