From A World to Win News Service

Iraq: Once Again the US Betrays the Kurds

Revolutionary Worker #1253, October 3, 2004, posted at

We received the following from A World to Win News Service.

September 20, 2004. A World to Win News Service. Following is an abridged translation of an article that appeared in the August issue of Haghighat, newspaper of the Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist- Maoist). Remarks in brackets have been added.

When the U.S. invaded and occupied Iraq, it asked for the help of the two ruling parties in Iraqi Kurdistan, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP). In return, it promised that the future Iraq would have a federal structure. [This meant that Iraq would be divided along ethnic lines into states with some degree of autonomy. Any three states--specifically the three Kurdish states corresponding to the present three Kurdish provinces--would have veto power over national legislation.]

These two parties representing feudalism and big capitalism in Kurdistan really believed this promise. They worked to make the Kurdish people believe that the U.S. was going to Iraq to rescue the Kurds and other Iraqis from the grips of Saddam's regime and empty his prisons and torture chambers. It didn't take long before these lies were exposed. In the face of this situation, the Kurdish leaders told their people, "It doesn't matter if the U.S. is brutal, the important thing is that they promised to give us a federal government." But very soon it became obvious that this was a lie, too.

Now the Kurdish people in Iraq are worried. The members of these parties say, "The countdown to U.S. betrayal of the Kurds has started." PUK leader Jalal Talabani can no longer boast of how "smart" he was to tie the fate of the Kurds to the imperialists' war machine. Massoud Barzani, the leader of the KDP, poses objections, but, he says determinedly, "We will get our rights." Despite this deceit, it has been once more revealed that the U.S. has not gone to Iraq to give rights to anyone but to demolish all rights to save its world empire, and for that end it is prepared to sacrifice enemies and friends alike.

The first draft of Iraq's new constitution was approved last March by Paul Bremer [then U.S. governor of Iraq] and the "Iraq governing council" he appointed. In this draft there was an article concerning the establishment of Kurdish states in the framework of an Iraqi federation. But as time went on the U.S. concluded that such a structure would not stabilize Iraq. [The first public sign of its changed position came a few months ago when] the resolution of the UN Security Council concerning the future government of Iraq failed to mention the right of Kurds to federal government. The Kurdish parties protested, and the U.S. ignored them. Based on this resolution, Bremer selected a bunch of Iraqi reactionaries to make up an interim government. The U.S. had promised Talabani and Barzani that they would get either the post of the presidency or that of prime minister, along with other important ministerial positions. But this didn't happen either. [Instead, a PUK leader was made chairman of the interim council, a pseudo- parliament without much real power. The Kurds also got 24 of the 100 seats in this toothless body whose first meeting was interrupted by mortar fire falling on the Green Zone, the U.S. headquarters where it was meeting.]

The U.S. has made it clear that they are more interested in building alliances with the traditional Arab ruling classes, as well as Shia feudals and compradors [tribal leaders and foreign-dependent businessmen] and the reactionary Shiite clergy, than with Kurdish feudals and compradors. Of course American officials continue to travel to Kurdistan and hold meetings with Kurdish leaders. They promise hundreds of millions of dollars and exchange kisses according to the Kurdish tradition. This makes the Kurdish leaders very pleased and proud. But the ruling class of Iraqi Kurdistan is not at the top of the U.S.'s list for the alliance it wishes to build. The U.S. has chosen to replace Saddam with another Baathist, Ayad Allawi, whom the Americans made interim prime minister and who would like to become prime minister for life. His cousin has been made Defense Minister, and fellow Baathists occupy other security and economic posts. The brutal suppression they are known for includes suppressing Kurdish national resistance. This doesn't mean that economic and political advantages would not be given to Kurdish parties and their leaders. The imperialists would take care of them and their families economically and would protect them. But what about the people of Kurdistan?

Many of the masses of Iraqi Kurdistan hope that the PUK and KDP will stand up against the new government and the U.S. betrayal. But there is no basis for this hope, because the leaders of these parties are feudals and big capitalists and the political servants of U.S. imperialism and the reactionary powers in the region. They are not prepared to stand up against the U.S. and the regional powers for the interests of the masses (even the interests of the Kurdish masses). Their class interests are what led them to adopt their pro-U.S. position. There was no mistake on their part. What is disastrous is that they have fooled a great many Iraqi Kurdish intellectuals and masses. No progressive forces in Iraqi or Iranian Kurdistan exposed Talabani's astonishing mystical stories. His conclusion that "For the first time, the Kurds are on the winning side" was not only rash but also very poisonous. He was telling the Kurds that siding with invading imperialists and against the people (Arab people and Kurdish people) is a good thing and must be celebrated. Actually, this is a disaster for the just struggle of the Kurdish people. The responsibility lies with the two Kurdish parties that have led the people to this point.

Now the Iraqi Kurdistan parties are helping the consolidation of the Allawi government. This is another betrayal, because the new Iraqi government will definitely be a sworn enemy of the Kurdish people.

Last March when the initial draft of the constitution that was approved included the creation of federal states in the three Kurdish provinces, people celebrated. Even in some cities in Iranian Kurdistan some people went into the streets and danced joyously. These hopes were quickly disappointed. But what if U.S. imperialism really had agreed to a Kurdish state in an Iraqi federation and such a government had been established? In that case, could the basic political and economic aspirations of the majority of the people of Kurdistan have been satisfied? Certainly not! Such a government only could have consolidated the political and economic strength of a small section of the people of Kurdistan, in other words, the political and economic strength of the feudals and big bourgeoisie and the flunkies of the two ruling parties.

There would be no fundamental change in the destiny of the rest of the people. Let's go even further and imagine that a separate Kurdish government were established, the kind of reactionary state dependent on world capitalism that exists in Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Would the addition of a reactionary Kurdish government to the other reactionary states in the Middle East have made a fundamental difference to the destiny of the majority of Kurdish masses? Are the interests of the workers and peasants of Kurdistan closer to the interests of Kurdish feudals and compradors, or to the interests of the Arab workers and peasants?

These are the real questions. A new polarization of the political scene in Iraqi Kurdistan must take place. Let's look at this question from the viewpoint of the workers and peasants of Kurdistan: Is it in the interests of the workers and peasants of Kurdistan to help consolidate the power of the reactionary classes in Iraq and Kurdistan and U.S. imperialist domination in the Middle East? Is it in their interests to side with the U.S. and the new government of Iraq and suppress the Arab people so that the PUK and KDP can occupy high positions? Of course not--a thousand times no.

Is there no one fed up with the subservience of the Kurdish leaders to the U.S., and with their parasitism and bandit economic policy and their lies in the name of "the politics of the possible"? If there are such people, they are the advanced and should search out correct and clear answers to the above questions and take them to the masses and make them the belief of the people. This is an important part of class struggle in Iraqi Kurdistan.

U.S. imperialism can never liberate the Kurdish people from the yoke of national oppression since the U.S. itself is the biggest national oppressor in the world. Fully ending national oppression is only possible in a framework of new democratic and socialist revolution and the international unity of the peoples. We can compare occupied Iraq with the liberated areas of Nepal under the control of communist forces. Today the liberated areas in Nepal are the only place in today's world where the right of self-determination has been actually realized. With the support of the People's Liberation Army and the leadership of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), the many oppressed nationalities in Nepal have formed their own autonomous governments. The communists do not wait a hundred years to make their programme a reality. They do it immediately after seizing political power--in the case of Nepal, even before they have won countrywide political power--and liberate the masses from the yoke of oppression.

What is essential in Iraqi Kurdistan is the uprising of a group of fearless communist fighters who would politically and ideologically challenge the Iraqi Kurdish leaders and develop a political line for the Kurdish masses separate from and against the line of these two parties. At the same time, call on Arab fighters to separate their line from religious fundamentalism and the Baathists who try to make capital of the genuine outrage of the Arab masses against the U.S. and the new Iraqi government. And all together, develop a common leadership to prepare the overthrow of the new puppet regime of Iraq, drive out the invaders and build a new Iraq that belongs to the people, where the right of self-determination and the voluntary union of all nations is recognized. Such comradely and voluntary union is possible only when the Arab and Kurdish reactionary classes have been overthrown, the imperialists have been driven out, and the semi-feudal social and economic system dependent on world capitalism has been eradicated.

Only communism is the reflection of the deepest present and future interests of the deprived masses of all countries and nations. Communism is something far different from the thousands of years of superstitious beliefs and narrow-minded nationalist ideology. The people cannot come to such ideas automatically. The communist activists should work hard and fearlessly to take these ideas to the masses so they can see where their sun is. This is an important part of the class struggle. This is one of the most important activities that should be waged in Kurdistan and other parts of Iraq. No matter where in the world such an attempt is made to build the future, the future belongs to the masses of people and not a bunch of reactionaries. The spreading of communism and the formation of communist parties must be assisted.