One step further
A Kurdish thought on 4th of July
July 4, 2005
Colonialism, the domination
over the people and resources of a foreign land, is thought to
be a policy of the past. Yet, today the only way to properly describe
Kurdistan would be to label it as a
colonially divided land.
With all due respect to many Arabs, Turks, and Persians who do
not identify themselves with their governments, Kurds cannot remain
their subordinated ethnic group forever. Kurds are learning form
the history of liberated colonies, especially those who refused
to belittle themselves by the humiliating and abusive British Kingdom
in the late 18th century.
The idea that all people are created
equal and entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
became a driving force for the American founding fathers, who
found it not only a right, but a duty to separate themselves from
British colonial rule on July 4th, 1776.
By now, one would expect that all forms of colonialism would
be abolished. However, in 2005 Kurds are still dreaming of liberty
and equality. An obstacle for Kurdish independence has been its
dependence on regional transitional friends but long-term foes.
The division of Kurdistan, her lack of access to her own natural
resources, dependence of Iraqi Kurds on Iran, Iranian Kurds on
Iraq, and Turkish Kurds on Syria, are some examples of a very unfortunate
and complicated situation that has handicapped the Kurdish liberation
movement to unite and make any major progress.
Lack of international
support as well, as a misunderstanding of the Kurdish cause by
some progressive groups of dominant cultures who view the movement
as primitive and tribal, has also added to this complication.
A more important obstacle to Kurdish independence is fear from
terrorism. Despite repeated injuries on the Kurds, mentioning
any ideas about separation and independence is still considered
and answered with various form of violence including assassinations
and capital punishment by the central governments that control
Due to a persistent fear of experiencing traumatic
and violent retaliations from some mindless generals, some Kurdish
politicians still find submission or full assimilation and
ignorance of their own identity and national rights as the right
the threatening behavior of state terrorism in Baghdad, Damascus,
Ankara, and Tehran.
Despite all the obstacles it has faced, the Kurdish movement
has always remained alive. Thanks to those who have never given
up on the idea that the Kurdish cause is a just cause, thanks to
freedom fighters who have dedicated everything including their
life for the cause, thanks to the people of Southern Kurdistan
for their patience, tolerance and maturity, thanks to the efforts
of all progressive organizations especially the two major Kurdish
Parties which finally united and nominated Mr. Masood Barzani as
the president of Kurdish regional government to revitalize the
legacy of his legendary father.
Thanks to those Iraqi Arabs who
have been peaceful and supportive of Kurdish cause, and thanks
to the international community under the leadership of the United
Sates for a moderation in their policy, the semi independent
Kurdish state has been functioning in a partnership with a majority
Iraqi Arabs. While this friendly atmosphere between the majorities
of people in Iraq warrants unity, remaining united at this stage
is a handicap for any further progress of both ethnic groups,
as was the case for united colonies during the time of British
Now Southern Kurdistan has reached a developmental level to move
one step further, and despite all threats, declare its independence.
This act would certainly strengthen the likelihood of liberation
of other parts of Kurdistan. It is unlikely that the opponents
to the Kurdish cause will be able to prevent such a progress;
however, if they plan to attack Southern Kurdistan, it seems justifiable
that all Kurds from all parts of Kurdistan sacrifice what they
have, and participate in the ultimate liberation of their homeland.
Although this might be seen as a major risk, taking such a
risk seems worthwhile, just as it was seen a worthwhile risk
Americans to revolt against Britain two centuries ago. Initially
if even solely one part of Kurdistan is liberated from the
contemporary colonialism, she can become an active advocate
of equality and
liberty for other parts and for all ethnic groups in the Middle
East. American independence was achieved partly through the
support of the progressive French.
Kurdish liberation would
easier to obtain, if the land of the brave and the progressive
innovators remembers and expands the ideas of her founding
fathers to the rest of the world that all people are created
entitled to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. It is
for those very ideas that America deserves the wish from
thinkers of the world, for a very happy birthday on the Fourth
Kamal H. Artin, MD, is a member of the Kurdish
American Education Society, California.