Old Habits Die Hard!

Kurdistan Observer
Oct 23 2004


Old Habits Die Hard!

By: Dr. Nazhad Khasraw Hawramany

The President:
The Iraqi interim president Sheikh al-Yawar must thank the Kurdish
people and Kurdish leadership for the tremendous support they have
given him during the thorny process of electing an interim President.
As usual the Kurdish leadership’s rivalry made them prefer an Arab
president instead of uniting and agreeing among themselves on a
Kurdish candidate. The new president is an Iraqi tribal chief who is
wearing an Arab robe and head dress is apparently adamant on his
identity, ignoring the fact that he is supposed to be a president( ad
interim) of all constituents of Iraqi mosaic( Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen,
Christians) and not emphasizing the Arab domination of Iraqi destiny.
The shocking interview of Mr. Al-Yawar to the Arab satellite
television station ( Al-Arabiya) lately, in which he labeled the
Kurdish demonstrators of the Kurdish Referendum Movement, who were
calling for the right of self-determination of Kurdish people in
Iraq, as traitors and threatening to crush any such movement with
force has sent shock waves through Iraqi Kurdistan (and I hope
through the Kurdish leadership too!), and reminded them of the ugly
Arab chauvinism in Iraq which was too often expressed and implemented
by previous Iraqi presidents like Abdulsalam Arif , Ahmad Hassan
Al-Bakr and Saddam Hussein. Mr. Al-Yawar ( being newly wed into a
prominent Kurdish woman minister) could not hide his true
chauvinistic nature and his contempt for the right of Kurdish people
to express openly and in a democratic way their ambitions and
aspirations. Mr. President actually should have congratulated the
Kurdish people for resorting to democratic means of expression. This
is certainly not the model of democracy the Kurds and Iraqi peoples
are looking for in the new post-Saddam Iraq!.

The Governor:
The governor of Diyala province in the north east of Iraq, is bitter
that the Kurds in parts of Kurdistan annexed to his governorate(
Khanaquin, Mandali, Shahraban, Saadiah) are adamant on redressing the
ill effects of the ugly Arabization campaigns of Saddam Hussein, he
wants the Arab settlers who fled the region after the downfall of
their Godfather Saddam Hussein to be allowed back into Kurdish lands
and is antagonizing those Kurds who reclaim their lands and
properties which were confiscated by the Baath regime and given to
Arab settlers brought from central and south Iraq. Ten young Kurdish
recruits from Khanaquin were lured to the building of Diyala
governorate by the cronies of Diyala governor and were brutally
murdered under the watching eyes of Arab police forces there. The
governor is continuing the Arabization policies of Saddam Hussein
there, he is refusing to appoint Kurdish citizens for the public
posts, he is depriving the Kurdish towns from any reconstruction
projects, he has even refused to open Mortgage Banks in the Kurdish
towns of his province although it was opened in all the other Arab
towns in the same province, just to deprive the Kurds from any
chances to build new homes. The central Iraqi government is
apparently endorsing such discriminatory actions of the governor. How
could we allow such an affront to continue!.

The Neighbour:

Our northern neigbours apparently haven’t wake up from the joy of
their barbaric massacres against Armenians and Kurds at the onset of
the last century, which the world even today is hesitant to condemn
and acknowledge as they did for example for the Holocoust of the Jews
during the Nazi reign in Germany. The Turks did get away almost
unscathed and that encourages them to continue their ultranationalist
and backward ideology of one state-one nation-one culture-one
language, depriving the Kurdish children of having Kurdish names and
learning their mother tongue in schools, still ignoring the existence
of a second major ethnic group in Turkey ( the Kurds) which
constitutes more than one third of the population with own
distinctive culture and language which is entirely different from
Turkish culture and language. The Turks are not satisfied with the
immense oppression and discrimination they perpetrated on their
Kurdish citizens in Northern Kurdistan, they are trying to extend
their hatred towards Iraqi Kurds in South Kurdistan and keep meddling
in in the internal affairs of South Kurdistan, they have nominated
themselves as the godfather of Iraqi Turkmen and are shedding
crocodile tears about the fate of Turkmen in the Kurdistani city of
Kirkuk, and how some of the 300,000 Kurds deported from Kirkuk during
Arabization campaigns of Saddam Hussein are returning back to Kirkuk
to claim their homes and properties und to the Turkish taste
upsetting the demographic realities of Kirkuk, deliberately ignoring
the facts that the Turkmen have never been better as their current
situation in Iraqi Kurdistan (including Kirkuk). The Turks want the
Kurdish victims of Saddam Hussein to relinquish their rights to go
back to their ancestral hometown , just to satisfy the chauvinistic
kamalistic ego of the sick Turkish republic. The Turks are giving
themselves the right to interfere in the future of Kirkuk, they are
still behaving with the Ottoman colonialist mentality. The Destiny of
Kirkuk and the procedures to settle the disputes about Kirkuk is an
Iraqi issue and is elaborated in detail in the Transitional
Administrative Law (TAL), the interim constitution of Iraq. Iraqi
peoples certainly does not need the greedy neighbors, the previous
collaborators of Saddam regime to interfere in the affairs of the new
Iraq. The events in Iraq shows that foreign adventures could cost
them dearly.

The Super Power:
Since the artificial establishment of the Iraqi state in 1921 and the
subsequent forcible annexation of Iraqi Kurdistan to Iraq against the
will of Kurdish people, Iraq has been dominated by the Arab Sunni
minority subjecting the other main constituents of Iraqi society
mainly the Arab Shiite and the Kurds to all kinds of discrimination
and oppression culminating in use of WMD against Kurds in Halabja
1988, genocidal Anfall campaigns against Kurds 1986-1988, the
indiscriminate murdering of Shiites in 1991. The fall of Saddam
regime on the 9th April 2003 has caused the fall of the old Iraqi
establishment and with it the new forces are now trying to remodel
the Iraqi state on a federal basis or in worst case scenario the
alternative is to disintegrate into 3 states, Kurdish in the north
and north east, Sunni in central and west Iraq and Shiite in South
Iraq. The only way to keep Iraq as a unitary state seems in building
a democratic federal Iraq which is equally shared between Kurds,
Sunnis and Shiites, and this constitutes a huge insurmountable task
taking into consideration the restrictive and intolerant mentality of
the Middle East peoples. The American administration so far is
clinching to the prospect of keeping Iraq united at any cost , not
the least to satisfy its neighbors, such a policy could be impossible
to implement considering the current turmoil in Iraq, the Americans
must be ready to sketch plan B and that is to divide Iraq into 3
states, a conference between those different groups should decide the
division of Iraqi wealth between those states. Times are changing ,
old policies and doctrines must also change.

Dr.Nazhad Khasraw Hawramany

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress