Mahmoud Sabit at PostGlobal

Mahmoud Sabit

Cairo, Egypt

Mahmoud Sabit is a historian and an authority on Egypt’s 19th century political reforms. Sabit also works as a writer and producer of historical documentaries. Close.

Mahmoud Sabit

Cairo, Egypt

Mahmoud Sabit is a historian and an authority on Egypt’s 19th century political reforms. more »

Main Page | Mahmoud Sabit Archives | PostGlobal Archives


Let Iraqis Decide

Egypt - Any attempt to impose a three ethnic enclave solution against the wishes of the Iraqi people would be disastrous. Most Iraqis are against a partition of their country....

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Dr Kamal Mirawdeli:

I want a state called Kurdistan ( to the UN)

Poem by Dr Kamal Mirawdeli

I want a state called Kurdistan
My homeland since the first day of the creation
I want my own nation
I want Kurdish nan
From Hakari and Hawraman
From Bana and Kirmashan
From my village Marga
From every great tradition of Kurdistan
To be sold in all supermarkets in the world
So that I can say
Actually the barley and the wheat
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Were first cultivated
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Where cows and sheep
Were also nurtured
And agrarian revolution
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Spread to all the world
Any my language is as old
As the first sighs of God
Where from the mountains of Kurdistan
Where paradise rivers flow
And the gardens of Eden lie
Zardasht articulated
The first religion of civilization
Based on man's self-creation
Through good thoughts, good words
And good action.

I want Kurdish music of Zirak and Zozan
Of Khaligi and Dilan
Of Mem, Mamle and Mardan
Of Jazrawi and Juwan
Of Shirin and Shvan
To be promoted by my state
Played on every radio
Heard by every audio

I want my Kurdisatni flag to shake
With every diplomatic handshake
I want my Kurdish embassies in the world
With sections for culture, tourism and commerce
Bringing together Kurdish talents, skills and knowledge
And promoting Kurdish culture and language

Kuwait was a desert and a tribe
You created it as a state for its oil and location
And serving your own colonial machination
But you enslaved us, and divided our land
And assigned us to a history
Of tragedy, genocide and assimilation
Although we are a great nation
With oil, water, strategic area,
With an ancient civilisation
And a great mission
Of peace and freedom
And we never ever committed aggression
But through Salah al-Din
We sent the West the message
Of tolerance and transformation
We created criteria for civilised dialogue
When Media made the first revolution
Against tyranny for human liberation
And inscribed the first document
Of human rights and paradigms
Of peaceful cohabitation.

Where is your Iraqi liberation?
People in mass graves have not heard anything
And the victims of your chemical profit
In Halabja
Have seen no justice, no retribution
Where is my liberation
When your racism runs so deep
Even the name of Kurdistan
Receives no mention?

I want my homeland, my state, my Kurdistan
I can no longer stand this alienation
I want my nation
I want what I deserve
And what is my natural right:
Freedom and liberation.

Dr Kamal Mirawdeli:

Anfal: Kurdish 9-11 happened many times over


I do not remember for whom I cried the last time
I do not remember for whom I cried the last time

I do not remember the last instance when I was with myself
When I was with my self's sorrows
When I was the lone friend of my lonely loneliness
When I was the intimate mate of my desire-full inner soul
When I was with myself for myself
When I was my self's self,
Was MYSELF.

Oh, if only for one hour, one minute, one second,
I could see myself in the clear mirror of my inner Self
And if I could talk to myself with the pure words of Self
If I could listen to those music-less melodies
To those secrets of secret mysteries

What colour they might be
The colour of me without me

What sound could they be
The sound of my mute party

What Existence could Absolute Idea be
What Idea could Absolute Existence be
What taste could the Soul have
What Soul could the loneliness of solitary souls be?

I do not remember the last time I said good-bye to you
I do not remember the last time I missed you
I do not remember the last time I upset you
I do not remember your last meeting, last smile, last breath, last looks,
Last sigh, last sorrow, last desire, last prayer,
I do not remember when I forgot you
How I forgot you

But I remember how I wore you
How my soul was dressed in your image
How my sighs breathed you in
How my eyes met a pair of eyes
That opened the gates of an epic

I remember when I became fond of you
From beyond existence,
I became the shadow of your existence,
You became the shadow of my existence,
My shy loneliness,
My sad solitariness,
Rested in your arms
My heart dwelt in yours
My soul was revived by yours.

I do not remember when I was me,
When I was with me for me,
But I remember I was myself in your love,
I could cry,
I knew how to laugh,
I was able to die,
Time was in my hands,
Place was on my shoulders,
Life was a simple pain.

Now away from you, dreams process my soul,
I put my head on the mist of your breast,
And listen to the withered whispers of your heart
I travel to a world I have never seen before
I have never passed through it even accidentally
Nor heard of it by word of mouth
Nor read about it in books and epics

Where did this come from?
This non-material phenomenon,
This non-existential looks,
What a wonderful world it is
How unique and peerless it is

It is dream, it is the Self''s self,
It is inner image,
It is the root of rootless consciousness
It is the beginning of no-beginning
It is the First''s First
The non-existence of Existence
The Existence of non-existence
It is a grain of soil,
A worm,
A Universe
A Mystery
A Myth

Who can catch shade?
Who can hunt the sunrays?
Who can chase the wind?

Who can catch a dream, measure a dream,
Jail a dream, hang a dream?

Dream is man-in-God,
Dream is God-in-Man
It is I in you
It is you in a me-less me.

It is consciousness with no boundaries
It is the infinity of sub-consciousness

I do not remember the last time I forgot you
But my thoughtlessness is your thought
My selflessness is your self
All my dreamlands are your home
All my homes are your dreamland

Are you an entity without identity?
Are you an existence with no ingredients?
Or are you eternity in ideas,
Or are you ideas in eternity?
Or just a fading memory
In my trouble-ridden heart?
Or a living twilight,
In the remote sky of my then-town?
Or a buried-alive woman of Anfal
Or a heroine in the Zewa camp,
Islamic butchers play with your body
To make sandwiches for your kids?
The bosses call you a a prostitute
And their men set you a goal for their guns?
What entity, what destiny are you, my heart?

I do not remember the last time I cried for you.
I do not remember for whom I cried last time,
For Hiwa, for Hemin, for Hama, for Misto,
For Chato, for Karwan, for Pari, for Shirin,
for Kajal, for Gulala, for Jiyan, for Hero?

For whom did I cry last time?
For Azad, how many Azads, which Azad?
For Mahabad, how many Mahabads, which Mahabad?
For Farhad, how many Farhads, which Farhad?

I do not know for whom I cried last time?
Did I cry for all and in crying for all I cried for you?
Or did I cry for you alone, and in crying for you I cried for all?
Or did I collect the mud of the word, paste it on my face,
And my head became hard clay?
Then, I could cry no more,
I lost energy to tremble,
I had no breath to shout,
I became a living shadow
In a dead world?

Really, why did I cry last time?
Was it for Marga, for Kani Tu,
For Sargalu, for Bargalu,
For Halabja, for Sharazur,
For Khalifan, for Mergasur,
For Qaradagh, for Garmiyan,
For Barwari, for Badinan?
For which town, which townlet,
Which morning, which dawn, which sunshine.
Which mountain, which village, which meadow,
Which orchard, which springwater, which oaktree?

I do not know how many tears were left
For my heart-town Qaladiza?

I do not know for which lover I cried last time,
The death of which baby shocked me,
The coffin of which body stunned me,
The name of which village unsettled my heart

I do not know who extinguished the flame of my blood,
Who read prayers of hatred on my body,
And said to me.
Now we have cut off all the roots of your life,
We have destroyed everything that you loved,
Die, man, die!!
Or turn exile into the burden of death
And carry it on your shoulders
From this station to another,
From this island to another.
Outside world is a dry barren tree,
Look for yourself in yourself,
Remember your last time
What you were, who you were,
Where you were,
Were you existent or non-existent
Were you a one or a two
Were you a bowl, or a magic

Dr Kamal Mirawdeli:

Hamasization of PKK: Will it benefit Turkey and democracy in the Middle East?

In a wide-ranging interview with Kurdish newspaper Hewler Post in Arbil (published on 30 Aug 2006), the PKK leader Murat Karayilan talks very frankly and constructively about almost all the current issues that are closely or remotely related to the role of PKK in both north and south Kurdistan, Turkey and the Middle East. He expresses their readiness to lay down arms if there is a democratic alternative for achieving peace adopted by the US and the international community. He appeals to the US to have a clear Kurdish policy as there are 40 million Kurds in the Middle East, 20 million of them are in Turkey, and to engage in fair and logical way with the Kurds and respond to their genuine desire to be a force of peace, progress and democracy in the Middle East. He acknowledges that they share with Hezbollah the important issue of stopping violence and disarmament but he stresses that the comparison stops there: PKK has not been established by any foreign power to serve their agenda, they do not get arms and support from foreign sponsors to cause sabotage and destruction and behave like a state within a state. They reject violence and use of arms unless forced to engage in self-defence. He also asks Turkey to be realistic and logical and recognise the legitimacy of Kurdish demands for human, national and democratic rights. He reminds them that the way the arrest and imprisonment of PKK leader Abdullah Ocelan has not stopped Kurdish movement in Turkey, even if PKK surrenders and gives up the cause now, the legitimate national cause of 20 million people cannot be ignored for ever. He warns Turkey that a new generation of young people will pursue the cause, maybe in a more violent and extremist way.

There was a wave of bombs in Turkey last week. Perhaps their consequence in terms of death and damage was not great. But their political meaning must frighten Turkey and awaken them from their sleep-walking into a hell, which once they allow its creation; they will find it impossible to get out of. The hell is the Hamasization of PKK or the Kurdish movement in Turkey.

Turkey, the US and European countries are making a big dangerous and destructive mistake by their insistence on labelling a secular, democracy-seeking, peace-loving, and increasingly progressive, logical and realistic organisation as terrorists and murders and viewing them as equal to al-Qaida, Hamas and Hezbollah. PKK is part of Kurdish history and society. Kurdish society is democratic by virtue of being diverse and pluralistic in terms of regions, religions, dialects, minorities, tribes, traditions and political organisations. Kurdistan has never been under the control of a strong central state. Never a state ideology, religious and otherwise, has been viable and accepted by Kurdish people. Kurdistan society kept it genuine, mostly pre-Islamic traditions, of diversity, tolerance, recognition of all Others and genuine sympathy and support for all victimised minorities. Nowadays the Christians who are slaughtered in Iraq find shelter, peace and support in Kurdistan. Even the Arabs, who until a recent past were engaged in the genocide of Kurds, escape to Kurdistan from ethnic and sectarian cleansing by their own brothers in the south.

But now there are bombs in Turkish metropolitan cities and tourist attractions. Innocent civilians die and tourists are killed and injured.

As a Kurd I condemn this. It is against our traditions and values. But as a Kurd I understand this. There are four main reasons for this dangerous development of Eagles of Free Kurdistan:

1. The world's indifference to the plight of Kurds and denial of their basic national and cultural rights in Turkey.

2. The US and Europe's hypocritical and unfair labelling of Kurdish nationalsits as terrorists in spite of their readiness for dialogue, democracy and peaceful solutions to all problems.

3. Disillusion with even PKK's compromising approach to Kurdish question in Turkey after the capture of its leader Abdullah Ocelan and its giving up the aim of free independent united Kurdistan.

4. The most important factor for this ominous development is what happens elsewhere: in Lebanon, in Palestine, in Iraq and everywhere else where there is violence. In this age of satellite TV, the Internet and global information, a new generation of Kurds can see on daily basis that the groups that most attract attention and international respect and recognition are those that advocate violence, especially criminal indiscriminate massacres of civilians. These methods are also most effective in resisting and fighting oppressive states with formidable killing machines and repressive apparatuses. It is not difficult to learn from this, to be trained in the same methods and to have access to bombs and bomb-making knowledge and equipment and to find frustrated young people prepared even to become suicide bombers.

When such terrorist methods are opted for, what will be the reaction of the Turkish state? More repression. Here we enter the vicious circle of destructive violence, the first hideous steps towards the creation of hell.

Does Turkey want to transform Diyarbekir into Gaza, north Kurdistan into Palestine and PKK into Hamas or Hezbollah?

This is a question that Turkey and its friends must ponder very carefully and rationally. Turkey should stop its outdated absurd ideological war against the Kurdish nation. Instead of thinking and planning to take the opportunity of its involvement in Lebanon to find a way back to Iraq to destroy Kurdish entity there, it is absolutely in the interests of Turkey and every human being in the Middle East if Turkey does totally the opposite: to encourage the emergence of a strong democratic Kurdistan both in Iraq and Turkey which along with Turkey would be part of the European Union and give an effective model to the oppressed peoples of Iran too: The Azeris, the Kurds and the Baluchis.

Turkey should remain committed to the secular democratic principles of modernism established by Kamal Ataturk while reviewing his ideology and liberating it from its racist and ultra-nationalist elements. After 80 years this is a long overdue task.

Turkey is at a critical crossroads: will it move confidently and rationally forward and be an important part of the modern democratic world of 21st century? Or will it opt for retreating to its past: to return to the 19th century as an isolationist theocratic racist state and the sick man of the Middle East?

It is Turkey's approach to the Kurds and Kurdistan which determines the answer and the process.

Dr David Morgan:

No more Halabjas anywhere - No more genocide against the Kurds



The abuse of the memory of the victims of Halabja in the interests of an imperialist war does nothing to assist the Kurds today, David Morgan argues.

The memory of the victims of Halabja and the Anfal is today being sorely abused. In their search to find any pretext for their war against Iraq, Bush and Blair have been trying to enlist the Kurdish war dead to their campaign. Unfortunately, some people who should certainly know better are equally culpable and have eagerly joined in this orgy of insincerity. But no-one should be fooled by these new friends of the Kurds as they cynically exploit human suffering for their own immoral imperial ends. Even their repeated assertion that Saddam gassed his own people is deeply insulting; for they were and are not Saddams own people, they form part of the Kurdish nation.

What were these new found friends of the Kurds doing for the last 15 years? Given the confusion and dishonesty now surrounding the events, it is necessary to recall the true record of Britain and America on Iraq, Halabja and the Kurds. Eventually everyone needs to learn the hard lessons of history.

While it has been widely reported that Saddam Hussein was armed, equipped, supplied and financed by the US for many years right up until Baghdads intervention in Kuwait, the finer details are rapidly forgotten under the impact of the propaganda blitz to which we have been relentlessly subjected over the past few months.

For what its worth, here are some key facts in Americas relations with Iraq which should at least put some doubts into the minds of anyone forming an alliance for their liberation with this ruthless superpower.

It was in 1978 that the US first sent stocks of anthrax to Iraq, the first of seven shipments over a period of a decade.

In 1983, US President Ronald Reagan sent special envoy Donald Rumsfeld to Baghdad to improve bilateral relations while the carnage of the Iran-Iraq war was in full swing..

In March 1984, Rumsfeld met Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz, while at the same time the UN was issuing a condemnation of Iraqs use of chemical gas on the battlefield against Iranian troops.

In 1986, the US sent military advisors to improve the efficiency of the Iraqi air force which was used to murderous effect in the still waging Iran-Iraq war. Americans were actually directly involved in the supervision of Iraqi poison gas assaults on Iranian troops in both 1986 and 1988.

In March 1988, the same Iraqi air force dropped its gas bombs on Halabja. The actual bombs were supplied by western companies.

Halabja provoked a world outcry, but not from Washington and Downing Street. A US official statement claimed that they had reviewed all the evidence and found that it was inconclusive.

Later in the same year, George Bush Senior permitted the export of virus cultures to Iraq where they were almost certain to be put to military use.

Also in the year of Halabja, the US allowed an Iraqi contract worth $1 billion for the construction of a dual use petrochemical plant to go ahead. It was to be used to manufacture deadly mustard gas.

Britain as well cannot escape responsibility for supplying military equipment to Iraq in the aftermath of the Halabja massacre.

It was recently reported that Britain gave 1 billion to Baghdad in loans and funds during Mrs Thatchers stewardship of this country.

So, let us not be selective, indict everyone. Without fail all those complicit in the atrocities against the Kurds should stand before a tribunal for war crimes. But let us not play politics with the dead. The stench of hypocrisy on this issue is more noxious than a rotting corpse.

Dr Jamal Fuad:

It is time to wake up, Turkey


I wonder if the world is listening to the Turkish financial demands of billions of dollars, combined with its added requests for its role in Iraqi Kurdistan, as a prize for allowing the US forces cross their country to help open a new Front against Iraq.

The financial gains aside, what rights does the Turkish government have to freely meddle in the affairs of peoples living in another country? They claim that they will be there for humanitarian reasons, but when they add other demands such as preventing the Kurds to declare an independent Kurdistan, or standing in the way of a federal state agreed upon by all the interested parties, their real intention becomes obvious. Their main purpose is to undo progress made by the Kurds in Iraq and the successes they have achieved in their 12-year self rule in Iraqi Kurdistan. Turkish demand that the Kurds disarm and hand in their weapons, adds insult to injury and unveils the height of their arrogance. The Iraqi Kurds who have raised arms for the past 70 years against the successive regimes in Iraq, are not willing to lay down their arms for the goodness of Turkey and its known inhumane treatment of the 20 million Kurds living there.

It is about time that the world knows about the conditions under which the Kurds live in Turkey. To stand by and watch how the Kurds are being treated in Turkey and do nothing, is to condone such behavior and deny the rights of the people in freedom, and of nations to self determination.

A brief historical account shows that Turkey has continuously embattled its Kurdish population since the onset of the Kemalist regime in 1923. The Turkish government was engaged in a long conflict till 1935. The Kemalist regime totally denied the existence of its Kurdish population and called them "mountain Turks" who forgot their mother tongue. Finally the Kurds having seen their houses demolished their lands devastated, slowed their armed resistance, but not the sentiments, not the desire to eventually be free. After a long pose in their struggle, and the Kurds noting no change in their human rights status, the revolt was rekindled in 1985, under the banner of the PKK, the Kurdish Workers Party. This time the operation taking even a harder line than before. It is evident that the Turkish government no matter how savagely it puts down a Kurdish rebellion, sooner or later it will surface again, perhaps even in a more violent style than before.

Not withstanding the notorious and unjust Turkish policy toward its own Kurds, they demand now to invade and demolish the hard won Kurdish self rule in Iraqi Kurdistan, and arrogantly ask for disarming them.

Wake up Turkey. This is the 21st century. The people have learned of human rights, of democratic institutions, of the right to self determination. The people have witnessed the emergence of black South Africa, the break-up of the Soviet Union, the dissolution of the
Yugoslav Federation, and the ringing of the bells all over the world for freedom and liberty. This is the age of INTERNET and free exchange of ideas. You cannot have a democratic country where 20% of your Kurdish population remain enslaved, not be able to read and write in their own language, to listen to the music their mother secretly sang for them as children, and to be free to name their children a name of their choice. Wake up Turkey: Listen to the freedom bells all over the world. As your economy is dwindling it is wise to free the people to participate in the development of the country instead of spending billions of dollars on destruction and fighting the Kurds. It is about time to wake up, not only for the sake of the Kurdish people alone, but for the sake of the Turkish people as well. Just remember we are in the 21st century, we are there to remain, and our number defies extinction. Saddam tried genocide and ethnic cleansing. It did not work.

The Kurds have unanimously declared that they do not want Turkish armed forces to cross their border. The Parliament in Iraqi Kurdistan has issued a memorandum against deploying Turkish military in Iraqi Kurdistan, under any pretext. Protect your own borders from your side of the frontier, and then we will protect ours from our side. No excuses, no pretexts, for the sake of the lives that will be lost:

Turkey, stay out of Iraqi Kurdistan.

Jamal Fuad, Ph. D.
International Consultant

Simko Kader:

Kurds need a national strategy


Having no voice in the West and kept in isolation, for many decades the Kurds remained unnoticed and their cause neglected. Thanks to the dramatic changes that the world has witnessed in the last 20 years both in the domains of the international politics and technological advances, the Kurdish reality has begun to change significantly. Today, there is a Kurdish presence in Europe and North America and the Kurds overall are much better connected to the outside world. They no longer have to be the unchallenged subject of their occupiers malicious misinformation aimed at undermining their credibility and portraying them as a people who are unworthy of any rights that the other nations enjoy.

With qualified certainty, Turkey has been and continues to be the most active and effective state in suffocating the Kurdish voice and thwarting any Kurdish effort for achieving any success that may enable the Kurds to express themselves as a people with distinct identity and different cultural values. The Turks have used all their state powers and influences both within and internationally to violently suppress the Kurds of North Kurdistan and label their struggle for freedom as the act of terrorism. Using any feeble excuse they could fabricate, the Turkish state currently has focused its attention on the Kurds of South Kurdistan in an attempt to deprive them from their wish to maintain the freedom and the democratic rights that they have achieved in the last 12 years while partially free from the repression of the murderous Bathist regime of Saddam Hussein.

Although the Turkish "pushover" Parliament decided against the government's proposal to allow the US troops to use Turkey's territory for the war against Saddam's regime, the Turkish junta "in defiance to parliament's decision" is determined to use its muscle to reverse the decision in a second vote expected to be held in the near future. There are no doubts that the generals will pull some civilian ears and will dictate their will, as they have always done so in the past. Their main fear is that any absence of the Turkish role in the US invasion of Iraq will be beneficial to the Kurds. As the Kemalist ideology has conditioned the Turks to blindly believe that "Anything good for the Kurds is bad for the Turks, and vice versa", there is no any popular objection by the Turks for the prospect of the Turkish military aggressive intervention in South Kurdistan. However, the Turkish public is overwhelmingly against any US invasion of Iraq and the removal of Saddam's barbaric regime.

In response to their ill-fated racist impulses, the Kemalist Turks have stubbornly challenged all the natural and legitimate wishes of the Kurdish nation for their share of living in freedom and dignity. Openly, they have been bluntly vocal about their determination for not allowing the Kurds to have more freedom and rights than what the Turks allow them to have. As if the Turks have that divine permission to claim the Kurds as their own property for which they have the right to control, use and abuse as they desire.

Considering that the Kemalist Turkish elite is both well educated and closely connected to the civilized world, one has difficulty to believe that they don't have a better account of the Kurdish reality. The likelihood is that they choose to take such a path as their only option to maintain their power and the influence on Turkey for as long as possible. They are very certain that Kemalism is in an absolute contrast to the principles of democracy and that there is no room for both to coexist. Therefore, the Kemalist Turks have capitalized on the Kurdish aspirations for their natural rights to concoct as many fear-mongering claims as they need to generate public hysteria, thus justify their continuous control of the state. For many decades the Kurdish fear factor has been used to mobilize public sentiments for the alleged cause of national security and the protection of Turkey's integrity.

To prolong the drama, the Kemalist Turks who have control of the Kurdish emotional pressure valve make the tactical adjustments they need to force predetermined reactions by the Kurds but only then to use it as an excuse to make their point to others and further brutalize the Kurds and cement their own control of the state powers. Hence, the Kurdish card has become the most valuable card in the hands of the Kemalists to endure while keeping democracy arms length from reaching the peoples of Turkey. The Kemalists consistent fascist handling of the Kurdish reality underlines their ultimate fear that the ongoing conflict between the Kurdish inherent instinct for freedom and the Kemalist manmade ideology of suppression, eventually will play out to be the natural cause for the demise of Kemalism. Any gain that democracy makes, it translates to more momentum to the Kurdish drive for freedom, while it diminishes the survival chances of Kemalism.

Looking at the Kurdish reality at any possible angle, there doesn't seem to be any hope for the Kurds to reason with the Turkish state while the Kemalists continue to represent the bulk of the true power in Turkey. Regardless of the political diversity in Turkey, the fact that Kemalism remains to be the functional ideology of the Turkish state remains unchallenged. The Kemalist junta continues to make independent statements with regard to issues that fall within the authority of the government and/or the parliament. They continue to tell the peoples of Turkey as well as the outside world that they are the final arbitrators for all the major issues of Turkey.

By all realistic standards, the Turks are invaders of the Kurdish land and oppressors of the Kurdish nation. It is very unlikely for the Kurds to be able to trust the Turks for the reasons that Kemalism continues to exist and the Turks don't seem to be in a hurry to abandon such an obsolete and hindering ideology in favor of a true democracy. There are a great number of reasons to sustain the fact that Kurds and Kemalists represent two opposite poles that are separated with infinite counter forces. It takes more than a miracle for such an endless repulsion force to be neutralized. What adds more to the pessimism is the pace of the Turks in catching up with the sociopolitical evolution as it has gathered momentum in the democratic societies. The insensitivities of the Turkish public with regard to the very basic rights of the 20 million Kurds in Turkey preludes the doubt that the Turks are probably light years away from achieving such a level of civilized conscience that may enable them to view the Kurds no less than they view themselves.

For a nation as sizable as the Kurds and who has demonstrated an immense level of capacity for survival against endless malice and savagery on the hands of their occupiers, the future looks brighter than ever. The new demands of the civilized nations for global peace and stability incorporate universal standards for the rights of all nations as per the democratic principles and civilized values of the Western democracies. Eventually, any force that comes in conflict with this trend has to be removed out of the way. While the completion of this current phase of the sociopolitical evolution may take a long time, the Kurds have no excuse not to start to prepare their crucial plan to enable them to become an effective player with a progressive role. Since "naturally" it deals with freedom and democracy, sooner or later any such plan will find the conditions it needs to succeed.

While the Kurds are trying to make the most of the new opportunities, they need also to standardize their strategy for reaching their ultimate objectives "Full freedom from their occupiers in a united and independent Kurdistan". Such a strategy demands that the Kurds exclude their failed plans for partial and slow motion solutions for their grand cause. Since such a path will "gradually" weaken the position of the Kurds in favour of their enemies and adversaries.

Today, the time is right for the Kurds to adopt a comprehensive strategy that will aim at a final solution for the Kurdish nation. Such a strategy may include some or all of the following components.

- The firm faith of the Kurds in their full national rights
- Consensus of the Kurdish nation
- Kurdish unity to encompass Kurds from all parts of the divided Kurdistan
- Open and eloquent expression of the Kurdish resolve to the world community
- A declaration expressing the wish of the Kurds with regards to their full rights and their destiny
- Utilization of all the legal and political means. To investigate the legal grounds for the division of Kurdistan against the will of the Kurdish nation
- Mobilization of the Kurdish resources and capabilities of all kinds both in Kurdistan and Diaspora.
- Persistency in maintaining the adopted strategy and resisting any counter pressure from any source
- A relentless campaign to expose the record, policies, conducts and the intent of the enemies of the Kurds.
- Loud and powerful reaction to any hostile act against the Kurds and their interests
- Forming solidarity with the nations who have genuine understanding and respect for the full rights of the Kurds.

It is necessary that the Kurds will do whatever it takes to come out from the pit of humiliation and shake off the image of impotence and continued dependence on the others for their protection from their brutal occupiers. To live as a free and a proud nation, the Kurds must learn to derive their strength from their faith and unity first, since this is the only meaningful way for any proud nation to stand tall and gain the respect of the others.

By Baskin Oran:

Is a Kurdish State The End of The World?

"Is that the end of the world" is a well known refrain from the play "The Fatherland or Silistria by Namik Kemal the godfather of Turkish nationalism in the 19th century'. The part of "Sergeant Abdullah" could very well be raised again on "the Kurdish state"- is that the end of the world?

The parliament's turning down the government motion on Turkey's military cooperation in the US war on Iraq has lead to innumerable positive outcomes. Turkey has refreshed self-confidence, for the first time in recent history Turkish people have appreciated their Parliament, the Parliament has bowed to the power of public opinion, Bush has understood that Turkey was not a Banana Republic and our "native Americans" in Turkey got their full share.

What is more important, if Turkey adopts austerity measures we can finally arrive at a new mentality to free itself from enslavement dependence on external aid and rise on our feet. Remember, the American embargo in 1974 had ended up with setting a domestic aircraft industry.

But perhaps Turkey's most significant achievement was this: Since both provisions of the motion were refused in one vote two detrimental issues have now become extremely difficult: 1) Turkish involvement in Bush's attack on Iraq; 2) Entry of Turkish into Northern Iraq to prevent establishment of a Kurdish state.

Let us ask those who believe that the latter is not detrimental but actually a must: What could the Turkish army do to prevent the establishment of a federal Kurdish state for which the word of US is sufficient? By attacking and destroying it just as it is being established? Moreover, how will the Turkish army get out of such a mess?

The enthusiasm in the premiere of the play "Fatherland or Silistria" had ended up with Namik Kemal's exile. It is no longer a threat these days, do not fear, you can exercise: What would happen if a Kurdish state is established? Two things could happen: 1) They could attack Turkey and annex Southeast Anatolia; 2) People of Kurdish origins in Turkey could emigrate there.

Since a 3 million strong feudal Kurdistan would remain quite incapable in face of a 70 million strong capitalist Turkey, we may drop the first prospect if you would not mind. Yet the second prospect still scares many. A "United Kurdistan" map that is widely circulated on the web which is said to be hanging also on the walls of KDP's central office, is referred to as a proof of how serious the threat is.

Actually, historian Prof. Mete Tuncay had already published a "greater Turkey map" dating back to 1920's "National Oath" perspective which extends Turkey's territory as far as to reach the Cairo parallel; this "United Kurdistan" map too coulobe taken just as realistic as the latter, yet let us consider a serious element for the sake of analysis.

It is of course a possibility that our (Turkey's) Kurds may incline towards the federal state of the Iraqi Kurds. However, 1) they will do so only to the extent that Turkish Cypriots are inclined towards Turkey. 2) Kurds in Turkey, even in the worst times, have chosen to immigrate to Istanbul rather than to Northern Iraq. If they would leave an independent, EU-candidate Turkey now and flee to a landlocked Kurdish federal state, which certainly is to become a US puppet, where half of the population speak a dialect (Sorani) they do not understand and where tribal conflicts will break out immediately, then it means that they have gone our of their brains; to assume that people are irrational is a mistake, it will lead to mistaken analysis

On the other hand, our Kurds may not incline towards that state, but just as we do not want Turkish Cypriots or ethnic Turks in Thracea disturbed, they would not want the Kurds in Northern Iraq to be disturbed. Turkish military intervention in Northern Iraq will mean alienating the Kurds of Turkey and throwing them back into PKK's arms. It is to give a kiss of life to moribund PKK. If you want to give that, do argue for military intervention.

Let's take the Kurds in Northern Iraq. These people have been swindled by the US at least on three occasions, first in 1918 when Wilsonian principles were formulated they were encouraged to secede and then abandoned. Second when Iran and Iraq signed the Algeria Protocol in 1975, Kissinger, who previously had been their arms supplier (mediated by the former Shah of Iran), left the Kurds at the mercy of Saddam. Third, during the uprising in the aftermath of the Gulf war, Senior Bush said "This is Iraq's domestic issue" and left them alone with Saddam's tanks. Doubtlessly if they would present a problem for Bush Jr.'s future puppet government in Iraq, he will betray them even for a fourth time. Yet there is not much they can do, the closest country Turkey will be hostile to them, it will send troops to prevent their federal state. If Turkey had behaved like an "elder brother", the Kurds would be willing to be "tamed".

Thus, in order to push these Kurds further into Bush's arms and to already make them more of an enemy, do argue for military intervention in Northern Iraq.

***

A note to those who say "but what can we do in this situation, what if our Kurds...": The Iraqi Kurdish question is not a matter of foreign affairs, it is a matter of domestic affairs. You are scared of the establishment of a Kurdish state in Northern Iraq, because you are not sure about the fidelity of your own Kurds. If you were, you would very well remain indifferent to even ten more Kurdish states, let alone one. You are not sure, because you are aware that you have failed to satisfy them either economically or democratically. Come now, provide jobs, food and democracy for them. Provide these so that the present threshold between Iraq and Turkey can become deeper, deeper than Kurds in Turkey would be willing to jump over. This is the only guarantee that Turkey can secure.

Is the alarming establishment of a Kurdish federal state necessary for Turkey to inaugurate reforms? I see, you couldn't have allowed democracy when PKK was spilling so much blood, you couldn't have granted them cultural rights to allow them to enjoy freedom to express their Kurdish identity to be come "voluntary citizens" of this country.

But PKK has not been around for years, and you still haven't done these, besides taking the children of Hakkari to amusement parks in Istanbul, and raising the southeast city of Van's football team Vanspor to the premiere league. You have parroted nothing but "If we grant them cultural rights, they will ask for independence" paranoia. Yasar Kemal has given the best response to this but no one seemed keen on understanding: "If you do not give cultural rights, will they not ask for independence?"

And now you have gone beyond our own Kurds and are attempting at protecting the country against Kurds of other countries. God bless you. What a strong country we have; it has managed to remain united even under 1930s nationalists like you.

Hadi Elis:

The Kurdish Genocide and the Republic of Turkey

The Turkish State once more showed its inhumane face to the World.

Iraqi-Kurds were temporarily free from Saddam's Government until the Turkish racist state showed its inhumane face threating to invade/occupy Iraqi-Kurdistan (South Kurdistan).

The Turkish government threatened Iraqi-Kurds with invasion if their Peshmarga forces did not evacuate Kirkuk and Mousul by Friday.

The International Community, especially USA and UK, have moral and legal obligations to the Kurdish people in Iraqi Kurdistan to protect them from the Turkish Republic, and must give guarantees. The Kurdish National Liberation Movement must be recognized and its authority must be respected.

The international situation of Iraqi-Kurdistan is a matter of recognition of the Kurdish National Liberation Movement and its international legal identity as a De Facto State since April 1991. Kurdish Regional Government is a successor Government to the Iraqi-Governments regional structure.

These two matters make the Turkish threats a grave breach of international law and an attitude that will create tention in the region as well as internatiojnally.

The Turkish State's aggression towards the Kurdish Territory and people make the declared intention of invasion/occupation apply to Right to Self-Defense and Right to Use Force to defend herself from Turkish State's Aggression.

Tomorrow April 11 is going to be Kurdish 9/11

This situation is not Unique if the racist policies of the Turkish State are considered and its application to the Kurdish people closely analyzed, not only for the 20 million Kurds in Turkey but also other Kurdish parts under the military occupation of Iraq and Iran and Syria.

The Turkish State is ruled by a military dictatorship and this is an internationally acknowledged fact. From Time magazine to The Economist, From CNN to BBC all the news providers treats the Turkish military as the real power in Turkish politics.

Turkey's dictatorial regime does not have any right to interfere in Kurdish affairs in freed Kurdish territory.

Turkish dictatorship is guilty of Kurdish and guilty by association of crime of genocide of Kurdish people in Iraq. The future investigation of crimes committed in Kurdistan will prove this issue.

Steve Raza Tataii:

Kurdistan was never Iraq and Kurdistan was never Turkey either



As a Kurdish-American I say, and as all other Kurds too have the right to have a say in the fate of their motherland, having been held captive, terrorized, and in the states of war inside Kurdistan, we say; that Kurdistan has the right to self determination now, and would not want to see our Kurdish people anywhere to be the subjects of torture, oppression, imprisonment, discrimination, and genocide.

No Sir, I hereby insist; that I do not wish these abhorrent conditions to continue now that we have used our military might and Liberated what has been known as 'Iraq' created through the exclusive back door deals by Great Britain, France, and others who never got what they came for, 'Kurdish oil' in 1920, depriving the nation of Kurds to have a country of their own, the same as their newly formed neighbors, each Usurping a piece of Kurdistan.

We, the Kurds, either in Diaspora as Kurdish-Americans or elsewhere, and especially Kurdish citizens inside Kurdistan who have endured the crimes against humanity upon our fellow Kurds, who may not be able to communicate with you like I, or some of us can because of language barriers, we demand and hope that you use your clout and authority given to you by president Bush himself, and do not leave the region until South and preferably North Kurdistan as well, has become an Independent entity of its own the way it was supposed to in 1920.

Dear General Jay Garner, we Americans and Kurds thank you for your efforts to help Kurds in Kurdistan and others in South of Kurdistan in their nation building, but

Lets not deviate from our commitments to free the Kurds, and we have had several other occasions to do it but have turned the other cheek because of Turkey. We could have done it around 1918 by President Woodrow Wilsons support and the Treaty of Sevres in 1920 as explained by Dr. Hussein Tahiri, one of our Kurdish scholars, in his article published on KurdishMedia.com, the April 18, 2003 issue.

There was also a chance in 1975 when we betrayed Kurds again. Also in other significant turning points up until the 1991 Gulf war, when Kurds as I recall were about to announce their Independence from Saddams Regime, but we crushed their movement to appease Turkey. I can go on and on Sir, but what we have accomplished now with our modern weapon technology should never discredit and undermine Kurdish Peshmaragas continuous and Ultimate sacrifices. No Sir we should not. Surely you agree with me on this point.

The point is; that our Peshmarga forces have indeed kept our Kurdish region liberated since 1920 even without an Independent government of their own, and their great and vast land has given them no other alternative but to remain in two parts under the leadership of two brave and articulate Kurdish leaders, namely; Mr Masood Barzani, who has continued the legendary legacy of his great and respected Father, late Malla Mostafa Barzani, both sacrificing their whole life in fighting and defending Kurdish people and Kurdistan, as well as Mr Jalal Talebani who has shown a lifetime of commitment to the Kurdish cause for their natural birth right to freedom and Sovereignty.

Turkey has been avoiding to allow its own 25 million Kurds become Independent, perhaps for political reasons, and because of the presence of the Tyrannical Regime of Saddam as seen by our U.S. and allies' Politicians, a threat to the security of Israel, but we have just eliminated that infamous regime with many of our own Ultimate sacrifices, which has given a new and fresh look to our love for freedom of peoples everywhere, and has reaffirmed our commitments to support human rights and freedom for all, and this should not go in vain. At least I believe this is the view of most other Americans. Im sure.

Therefore, Israel has nothing else to worry about in its security with the eliminated threats from the former Saddam's Regime, and Kurds as I am sure you agree, have and will always be our most trusted allies as they always have, but have had to pay a heavy price for it as we have kept them in the back burner. Surely Turkey knows; that it will be better off to allow an Independent Kurdistan form as it was supposed to in the 1920s.

We saw; that Turkeys panics and excuses have proven wrong. If we are to leave the Kurdish question unresolved and leave the region without dealing with Turkey's uncertainties; we are bound to create another few decades of bloody conflicts between Turkish military and Kurds, and this will not make us known as 'Americans, the defenders of human rights, and peoples Freedom'.

I urge you Sir, please lets try and Liberate the Kurds as they would have been Liberated in 1920, and then leave. The Usurpers for 83 years have argued; that Kurds need a source of national revenue to be Independent. Well, they have Kirkuk, and Mosul with oil fields and contrary to what our politicians say or think, the oil in those cities belong to the nation of Kurds, and this is the answer to those bigots who have said Kurds need the means for Independence. Kurds need their oil for nation building, infrastructure, their future economic stability, and whatever else their victimized society desire in the improvement of their lives others have enjoyed with the help of their full established goverments in the past 83 years. Certainly we saw no other nation help Kurds but Kurds themselves in those basic national needs since 1920 did we? except when they used them for political gains.

It has been because of this type of vulnerabilities, when Kurds have had to endure living without an Independent country of their own, the same way as Usurper nations making those claims about Kurdish economy have enjoyed since their own Independent states in 1920. As you see, this has been an unusual and cruel treatment against a whole nation of Kurds, the largest without a Country. I believe this is what we need to achieve more that anything else at this point.

Going back to recalling our thousands of brave Peshmarga martyrs, we can clearly see; that there would have been no chance of getting to where we are now, if it wasnt for their sacrifices in the past 83 years since 1920.
Not mentioning thousands of years before that against invaders in their ancient Kurdish history.

The present needless pressure and control by the Usurper Turkish regime, which we no longer need now that the cold war is over and Saddams regime has been toppled, leaves no other excuses not to help Kurds to achieve their Independence. We can not and must not turn down the Kurds because of a few political thinkers with out dated ideas, who may not want to see a new beginning over the old. We must cut through the political chase, and propose a peace treaty to Turkey (as well as to Syria to free the small Kurdistan portion on the North of Syria), to allow an independet Kurdistan to come to reality now, and take its historical shape and permanent boundaries immediately and with no more procrastinations.

The name Iraq which was a creation from the two separate nations of which the Sovereign nation of Kurdistan was one, and the other being a Southern neighbor of Kurdistan, a nation of Arabs in their Arab cities and provinces. Therefore, perhaps to wash away the past human catastrophic memories against its inhabitants, maybe the name Iraq should be changed.

Instead, giving way to a complete free and Independent 'Kurdistan', and for Arabs in the South, if you will, 'Arabistan' the inhabited area below Kurdistan. The cities of Kirkuk and Mosul have belonged to Kurdistan from time immemorial, and Saddams ethnic cleansings will not have any bearing on its original owners the Kurds.

If Arabs in Kirkuk and Mosul dont wish to live in peace with Kurds there and let Kurds maintain an Independent Kurdistan, they have the choice of leaving, and I'm sure Kurds will help them to relocate back to South as they're doing so now. This is certainly a reverse of what Saddam's regime did; when over 500,000 Kurds in Kirkuk and over 800,000 Kurds from Mosul were forced to leave to South or elsewhere or face torture, imprisonments, and executions. Thousands were killed and thousands more are still missing from Kirkuk and Mosul ethnic cleansings by Saddam since 1971.

In any event the name 'Iraq' or 'Arabistan' or keeping it as 'Iraq', to form in South of Kurdisatn, is a choice for the new Democratic government of Arabs in South based on Arab votes. As or Kurds, they are already home in Kurdistan.

We hear in the news something to the effect; that:
General Garners statement of appraisals and cheerful remarks on how Kurds have been able to establish their own Sovereign Democratic Federation over the past decade, and how it can be used as role model to the rest of Iraq in the South and that he said to be back shortly and revisit the free Kurdistan before departing.

However, his statements in the news fails to spell out the word "Kurdistan" when he states: 'I think the time for Kurds has come', perhaps to be politically correct.

What you Sir should keep in mind is; that Iraqs geography since 1920 has been the creation of the League of Nations, changing course to establish Kurdistan, due to the genocides and mass killings by Kemal Ataturk of Turkey who prevented the captive country of "Kurdistan" as planned then to become its own Independent nation.

Again, the name "Iraq" simply did not exist before the 1920s turning point, hence lumping the word "Iraq" in reference to Kurds, but shying away from stating "Kurdistan" is a fatal undermining of Kurdish nation and a "stereotyping", a terminalogy we, the Americans are all too familiar with as a malicious racial discrimination tool used by those who have no regard to other ethnic cultures identity, their language, their history, and their right to self-determination, lost because of colonial powers teamwork such as in 1920.

Therefore, with all due respect, I hope General Garner shall respect Kurds vital need for an Independent State of Kurdistan, and help the two main Kurdish political parties remain united rather than use their distinctiveness as an idle gear stuck for another 83 years of war. This would help bring a permanent peace, security, and stability for an Independent Kurdish nation of its own, and great stability to the region, rather than lumped in the mish mash of the present status quo "Iraq", a manufactured demography, imposed on them since 1920.

This is the first step for the badly needed and long overdue world maps to be revised and corrected, as hard of a task as it may seem for all publishers of world Atlas and map makers.

Kurds have suffered their own wars for Liberation of Kurdistan since 1920, and general Garners expectation of its reattachment to the bloody name "Iraq" in South of Kurdistan would be immensely offensive, unfair, unacceptable, and in my opinion, if I may Sir, it would be totally counter productive in maintaining normal relations between Washington and Kurdistan.

We, as American citizens have accepted to live in our mutually shared multi cultural societies, because other than American Indians, we or our parents migrated, as others do so on daily basis from other nations as immigrants, but social settings for nations in Europe, Near East, and other much older regions are totally different. Each nation has its own ethnic identity, language and culture, we can not and must not dismiss, if there is any hope for world peace, attainable through fairness, mutual respect, human understanding, and justice.

Attempts to deny Kurds and others those basic rights have been used by the colonial powers to "divide and conquer" and it has been a tool of exploitation,
when these divisions have caused the suffering of masses for decades to come?

Kurdistan must be free and Independent now General Garner, or it will be too late to stop another chapter of genocides and oppression by the powerful nations of Turkey, the new Iraq, and others, once we pull out our forces from the region only to return soon. I believe I have the majority of American and Kurdish people's vote on this point.

In the meantime, if I may be of any assistance to you in that process in Kurdistan, please let me know. Although waiting for a favorable court decision to the outcome of my Contested election to become a U.S. Representative here in the State of Hawaii, no one says I cant help in the Liberation process, even if my victory is reinstated to serve as a member of the 108th congress.

We need to help properly arm the Kurdish Peshmarga with adequate, effective and advanced arms to defend their villages and cities against possible invasions, finish our present administration operation and occupation, and bring back our troops as soon as we can, before causing damages to Kurds' sovereignty and Independence, and be accused of acting as occupiers before the entire international community.

Last but not least Sir, as a Kurd, and I assure you; that I speak for some 40 million Kurds, if the news of disarming 20 Peshmarga in Mosul is true, we are all saddened and resent this act of disrespect. How dare anyone disrespect our brave Peshmarga who have always been the guardians of Kurdish freedom and sovereignty, defending innocent Kurdish lives against their vicious enemies?

This is another example of one of, if is not the most sensitive Kurdish cultural aspects we must never disregard, as we as Americans expect no one offends our national and constitutional principles to protect our people and territorial integrity, or this is where we may damage our relationship with the Kurds in an irreversible manner.

Dear General, we, the Kurds demand our Peshmaraga be treated with respect, dignity, and the highest honor, and they must never and at no time be disarmed.

This would be unthinkable and intolerable Sir.

Thank you for your undivided support in this long over due humanatarian caus.

Steve Raza Tataii, U.S. Representative in Hawaiis contested election.
Steve Tataii
P O BOX 11042
Honolulu, Hawaii 96828
808-845-5716
E-mail: tataii2003congress@msn.com
Website: www.tataiiforcongress.com (not updated)

Dr Rebwar Fatah:

The case for a Kurdish state: Kurd's aspiration is a Kurdistan-state


The question is not about integrity of Iraq but rather stability, security and prosperity.

The territorial integrity of Iraq has become a cliché. Unfortunately, the emphasis has been on the integrity of Iraq - not on the security, safety and prosperity and the happiness of its people, the region and the world. In this article, I challenge the perception that the territorial integrity of Iraq is the source of its stability. On the contrary, I will argue that it has been the source of its instability.

It has been argued that Kurds do not pursue the right to self-determination. This view does not differentiate between the official view of the Kurdish political parties and the view of ordinary Kurds. Are there any people in the world that do not want to have their own nation-state? Why do the Kurdish political parties only pursue a federal system in south Kurdistan?

The regional powers, particularly Turkey, are adept at intimidating Kurdish political parties which has inhibited their ability to demand the rights of the Kurdish people. Turkey continuously threatens and intimidates the Kurds by means that are illegal according to international charters and treaties. Turkey through its intimidation and provocation indeed creates a very unstable condition in the region, which may be a breeding ground for violence. The Turkish regime treats Kurds as insignificant people who do not deserve the rights that Turks deserve. While the Turkish state has gone to all lengths to champion the rights and independence of the Turks in Cyprus, it sees the declaration of an independent Kurdistan in south Kurdistan as a reason for war and aims to eternally imprison a nation of 40 million people.

Turkey continues to regard the establishment of a Kurdish state in South Kurdistan as a threat to the security of Turkey. But I believe the argument should go the other way too. The establishment of the Turkish state on Kurdish lands threatens and undermines Kurdish national security and aspirations. Turkey, along with the rest of the world, warns Kurds against having aspirations for their own state. Why do other countries threaten Kurds against establishing a Kurdish state? Where do they get this legitimacy?

It has been argued that building nation-states on the basis of nationality is not legitimate. This argument is countered by the reality that there are 22 Arab-states. Turkey, despite the fact that a third of its population are Kurds, is still called "Republic of Turkey." Syria, a state that deprives Kurds from basic national and human rights, is called "The Arabic Republic of Syria." The names of these states deny and humiliate the Kurds and deprive them of their rights.
It is claimed that we are all equal, but this has never been the case. Some people are actually "more equal" than others. Some people have actually never been equal to others and been deprived of their basic rights, such as the Kurds.

If we were equal in the eyes of international laws, treaties and conventions, then these states would have two options. Either they demolish their own states to join the Kurds or they assist Kurds to set up a Kurdish state. The international community and the UN have the responsibility and the mandate to grant Kurds the right to self-determination. But instead, the UN focuses on "the integrity of Iraq."
One cannot stop thinking that these states must regard themselves as a superior race to the Kurds. Otherwise, there is no viable argument for impeding the establishment of a Kurdistan state. Why is it that what is fair for them is not fair for the Kurds? In fact, this is a very dangerous view; not only is it racist, unfair, against reason and all civilised laws, treaties and conventions, this mentality and unequal application of justice is what creates an unstable world.

Turkey and other regional states, supported by many others, have forced the unwilling Kurdish political parities to counter the will of the Kurdish people and created a "federal formula" to solve the Kurdish issue. What is amusing is that even this "formula" seems to have been abandoned.

The federalism formula is not a viable solution to one of the most explosive and destabilising problems in the Middle East. This formula is nothing but a defence mechanism for the Kurdish political parties to escape Turkey's pressure. However, Turkey does not stop here. It is well known that Turkey will not even accept what the Iraqi opposition have agreed to, that is, a federal solution.

Turkey has one objective - the extermination of the Kurds. It is as simple as that. This objective is being implemented through the dual policy of assimilation/extermination. The support from the West, namely the United States, has assisted Turkey in nearly eliminating the Kurdish language, culture and habitat.

Americans' reluctance to upset its important ally has meant sacrificing the Kurds. The recent cooling of relations between Turkey and the U.S. has not ultimately changed this partnership. The US deputy secretary of defence Paul Wolfowitz ruled out the prospect of Washington's support for the creation of a Kurdish state in south Kurdistan. This was mentioned during Wolfowitz's visit to Istanbul in July 2002. He also mentioned that such a state would "destabilise" the region and prove unacceptable to the US. Wolfowitz also did not forget to reassure his Turkish hosts, saying, "Kurdish independence would not be forthcoming and that Kurds in "Northern Iraq" increasingly seem to understand this fact."

Despite this flagrant declaration by the US, the Kurds offered to help them in the Kurdish districts of Mosul and Kirkuk. However, as a sign of gratitude, the Kurds were very soon disarmed in Kirkuk and Mosul by the Americans.

I was perplexed when the US did not encourage the Kurds to take the offensive against the Iraqis in Kirkuk. At that time it was blatantly obvious that Kurds were being betrayed for the sixth time in 83 years.

Everyone agrees that this is the best chance the Kurds have to grab and hold on to their homeland. I just wish they would declare the territory as Kurdistan, no matter what the US, the Turks, the Brits, the French or the Arabs think. Because, no matter what Kurds give, Turkey, the Arab states and Iran will still want more.

Recently, Turkey asked the Americans to get rid of the sign on the Kurdistan border which says "Welcome to Kurdistan".[1] It is amazing how Turkish officials go blind when they hear the word Kurdistan. They know that if Kurdistan catches on as a concept, it won't be long before it is reality.

As the saying goes, "blood is thicker than water". Through the ages, Kurds have been deceived, abused and oppressed by the Arabs, Turks, Iranians and the Anglo-Saxons.

Nonetheless, no Kurdish political partly leader has denied the dream of the establishment of a Kurdish state, but the usual phrase is, "We are dealing with reality, we have to be practical."

This question should be asked: who should determine the real politics: the Kurdish people or their enemies, such as Turkey? The Kurds should be able to determine their own fate and not be pressured from regional powers.

This Iraqisation or Arabisation of the Kurdish issue in south Kurdistan neither solves the issue nor creates a stable Iraq. The Kurdish issue in south Kurdistan, apart from its Iraqi aspect, has other aspects too, such as Kurdistani, regional and international. Turkish pressure has forced the Kurdish political parties to give up the legitimate rights of the Kurds.

It is time for the Kurdish people to exercise their legitimate rights to self-determination. And if the regional powers or the West complain, let a referendum in Kurdistan decide which direction the Kurds want to go. Let a legitimate referendum decide. Ask every Kurd in south Kurdistan: "Do you wish the establishment of a Kurdish-state or a Federal Iraq?" I have no doubt that the vote will be close to 100% for a Kurdish-state. Let the democratic means decide - not Turkish, Iranian, Arab or Western intimidation and threats.

A stable Iraq will never be built by keeping its territorial integrity. The establishment of a Kurdish state will not only stabilise what remains of Iraq, but will establish security and stability throughout the entire Middle East.

Notes

[1]. Turkish MP asks US official to drop 'Welcome to Kurdistan' sign, 30/04/2003 KurdishMedia.com - By Welat Lezgin.

For the previos related article click on the link below:

The case for a Kurdish state: Minority-ruled Iraq

Karen Dabrowska:

Post-Saddam Iraq: challenges and problems



"Don't bring us the UN bureaucracy and the UN ineffectiveness. This is our country and we should reshape it". This was the plea of Dr Mowaffak Al Rubaie, an Islamic democrat who was one of the main speakers at a recent debate on the future governance of post-Saddam Iraq held in London's Gulf Culture Club. "The destruction of the regime of Saddam Hussein was much easier than the reconstruction of Iraq - not the material reconstruction but the process of de-Baatification and purifying the country from a Nazi ideology, which will probably take ten years".

Dr Al Rubaie identified three cancers in Iraq: dictatorship, centralisation and sectarianism which can eradicated by democracy, decentralisation and federalism.. He analysed the role of religion in Iraq in terms of three circles: the religious (Islamic) establishment, the government and civil society. They each have duties, obligations and rights, work parallel to each other and compliment each other.

According to Dr Al Rubaie, the Shias have recently gone through a paradigm shift in their thinking and made strategic decisions outlined in the Declaration of the Shia of Iraq, signed by 300 Shia personalities and endorsed by the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, the Islamic Dawa Party, grand and junior ayatollahs. They do not want to legalise a sectarian system, they do not want to split from Iraq and they do not want to convert Iraq into a Shia state. They want democracy and respect for the rights of all communities, including the Shias. The fear that Iraq would split into Sunni, Shia and Kurdish areas used to be part of the propaganda of the Western and Arab media.

Dr Al Rubaie commented that the achievements of a meeting of 80 opposition personalities from inside and outside Iraq held in Nasiriyah on April 15th, under American auspices in preparation for the establishment of an Iraqi Interim Administration, were under rated by the media.

"First we proved there is no such thing as expatriates and insiders in Iraq. We agreed on a roadmap to democracy. A Grand Baghdad Conciliation Conference will be held in Baghdad, (probably at the beginning of June). It will include all the Iraqi elements from the far right to the far left: Arabs, Kurds, Sunnis, Shias, Communists, Islamists, Assyrians and Mandians". [The grand conference will elect three committees: the Executive Committee of the Interim Iraqi Authority, the judicial/legislative committee and the constitutional committee. The de facto Iraqi government installed by the Americans to take control in the immediate post war period will be replaced by the Iraqi Interim Authority. The road map envisages full blown democracy within two to two and a half years].

The second speaker, Dr Lord Avebury, the Vice-Chairman of the Parliamentary Human Rights Group, argued that in spite of the military success of the military campaign and the joy of the Iraqi people at the overthrow of a brutal dictator, it would have been wiser to use further diplomatic pressures rather than military force for the time being because:

1. In spite of the arguments of the Attorney-General that the use of force was justified by the combined effects of SCR's 678, 687 and 1441 the operation was a violation of international law. Nobody except the Attorney-General reads SCR 1441 as having revived the authority to use force. The term normally used in resolutions authorising force is 'all necessary means', as in the original Resolution 678 of November 1990 and it was not there.

2. The United States is now contemplating attacking other states that threaten American interests, even if the Security Council is not onboard and there is no evidence of the imminent use of force against the United States.

3. Widespread hostility has been created towards the US and Britain throughout the Arab and Islamic world undoubtedly creating an atmosphere in which some people will express themselves in violent and extreme ways.

4. Appalling injuries have been inflicted on civilians in Iraq. What are America and Britain doing for the thousands who are not on the TV screens or for the relatives of all the civilians killed by military action?

5. The cultural identity of Iraq has been erased in the orgy of looting and arson after the fall of Baghdad and the burning of the National Library and Archives and the library of Korans at the Ministry of Religious Endowment.

6. The global economy has been damaged. The immediate future looks disastrous for tourism and airlines but the damage spreads much further than the obvious casualties as investment declines and consumers batten down the hatches.

After analysing the negative effects of the war, Dr Avebury drew attention to a number of problems confronting the new Iraq. He asked whether the people displaced from their homes during the Saddam era would be helped to return and how questions of property ownership are to be settled between returnees and those who are occupying their lands. According to a recent study by the Brooking Institution, before the war there were some 600,000 - 800,000 internally displaced people in the north, and 300,000 in the centre and south without counting the hundreds of thousands living in exile abroad, including the Faily Kurds who were expelled solely because of their ancestry from 1971 onwards.

The question of war crimes and crimes against humanity also has to be tackled. The International Criminal Court is not the answer because its jurisdiction is not retrospective and most of the crimes committed by Saddam and his regime were perpetrated before the Rome Statute came into forces. Should a special tribunal be created as in the case of former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, or should justice be done under Iraqi law by Iraqi courts - which could mean waiting some time for the necessary legal machinery to be established. Do the Americans intend to mete out their own brand of justice to the 55 men identified by the pack of cards, with its three jokers, and would that not be a violation of Iraqi sovereignty they say they respect? Lord Avebury asked.

Dr Kamal Mirawdeli:

I am not Iraqi



I was invited by Kurdish community in Coventry to read my poetry on the occasion to their celebration of Nawroz on 19 March 2003. I wrote this poem in Kurdish in the train on my way to Coventry from London. The celebration took place at Marcia Leisure Centre and was attended by over 1500 Kurds who warmly applauded the poem and its message.

I am not Iraqi
I am not an Iraqi
I am not an Iraqi

I am Kurdistani
I am Kurdistani

My head is Ararat
My arms are Zagros and Qandil
My soul is freedom and hope
My body is partly in chains
My yesterday is Halabja and Anfal
8o years of murdered history
Two hundred thousand extinguished pairs of eyes
Two hundred thousand discovered bodies with no names

And still you shameless creature
And still you coward crow
Say that I am Iraqi

What has this Iraq done for me
So that I would strip my skin and wear the pelt of Iraq
What has this Iraq done for me
So that I would take off my mountain hat
And wear Arab's a'gal.
What has this Iraq done for me
So that I would give up thirteen years of freedom
And go to Baghdad?

Where is the voice of our martyrs?
Where is the blood of our Anfaled people?
Where is the Babagurgur of Kurds?
Where are the boundaries of Kurdisatn?
Where are my Referendum votes?

But I know what this Iraq has done to me.
For 80 years my soul has been captive
For 80 years my land has been colonised
My language has been killed
My songs have been caged
My children have been burned or buried alive
My town and villages have been ravaged

And still you shameless creature
And still you coward crow
Say that I am Iraqi!

Now that the idea of my freedom has filled the world
Now that my fascist enemy has fallen
Now that my liberation is in my grasp
You shamelessly sell my blood
And say on my behalf
Kurds have never been separate
They have been and always be Iraqis!

No shameless creature I am not an Iraqi
No coward crow I am not an Iraqi

I am Kurdistani
I am Kurdisatni
I am the son of Kawa
I have one million martyrs with me
I have one body, one heart, one soul
Which is Qamishli, Kirkuk, Mahabad
Dyarbakir, Darsim,
Slemani, Hawler, Sina nad Kimashan.

I am one nation, one homeland
I am one Nawroz, one fire, one epic.

I am not Iraqi
I am not Iraqi

I am Kurdistani
I am Kurdistani
I am Kurdistani.

Washington Kurdish Institute:

WKI Condemns Killing of Kurdish children calling on Turkey to abandon Its anti-Kurd policies

Washington, D.C. -- The Washington Kurdish Institute (WKI) condemned the Turkish state's violent response to peaceful Kurdish protests, in which Turkish security forces indiscriminately shot and killed four children along with four other people.

"Turkish commandos have opened fire on unarmed Kurdish women and children," said WKI President Najmaldin Karim. "By callously defending the killing of little children, among them a three-year old boy killed while playing on his family's balcony, Prime Minister Erdogan has handed over the most important issue of the country to generals and guerrillas, and set on the path of his predecessors of becoming another 'yes man' to Turkey's military rulers."

Dr. Karim appealed to the European Union, which Ankara aspires to join, the United States, the United Nations to urge Turkey to abandon its policies of denial and forcible assimilation against the Kurds, which have been feeding the cycle of violence since the formation of the Turkish Republic in 1923. He called on the international community to remind Ankara of its obligations under International Law.

The latest wave of violence came during a funeral for some Kurdistan Workers Party, PKK guerrillas in Diyarbakir on Tuesday. Turkish forces opened fire on the unarmed mourners, mostly women and children, and, in the ensuing unrest in the region, killed at least four children between the ages of three and 10 along with four other people, wounding and arresting hundreds of others.

"The Turkish government has failed to stand up to the generals, practically making a mockery of its reforms of the past three years for the sake of the EU membership," said Dr. Karim, "Instead of trying its top general for forming death squads as alleged by Turkish prosecutors themselves, the government has chosen to protect them from even its own courts, missing an historic chance for peace and reconciliation with Kurds."

For such reconciliation, many Kurdish and Turkish intellectuals, as well as Turkey's many friends abroad, have called Ankara to declare a general amnesty - the PKK's only condition to laying down its weapons.

Turkey missed another opportunity to come to terms with its dark past when Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan failed to support Turkish prosecutors' indictment of the commander of Turkish land forces Yasar Buyukanit accused of organizing death squads, and orchestrating kidnapping and extortion in the Kurdish region. The charges came at the end of the investigation into 17 fatal bombings in the Hakkari province attributed to the military forces, after three of its undercover officers were caught red-handed by passersby during the latest bombing in November.

While protecting gangs within the state, Turkey has raised with the United States as well as Iraqi authorities its "concerns" about the "threat" from the PKK presence in Iraqi Kurdistan.

"Since the PKK has long ago all but abandoned its goal of independence, and does not even seek federation or autonomy, settling for a general amnesty to lay down its weapons, the so-called threat looks like a pretext for some shady plans," warned WKI president, "Some in the Turkish state apparatus are apparently reviving their counterparts within the Kurds to continue the cycle of violence to justify their own existence. They are set to derail Turkey from its path toward democracy and the EU."

He asked for an era of truth and reconciliation in Turkey, and reiterated WKI's call for a fair and peaceful resolution to the Kurdish problem that recognizes the national identity of the Kurds and their political, social, cultural and economic rights as a group under constitutional guarantees.

By Yuri Nabiyev:

Prospects of Kurdish Statehood

The first Russian to set his foot in Kurdistan in the 40s of XIX was the professor of St. Petersburg University Wilhelm Dittel, who said that while being Russia's immediate and quite important neighbor, that country was still a real terra incognita. Though much time has passed since then, this remark is still true. Kurdistan is an unknown country; the Kurds are an unknown nation; Kurdish cause is an unknown cause - a problem mostly known as existing and threatening the world stability. But if in the times of Dittel and, partly, in XX, the knowledge of the Kurds was mostly of academic nature and its lack was no obstacle to the real policy making, today the Kurds and the Kurdish cause are coming into the foreground in the Middle East, and this is becoming politically intolerant.

That's why, in order to give you a clear picture of how the Kurdish cause and the Kurdish national movement developed, I will have to detail the key historical facts that few in Russia, unfortunately, know. As you may know, XIX was a century of nationalism; by XX this concept had reached the East to replace the local traditional ideologies. Meanwhile, for the reasons I'd rather avoid dwelling on here, the Kurds came to this point with a society that was far from the standards of those times. They had a mostly tribal social structure, almost no urban class or no high society. Politically, Kurdistan was divided between the retrograde Turkish and Iranian empires (who later proved ability to upgrade).

In presenting the Kurdish nationalism, I'd rather omit its background, i.e. the XIX movements to create a Kurdish state, i.e. the attempts to gain independence from Turkey by Emir Bedir Xan Bey (1840s), and his nephew Yazdanshir (1855) or, finally, the campaign of Sheik Obeidullah against Iran (1880), which was almost the first time the Kurds openly spoke about creating their own state.

I'd rather start from the Young Turk Revolution, i.e. from 1908, when the first Kurdish clubs and societies began an active campaign for independence. But because of the archaism of the Kurdish society they failed to form a strong political movement, like the Turks' Unity and Progress or the Armenians' Dashnaktsoutyun - a force that, with popular support, could consistently and consciously champion the national interests of the Kurds. This all proved fatal for the Kurds during the WWI, when the Turks - first Young Turks then Kemalists - carried them away with Panislamist slogans and used them for their own purposes.

The collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1918 was a unique chance for the Kurds to create their own state, at least, under the protectorate of the League of Nations, or, why not, the Entente. As you may know, articles 62 and 65 of the Treaty of Sevres provided for Kurdistan's independence. But they missed that chance because of the selfsame archaism of their society.

I can't say the Kurds did not fight for independence. The ideas of a nation's self-determination right, officially proclaimed and partly realized by the Entente, and the Russian revolution, taken in Kurdistan as an attempt to create a new fair world system - had impressed the Kurds a lot. In 1920 the Mosul villayet, i.e. the present-day Iraqi Kurdistan, was in the flame of never-ending revolts: Sheik Mahmud Barzanji proclaimed himself as the King of Kurdistan in Sulaymaniya. He did it twice and once (1921) was even half-recognized by the British government. A similar attempt was made by the leader of the Iranian Kurds Ismail Aga Simko. But their tribal movements were doomed to failure.

The fate of Kurdistan was to be decided in Turkey, which was home to most Kurdish tribes. But lacking modern political consciousness, they easily fell pray to the Kemalists, who led them under the Islamic and anti-imperial slogans against their natural allies - the Greeks and the Entente. A peace treaty was finally concluded in Lausanne in 1923 to set the present-day state borders in the Middle East. Right afterwards the Turkish nationalists threw off their masks and fell on the Kurds with the whole weight of their renewed state machinery. Only then did the Kurds understand what mistake they had made. But their following rebels (1925, 1927-1930, 1937) made things even worse for them and better for the Kemalists, who used every riot as a pretext for a new repression, barbarian assimilation - in fact, a genocide. The Kurds missed their chance in Lausanne -- a post-war status quo was set that nobody wanted to break.

In the new post-war states Iraq and Syria and in the quickly modernized Pahlevi Iran and Kemalist Turkey the Kurds went through all the pains an ethnic minority can go through in an ultranationalist centralized state. But they too got modernized between the wars. Their society was quickly developing, their intelligentsia and urban class were growing, this providing a natural basis for nationalist organizations: Khoybun (Independence) in Turkey, Life of Kurdistan in Iran, Khiva (Hope) in Iraq. At the time the WWII began, the Kurds were already a well-organized and politically conscious society. But their trouble was that the war affected them only indirectly.

The key result of the war for the Kurds was Mehabad - a short-lived republic proclaimed over an area of Northern Iran occupied by the Soviet Union. In Iraq Mustafa Barzani stirred the Barzan tribe to a rebellion that finally forced Baghdad into big concessions. The Barzan rebellion was never followed by an all Kurdish movement even though it was much better organized than any previous tribal action: it was backed by Khiva, offered a clear program of autonomy and even had its political representatives abroad. But Mehabad was an upper-class project with no popular support. That's why it was so short-lived: the Barzan uprising was put down after the war, when Great Britain helped Iraq. The Mehabard Republic fell down not long after, when the Soviet troops left Iran. The key legacy of the Mehabard Republic and the Barzan rebellion was Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan and Democratic Party of Kurdistan (Iraq) - two driving national forces for the Iranian and Iraq Kurds.

Until then, as we can see, the Kurdish society was too weak internally to capitalize on a favorable international situation. But after the war things turned around. Now the Kurds were internally ready to get what they need: the uprising of Mustafa Barzani in Iraqki Kurdistan in 1961-1975 quickly grew into a pan-national liberation movement. But the international situation was not favorable. There was again a status quo, and again nobody wanted to break it. The system of Yalta was apparently tougher than that of Versailles. The supper powers played each their game in the Middle East, but none of them wanted unpredictable changes that could spoil their games. The Kurdish movement could spoil the games of both blocs: the West was afraid of destabilization of allied Turkey and Iran, the Soviet Union - of Arab regimes.

That's why in 1975 both sides allowed Saddam to crush the de facto existing rebel state in Iraqi Kurdistan and then had been cold-bloodedly watching for 15 years how the Kurds went through genocide, mass deportation and gas attacks - a suffering that lasted till 1990, when the breakdown of the whole post-war global system, on the one hand, and Saddam's Kuwaiti adventure, on the other, spoiled the Middle East game once again.

There is one interesting paradox: in XX almost all the events and processes that benefited other nations, harmed the Kurds. This is equally true for the triumph of the principle of national self-determination after 1918 and the triumph of the principle of decolonization after 1945. 1918 made the Kurds a part to a number of national states with nationalist governments, while 1945 made those governments uncontrolled to commit such actions in Syria and especially Iraq that nobody would ever imagine in the mandate epoch.

***

The new tectonic shift of the 90s has brought about a drastically new situation. On the one hand, the Kurds were politically ready for changes, but, on the other, Kurdistan and the Middle East, in general, were no longer a periphery but the epicenter of the new world re-division. This brought on stage a force that was extremely interested in the Kurds and, luckily for them, the only super power on the globe. That's why now the Kurds are facing a mirror situation: whatever is happening is good for them, and even their own mistakes -- sometimes quite big - can't make things worse.

The downfall of the Yalta system caused by the Gorbachev perestroika implied inevitable global changes. But nothing special happened in the Middle East and would probably not were it not for Saddam's Kuwaiti adventure. Kuwait pushed America into action; and once it began to act it couldn't stop halfway.

Let's briefly remember the crucial events of 1991: the defeat of Saddam, the national revolt in Kurdistan, its suppression, the mass flee of Kurds to Turkey and Iran and the consequent Northern Watch operation to expel Iraqi troops from part of Kurdistan and to establish a de facto independent Kurdish state there. Luckily for the Kurds, there was already no Soviet threat at that time, and Turkey was no longer a key player in the US' geo-political games; Iran was no longer the US' friend and Syria was outside its concerns at all. And so, the US could well afford supporting the Iraqi Kurds, at least, within the boundaries set by its still important alliance with Turkey. But the Turks blundered themselves, when in Mar 2003 they refused to provide their territory for the US attack on Iraq. This, naturally, freed the Americans from a number of commitments to Turkey. The shares of Turkey dropped in price, while those of the Kurds, on the contrary, rose. Ever since, the US - sometimes even demonstratively - has ignored Turkey's interests in Iraqi Kurdistan.

So, as a result of the events of 1991-2003 we have a de facto half-independent and de jure legal Kurdish state, which, in fact, is the US' strongest geo-political base in the region. Like it or not, but the last point is a fact. Indisputably, the US' interest in Kurdish statehood in Iraq makes Iraqi Kurdistan an almost invulnerable real political and economic force for friends, enemies and any partners in general. So, the national core is already existent, and what will happen with it depends on both national Kurdish and regional politics. Given the national rise in Kurdistan and the political downfall and the growing US pressure in Syria and Iran, the Kurds are facing quite good prospects.

This is the general outline of the present political situation around Kurdistan. But to see it more clearly, we should remember that Kurdistan is by no means an isolated independent system, but just a sub-system of the Middle East and, more widely, of the world. So, we should understand what an impact the general regional and global processes are having on Kurdistan.

We should not forget that the social-political systems formed in the Middle East in XX were, in fact, traditional societies transformed into industrial ones. All the processes in the region -- from the Young Turk Revolution and the Iranian Revolution of 1905 till our days - have, in fact, been attempts to modernize and industrialize traditional society - attempts of "catch-up development" - and, on the other hand, protective reaction of traditionalism to modernization. The state authority is as always the driving force - the demiurge that reforms old and weak society. The ideology of this authority is Progressive Nationalism; while Socialism was the society's reaction to the difficulties of modernization against the old system. But having won, Socialism has turned into bitter Etatism itself.

By the mid 1970 the process of industrialization and modernization reached its climax to later go into crisis. The first sign of the crisis was emerging Islamism. Islamism is an ideology of crisis; it is absolutely negative and has nothing positive in it even compared with Socialism. It can't reform society. The only positive thing Khomeini did was liberalizing the private economy sector choked by the Shah Socialism. But this has nothing to do with Islamism as such. Hence, we can say that the present-day Islamic Republic of Iran is not a new stage of development of the Iranian society and state, but the old, industrial Shah Iran in crisis and agony.

Now we are living in a period of "post-industrial society," "post-modernist society," "society of high technologies." Globalization is quickly developing: national states are losing their self-sufficiency, sovereignty is losing its clear definition. Against this background, the Socialist and Nationalist Etatism looks just a museum anachronism. Today, there is no alternative to western democratic society, as 100 years ago there was no alternative to European government forms. True, Islamism is trying to be an alternative, but, as we have already said, it can't be one as it has no positive content.

These changes gave new life to the Kurdish cause, which had been dead since 1975. It was almost impracticable in the former system of national sovereignties. The Kurds' own sovereignty would do bad to many and good to nobody. Their real autonomy was also impossible because of the abovementioned Etatism and Centralism of the eastern states, who would not tolerate any self-government. But having no institutions that could protect their interests, the Kurds could not get elementary equality from their nationalist military-bureaucratic rulers.

The first sign of global changes for the Kurds was the events of 1991. The Kurds had noticed nothing like that before: for example, while expressing deep concern for the human rights situation in the USSR and the fate of each Soviet dissident, the US strangely "passed by" the annihilation of 200,000 Kurds in Iraq and even the gas attack Halabji, which, unlike Anfal, resounded all over the world due to Iran's active propaganda. The Kuwaiti crisis was also a traditional collective repression against an aggressor-state encroaching on a sovereignty. As soon as Kuwait's sovereignty was restored, the military campaign was stopped to leave the Iraqi rebels face to face with dictatorship.

As a result, two millions Kurds rushed to the Turkish border. In the previous years the Turks (like any other sovereign country) would have closed the border and, if need be, used machine-guns. But not then: not that Ankara thought it impossible, it just feared possible international reaction. Meanwhile, the Western countries had to do something, at least, to prevent the transit of Kurdish refugees via Turkey to Europe. It was exactly then that the term "humanitarian intervention" first appeared.

It was then that it was finally and formally proclaimed that human rights violations cannot be an internal affair of a state or a matter of national sovereignty. A Northern Watch operation was launched, and Turkey was forced to do exactly what it had always feared more than death - to create Kurdistan. Since then we have seen more or less successful attempts of humanitarian intervention in Somalia and former Yugoslavia; and finally, a new Gulf War. We see that in just a decade after the first Gulf War, the true and key reason for Bush Senior to attack Iraq. -- i.e. the threat it posed to the sovereignty of other states - turned into an open cover for Bush Junior - a traditional, formally legal pretext nobody believed.

Saddam's imaginary heroic love of freedom was not the true reason either: Saddam was a pragmatic and, no doubt, America would get from him whatever it might want. The true reason for the war 2003 was the understanding that the Saddam regime could no longer be endured in the modern world system. The fall of the Saddam regime was the beginning of the end for the ruling regimes in Syria and Iran, and neither the Syrian Baasists nor the Iranian Islamists will stay in power for long - they are historically doomed. But the tragic problem here is that the Damascus and Tehran regimes (as earlier the regime in Baghdad) are too closely tied with their national statehoods and their fall would bring ruin and chaos in Syria and Iran. Still, there is no alternative to the Syrian and Iranian statehoods. The question is what forms they will take. But whatever it might be - peaceful democratization or terrible devastation, the Kurds will be at profit.

Finally, Turkey. It too can't stay away from the global processes. Luckily, the Turkish social-political system is more flexible and, mostly importantly, is strongly bound up with the West and oriented towards Europe. This forces Turkey to comply with the Western criteria: to give up the ideas of Kemalism and to gradually liberalize its Kurdish policy. They do it not as quickly as the Kurds would want them to - for they are strongly opposed by many influential Turkish forces, who believe that this will ruin Kemalist Turkey as a unitary national state.

They may have reason, but this process is inevitable, and the only thing they can do is just to delay it - just a bit. Hence, the general vector of the political developments in the region is good for the Kurds. Turkey's accession into the EU is certainly good for them: in some ten years the biggest part of Kurdistan may become Europe and the Kurds -- Europeans. The whole process of globalization is good for the Kurds. Just a generation before most Kurds knew nothing outside their own village and could well ask foreign journalists what powers agas (landlords) and sheiks have over their peasants, say, in France.

Now they have five satellite channels in Kurdish; internet, linking them with their compatriots worldwide; mobile phones, allowing wide communication all over Kurdistan and the Diaspora. Today we can speak about general Kurdish information and political space, existing beyond state borders, while the developing Diaspora is actively integrating Kurdish elites into the Western society.

Nobody can put a ban on the Kurdish language any longer - can't do it even technically. We can say that virtually and informationally the Kurds are already forming a united national society, which their relevant "sovereign" states can in no way control. Whatever happens in any part of Kurdistan today gets known by all Kurds in a moment to get their reaction the next moment. One example is the Mar 12 2004 events in Kamishli (Syria), when millions of Kurds rallied all over Kurdistan in support of their compatriots.

And finally, we can't disregard the factor of demography. Kurdistan is a kind of "demographic bomb" for the whole Middle East. The birth rate among the "title" nationalities of the countries sharing Kurdistan is steadily declining, while among the Kurds it is still high. As a result, the share of Kurds in the countries' ethnic balance is steadily growing. Some 15 years ago Urmia in Iran was a half-Kurdish, half-Azeri town. Now it is almost totally Kurdish. An anecdote says that Istanbul is the biggest Kurdish city in the world: it is a home to millions of Kurds and a man speaking only Kurdish can easily live there without any interpreter. Strongly worried about this is the National Security Council of Turkey, who has met several times this year to consider this impending disaster for the Turkish nationalists.

Certainly, the key proof that the Kurds are inevitably heading for own statehood is the existence and growth of Iraqi Kurdistan. The very fact that national state institutions are efficiently functioning there is a great stimulus for the Kurds in the neighboring states. In Iran, Syria and Turkey the Kurds are actively consolidating and are showing high political activity. Following the example of their Iraqi compatriots, they are also beginning to push the idea of federalization.

Iraqi Kurdistan is actively building its state institutions. It has an almost fully-fledged national army (Peshmarga) - the key defender of the Kurdish statehood in Iraq. If anybody tries to take away the Kurds' achievements in Iraq, he will face not just guerrillas but a strong army - and not only them, but also millions of Kurds in Iraq and elsewhere in the world.

Vital for the general Kurdish cause is economy. That's why today the economically efficient Iraqi Kurdistan is actively helping the neighboring Kurds by commodity turnover and jobs. Some 20,000 workers from Turkey (naturally, mostly Kurds) are presently employed in Iraqi Kurdistan. Kurdish specialists from Syria, Iran, Europe and Northern America are coming back to work in Iraqi Kurdistan. There are all prerequisites for an economic boom in the region - unless some big instability shocks the whole Middle East.

Iraqi Kurdistan has laid the foundations of the national education. Its universities are a real alma mater for Kurdish youths from all over Kurdistan. The local authorities actively encourage inflow of students from the neighboring countries. The Kurdish culture and literature are on the rise. Iraqi Kurdistan is a venue of numerous conferences and symposiums for Kurdish scientists and artists from all over the world. The key task now is to create a standard united Kurdish language as a stimulus for quicker unification of the Kurdish nation. In his Mar 27 interview to Khabat Kurdish President Masud Barzani said that this is the most urgent issue. We can say that Iraqi Kurdistan has become a center of culture and national consciousness for Kurds from all over the world.

Strongly represented in the Iraqi central authorities - with many in top positions - the Kurds are acquiring experience in the world politics. The new Iraqi constitution allows them to legitimate their status in the world and to develop relations with many countries and regions. This all will promote their problems on the international arena.

Meanwhile, the prospects of the Kurds strongly depend on the US policy in the region and on their relations with the US. The Kurds are facing a whole number of questions that their sad experience is urging them to answer. It would be a big illusion for them to believe that the US has exactly the same interests as they have. In fact, the US has its own strategic interests in the region, it is heavily pressured by the Arab countries and its NATO ally Turkey over many problems and in the problem of Kurds in Iraq, in particular. The situation in the Middle East is very dynamic.

This region is a knot of world problems: the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Iranian nuclear program, terrorism. One can hardly say how things will develop and how the US will behave if it has to haggle with the local countries. Won't the Kurds be again a small change in their big political game? They may well be. But this will lead to a large-scale destabilization - something this region hardly needs. The Kurdish leaders perfectly understand what is going on.

In a late Mar interview to Khabat the Kurdish president said that the US is clearly for the territorial integrity of Iraq - but democratic and federal Iraq. Despite 100% popular will to proclaim independent Iraqi Kurdistan, the political leaders of the Kurds are lingering to do it -- also because they fear the US' disapproval. If the US faces a bad scenario -- like a large-scale civil war in Iraq -- Kurdistan may become the most reliable base for the US army. Such presence in Kurdistan would be good for the Kurds as it would give them a sure guarantee of security and long-term positive consequences.

Here the Kurds are healthily pragmatic - their stay within Iraq is safe and economically good for them for the time being. By proclaiming independence now the Kurds would give a free hand to their neighbors, who would certainly start their economic blockade, while Turkey and Iran might even launch a military campaign against the new state. That's why for the time being the Kurds are trying to strengthen their positions in Iraq - to develop central authorities and economy, to form state institutions. Their priority is to reinforce their Peshmarga.

For the US the Kurds are the best ally in its concept to democratize the Middle East, and this regards not only Iraq, but also Iran, Syria and Turkey. So, today the US and the Kurds are building their relations on mutual benefit and, given the situation in Iran and Syria and the Kurds' importance in Iraq, the US is strongly interested in the Kurds just as the Kurds are in the US - for they are using their relations with the US for solving their own national tasks. In any case, things will stay like that till late 2007 - for as long as the Bush Republican administration is in power. The Kurds know that, and no coincidence they insist on solving the problem of Kirkuk by the end of 2007.

* These days the Kurdish cause is as acutely pressing as never before. There are many proofs of this. One proof is the news reports of just one day Apr 1 2006:

* The US administration is preparing President Bush's meeting with representatives of the Kurdish political parties of Syria

* A national revolt is underway in Turkey. The officials of the EU, which Turkey is so much eager to join, make numerous calls for that country to solve the Kurdish problem

* Two satellite TV programs launched for Iranian Kurds

One thing is clear that if the US gets into conflict with Syria or Iran, the local millions of Kurds will not support the local regimes, at least, and, at most, in case of a large-scale destabilization following a US military campaign against Iran or Syria, they may revolt and join Iraqi Kurdistan.

To understand the West's policy you should know that the territory of Big Kurdistan is really abundant in hydrocarbon and is a key transit area for its transportation. The last reports say that Southern Kurdistan alone has 45 bln barrels of oil and 100 trl c m of gas - quite impressive figures. Also huge are Kurdistan's water resources.

In conclusion, I can say that the world is quickly changing today: a new global order is taking shape, and the Kurds are facing one more historic chance to make true the dream of many generations of their ancestors to have their own state. Whether they can do it depends on the world politics, on the policies of the great powers, on the processes in the countries sharing Kurdistan and, most importantly, on the unity of the Kurds themselves. One thing is clear - in analyzing the current developments in the Middle East and, especially, in making decisions in the region, the concerned countries can no longer neglect the Kurdish factor.

By Harry Sterling:

Turkey's EU membership depends on the Kurds


'The security forces will intervene against the pawns of terrorism, no matter if they are children or women."

With these chilling words Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Kurdish families that women and children could be killed by security forces if they continued to participate in anti-government demonstrations in Turkey's violence-wracked southeast region, homeland to the nation's large Kurdish minority.

Mr. Erdogan's warning came following several days of clashes between Kurds and riot police in various locations in the region. In the town of Kiziltepe, thousands of Kurds took to the streets, hurling rocks and Molotov cocktails at police. The local headquarters of Mr. Erdogan's Islamic-based Justice and Development Party, AK, were set ablaze.

Three children died among eight killed during clashes with riot police in the capital city of Diyarbakir. Three died elsewhere.

Mr. Erdogan claimed terrorists were deliberately using children to gain sympathy. Kurdish representatives insisted the children were innocent bystanders. The government praised security forces for their "restraint" during the violence.

The anti-government riots erupted after recent funerals for 14 alleged Kurdish insurgents from the Kurdistan Workers' Party, PKK, killed by the Turkish military. A funeral rally in Diyarbakir, numbering 10,000, erupted into a riot, with Kurds calling for "revenge." Some mourners waved flags of the banned PKK.

Local Kurdish leaders said the unrest was the worst in more than a decade and denounced the government for its "policy of violence." They said the wide support for the demonstrations was symptomatic of anger over the second-class treatment accorded Kurds, many without jobs for years, others living in cramped temporary shelters, thousands forced to flee their homes during fighting between the PKK and military.

The European Union -- which Turkey wants to join -- has expressed growing concern over the upsurge in violence. It has urged the government to improve the cultural and linguistic rights of the Kurdish community, a process that the Erdogan government had already begun since coming to power three years ago.

However, some within the EU question the true commitment of Turkey to continue reforms giving Kurds and other minorities greater human rights. In their view, the dismantling of various restrictions on minority rights has more to do with improving Turkey's acceptability to become a member of the EU than with any true desire to improve the rights and conditions of Kurds -- or other small minorities, like the Armenians and Greeks.

Although the Erdogan government has now allowed the Kurdish language to be used in the media, and in schools under certain circumstances, critics say such apparent steps forward are essentially window dressing to appease the EU. The violence of recent days will only reinforce this viewpoint.

Unfortunately for Turkey, the issue of growing anti-foreigner, anti-Muslim sentiment within European nations could further undercut its EU prospects.

The populations of many countries, particularly France, Germany, Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands, increasingly see Muslim Turkey's membership as threatening their countries' traditional cultures and values.

Former French president Valery Giscard d'Estaing bluntly opposes Turkey joining, saying its membership could destroy the future integration of EU countries. Germany's new chancellor, Angela Merkel, appears ambivalent about membership, seemingly favouring instead a partnership of some kind. Britain however, remains in favour.

Although Mr. Erdogan's relatively moderate and pragmatic policies had lessened concerns over his party's pro-Islamic roots -- improving considerably his government's image, especially vis a vis Greece -- some recent developments cause concern among European and other states.

His government's hosting of a senior Hamas leader, Khaled Mashal, and an invitation to the radical Iraqi Shiite cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr, hasn't been appreciated by the U.S. or Israel, not to mention Turkey's secular-minded military, which is determined to prevent Islamization of its country.

The widely publicized death threats made by Muslims over the Danish cartoons and threatened execution of an Afghan Muslim convert to Christianity, along with the violence in Turkey's Kurdish region, have provided further fuel for those questioning the compatibility of a Muslim nation such as Turkey joining the EU.

However, some see the turmoil in Turkey's Kurdish region as simply one aspect of a much broader situation involving the evolution of Turkish institutions toward authentic democracy and the Turkish government's commitment to guarantee fundamental human rights for all its citizens.

Paradoxically, this transformation is taking place when growing numbers of Turks are questioning the value of joining the EU, convinced European nations are trying to impose their own western values on Turkey as the price of admission to the EU's exclusive club.

The challenge for Mr. Erdogan is to convince his own countrymen and those of EU states that it is possible to be both a good Muslim and a defender of democratic principles at the same time.

But the Kurds must be full partners in that transformation if it's to truly succeed.

Harry Sterling, a former diplomat, is an Ottawa-based commentator. He served in Turkey.

By Tavgar Bulbas:

How many enemies do we Kurds have?


As of now Montenegro is a free country and not a part of Serbia anymore.

Even though the Kurdish population is nearly thirty times as much as Montenegro's, we still have only a small part under our control; and even that part has a central government which can decide on things that the Kurdish government cannot refuse.

With all the headache that the Iraqi government is giving Kurds, we still have much more to worry about. The big problem for Kurds now and always has been is Turks. Turks which have a dictatorship led government also interferes in Kurdistan and other neighbour countries. They also are a problem to the big countries like the U.S.

Then the Kurds have another sly enemy which is Iran. Unlike the Turks, Iran keeps its agenda secret and is one of the most harmful enemies to Kurdistan and still executes those who trespass the law.

After all these Kurds still have a more dangerous enemy; which is themselves. In the past decade Kurds have killed more of each other than anyone else. This is not only the two main southern parties (PUK and KDP) but also the northern party led by Abdullah Ocalan, the PKK.

In southern Kurdistan you can demonstrate, if your wages haven't come or if you are a strict Islamic, but if you demonstrate against the neighbour countries like Iran, you get bullets of your own police hitting you saying you haven't been given permission. If you get permission from the government and accept your terms then there's no point of demonstrating in the first place.

It took a very short time for the Iraqi parties to get together again compared to the Kurdish government which still hasn't fully united. It's a shame to be more concerted about other people rather than your own.

Why do you want to be called dictators by your own people?

NORMA DOSKY:

This was the goal of the Bush Admin from the outset. By deliberately failing to secure Iraqi borders, which created chaos that allowed foreign forces into the country, thereby igniting an insurgency that the Occupation forces wanted to lay the groundwork for division of Iraq. This was what Israel has always wanted. Next their goal is the destruction of Syria and Iran.
America has become a servant to Israeli dreams and demands---providing it with our men, women, treasure and ultimately blood, to secure the safety of a country that has plans to take over all the lands that their torah envisioned so long ago.
How sad that while we fund research for the moon, we have crazies who want to destroy this planet to reach a rapture that will ensure only the chosen few a place in heaven.
How I wish we could send them without endangering the rest of us.

Ali Mohammad:

Why the Kurds are miserable and asking for an independent Kurdish state?

Not even a modicum of the crimes, atrocities and genocides perpetrated against the Kurdish civilian have been documented, revealed or even recognized. One of the reasons is probably most people are unaware of them since they were never allowed to be exposed. I will try to briefly point to some them for readers information.

1. 10,000 ( Ten Thousands) dead and 5,000 ( Five Thousands)injured in a single day in a Kurdish city named Halabja. Saddam attacked this small city by the most devastating weapons. Internationally prohibited chemical weapons were applied.

2. 8,000 (Eight Thousands) male members belonging to a clan named" Barzaniis" were arrested and disappeared. For more than 23 long years, there were no sign of them. Their destiny was unknown totally. Their families meekly remained in anticipation. With no income and supervision. Waiting all these elongated years hoping that someday they may reunite together. They had been found, all of them had been massacred and buried alive by Saddam dictator regime. The bodies of 512 were just retrieved few months ago.

3. More than 4,000 (four Thousands) Kurdish villages and town have been reduced to rubble and entirely ruined.

4. In an operation named "Anfal", 182,000 One Hundred Eight thousands Kurds were expelled out of their homes, misplaced and executed by Saddam.

5. Iranian, Turkish and Syrian prisons are filled with Kurdish political dissents, activists and writers. Just during last three months, 3 Kurdish political prisoners were tortured to death by Iranian authorities. Their pictures were posted on numerous Kurdish website.

6. Turkey continues to kill innocent Kurdish civilians under the pretext of dislodging and disarming a Kurdish group "PKK ". No matter for whatsoever reason, the killing of innocent people can not be justified. According to some estimates, 8000 members of PKK or other Kurdish political groups are serving indefinite terms in Turkish prisons. No access for Human Rights Groups.

7. 500,000 ( Five Hundreds thousand ) Kurds living in Syria and having been born in that country have been refused citizenship and recognition. The most primary and basic right of every citizens.

What has happened to the stateless Kurds has never and ever happened or had distinctiveness in the relating of any country, people or nation. That is why they are struggling for an independent Kurdish state.

fabrice:

An independant kurdistan. nice nice. But what about Turkey, which belongs to Nato?? Kurd in Turkey want also their independancy (PKK you remember). Next step of US strategy, a war between turkey and kurdistan.
But may main question is :
Will US will fight with Kurd against Turkey as Kurdistan promoter? or
Will US will fight with Turkey against Kurdistan, as Turkey is an old NATO member?

Because I shall remind you than Turkey is a proud and more than patriotic nation, with anger against any idea of splitting is kurd land off, and that Kurd in turkey are fighting for more 30 years, using terrorism as well, for a kurdistan.

And don't tell me about a conciliation of US between Kurd and Turk, that is a dream

Halloe salih:

Kurdish-Israeli Amity

Genial ties between Kurdistan and Israel have mushroomed to a large level in defense and military fields after the downfall of Saddam's regime. Both nations are also being drawn together by their common legacy and alike set of socio-political crisis. Kurdistan and Israel surface to be well-suited in copious fields and all it requires is systematic efforts and identification of fields of common interest among both sides to provide greater mutual understanding. At this critical time when the humanity and Israel are enmeshed in a War Against Global Terrorism, Kurdistan is one of the most reliable, stanch and maybe only caring political crony of Israel in the Middle East.

The two very rare nations on the earth, which share such counterpart perils, unrests, visions and aspirations for the future of their people, as do Kurdistan and Israel. There is a staggering measure that these two countries have in common, when one goes beyond the scant differences. Just as today, the Kurds of Great Kurdistan are coming to blows for their stamina in the very lands of their origin and forefathers, so too are the Jews of Israel defying the very same bullying to the nation that is theirs by historical and religious birthright. Kurds and Jews both counter the precisely the same dilemma; repression. And it is at this very point where so many of the matches between the Kurdistan nation and the Israeli nation converge in an exceptionally sympathetic style.

In more recent times it was the British that ruled and molded the margins of both nations. It was also the British who gifted Kurdistan eternally with the occupation problem and Israel with the Palestine problem. In the present day, it has become gradually more lucid to both Kurdistan and Israel that there is a concerted, calculated, and sinister plan by dictators to usurp these two territories. Of late, it has also become increasingly clear, that these insidious plans are surreptitiously supported and to some extent consciously or unconsciously, even aided by the dictator regimes and the powers that be in Iran, Syria and Turkey.

Kurdish-Israeli relationship can best be portrayed as the most closet, deep-rooted and steady of its kind. Throughout the nineteen-sixties and seventies, Israel saved the Kurds by actively supporting a Kurdish rebellion against Iraq, also as part of its strategic policy of seeking alliances with non-Arabs in the Middle East. Prior to the fall of regime, Israel's correlation in Kurdistan was not exposed. Serious Israeli support for the Iraqi Kurds goes back to 1964 when Defense Minister Shimon Peres met secretly with an ageing Kurdish leader, Khumran Ali Bedir-Khan, who had spied for Mossad during the early years of Israel's independence. In August 1965, Israel voiced support to the Kurdish cause by joining in the organization of initial three-month training course - the first of others to follow - for the officers of Barzani's "Pesh Merga" fighters. The operation was code-named "Marvad" (carpet).

Despite of busy struggling in many fronts, Israelis constantly watched over the Kurdish nation. In the late summer of 1966, Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol deputized Aryieh ("Lyova") Eliav, the Labor party general-secretary who was then a member of the Knesset and deputy minister for industrialization and development, to conduct a survey in Iraqi Kurdistan and contact Barzani. An Israeli assistance program was set up under Haim Levakov, a Palmach veteran and specialist of Arab affairs. An Israeli delegation with a complete Israeli field hospital and a small Israeli staff of doctors and nurses was sent to Barzani's forces in jeeps and trucks, probably from Iran.

Eliav greeted Barzani in the name of the Israeli government. He presented greetings from the Knesset to Barzani in the form of a special gold medallion, struck to commemorate the opening of the newly elected Knesset.

As facts surface, this intimate relationship between Kurdistan and Israel is bound to grow deeper. The Arab nationalism influence which threatens to undermine the tolerance and harmony of the world is increasingly focusing on these two nations as targets. In view of the import of shared experiences, views and states that links Kurds and Israelis, it is about time that solid chains of friendship to be forged. Although politics may slow down the process, if the people of both countries reach out, an invaluable friendship can be created and nurtured between Kurdistan and Israel. Since its creation, Israel cushioned Kurds counter regional powers and remained one of the most sincere sympathizers to Kurdish struggle.

Farhad Allan:

Stubbing out the flares of alarmingly uncontainable civil way

Farhad Allan

Most political whizzes and viewers infer that a civil war has loomed or is in full swing in Iraq. Burgeoning Sectarian and Ethnic tumult and turbulence persists to strike at the foundations of parochial establishments as well as ditheringly pooled new government. The peril is cold fury and has claimed countless innocuous lives so far. Dissonance, slander and denigration among the coalition influentials were reciprocated in the wake of Jaffari's unilaterally-acted visit to Turkey. Premier Ibrahim al-Jaafari was catapulted for not conferring with president, outstepping his premier confines and occupying the key portfolios in his interim cabinet. His Kurdish Alliance lambasted him for not clinching the oldie wrangle of Kurdish oil-rich city of Kirkuk. Anti-US radical Shiite cleric al-Sadr is extended a convivial reception by Ankara. President Talabani's ubiquitously pops in the coon's age contiguous exponent (Islamic Republic of Iran) lacking reciprocal approval from Alliance components. All these insinuate that group effort and harmonization is totally non-existent and each nominated contending party is officializing and haggling disjointly. The phony self-appointed unity government is flimsy and sooner or later will run aground.

3 years almost to the day stumble on Iraq both in better figure and worse off than when the United States led the military effort that scraped Saddam and his raving boosters from power. The restoration lurks and the widely held conviction, while dented and bent, continues to hold that someday Iraq will materialize as an avant-garde and integrated country perhaps not as a Western democracy, but a moderate Islamic nation capable of maintaining the peace and formulating and administering secular laws under the umbrella of religious practicality. At least that is the longing of many. But this entails thoroughgoing harmony and stability, without public shield, the adroitness and concept quintessential to move Iraq from the back burner of medieval history into the modern world cannot be edified.

The constitutional rights of Kurdish nationals cannot be tenable within the framework of the existing polity, and must disentangle itself from it. The Kurds remained meek with Arab occupation, subjugation, domination and exploitation and the occupying power had no intention of broadening the inclusive rights of nationality to us, or of complying with legitimate principles. Enforcing constitutional compliance is favored within an existing polity, but sometimes independence is the only way. Most political strategists and experts have reached the analogous conclusion that future of warn-torn Iraq can only be assured through the implementation of final resolution "splitting up". Terrorism and disarray will not come to a standstill and factional, sectarian and ethnic antipathy will multiply and multiply and continue to claim lives of ordinary citizens. More than 3 years has lapsed from the day of US liberation of Iraq but Iraq has not only been powerless to achieve prosperity but also redoubled the agony and anguish of common people.

The concept of a three-State solution for Kurds, Sunni Arabs and Shiite Arabs to coexist side-by-side, peacefully and democratically is the most supportable brainstorm to fend off the exposure of a sweeping civil war.

Behrooz Shojai:

Kurdistan mature for independence

By Behrooz Shojai
Globe Political Desk

Globe Editorial

We have recently witnessed two emergent countries in Europe. Monte Negro voted for independence and Catalonians voted for extended self-governance and recognition of their national identity within the confines of the Kingdom of Spain. In both cases the referendums are binding and aimed at essential changes in the political shapes of the countries.

Kurds already have had a similar referendum, yet not binding. There are striking differences between the Kurdish and the Montenegrin referendums; in the case of the Kurdish one, more than 97% voted for independence, while in the Montenegrin referendum less than 60% were pro-self-rule, yet it led to independence.

Referendums of this kind are either consultative or binding. In the Kurdish case it was neither of the two. The political establishment in Kurdistan took advantage of it as a means of bringing pressure to bear on parties during the negotiations with Baghdad. But it should bear in mind that the Kurdish people have spoken; they do not wish Baghdadi suzerainty and they definitely do not wish to be ruled by the central government there. Thus the Kurdistani referendum was consultative and not just a power demonstration by the establishment. It is a signal to our political parties that their efforts should be concentrated on the delicate path towards self governance.

Now, some independent groups and individuals advocate independence already now and consider the referendum as binding, forgetting that we are going through a very sensitive process. The way towards independence is through two very crucial fundamental processes; the national institutionalization and a legal divorce from the illegitimate marriage with the illegitimate state of Iraq.

What in fact, alongside our hostile neighbors, distinguishes us from Catalonia and Montenegro is these two processes. We lack well-functioning institutional bodies in Kurdistan, which can correspond to a democracy, in which the rule of law, the notion of citizenship, the existence of a real opposition and a functioning electoral system are consolidated.

The two local governments have newly been unified. The unification has to be implemented to the lower levels of the unwieldy bureaucracy. The issue of Kirkuk and other Kurdistani areas that are out of the KRG control must be settled through negotiations. Only through a peaceful process we can achieve the support of the international community. For these negotiations we really need the best experts in Baghdad. It is one thing to declare independence and achieve it, but a much more difficult task to maintain it. Without support from the international community (read the West and the US), there will be little chances for a tiny Kurdistan surrounded by hostile neighbors to survive.

The Kurdish people have expressed their opinion; they want independence. The Kurdish authorities should take this opinion into consideration and work for it; i.e. consolidate the national institutions and get the negotiations about Kirkuk, Khaneqin, Shengal and other areas started. The Kurdish nation is aware that what Montenegrins and Catalonians achieved is what they also deserve. But yet we are not ready for such a complicated enterprise.

Deler Rezqar:


The population of Kurds thought out the word exceeds 40 million, according to some authenticated statistic. Independence is our inherent and legitimate right. Kurdistan was partitioned against the will of its inhabitants and the current boundaries are not genuine. The Kurds engaged in battle for decades with the Iraqi dictators for almost more than a century. In Turkey, a civil war has started for more that twenty some years. Turkey continues to deny the identity of Kurdish citizens. We have 15 millions Kurds residing in Turkey. Verbal communication in Kurdish language is outlawed in Turkey. Turkey claimed that PKK is terrorist organization. PKK is a political movement not necessarily representing the entire 15 million Kurdish population The Iranian government continues to suppress the Kurds and other ethnic and religious minority groups including Christians, Jews, Baha'i and etc. Syria has resorted to terror, intimidation and persecution in order to throttle the voice of Kurdish political dissents. How long the governments of Turkey, Iran and Syria are going to suppress the ethnic and religious minorities and contradict the right of national existence of these peoples? What would be the end result of these aggressions aside from more devastation, warfare and mayhem? Will peace and stability be settled in Turkey by committing more genocides and massacres against the defenseless Kurdish masses? Did Saddam achieve his goals by gassing the Kurdish people, killing 10,000 in one day and injuring and another 5,000?

Besides, I hope it has been demonstrated to the Americans and their Allies in Iraq that they have no friends in the Middle East by Kurds. The Kurds are the only peace loving people in the region. We believe in peace and we believe the Kurdish issue should be resolved peacefully, as well.

smooth811:

The U.S. wants an Iraq that is not hostile to it, as was Saddam's Iraq. That is why the U.S. removed Saddam. Without assurance that dividing Iraq up sectarianly would not result in any of the sectarian parts being hostile to the U.S., that is not a direction the U.S. should embrace. Of course, the U.S. may not have a choice.

Billy:

There has never been a Kurdish nation or state. What is the point of starting one now? We are still suffering from the last time that an artificial "nation" state was created in the area (Israel). Let's see if the folks there can practice democracy for a few decades, then we can all think about creating new states.

Aso Karim:

True, it is up to the Iraqi people to decide their own political destiny. But will the neighboring countries give us a chance to do so? Turkey, Iran and Syria continue to destabilize Iraq by arming and financing terrorist groups for the sake of their own political interests. If these countries leave us by our own, we are competent adequately to settle our dissonances.

Kamal Rajab:

INDEPENDENCE IS THE SOLE ULTIMATUM

Kamal Rajab

Some of us might have speculated that the fall of dictatorship would guarantee a declaration to the long-term question of independence for the homeless and drifting Kurdish people but it has further been complicated after the so-called 'constitutional procedures '.

At the inception of the drafting process, we have not been and will not be able to set aside our discrepancies in the nonstop political process with the participating Sunni delegates due to their radical and chauvinist principles. The alleged " constitution " is not only strengthening insurgency, ethnic and sectarian violence but also leading the nation to a civil war. The Iraq's Sunni Arabs elements mostly remnants of Baath regime have strictly balked at the draft constitution, believing it would eventually empower the Kurds in the north to establish their own independent Kurdish state. The Sunnis are waging a campaign of fear to defeat the referendum. This involves tactics such as refusing to recognize the legitimacy of the process in advance, threatening to refuse to negotiate after a Yes, threats of a civil war and fuel insurgency.

We are not bound by any cultural, linguistic or historic relationship to the Shiites nor Sunni Arabs. Being supportive to the cause of the independence is not only our moral right but also burning for our national interest. We have resorted to a number of tactics including: militancy, peace and negotiations as possible ways to achieve independence. After decades of struggle, we stand miles away from independence. We have tried out friends and their pledges; we now know where we stand in the world. We have learnt a lesson, although a bitter one, but we are getting more and more definite about our destination. The Kurdish people have offered huge sacrifices for the sake of independence, but they feel they were betrayed by their `friends'. Kurds now know that they have to fight this fight on their own. The struggle has seen its ups and downs, and all that is a part of the independence struggle, but it is worthy to ensure that the struggle persists. No power on earth can deprive the Kurds from their right of self-determination. They have to clarify without any ambiguities what they mean by 'independence' or 'right of self determination'. Once that is clear in their minds, as it is increasingly becoming clear to them that even their very close friends have their own axe to grind, and then they can only rely on the true nationalist leadership.

The struggle has entered into a new phase, and for this new phase we need to have a new strategy. The strategy we had at the beginning of the present struggle will on longer be relevant to this new phase. We can learn from our mistakes and see what went wrong in the struggle that we are facing the present crises. We understand that we have to fight on all levels and have to adopt strategies so that maximum pressure is exerted on the forces of occupation, but we have to give preference to strategies, which are more acceptable to the international community. By this I mean that we put more emphasis on dialogue.

There is growing tendency in the world to resolve differences through continued negotiations, and the realization that decisions imposed by sheer force of power do not provide lasting peace and stability. Apart from that we must realize that Iraq is not the only country that has control of our motherland. We must adopt appropriate strategies that the areas under Turkey, Iran and Syria are also part of the freedom struggle. We can not be too complacent when it comes to raising the matters within Iraq. We must be bold enough to call a spade a spade. If we do not adopt an appropriate strategy to meet the needs of the freedom struggle, the world community would regard this as a territorial disintegration or a fight against neighboring countries. It is time for the adjacent governments to include the issue of Kurdistan in the top of their agenda whenever dialogue with our president takes place. Our president should take the lead to introduce the charter of independence for Kurdistan in the United Nations upcoming sessions.

There is a need that the referendum shall be supervised by the United Nations in order that the result will be acceptable to all parties. Common sense dictates that the unstable and newly- formed-government cannot be credible to conduct or supervise such political exercise. The UN is the best body to oversee the referendum to ensure that whatever will be the result will be respected by all parties and implemented. If there is a need, the UN can organize its force to disarm.

We appeal to all the Kurdish people to go to the polls on the referendum day and say" Yes" to independence for Kurdistan. Independence is the best practicable, peaceful, equitable, honorable, democratic and permanent solution to our national cause. The right of national self-determination is the fundamental and unconditional right of our nation to determine our own future, free of any outside interference or coercion. This right includes the right of our nation to form our own independent state if we so choose, the right to determine our political status and freely pursue our economic, social and cultural development, the right to protect and preserve our culture and way of life and finally the right to reclaim our lost freedom and independence.

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