Has the time come to declare a state of emergency in Kurdistan? / Jamal FUAD

By Dr. Jamal Fuad, Ph.D.  Retiree, FAO and The World Bank – After a century-long struggle toward attaining a degree of freedom and sovereignty, Kurdistan is once more challenged. Our enemies are not happy seeing Kurdistan free and developed. They are trying to stop our progress. For the first time in our history our cities and towns are catching up with other developed cities in the provision of airports, multi-story buildings, improved hospitals, introduction of better teaching institutes, improvement in the general services, plus a degree of national and personal freedoms, unseen in our past history. With some shortages still remaining, the pace of such development has been rapid, prompting foreign observers to call our Region, “The Other Iraq”. Such positive changes are very much envied by the Iraqi Central Authority, and also by our un-friendly neighbors.

To revenge against our political and economic success, our enemies have imported the Islamic State terrorists, the ISIS, to combat us, to push history back to the dark ages, to destroy our cities and towns and carry out atrocities, rape, looting, and savagely beheading our people. They attempt to change our cultural traditions, depicting their deep backwardness, savagery, and inhuman nature.

Thanks to our brave Peshmerga, and the coalition air and arm support, the advance of this terrorist group has been thwarted and pushed back, safeguarding for now most of the Kurdish lands.

  Our enemies have imported the Islamic State terrorists, the ISIS, to combat us, to push history back to the dark ages, to destroy our cities and towns and carry out atrocities,  

Unfortunately the terrorists are still in our midst. They are posed to attack at any time. This requires us to be very alert; we need to understand that these terrorists are not alone. They have partners who are also determined to destroy our lands, through a plan drawn up to thwart Kurdish progress as much as possible, entrusting such task at present, to ISIS, or Daish, as it is called in Arabic . They have been hired to carry out a specific agenda. Their presence is not accidental. They did not just pop up and end up at our doorsteps by chance. An outside hand is clearly behind its determination to fight us. This is an organization for hire sent to destroy Kurdistan, to destroy our infrastructure, our democratic way of life and our social traditions. Our adversaries have already prepared the field for them to insure their success.

As part of the ground work for ISIS, the Baghdad regime, under Maliki, cut off finances from the KRG. They stopped paying KRG staff salaries, and funding for projects. This action, which is still in force, has put the region under dire financial burden, increased unemployment, and created a state of high anxiety among our people.

ISIS has also created floods of refugees who have nowhere to go except to the Kurdish safe haven. Among them is a large percentage of Arabs some of whom are not to be trusted. Further, the Shiite militias have been creeping behind the Kurdish lines setting up camps, supposedly to guard against ISIS attacks. Seeing their earlier behavior elsewhere in Iraq, their presence is not welcome and they should be routed out of Kurdistan.

To face such multiple crises, Kurdish unity must be our first priority. There should be no room for side criticisms or discussion of side issues when our enemies are knocking at our door. Our current efforts should be directed solely at defeating these hired savages who are threatening our real existence. President Barzani is right in discouraging any presence of the Shiite militias on Kurdish lands. No Kurdish man in authority should invite the Shiite militia to Kurdistan under any pretext.

We also need to carefully watch Iran. It seems that the Iranians have been given the green light to become guardian of the Middle East. As we know, Iran has helped President Assad of Syria to stay in power, despite large opposition to his rule. Iran has also helped the Houthis in Yemen to topple the elected government in Sana and become in total control in that country. Further, Iranian newspapers have been advocating union with Iraq to ensure Shiite supremacy and total control of Iraq.

These political developments in our midst should not be ignored. We need to seriously consider such developments. We need to ask, why Baghdad stopped the 17% share of the Kurdish budget? How the Islamic terrorist group ever made it to Kurdistan. Who financed, trained, and equipped them with the best modern fighting gear? Then, what are the real intentions of the Shiite militias visa-vis the Kurds? And how the unity of Iraq and Iran will affect the future of the Kurds?

  Our current efforts should be directed solely at defeating these hired savages who are threatening our real existence. 

The number one issue for the Kurds is their unity, and to have on the ground an effective defensive force to protect our motherland.  Kurdayety, rather than Partisan should prevail. To achieve this goal, we need a United Kurdish Front, a coalition of all the political parties to act as “one unit”, to help keep our enemies at bay. We must protect our hard-won freedom and be prepared to defend our Kurdistan at any cost. It is said that keeping freedom perhaps is harder than struggling to become free.

My analysis above, shows the need for total awareness of political activities in our region, and the dangers we face. In this connection I am in total agreement with our renowned Peshmerga, Hamay Haji Mahmood, who, while addressing the Sulaimani Forum, suggested that the Region declares a “State of Emergency” in Kurdistan. And I further wish to add, that special camps should be set up to train the Kurdish youth above the age of 18, possibly mostly from the ranks of the university students. These young volunteers would be trained daily in the after-class combat exercises. Additionally, the women of the same age group should also be trained in attending the sick and the needy, and be part of the backup support of the Peshmerga.

We cannot relax and sit back pretending nothing is happening, while our brave Peshmerga defend our beloved Kurdistan. We have already lost many dear Peshmerga, and their families require special social support in order to make their lives easier after the painful losses of the loved ones.

Here, I would like to congratulate the organizers of the Sulaimani Forum held earlier this month, for bringing together a large group of decision makers, to answer the call for further support to our fighting forces. Such activities are excellent means of gathering international awareness and support for the Kurds in its defiance to surrender to Islamic terrorists.

We thank the European nations for their support in the   provision of light arms and training of our fighting men and women. We also thank the USA for their effective bombardment of ISIS centers, which has so far been a positive factor in defeating ISIS. However, we are disappointed that Kurds are denied heavy equipment, and that channeling armament through Baghdad is also disappointing. Further, USA insisting on the Unity of Iraq is more a myth than a reality. As rhymed in American children’s book, “Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, and that “Humpty Dumpty cannot be put back together again”. Also, as the Sykes-Picot boundary line was haphazardly laid out, it is bound to be redrawn, in order to fit the existing reality. In the last century, we have seen many empires and many multi-ethnic countries break up to adjust to their natural ethnic boundaries. Middle East is no exception. In this connection, the following poem, written by an American writer, Maria Mannes, is very relevant:

Borders are scratched upon the hearts of men

By strangers with a calm judicious pen

And when the borders bleed, we watch with dread

The lines of ink across the map turn red

Let us be part of the ongoing Kurdish struggle to ensure a free and safe Kurdistan.




The Newroz of Defiance