The first rule of war is to be prepared. Above all, these preparations within society must be made in a concrete and practical way, entirely linked to war preparations. First of all, it is the most fundamental task to ensure the backbone of the self-defense of the people, the ideological education of the people and the position against the fascist occupation policy.
We are passing through a moment in history in which the peoples of the world rise simultaneously. Latin America has woken up, Algeria and Sudan are rebelling, Iraq, Libya and Kurdistan have risen. The rage that has spread through the hearts of the oppressed is flooding the streets like a flash and the need for revolutionary war to bring the counterrevolution to its knees is becoming increasingly apparent.
It is obvious that the factor that determines the fate of the uprisings that we are going through today and will go through tomorrow is the revolutionary war itself. Rojava, where an uprising coincided with a revolutionary war and victory was won with great sacrifices, is what deserves the name of the vanguard revolution. The experience from Rojava of taking the cities, liberating the cities under occupation meter by meter, has the valuable potential to be able to fire all revolutionary struggles.
We are close to finish the first month of Serêkaniyê‘s honorable resistance, and we find the name of this resistance written down in history as one of the greatest experiences of resistance in the Rojava Revolution. Understanding this great revolutionary resistance and war is just as important to lead the Rojava revolution into its future as it is as a pioneering beacon for popular uprisings around the world.
The first rule of war is to prepare it
Fighter planes began bombing the Şehit Serkan Battalion and Şehit Alişer Deniz Regiment on October 9, and on that same ninth, an honorable and uninterrupted resistance struggle for the history of the revolutionary war of the oppressed created a significant and highly topical experience. Above all, it was mistaken in the belief that technology was the most important good of humanity. It was here that the world was shown how a resistance organized as a small army could organize enormous resistance in the face of the Turkish Republic, which was occupied by war planes, tanks, bullets, mortars.
From this perspective, Serêkaniyê‘s resistance is full of evidence of how the second largest NATO army has faced hopeless situations against organized force. With this level of Preparation for the Serêkaniyê resistance, it was achieved that”a handful“ of self-sacrificing vanguards and self-defending progressive militants of the masses, despite all the disadvantages, forced the gangs of the Turkish Republic to their knees, to let their highly developed technical equipment fail in the air as well as on the ground and to force the enemy side to a ceasefire.
From the first moment of the Rojava revolution, all experience has shown that revolutionary preparation is the first prerequisite for victory. From the perspective of Serêkaniyê‘s honorable resistance, it can be said that preparations have been made in various key military and political areas.
Because the preparation is not a one-sided organizational work, tasks of different weights are carried out simultaneously and together. If the resistance is to be successful, then only military preparation or just political preparation is not sufficient. Sometimes even organizing these two works may not be enough to ensure the most basic. The preparation requires the creation of clarity in the entire organizational consciousness, the creation of the social superstructure, the organization of the people and first of all the necessary preparations regarding the logistics, the positions of the fight and the ammunition as well as the political-military structure. Everything is under the authority of material possibilities and there is a compulsion to create new possibilities.
In this regard, the experience of preparing the Serêkaniyê resistance militarily has shown that things are inevitably becoming more intense and staying power is essential. The basic preparations that were made were the underground tunnel work, training for the tasks at the positions in combat and the ideological-military training of the forces - preparations that give the resistance a high stamina. The guiding perspective of these preparations is to keep the resistance going as long as possible, to extend it as much as possible and to be able to fight back the occupiers by turning the war into a people‘s war.
Preparing the revolutionary war also means positioning yourself according to the enemy‘s movements. The preparatory work that began in the first days of honorable resistance has revolved around putting a stop to the technical superiority of the enemy. In particular, work on the underground tunnel systems was a direct result of this. These tunnel systems were built to ensure ammunition replenishment and fulfillment of logistical needs, to bring injured people to safety and to attack with the method of striking and retracting and to be able to disappear underground again. At the same time, this system is the most effective way to make the reconnaissance and combat aircraft, which the enemy uses more than anything else, useless.
If we want to make the resistance of these small towns understandable, then our first topic must be how Serêkaniyê understood how to organize and prepare in the face of the enemy. At the same time, the causes of the deficiencies of this resistance are hidden here. Despite the knowledge of the other side‘s forms of movement, some of the preparations at the moment of the war turned against the forces of the revolution.
Another important experience from the Serêkaniyê resistance that needs to be highlighted is the preparation and organization of the structure of the whole city and the whole architecture according to the needs of the war. Almost a real underground city was built against the attack by the occupying army. Everything has been considered to enable long, persistent resistance. The construction of the outdoor positions was also linked to the work on the tunnels under the city. Access to the tunnel system was created in houses, gardens, streets and alleys in order to be able to increase the forces at these positions with ammunition and logistics.
Beginning with the study of the geographical and sociological structures, knowledge of the city was collected at the highest level, so that it was possible to determine what happened in the city, like conductors.
Military preparations and ideological clarity
The war has its own means. If you are unable to use these means fully and sufficiently, you will not be able to influence the course of the war. The war over Serêkaniyê also holds important lessons in this regard. It is clear that these preparations followed the pattern of movement of the enemy army. We can say that these preparations, even if they were made at the right time, have also weakened the extent and course of the resistance.
In the first days of the war of occupation, the occupiers understood that they would face heavy weapons and sabotage by the revolutionary forces. And that they won‘t get a break. The forces of the revolution built their own self-defense based on their analysis of the enemy‘s movement patterns and the lessons learned from previous attacks. The ammunition depots were filled according to needs and distributed to different parts of the city.
In this regard, the task of building military forces as an important pillar of preparation has always been on the agenda. Education and discussions about the unequal nature of our war provide a better understanding of the need for a revolutionary army. For this reason, training with military forces on military-ideological tactics was part of the preparations for war. From a military point of view, the development of perseverance and discipline is an element of education. And an even more important part are the branches of education that aim to overcome technical inequality and to further develop the quality of the forces. But a must in any war is a command office with high capacities. With this aim, military-ideological training on tactics must be carried out systematically.
But within this part of the preparations, the ideological aspect is at least as important as the military one. The war over Serêkaniyê, the successes and failures of this war, made this even clearer. It is important to realize that those who have formed the backbone of resistance and who have resisted with faith and sacrifice are cadres. This determination has developed a symbolic character in the narrow environment. On the front line of Serêkaniyê, the first rule that is learned is that the struggles of commanders or vanguards themselves create courage and boldness. But although this ideology has been spread throughout the struggle structure and gradually spread to the people, there are also some weaknesses that have become clear.
Another aspect of explaining the ideological meaning is that the idea of „never escaping war“ has tosome extent made its way into the hearts and minds. It has happened from time to time that the lies of the imperialist world could have an inhibitory influence on military preparations. In some places, confidence in the power of the oppressed has been unsettled. It has become clear that the confidence in oneself and in the revolution, which was the basic prerequisite for being able to resist Serêkaniyê, are values that must be internalized in order to be able to defend the revolution.
The key to victory: arming the people
It has been made clear once again that it is a fundamental duty of the revolution to resist for honor and freedom. In the coming days we will see that the Rojava Revolution will organize itself much more than before, based on the lessons it learns from its own experience.
The first task in organizing self-defense of the people in resistance is to prepare the institutions that are not part of the revolutionary army for war. With this perspective, the way of working and the tasks of the institutions of the revolution have been reorganized according to the requirements of the war. All possibilities of all work areas, wherever they may be, starting with all work within the people, have been focused on the war. The previous tasks have been organized to interlink with the needs of the war. But not all of these preparations have led to the same degree of success.
As I said, in parallel with this work, a political campaign was launched to arm the people, there were self-defense training among voluntary young women and young men, self-defense assemblies in the municipalities and various work in the context of war preparations were made to integrate the masses connected to the vanguard into the struggles.
But it cannot be denied that there were some gaps in these intensive preparations. It is important to point out these deficient points in order to clarify the next steps.
First of all, the concrete, practical preparations and depending on the overall war preparations within society must be set in motion. In particular, the first fundamental task of the revolution, the backbone of the self-defense of the people, is the formation of the people in the ideological sense and the securing of positions against the fascist occupation policy.
But anyway, part of the shortcomings in Serêkaniyê was to get the other strata of society to fight, who would participate in the military forces associated with the reality of a people organized and armed in a military system. Let us take a closer look at the practical shortcomings in this point: The formation and positions of the self-defense forces founded by district for district and block of flats for block of flats was weak and insufficient. It has not been organized sufficiently to develop the self-defense forces qualitatively and to prepare them for their expected practical work.
Along with all of this, the policies of the rulers and imperialists towards the Rojava revolution have left a serious barrier to the people‘s trust in their own strength and have led to the result that the people were not psychologically prepared in this intense and violent process sufficiently. It was also not possible to convert this hesitation in the intense hot atmosphere. The people didn’t hesitate to provide support to the fighters and to provide their homes and resources for the needs of the war. And it must be emphasized again: A significant number of the Rojava peoples, almost a hundred thousand, are fully ready to carry out their tasks in the ranks of the revolutionary army. The remaining shortcomings consisted in organizing the non-military strata of the people within the framework of civil self-defense.
It is obvious that the moment and the conduct of the war, depending on the level of preparation, will be enriched in future revolutionary struggles with accumulated resources and experience. But that‘s supposed to be the subject of another article. The aspects that have to do with the preparation of the war should be mentioned here. In this context, Comrade Baran Serhat, who was a Serêkaniyê fighter, has been confirmed in his words. He always said that victory loves preparation. Tomorrow‘s greater victories will also be achieved through great preparation. By relying on these preparations, the Rojava Revolution will liberate the soil under occupation.
(These notes were written by Serêkaniyê resistance fighters during the first weeks of the historical resistance against Turkish fascism)