European economic summit opening in Warsaw

ITAR-TASS, Russia
April 28 2004

European economic summit opening in Warsaw

WARSAW, April 28 (Itar-Tass) – A European economic summit, organized
by the World Economic Forum, opens here later Wednesday.

The conference entitled Europe’s Enlargement and Future Prospects
will take three days and is organized under the patronage of Polish
President Alexander Kwasniewski.

It is expected to bring together 700 people representing the economic
and political elite of 45 nations, including the presidents, prime
ministers and ministers from 31 countries.

Expansion of the European Union coming May 1 and its impact on the
future economic and political activity of the EU, as well as the
pressing issues of competition, demography, public health, and
pensions make up the core of the agenda.

Russia has delegated to the conference President Vladimir Putin’s
special spokesman on the EU expansion, Sergei Yastrzhembski, and a
group of businessmen.

Some other high-rank participants are Azerbaijani President Ilham
Aliyev, Malta’s Prime Minister Tonio Berg, Lithuanian Prime Minister
Algirdas Brazauskas, Romanian President Ion Iliescu, Armenian
President Robert Kocharian, Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma,
President Svetozar Marovic of Serbia and Montenegro, German President
Johannes Rau, Georgian President Mikhai Saakashvil, Slovak President
Rudolf Schuster, and Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin.

Alexander Kwasniewski, Polish Prime Minister Leszek Miller, Foreign
Minister Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz, and Labor Minister Erzy Hausner
will play host to the participants.

Oakland People in the News

DetNews.com, MI
April 28 2004

Oakland People in the News

Farmington Hills: Wayne State University senior Charles Stamboulian
of Farmington Hills is one of two graduating students who will
receive the Howard A. Donnelly Award during the university’s spring
commencement ceremonies May 6 at Cobo Center. The award is given each
year to an accomplished male and female student. They should have a
good academic record and have contributed to the university by
participating in student activities and, leadership and service
groups. Stamboulian, a graduate of North Farmington High School, will
receive a Bachelor of Science in education, magna cum laude.
Stamboulian also served as president of the Society of Armenian
Students at Wayne State.

[parts omitted]

Progress Overtakes Movie, or Does It?

Los Angeles Times (subscription), CA
April 28 2004

Steve Lopez:
Points West
Progress Overtakes Movie, or Does It?

“On May 14th,” said the billboard above a Sav-on Drugs in Hollywood,
“there will be no Mexicans in California.”

It sounded like maybe Pete Wilson was plotting a return to politics.
But in fact, the ad was a promo for an upcoming movie that’s
pro-immigrant.

As you might have read last week, someone missed the point and lodged
a complaint, so the billboard above the Sav-on came down. But since
then, more ads are popping up around town, including one in Spanish.

“En Catorce de Mayo, Los Gringos Van a Llorar.”

On May 14, the Gringos Are Going to Cry.

OK, I thought. I’ll bite. And so I called for an advance copy of “A
Day Without a Mexican,” a 97-minute film by director/writer Sergio
Arau and his wife, actress/writer Yareli Arizmendi. Both were born in
Mexico and now live in Hollywood.

The movie opens with a blond woman named Mary Jo Quintana waking up
alone in bed and wondering where her husband has disappeared to.

“And then I heard on the news that all the Mexicans were gone,” she
says in great distress. “And my husband is a Mexican.”

All across California, everyone of Latino descent is disappearing
without a trace in the over-the-top mockumentary. This creates one
crisis after another in the home of state Sen. Stephen Abercrombie
III, who looks strikingly like former California Gov. Pete Wilson.

Abercrombie was elected to office by whipping up anti-immigrant
fervor. Now the senator’s Latina maid doesn’t show up for work, and
he is completely unprepared for the tragic consequences.

“There’s no fresh orange juice,” the suffering senator informs his
wife.

“There’s no clean clothes,” she whines, practically in tears.
“There’s no lunch.”

This is a senator who in one scene scolds his Stepford wife for
hiring illegal immigrants for odd jobs.

“If we use regular Mexicans,” his wife snaps, “it’s going to cost a
lot more.”

But alas, there are no more Mexicans or Guatemalans or Hondurans
available for hire, regular or otherwise. A state of emergency is
declared and the U.S. military is called in to figure out how nearly
half of California’s residents could suddenly vanish into thin air.

Meanwhile, state commerce grinds to a halt, streets are trash-strewn
because there’s no one to sweep them, leaf blowers lie abandoned,
fruit goes unpicked, carwash customers riot.

“This is a real disaster,” says a university policy wag named Abdul
Hassan. “Forget about parking your cars and valets. Forget about
getting a glass of water at restaurants. Forget about restaurants.”

Later, pounding a point that is by then quite obvious, Hassan says:

“I’m really afraid for this state, because the more we start figuring
out how dependent we are on Latinos, the more desperate people are
going to get.”

OK, I get it.

But wouldn’t the film have been more appropriate in the days of
Wilson and Proposition 187? A 187 redux just failed to qualify for
the November ballot because backers couldn’t get enough signatures.

Arau and Arizmendi said Prop. 187 was in fact the inspiration for the
movie, which appeared several years ago as a short. The infamous
proposition, approved by voters and shot down by courts, is history,
Arizmendi agreed. But she got nervous when Wilson reappeared as one
of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s advisors.

“It’s not a law this film is addressing, it’s an attitude,” she said.
“Turn on talk radio and you hear that the problem in the U.S., and
California in particular, is these illegal aliens who are coming and
taking our jobs.”

Reality, unfortunately, is always more complicated than what you get
from talk radio or the movies.

Southern California is fast approaching A Day Without Breathable Air,
A Day Without a Swimmable Ocean, and A Day Without a Chance Any New
Resident Can Afford a House.

All of those would make good movies, too, and people should be able
to talk about those subjects without being called bigots.

But then again, we do have a few bigots on the loose, including those
who regularly encourage me to return to Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba,
Uruguay, etc. So it’s a kick to see a satire in which the Dodgers
have to cancel games because without Latinos they can’t field a team.

Meanwhile, as Border Patrol agents wonder what to do with their days,
Sen. Abercrombie makes a quivering appeal to the missing Mexicans.

“More than ever, we need to be the great California familia and bring
back our Hispanic brothers and sisters,” he says in a statewide TV
address.

Arizmendi, who was in the film “Like Water For Chocolate,” plays the
one remaining Mexican in California. She courageously donates her
body so scientists can solve the mystery. At the last minute,
however, she finds out she’s actually an Armenian who was raised by
Mexicans.

Don’t miss the sequel.

A Day Without Armenians.

*

Steve Lopez writes Sunday, Wednesday and Friday.

BAKU: US Gen Says Got Aliyev Assurances To Let Armenia Join Exercise

Baku Today
April 28 2004

U.S. General Says He Got Assurances From Aliyev To Let Armenia Join
To Exercises

Baku Today 28/04/2004 13:52

Trend – U.S. Gen. Charles Wald said in Yerevan that he had received
assurances from President Ilham Aliyev that the Armenian military
could participate in NATO’s Cooperative Best Effort-2004 exercises
planned to be held in Azerbaijan in September.
Gen. Wald noted that he discussed the issue with the Azerbaijani
President and “Ilham Aliyev assured me that the Armenian military
will face no problems to participate in the exercises.’
The General added that Nicholas Barns, the U.S. Ambassador to NATO,
was also involved in issue of Armenia’s joining to the Cooperative
Best Effort-2004.

Col. Gen. Mikhael Arutunian, chief of General Headquarters of
Armenian army, asserted on Tuesday that the Armenian side was ready
to join the exercises.

Chamber music concert spans eras

St. Petersburg Times, FL
April 28 2004

Chamber music concert spans eras
By JOHN FLEMING, Times Performing Arts Critic

ST. PETERSBURG – The Moretti-Polera-Kluksdahl Trio brought this
season’s Encore Chamber Music Series to a brilliant close Tuesday
night at the Palladium Theater. The program ranged from a pillar of
the repertoire, Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio No. 2 in C minor, to the
premiere of St. Petersburg composer Vernon Taranto Jr.’s Second Trio.

Most thrillingly, the group – Amy Schwartz Moretti, violin and
concertmaster of the Florida Orchestra; Scott Kluksdahl, cello; and
Noreen Cassidy-Polera, piano – wound up with a virtuosic performance
of Paul Schoenfield’s dashing Cafe Music.

It was fascinating to hear the Mendelssohn and Schoenfield back to
back. Mendelssohn’s trio is a model of form, including the stunning
sonata-allegro first movement, a lavish melody in the second, the
quicksilver scherzo of the third movement and a passionate chorale in
the climax.

However, for all the excellent, brightly paced play – Polera’s
glittering 16th-note runs, the singing tone of Moretti, Kluksdahl’s
expressive phrasing – the piece seemed to take its own sweet time to
make its points. The classical and romantic forms that governed
Mendelssohn’s world tended to produce music that strikes the modern
ear as a bit longwinded.

The aesthetic distance from the 19th century to today became clear in
Schoenfield’s quick-witted Cafe Music, full of jazzy licks and
complex rhythms, with a sardonic undertone that suggested none of it
should be taken too seriously. The three-movement piece was
breathtakingly difficult to perform, but the trio made it look almost
easy. Schoenfield, born in 1947, sounds like his generation’s
long-lost heir to Gershwin and Rodgers, and it would be a shame if he
wasn’t given a chance to breathe some life into musical theater.

Taranto’s trio, which he described as “a kind of fantasia” in the
talkback after the concert, featured lyrical passages for the violin,
and there was a satisfying density to the texture of the work. Polera
created just the right atmosphere of skittering restlessness with the
spare, neo-Debussyian piano part.

The evening’s only dull entry was by the Armenian-American composer
Alan Hovhaness, one of his early works from the 1930s, the Trio in E
minor. The group didn’t find the spiritual quality that is necessary
to animate such simple music.

BAKU: Economic Impact of EU enlargement to be discussed in Warsaw

Azer Tag, Azerbaijan
April 28 2004

ECONOMIC IMPACT OF EU ENLARGEMENT TO BE DISCUSSED IN WARSAW SUMMIT
[April 28, 2004, 11:11:06]

As was informed by AzerTAj correspondent, representatives from 45
countries – and thousands of anti-globalization demonstrators – are
expected in the Polish capital from Wednesday, for a 3-day summit
devoted to the economic impact of the European Union’s May 1
enlargement.

Organized by the Davos, Switzerland based World Economic Forum; the
European Economic Summit is expected to gather 20 presidents and
prime ministers, along with 600 other ministers, central bankers,
representatives from the EU and other international organizations,
and 50 companies including Boeing, Hewlett Packard and IBM.

“The meeting will give the opportunity for the representatives of
hundreds of millions of Europeans to meet with leaders from business
and from civil society to try and map out the direction of this
amazing voyage that Europe has embarked on,” World Economic Forum
Chief Executive Officer Jose Maria Figueres said in a statement.

The European Economic Summit has been held every year in Salzburg,
Austria, since 1996.

It traditionally acts as a magnet for eastern European countries
seeking to join the wealthy West, after the collapse of the communist
bloc at the end of the 1980s set them on the difficult path to
economic transformation.

This year, as an exception, the meeting is being held in Poland, the
biggest of the 10 mainly former communist bloc countries set to join
the EU on May 1, along with Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia,
Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Slovakia and Slovenia.

While most of the leaders of the incoming countries will be in
attendance, they will be outnumbered by leaders from countries which
are not joining the EU for now, with for some, like Albania, Armenia,
Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Ukraine, Serbia and Montenegro,
membership being a distant prospect.

Polish police are also braced for thousands of anti-globalization
protestors, who are expected to demonstrate and hold parallel
meetings on the sidelines of the summit meeting.

Warsaw police chief Ryszard Siewierski told a recent news conference
between 3,000 and 15,000 demonstrators were expected, and that 13,500
police officers, 550 firemen, nine hospitals, 15 medical teams, 40
ambulances, a medical helicopter, as well as prosecutors,
interpreters, negotiators and psychologists would be on hand.

The Summit has posed a particular challenge for Warsaw, as it has
never been the venue of a large anti-globalization demonstration.

The summit will involve working sessions ranging from the euro and
competitiveness to the financial services market, transatlantic
relations, relations with Russia and the Caucasus and one
cutely-named “jog, eat and be happy” session.

“The program will be built on issues that affect business and policy
making, such as the immediate impact of enlargement on current EU
states and new member countries as well as the impact the new EU will
have on world affairs,” the World Economic Forum said in a statement.

“Over the past 10 years accession countries to the EU have made
ambitious economic reforms. Their biggest challenge will be to
sustain this reform effort and narrow the income gap with respect to
current members,” it said.

The peaceable kingdom isn’t immune

Globe and Mail, Canada
April 28 2004

The peaceable kingdom isn’t immune

By JEFFREY SIMPSON

Too many Canadians still dream that our “peaceable kingdom” stands
removed from terrorism. The United States is a target, yes. So are
U.S. allies in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. But we morally
superior Canadians? How could anyone want to hurt us?

>From such complacencies are tragedies made. We are a Western country,
firmly anchored in the constellation of like-minded states, living
adjacent to the United States, and made increasingly multicultural
through immigration and refugees.

Just this week, the final stages are unfolding of the Air-India trial
in Vancouver. We have Canadians citizens returning from Pakistan
lauding jihad, and an Ottawa resident apprehended in a sweep that
netted alleged terrorists in England. We had an assault on the
Turkish embassy that involved hostage-taking. We’ve had firebombings
and other violent acts against religious schools, synagogues and
mosques. We were also the staging ground for a would-be terrorist
who, working with others, intended to bomb the Los Angeles airport, a
plot foiled at the Washington-British Columbia border by an alert
U.S. agent.

At home and abroad, terrorism has changed the world, and Canada has
no choice but to change with it. That means taking terrorism
seriously here and overseas, and recognizing sadly that it will be a
threat for a very long time.

Countries with the wherewithal should contribute to providing
economic and political help to areas where poverty, unemployment and
social dislocation can lead to the alienation that breeds terror. But
only the naive believe that poverty equals terror, instead of also
being fostered by warped religious beliefs, ethnic hatreds and
perverted education systems.

Just this week, The New York Times published a scary story about
young Muslims in Western Europe who are better off than in their home
countries, yet are being recruited by jihad and the sick siren songs
of martyrdom.

Canada isn’t apart from currents swirling around the world. That’s
why the Martin government deserves credit for yesterday’s publication
of an integrated national security policy. Does it answer all the
questions that need answering? No. But it’s a good start.

Before and after becoming Prime Minister, Paul Martin said that
Canada needed better co-ordination and expertise in domestic security
– both security against terrorism, and public-health threats and
emergency planning. So he created a Department of Public Safety,
appointed a minister of state for public health, selected a national
security adviser, established a cabinet committee on security, public
health and emergencies, and upped the budgets for national security.

Now, with yesterday’s announcement, more will be done, especially in
the areas of introducing biometrics on passports, heightening
maritime and port security, and monitoring the Canada-U.S. border.
Ottawa will gather all information about possible threats and sift it
through a new Integrated Threat Assessment Centre. It’s one thing to
get information; it’s another to analyze it centrally, a weakness
revealed recently in the United States. A group of outside security
experts will advise the government.

Many things remain to be done. After all, this policy was put
together in time for release before Mr. Martin’s trip to Washington
tomorrow and Friday. The government hopes this security policy, and
the recent announcement of recycled and new spending on defence, will
reassure the Americans that Canada is getting more serious about
continental security and good bilateral relations.

The policy document alluded to reforming refugee determination, but
that area is a political minefield full of multicultural groups,
Liberal voters and refugee-advocates – few of whom realize what a
joke this country’s procedures have become, especially our inability
to weed out economic migrants from genuine refugees, and to expedite
deportations.

The government recognizes that it needs to work on plans to protect
the country’s critical infrastructure and computer systems. By law,
Parliament must review the anti-terrorism legislation before the end
of the year.

The often hesitant Martin government has done well in this area of
national security. It deserves congratulations for the work done so
far, and encouragement for what must yet be accomplished.

Correction: The Conservatives did not vote as a bloc in favour of the
Armenian genocide-recognition resolution. A minority of them opposed
the motion in a free vote.

Komala and Kurdistan

IranScope, Iran
April 28 2004

Komala and Kurdistan

Sam Ghandchi

Persian Version
m

Introduction

If Eastern Europe is any indication of how national question develops
in this day and age, we saw the same nationalities that went for
complete independence in one country, did not choose separation in
another, the main factor being the attention to democracy in the
country in question, among different nationalities who live together.
People under free conditions, live together out of choice and not by
force, and intimidations and calling them separatist, will not stop
nationalities from going their own way, and it may even impel them to
do so.

Iraq

If a democracy develops in Iraq, Kurds will be the main force in the
central government of the whole Iraq, and will not give up such a
position to become a small national state in the North. Of course if
the Shiite Islamists in the South, succeed in creating an Islamic
Republic, then they can push Iraq into partitioning.

Nonetheless, I doubt it if the Shiite Islamists can push Iraq away
from a secular state too far. They are using all their force with the
help of Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI), to establish a strong
foothold in post-US Iraq, after June 30, 2004 deadline, but they are
dreaming, if they think post-June Iraq can ever become a Khomeini
state. They can try all their best intimidations, to force the world
public opinion, that Shiite Islamists are the embodiment of Iraqi
Shi’a aspirations, but it is hard to be convincing.

The Iraqi Shiites know well about the experience of Islamism in the
region, and particularly the Shi’a version of it in the Islamic
Republic in Iran, the same way the neighbors of Soviet Union knew
well what Communism is, and so the Shiite Islamist leaders cannot
deceive people, to gain more base in the future Iraqi state, and
Kurds have the best chance to fill the vacuum. Also the U.S. is
hiring back Saddam’s Sunni generals, and is in a way reviving
Saddam’s regime, without Saddam, to neutralize the Shiite Islamists.
Therefore for IRI to play a role in Iraq, similar to Syria’s role in
Lebanon, is not without serious challenges.

Turkey

As far as Turkey, the Kurds in Turkey are the most possible
candidates for a separate state, and all the aspiration for such a
solution of Great Kurdistan, has always been coming, more from the
Kurds of Turkey, since racism from *people* of a land against the
Kurds, is a real thing only in Turkey. Moreover, in both Iraq and
Iran, the issue of Kurds has been basically with the *government*,
and not with the people. True that prejudices among the people exist
too but very minimal.

For example, Iranians make as much jokes about Rashti or EsfahAnis as
they make of Kurds, and in fact less for Kurds and more for Rashtis.
And none of it is comparable to real fascist attitudes towards Kurds,
which one sees in Turkey, attitudes similar to the way racial attacks
ended in Armenian Genocide of 1914 in Turkey of the time of Ottomans.
So I hope the Kurds from Turkey not to generalize their own
experience, to those of the Kurds of Iran, to agitate anti-Persian
sentiments.

Some Kurds call non-Kurd Iranians mollah supporter. The non-Kurd
Iranians have been fighting IRI for decades now, and this is not
right for people who have the strong issue of racism in Turkey, to
presume their case to be the same as the Iranian situation, and to
create flames between non-Kurd and Kurdish parts of the Iranian
pro-democracy movement. Non-Kurd Iranians, contrary to Turkey, have
challenged the IRI mollah regime, side-by-side with the Kurdish
opposition to IRI, all these years.

Kurdistan of Iran vs Iraq and Turkey

Iranian Kurdistan has developed as part of Iran in contrast to
different parts of Kurdistan of former Ottoman Empire.

Even more important is the fact that Iran’s Kurdistan has not
developed with Kurdistan of Ottoman Empire, even before the Safavids
and Chaldran (Chaldoran) treat of 920AH (1541).

Actually at the time of Moghols, Iran’s Kurdistan was under the rule
of Ardalans, and later on, during the Safavids, Ardalan rule
continued with Sanandaj as its capital, and Kurdistan had
semi-autonomy within Iran, and its situation has been completely
different from Ottoman Kurdistan.

After World War I, the Ottoman Kurdistan, was divided and those parts
may have some aspirations to unite again, for example the Kurdistan
of Iraq and Turkey, but as noted, even Iraqi Kurds see a lot of
opportunity for themselves in a united Iraq, if a secular democracy
prevails, and may not pursue united Kurdistan with Turkey. People
like Jalal Talabani of PUK, have played an important role in the
struggle for secular democratic republic and federalism for the whole
of Iraq.

Furthermore, Iran’s Kurdistan had nothing to do with the partitioning
of Kurdistan of Ottoman empire after WW I. Also Kurds are Iranian
like the Tajiks, and the Kurdish language is an Iranian language. So
the situation of Kurdish issues in Iran is very different and is

basically oppression by the state than by the people. I wish some
Kurdish nationalists of Turkey would not generalize their situation
to that of Iranian Kurds.

Iranian Kurds and IRI

Iranian Kurds are essentially dealing with the same situation as
other Iranians. In fact, some Iranian Kurdish groups have been in
the forefront and leadership of the opposition to IRI, long before
many other Iranian parts of current Iranian opposition, and I am
sure, just as we see in Iraq, the Kurds will have a lot of say in the
post-IRI state, since all these years, they have been one of the most
important parts of anti-IRI opposition for a secular republic.

About differences of Iran and Ottoman Empire, and the role of Kurds
with regards to the history of development of central government in
Iran, I have written in details in my book on Kurdistan, where my
focus had been Iran’s Kurdistan.

The reality is that globalization has made separation of small
nations to be easy, and small nations nowadays stay together if they
want to, not because they have to, as I explained in Globalization
and Federalism.

Basically as I have written in my article Why Federalism for
Kurdistan and Rest of Iran, federalism is the best solution to avoid
risking the breakup of future post-IRI democracy in Iran. A breakup
as witnessed in former Yugoslavia.

Insulting various nationalities like Kurds, is the worst anyone in
the Iranian opposition can do, which can infuriate these
nationalities and make them lose hope in a united Iran to look for
separation. Actually I have seldom seen among the Iranian
opposition, and the Iranian pro-democracy movement has a high opinion
of the Kurdish opposition, and many non-Kurdish Iranians lost their
lives in defense of the movement of Iranian Kurdish people against
the Islamic Republic.

The attacks on Kurds have not come from Iranian people but were come
from IRI, when Islamic Republic Revolutionary Guards (pAsdArs and
basijis), who insulted and raped Kurdish mothers and daughters.

Popular Movements In Kurdistan

Among Iranian Kurdish groups, I have seen a few individuals in some
groups, who may call the Fars or Persians by racist remarks, equating
all non-Kurd Iranians with mollahs, but these people are a very tiny
minority among the Kurdish groups.

The Kurdish groups like Komala are actually a very important part of
the Iranian opposition as a whole, and they do *not* address other
parts of Iranian movement by racist remarks. Komala cares for the
success of democracy and human rights in the whole of Iran, and they
see themselves as part of the pro-democracy movement of Iran, and
have contributed a lot to its development and leadership in the last
25 years.

The separatist tendencies in Iranian Kudistan, comprise a very small
part of the political spectrum, and most people in Iran’s Kurdistan
see their future closely tied with the rest of Iran. As noted, I
have explained this with a thorough historical research in my book
about the formation of central state in Iran, when focusing on the
situation of Kurdistan in Iranian history.

After the fall of Shah’s regime, Kurdistan was among the first areas
of Iran that rose against the Islamic Republic. The reason is not
hard to see. During the reign of Safavids when Iranian government
was an Islamic State, albeit a monarchy but with a strong role of
mollahs, we saw the main opposition first to form in Sunni areas of
Iran like ghochAn and Bojnurd and Kurdistan.

Even Afghans who invaded Iran and attack Isfahan, started their
commotion when a Shi’a fatwa of Iran’s mollahs, who had pronounced
anybody raping Sunni women in Afghanistan would go to heaven. And
the fatwa had outraged the Afghans to a point that they invaded Iran
during Shah Soltan Hossein’s reign and ended the Safavid Dynasty.

So the Kurds of Iran being a strong Sunni minority were the first to
oppose a Shi’a Islamist state in Iran. Actually Sheikh Ezzeddin
Hosseini who has been labeled as a leftist and the like, represents a
Shafei Sunni religious opposition to IRI. Ezzedin Hosseini and
Moftizadeh were active in Kurdistan even during the Shah, and
contrary to what IRI tries to depict, they were not with Shah’s
agents.

Actually Ezzeddin Hosseini and Moftizadeh used to struggle against
Sufism that was promoted at the time of the Shah in Kurdistan. Even
Moftizadeh who in the beginning of IRI cooperated with IRI, was later
murdered by IRI, because he did not approve of IRI Shi’a rule. So
the issue of a Shi’a religious state was always a big fear for Sunni
Kurds.

The Kurds were attacked by IRI Revolutionary Guards (pasdArs) with
the same wordings of Shiite anti-Sunni verbal curses. The IRI
Revolutionary Guards had a religious hatred for Sunni Kurds, whom
they would call Omari, etc and they raped and killed the innocent
people of Kurdistan, when the first peaceful demonstration against
Shi’a rule started in Kurdistan in 1979.

The people of Kurdistan took arms only in *self-defense* and not
because of being guerrillas, which they were not. It is important to
note that the armed struggle in Kurdistan has*never* been a guerrilla
warfare like the cheriki movements in other parts of Iran, not even
at the time of the Shah.

The jonbeshe mollA AvAreh and Sharifzadeh in 1966, at the time of
the Shah, were an armed *mass* movement, and not a guerrilla
movement, and it was the peasants who rose up against the Shah’s
regime, and some intellectual groups and individuals from abroad
joined them later, and some of them like Parviz Nikkhah betrayed the
movement in Shah’s prison, but those groups were hardly any important
part of that mass movement.

Komala

The history of Komala actually starts at the time of the Shah from
the 1966 movement led by Mollah Avareh and Sharifzadeh. Foad Mostafa
Soltani who was killed during IRI, as well as current Komala
leadership like Abdollah Mohtadi, date back to that time, when Mollah
Avareh and Sharifzadeh were killed. The leadership actually were
like many other Iranian political groups that originated from
Aryamehr University in Tehran.

Before the 60’s, many leaders of Iranian political movement
originated from Technology Faculty of Tehran University, people like
my own cousin Ahmad Ghandchi of 16-Azar, who was one of the three
students killed on Dec 7, 1953, were the 50’s generation. The
brightest students like those of Daneshkadeh Fani and Aryamehr
University were the ones who were originators of the main opposition
groups during Shah’s time.

Komala dates back to those years and to Aryamehr University, and
actually these activists did not view the issue of democracy in
Kurdistan as separate from the rest of Iran. They were *not* even
related to the hezbe demokrAte kordestAn, which dated from the
1941-53 period with views similar to hezbe toodeh. They were closer
to like-minded non-Kurdish Iranian groups, in other parts of Iran,
than to hezbe demokrate kordestan, which was in Kurdistan.

Komala just like all other Iranian intellectual groups of 60’s and
70’s, was more of a new leftist organization, with the difference
that its base was in country-side of Kurdistan. Also because of
opposing guerilla movement, Komala in those years, sided more with
Mao, and engaged in successful political mobilization of the masses,
in contrast to all other intellectual groups of other parts of Iran
that remained intellectual groups with negligible success to create a
mass base.

As time passed, and Komala saw the issue of dictatorship of socialist
countries, they rejected China and Albania, etc and started searching
beyond the existing socialism, although they still refered/refer to
themselves as socialist. I should note that even when they were
Communists, they opposed Soviet Union and even their support of
China, when they did, was not like some other groups that were
lackeys of the Chinese Communists. Komala leadership were always
independent thinkers.

In the years after 1981, they united with a very small group from
other parts of Iran by the name of Sahand, and formed a Communist
Party of Iran. But soon they saw this is not what they see as their
ideal. They had one split where basically the old group they had
united with, became the Worker-communist Party of Iran, seeking a
Leninist policy. In a short while, Komala even separated from the
Communist Party of Iran, and called itself Komala again.

A few from Komala stayed with Workers Communist Party. Also there
were a number of people from original Komala, who stayed with the
Communist Party of Iran, call themselves Komalah (with an “h” at the
end), rather than going with the revived Komala, and they are still
part of Communist Party of Iran.

Most of the original team is with Komala, who after discarding
support for China and Albania, started looking beyond Communism .
Even what they call socialism, in their interviews today, they
clearly state their ideals are not anything like what they see in
current socialist countries. In their ideals, they emphasize
democracy, human rights, and social justice within the new world
development and progress of our times and they support a secular
democratic federal republic in Iran.

After studying the relevant literature, the above is my understanding
of Komala and its development. To read heir own views on these
issues, please consult their web site.

Federalism and IRI

The issue of Kurds and federalism is one of those issues that touches
on the region, and IRI wants to broadcast a view that non-Kurd
Iranian political groups do not want federalism, and tries to depict
the proponents of federalism as separatists, whereas the majority of
Iranian opposition today is beginning to side with federalism, and
the Fars ultranationalists is a very small minority.

As I have explained on numerous times, those acting as nationalists
calling the federalist programs as separatist, are more Islamic
Republic proponents rather than being Iranian nationalists, and their
fear is that accepting federalism, would open the way for asking for
more democratic rights for the whole of Iran by all Iranians.

It is IRI misusing ultranationalist facade, just as they did during
the Iraq War, to justify the IRI despotism. Ultranationalist slogans
are a preposterous flag for Islamists, when they have had no respect
for national demands of all Iranians all these years, and when they
have been pushing Islamism on Iran trying to eliminate even Norouz
from Iran, a New Year celebration that Kurds celebrate, as much as
any other part Iranians, if not more.

Recently in Iran, the Islamic Republic agents issued a fake
communiqué, against the rights of Iranian nationalities in education,
forging the signature of Jebhe Melli leaders . The forged document
has been condemned by Jebhe Melli leadership inside Iran. Thus it is
important to know how IRI is trying to attack the Kurdish movement
with such despicable ultra-nationalist fabrications.

The reality is that the slaughter of leftists by IRI in 1981 and
1988, and the murder of leftists by the Shah’s regime, were because
the left had been the most ardent part of the opposition to monarchy
in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s, and to IRI in 80’s and 90’s. This is
why they killed even the activists who only had one year jail terms,
and were inside the IRI prisons in 1988, by Khomeini’s decree.

IRI miserably accepted the peace with Saddam, on Saddam’s terms.
Khomeini committed a mass murder of the leftists and others in
September 1988 to ensure to keep the society silent after signing the
accord. And IRI did not stop at killing the leftists, and even
slaughtered Forouhars later, people who were never leftists.

Let me note that my own disagreement with the left is not because of
their struggle against IRI and Shah’s despotism. In fact, in that
regard, I support them fully, and I think they have given the most
number of sacrifices in Iran’s movement for democracy, both during
the Shah and during IRI, and this is why the intelligence agents of
Shah and IRI have the most hatred for the leftists.

My disagreement with the left is because I think their program is
obsolete at the time of post-industrial development and
globalization. I have written my views about the left in the past, in
details and do not need to repeat.

Other Groups in Kurdistan

Many groups that talk of presence in Kurdistan, may have a few
sympathizers there. However, Komala, in my opinion, is the only new
political group, not just in Kurdistan, but in the whole of Iran of
post-1953 years, that ever had and has a mass base, first in the
country-side and then in the cities.

It is true, that in the years of 1941-1953, before the CIA coup,
hezbe toodeh (Tudeh Party ), and Jebhe Melli (Iran National Front),
both had a mass base. And in Kurdistan, in the same period, hezbe
demokrAte kordestan had a mass base. But after 1953, basically I
would say all groups, including mojahedin and cherikha, which were
bigger, hardly had any mass base, and were basically intellectual
groups.

Even hezbe toodeh and JebheMelli of the 1953-1979 period, hardly had
any mass base. I believe Komala is the only exception, being a real
mass party, which I think is a good subject to study, as to why they
were so successful in organizing the ordinary people, while others
elsewhere in Iran failed.

When Komala was fighting IRI, almost 90% of the left in other parts
of Iran, not only supported Khomeini in 1979, but the left supported
hostage-taking and the overthrow of Bazargan’s government. And
unfortunately 90% of Iranian progressive movement was leftist in
those days.

It is true that some small groups viewed khordad 1360 (may 1980) as
an reactionary coup like Mohammad Ali Shah’s bombardment of majles,
and tried to reverse it by an uprising in 1981, which did not work,
and they were slaughtered with no result, because the progressive
movement, including those forces themselves, had made error after
error in appeasing Islamists, and that is how the 1981 IRI massacre
of the left in all areas of Iran, except Kurdistan, was successful.

Needless to say that, in 1981, I was even threatened to death by some
of leftist groups for questioning Marxism. Nonetheless, I condemn the
anti-Communist bigotry of Islamic Republic of Iran, and I condemn the
violations against the human rights of leftists by IRI forces, just
as I condemn the suppression of human rights of all other
pro-democracy activists of Iran.

There are so many errors in Iranian progressive movement. I have
discussed those issues in details, and have noted the major trends in
the historical turns of the last 25 years in my book Futurist Iran.

Conclusion

I do not care much for the IRI reformists including IRI president
Khatami, although I support a real peaceful change to a federal
secular republic in Iran.

Iran and Iranians are different from IRI (Islamic Republic of Iran)
and IRI officials. Iran and Iranians are very modern, and we had a
constitutional revolution calling for civil law and modern society,
with a system based on Constitutional Law, over one hundred years
ago.

In fact Islamic Theocracy has now helped the *grass root* in Iran to
resent mollahs, and to call for secularity and futurist modernity,
and a referendum for new constitution, and regime change, at the
deepest levels of society, unprecedented in any other Middle Eastern
society:

Iranian political groups should recognize a federalist solution for
Iran, before the Islamic Republic falls apart, or else Iran may turn
into another Yugoslavia. The Komala Party can be play an important
role to help the success of a democratic solution in Iran.

Hoping for a Futurist, Federal, Democratic, and Secular Republic in
Iran,

Sam Ghandchi, Editor/Publisher
IRANSCOPE

April 28, 2004

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

http://www.ghandchi.com/327-KomalaEng.htm
http://www.ghandchi.com/327-Komala-plus.ht
http://www.iranscope.com

BAKU: Azeri KLO Leader Accuses Turkish Embassy Of Indifference

Baku Today, Azerbaijan
April 28 2004

KLO Leader Accuses Turkish Embassy Of Indifference

The Turkish embassy in Baku and some political parties display
indifference towards the plans of the Karabakh Liberation
Organization (KLO) to march to Karabakh on May 8, the date of the
occupation of Shusha, KLO leader Akif Naghi told reporters on
Tuesday, according to Trend news agency.
Naghi said his organization has received support from most of the
foreign embassies in Baku, included among them the embassies of the
OSCE’s Minsk Group member-states, permanent members of the United
Nations Security Council, representatives of international
organizations, heads of political parties and rights advocates.
However, Naghi also voiced dismay with what he called indifference
from some political parties, which `blame the authorities for
avoiding to take decisive measures to settle [Nagorno-Karabakh]
conflict.”

Naghi said the KLO was going to determine the route of their planned
march. He said 7,150 people are expected to start action from the
Martyrs’ Alley on May 8. Their goal in the action is to let the world
community know about the
real truths of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, Naghi added.

BAKU: Aliyev, Kocharyan to meet today

Baku Today
April 28 2004

Aliyev, Kocharyan to meet today

Baku Today 28/04/2004 12:27

Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev will meet Armenian president
Robert Kocharyan today at 13.30 Baku time in Warsaw.

The two presidents will discuss Karabakh issue. Following their close
meeting Aliyev and Kocharyan will meet with OSCE’s Minsk group
chairmen.
The chairmen are expected to inform the presidents about their stance
over the issue.

Aliyev and Kocharyan are visiting Poland for a three day economic
summit of European nations.

Aliyev arrived in Warsaw yesterday. He met with the president of
Poland Aleksander Kwasniewski.

The two presidents have talked about half hour to develop relations
between Azerbaijan and Poland.

Kwasniewski said, Aliyev’s attendance at the European summit will
have positive impact on attracting big European companies to
Azerbaijan.

Aliyev will be addressing the summit today. He will speak of economic
reforms in Azerbaijan and also Azerbaijan’s participation in large
commercial projects.