Views About The Politics Of Kurdistan
By: Hilmi Sami Muhammad
Calgary, Canada / April 13, 2006
My brother and I are politically inclined especially about Kurdistan. His views and mine are quite different when it comes to shaping the process of democratization of Southern Kurdistan. They are also different with respect to the political strategy for greater Kurdistan. Our goals, however, are the same and amount entirely to what is best for the Kurdish nation. Our views, you might say, are in two adjoining quadrants pointing to the common line that separates them.
As far as Kurdistan elections in federal Iraq are concerned, I do not believe in the institution of electoral lists by political parties. I think that process is pseudo- democratic, giving too much power to the political parties and less to the general public. With the institution of electoral lists, the political parties can choose to put forth individuals who on their own are unelectable, thus robbing the opportunity from more qualified and potentially electable independent individuals. My brother, on the other hand, believes granting power to the Kurdish political parties is vital and that the status quo the best political option for us. History will attest, he argues, that the Kurdish political parties have proven to be the best guardians of our cause. Any other option, in his view, would weaken the Kurdish political parties, provide a vehicle for infiltrators to shatter unity of the Kurdish people, and ultimately damage in an irreparable way our stand on the Iraqi political theatre and beyond.
I believe in the right of people to organize peaceful demonstrations and openly express their dissatisfaction with the authorities without fearing blackmail and punishment. I believe it is their right to do so now and at any time they wish. Furthermore, images of public demonstrations, in my view, create a good national, regional and international perception of our people’s freedoms and would ultimately bring us friends on the world stage. I know my brother believes no less in these principles but he is cautious. He believes that in this critical time in our history allowing too much freedom could strengthen the hand of a clever and capable enemy who would exploit every opportunity to set us back to injustices of the past. My brother would prefer to sacrifice some freedoms in the short run for fear of losing all in the current circumstances.
My brother argues that he has seen no justice or goodwill from Iraqi Arabs and the neighboring countries of Iran, Turkey, Syria, and from any other Arab or Muslim state. Furthermore, he sees no hope of any change in their attitude toward the legitimate rights of the Kurdish people. They have done all possible in the past and will do everything in the future to crush the Kurdish aspiration for self determination. He lays out many chapters of history to prove his point and history undoubtedly provides ample support to his view. I am less pessimistic than my brother is in this regard and argue that the region’s move towards democracy will ultimately reverse the injustices committed against our people. The move in the direction of freedom and democracy in the last 25 years has been unprecedented in the history of mankind. Many dictatorships have been toppled and replaced by civilized administrations. Many tyrants have been tried in courts of justice. The reactionary forces, terrorists and rogue regimes are fighting under tremendous pressure from the civilized forces and are being slowly defeated. These developments have finally found their way to our region, and that spells good news for our nation. We may not be able to unite the pieces of Kurdistan under one flag for quite some time, but living in democratic states with full national rights and freedoms is in the interim the second best option.
Finally, when it comes to the grand aspiration of all the Kurds, my brother takes a riskier strategy than I can stomach. He believes the time has come for the Kurds to unite and declare a country in the greater Kurdistan. For this great cause there will be great sacrifices, he argues, but the world will have no choice but to wake up and support the legitimate demands of the Kurdish people for self-determination. The small gains our people have made to-date have never been granted by others in the region but achieved by our people’s struggle. In fact, the gains, he believes, have been dreadfully disproportionate to the sacrifices made, and this piecemeal approach to achieving our grand goal is unattainable, more costly in life and sacrifices, and will only prolong our suffering. I, on the other hand, believe my brother’s strategy would lead to an all out war on at least four powerful states, which in all likelihood will be tantamount to self destruction.
There you have it. You know now where my brother and I stand on the main political issues of our lives. Where do you stand on the political spectrum?