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U.S. And Turkish Forces Out Of Iraqi Kurdistan!

Stop The Ethnic Killing!
Stop The Ethnic Killing!
U.S. And Turkish Forces Out Of Iraqi Kurdistan!

The celebrations of Iraqi Kurds in Kirkuk are now marred by bloodshed. According to KurdishMedia.Com, “Pro-Turkish Turkmens in Kirkuk City are said to be killing Kurds celebrating the downfall of the Iraqi regime. According to a reliable source in the city, pro-Turkish Turkmen militias have killed at least 15 Kurds who have joined the Thursday celebrations of Kirkuk’s liberation. The source added that the Turkmen militias also engaged in wide spread looting of Kurdish houses and properties after the forced retreat of Kurdish Peshmarga forces from Kirkuk earlier today.” (April 11)

This follows an April 10 statement by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell saying he had reached an agreement with Turkey to have Kurdish forces pull back from Kirkuk. Kirkuk is an oil rich city that would be an essential economic pillar in the establishment of a free and independent Kurdistan in Iraqi territory. Turkey, a country that carries out discrimination and genocide against its own Kurdish population, has made very clear its opposition to an independent Kurdistan in Iraqi territory, especially if it includes Kirkuk. Turkey fears that such a liberated Kurdistan would inspire Kurdish aspirations for national self-determination within Turkey.

Colin Powel’s intervention in Kirkuk is just one in a long line of anti-Kurd actions by the United States government. While the U.S. government cried crocodile tears for Iraqi Kurds the U.S. government supplied the military hardware to kill Turkish Kurds as well as the poison gas to kill Iraqi Kurds before Persian Gulf War #1.

In addition to these proxy genocides on the Kurdish people the U.S. government has participated directly in the war on Kurds. This occurred on February 15, 1999 when U.S. forces kidnapped Kurdish Worker’s Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan and turned him over to the genocidal Turkish government. Subsequently Abdullah Ocalan was sentenced to death for his role in defending Kurdish territory in Turkey from the murderous Turkish military. This U.S. kidnapping was admitted on CNN TV by former Turkish President and ethnic cleanser Suleyman Demiral.

Powel’s assurances to Turkey on Kirkuk are a violation of the national rights of the Kurdish nation and should be resisted by all Kurdish armies. Anything less will be a vile capitulation to the interests of the Turkish capitalists and U.S. imperialism and a betrayal of the Kurdish people.

As Dr Kamal Mirawdeli has stated, “Kirkuk is the test of patriotism or treason, of being peshmarga of people or Jash of Turkey. Those who are ready to surrender are not leaders. They are ready to sell their honor and reputation as well as the dignity of our people. The masses of Kurdistan and Kurds in Diaspora will not accept and forgive this unforgivable capital treason. No one has right to trample upon our martyrs and sell our honor and dignity for a job in Baghdad.”

The good doctor continues, “These people do not represent any one but their own selfish interests and small ideas. The Kurdish people everywhere will oppose them and dishonor them if they surrender to a simple threat by Turkish fascists. We must be ready to fight the Turks or anyone else for our natural justice to return to our homes and organize our affairs by ourselves. We shall not accept any role for Turkey in any circumstances. Stay in Kirkuk. Occupy and fortify all strategic positions. Ask tens of thousands of Kurds to join Kurdish people in Kirkuk.”

Such a stand by the Kurds would run up against the Turkish interests of seeing Kurds silent by oppression or death, and the U.S. corporate interest in stealing the profits made off of Kurdistan’s oil. By taking such a necessary stand the Kurdish people will be forced to resist an all out invasion of Turkey into Kurdistan (Turkey already has thousands of troops operating in Kurdistan) and Kurds will be forced to resist the U.S. occupation of Iraq.

Under these conditions it is essential that a united socialist resistance to the Anglo-American occupation be formed that:

1. Fights for the right of the Kurdish national minority to control their land and resources, and to speak their own language.

2. Fights for the rights of all religious minorities and majorities to practice their religion without discrimination.

3. Opposes U.S. control of the economy and fights against the privatization of shipping and oil so that the profits made can continue to be used for social programs as they were under the regime of Saddam Hussein. Those programs should be greatly expanded under a planned socialist economy that does not exclude national and religious groups.

4. For a continuation of the liberated role Iraqi women have played in Iraqi society under Saddam Hussein in opposition to the puppet government the U.S. is setting up as well as in opposition to any anti-occupation forces who may not have an enlightened view on the rights of women.

5. Fights against the occupation of all Iraqi territories by American, British, and Turkish militaries as a primary first step in the liberation of Iraq, and in doing so recognizes those imperialist forces, as well as any participating puppet leaders they install, as military targets.

In adopting such a program the opposition would be following in the best traditions of Tito who united the diverse ethnic and religious groups of Yugoslavia in the partisan resistance that drove the Nazi occupiers out of their country during World War 2.

Such a socialist opposition would see a commonality with Dr. Kamal Mirawdeli in his appeal to Kurds, which states: “Let Kurdish Parliament convene immediately and if the two leaderships have any sense of patriotism and dignity, they should ask parliament:

1. To declare the unification of the two [Kurdish] administrations (even if nominally at this point)

2. To declare Kirkuk as the capital of the joint unified government.

3. To agree a timetable to move the government to Kirkuk as soon as possible.

4. To ask Kurdish people everywhere to be vigilant and be prepared to fight for freedom.

5. To declare a three day festival on the occasion of one government in Kirkuk and ask the Kurds for massive marches and demonstrations to support this patriotic resolution.”

While the regime of Saddam Hussein was no friend to the Iraqi Kurdish people, this of course has nothing to do with why the United States government hates Hussein. This hatred by the U.S. capitalist government is not based on humanitarian concerns. They hate Saddam Hussein for the good things he did, such as the nationalization of Iraqi oil that benefited the people of Iraq by keeping oil wealth in the country for social programs and benefited of the Iraqi economy.

The ill treatment of Kurds under the regime of Saddam Hussein has led to alliances of Iraqi Kurdish opposition with U.S. imperialism. Yet these alliances, as pointed out by Dilip Hiro in “Iraq: Eye Of The Storm” were not meant to help the Kurds create an independent state. Instead the U.S. “refused to help quasi-independent Kurdistan graduate to an independent state while vetoing the region’s return to Baghdad’s jurisdiction. All it wanted was to deploy the Kurds as a lever to keep Saddam down.”

Today’s imperialist intervention against the Kurdish right to Kirkuk proves, all the more, Hiro’s contention. How the Kurdish leadership responds to this challenge will define whether or not they represent a true leadership for the Kurdish people, or if they are the lap dogs of imperialism.

While defending Iraq against imperialist attack and supporting their right to defend themselves socialists also recognized that Saddam Hussein is a capitalist leader and that the Iraqi people, especially the Kurds, have their own scores to settle with him. Yet any government set up by a U.S. occupation army will not be democratic, will not support Kurdish rights, and will only lead to the privatization of the resources that American oil monopolies intend to steal.

America’s so-called concern for human rights can be seen in the past US interventions in Iraq. Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath Party first came to power in 1963. Immediately after taking power, based on lists provided by the CIA, they rounded up 5,000 leftists and trade-union leaders and murdered them. After the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait we were shown pictures of Iraqi Kurds killed by poison gas in the U.S. media. What we were not told is why the US was silent when this was happening and the fact that the US supplied the gas to kill the Kurds and to kill Iranians in the Iran-Iraq war. While we are now told of the Iraqi repression of the Kurdish people we are not told of how the Turkish government is carrying out the same policies of genocide against the Turkish Kurds, and doing it with U.S. weaponry.

Many of the Kurds know that their national interest to self-determination will never be established by the “liberating” forces of Turkey and Iran or British and American imperialism. This will only be established by the Kurds themselves and by the alliances they build with other anti-imperialist forces. British imperialism divided Kurdistan, a country with its own unique language and culture, into a minority inside the nations of Iraq, Turkey, Syria, and Iran. Today the Kurds are the largest nation without a homeland in the world. Imperialism, with its motto of divide and conquer, never has and never will solve the Kurdish question. A free and united Kurdistan will only be born through a sweeping socialist revolution that overthrows the capitalist regimes of Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria while challenging the dictates and military of the United States.

On both scores, both the defense of the Iraqi nation from imperialism, as well as the liberation of the Kurdish nation, Arab nationalism alone has proven to be incapable of effective resistance. Arab capitalist governments, while giving lip service of opposition to the U.S. invasion of Iraq to placate their own people, continued to provide gasoline to the invading Anglo-American forces. Likewise these capitalist nations are not friends of the Kurdish resistance. This points to the need to build a stronger socialist resistance in the Middle East that that exposes and overthrows fake anti-imperialist U.S. puppet governments in the region and uses their oil resources to benefit the people.

Just as the U.S. ruling class hates governments like Iraq, Libya, and Venezuela who use the profits of their oil resources partly to benefit the people with social programs. Likewise they love capitalist governments like that of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait that strip the people of all their rights and keep the oil profits in the hands of the international oil monopolies and their corrupt local servants. As such the U.S. imperialists are willing to tolerate empty anti-imperialist and radical Islamic proclamations from such countries.

Today in the United States we face unemployment, homelessness, and a lack of health care. The billions of dollars the U.S. is squandering on killing Iraqis and Kurds to steal their resources should be spent to benefit the working class and poor of the United States. Workers in the United States have nothing in common with the oilmen and military profiteers who are carrying out the occupation of Iraq and Kurdistan.




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