Democracy’s Frontline Starts with the Pershmerga

By Kaziwa Salih:

Peshmerga arriving to defend Kirkuk, June 2014

Peshmerga arriving to defend Kirkuk, June 2014

The Middle East, particularly Iraq and Syria, has turned into a triangle battlefield, amongst fanatical groups with diverse titles and similar aims: creating an Islamic state with Stone Age approaches. There are two tyrannical Governments completing this dimension which are Iraq and Syria. The Peshmarga of Kurdistan is the only force defending freedom, and confronting the atrocities inflicted by these groups.

Since the U.S. administration revealed that democratization could become a true mission of American foreign policy, they have been involved in so-called spreading democracy and the bringing of stability to the Middle East. Presumably, they are the vanguard of this impossible mission. However, the consequences attest to this process of democratization have turned into a hideous war and might lead to a Third World War eventually.

What America considers democratization, universally defined as Americanization, is depicted in Middle East as occupation of their land. These allegations have been getting more legitimacy with the U.S. foreign policy’s overlooking the Peshmerga of Kurdistan’s achievements and their roles in the area.

The United States of America disregard Peshmerga forces that are the true defenders of democracy, by dehumanizing them within the countries that U.S government allegedly helps.  Thus creates distrust toward the U.S. intentions and the uprooting of democracy and peace.  So far, neither America nor the governments of Iraq and Syria have been able to effectively fight the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to achieve stability in the region, in the way that the Peshmerga of Kurdistan has attained.

The Peshmerga of Kurdistan are the strongest and the best bulwark against ISIS advances in both Iraq and Syria. Peshmerga forces are controlling the Kurdish areas and turning them into safe havens for people in both countries. They have brought stability and security to the region during the Bashar Al-Assad atrocities and now during the ISIS invasions. The Kurdish Peshmerga tries to stop the influx of Iranian militias entering Iraq via Kurdistan by controlling the border. Turkey has jailed Abdullah Ocalan, the most influential Kurdish leader and one of the hundred most influential characters in the world. Yet, the Kurds and the Kurdish Peshmerga have been seeking a democratic and peaceful decree with Turkey for decades. Further, thedemocratization of Turkey has always been their mission. The Kurdish Peshmerga groups are the only force in the Middle East who do not decapitate people; do not loot; do not rape; do not use chemicals, and they are not invaders of any country.  Rather they are the existence of Kurdish suffering and oppression. Their doctrine and honoured reputation have attracted many people around the world to affiliate and struggle for the Peshmerga’s principles.

For outsiders and the media, different names of the Peshmerga emerges, such as the Kurdish Army group, the Kurdish force, Rebels, PJAK, DTP, PKK, PYD,YPJ, …etc. But for insiders and Kurds, they are all Peshmerga, and have one mission, which is to end persecutions of Kurdish people, alongside other minorities, especially Christians. This currently means fighting terrorists by stopping the advancement of ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

The security and peace people have enjoyed so far in these areas under the watchful eye of the Peshmerga, has been accomplished by not only one Kurdish Peshmerga group, but by all the groups. This proves that all Peshmerga forces are freedom and peace fighters, not only selective ones, even though the U.S labels some as terrorists while others are freedom fighters. Terrorists have one aim, which is annihilation; however, all Kurdish groups’ aim is to fight hard for protection.

U.S. foreign policy should rethink its strategy towards the Kurds; readjust their terrorist list, and consider the Peshmerga of Kurdistan as a frontline of democracy. The current situation and the historical achievements of the Peshmerga against the terrorists and their significant roles in peace initiatives should be the foundation of this suggested reconsideration.

Kaziwa Salih:  a Kurdish author, anti-genocide and war scholar, the publisher and editor of two Kurdish magazines. She is the author of 12 books, and has received several international awards. In 2010, she founded the Anti-Genocide Project to bring together the voices of genocide victims living in Canada. She is the 2014 PEN Canada Writer-in-Resident at George Brown College.  Website: www.kaziwa.com

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