Följande text är hämtad från Zinda Magazine och är skriven av Mariam S.Shimoun.
Imagine…being Kurdish. Imagine the horrors of your history – a universally unwanted people, subject to endless persecution at the hands of Turks and Arabs. Imagine being mass murdered by mustard gas, used by a Ba’athist government, to deplete your villages of life. Imagine centuries of restlessness, fear, roaming the world, looking for a place to rest.
Imagine – after an American led invasion – you are left with most of Northern Iraq populated with Kurds, protected by American interests in the region, and the moral and political authority to finally, after decades, nay, centuries, envision your dream: an independent “Kurdistan”.
Imagine you are Massoud Barzani. Your father before you dedicated his life for “Kurdistan”. It is now your turn to fulfill your nationalist duty. This is your opportunity, in this chaotic Iraq, to finally have borders, protect your people from the Arabs and the Turks – to finally realize “Kurdistan”. But how would you do it? Let’s take a journey toward “Kurdistan”: let’s get rich, let’s get borders, let’s get allies, and let’s rid ourselves of enemies.
The way to begin is simple: message. With millions of dollars in Iraqi oil money, and the U.S. as an ally, you begin with one word: “Kurdistan”. And you repeat it – to journalists, in magazines, in official documents, in normal, every day conversation. You refer to “Kurdistan” as if it exists. Eventually, “Kurdistan” will conjure up an image in everyone’s mind – Northern Iraq. It will become, at least psychologically, the land of the Kurds. You have successfully planted the first seed.
Now, you must identify the obstacles: The sheer number of Kurds in Iraq is a bonus – and protection under the new Iraqi constitution protects Kurdish claims to the (Assyrian) lands…however, the Assyrians still actually live on their ancient territory, and they are claiming the land as their own. An ethnically and religiously distinct group of people who, in truth, predate Kurds in every single square inch of what is being called “Kurdistan”, are still around, have formed political parties, and are voicing their request for independence in areas Kurds want to incorporate into “Kurdistan”. What is the Kurdish Regional Government to do? After all, if Kurds are claiming this land – can’t the Assyrians just as well?
Of course they can. After all, every square inch of what Kurds call “Kurdistan”, from millennia ago, was originally Assyria. Unfortunately for Massoud Barzani, Assyrians are still there. Making a fuss. Demanding recognition that they, too, have been for millennia living at the mercy of Arabs, Turks, and Kurds. They are, quite simply, the indigenous people.
So, if you were Massoud Barzani, the best to do in this situation is offer doublespeak; extend one hand in apparent cooperation while working stealthily to destroy ethnic identity with the other.
If you were Barzani, would you care if these people were Christian? No, their religious affiliation is incidental. Would you care that they are ethnically the indigenous people of what you want to be “Kurdistan”? Absolutely. After all, they can make waves in the otherwise calm waters on the way to an independent “Kurdistan” – also known as, Assyria.
So begins the process for raising “Kurdistan” from the ashes – fierce propaganda from one side, divide and conquer from the other.
You would begin writing about “ancient Kurdistan”, marginalizing the existence and importance of the Assyrians, who have been in the region for almost 7000 years. You would begin, slowly, claiming indigenous ties to the area. You would welcome U.S. troops, knowing U.S. policy was fully on the side of your future “Kurdistan”, and little would be done to take Assyrians seriously. When the elections finally came – you would encourage voter intimidation of the Assyrians and voter fraud to increase Kurdish representation in the cities we want. You would promote parties like Mr. Afram’s “Chaldean Democratic Union”, so that you can advance the idea that Chaldeans and Assyrians are ethnically different, causing rift, argument, and discord among this ancient nation.
More importantly, you would consistently try to capitalize on the Western belief that Kurds are secular Muslims, while simultaneously ignoring and concealing the abduction of Assyrian girls from their villages, forcing them into Islam and marriages to Muslims. Murder, beheadings, mutilations, and the burning of Assyrian civilians would go unpunished, and unchecked by the Western allies.
In order to ultimately “Kurdify” the Assyrians, you would eye the churches, pushing for “Christian” identity rather than “Assyrian” identity. What could be better for the future stability of “Kurdistan” than encouraging betrayal to a 7,000-year-old ethnicity? If the Assyrian minority begins allying with their churches and church leaders - identifying only as “Christians” - instead of allying with their political representatives - and identifying as “Assyrians” - eventually, with enough time, the idea of “Assyrian” will be lost. Ultimately, the ancient language will be lost. They will dwindle in numbers. They will forget their history, their martyrs, they will cling to their religious leaders and forget the Agha Petrouses, the David Perleys, and the Yusef Maleks, who fought and gave their lives for Assyria. Instead, these Christians will ultimately be content with becoming, ever so slowly, “Kurdish Christians”.
Indeed, if you were Massoud Barzani, you would ensure the ultimate memory loss of the Assyrians, these ancient people, by supporting their churches, and ignoring – to the point of utter disrespect – their political representatives. You would build great monuments to their God and allow basic city infrastructures to ruin. You would fund Christian religious leaders while allowing roads to go unmended, schools to crumble, and bridges to collapse. If Zowaa builds a community center – then “Kurdistan” will build a bigger one next door!
And at long last, after all of this is accomplished, you would sit back and watch these people bicker amongst themselves, unraveling in disunity, doing your job for you. Much like the American divide between the republicans are democrats, you would watch as these people attack each other according to their affiliations – Mar Bawai? Or Mar Dinkha? Zowaa? Or Bet-Nahrain? Friends will become enemies, husbands will turn on their wives, and priests will forsake their parishioners. The Assyrians will spend years arguing, as to what their actual name is – Chaldo-Assyrian? Syriac? Assyrian? You would truly enjoy yourself, as your vision of a united “Kurdistan” became clearer, stronger, while these people busied themselves with discrediting each other, attacking each other, and choosing loyalties based on jealousy, competitiveness, religious and political affiliations, rather than what is truly best for the nation as a whole.
And you will continue - dividing and conquering, dividing, and conquering…while the Kurds are uniting.
For “Kurdistan”? That is what you would do, if you were Massoud Barzani.