24 April 2012
IRAQI KURDISTAN REFLECTION:
Warmongering and the KRG/Iranian border
The whole world knows that
war is a terrible thing. Every
nation on the earth has witnessed first hand the truths of war. Yet even with these first hand
experiences, governments claiming to represent the best interests of their
people are still willing to inflict war on others.
Currently the war drum is beating against Iran. Pundits and politicians, backed by various lobbies as well
as Israeli and European allies are calling for it.
Of course, these nations and organizations all say they don’t want violence,
it’s the last thing they “want”; yet their actions scream “YES!” They ignore the intelligence that says
it would be a mistake; they hold Iran hostage to rules and regulations that
they themselves flout.
It is a reprise of the lies and misinformation surrounding the war on Iraq all
Meanwhile, on the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG)/ Iranian border, life is
quiet. As of October 2011, there
has been a ceasefire between the PJAK (The Free Life Party of Kurdistan—a
Kurdish militia group that has been fighting a guerilla war since the 2004)
and the Iranian military. PJAK is
calling for equal rights for Kurds and democracy within Iran and, as of October,
have moved away from the border, moving toward the use of political channels to
achieve their aims.
This ceasefire has secured the safety of the Kurdish villagers living on that
border; it has ended a regular flow of artillery shells flying over from the
Iranian military bases, disrupting and damaging lives and livelihoods.
However this peace is fragile.
Some of our partners in the villages on the boarder have raised fears about the
ceasefire. They have said that the
success of the ceasefire depends on the overall stability of the region. If the situation in Syria moves towards
Assad relinquishing power, they say, or if Israel follows through on threats of
military action against Iran, then the ceasefire could very possibly crumble
and shelling on Kurdish villages would resume with a greater force than
before. Iran sees PJAK as an agent
of the USA government. It has no
proof of this claim, but it puts PJAK in a dangerous position. There have been reports of a heightened
Iranian military presence on the KRG border.
Iran has so far stuck to its word, in the midst of violent warmongering talk,
if its security comes under threat, the situation could change quickly, and
violence could swiftly ripple outward in this region. Sometimes the consequence of this type of violence is called
“collateral damage.” Those of us
working on the Iraqi Kurdistan team prefer to use the term “destroying people’s
We fear that military action against Iran would lead to the Kurds of Iraq and
Iran being hurt again, like so many times in recent history. CPT Iraqi Kurdistan does not support
military action against the Islamic Republic of Iran. We say no to war; we believe there is always an alternative
Villager’s home destroyed by Iranian bombing inside Iraqi Kurdish territory summer 2011