Gorran Party needs a strategist

By Mufid Abdulla:

2011 protests

2011 protests

Following last year’s popular uprising on 17th February 2011, Kurdish people in the south of Kurdistan have been shaken by the extent of violence, brutality and heavy-handedness used by the two ruling parties to preserve their power. On the whole, the bridge between the ordinary people and the KRG has been burnt beyond repair. The balance of power that served both parties over several years is shifting; opposition forces now have the job of filling the gap which these brutal forces are leaving behind.

Advocates of the uprising may relate this to the fact that initially the ruling parties manipulated the emotions of the mass of the people and then they promised reforms but failed to deliver: the hoped-for progress has rapidly disintegrated into nothing but deceit.

The opposition have done us a huge favor: they have taught the masses to demonstrate peacefully. However, their behavior has also scared everybody.  The opposition have shaken things up in this country but it has not yet demonstrated any strategic programme. According to the latest statement by the opposition they are not advocating any street protests and demonstrations. In this sense, the opposition is behaving like a teenager; one minute angrily demanding equality and mature respect but too often, when asked to meet its responsibilities, begging for a free pass. The strategic attitude towards the uprising is becoming harder and harder to sustain for the Gorran Party. In these troubled circumstances, how can Gorran, which claims to place such value on compassion and decency, continue in not supporting the demands of the people?

One of the basic truths of politics in Kurdistan is that the opposition are less in tune with the people’s suffering than they should be. The opposition always speaks the language of compassion, but rarely means it. It favors ends over means. If today the two ruling militias are crushing people, what will be the answer of the opposition?

To me it appears that Gorran wants to fight but solely on horseback. Up to now, the opposition has not been able to reverse the downward spiral of this society. On a daily basis the two ruling parties make rulings that directly affect people’s lives. Our hospitals and schools have not been built properly. Daily killings and burning of women are increasing. Rampant corruption and incompetent politics are ruling this country. For all this the human costs alone are horrendous. What is especially worrying to me is that Gorran is lacking in a strategy at this stage of their political struggle. It was incredibly grim to hear that the second-in-command of Gorran told a student at the University of Sulaymani last week in his seminar that Gorran does not need a strategy.

What this leader has not realised is that, if it wasn’t for having a strong strategy, the success of any standard organization would be impossible. If it wasn’t for the right strategy of General Schwarzkopf (the ‘left hook’) in liberating Kuwait, there could have been thousands more casualties in that war. If it wasn’t for the right strategy of Wall Mart for Asda, Asda would not be the first and leading superstore in the world. If it wasn’t for the strategies devised by Steven Jobs for Apple, it would not be the company it is today. A strategy is not a list of goals or plans. A strategy is about what an organization does in terms of its competence and learning development. The actual power of strategy is derived from the discovery of a different way of viewing events for your advantage.*

The main message we should take from the uprising is that change can happen and otherwise the force of the people is strong enough to remove any rule if they want to. Gorran needs a strategist to rally people behind an effective strategy. It is the strategy which can secure the success of the long march of the mass of people to freedom and liberty.

*Rumelt, R.  “Good Strategy /Bad Strategy: the difference, why it is matters” Profile Books Ltd, London 2011.

One Response to Gorran Party needs a strategist
  1. Azad Ezzat
    February 17, 2012 | 19:05

    I think part of why the oppostion was weakened over the last 10 months was the lack of an open and clear strategic agenda set forth by the Goran party. So much hope was put on Goran, but then people started worrying if some of the Goran leadership was more interested in short-term leadership gains than the long-term goals of the good of the society. I believe people need a more aggressive voice representing Goran and coordiinating with the other Oppostion groups. Change is coming to Kurdistan and lets hope it comes with no human suffering.

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