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Forgiving Saddam
A note to a Iraq's Kurdish presidnet

April 13, 2005

Mam Jalal Talabani,

It is a pleasure to hear that since Qazi Muhamad we now have another Kurdish head of a state, although the state you are heading is not Kurdish. Congratulation to you, your family, Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, and Iraqi people for your selection as the first Kurdish President of Iraq.

Hopefully your neighbors learn from the Iraqi experience and eliminate their bias toward Kurds so that they in return eliminate their bias toward them. Hopefully soon Kak Masood Barzani also becomes the President of one of the future Kurdish states; and hopefully none of you or anybody for that matter becomes a permanent head of any state, which has been the case in the Middle East for too long.

Your selection indicates that you have built a trusting relationship with people who had not trusted any Kurds to lead them. It shows your political skill, leadership, wisdom, patience, tolerance, and understanding. It is a sign that you consider many aspects of challenges that Kurds and Iraqis are facing now.

I witnessed two other signs of your wisdom recently. I had criticized not only sheiks, kings, amirs, ayatollas, and permanent presidents for delegating tasks only to their next of kin, but also our Kurdish leaders for assigning responsibilities to others based on family and tribal relations.

After meeting Qubad and hearing his eloquently arguments recently, I was convinced his role as a PUK representative was because of his own competency and personal and professional attributes and not because he is your son. His gentleness, maturity, and openness were indicative of a good upbringing. Bravo to his mother though, since you have been busy with politic and fighting all your life; unlikely you could have contributed much to his development except as a role model! His mother must be very wise and likely had seen your wisdom in advance; otherwise she would not have chosen you as an equal partner!

You probably have heard the rumor that even in this modern age some ladies choose married presidents as their husband to become the first lady; unlikely your spouse, the current Iraqi first lady, had imagined that you will become a president one day. Likely she chose you because of your dedication to a noble casue!

The second evidence of your wisdom was your recent comment about Saddam. You mentioned that you do not support his execution. Bravo! Again, it shows that you understand mankinds flaws and do not wish death for anyone even for a criminal. Such an attitude indicates that you have reached a higher level of personal and professional development.

I wish you could go even one step further by letting Saddam go! I wish you could forgive him for all the pain and suffering that he and his associates have inflicted on everyone in general and on Kurds in particular. By forgiving him, you could tell the world that the Kurds are not revengeful, but forgiving and peaceful, that they respect life of even their worst enemy, and that they want to abolish all aggressive and inhumane rules and regulations of their opponents.

By doing so, some current abusive head of states might look at mirror and be ashamed of themselves for their negligence and ignorance! I understand, however, you cannot let Sadam go, because the risk to humanity overweighs the benefit of a good Kurdish gesture! Therefore, my plea to you is to keep him in jail, respect his dignity, and teach him lesson of humanity until he reaches his final stage of development and can live in peace so he leaves others in peace!

Kamal H. Artin, MD, is a member of:
- Kurdish American Education Society
- Kurdish National Congress of North America
- Kurdistan Referendum Movement

For letters section
To Kamal Artin

Kamal H. Artin



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