"We laid out our position in the first meeting very clearly to both sides [the US and Iran] and in the frankest clearest language that we don't want Iraq to be a battleground to settle scores ... at the cost of our security and stability."
~ Hoshyar Zebarî.
~ Hoshyar Zebarî.
Christopher Hitchens, a somewhat controversial figure on the neoconservative, fascist American Right, has penned an article at Slate that has to do with Iraq, and he kicks it off with the Southern Kurds:
. . . [W]e can point to Kurdistan as the most outstanding success of the past four years, with its economically flourishing provinces run along broadly secular lines, and with the old Kurd-on-Kurd civil war now in real abeyance for almost a decade (which shows that people can and do come to their senses). The Kurds are also active in the center of the country; their ministers of foreign affairs and water are universally regarded as the most capable and intelligent, and they have also been secure enough to lend units of their own peshmerga forces to the coalition's efforts in Baghdad, Fallujah, and elsewhere. The forces of AQM do not care to tackle this real people's army, preferring to concentrate their attacks on the defenseless, and although there have been truck-bomb attacks in the Kurdish capital of Erbil and in the still-disputed city of Kirkuk, these are so far pinprick events. (Appalling to record, though, a recent and much-disputed incident near Erbil airport has led to a temporary suspension of some international flights to Kurdistan.)
No mention of the 500 Yezîdîs, dead from a few little pinpricks in Şengal, but otherwise stuff like this should make one nervous when coming from the extreme American Right; it usually means that someone is trying to whip up support for the Republicans against the Democrats, or vice versa. As a result, there's always a noticeable lack of criticism of the failure to supply basic services in South Kurdistan, or to invest in agricultural development that would make survival a Kurdish matter and not a Turkish or Iranian matter. There's always a noticeable lack of criticism of violations of basic civil and free expression rights. In short, there's a noticeable lack of criticism. There's not even a mention of criticism. In reading these kinds of things, one would think that everything is very ducky indeed.
While Hitchens' comments on South Kurdistan are generally true to a degree, the reality of South Kurdistan lies somewhere in between the sanctifications and the demonizations used as the political tools of Westerners.
How can I tell that Hitchens is using Kurds as pawns to support the Washington regime's policies in Iraq? By this tell-tale sentence:
An American family that lost a son or a daughter in the defense of free Kurdistan or in the struggle against AQM could console itself that the death was in a worthwhile cause.
That is sheer propaganda. No American family has ever lost a son or daughter in the defense of free Kurdistan. No American soldier, male or female, has received so much as a paper cut or a hangnail in the so-called "defense of free Kurdistan." Ever. Period. And whoever believes that the US "liberated" Iraq for the sake of Kurds, whether live Kurds or those buried in the mass graves in the mountains behind Helebçe, well, the burden of proof is on that person.
Hitchens also engages in a little historical whitewashing:
The obliteration of political life and civil society by Saddam Hussein's fascism has meant that most of the successor political figures are paltry (and the Kurdish exception to this exactly proves the point: Kurdistan escaped from Baathist control a full decade before the rest of Iraq did).
Who was it who found "Saddam Hussein's fascism" so useful that Saddam was given great support for his fascism?
A full decade of escape from Ba'athist control? Let's see, the Kurdish revolution in South Kurdistan began in 1961, with Mustafa Barzanî's call to arms, which would make it more like four decades of escape from Ba'athist control--at least in attitude and outlook. Barzanî's revolution was not supported by the West, nor by the US, except in those rare historical moments that it served US interests. For the most part, that revolution was as studiously ignored by the Washington regime as was Mustafa Barzanî himself.
After all, who can forget the Algiers Agreement? Or the support of Saddam Hussein's Anfal? Or the call for uprising in 1991? Or the "safe haven" in which Turkey bombed Southern Kurdish villages instead of Saddam bombing them?
Who these days remembers the Montagnards?
Speaking of remembrance, that brings us to the reference of Senator Hillary Clinton:
Sen. Clinton in particular has said several times in the past that we cannot, for example, abandon the Kurds as we once did before.
And that's a perfect example of the Washington regime's long-time Kurdish policy, which can be summed up in four words: "good" Kurd, "bad" Kurd. It was Senator Clinton's husband, the former President Clinton, under whose watch tens of thousands of Kurds in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan were slaughtered, 4,000 villages were destroyed (conservatively speaking), and millions of Kurds were forcibly driven from their homes. It was the former President Clinton who armed Turkish security forces to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars and who acommodated the Paşas whenever they felt like dropping American munitions from American planes onto Kurdish civilians in South Kurdistan during the "safe haven."
Given that Senator Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign is being funded, at least in part, by the same Turkish community that funded Denny Hastert, we might as well consider that she will be at least as bloodthirsty as her husband was . . . when it comes to Kurdish blood, anyway. In the last week we've seen Iranian cross-border operations into South Kurdistan (which is still part of the sovereign state of Iraq), and attacks against Kurdish civilians. While an act of war is perpetrated by Iran against Iraq, the Washington regime hunts in every dark corner to manufacture something against Iran.
Was the joint Turkish-Iranian offensive hammered out between Rice and Gül in Ankara in April 2006, and between Ryan Crocker and Hassan Kazemi Qomi in Baghdad at the beginning of this month, during their "security" talks? Inquiring minds want to know.
Kurdish cehş from Iran have been captured in Hewlêr. See DozaMe for details.
Hevallo has a post on the ten şehîds from the clashes at Uludere. More at ÖG. In the meantime, clashes between Amed and Şirnex, from 24-25 August, yielded 16 dead Turkish soldiers.