Gandhi, Holocaust survivors and Obama made it, so can we! - By Kay Azadabeen

Since its creation the theocratic regime of Iran (IRA) has been a continuous enemy of the democratic world in general and the United States in particular. What the theocracy lost in the dark ages in Europe, IRA has been trying to revitalize in the in the Middle East for the past three decades. In the name of righteousness and fight against the international corruption, IRA has become a manipulating leader in corrupting the mind of millions of believers in the Middle East to become violent.

The examples of violent behavior of IRA include but not limited to hostage taking of American diplomats, arrest, torture, and murder of Iranian dissidents at home or their assassinations aboard. Secret support for extreme fanatic groups that engage in violent behavior has been a main part of foreign policy of IRA. For its violent and terrorizing behavior and policies, IRA has been described as a terrorist regime by Kurdish and Iranian dissidents.

Because of violence of IRA, many residents of Iran, who have lost their loved ones, have attempted to fight the regime with the same means the IRA is using against human right activists. These fighters have included Kurdish pishmargas in Iran, members of Iranian Resistance Movement or Mujahedin Xalq, some socialist organizations, as well as some supporters of the former King Pahlavi. IRA has been able to convince few governments to label these opposition groups as terrorists. As an example initially Mujahedin Xalq was considered a terrorist organization by the European Union. Recently EU noticed that this group's armed struggle against IRA should not have been labeled as terrorism but a fight against state terrorism.

EU rightfully removed Mujaheddin Xalq from the list of terrorist organizations. Soon after this decision, the United Stated made a very unusual announcement and placed PJAK, a Kurdish pishmarga organization, in the list of terrorist groups. It seems as if the new administration is unaware what IRA has done to the world openly and secretly, and still tries to appease the terrorist regime in Tehran.

While no form of violence should be encouraged, US had no other option but violence to remove Hitler and Saddam. PJAK's armed struggle is self defense against state terrorism in Iran the way American violence was against state terrorism in Germany and Iraq. To my knowledge PJAK or other Kurdish pishmraga organizations have never engaged in any violent behavior outside Kurdistan and always limited their self defense to the areas that are occupied by non-Kurdish forces.

Kurdish Americans have always encouraged and continue to encourage all Kurdish organization including PJAK to use peaceful means in their struggle. However, it has been very difficult for us, who enjoy peace and prosperity of American life, to convince Kurdish pishmargas not to defend themselves and their loved ones, if they are directly assaulted by the occupiers of Kurdistan.

Although it is very difficult not to hate a brutal and backward regime such as IRA, its soldiers are human beings, have families, and deserve to be loved instead of killed. I like to remind the Kurdish organization that still engage in armed struggle to leave the mountains, use passive resistance, learn skills, and find the answer in schools and universities. Gandhi, holocaust survivors, and Obama made it, so can we. "Yes, we can" put an end to discrimination and hatred by peaceful means.

Instead of taking the easy way out by labeling some Kurds as good and some as bad, our new government in Washington needs to invite all Kurdish organization, including the one that have used armed struggle and still believe that we can not, for a discussion on how to end the Kurdish suffering via peaceful means. Such a step is a good move in the right direction and consistent with the motto of change for better. Any other hypocritical move might make our intelligent and fair attorney general, Mr. Eric Holder, to call all of us cowards again. Although as Americans we might have the potential to be cowards, we also have the potential to be brave, fair, democratic minded, say no to hypocrisy and violence, and listen to the Kurds' question of when will be free or kay azadabeen?


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February 23, 2008
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