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Author Topic: Kurdistan and the Kurdish cause  (Read 450 times)

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Offline Captain MalteseTopic starter

Kurdistan and the Kurdish cause
« on: September 27, 2017, 11:26:27 AM »
"No dictator, no invader can hold an imprisoned population by force of arms forever. There is no greater power in the universe than the need for freedom. Against that power tyrants and dictators cannot stand. The Centauri learned that lesson once. We will teach it to them again. Though it take a thousand years, we will be free."
- Citizen G'Kar, Babylon 5

Some times, fiction cannot outshine reality. Much as I love Babylon 5, there is a struggle for freedom right here and now on the planet we walk that, even if we cannot affect it, is worthy of our attention and admiration. The people who fight that struggle are the Kurds, whose folks span (conservatively estimated) 30 million members spread over half a dozen countries and three languages. As I write this they are finally on the verge of becoming a nation, Kurdistan, and that act may well be a start of a new and terrible war worse than what ISIS managed.

I need to underline at this point that I know not a single Kurd personally. What I know of them is from countless media news stories, articles and the odd forum discussion. My admiration for them comes from seeing them as a group. Granted, my country is a western one and we have as other countries given a bit of practical support to the Kurd forces during the war with ISIS. On the other hand we are also part of NATO which is awkward since Turkey, who hates the Kurds with a vengeance, are also NATO. And I want to also underline that taking sides with the Kurds as a group does not equal as vouching for every last member for it - they have their bad apples just like everyone else, and not every act has been honorable.Do you live in a country which can say otherwise?

Some initial facts: The main parts of the Kurds are spread over Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Syria. They reflect the populations of these countries in religion being mainly muslims (more Sunni than Shia) but also other groups. But religion is key to their uniqueness because unlike any other Middle East faction I can think of, they are tolerant to the presence of other faiths. Christians have been and continue to migrate to the areas under Kurd control because it is almost the last safe place to be. Religion is also an important key factor in that their government is not ruled by the religious leaders, making them stand out among the more stern countries of the ME. As for politics they again stand out, beside the fight for self rule, in that the politics are democratic and fairly socialistic compared to the tightly ruled monarchies in some of their near areas.

Military speaking: Up until the 21st century, an armed kurd was the picture of a PKK rebel - the group in Turkey labeled terrorists. The conflict between the Turkish government and the Turkish Kurds is long standing, bloody and hopeless and have never received support from anyone but the far left wings in Europe and the occasional hostile neighbor. Then we got to the Gulf War in Iraq which started to change things dramatically. When Saddam Hussein gassed Kurdish villages and left thousands of civilians dead, there was international, well, the kind of outrage that leads to stern letters and harrumphing in congresses. The Kurds rose, but they had nothing to rise with - the Baath Party, Saddams guys, and his army, had been busy leaning hard on the Kurds for decades. But since USA was going to Iraq anyway they enforced a no-fly zone over the upper third of Iraq and THAT was a biggie - because now the Kurds could start building an army of sorts without the threat of Saddams MiGs.

Military Kurd forces are a tricky thing to describe, because the political parties and the local tribes were the foundation on which the new forces were built. There are local defense forces here, and offensive units there. Some places Kurds unite forces with non-Kurd groups. The main force in Iraq is none the less the Peshmerga, which is so much a people's army that enlisted members also have to purchase their own guns. The quality of these forces were best described as 'loyal but untrained and barely armed' until the rise of ISIS, which again changed everything. Because ISIS struck straight into Kurd territory - among other places - vying for oil wells and other resources. The Kurds took a beating for a while.

Then something amazing happened, by Middle Eastern standards. The Kurds fought back. Where Iraqi Army and Syrian Army forces left their guns, uniforms and vehicles and ran for it as soon as the black flag of ISIS appeared, fairly small Kurd units defended their villages from house to house long enough to evacuate the civilians, even refugees who were neither Kurds nor muslims. At time, these units would don suicide vests so the ISIS could not take them alive. That was when media started to get interested. And after a while, more practical support started to come quietly. Germany started selling the embargoed Peshmerga forces weapon and gear. US Special Forces quietly joined the Kurdish fighting front lines, ensuring training and gear was given them in spite of the political posturing at home. So have Germany, France, England, Norway, and others.

The Peshmerga is a defensive structure. Its political mandate limits its warfare to Kurd territory, technically in Iraq. Another force has taken the brunt of the recent fighting: The YPG. This is a Syria-based militia, volunteers only, with a decidedly leftist leaning. Unlike the Peshmerga which requires all members to be Kurd, the YPG has allowed a number of foreign volunteers. Most of the non-Syrians are Turkish Kurds but there is also a number of western volunteers, which has attracted so much media attention that if all those visiting journalists had picked up guns and join the ranks, the war would be over by now. There are many people in western countries. and in Japan and USA, who have thought long and hard about joining the YPG. There is also the YPJ which is the all-female arm of YPG, a near unthinkable force of Middle East Amazones which have proven their worth in combat in places like Kobane. In Syria the official force is called SDF, Syrian Democratic Forces, and consist of maybe 85% YPG/J and the rest local tribes. The SDF have received a lot of combat support from US Special forces, but only fairly light weapons.

I have followed the Kurds since the Gulf Wars started. Sorting fact from propaganda, journalism from black ops, is not easy. I have looked hard and long for evidence of cruelty, war crimes, political unfairness, theft of resources. I have not found any. That does not mean that none has happened, but in propaganda warfare such events do not hide for long. The Kurds have fought hard, long, honestly, without cruelty, not only surviving but protecting others as well. As far as I can tell this is one new nation that I wish well without reservation. In their hours of need, the countries they reside in did not come to their aid, only foreigners. When they rebuilt their ruins back into villages and cities, it was not with help from the countries they live in, only foreigners. It is time for the Kurds, too, to be free. Even if it means fighting for that as well.

Offline Lustful Bride

Re: Kurdistan and the Kurdish cause
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2017, 11:43:07 AM »
I think it's be better to abstain from this of it becomes a conflict. If we get embroiled it will be such a mess of u imaginable proportions.

Offline RedRose

Re: Kurdistan and the Kurdish cause
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2017, 11:59:47 AM »
I have literally ONE acquaintance who cares. I have no idea how this can be solved peacefully.

Offline SINless

Re: Kurdistan and the Kurdish cause
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2017, 04:03:39 PM »
The problem as with anything in the middle east bar Israel is: OIL, a material so important that Dubya was going to name gulf war 3 after it, though that was later changed to (OIF). Kurdistan, a region that was once considered the arse end of the Ottoman empire turned out to be massively Oil rich, and the countries who currently control parts of Kurdistan obviously don't want to give up that land, not that governments like to give up land to begin with, but certainly not land that is rich in Texas tea.

The west will be hard pressed to stay neutral in this, as evidenced by the calls to not have the independence referendum in Iraq. A major complication is that the major oppressor of the Kurds is a NATO member and as such NATO countries would be hard pressed to aid the kurds if attacked, even were they so inclined.

Offline Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Kurdistan and the Kurdish cause
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2017, 05:11:50 PM »
The Kurd people have, since they became the primary land force fighting ISIS, had the unheard-of privilege of being supported by both USA and Russia. One of the reasons Assad in Syria have largely avoided military conflict with the SDF is that Putin does not allow it. Something Assad must have been gritting his teeth fairly hard over, but SDF -in spite of the Syrian Kurds only being a small fraction of the population and Assad holding armor, artillery and airforce resources - are the only reason ISIS did not swallow up the entire country. Now that ISIS are for the most part vanquished, that informal peace might end because Assad never dropped the idea that he is the only rightful ruler of the entire Syria. Russia's practical support of the Kurds has to my knowledge not included weapons or training, but the relentless Russian air force attacks have been very helpful to keep the ISIS forces down. Russia isn't in this game for the Kurds' sake anyway. What interests Putin more than anything is the fact that Turkey can hardly wait to invade Syria and Iraq, to fight the Kurds and incidentally take their oil resources. Russia and Turkey are not best friends these days; Turkey controls much of the Black Sea and the crucial straits - if Turkey gets stronger by a magnitude, Russia will be weaker. There is also Idlib, a wealthy Syrian city near the Turkish border that not so long ago was Turkish. This city is not held by the Kurds but if there is an invasion of Syria then Idlib is a low hanging and oh so sweet fruit. In North Eastern Syria, which is held by the Kurds, is the best farming region in the entire country.

There is more. I mentioned Germany, which supports the Kurds. If Turkey should go boom then half the Middle East will become refugees and they will walk straight through Turkish borders, which are now kept somewhat closed at the insistence of EU. Germany and other countries do NOT want another war to erupt so they will be trying to keep status quo and keep the Kurd too strong to be easily invaded. Another country which has interests in this conflict are Iran. Iran and Iraq are old enemies and what weakens Iraq interests them. A seceding of Kurdistan from Iraq, a third of the country, will certainly do that. And for this reason, the Iranian militia units which have been moving into Syria to help Assad have so far shown little interest in engaging the SDF. The Kurds are far too independent and religiously relaxed to make natural allies for the Iranians, but they are both descendants of the old Persians. If Iraq delivers its promised embargo, Iran is probably more than willing to provide help. And with the oil wells, the Kurds will be paying customers.

Iraqi oil is of course floating gold, which used to go through an established system and pipelines. Turkey used to be an eager customer. Now Iraq has folded several times and the supply lines have become a fine mesh. ISIS sold off the oil they conquered to whoever was willing to pay for, but the pipeline system was fragile. The first air attacks by the, um, group of USA and small neighbor countries, targeted mainly military targets while the oil continued to flow. The Russians were less subtle; their air attacks blew all things oil to the sky. In particular the long columns of oil trucks which, ahem, allegedly, passed over the Turkish border every night. This put a drain both on ISIS bank accounts and on Turkish oil reserves. Now that the ISIS brouhaha has simmered down, Turkey has started buying oil from the Kurds again. Through commercial strawmen and all that, but none the less. But Kurd oil has also gone to other customers in the area - it's not exacty a commodity that is hard to get rid of. Turkey has threatened with ending those oil purchases should Kurdistan become a nation, but really - if they were willing to buy oil from ISIS, how tight will the border be now?

I need to say that I have nothing against Turkey as a nation. They are an important part of Europe and a lot of good people live there, and the heritage of Ataturk is a great one - secularity, unity, pride, democracy. The Kurds are only one of a number of people who live there. If fate had made me be born in Turkey, I would be proud to be Turkish. What I have big issues with is the present government. But at least they are not the only country with questionable leadership.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Kurdistan and the Kurdish cause
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2017, 07:46:23 PM »
Lets be honest none of the current allies of the Kurds have been as good to them as the Kurds have been in turn
-we left them hanging every time they supported our moves
-we quietly sat aside did little to nothing when Saddam gassed them
-not one government in the region treats them fairly.
-depending which border they are close, they get attacked by someone to ensure their own native Kurds don’t get too uppity
-if we had a lick of sense we’d have built them up, even if it took getting in bed with Putin

Right now I think a lot of governments in their neck of the woods are sharpening knives for a good ole purging now they are making a move. And we will turn away and leave them in the clutch again

Offline midnightblack

Re: Kurdistan and the Kurdish cause
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2017, 10:04:17 PM »
I think it's be better to abstain from this of it becomes a conflict. If we get embroiled it will be such a mess of u imaginable proportions.

My recent history of the Middle East is rather sketchy, but looking at any geopolitical map will reveal some pretty straight border-lines around the place. If I recall right, and speaking in very broad terms, they were set in the turmoil of the XXth century by those that came on the winning side after the world wars. During the parceling process, the Kurds have been left out for some reasons, but that hardly seems fair now, does it?

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Kurdistan and the Kurdish cause
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2017, 10:57:33 PM »
My recent history of the Middle East is rather sketchy, but looking at any geopolitical map will reveal some pretty straight border-lines around the place. If I recall right, and speaking in very broad terms, they were set in the turmoil of the XXth century by those that came on the winning side after the world wars. During the parceling process, the Kurds have been left out for some reasons, but that hardly seems fair now, does it?

Actually it was divided up specially by the French and British, who wanted to ensure they could get the best bits via crony governments. Among the same people who thought, later, that the Jewish and Palestians would agree to share the same lands...bravo boys..

Offline Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Kurdistan and the Kurdish cause
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2017, 05:44:20 AM »
My recent history of the Middle East is rather sketchy, but looking at any geopolitical map will reveal some pretty straight border-lines around the place. If I recall right, and speaking in very broad terms, they were set in the turmoil of the XXth century by those that came on the winning side after the world wars. During the parceling process, the Kurds have been left out for some reasons, but that hardly seems fair now, does it?

Iraq has housed a hundred civilizations, including arguably the first ones. But modern Iraq was established in 1920 when the UN chopped up the old Ottoman Empire - part of the loot from World War One. England was then set up to be its rulers, and the first thing they did was create a monarchy. Because England has one; very neat. Things were not going well up to then and they continued in the same vein. Eventually Iraq gained its independence in 1932, primarily because the British Empire was slowly folding. In 1958 the monarchy was toppled and ten years later, Saddam Hussein took charge and never let go again. You know the rest. Foreign countries in all this time have barely recognized that Iraq isn't a homogenous country. It's just 'ragheads', y'know? But inside the borders there has been unrest along political, religious and tribal lines since day one when the population of Babylon started arguing over gardening.

The Kurds have been a cultural minority group for hundreds of years, divided by the ever changing borders between ever changing countries. Many have been vocal for the reunion of the divided groups across the border into one new country, unrealistic as the idea has always been. It still is an unrealistic idea; all the countries the Kurds are part of have a lot of heavy weaponry and the Kurds don't. But in Syria the Kurds have an antonymous state within the state now called Rojava. In Iraq there is now a state within the state called Kurdistan; this is the entity considering to fully secede.

The results of the national referendum is now more or less clear. Something like 80% of every adult voted. The vote for secession is 93% YES. It is the clearest result in modern time for anything anywhere where the leadership are not complete crooks. But the referendum is not a vote, meaning the leaders do not HAVE to follow it. It is still possible that Kurdistan will continue to be a part of Iraq, although under its own regional government. The latter will be the safer option, certainly. The question is whether the weak Shia government in Baghdad will dare to give away even what the Kurds already have, because their control over the Sunni parts of Iraq is also threadbare. Then again they might also realize they are too weak to deny the Kurds anything at all, but it is hard to know at this time what coherent realistic thinking is still happening in Baghdad. The current regime have so little control that they are probably sleeping under their beds at night. I would too, because ISIS are still roaming those street at night. Green zones included.

Offline HannibalBarca

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Re: Kurdistan and the Kurdish cause
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2017, 02:13:33 AM »
Salah ad-Din (Saladin), the famous foe of Richard the Lionheart, was Kurdish, and founder of the Ayyubid Dynasty in Egypt.  The Kurds of modern times are incredibly secular for Muslims, which makes them attractive to the West.  Recent news even puts Israel as at least nominally interested in their success as a separate nation--primarily as a bulwark against Iranian power and interests in the region.  While the historical conflict between Kurds and Turks is problematic, the Kurds have long deserved determination in their own lives.

Offline Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Kurdistan and the Kurdish cause
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2017, 08:21:11 AM »
Saladin was more of a knight than Richard 'Lionheart', certainly.

I have heard that Israel is coming out supporting the referendum. That is going to be just one more red flag for the other Middle East countries. But Israel has military strength still. The question is how to wield that support; between Israel and Kurdistan lies Syria or Iraq, depending on the route. Sending flights of fighter jets over those countries are going to have a cost, although admittedly Israel has proved it does not lack in strength of will. But even just keeping civilian air traffic between them will be a show of force: Iraq has demanded to have the Kurd airports surrendered to them and vowed to enforce a no-fly zone. But I want to see the Iraqi pilot who dares to shoot anything more than angry looks at an Israeli plane, military or civilian. As weak as the Shia Iraq is now, Israel could defeat them in three days and have time left over for tea. And the Sunni majority would applaud, because they are the obvious alternative rulers. Would the current US government act when one US-backed regime fought down another US-backed regime? As long as US contractors were still allowed to work in Iraq, I doubt it - the events in Yemen are still in full swing and proves a glaring example. 

I am posting a couple of youtube clips featuring kurd forces, kurd music and a bit of kurd culture. Since they are not translated to English I am only assuming that this is homage at best, propaganda at worst. Worth seeing though, and I particularly like the music. In a later post I will try to present some proper journalistic clips.
Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide






On a side note. It is not the first time westerners find a group of exotic rebels to their liking. I am old enough to remember cheering for the Aghan mujahedeens fighting the Soviet oppressors. It made sense then that the US and CIA were supporting them with nifty weapons like Stinger missiles to take out the Russian Hind helicopters, and training and equipping noble foreign warriors like... Osama Bin Laden, honored Saudi prince! I was particularly interested at that time in Massoud of the North Alliance. Eventually the Soviets retreated, Afghanistan was free, and everyone promptly forgot about them. In retrospect I know that part of the reason the Mujahedeen rose, was because the Russians were trying to secularize the country, reduce the opium and heroin production, and introduce such heresy as school education for girls. Ironically, when the Taliban struck in due time their causes included justice, an end to corruption, and reducing the drug growing. Like the Soviets before them their priorities changed, and when the US-led coalition took over the girl schools came back but the drugs and the corruption remain. The day the last foreign soldier leaves Afghanistan the current regime will be on a luxury flight to Saudi Arabia and the Taliban will be back. Good bye girl schools, but little else will change. And of the Mujahedeen I once applauded, only a handful of old men will still be there in front of their own huts minding their own business. So much for supporting rebels.

I have been fairly cynical of rebel groups ever since. The will to rise does not automatically combine with justice, honesty, democracy or freedom. But with the Kurds, I see more than yet another squabble for power. These are not camel herders with Kalashnikovs, used as pawns in a game. The Kurds run high schools, colleges and universities. They operate oil refineries and airports, without help from foreign engineers. Their political assemblies are as much backstabbers and dealmakers as anywhere else in the world, but corruption is not rampant and a holy book is not more important than the law books. The Kurds are trying to get official control of territory they already have; they won't be displacing tens or hundreds of thousands of other people. There won't be large prisons full of dissidents, because having a different opinion is allowed. There will not be an enforced change of culture because it is not needed. There is no logical war waiting with other faiths, because diversity of faith is allowed. There will not be a 'moral police' striking down on people who do not go to the mosque or wear the wrong clothes. I am far, far from being a muslim and I could live in a kurd town with impunity. 
« Last Edit: September 29, 2017, 08:26:05 AM by Captain Maltese »

Offline Valerian

Re: Kurdistan and the Kurdish cause
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2017, 09:19:48 AM »
Saladin was more of a knight than Richard 'Lionheart', certainly.

This is a bit of an aside, but one of my favorite books is called Warriors of God, by James Reston, Jr., which is a sort of parallel biography of both Saladin and Richard I that also gives some excellent background on the region, which might be useful to anyone wanting to read up on the subject.  :)

Offline Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Kurdistan and the Kurdish cause
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2017, 05:27:45 PM »
Can you smell it? Can you hear the distant thunder and see shadows move that shouldn't? The war is about to start. Six thousand Peshmerga soldiers are now manning the fortress, the oil rich city of Kirkuk. Surrounding it is the Iraqi Army, which have advanced on the city during the last two days, and it is quite possibly strengthened with a number of Iranian militias. Within hours or minutes, the shelling is starting. The Shia govt of Iraq has decided to cross the Rubicon. And once they are over, the bridges will burn. The Iraqi government will have to succeed, if only to win the election in January. This is a war where USA, and Norway and other countries have trained and supplied BOTH SIDES.

I will pray for those who are about to die, tonight. And for those who, given a chance, will make it. Inshallah.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2017, 05:29:32 PM by Captain Maltese »

Offline Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Kurdistan and the Kurdish cause
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2017, 07:10:49 AM »
It has started. About 12 hours ago, ten minutes before the extended deadline of the Iraqi Shia government to the Kurdistan Regional Government, their military forces started the attack on Kirkuk. These forces are composed of Iraqi Army, Iraqi Federal Police, the Counter Terrorism Service, Iranian-trained Paramilitary Organizations and reportedly also Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps. Most of these have been trained by USA and other Coalition forces and those are equipped with modern American weapons. The forces resisting them are the Kurdish Peshmerga and an unknown number of volunteers from Kirkuk. The Peshmerga has also received US weaponry but at Iraq Government's insistence been denied anything but light weapons.

Numbers of dead and wounded are as yet not known. But both light and heavy arms are used in combat, and jet fighters have been observed above. Another 3000 Peshmerga have been rushed in to join the first 6000. So far, the K1 air base is now in Iraqi Government hands.

Offline Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Kurdistan and the Kurdish cause
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2017, 11:29:36 AM »
Be careful what you wish for. I got mine, sort of. The Iraqi Shia Government and their Iranian allies took Kirkuk today with only a few casualties on either side, basically because of a schism between the two big factions within the kurdish Peshmerga. I don't know what will happen next. Kirkuk was what the ISG wanted, with its enormous oil income, so the hostilities MIGHT end here for now.

For the 1.2 millions living in Kirkuk, this was probably the kindest resolution for the moment. It probably won't be long before the ISG starts expelling kurds and moving in shias.

For the kurds, this is a double disaster. Losing the oil wells and their income is very bad. But it also shows that they lack military unity, and how do you build a nation without that?

Offline HannibalBarca

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Re: Kurdistan and the Kurdish cause
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2017, 10:45:20 PM »
Factionalism is a deep-rooted problem in the region.  With borders drawn by victorious European powers after World War 1, one can see the wall preventing fracturing falling in Iraq, like it did in Yugoslavia after Tito died.

Offline Various

Re: Kurdistan and the Kurdish cause
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2017, 12:57:47 AM »
Factionalism is a deep-rooted problem in the region.  With borders drawn by victorious European powers after World War 1, one can see the wall preventing fracturing falling in Iraq, like it did in Yugoslavia after Tito died.

With many borders drawn (charitably) out of blithe ignorance of local conditions or (uncharitably) specifically to keep them from uniting against European rule.

Offline Leo

Re: Kurdistan and the Kurdish cause
« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2017, 03:46:41 AM »
Hey... So that was not very easy to read without letting emotion kick in and take control of what I plan to reply with. I'm from Turkey and like everyone else here who is not Kurdish I too hate most of the Kurds. As racist as that sounds, I am not one. I have had, still do and am open to having new Kurdish friends. What we, as a nation, have experienced with these people always seemed to me identical in spirit to USA and Black people. We have not enslaved them, but we came pretty damn close. They could not legally speak their own language, they could not practice their culture, they could not name their children Kurdish names, they could not study in our schools without discrimination and persecution. They could only work in constructions, cleaning, servicing drinks in office blocks etc. "Are you a Kurd?" was half an insult. The government did not even provide them with water or electricity. While the western provinces thrived in culture and technology available (do not think London or New York kind of advances though, this is still Turkey we are talking about. The word thrive is used with eastern Turkish provinces in mind), eastern provinces populated by the Kurd was neglected completely. There are rumours of much worse too.

They hated the government and the Turks who only helped their government justify what I can only call crimes. I too would have hated anyone who did all that to me and my people. Despite the colossal fact that any civil, political Kurdish attempts of any kind would be aggressively countered by the Turks and the government, that was the way they should have followed. Worst case scenario should have been civil unrest and protests that lead to conflict with the police. What happened was war. There is a terrible aspect of guerilla warfare called waiting. As the faction with the military bases getting attacked, our part of this war has always been quite... irritating, to say the least.

Military service for men is mandatory in Turkey and at the time I enlisted it was 15 months. Following boot camp, for a whole year I was stationed in a valley high on a mountain and waited for the next guerilla attack. Will it be a sniper? An RPG? Perhaps a .50 cal with explosive rounds? Can you understand the feeling of 'The Wait'? That if yours is the guard tower or emplacement they choose to shoot/blow first you'll likely die without firing a single shot. And what of our families? They know where we are and what could happen at any moment and all they can do is wait, like we do. We waited for death and they waited for the news thereof. Anyone who makes generation upon generation of families go through that and kill the offspring of thousands of families will be hated forever, I promise you that. That is what the Kurdish did here in this country.

Things improved for the Kurdish over time, their cities are equally -if not more- advanced than ours in the west now. They have been granted many rights in the east that we here in the west do not possess. They have been accepted by the nation as part of it and have been kept exempt from certain taxes and the like. Again, I have not kept a detailed record of all that transpired on this front either. However, they did not relent. They began fighting the war on civil fronts too. My home town now has large parts of it populated by Kurds where non-Kurds cannot go, where police cannot go in small numbers. I have been a victim of their vandalism and persecution in my teens and early twenties. Their gangs beat, maim and kill people on the streets to this day. They sold their lands in the east and started businesses in the west and are refusing to employ non-Kurdish while beating the competition. They have active mafia organisations here that take a part of small businesses' profits monthly. When you think of Kurdish tribes, you think of wealth now. We have schools now that teach in their language, we have TV stations in Kurdish too. A DA can initiate a public prosecution against you if you speak or act against the Kurdish. Today they are where they wished to be when they first started killing our people, but they did not stop. They still kill our people, we had an all out civil war in the east not long ago.

Do they deserve their rights, their freedom in every sense of the word? Yes, they do. Did they lose people in this bloody war, yes they did.

But here's the thing : Part of my upbringing involved respecting these people and I even got a beating by the police because I protested for their rights. They still beat me on the street, they still shot at me when I wore the camouflage, they still turned my job applications down. At this point, their racial discrimination is what is fuelling this hate and this war.

I have to be out for work in twenty, so I tried and cut it as short as I can. I know I let emotion type my words for me there and I would like to debate this with the OP further. There is always something to be gained from listening.

Cheers

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Kurdistan and the Kurdish cause
« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2017, 10:33:27 AM »
There's always two sides to every story. Now I'm stuck picturing an alternate history where Malcolm X and the Black Panther Party became the dominant voice in the African-American political movements instead of MLK Jr.'s peaceful non-violence movement.

Offline Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Kurdistan and the Kurdish cause
« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2017, 10:26:11 AM »
There are news pouring in all the time from Kurdistan now. Much diplomatics, some scuffles - including one in a village between Kirkuk and Kurd capital Erbil, called Alton Kupri. What information I have indicated that advancing Iraqi government forces and their militias attacked a kurdish Peshmerga force in the area. This time the Peshmerga had artillery and possibly rocketry at their disposal, and claim to have taken out two tanks including one Abrams, one other armored vehicles, more than a dozen Humvees and something like 150 casualties with minimal odds themselves before falling further back. While I do not buy numbers that easily it is clear that the Iraqi Shia Govt have delivered a complaint about the Peshmerga using German-donated MILAN antitank missiles against them. Which is kind of hilarious as the Iraqi Shia Govt forces are almost exclusively outfitted with US-supplied gear, given them for use against ISIS and ISIS only. But words are at a very low value in Iraq now. Only action matters.

Leo, your input means a lot. I am well aware of the conflict within Turkey regarding the kurd issue. Too many years of strife have gone by, too many farms taken, too many lost innocent lives on both sides, for the matter to be anything else than emotional. I can even understand president Erdogan and his government whom I do not otherwise have much kindness for, in battling a faction of his country that have been dancing on the edge of tribal secession for longer than it has existed. And not just tribal differences, but religious ones too. Letting the Turkish Kurds have all the independence they want would soon dismantle Turkey region by region.

I guess that for the Iraqi Shia government, things must look much the same. One people group wanting to secede, taking a third of the country with them. The difference is that while Turkey is ancient as a country, Iraq is just a 1920 invention by the League of Nations, an early version of the UN and about as good an idea as you get when a few major countries get to decide over weaker countries. The Shias, the Sunnis and the Kurds have been in conflict since day one. I see no peaceful end to this.