Sorry the West, Kurds’ Fight is Not Your Fight

By Dilshad Hama:

Since the ISIS assault on Syria, Iraq and Kurdistan and the bulwark role played by brave men and women Kurdish fighters, we have been hearing loads of romantic expressions from journalists and some intellectuals from the West. It seems that they have fallen in love with Kurds again. They all have something in common and that is the expression ‘Kurds’ fight is our fight‘. However, the reality may prove that these are nothing more than some isolated romantic acts which have no currency within the narrow corridors of Western foreign offices. So far Kurds’ supposedly closest ally, the USA, is not even willing to provide direct supplies of weapons to Kurds in Iraq, let alone to those in the Rojava region of Syria. It seems that, for the West, especially the USA, and despite the shameful defeat of its army of hundreds of thousand against a bunch of ISIS toughs, the long-failed state of Iraq is much more important than the Kurds. The other day the well-known French intellectual Bernard-Henri Levy, when asked why the West is not supplying arms to the Kurds, told a Kurdish journalist this is ‘because of the fear that the weapons may be used for another reason after ISIS is gone’. This is as shameful as can be. The US and the West are still providing heavy weapons to the Iraqi army which they share with the newly-created Shi’a militia called Hashd al-Shaabi. The militia has been widely considered to be the Shi’a version of ISIS.

As a Kurd I can understand the long-standing Western double-standard in general and towards Kurds in particular. The top priority of Western strategy has always been the maintenance of the status quo which is a legacy of their own, infamous Sykes-Picot agreement. No matter how the Kurds may be different to the other sovereign people of the region, since they do not possess their own sovereignty they can only play the role of loyal soldiers to preserve the red lines once drawn by the giant powers. They are praised and adored, loved and admired, but only through the misleading political rhetoric of state-minded politicians and intellectuals.

Even without the light-handed help of the West, Kurds would have defended their land against ISIS or the like. Defending may be the job they can excel in the most. This is an existential fight for the Kurds. They have to do it for them to live their own way of life. It is long overdue for Kurds to realize the bitter truth that the West does not do politics the way we love it to be done. They in fact do it the way that suits their interests. Despite our deep appreciation to the few righteous warriors from the West who have truly sided the Kurdish cause, we should not be misled by the liberal and humanistic rhetoric of the Western intellectuals. The Western left and right alike, when they raise thumbs to the Kurds fighters today, they do it each for their own reason, which may or may not be in line with Kurds’ long-lasting aims. There is always a political threshold for Western backing to the Kurds, and any other non-state people and cause in the world, beyond which the moralistic and humanistic standing of both hard and soft West cannot endure. Apparently, whether they fight to defend their own homes and way of life or to be able to decide their own fate within the most troublesome and among the most aggressive neighbours, Kurds are alone in their fight. These two reasons seem to have no currency in the Western international political strategy. At the end of the day, the fight is the Kurds’ fight only but the Western politicians have once again proven their competency in capitalizing not only on other peoples’ natural resources but even on their struggle and suffering.

Dilshad Hama: PhD candidate at the School of Politics & International Relations, the University of Nottingham, UK; a freelance writer

2 Responses to Sorry the West, Kurds’ Fight is Not Your Fight
  1. Maria E. Luten
    February 28, 2015 | 11:37

    Absolutely right! No help can be expected from the western governments. We can also say that the Kurds have much experience with betrayal from many governments in the past and also now. Here in Europe there are a lot of people that really have a heart for the Kurdish people and the fight against ISIS. Unfortunally most of them don’t have any influence politically in their countries. I am sure one day soon the west will regrett the fact that they did not provide any real help to the Kurds. Because one day soon our governments in Europe wished they did, when they realize they will need the Kurds to help us fight ISIS here. The Kurds are the only ones fighting against the real terrorists in this world.

  2. fred bond
    March 2, 2015 | 17:42

    I think the Kurdish people will get more support from the west,than they have ever seen before.the united states government has never supported the will of its people,this time the kurds have had the spotlite put on them in a way that has never been done before.most americans fully support a powerfull Kurdistan.a lot of citizens like me are notifying there politician and letting them know how they feel and what they support,and that is a free Kurdish state,even though the powerfull anti muslim, jewish controlled media doesn’t support this; most Christian americans do.

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