Kurdistan blogger. Blogging about life in Kurdistan.
When you buy a new TV , you get a guarantee with it...........
When the new Iraqi borders were drawn by the British Foreign officials in London after WWI, Kurds were forced to live as a minority in the newly established state. The British-appointed Iraqi Kings didn't recognise the demands of the Kurds for self-determination rights.
When the Iraqi leader, Abdul Karim Qassem over-throw King Faisal II he said this in his first statement to the Iraqi state:
Kurds and Arabs are brothers and partners in the new Republic of Iraq with respect to the right of other minorities.
. Kurds were told that what was in the past is in the past and today is a new day (that was in 1958) !
But guess what ? Qassim lied
. Soon the slogan turned into "Arabs are big brothers and Kurds have to accept what big brothers tell them to do".
Qassim used all of the Iraqi army to attack Kurdistan and started massacring Kurds.
Abdul Karim Qassim was over-thrown in 1963 by Abdul Salam Arif
and he promised that Kurds will enjoy freedom and democracy at his hands.
But guess what ? He lied too. Abdul Salam Arif started to use Iraq's army to attack the Kurds who were demanding self-determination-rights.
Abdul Salam Arif was over-thrown by the Baath party in 1968 under the rule of Ahmad Hassan Al-Bakir ( Saddam Hussein was his aid). The Baath party agreed to give some kind of restricted "autonomy" to the Kurds in 1970.
The agreement dated 11th of March 1970 was signed by Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi representative and Mustafa Barzani, the Kurdish leader.
The agreement acknowledged the Kurds as one of the two main nationalities of Iraq and gave them full cultural and economic rights as well as an autonomous region, of which the precise boundaries had to be established within four years on the basis of a census.
But guess what ? They lied too. Within only 4 years and in 1974, the Baath party limited the Kurdish autonomy and started the Arabisation campaign of Kurdistan in which more than an estimated 250 000 Kurds were replaced with Arabs in the oil-rich Kurdish areas. WMD was used to attack Kurdish towns. Mass genocides were conducted (known as Anfal). etc etc.
Now, and with the new regime-change in Iraq, the Kurds are being told again "Don't worry. The past is past. We will build a democratic Iraq. Kurdish rights will be respected bla bla bla".
Well....One must be a fool to believe the same lie for three repetitive times. What are the guarantees
that the US and the Iraqis offer to the Kurds that they won't be prosecuted again ?
If you buy a new TV from Sony, the company knows very well that the TV will work for at least 5 years that is why they give you a guarantee for one year. If the US and the Iraqis know that the "New US-led Iraq" will work for Kurds, why can't they give guarantees ?
When I say guarantee, it means a Kurdistan federal state inside the current borders of Iraq. With that way, Kurds can protect themselves IF in the future something happened against them.
If you keep your honesty, you should offer guarantees. Otherwise, only fools believe the same lie over and over again.
Betrayal or Support !
From the comments section it seems like there are some people who think that Iraq exist from 1991 when Iraq turned against USA.
Before 1991, Iraq was on the "good countries" list in USA. Even when Iraqi jets bombed Kurdistan with WMD (the weapons which was the main reason of the US-led invasion of Iraq), the US didn't comment on it. 5000 innocent people were instantly killed and more than 15 000 were handicapped and blinded instantly and another estimated 10,000 now suffer from cancer resulted from the WMD used on the areas.
These people were called "The victims of Saddam Hussein" and President George W. Bush mentioned the name of Halabja in his weekly speech on 16th of March 2003. This was exactly after 15 years after the incident and it was the first time in USA's history. "Halabja" became the very approved evidence of the Iraqi WMD and every time a US Official was asked what are your proofs and justification for the war , they said "Halabja".
The problem is, no one asked why these Kurds
"victims of Saddam Hussein" were killed. No one asks why Halabja was happened. No one asks why Anfal happened "The genocide operations conducted by Iraq in which more than 182 000 Kurds were killed"
Why Saddam Hussein didn't bomb the Arab-populated areas of Iraq with WMD? Why in particular the Kurdish areas?
The answer lies here, while USA were selling chemical and biological weapons to Iraq
Kurds were fighting for their self-determination-rights. Just like the rest of the people in the world, they wanted to be recognised as a nation.
But Saddam Hussein's Iraqi government and the previous Iraqi governments (from the start of Iraq in 1920) all refused this Kurdish demand.
Kurds don't ask for much, apart from recognition. Every human has the right to determine his future.
If USA wanted to protect the Kurds, they wouldn't have left the Kurds to their fate in 1974. If USA didn't leave Kurds to their fate in 1974, then for sure Halabja and Anfal would have not happened.
It looks like the Americans are trying to abandon Kurds again. I just wonder what would happen if the Shias took control of Iraq ?! They are openly anti-Americans and anti-Kurdish freedom demands. Democratically speaking, the make up 65% of Iraq and will definitely win in any elections!
Would another Kurdish town be bombed with WMD in the next 10-30 years ? And would the USA use that incident in the future as another reason to re-invade Iraq ?
These are all possibilities. But Kurds will carry on their struggle to be recognised as free humans just like the rest of the world. We don't ask for much apart from self-determination-rights !
The Referendum Movement
The main hot topic, which is now being talked about in Kurdistan, is "Referendum". A group of Kurdistani poets, doctors, teachers, students, intellectuals etc established a group last year called "Referendum for Kurdistan Movement”.
The aim for this group is to hold a large popular referendum in the all areas of the former "Mosul Willayet " today's "Iraqi Kurdistan" or so called "Northern Iraq".
The group wants to solve the mystery of the "Mosul Willayet" issue, which was left unsolved by the Britons in the 1920s.
There are tables and boxes on every main street and outside cinemas, restaurants, Internet cafes, etc etc collecting signatures to support the idea of the referendum.
The Kurdish newspapers urge people to go out and sign the forms to hold a large referendum.
The aim of this group is not to establish a Kurdistan state or whatever. They want the people of the so called "Northern Iraq" to decide in a democratic way on their future, whether they want to be part of Iraq, or they want to create their own state etc. They want the people of "Northern Iraq" to decide on their fate.
Now the Movement is at the stage of collecting signatures. They have promised to hold large peaceful demonstrations in the support of the "referendum" in the next few weeks. They are expecting 2-3 millions to demonstrate in the all areas of the so-called "Northern Iraq".
The Turkish Nightmare !
The Turkish PM Teyib Receb Erdogan has rushed to Washington in an attempt to persuade President George W. Bush to continue Saddam's prosecution of the Kurds in their homelands.
What the Turkish MP says is that "If Kurds get their own state inside Iraq, they will separate from Iraq in the future".. And if they declared their independence they will trigger Kurdish aspiration in the areas of Kurdistan under Turkish control..
hmmmmm ...!!! But hang on Mr. Prime Minster, if the Kurds in Turkey are treated fairly, and are given their full political and cultural rights, why would they want to join an Asian country?
I am pretty sure that if the Turkish government lifts its prosecution of the Kurds in Turkey, Kurds in that part would prefer to be part of the European Union.
But what Erdogan wants, is to continue the Turkish supression of the Kurds in that country, and to continue the prosecutions of Kurds everywhere so that his country's Kurds wouldn't say "WHY ARE WE PROSECUTED WHILE KURDS IN IRAQ ENJOY FREEDOM?"
An advice to PM Erdogan
, a federal Iraq might be your nightmare, but it is the begining of an end to a nation's nightmare. Perhaps giving cultural and ligual and political rights to the 20 Million Kurds in your country through a federal Turkey would make it easier for you to join the EU and results in the creation of a peaceful Middle East.
A few comments...
Just read the comments section...hmmmm think I have to clarify some points which have puzzled everyone throughout the history..
hmmm once upon a time in 1920s, the Britons invaded (liberated) the Middle East from the Turkish Ottomans. According to an agreement called "Treaty of Sevres"
between the Allied Forces and the Turks, the Kurds were promised of an independent homeland (if they want to )!
But the problem was no one asked the Kurds what they want and the treaty was ignored by the League of Nations and this later changed to Lausanne Treaty
in which the Kurdish homelands was divided (just like a nice yummy chocolate fudge cake) between Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria !
Kurds have been virtually independent for the last 12 years from Iraq....Since 1991, the new Kurdish generations in Iraqi Kurdistan were taught lessons on democracy, human rights etc in schools... These people have had fairly some democratic elections and have had access to free press and free media since 1991...
Now let's move to the rest of Iraq... people have just started their access to the free media and press (thanks to the US and the free world) ....They are still in the process of digesting the concept of democracy... They need at least 5-10 years to fully understand and practice democracy...
i.e. I saw this man on this anti-US Arabic channel who was parking his car in an illegal place....He was told to move his car by the Iraqi police in Baghdad...He was shouting "Is this the democracy the Americans have brought us ??Why can't we park wherever we want..Iraq is now democratic and I park my car wherever I want"..
They are like in their first stages of a primary school....(no offence)
now the question is ...would u benefit if u forced a stage 12 high school student to go back to stage 1 of primary school ???
This is why the Kurds want their own state (even if it was within the borders of Iraq as a federal state)...
We don't wanna repeat another 12 years to be where we are now !
You might think that I make these things up... but for some more views from Kurdistan itself (which supports my theory) read the NY POST article here
have a good day everyone...
True frIEnds of Kurdistan.......
With the rise of the anti-Kurdish sentiment under the name of "unity of Iraq" or "threatening Iraqi neighbours", the Kurdish nation has still some true freinds... Not all our freinds are the moutains ..
Ralph Peters, one of the long-time American Kurdish freinds has written in the NY Post :
Denied recognition as a sovereign state, Iraqi Kurdistan is, in fact, the most progressive political entity in the Muslim Middle East. We should be doing all we can to amplify its success. Instead, worried pols in the Bush administration seem all too willing to sell out the Kurds to achieve a house-of-cards "success" in Baghdad before November.
The Kurds must be guaranteed the freedoms they already enjoy - in a loosely federated Iraq. And the historically Kurdish, oil-rich city of Kirkuk, which suffered so gravely from Saddam's ethnic cleansing and his programs to Arabize minority homelands, must be included within the borders of Iraq's Kurdish territories.
Thanks Ralph...You are a true freind ..
Meanwhile Alastair Leithead BBC correspondent to Kurdistan has written in his Day 4 Diaries
If anyone has earned the right to make their voices heard on the future of Kurdistan it is the people of Halabja.
and in his report the people of Halabja say :
"Yes, I want us to be independent," he told me as we stood at the peace monument, another symbol of remembrance on the hill overlooking Halabja.
when Alastair asked a victim of Saddam's WMD on whether Kurds want independence or not.
"We cannot trust anyone in Baghdad whoever they are. We are Kurdish, this is Kurdistan and it has been for centuries. We must remain separate."
BBC coutesy...A picture which shows the graves of the 5000 Kurdish victims of WMD
In his conclusions, Alastair says :
If there is one thing to say from this all too brief journey around northern Iraq it is that people up here are very different in culture, language, thinking and in a landscape at odds with the rest of the country.
The Kurdish question is a big question for the coalition's diplomats and the embryonic new Iraqi authority to grapple with.
Thanks Alastair. Great comments and a very good job done by you.
(You can see Alastair Leithead's report on his journey through Kurdistan on BBC4 and BBC World at 2000 GMT on Friday)
BBC's Kurdistan diary.
BBC's Alastair Leithead is visiting south (Iraqi) Kurdistan at the moment. His diaries are great. There have been no reporting from Kurdistan since the end of the war.
Read his diaries here.
I like this qoute :
Ask anyone in the street for a potted history of the first Kurdish king, the original extent of Kurdistan and the importance of Kurdish culture and you soon discover a patriotism which runs deep.
and especially this :
"Maybe 90% of the people want independence," he says. "But the politicians talk about a federation - that's the least we can have, but we want the Americans, the British, the UN, anybody to give us our referendum and let us decide our own future."
ISLAND WANTED !
An isolated ISLAND is wanted urgently for a rich nation ! Ready to pay all they have to run away from their bad bad neighbours !
Don't be surprised that this advert is being posted by some people called "Kurds". All people wish is to be rich and to have neighbours ! But guess for Kurds these two things have turned their lives into miseries.
Kurds are rich and have four neighbours.. Their oils and their neighbours have turned them into slaves ! GOD We don't want oil ! We just want an easy peaceful life like the rest of the world !
If you have that island and would like to sell or rent it, please contact "Kurds" on their phone number (p.s. numbers keep adding) "Mountain Moutain, Zero Zero, 1974, 1991, 2004.
Thank You !
Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani, the Iraqi cleric who was shut up by Saddam Hussein, is now free to express his opinions and oppose the wills of the Iraqi people, thanks to the American-led liberation of Iraq.
On his website
, his rules of marriage is similar to the Iranian Mullah's rule...Read what he says :
In a fixed time marriage (Mut'ah), the period of matrimony is fixed, for example, matrimonial relation is contracted with a woman for an hour, or a day, or a month, or a year, or more. However, the period fixed for the marriage should not exceed the span of normal lives of the spouses, because in that case, the marriage will be treated as a permanent one. This sort of fixed time marriage is called Mut'ah or Sigha.
Mut'ah in Arabic means "enjoyment"...so this is a legal call for protistution. If not, how can two people get married for an hour ? what kinda marriage is that ?
This is an insult to every women in that country, and a big positive advantage to men like Al-Sistani.
Recently, Dr. Barham Saleh, the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government said "
"Al-Sistani has become chairman of the Governing Council," . "He's the unelected authority."
His demand for a direct elections means that those Arab settlers who were forced by Saddam Hussein to live in Kirkuk will stay in their places, while the Kirkuki Kurds who were forced out to live in tents continue live in tents despite their liberation from Saddam Hussein.
It is true that elections are the bases of democracy, but elections in un-settled country like Iraq needs some time. First Sistani needs to get rid of his Iranian passport before asking for direct elections.
Iraqicization: The new Kurdish genocide.
The Kurdish nation has faced many dangers throughout its unfortunate history. Our enemies have tried to change our identity and our nationality. The Kurds have gone through "Turkification" and "Arabisation" and perhaps one of the new dangers which face the Kurdish nation is "Iraqicization".
Perhaps the word "Iraqicization" is a new one and does not exist in available dictionaries. But it is a real danger faces the Kurds in south Kurdistan.
The Iraqi government since its establishment by the British Foreign Ministry in 1921 tries to "Iraqicize" the Kurdish nation in that part of Kurdistan.
South Kurdistan was annexed in a non-democratic manner and by the use of heavy force to the new created state "Iraq". All the subsequent Iraqi governments have used force and their greatest available power to "Iraqicize" the Kurdish nation and even used Weapons of Mass Destruction when required.
The Kurdish suffering reached its peak at the hands of Saddam Hussein when he used chemical and biological weapons to force the Kurdish nation to be "Iraqcized".
Kurds did not only have problems with Saddam Hussein like many claims. Kurds have problems with "Iraqicization". Saddam Hussein was not the only Iraqi leader who tried to suppress and terminate the Kurdish nation. The Iraqi Kings, Abdul Karim Qassem and Baker are also among the list.
But throughout the last 83 years of Iraqs bloody history, a few numbers of Kurds have given in to Iraq. Kurds have refused the idea of (Iraqicization) since Iraqs establishment in 1921. Sheikh Hafeeds revolt against the Britons who used WMD to force the Kurds to accept "Iraqicization" and Sheikh Barzanjis revolt in 1932 are the best examples of the Kurdish refusal of "Iraqicization".
The greatest and the most effective Kurdish refusal to "Iraqicization" was the Kurdish uprising against Iraqi forces in 1991 and later turning to the mountains when Iraqi forces invaded Kurdistan again.
The new Kurdish refusal for the "govern ate-based Iraqi federalism" is another proof that Kurds will never give in to Iraq.
One wonders why Kurds refuse the idea of "Iraqicization"? The answer is very simple. Kurds and Iraqis are two distinct people and both have different cultures, languages, traditions etc. Kurds live in their homelands "Kurdistan" which is annexed in a non-democratic way to Iraq. The Kurds were not consulted when they were being rushed into a forced-marriage with the Iraqis.
Kurds throughout the last 83 years have suffered because of their refusal of "Iraqicization". Kurds have no chance of living happily and peacefully in Iraq because whatever they do, they are a minority. Speaking democratically, that makes them lose their basic human rights to the Arab majority.
Iraqicization of Kurds is a clever way to terminate the Kurdish nation. In other words, it is genocide, since it has the same aims of destroying and terminating an entire nation.
Iraqicization of Kurds will never succeed as it has failed throughout the last 83 years of Iraqs history. It is time for Iraqis and for the new Iraqi American administrators to realise this fact. The sooner the better, otherwise, we will be in the same place in the next centuries. There should be written guarantees that another "Anfal" genocide and "Halabja" massacre are not to be repeated in the future. The best guarantee is full independence for Kurdistan or at least, a Kurdistan federal state.