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Memo to President Obama

By KANI XULAM 15/6/2015

There is a statue of Woodrow Wilson in Prague, Czech Republic.

There is a statue of Bill Clinton in Pristina, Republic of Kosovo.

There should be one of you, in Hawler, Kurdistan.

Before telling you why, permit me thank you for honoring President Barzani of Kurdistan at the White House last month.

The Kurdish Embassy spoke of a fruitful and forthright exchange of views, and noted that you have studied “Kurdish history” and “knew” of the hardships Kurds face.

That last tidbit brought a smile to my face seeing that you are now an honorary “member” of Kurdish Studies Network (KSN) whose ranks include the renowned Dutch scholar Martin van Bruinessen!

Welcome aboard, sir!

As someone who has seen you enter the White House with black hair and now watches you turn gray with every passing day, we want to make your initiation into the Kurdish studies as smooth as is humanly possible!

For example, ignore that recent report of International Crisis Group entitled, Arming Iraq’s Kurds: Fighting IS, Inviting Conflict, which your clueless staffer has placed atop your pile of books on the Kurds.

The folks who run that outfit or its so-called scholars who produced that report adhere to shameful status quo.

They have never heard of a good uprising—or a bad dictator—despite the deadly abundance of both in the rapidly rotting Middle East.

They will do or say anything to perpetuate “our times” to make sure its beneficiaries throw them some dog bones from time to time!

Had that “Crisis Group” been around during the fateful struggle of American colonists for independence, they would have slandered the honorable General George Washington as a serpent and smeared diplomatic genius Benjamin Franklin as an agent of France!

The last thing you need, as someone who has greatly benefitted from the freedom-fighting thrusts of Washington and Franklin, is to listen to people who gladly ditch principle for the opportunity to bootlick the tyrants.

Edmund Burke said it all: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Please, Mr. President, don’t let that disease, that indifference—which savagely eats away at freedom like a devouring cancer—afflict you.

When you first ran for public office, as if echoing Edmund Burke’s noble words, you said: “I want to inspire a renewal of morality in politics.”

Now is the time for you to really do it!

Difficult as it is to reconcile morality with politics, we Kurds offer you a rare opportunity to score an impressive victory for freedom, the parent of morality.

Just courageously take a page out of Thomas Jefferson’s book and be like the revolutionary that he was without taking part in the “contemporary fad” as he did.

Mr. Jefferson owned slaves, but he was also capable of soaring rhetoric that triggered not just one revolution, but another that shook Paris in a mere thirteen years.

Jefferson began the Declaration of Independence with these uplifting words:

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another …  a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

We are way past that time for the Kurds, Mr. President.

Your studies of Kurdish history have surely taught you how the British freed Arabs from the yoke of Turkish tyranny, but recklessly abandoned many Kurds to the tender mercies of future Arab despots like Saddam Hussein.

The French-controlled Syria did no better.

Our local despots both in Turkey and Iran have even made some of us long for the good old days of British and French colonial rule.

Presidents Wilson and Clinton helped free the Czechs and Albanians from their powerful neighbors.

Two grateful nations honored them.

Don’t Kurds deserve the same chance at freedom?

Many say you are mindful of your legacy.

This is your golden opportunity to enhance it—bravely projecting a Profiles in Courage moment, such as President Kennedy wrote about in describing critical moments in American history.

Help us raise a splendid, striking statue of Barack H. Obama in the middle of Hawler, Kurdistan.

How fitting that would be for a town whose history swirls back 5,000 years—one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world.

This spot, near where Alexander the Great changed history by defeating the Persian King Darius, could be the place you fittingly crushed a disgraceful bastion of bigotry and rebuilt a magnificent citadel of freedom!

Your statue would forever stare over the ancient land, allowing millions of future generations to gaze upon your bold bronze of freedom.

Think how that would glorify your legacy—not just as American president—but a genuine world leader.

-The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of Rudaw.


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René Descartes | 15/6/2015
Correct,well written,persuasive.
Freedom is won only by freedom fighters. | 15/6/2015
What kind of waffles and nonsense about freedom and history Mr brawn nose!,how about a statue for the great Kurdish poet GORAN one in Arbil Kurdistan and one in Washington for American people to know about his great poems about freedom and humanity.
That_Kurdy_Guy | 15/6/2015
You seriously did not just try to bribe Obama with a statue....?????? "Obama statue on the ancient citadel" Baxwa nagbatin ema.....??????
sardar gabor | 16/6/2015
good article ,good appeal to the president of the strongest nation on earth .we need America and we need Mr.Obama to support us and help us be free from all the tyran nations surrounding us.
Dick Dickson | 16/6/2015
Good thoughts. Sadly Obama is a prisoner of his staff's insistence that Kurdistan is part of Iraq. This concept goes back to the time Iraq was unwisely invented by western powers. Americans need to be more creative than this. Our own revolution taught us that a free people with a common purpose can succeed. We need to help anyone who will not only fight for themselves, but do so in a civilized fashion that brings honor. Maybe save the bronze for the next president. It would be wasted on Obama.
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