September 10, 2002
In case you are wondering who would be the happiest to see the back of Saddam Hussein, or his bullet ridden body on the ground or better yet him sitting next to Slobodan Milosevic in the Hague — my choice, wonder no longer, it would be the Kurds. And yet, this Kurd is filled with fear and misgivings about the prospects of a new war against Iraq!
How could that be? Americans willing to shed their own red blood to rid a tyrant that has used chemical and biological weapons against civilian Kurds, not once but repeatedly, should be good news like no other, one that could come very close to caging Hitler in his bunker, one that should cause all Kurds all over the world to uncork untold bottles of champagne to celebrate the end of a nightmare and the beginning of “freedom”, one that would surely pass into history books, at least in the Kurdish ones, as a watershed event, no less in its majesty, depth and breadth, like what lies at the border of America with Canada, the Niagara Falls, and yet, call me grouchy if you will, I am taking my dark suit to the cleaner’s, in case I have to use it in the course of the liberation of Iraq.
True, the Jews of Europe were the happiest to hear that the man who had declared them fit for the “final solution” had gone up in smoke in his bunker together with his plans. But the surviving Jews, who followed the events of world in the course of the Second World War, also knew that they owed their freedoms not to the designs of the Allied Forces, noble as they were, but to the accident of a war that had ended in their favor. Will it be the same for the Kurds?
The Kurds, who have been terrorized most brutally by Saddam Hussein, like the Jews of 1930s and 40s in the hands of Adolph Hitler, have no champions in the “civilized” world. But Saddam Hussein deposed, they are wishful — they have not made it to the hopeful stage yet — that the rays of freedom might finally break into their forsaken homeland.
But present American leadership, taking its cues not from people like Patrick Henry, but more like Henry Kissinger, best known for his use of the words, covert action should not be confused with missionary work in fooling the Kurds, has gone on record for saying that it opposes the establishment of an independent Kurdish state in northern Iraq.
Baghdad too is in agreement with Washington on this. The city on the Tigris and the city on the Potomac may have irreconcilable differences, some going back to the beginning of 1990’s, one might soon constitute casus belli in the present impasse, but on Kurds, they see eye to eye. They shall fight all right, but will not let the Kurds come close to anything resembling freedom.
The two cities on the rivers have one other thing in common: both favor the establishment of a Palestinian state. If George Orwell were alive, I suppose he would have told the hapless Kurds, “The Palestinians are more equal than the Kurds.”
So what is the trick? How could we Kurds become “more” equal like the Palestinians? Should we start blowing up pizzerias, end of Ramadan-like observations, and school busses to draw the attention of the world to the designs of our adversaries who are “constitutionally” sworn to subject us to a slow-motion genocide?
Thank God, the Kurds have not taken this route. And, personally, I pray that if they have to choose between oppressing others and being oppressed by others, they would always opt for the latter.
Now that I have disabused myself of the notion that I want the American intervention in Iraq, I can perhaps offer a few of my own musings on the ubiquitous term “regime change”. It is long overdue. The festering wound has already turned into gangrene. The Kurds who have already witnessed the fits and kicks of the madman who rules from Baghdad have a living tale for both the warmongers as well as the appeasers. So far though, neither group has, seriously, bothered to talk with the Kurds, to learn about an example of what has passed as a rule in Iraq.
The man needs to go. The trouble is, he is not worth the blood of one single American soldier. No one in his right mind should offer him such an opportunity. A better course to his lair would be to have the Kurds in the north, the Shiites in the south and the Sunnis is the middle supported through a concerted effort, sanctioned by the United Nations — after all he has violated the laws of humanity by gassing the civilian Kurds — to depose the beast in the human form a la Milosevic in Belgrade, Ceausesco in Bucharest and Marcos in Manila.
It is doable. It will require some time. The man has only a few deranged lovers and many — and I mean many — cowed haters. This latter group given hope, real, public and guaranteed can do far more for their country than what Washington can ever do for another state. It is still not too late to get this bug with honey and diplomacy as opposed to vinegar and war.