April 25, 2009

Kurdistan for Sale - By Dr. Rashid Karadaghi

Allowing a large number of Palestinians, now settled in Iraq, to be settled in Kurdistan (the first wave is supposed to be 13,000 but who knows what the final figure will be once you open up the flood gates), under the bogus pretext of “lack of security” in Iraq, has to be very high on the list of unforgivable compromises and concessions made by the Kurdish leadership at the expense of the Kurdish people since the liberation in 2003. (Working   wholeheartedly to re-establish the chauvinistic Arab Iraqi state, mistakenly called “new Iraq,” after its collapse as a state, instead of trying to bury it, and being duped into calling areas that have historically been the heartland of Kurdistan, such as Karkuk, “disputed territories” are at the top of the list of such outrageous sellouts.)

The fact is that the security situation in Iraq has improved dramatically in the last year, so no one can be fooled by this fig leaf of an excuse. Besides, why is it the responsibility of the Kurds, of all people, to expose themselves to all kinds of dangers in order to provide these people with the security that they can find in an Arab country? Surely, there is a lot more to this move than we are led to believe. 

It seems that the Arabization that Saddam pushed down our throats by military force is about to start a new phase, only this time at our own invitation, with our acquiescence, and with the red carpet rolled out for our “brothers.” What is most shocking is that our leaders are proud of this ill-advised decision and hail it as a way to solidify “fraternal Arab-Kurdish relations”! As if the Iraqi Arabs whom Saddam settled in Karkuk and elsewhere in Kurdistan haven’t given us enough trouble, we now go and recruit Arabs from other countries to settle in Kurdistan so they give us more trouble. 

One high Kurdish official was quoted as saying that the move would be “good for the Kurdistani economy.” Justifying this unpatriotic move with this kind of misleading nonsense is an insult to the Kurdish people’s intelligence, for we all know that these Palestinians will be a big burden on everything, from housing to water to electricity, etc., all of which are in short supply in Kurdistan. This kind of deceptive talk can only come from those who believe that they are an advocate for the enemy, not their own people, and is designed to fool the people. These new intruders are not big investors, who would help the Kurdistani economy -- not that they should be any more welcome even if they were big investors -- for had they been, they would have been welcomed by other countries long before the Kurds could offer their hospitality.

One can’t help but ask: Why can’t one of the 22 Arab countries, with vast territories and resources, take their brethren in? Don’t they all support the Palestinians and their cause publicly? Or, is there a more sinister reason behind this big conspiracy to settle this large number of Palestinians in Kurdistan? Doesn’t this misguided move have as its goal planting the seeds of trouble in Kurdistan? Why must we go on naively trusting everybody when our history, ancient and modern, is full of betrayals by those whom we have trusted?

Moreover, one wonders, doesn’t it make more sense to settle these Palestinians among people whose language they speak and whose culture and traditions and cause they identify with (and there are twenty-two countries with such people), instead of planting them in the midst of a people whose language they don’t know and whose culture and traditions are alien to them, and whose aspirations are clearly counter to their beliefs?

Furthermore, what is in this deal for the Kurds? Why should the people of Kurdistan endanger the security of their country by taking in people who have nothing to bind them to the Kurds or Kurdistan? The Kurds have always supported the Palestinian cause, but has any Palestinian organization, political party, or political figure ever supported the Kurdish cause and Kurdish aspirations for freedom by word or by deed? Did any of these entities condemn Saddam’s genocidal war against our people? Didn’t their prime minister call the Peshmargas, the most sacred entity in the eyes of the Kurdish people, “gangs” not long ago?

There is no doubt in any thinking person’s mind that taking in this large number of Palestinians will jeopardize the national security of Kurdistan because these people will not have any loyalty to Kurdistan and its people and would be easily recruited by the enemies of the Kurdish people intent on destabilizing the security and stability of Kurdistan. These people will be an “army-in-waiting” ready and willing to be used by any hostile power, which includes all our neighbors, to meddle in Kurdish affairs.

This misguided decision is against the vital interests of the Kurdish people. It will have terrible economic, social, and, above all, political, and security repercussions that the Kurdish people can ill afford to gamble on; therefore, it must be reversed --- whatever it takes. All Kurdish patriots who care about the future of their people and the stability and security of their country must condemn this decision loudly and clearly and must do what is necessary to have it rescinded. The Kurdish people must reject any plan to let their country be used as a dumping ground for other people’s problems because they have enough problems of their own.

If the Kurdish people allow this decision to stand, then they will have to face the disastrous consequences and they will have no one to blame but themselves because they did nothing to stop it when they could. The time to act is now. Once these people set foot in Kurdistan, it will be impossible to dislodge them. Not only that, but soon they will feel and act as the real owners of Kurdistan. Our experience with the Arabs brought into Karkuk by Saddam should be a powerful reminder for anyone who is willing to listen. Let us not be the instrument of our own destruction. Taking these people in is similar to handing a robber the key to your home.

To spare their people and their country a heap of trouble, the Kurdish leadership must admit they have made a big blunder in agreeing to take in these Palestinians, regardless of any and all circumstances surrounding this murky issue. They must realize that their first and most important responsibility is to the people who entrusted them with safeguarding their security and their future. Instead of trusting and pleasing others -- who will turn their back on them at a moment’s notice -- they should trust their own people and listen to their voices, for if they don’t, they will bring disaster on their people and themselves. Rescinding this decision is the only patriotic course of action if they truly want what is in the best interest of their people.


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