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The Lesson of the War in Kurdistan Print E-mail

 

August 28, 2010
Secretary General of the Kurdish Democratic People:


On the Occasion of the 31st anniversary of the war in Kurdistan)

These days offer excellent and instructive reminders in the history of the people of Kurdistan and Iran. Thirty one years ago a war that later came to be known as the “Kurdish War” began. It was officially launched on August 19, 1979 on the orders of ayatollah Khomeini with plenty of consequences, while its impact remains till today. This event has impacted the political and social relations between the Kurdish people and other Iranians. The war is so important that it must be seriously and constructively debated and critiqued at different levels, by politicians, intellectuals and people, so that perhaps we can learn from it. By opening a serious and constructive dialog, not only will the repetition of such catastrophes be prevented in future, but this would also bring greater understanding and accountability among political leaders.

This writing is more for the non Kurdish people of Iran, i.e. those who still accuse the Kurdish people and hold the Kurdish parties and political leaders to be the principle wrongdoer in the war. For this, I raise a number of questions: Have we asked ourselves without any prejudice, why and how did this war begin? Do you, like the leaders of the Islamic Republic, believe that the Kurdish war was against infidels? Do you still believe that the Kurdish war was against separatism? Have you ever heard the calls and messages of the Kurdish people? Why do you think that before the start of the war ayatollah Khomeini and other senior officials of the Islamic Republic opposed the simple call for “Dr Ghasemloo,” the secretary general of the Kurdish Democratic party who had called for a one-hour talk with the people of Iran about the situation in Kurdistan and the demands of the Kurdish people through the national radio and television channel? Why do you think that leaders of the Islamic Republic did not respond to the open letter of the central committee of the Kurdish Democratic party in the spring of 1980 which had told the leaders of the Islamic Republic that if they stopped their war against Kurdistan, the Kurdish Democratic party was ready to send its thousands of pishmarg (Kurdish warriors) to the fronts to join the armed forces in its war against Iraq? Do you today believe that the demands of the political parties which consisted of self administration of Kurdish regions by the election officials of the Kurdish people, the teaching of Kurdish language in schools and universities, freedom of political parties, etc within the framework of self administration are undemocratic demands? Why do you think that years after the war in Kurdistan had begun, authorities ignored even the recommendations of the then prime minister - Mr. Mousavi recently confessed that he was against the dispatch of the military into Kurdistan – and the war in Kurdistan was even more important to them than the Iraqi war? It is necessary that political leaders, advocates of change in Iran, and the Iranian youth find answers to these and numerous other questions without prejudice or justifications of the war.

The time has now arrived for everything to be scrutinized or the slogan “the past is the light to the future” will be meaningless.

Just a few days ago on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of the founding of the Kurdish Democratic Party said that today it is no longer relevant who is a better critic of the Islamic Republic, because the ineffectiveness of the regime is clear to most people. Today what is important is to be effective in the process towards democracy in Iran. But the fact is that if those who want change and democracy do not honestly and realistically critique important and landmark historic events, such as the Kurdish war whose political, social and psychological impact remains till today, they cannot recognize the obstacles to democracy and thus propose effective breakthroughs. During the last year as the pro-democracy movement of the Iranian people has entered its serious and decisive phase, this question has been repeatedly asked at different levels of the Kurdish people: the Kurdish people have continuously remained at struggle with the Islamic Republic, but why is it that they have not fully involved in the green movement? We disagree with this assessment that the Kurdish people have not involved with the green movement. Not only have we been involved in the green movement to our utmost, but we have even paid a price for this. This is a valid question if it is free from political underpinnings in the solution it seeks to suggest. It would be very illogical to believe that Kurdish people, its intellectuals, political parties and leaders have over the years viewed democracy in Iran to be the guarantor of their own lost rights and demands, and also believe that the current movement of the people of Iran is the start of a serious pro-democracy movement of all Iranian but at the same time not participate in this event despite all the sacrifice that they have given for the attainment of their democratic demands during the last decades. For this reason the response to the above question is enlightening. So because one can definitively say that one of the key reasons concerns the distrust that the Kurdish people have, which itself is rooted in the long and cruel war against the Kurdish people. This war was launched by leaders of the Islamic Republic through the manipulation of the religious and patriotic feelings of its supporters and the spread of lies and rumors against the Kurdish people and the pro-democracy movement in Kurdistan.

Therefore, today it is necessary for the Iranian people’s pro-democracy movement and all those who honestly desire democracy in Iran to seriously and responsibly critique the Kurdish war and other similar events in the country. Most Kurdish people and social and political Kurdish activists believe that the Kurdish war was related to the fear that the rulers had from the serious, democratic and civil demands of the Kurdish people at the time. Therefore, the only way to prevent the repetition of this historic catastrophe is tied to understanding and accepting the legitimate democratic demands of the Kurds. Today we must accept to respect the will of the groups and communities that constitute Iran and define them in terms that they themselves with to be defined. We must recognize their rights and demands as they define them, and not set agendas for them, which is the democratic way. The requirement for future democracy in Iran is the acceptance of and respect for these rights and demands. To come to this understanding is what can be learned from the Kurdish war because that war was the battle for democracy that those opposing democracy imposed on the Kurdish people.

 

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