July 23, 2009

Change is Born, Long may it live – By Rebaz Brusk

Nawshirwan Mustafa joined the outlawed KDP at the age of 16 and after completing his studies in Baghdad and Vienna returned immediately to Kurdistan to join the struggle against the oppressive Iraqi regime.

Founding an underground patriotic journal 'Rizgari' (salvation) he quickly established himself as a leading Kurdish patriot and at the age of 26 co-founded an undergound organization which would go on to become Baathist Saddams most determined foe, Komala. The youngest founding father of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, Nawshirwan Mustafa went on to become the secretary general of the Komala organization in 1978, succeeding to the post of Kurdistans celebrated Martyr, Shahid Aram.

Throughout the dark days of the 1980's when sarin and mustard rained down upon the Peshmerga, when Saddam, vicously turned on the Kurdish nation, Nawshirwan was at the forefront of the battle. In the days when Leaders and Peshmerga huddled in caves and shared stale bread, Nawshirwan lived amongst his men.

As the gulf war commenced other leaders, Talabani in Damascus and Barzani in Tehran, were out of danger but Nawshirwan was in the desolate mountains and valleys of Kurdistan amongst the Peshmerga. As Iraq's defeat in Kuwait dawned it was Nawshirwan who led the Kurdish nation in the 'Kurdistani Raparin' (uprising) and it was Nawshirwan who led Kurdish forces into Kirkuk for that cities first taste of liberation in 1990.

As the Peshmerga came down from the mountains and the PUK and KDP came to power it was Nawshirwan who stood aside, not determined to seize power like Talabani and Barzani, and as these two leaders sparked a civil war that would kill ten thousand Kurds, Nawshirwan left Kurdistan in disgust.

However as a sign of his dignity, Nawshirwan Mustafa has not used this glorious personal history as a election campaign tool, declaring that it is shameful to 'trade with the blood of our martyrs' to win votes. Instead he has campaigned on the issues that matter to the young Kurds who make up the vast majority of Kurdish society. He has issued a manifesto outlining his programme for Kurdistan, outlining his programme for the emancipation of Kurdish women, the narrowing of the rich-poor gap, the seperation of the governments powers and the development of a modern democratic society,

His list (Gorran-57) has not had the limitless wealth and power of the KDP-PUK list, yet it has campaigned in a civilized and contemporary manner. His list has not stooped to destroying the campaign posters of other groups like the KDP-PUK list, his list has not stooped to liabalous fabrications like the KDP-PUK list, his list has not corralled Soldiers into voting the 'correct' way by threatening them with being fired like the KDP-PUK list.

Nawshirwans list has shown that Kurds can have a democracy, that the Kurdish nation contains all the elements of a civilized, modern and contemporary society. Nawshirwan's list is for these reasons Kurdistan's list, it has given countless Kurds hope and it records another page in Nawshirwans long struggle for his nation and his people. Change will become established on the 25th of July, but it has already started with Gorran's peaceful and dignified campaign. The movement for change in Kurdistan is born, may it have a long and fruitful life.  


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