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Did Mullah Mustafa Barzani Betray both his Family and his People?

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By Hamma Mirwaisi and Alison Buckley

Barzan Kurdistan
Barzan Kurdistan
(Image by Kurdistan Photo كوردستان)
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In 1946 Kurdish leader Mullah Mustafa Barzani was exiled to the Soviet Union. Thirteen years later he assumed the Kurdish people's leadership in the Kurdistan region occupied by the Iraqi Arabs. After his return he failed to convince Iraqi President Abd al-Karim Qasim to allow the Kurdish people to exercise self-rule within the provisions of the new Iraqi Republic's constitution. On September 11, 1961, Mullah Mustafa revolted against the Iraqi Arab Government, promising us Kurds an independent country and a democratic system of government under the rule of law. After the Jaff people pledged support for Barzani, one of their first casualties was the brother of Koaxai Ishmael Talin from the Dukan region. But his sacrifice and the sacrifices of hundred of thousands of others followed him since has not resulted in the changes millions of Kurdish people desire for themselves and their country.

Mullah Mustafa Barzani also promised Kurds that the rulers of Kurdistan would be selected by free and clean elections; at least that is what the name of his Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) stood for. But he betrayed us Kurds by appointing his two least civil-minded sons to the KDP polit-bureau. He also betrayed his own family by appointing his two younger sons instead of his eldest son Aubad-allah Barzani, who was in prison with his brother Sheik Ahmed Barzani for over thirteen years. Mullah Mustafa deserted them for Massoud and Idris Barzani. This motivated Aubad-allah Barzani and Sheik Ottoman Barzani, the son of Sheik Ahmed Barzani, to join Saddam Hussein with 8000 Barzani tribesmen, who were later executed by the Iraqi dictator. Massoud and Idris Barzani's support for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's invasion of Iraq from the Kurdistan region incensed Saddam Hussein during the Iraq-Iran War.

Idris Barzani died mysteriously after his brother Massoud's appointment. It is known publicly that Massoud Barzani was trained by the Israeli government's Mossad intelligence agency according to "Israel-Kurd Magazine" publications in Kurdistan. This connection has made the majority of Kurds suspect that Massoud Barzani killed his own brother, Idris Barzani to assume sole control of the Kurdish regional government in Iraq.

The Barzani Sheiks have long controlled the tribal Kurds through politically motivated marriages with the chiefs' daughters. They succeeded with the Sherwani tribe and they tried to do the same with the Zebari tribes. The Barzani Sheiks married some Zebari girls and Mullah Mustafa Barzani married Hamial Khan, the daughter of Mahmood Agah Zebari, before departing for Russia. Hamial Khan gave birth to Massoud in Mehabad, Iran, before the departure of Mullah Mustafa Barzani. She returned to her father's home where Massoud Barzani grew up under the teachings of the Kurdish people's traitor, Mahmood Agah Zebari. Massoud learned from his grandfather Mahmood Agah Zebari how to betray Kurds and his own family.

Although Mullah Barzani had a half-Zebari son, he was aware of the animosity between the Barzani and Zebari tribes. When his older brother Sheik Ahmed Barzani got out of an Iraqi prison in 1958, he ordered the assassination of Ahmed Agah Zebari, the older brother of Mahmood Agah Zebari, because of his support for the Iraqi government. This assassination caused friction between Mullah Mustafa Barzani and Sheik Ahmed Barzani and his older sons. Taking these events into account, the Kurdish people might wonder whether Mullah Mustafa Barzani picked Massoud Barzani under pressure from his wife Hamial Khan or if he just hated Kurds and his own family.

Mullah Mustafa Barzani did a lot of good things. But he had many faults too. He appointed his younger son a half-Zebari and failed to send Abraham Ahmed and Jalal Talabani to the Kurdish people's court to be executed for their betrayal of and crimes against the Kurdish people.

Ironically, Mullah Mustafa was so self-assured that he would label any Kurds who defected to join the Iraqi government or any other governments in the regions as 'homo', an insult known by the people in the region. Its use is not senseless, as in western society. He was always calling Abraham Ahmed and Jalal Talabani 'homos' because they joined the enemies of the Kurdish people.

Kurds are paying today for Mullah Mustafa Barzani's betrayal of their bid for independence and his son's refusal to support it. Unfortunately, we Kurds lack well-researched and analysed evidence of the truth about those who lead us. We love leaders unconditionally, which is the reason why we do not have a country. Are we making the same mistakes today? The Kurds should answer this question very quickly. 

But before they do, the Kurdish people should know why they could trust the claims coming from both my research and my experience. Massoud Barzani is the same age as me. When I was Peshmergah, he was known to be pro-Talabani. He was as fond of Talabani's lies and monopolizations as his nephew Nechirvan Idris Barzani is today.

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Hamma Mirwaisi was exposed to the oppression of Kurds while still a youth, as his education was frequently interrupted by Iraqi government harassment. Forbidden from entering university in 1968, he had little choice but to join the peshmerga (more...)

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