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 Barzani and Talabani: Discredited leaders who have gone too far

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Barzani and Talabani: Discredited leaders who have gone too far  20.2.2009 
By Rauf Naqishbendi

February 20, 2009

Barzani and Talabani have sold out the country. Nowhere is this treason more conspicuous than in Kirrkuk, Mosul and Khanaqeen. The American invasion of Iraq, which presented itself as a golden opportunity, is gone with the wind thanks to these two incompetent leaders. They cheated the nation; they betrayed the confidence placed in them; they helped themselves and their cronies to get rich; they looted the nation's entitlements and proceeds from resources; they forced their control on the media, the army and all government posts and locked the whole nation in the grasp of their power struggle.

Barzani and Talabani divided the nation into two, not ideologically but as a consequence of a power struggle that developed around these two despicable and selfish figures. They suffocated or undermined every voice for reform and change and silenced every goodwill aimed at justice and fairness. Not only are they disinclined to do good for the masses, but they remained as obstacles standing in the way of good deeds and good initiatives.                       

Rauf Naqishbendi
People expected to realize national recognition embodied in a truly sovereign Kurdish state that would be recognized internationally. Instead, Barzani and Talabani created a phony government unrecognized and meaningless in the eyes of the rest of the world.

The list of atrocities Barzani and Talabani has committed against Kurds is long, atrocious, and painful to disclose. People in Kurdistan used to be communities of people upholding the sanctity of their country and their land. They were proud of their origin and their national identity and without it they would have been liquidated like many other nations in Mesopotamia. To their consternation,
www.ekurd.netBarzani and Talabani interjected a culture of greed, mistrust, and corruption. They have attempted to root out every iota of patriotism to silence national exigency, and to clear the field for themselves to exercise cronyism, nepotism and favoritism.

Prior to their ascendancy, people lived in a society where they were taught to give and sacrifice everything for the well-being and liberty of greater commonwealth. They were encouraged to fight injustice and the enemies of humanity. They revolted and sacrificed for decades. They endured suffering, destruction, bloodshed, mass slaughter, mass imprisonment and genocide. While all that was happening, Barzani and Talabani and their families were provided protection and they were shielded from harm's way. They lived abroad. People sacrificed painfully and greatly while their leaders lived normal lives. Barzani and Talabani lived like kings and princes, they never rendered any personal sacrifices. They were never jailed, or were persecuted. They contributed nothing from their personal coffer to assist the cause they led. They lost nothing and gained everything. Sure, they haven’t been Nelson Mandela or George Washington. Now more than ever before, there is a dividing line between them and the rest of the people. While people fear return of dark days and dread another genocide, Barzani and Talabani are comforted because they can flee the country when it happens, as they did before. They have stashed away enough money in the banks abroad where they can live comfortably for generations.

The injustice has gone too far and needs to be corrected or the Kurds can expect a reoccurrence of their past tragedies. This dark cloud created by the debilitating immorality of unethical leadership must be cleared or an impending and shocking calamity will reverberate throughout the entire Kurdistan, and what awaits on the horizon will be far more devastating than even Saddam’s genocide.

Saddam bombed Kurds with chemical and biological agents and bulldozed alive hundreds of thousands during his Anfal campaign as part of his genocide practice against Kurds. Saddam was a fanatic Arab nationalist, and now instead of one fanatic Arab nationalist there are two tyrannical Kurdish leaders who are undermining the well-being of their people to serve their evil personal ambition for power and their greedy love for money and wealth. They distributed all public land to their cronies and their family members, they placed their friends and family members in the highest public offices. They ignored the difficulties of the struggling middleclass and the hand-to-mouth existence of the labor force. They created an atmosphere of unaccountability even as they talked of transparency.

People need clean water and electricity, adequate healthcare and a schooling system, dairy farms, dams to provide drinking water and meet the needs of farmlands, and industrial projects to create jobs. Instead, the corrupt leadership built expensive high-rise apartments, exclusive shopping malls, extravagant hotels and golf courses, all of which are beyond the common people’s affordability and tailor made for their own family members and cronies.

There has never been an instance in Kurdish history where so much money has been appropriated to the Kurdistan region, with so little to show for it. And despite the vast sums of money appropriated, people remain helpless and overly dependent on others for their needs. There has been no historical precedence where so much money has been looted from the people, while so much wealth has been created to benefit the leaders. Barzani and Talabani and their families will forever be the disgraceful historical figures remembered for their total lack of morality and their utter irresponsibility.

Too much has gone wrong and for too long under Talabani and Barzani. It's about time for people in Kurdistan to act, to right the wrongs, and to react to the injustices visited upon them to bring sensibility, sanity and responsibility to a corrupted social and political structure. Reform alone will not be enough. There must also be a change in leadership. The intent of reform is to correct what has been mistakenly undertaken. But here we are dealing with a wicked leadership that has been looting the nation, a leadership that betrayed the nation in the past and continues to do so now. These leaders have committed treason against an innocent nation and they must be dealt with within the legal frame work and brought to justice.

Newroz, the Kurdish New Year is pending. Should these corrupted leaders not be set aside, then Kawa and His Hammer may be needed. There are kings to be uncrowned, despots to be buried, justice to be rendered, wrongs to set right.

Rauf Naqishbendi is a contributing columnist for Kurdish Websites, American Chronicle , americanchronicle com and has written Op/Ed pages for the Los Angeles Times. He has just completed his memoirs entitled "The Garden Of The Poets" which reads as a novel depicting his experience and the subsequent 1988 bombing of his hometown with chemical and biological weapons by Saddam Hussein. It is the story of his people's suffering. Rauf Naqishbendi is a software engineer in San Francisco Bay Area.

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