The expression “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter” is a simplistic notion intended to explain the difficulty in putting together genuine international coalitions against terrorism. In reality, any armed group who uses violence as a means of achieving an extra-legal geopolitical or domestic gain should be condemned. This is especially true when such an organisation targets civilians, civilian infrastructure and those assigned a duty to keep the peace.
Yet it is because funding and arming such terrorist groups is an important tool of foreign policy for many states who put their supposed interests above both international law and a universal willingness to condemn terrorism, that there can never be a truly global war against terrorism.
Terrorism comes with many varying and competing ideologies attached ranging from religious extremists to the secular and violent – from the far left to the far right. There are also varieties of terrorism that use violence to promote otherwise obscure and obscurantist causes including eco-terrorism and its far-right companion eco-fascism.
In 2018, Turkey is a country having to fight terrorism not only on multiple geographic fronts but on multi-ideological fronts ranging from the far-right FETO led by the cultish Fethullah Gulen to the far-left PKK whose leader is the equally cultish Abdullah Ocalan. Turkey has been exposing Washington’s links with FETO for years, even though the fact that Fethullah Gulen enjoys a comfortable asylum in the United States in spite of Ankara’s frequent extradition requests for terrorism related charges, makes America’s links to FETO obvious. If the shoe was on the other foot and Turkey was sheltering a terrorist that the US knew was complicit in the 9/11 atrocity, one could image the outpouring of anger from the US.
Even more surprising from a purely ideological point of view is that since taking office, the Donald Trump led United States has increased its battle field relationship with the YPG, the Syria based branch of the PKK, a far-left group recognised internationally as a terrorist organisation. In spite of the fact that PKK/YPG members on both sides of the border commit atrocities against civilians including a rocket attack on a Turkish mosque and while their cells and supporters commit attacks on mosques frequented by Turks in Europe, it was only this week that the US agreed to a road map for peace in northern Syria which would include the disarming and expulsion from major cities of the YPG/PKK. It remains to be seen whether the US will keep its promise and break-off ties with the YPG/PKK.
The ideology of the YPG/PKK is a far-left blend of Trotskyism, so-called anarcho-communism and militant feminism. These are the kinds of ideologies that would generally not be welcomed anywhere near a Trump rally. And yet, the US government has in recent years funded far-left American anarchists, Trotskyists and like minded individuals to go to Syria and fight alongside the YPG/PKK in a move which represents a clear threat to the safety of the region and the territorial integrity of both Turkey and Syria. This gang of US funded marauders even made a technically polished propaganda video, apparently on Syrian soil where someone who sounds like an American adolescent chants battle cries in the name of the YPG/PKK while showing off deadly weapons. The only difference between this video and a Daesh propaganda video is the manner of speech and the slogans.
But if the Trump administration’s support for anti-Turkish, anti-Syrian and anti-international law far-left terrorists wasn’t strange enough when targeting fellow NATO member Turkey, the same thing is being done in respect of a far-left group targeting Iranian sovereignty. Geopolitical expert Andrew Korybko described Trump’s odd support for the MEK in the following way:
“The open support that leading figures of the Trump Administration have given to the “People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran” (officially called the “Mojahedin-e Khalq”, hence the conventional MEK abbreviation) is a betrayal of the President’s base. This organization can only be described as a cultish Islamo-communist terrorist group because of its attempts to fuse political Islam & communism, as well as its history of killing Americans that previously resulted in its inclusion on the State Department’s terrorist list until Hillary took them off in 2012. That said, Rudy Giuliani was previously on the group’s payroll as a lobbyist and speaker, while National Security Advisor John Bolton is one of its most influential advocates.
Prima facie, it’s inexplicable that a President who publicly takes such a strong stand against political Islam, communism, and terrorism would be close to two figures – one of whom is the US’ top advisor on national security issues – who are allied with an organization that embodies all three of the ideologies that Trump built his domestic reputation around opposing, but there’s actually a reason why the shadowy MEK has such prominent backers in the administration. Simply put, the MEK is the most effective Hybrid War weapon to ever be wielded against Iran, and Trump has no compunctions about following in Saddam Hussein’s footsteps and using the group against the Islamic Republic.
It’s Machiavellian to the core and embodies the simplistic mantra of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”, but this is nevertheless the strategy that the Trump Administration is applying as part of its “Plan B” against Iran. As some cynics like to say, “the ends justify the means”, and this Hyper-Realist mentality is indeed very effective in yielding results, though at the obvious expense of morals, ethics, and principles. Trump, who fashions himself as being the opposite of his predecessor in every sense, is actually continuing Obama’s legacy by “legitimizing” this Islamo-communist terrorist group that his hated rival Hillary removed from the State Department’s terrorist list”.