South of Kurdistan: The Only Way Forward

1991 uprising

By Arian Mufid:

On 25th September the referendum took place and 92% voted “yes” to a Kurdish state and separation from Iraq. As a result the Iraqi government started their attack on Kurdistan with the help of Iran and, within a few hours, Iraqi and Iranian Shia militia troops captured the most strategic city of Kirkuk from the forces of the Peshmargas. The two main Kurdish parties are accusing each other of treason but in fact there wasn’t such treason but rather the tragic reality that these two tribal Kurdish parties of the Talabani and Barzani clans have always done nothing but pursue their own self-interest. The betrayal by these two families is nothing new to the ordinary Kurdish people. These two parties have at least 200,000 troops between them. If the PUK didn’t defend Kirkuk city, why didn’t the KDP put up a serious fight in the other areas of Kurdistan? Kurdish morale inside and outside of Kurdistan is battered and bruised. It was a week of hell. These recent bleak developments are a stark reminder that so long as we don’t have a state, Kurds are very vulnerable to genocide and mass killings. In the city of Tuz Kurmato, for example, almost 150,000 families had to flee and 7 people were killed and a lot of houses burned or demolished by the Iraqi militia group (Hashd al-Shaabi) backed by the Iraqi government. Independence is the big challenge for the Kurdish nation but first they must address the reality that they are not united and lack coherent leadership.

The leader of the referendum campaign Masud Barzani, the leader of the KDP, told the people publicly that he would take responsibility for failure, but in reality he hasn’t. His is still in his headquarters with his notorious advisors such as Omed Khoshnaw, Hemin Hawrami and Fuad Hussein around him. He can still be seen out in public. He declined an offer from several western countries to postpone the referendum. He could have shown a shred of decency by going on TV and addressing the nation about how it could happen that thousands of Peshmarga forces evaporated in front of the Iraqi army like fog in the sky. The news has spread that he is going to resign from his post, but that should not be the end of the matter. He needs to be taken to court in front of his people for treason and wasting the wealth of the Kurdish nation. His family and party imposed a similar tragedy on the Kurdish nation in 1975 in return for a few million dollars and residency in the US. The Kurds don’t need to blame the US, Turkey, Iran or Iraq for their failure. The Kurdish nation failed in their demand because of the failure of all the main parties, including the PUK, KDP and Gorran. Gorran was born as the Opposition but it failed to teach people how to protest peacefully and effectively. The nation had their test and their leaders failed them because of mismanagement of oil contracts, corruption and privileges, etc. Today every Kurd feels the heat but – if we are united and have a good strategy — this is still the best time to declare the Kurdish state because Iran is under growing US pressure, Turkey’s recent coup attempt and internal paroxysms have weakened its military and shaken the country to its core, and Iraq has been bleeding since 2003 and only managed to retake Mosul in nine months with the help of coalition forces.

Declaring a Kurdish state requires brave and decent leadership. Most likely Iraq will impose direct rule. But Iraq is a failed country, a Shia sectarian state. They have destroyed Sunni areas such as Rumadi, Anbar and Mosul and now they want to turn on the Kurds and start ethnic cleansing. Iraq prime minister Abadi’s current honeymoon will soon be over due to the scale of the country’s problems and colossal corruption will inevitably fuel new waves of unrest.

Masud Barzani, his son-in-law Nechirvan, his son Masrour, together with the Talabani family, are all humiliated in the eyes of the public and the people know that these two families will do everything they can to stay in power.

From the above, this is the only way forward:

First – A government of national salvation is the only alternative in the current situation. The uprising of the Kurdish nation is the only way to tackle the five corrupted parties (including the KIU and IL). The uprising of the Kurdish nation is the only means to install a salvation government of technocrats, establish a unified Kurdistan army and dismantle the militia forces of the two main parties who have failed so lamentably to defend the nation. The KRG leadership since 2003 has had every opportunity to forge a unified army but it did not do so.  By contrast, the first task of the first Israeli prime minister David Ben Gurion in 1948 was to dismantle all militia groups, about twenty five of them, and build the Israeli army.

Second – the salvation government needs to re-build the Kurdistan parliament through fresh elections. The current parliament is not up to the challenge of the Kurdish nation and not representative. The MPs only act if their political parties tell them to do something.

Third – the salvation government needs to set up a court and call the old Kurdish leaders to account for their wealth and injustices and atrocities committed during their rule.

Photo – by Richard Wayman, taken during the 1991 uprising.

4 Responses to South of Kurdistan: The Only Way Forward
  1. Azmar Kurd
    October 28, 2017 | 14:25

    I agree with the writer and no nation yet wiped out by terrorising innocent civilians, history proved that. The stupidity of the nationalists of Kurdish enemies clearly now and since centuries ago not decades tried with their aggressions to practice ethnic cleansing however at the end they hit their heads at stones of theirs graves.
    The only solution to Kurds cause and their rights according to the religion the Kurds enemies practicing it and pointed to the UN Human rights, Kurds have right to ask for their rights to live same as all other nations in this World, if not an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.

  2. Baxoodan Akram
    October 30, 2017 | 08:53

    Unfair and biased coverage. You are avoiding simple facts because of your previous affiliation with GORAN and PUK. You are covering up the treason of part of PUK and GORAN. Have you seen what the MPs belonging to these two groups are doing/saying in Baghdad?

    There were very brave fight in Kopri and other areas. Have you not seen these?

  3. Sherzad Sheixani
    October 30, 2017 | 09:31

    Daboo nawi Kak Dr Barham tan binoosya wak seroki watani hukmati dahatoo yan seroki harem.

  4. Jon Rabati
    October 30, 2017 | 14:23

    By not putting your finger on the real reason of this disaster which a joint Talabani family/Goran treason means your article is useless. If you are Not brave and honest enough better not to write with half of the truth and spinning covering the treason.
    You never written in an honest way on the criminal baby and pregnant women killer Newshirwan Mustafa
    Who is paying you to mislead and write such a rubbish?

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