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Kurdistan, Not Iraq, is the Success Story (Part 2)

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 The first part of the series presented the sucesses of the Kurdish effort at self-determination and proposed  a scenario of support from other nations in the world. In this part 2, I will demonstrate the concrete actions that nations can take in defending the Kurdish people against Turkish aggression.

STEP FOUR: Promote recognition of Kurdish autonomy, economic activity with Kurdish enterprises and government to government aid for reconstruction and reparations to the KRG. It is critical in this period that the KRG represent all political organizations and parties of the Kurdish people. Formalizing this will necessarily involve a multi-party system of representation that is capable of defining governing powers and designated responsibilities. This establishes a precedent of government-to-government relations in international relations. There simply is no substitute in the process of consolidation for such interaction. Each step constitutes the increase of Kurdish sovereignty and defines duly constituted authority as it evolves and is recognized by international bodies.  

All these steps are taken in the unfolding of a non-violent scenario. There will undoubtedly be incidents and periods where attacks are made or considered by both internal and external forces. These non-Kurdish forces can be addressed directly and through diplomatic channels. Consolidation defines the tasks that are prioritized and defines the steps that will provide a foundation for evaluating progress. Internationalizing the proposition also means addressing bodies such as the United Nations, the EU and perhaps even the Arab League with concrete transitional proposals regarding a viable transfer of power in the foreseeable future.   Efforts need to be made in regards to Parliamentary and Congressional elections to find suitable candidates that can present a case for the Kurds. Senator Joseph Biden (D-DEL) is already a Presidential candidate with a perspective of US disengagement that addresses Kurdish national interests. There also needs to be independent media activities by 528 non-profit organizations that begin to increase public education and awareness in the US and connect it with particular candidates, as appropriate.    

FIREWALLS NEEDED: No peace plan in the region can be implemented without engagement of the nations and peoples in the region, as well as international bodies. Looking at the region, there is a real danger in disregarding the potential ramifications of continued conflict. One remembers how easily the world slipped into an international conflict following the assassination of a particular Archduke by a nationalist seeking independence. Conflicts extend beyond the US and Iraqi one and include Sunni-Shi'a, Saudi-Iranian, Turkish-Kurdish, Iranian-Israeli, Syrian-Lebanese, PLO Palestinian-Israeli, Hamas-Fatah, secular Turkish-Islamist Turkish, Islamist Palestinian/Lebanese-Israeli to name a few. Major powers currently with economic and political interests and/or military assets in the region include: the US, NATO, Britain, Russia, China, Israel, Syria, Turkey and Iran.  

Agreements need to be reached. Continued refusal to reach them will only aggravate the tensions that are already high. Enforcement mechanisms necessarily involve both political and military measures. Nuclear proliferation is not an option that will alleviate the tensions in the region. Occupation is not an option that will reduce tensions or limit the likelihood of war. Great power diplomacy will not address long-standing historical grievances regarding national self-determination and peoples long oppressed. Liberation movements by themselves have attempted to improve their logistical and tactical support for years by establishing patron states that have their own political interests in maintaining the conflicts rather than reducing them. Jihad is not an acceptable policy for the diversity of populations now residing in the region and has resulted in the murders of hundreds, if not thousands of people whose only crime was to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.  

A series of agreements need to be initiated and negotiated, perhaps by former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer. The EU also plays a role in the region and has a resolution already adopted: Situation in Middle East - MEPs support UN resolution  The current US position is elaborated by Secretary of State Rice.  The current Kurdish position is enunciated by President Barzani: "President Barzani stated that any forced unification or division would fail just like the former Czechoslovakia and Germany. He reiterated, “We don’t threaten to interfere in the affairs of other countries and we don’t expect other countries to threaten us.” For one to obscure the national identity of the Kurdish people and their legitimate government is to step back in time without the benefit of the promise of Article 58 of the Administration for the state of Iraq for the transitional period, also known as Administrative Law of March 8, 2004 which is considered the interim constitution of Iraq by the now-dissolved Iraqi Governing Council. This states in part: The Iraqi Transitional Government shall act expeditious measures to remedy the injustice caused by the previous regime's practice in the demographic character of certain regions, including Kirkuk, by deporting and expelling them from their place of residence and forcing migration in and out of the region." Further, peaceful resolution IS the goal of the Kurdistan Regional Government at each step of the way. Current events continue to give shape to the need to consolidate the Kurdish Regional Government as Turkish troops move closer to military invasion. A UN enforced demilitarized zone would benefit and protect the people of southern Kurdistan against Turkish invasion. 

There is No Turning Back 

For the Kurdish nation and peoples there is no retreating to prior historical strategies to achieve victory. These options have been tried for the past 30 years in Turkey. There is no gain if this moment is allowed to pass in history without decisive leadership and precise action. Every action is based on the present circumstances on the ground and not by past disputes. Every consideration of institutionalizing, for the long-term, the preservation of a centralized Iraqi political authority is national suicide for the Kurdish nation. The armed groups of Sunnis, Shi'a, and those sponsored by the Islamic Republic will not hesitate to accomplish their objective for political domination over the corpses of the Kurdish people. If they demonstrate now the extent that they will go in their violence towards each other, is there any reason to believe that Kurdish people are in for any other fate?  To the Kurdish people it means one thing- national survival requires national unity. The territory of southern Kurdistan has taken the first step toward national unity. Young Kurds should look to the future there and move so that they can be an integral component of this process. Others should recognize that they are needed first and foremost right there. Those with technical expertise should look to ways to provide it, those with financial connections need to find a way to increase investment. Those with political resources find ways to fund and address the KRG on a state-to-state basis during this period. Neither the neo-con agenda, nor the Democratic agenda (with the exception of Senator Biden) incorporates the concerns of the Kurdish nation. There are interests in the region that can promote a strong, viable Kurdistan, but this is Kurdistan that is being built and not simply a buffer zone for any other nation's defenses. That understanding needs to be demonstrated by concrete actions that support Kurdistan's long-term stability and vitality. "Meanwhile, Arab leaders during their summit meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia last month demanded that the US-sponsored Iraqi constitution stipulating federalism be reconsidered since it adversely affects Iraqi national unity and the Arab identity of the country."   

There is little time to waste and few words that need to be made. This is a window that will not be open for long. This is a race that has a finish line and a winner and a loser. There stands no greater resolve for a people then their right as a nation to establish their own destiny and mold their own future. If the people are to create their own history it can only be done with decisiveness and determination. The world needs to be alerted that there is a new transformation taking place. One energized by the centuries of oppression and the centuries of hopes that still shine from the sun's rays. 

Ey raqîb her mawe qewmî Kurd ziman,
Nay sikên danery topî zeman
Kes nelê Kurd mirduwe
Kurd zîn duwe,
Zîn duwe qet nanewê alakeman
  

Hey enemy, the Kurdish nation is alive with its language
Can not be defeated by the weapons of any time
Let no one say Kurds are dead
Kurds are living
Kurds are living, their flag will never fall
  

 

Martin Zehr is an American political writer in the San Francisco area. He spent 8 years working as a volunteer water planner for the Middle Rio Grande region. http://www.waterassembly.org His article on the Kirkuk Referendum has been printed by the Kurdish Regional Government, http://www.moera-krg.org/articles/detail.asp?smap=01030000&lngnr=12&anr=12121&rnr=140 Another article was reprinted in its entirety by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) http://www.puk.org/web/htm/news/nws/news070514.html He is a Contributing Writer to Kurdish Aspect more...)
 

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