Oil Without Freedom for Kurds

Kurdish oil

By Dr Jan Best de Vries:


Catholicism and Islam keep watch over two kinds of believers, perpetrators and accomplices. This having been said, the Vatican, France, Nazi Germany, Iran, Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Islamic State are not that bad any more and one should not protest too much against their crimes against humanity. The initiator of the present division of Kurdistan was the French president Clemenceau in 1919. It was in his footsteps that the English and American presidents Lloyd George and Wilson followed after WWI and in doing so caused WWII. The division of Kurdistan was just a side effect of the decisions these three gentlemen made for the peaceful world Wilson had in mind….


Being in a rather mild mood today, the author would like to remind his readers that most political and military conflicts in West Asia are not about religion as a pretext, but about oil. In the Western colonisation period it still seemed acceptable that France and England created out of the Ottoman Empire two mandates Iraq and Syria under their authority, with borders fixed by the presence of oil and not by the presence of different peoples. As there was also much oil in West Iran, where Kurdish nomad tribes like the Lori and Bakhtiari roamed, and because this region bordered on the British mandate Iraq, the English let an Iranian military dictator as self-nominated shah overthrow the democratic constitution of Iran so as to obtain favorable oil contracts from him.

However many Kurdish nomads he and later his son may have had shot by their armies, the genocide against the Kurds in the towns of Kurdistan in 1979 which was ordered by an ayatollah on the pretext that Kurds were not reliable Shiite muslims (so there is hope for the survivors to still quit Islam), exceeds the murders by both shahs who were supported by England and the USA. When, after WWII Iraq and Syria became independent states, in no time cruel, Arab dictators came to power who then delivered the oil to Russia. They commited genocide, respectively against the Shiites and Kurds in Iraq, and against the Sunnites and Kurds in Syria. Before they let him fall down, the USA once supported the dictator of Iraq in his war about oil against Iran. Russia still supports the present dictator in Syria, like in Iran the successor of his father, against his own population. After the genocide against the Armenians under the last Ottoman sultan, the first dictator in Turkey committed genocide against the Kurds. He demanded that the Western powers concede in 1923 the – in former times predominantly Armenian and at the time Kurdish – East Anatolia to the newly formed, allegedly democratic state Turkey; from his point of view very wisely, because later the soil of North Kurdistan, like that in all other Kurdish regions, appeared to contain oil. The Treaty of Sèvres, undersigned by both the Ottoman sultan and representatives of the Western powers, according to which Kurdistan became an independent state, never materialized….


The Barzani government in Bashur is often criticized in KT by Kurdish intellectuals living in Western countries. Hopefully I’m going to die in Rojava, so as an outsider I allow myself the luxury of explaining the difficulties with which the Barzani government sees itself confronted. It thrives upon oil, that’s for sure. This time the profiteers are the Shiite government in Baghdad, the Turkish regime of Mr. Erdogan, some smaller European oil companies and, last but not least, 10 small and big American oil companies which all hold office in Hawler (Erbil). The contractual conditions for the European and American companies are most favorable, but they do employ from bottom to top (!) Kurdish personnel, so in this case the Kurds themselves are for once the profiteers as well. Apart from the government in Baghdad, another candidate for the oil around Kirkuk is IS, but both are just robbers of oil, from both the Kurds’ and my point of view. In order to provide minimal living conditions for a million extra people, from IS escaped Sunnites and Kurds from Syria and Christians and Yezidis from Iraq, the cheap oil that Turkey gets from Bashur is given from a necessary policy of survival of both the fugitives and the Kurds themselves. Hundreds of oil trucks pass the Turkish border each day, even day and night as I watched myself.

At the same time the Kurdish Peshmergas from Iran who live with their families in Koja must be sustained and, if necessary, Peshmergas from Bashur itself are sent to Rojava in order to protect its towns in the cantons Efrin, Kobane, and Jazeera. All these mearuses cost lots of money and if the Barzani government would be indeed the corrupt family business as is suggested by Kurdish intellectuals in the West, it is well run at least out of a spirit which has realized a democratic constitution, help to traumatized victims from Syria and Iraq of all ethnic and religious backgrounds and shelter for its fellow Kurds from Iran, Syria and Turkey.

The question, however, is whether the Kurds in Bashur are free. They are not as long as the USA wants them to be part of a unified Iraq, a fake state after all; they are not since 1000 Peshmergas had to die within a few months, because they thought that the USA are allies of the Kurds who in reality only play the role of boots on the ground to the profit of the Americans. The question is whether the Kurds in Iran are free. When my late soulmate and I visited the present province of Kordestan, there reigned an atmosphere of extreme fear among the population of its capital Sanandaj, because the hangings went on and on. The USA negotiate at the moment a treaty with the criminal, islamist Iranian regime about the use of nuclear power. The only ally of the Kurds is Israel which, like them, refuses to be obliterated by Iran. The question is whether the Kurds in Turkey are free. Not as long as the USA and the European countries incriminate, at the request of their NATO ally Turkey, the female and male freedom fighters of the PKK as being “members of a terrorist organization”.

However, the most endangered species of the human race in West Asia are the Kurds in Rojava along the Syrian-Turkish border. These are attacked by the religious beasts of IS who want to possess the oil fields in Jazeera in order to finance the adventure of their medieval, islamic caliphate, as well as by the human animals of Lebanese Hezbollah, Iranian Pasdaran and the Arab Syrian Army, all lavishly equipped with heavy weaponry sent by Russia via the port of Latakia. While the YPG and YPJ expect them to come from the South, Turkey, allegedly being threatened by the combatants in Syria, is waiting its chance to swallow Rojava from the North to make it “a border zone to protect the Turkish nation”. I predict that, after Kobane, the next town to be stormed from either the North or South will be Qamishlo. So it is here that the volunteer citizens from the West, who feel ashamed of the complicity of their governments with the genocide of the Kurdish people by dictators over the last century should flock together and die side by side with its courageous Kurdish defenders. An unexpected opportunity….


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