During the past weeks the media has had a fair amount of coverage on two violent and sad events (and rightfully so), men setting fire on Halabce’s monument and an earthquake shaking people in Lurestan, a modified version of Kurdistan. On top of these, Kurdistan experienced a few other major events with less media attention. Kurds of Syria were able to hold a unity conference in Washington DC; Kurds of Iran were shown a green light that they might be supported by the US if they cooperate with Iranian lobbyists opposing the fundamentalist regime in Tehran.
The United States remained supportive of the “good Kurds” in Southern Kurdistan, yet continued to ignore the “bad Kurds” in Anatolia who are ruled by a NATO member. Although Turkey remained under pressure to follow democratic principles in hopes of joining the EU, its militarists persisted with their old style of suppression of the Kurdish people.
Allegedly the extent of recent violence in Turkey has ranged from shooting at children on the street to using chemical weapons against Kurdish rebels in the mountains. To be fair, one should not underestimate the damages done to the Kurdish movement by some of the Kurds themselves either in Halabche or in the mountains.
Needless to say that over and over Kurds have been emotionally and physically injured and political, and human right activists in support of Kurds have been exiled, arrested, tortured, hanged, and even assassinated during peaceful talks. Despite such traumatic experiences, methodologically the Kurdish movement has made remarkable progress in using peaceful means for its objective; however, some Kurdish fighters still have a mindset similar to the generals of their opponents and believe violent means justifies the end.
They might argue that the world leaders pay special attention to violent groups and give examples of aggressive fundamentalists or ultranationalists who oppose Kurdistan; they might feel those who value the norms of a free and civilized world and think forward are out of the loop, and give the experience of assassinated, imprisoned, or exiled free minds.
They might overlook the fact that in a violent confrontation everyone loses and the weaker side more so! They might forget that a free Kurdistan would only be free if she has no room for any violent behavior, and is based on appreciating life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness for all, in other words a humane society.
Some might ask how Kurds in occupied parts of Kurdistan could remain humane while they are being denied even basic human rights such as access to public education in their own language in their ancestral homeland. Neither the UN nor the remnants of old empires and colonial powers have a clear answer for this question.
More and more I come to the conclusion that the answer for the Kurds in Northern, Western, and Eastern part of Kurdistan is in following the path of the Southern part. The Southern part would not have made it this far, if it was not for mutual trust between them and the United States.
Since economically, politically, socially, and scientifically the US remains the leading power that promotes change in the world, cooperation with this power is essential for making sure that change happens and is for the better and hopefully with peaceful means. Contrary to ancient empires that have been based on dominance of one nation, race, faith, or class over the others, the contemporary US empire is relatively the most democratic and progressive international home made by the intelligentsia from all over the world and has the know how and potential to serve the world.
It is up to Kurdish organizations to show their love for their people by unity and creating alliances in each part of Kurdistan first; it is up to them then to prove their maturity by being flexible and accepting the leadership of the US empire or rather the US emporium. This emporium is not flawless but is a free marketplace for the goods of all nations and can push for real changes in the world in general and in Kurdistan in particular; it is up to the Kurds in all parts to have hope and declare: In the emporium we trust, if she trusts us! I personally will not give up on my hope, which is liberty and independence for individuals and societies that are striving to obtain them!
Dr. Kamal H Artin is a member of Kurdish American Education Society (www.kaes.us), and the Kurdish National Congress; however, his views do not necessarily reflect the views of all members.