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Kurds and the Persian Nuke Deal

By KANI XULAM 22/7/2015

The so-called nuclear “peace” agreement negotiated with Iran has generated lots of diplomatic niceties—but little substance.

President Barzani of little Kurdistan hoped for “peace” in the region while his Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, a graduate of University of Tehran no less, envisioned “better economic ties” with Iran.

Diplomatic baloney aside, what do ordinary Kurds think of the deal?

What should they think?

They should certainly realize that this great “deal” missed by only one day the 26th anniversary of the ruthless assassination of a Kurdish diplomat by Iranian “peace” emissaries—only miles from the Palais Coburg, the Viennese hotel, where the “hopeful” nuclear pact was just inked.

Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou, head of Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI), thought he was negotiating a peace deal with his Persian interlocutors on July 13, 1989, in Vienna, Austria.

But his Iranian counterparts had murder on their minds.

After luring him to meet with them in an apartment of a turncoat Kurd, they viciously slaughtered him and his bodyguards along with the traitor Kurd—shot them all point-blank like sitting ducks.

This brutal fact was conveniently disregarded in the Austrian capital.

It was also missing from the triumphant comments following the newest “peace” announcement.

It was a thousand miles away from the jubilant mind of French foreign minister Laurent Fabius, flashing smiles and flamboyantly hoping that their deal would stand the test of time like the Bastille Day—the independence day of France—and usher an era of peace in the world.

There was a time when Bastille Day meant the celebration of watering the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants and the absolute separation of church and state in government, but now, it also means, courtesy of Monsieur Fabius, the accommodation of theocracy that can pass as a twin of tyranny in a world that is suffering from an abundance of religiously motivated violence.

The French foreign minister certainly doesn’t know it, but someone needs to whisper into his ear that four activists, Kemal Pir, Mehmet Hayri Durmuş, Akif Yılmaz and Ali Çiçek—the first was a Laz; the others were Kurds—undertook a hunger strike on the 193rd anniversary of French Revolution and became a pile of bones and dry skin in the Bastille of Kurds, Diyarbakir Military Prison, for, yes, those deathless words: liberty, equality and fraternity.

John Kerry, America’s crutches-sporting top diplomat, got emotional, his voice cracking, saying he went to war in Vietnam in his twenties and learned from that conflict to fight for peace more fervently and their deal was the upshot of it.

Instead of getting emotional and wasting his tears on clerics, he should have told his Persian counterpart the main of lesson of Vietnam: that it never pays to dominate others, that it is better to mind one’s own business, and if Persians want to be remembered and honored as a great people, they shouldn’t wait to be kicked out of Eastern Kurdistan; they should see the writing on the wall and leave Kurds and Kurdistan alone now and forever!

Here in Washington, his boss, President Obama, was equally exuberant, saying the deal was not just good for America but also the world and held an extensive interview with Thomas Friedman to sing its virtues.

“You weep for the children” of the Middle East, he said, and wondered why aren’t they entitled to the same as kids in “Finland, Singapore, China, Indonesia, [and] and the United States.”

Since when is living in China and Finland equal in freedom?

Finland is free—but China is certainly not, brutally jailing journalists and dominating its neighbors.

China competes, in Olympic terms of harassing journalists, for the gold medal—while Turkey and Iran contend for silver.

Also, should we assume that the president of the United States doesn’t know—or worse yet, doesn’t care—about the rightful struggles of Tibetans in Tibet and Uighurs in Xinjiang?

President Obama admits he prefers “dignity” over “freedom.”

That’s a strange choice.

But when he was young and idealist, the plight of black South Africans mattered to him, and he took part in the anti-Apartheid rallies held on college campuses.

Today, he lectures us from a gated and heavily protected White House on the imaginary virtues of accommodating authoritarian regimes.

Notwithstanding your gray hair, Mr. President, there is no virtue in despotic governments!

Freedom may not always be orderly, but it defeats any system of government ever invented by Homo sapiens.

The wars of the Middle East—in Syria at least—started with children who hungered, not for food, but the precious freedom that your own daughters enjoy by virtue of being Americans.

You blithely ignored their plight—and did nothing as a genuine revolutionary uprising morphed into the horrific Islamic State with help from your democratically wanting ally, Turkey, and despotic friends, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

That same Islamic State—the one you uncaringly dismissed as a “junior varsity” team—proceeded to introduce slavery on your watch.

Where’s the “dignity” in that sickening development?

Just as Bill Clinton will forever be saddled with the legacy of Monica Lewinsky, you will sadly pass into the pages of history—horribly stained as the one, and a black man at that, who tolerated that vile commerce in human cargo!

Peace, Mr. President, is a noble goal and you should do everything in your power to enhance its prospects and solidify its gains.

The deal with Iran, you told Mr. Friedman, is similar to what President Reagan did with the Soviet Union.

Is it really?

Mr. Reagan had his arms-control agreements with the Soviet Union, true, but he never wavered in his support for the Solidarity movement in Poland and bluntly declared: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

He helped dismantle the prison of nations called the Soviet Union!

You can do the same by reconciling with the word freedom, which is conducive to your favorite word, dignity, by helping dismantle Iran, another prison of nations.

You should expand the boundaries of liberty for the Kurds, the Azeris and the Baluchis who are reeling under the rule of clerics the way the Estonians, the Latvians, and the Lithuanians were suffering under communist commissars.

If you do that Mr. President, you won’t have to weep for the children of the Middle East.

They will sing your praises the way the Polish children did for Ronald Reagan.

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


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Alan Saeed | 22/7/2015
Dear Kani, the nuclear deal is basically a ten-year license for Iran to continue its bullying in the Middle East. Excellent writing, by the way!
Neither states Nor religions | 22/7/2015
Kani XULAM,you are sunk in the power worshiping and naively you think freedom and equality will be achieved when the populations have free access to eat McDonald burgers,drink Coca Cola and buy guns whenever one wants for personnel!! use,you are begging American power house to do this and to do that,Are you living in a coco land!?,American administration and her military industrial power evolved in order to protect the interests of the Capitalist system which is based on merciless exploitation of the masses by the few,use your head properly,presidents and government administrations are not there as a charity organisation to distribute freedom!!to people around the world and to defend the weak against the powerful.Ordinary people's freedom is not a nationalistic issue rather is an international issue which needs the brains and efforts of millions of people consciously to get rid of all type of oppressions and discrimination in the society,and that what the ordinary Kurdish population like the rest of the world should struggle for.Remember that the Turkish racist fascist state is a member of the NATO alliance for decades which banned and erased everything is Kurdish in the name of the fabricated Turkish racist nationalist movement and state.Although Soviet union states was oppressive like any state but they were not racist,Kurdish population despite their small numbers in Soviet union,their Kurdish language and culture was officially acknowledged and taught in schools and by the Soviet media.The Kurdish people remember very well the sale out of the 1975 movement by the superpowers to Saddam and Shah regimes.Big businesses needs religious lies and states to do business and control the flocks.
Hersh | 22/7/2015
Another great piece, the inconvenient truth peeling away at the world wide hypocrisy, no politics and no compromise on true values and ideals. One day kak Xulam, one day!
Iran - Kurdistan Union can be great. | 22/7/2015
I agree with most of your opinions, but I'm not so sure about that last one of dismantling Iran. Iran should be as much a country for kurds as it is for any of its population. But it is not. Herein lies the problem. I think realistically kurds are better off having close relation with a democratic secular Iran, but a secular Iran is centuries away unfortunately. One have to remember the changing name of Persia to Iran was a great symbolic step. It is as if Turkey changes its name to The United States of Good People or something similar, this will never ever happen in Turkey, but it did in Persia. We should cherish that effort, even though we haven't really seen much positive following from it,...yet.
Shahin | 22/7/2015
Persia changed its name to "Iran" in 1935 not to celebrate its ethnic admixture, but to increase its ties with a Germany on the cusp of Nazism. This change in name came after the Persian Ambassador to Germany pushed the issue after being influenced by the rise of Hitler. After all, "Iran" is a designation that means "Land of Aryans". Just to drive the point home, there is no such thing as an Aryan. The concept of race is a scientific and biological nonstarter. As far as Kurds are concerned, they never were and never will be Aryans/Iranians. If Kurds were, indeed, Aryans, then we would expect to see close genetic ties between Kurds and Persians who are also supposedly Arayns. That is not the case. In fact, Kurds are genetically more similar to Armenians and Georgians who are, just like Kurds, native to their homelands. Furthermore, there used to be a place called Ariana which encompassed mostly modern-day Afghanistan and Pakistan and only a small portion of modern-day Iran. This Ariana was not the home of the Kurds who, at the time, inhabited Media with their capital at Ecbatana (modern-day Hamadan). What the Kurds need is not "close relation with a democratic secular Iran" which by your own admission is implausible. What the Kurds need is to unite as one people and have their own self-rule on their ancestral lands that have been fragmented into to four parts by Persian, Turkish, and Arabic invaders with the help of the Big Three (US, Britain, and France). Once that happens, which is much more likely than a "democratic secular Iran", then Kurdistan can have close ties with Persia/Iran if it so wishes.
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