NATIONAL FLAGS, ANTHEMS, AND GENOCIDE

“Fear an ignorant man more than a lion. “
~ Kurdish proverb.

I feel the need to opine about all this hullaballoo about the Kurdistan flag.

It seems that the fiasco began back on the first of September, when Masûd Barzanî ordered the removal of the Iraqi national flag from Kurdistan government buildings, to be replaced by the Kurdistan flag. Since then, everyone’s been getting into the act, Arabs, Turks, Americans, to criticize the flying of the flag of Kurdistan.

Leave it to a bunch of ignoramuses.

If anyone had actually bothered to travel to South Kurdistan (that’s the part of Kurdistan that ignoramuses habitually refer to as “Iraqi” Kurdistan or, as I prefer to call it, Iraqi-occupied Kurdistan) recently, they would have noticed that there are no Iraqi national flags flying in Dohuk and Hewlêr Governorates. At least, if they had been paying the slightest bit of attention, they would have noticed this. Those are KDP-controlled areas, and no one flies the Iraqi national flag there. Instead, the Kurdish tri-color, with its bold sun, is everywhere. Even the mountains are draped with the Kurdistan flag, as if they were dressed with huge red, yellow, and green cloaks.

No one would have noticed an Iraqi flag until they crossed into PUK territory which, for me, was somewhere around Koysinjaq, and even there, you didn’t see a lot of the Iraqi national flag.

Later in the year, on 25 July to be exact, there was this report by that intrepid Kurdophile, Peter Galbraith, on The Boston Globe:

There are not many places in Iraq where the locals want to celebrate American Independence Day. But, in Iraq’s self-governing Kurdistan region, the newly elected government decided to host a Fourth of July party for their American allies. Top coalition officers were invited along with US civilians, food and drinks ordered (the secular Kurds serve and drink alcohol), and the Kurdistan prime minister had prepared his speech. Then America’s top diplomat in the region delivered an ultimatum: She would not attend unless the Kurds flew Iraq’s flag at the party. The Kurds refused and canceled the party.

As the article continues, it’s clear that Kurds despise the Iraqi national flag because it is the flag of the Ba’athi, of Saddam Hussein, the former ally of the US, which the State Department flunky was obviously defending. It’s the flag of genocide.

Of course, what all the hypocrites are really worried about is the possibility of Kurdish freedom, and just listen to what the jackasses are braying about so loudly in Baghdad:

On Saturday, Sunni Arab lawmaker Saleh al-Mutlaq slammed Barzani’s decision.

“What will be taken by force today, will be returned by force another day,” he said, without elaborating. “We can defend our dignity, our people and our land … and no one should be under the illusion that he could take a tiny bit of somebody else’s land.”

Let’s see, when was it exactly that Arabs arrived in the region? And what did they find when they arrived? Kurds.

Of course, if these bold Baghdad politicians really think that they can defend their dignity, let them come to Kurdistan and try. They’ll be sent packing in no time with their dignity dragging along behind them. Naturally, the Americans defend the Arab position:

The United States criticised on Tuesday a decision by the leader of Iraq’s Kurds to ban the Iraqi national flag, weighing into a bitter dispute that has sparked threats of Kurdish secession.

The U.S. embassy initially called a decree issued by the president of Iraq’s Kurdistan region Massoud Barzani “inappropriate” and said it did not enjoy U.S. support.

But in a revised statement later on Tuesday, U.S. envoy in Baghdad Zalmay Khalilzad said: “Decisions on Iraq’s national symbols must be made by the Iraqi people as a whole through an established constitutional process,” adding that Washington was committed to “Iraq’s unity and territorial integrity”.

In the revised statement, the embassy did not give any explanation for deleting parts of the original statement.

Rewind back to Peter Galbraith’s comments on the subject from last year:

For Iraq’s Kurds, the flag episode epitomizes America’s ingratitude for their role as an ally in the war to overthrow Saddam Hussein and as the strongest supporter of US postwar policies. They note that American diplomats have no qualms about calling on Shi’ite politicians who display portraits of Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini and that the United States has pushed for the inclusion of Sunni Arabs, many former Ba’athists, in the constitution drafting committee. Iraq’s Prime Minister Ibrahim Jafaari was warmly received at the White House even though his party, Dawa, was on the State Department terrorist list until a few years ago for the 1982 suicide bombing of the US embassy in Kuwait.

Oh, looky there. . . Americans inviting terrorists to the White House. How Turkish of them.

Speaking of the Turks, the Islamist ragsheet, Zaman is burning down the presses by saying that Kurds are now pushing for a national anthem, but if they had ever bothered to watch Roj TV, they would know there is already a Kurdistan national anthem, Ey Reqîb. Read it all at Wikipedia in the flavor of your choice: Kurmancî, Soranî, or English, and the national anthem is played every single day on Roj TV.

You can even listen to an audio file of Ey Reqîb, here.

The Turks can continue to try to silence Roj TV so that they don’t have to acknowledge Ey Reqîb or the Kurdish people, and al-Maliki can continue vainly to insist that Saddam’s flag be flown from “Iraqi” flagpoles–there are no “Iraqi” flagpoles in Kurdistan–but the reality of Kurdistan vis-a-vis her ever-loving neighbors, who usually insist on going by the self-designated title of “brothers,” is still being unearthed, as this report from the Mail & Guardian describes:

Iraqi security forces on Monday found the remains of 18 Kurdish men, women and children whom they believe were buried alive in a mass grave during the former regime of Saddam Hussein.

Colonel Sarhad Kadar of the Iraqi police said the mass grave had been found in Tarkalan, 25km south-east of the northern city of Kirkuk in the grounds of an abandoned military camp dating from the 1980s and 1990s.

“They were alive when they were buried,” he said.

During the late 1980s, Saddam’s forces carried out a brutal scorched-earth campaign against northern Iraq’s Kurdish minority in a bid to stamp out separatism and secure Kirkuk’s oil fields.

Other mass graves of Kurds have also been discovered in the last few days, and similar graves have been found in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan.

On the one hand we have the Kurdistan flag and Ey Reqîb, and on the other hand we have the reality of the attempted genocide of the Kurdish people. We can tell which of these is the greater evil to the world-at-large by noting which makes a bigger ruckus in the media, and it would appear that the symbols of Kurdish national life are considered to be the greater of the two evils. For some, it will be so out of ignorance; for others, out of malice. To paraphrase the Kurdish proverb, the wise will fear an ignoramus more than an enemy.

Mark my words: neither the ignorant man nor the lion have shed a tear for Kurdistan’s mass graves, but they will threaten to drown the world in their tears on the day that the failed state of Iraq collapses.

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