By Hamma Mirwaisi and Alison Buckley
IMG_9484 by Mustafa Khayat
The major difference between Kurdish political parties in Iraq and other parts of Kurdistan is that the South Kurdistan (Iraqi) parties depend on regional and international powers, including Iran, Turkey, Sunni Arabs of Iraq, and more recently the Shi'a Arabs of Iraq and Syria and secular states and entities such as Israel, the US, and the EU countries to keep them in power. This so-called autonomous leadership, whilst reaping the benefits of its buddy countries' pay packets, is busily dividing Kurds in South Kurdistan and other parts of the country. Only the Kurdistan Democratic Solutions Party (PCDK) stands by itself for the Kurdish people alone.
Contrasting with their opponents and in support of far-reaching change, the PKK and affiliated parties in the Group of Communities in Kurdistan (KCK) depend solely on the Kurdish people's help to gain power, whilst offering authentic leadership to them in Turkey, Syria, and Iran. Of an estimated 40 million Kurds in Kurdistan, only 5 million are living in South Kurdistan (Iraq); the rest reside in Turkey, Iran, and Syria.
Iraqi Kurds have always fought the Iraqi Arab Governments' occupation of their country. In 1921, when the UK established Iraqi Government for Arabs, the Kurdish people revolted under the leadership of Sheikh Mahmud Barzani, based in the city of Sulaymaniyah Kurdistan. Depending on Turkey to help him fight the UK forces, he lost the war sponsored by Turkey against the British Empire. After him, the Barzani tribe's revolt under the leadership of Sheikh Ahmed was defeated, forcing his brother Mullah Mustafa to take refuge in the Soviet Union until the 1958 Iraqi military takeover of Iraq. In 1961 the Kurdish people in Iraq revolted under the leadership of Mullah Mustafa Barzani, who was supported by the Shah of Iran, Israel, and the US.
In 1975 Iran abruptly stopped helping Mullah Mustafa Barzani. His revolution failed, and he became a refugee in Iran. Ever since the British government's blunder in 1921, the Iraqi Kurdish leadership has been learning to depend on regional and international powers to fight Iraqi Arabs. Furthermore, they are profiteering from these political arrangements; for over 20 years they have made billions of dollars from corrupt schemes by selling the Kurdish people's oil at a loss to them, in cooperation with Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Israel, th e EU, and the US ex-officials in Iraq war.
Because it is not cooperating with these powers like the Iraqi Kurdish leadership does, the KCK, incorporating the PKK, PYD, PJAK, and PCDK, is not popular with Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Israel, the EU, and the US. Originally Barzani, Talabani, Nawshirwan Mustafa, and other members of the Kurdish leadership in Iraq fought the Iraqi government like the KCK are now fighting Turkey, Iran, and Syria. The impartial observer might ask why the KCK has been placed on terrorist lists while the Iraqi Kurdish leadership now has so much respect with the above powers. And their documentary Good Kurds Bad Kurds must be confusing for viewers of any persuasion.
Following the Iraqi Kurdish elections on September 21, 2013, all parties have accused the others of cheating in the process. The result is that the Gorran Party of Nawshirwan Mustafa replaced the PUK of Jalal Talabani; besides that nothing has changed. Mustafa's party claims to be different from the classical parties of Barzani, Talabani, Islamists, and others, but few differences have emerged; he too is getting help from Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and others. Well might the Kurdish people ask whether Nawshirwan Mustafa is in business to sell their blood like Barzani and Talabani have?
Gurus from the city of Sulaymaniyah, Kurdistan, think they know how to pick leaders who will fool people they regard and treat like stupid donkeys. After they chose Jalal Talabani to be their leader, he used them very well and looked on them as donkeys (in Kurdistan and Iran people think donkeys are not smart). But in this case probably donkeys are smarter than humans.
There is a saying that smart people will learn from other people's mistakes and stupid people must experience mistakes before learning. Too many Kurdish people are content to act stupidly. Unfortunately they are the ones who always must go through mistakes before learning.
Only stupid people do not do their research before supporting others' organisations. One of the reasons why Kurds don't have an independent country is that, in spite of their native intelligence, they do not investigate the calibre of people whom they elect, always choosing those who will exploit and deprive them. Lack of knowledge of its history and the absence of a unified language further hampers the establishment of a truly democratic Kurdistan with just human and economic rights, but information is easily available to remedy this ignorance (1).
Nawshirwan Mustafa has been working with Abraham Ahmad and Jalal Talabani for fifty years, both of whose children have already been strongly linked to corruption. Why do some Kurds believe that Mustafa isn't corrupt now? (2)
Most of Mustafa's friends in charge of the Gorran Party have also been accused of corruption, while his sons act like Qubad Talabani, son of Jalal Talabani, and Massoud Barzani's sons, who disrespected other so-called lesser Kurds recently by supplying them with false phone numbers for anyone want to contact his father. Although the grandsons of labourers, they presumed to act like the elite descendants of their father's former landlord Muhammad Pasha Jaff. Originally from the Senandij-Iran, home of the Bani-Erdalan family, which sold the rights and welfare of the Kurdish people like the Baban family previously did, Mustafa could yet join the political ranks of Barzani and Jalal Talabani.
After the debacle of the September 21 elections, in which the ballot papers of some electors who voted for minor parties were allegedly destroyed before they were counted, Iraqi Kurds have once again been duped into submission to the attitudes and policies of their new, yet indifferent government. Now they must unite to throw off this lethargy and its associated deficits and join the true descendants of the Median (ancient Kurdish) Empire, which ruled the Middle East two thousand five hundred years ago with a civilisation whose Aryan politics, ethics, and culture dominated that of those whose descendants now rule over them. (3)
Those Kurds who intelligently look to Abdullah Ocalan's inspiration of the PCDK to eventually overrule corrupt, self-interested incumbent Iraqi Kurdish power, must maintain their belief in the ultimate triumph of the will of the Kurdish people. The candidates pictured may have had the strong, complex, and vividly patterned Kurdish carpet pulled out from under their legitimate bid to represent their fellow citizens, but not for long. The difference between them and the successful candidates is obvious, but the Kurdish people must first crawl out of their political caves and learn to recognise and support those who advocate and fight for their personal and territorial freedoms.
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