“What Does America’s Eye See?”

Kurdishaspect.com - By Asos Hardi - Translated by Alan

People in Sulaimaniyah and its surrounding districts and towns have been protesting  for sixty two days. The Americans wouldn’t see them! Civilians were shot at and a number of them were killed. The Americans didn’t see it! In in the Iraqi Kurdistan region's capital Erbil, people were kicked and anyone who moved was sent home with the force of sticks, knives and threats. The Americans were asleep! Journalists have been attacked, arrested and tortured. The Americans turned a blind eye! Since April 17, “Martial Law” was imposed and literally implemented in these areas. The armed forces occupied the city and towns. Hundreds of freedom-lovers and civilians, including a large number of journalists, were randomly, and without court orders, arrested and tortured. Not only the right to demonstrate but also poetry seminars were banned in this area. But the Americans, those who told us “we have brought freedom for Iraqi people and have come here to establish democracy in this country,” did not say a word.

Now and after all the violations and fuss, an RRT (U.S. Regional Reconstruction Team) official has quite recently come to say: we support free press and journalists and support the rights of demonstrators! We are so thankful indeed! Freedom-loving stances and supporting people, rights, and freedom should be like that indeed!

Undoubtedly, the struggle for rights and freedom is the struggle of the Kurdistan people themselves and we should not wait for anyone to wage this struggle on our behalf. But what does the silence of a state that considers itself the main supporter and pioneer of freedom and human rights and has a big political, military, and economic weight in this country mean except consenting to those violations? If we measure the RRT official’s statement as the official position of the American officials towards all the violations, which has been nothing except silence, then to what extent should we believe their honesty?

Under George W. Bush, America was looking at Iraq from an eye concerned about security. This is why, when President Bush saw that the Kurdistan Region is far from war, explosions, and terrorism, he wouldn’t see anything else and they used to call the region “The Other Iraq.” Under Obama, America looks at Iraq from an eye concerned about “Escaping the Swamp of Iraq,” this is why what occurs in this country and how it is run is not significant to President Obama. What is important to President Obama is to withdraw its soldiers as soon as possible and tell the people of his country that the President has fulfilled his election promises. Of course, he is in need of keeping the current situation stable and of the cooperation of Iraqi leaders, including the Kurdish leaders, in this regard.

Therefore, it should not be strange to us that they [the U.S.] stay silent about all the attacks and they might have supported them.

We should not forget the fact that interests are the compass of politics, not ethics and human values. Here we are … the country that claimed they have come to establish democracy in Iraq wants to go and leave a number of small dictators behind. This is why, let them not sell us shiny statements, please, because the recent events prove that “these are words and talk is cheap.”

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May 14, 2011
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