Kirkuk - A Thought On Lost Identity

by Dastan Jasim   Getty Images  


In these hours many Kurds, just like myself, are in deep horror on what has happened in Kirkuk, Xaneqin, Makhmur and Shengal. In just 48 hours the enemies of the Kurdish people unveiled the profound rotting and the deep immorality of Kurdish politics.

In an unprecedented move the Shiite militia of Hashd al-Shaabi and the Iraqi Army were able to capture wide parts of what is known as the disputed territories between Kurdistan and Iraq. With the leadership of KDP and PUK withdrawing from those cities, civilians and Peshmerga were left alone. While in the first hours of resistance the HPG and YJA-Star troops came running up to save those people, by the end of the day the devastating reality unfolded: In a shattering act of treason and betrayal the two major parties of the Kurdistan Region sold Kurdistan. Most Kurdish civilians fled and Gerîla retracted from a city, which was to become the festival place of the ultimate celebration of Turkmen, Arab and Shiite hate on the bare existence of Kurds in these areas.

In these hours of crippling pain and deep frustration, in these hours where I feel like my generation becomes the witness of a second “Ashbatal”, in these hours where in anxiety and concern one does not even dare to watch the news; in these hours I feel a great disappointment overlooking the reactions on these happenings.

I honestly feel alone amongst my comrades, I feel alienated from the very reason I became a political activist, I feel alienated from my, from our origins.

The Kurdish Question was one asked with no idea of how horrific the answer would be. The answers of the Kurdish Question were an evolvement of parties, but much more specifically said: power structures, hierarchies and a bath of shame and disgust that the Kurdish people is drowning in.

I will from now on stop using the party names I used before and will address my words to whatever structure that fits what I describe. I am far from campaigning for one side now, because I am disgusted by the way we all stopped campaigning for our people instead of one party. With their flags and anthems, with their leaders and executives, their political bureaus and committees they managed to rape the Kurdish People over and over again. They managed to become an end in itself, a network of deep inner-Kurdish hate, mistrust and treason.

With the tears of Peshmerga flowing, with the thousands and thousands of civilians, of families and neighbors fleeing but also with the hate, the mutual mistrust, the misinformation, the lies, the defamations and the astounding amount of loss of mutual identity, I have seen a picture of Kurdistan, that up to this point was only revealed to me through the traumatized eyes of my parents.

I have seen people that didn’t mourn for Kirkuk.

People who obviously didn’t sit in shock and horror, watching Iraqi troops entering the land of Anfal. People who didn’t think of the terrifying smile of Saddam, his famous smile that overviewed the campaigns of deportation, rape and murder on these lands. People didn’t think of the hundreds of people who were deprived from their origin, their houses, their own biography from this very moment.

In a disgusting race to the bottom a completely intolerable and repellent bunch of party affiliates and soulless partisan robots competed to just smear each other most efficiently and most ruthlessly. In a battle of badges, people spat their hate speech into each other’s faces, repeating the chants of hate and defamation their leaderships gave them.

We were unable to mourn, as hate filled our hearts.

It would have been the most normal reaction to condemn the enemy, to attack the invader, to retaliate. But what I saw was a bunch of degenerated puppets that put their whole effort in the ultimate self-destruction of the Kurdish people. The most natural effect, the effect of a common line of defense, a common move of uprising and resistance, a shared sense that a reaction is needed was completely non-existent. Hashd al-Shaabi invaded Kurdistan and not a single finger is pointed on them.

I know. Our fight, our struggle became a struggle of perspectives and ideologies. I know that out of the fight for a right of ethnical existence, a fight for women’s liberation and ecological renewal came up. I know that out of this originally ethnical struggle a struggle of different approaches evolved.

I know that some traditions, some elites and some movements feed off the very deficiencies and diseases of our society and I know that these have to be fought. That it was always needed to go beyond Kurdistan and below Kurdistan, in analyzing the triggers of our contemporary crisis.

But indeed, this process of differentiation lost so much of its essence, so much of its intersectionality and so much of its content, that it completely alienated from the ethnical origin of our struggle. And I blame this development of alienation to be the very reason for the lack of collective dismay on what happened in Kirkuk.

We completely lost the point that we are a minority in all four countries that we live in. We completely lost the point that Kurdistan has been taken away from us. We absolutely forgot about our people being a people that is punished for existing. Because if anyone was aware of that, if there was this link, this link that can be traced back to our first revolts and resistances, then the loss of Kirkuk and any other city of the so called disputed territories would have been a reason for a heavy and extensive wave of rebellion.

But it wasn’t. Our enemy, our occupier, our opponent stabbed us and we stabbed ourselves over and over again, before anyone even considered accusing this enemy of his very deed. We have come to a point where we hate each other so much that we couldn’t wait for the references to make for our internal betrayal, that we didn’t even mention the very fact that we have been invaded. In our fight of flags we were so quick to denounce each other, that I feel the people of Kirkuk, Shengal, Makhmur, Xaneqin and Kalar are trampled by both Hashd and their very own people.

There are no further words to explain the great tragedy of the last 48 hours.

Let this be an impulse to a deep, unveiling and self-critical look into ourselves and our biography. Our roots and our struggle. Our emotions and our link to what makes us Kurds.