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 In light of the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt: The coming fate of Kurdish leaders Barzani and Talabani 

 Analysis — Opinion    
  The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author


In light of the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt: The coming fate of Kurdish leaders Barzani and Talabani  10.2.2011  
By Rauf Naqishbendi -

February 10, 2011

At last, the longstanding repression in the Middle East has resulted in the manifestation of liberation marches, as seen in the many capital cities of the region. This milestone, as initiated in Tunisia, will render a domino effect throughout the region for a long time to come. The repressive authorities who have imposed their grip of power never imagined, even in their most horrific nightmares, how swiftly the yoke of their repression could shake their royal reign.

In the wake of this dangerous and inflammable event just witnessed and the spectacular agility of its spread throughout the region, consider the fate of the two Kurdish tyrants Barzani and Talabani. The most arrogant national looters, thieves, and mass murderers of their own people for nearly half a century, their leadership is by far more malignant than the despised Ben Ali of Tunisia and Egypt’s Mubarak. Therefore, it is incumbent upon Iraqi Kurds to lock them in a court of justice so that they may be prosecuted for their evil betrayal of their innocent people.            

Rauf Naqishbendi
It has been about half a century since the birth of the Kurdish armed struggle aiming for an independent Kurdistan. The power struggle between these two tyrants has already taken a bloody toll on the Kurdish people. When these shameless rulers didn't have enough money, or when one had more than the other, they challenged one another using the blood of their own people in battles that were bitterer than any they ever fought against the Kurdish enemy, Saddam. Furthermore, Mr. Barzani went so far as to invite Saddam's invasion of Kurdistan when Kurdistan was protected by America and its Gulf War allies. Of course, the fighting between the two factions was never for ideological or philosophical reasons or differences about how to free Kurdistan from occupation, but rather it has always been a power struggle. These leaders pursued every gross and shameless act to maintain their power, and that includes serving as the agent of Kurdish enemies, including Iranian Mullahs and Saddam Hussein.

After the American invasion of Iraq, both leaders began receiving billions of dollars annually appropriated for the reconstruction of Kurdistan and other social programs. However, both rulers allocated a fraction of that fund for the public good, while a lion’s share of it was siphoned into their personal bank accounts. A public uproar has commenced, demanding that these leaders open their books and show how the people’s funds were dispersed, but with no avail, for they have treated it as their own personal money and resisted every scheme of accountability.

The two leaders have plundered the people's rights and slammed the doors of equal opportunity and freedom of expression. Each tyrant has his active secret service to suffocate the voice of his opposition. Each has his own cronies, and they have employed their family members and their followers in all visible and highly-paid public office jobs. Each has his own armed forces and law enforcement in his respective territory. Between the two, they have full control of the main publications and broadcasting systems. Yet both have been portraying themselves as democratic leaders, claiming transparency whenever public opinion makes this claim necessary.

It has been a mere half century of the rule of these two Kurdish leaders without even once, a member of either leaders political party or a member of their family, being indicted for corruption or misconduct. This indictment is not for their pristine leadership but, conspicuously, for lack of transparency and accountability. The corruption started from the top, with the Barzani and Talabani families and their cronies. Obviously, they were not willing to prosecute their political parties’ loyalists or their family members,
www.ekurd.netto whom they license their misconducts. Thus, they polluted Kurdish culture and created an unethical culture to mirror their corrupted morality and their insatiable appetite for greed and power. The tradition at present is that the appealing subject in the people’s family gatherings and even in teahouses is that of the corrupted leadership. That same tradition was in fashion even during the time of Mustafa Barzani, Massoud’s father, as he led the most corrupt revolution in modern history, and whose corrupted path his son treads.

Barzani and Talabani have grown too complacent. Their assessment of the situation is grossly mistaken in their own estimate. The people may be disappointed in Barzani’s and Talabani’s long time of rule, but the people have not fallen into despair of seeing the leaders’ impending collapse. The people have been forced into silence for fear of harsh consequences, but they have not given up striving to find a way out of their misery. They may have been disappointed that the leaders’ demise is long overdue, yet they are anxiously patient, knowing their time of justice has drawn nigh. The people of Kurdistan understand the strength of their corrupted leaders, but this has not undermined their will and desire to cleanse their nation from ominous and corrupt leadership. It is a matter of time, and the time of triumph when they will regain their pride and honor is not far away.

Undoubtedly, for Barzani the matter is tribal honor and prestige, while for Talabani it is not a struggle but a vehicle whereby his personal ambition can flourish. For the Kurdish people, however, it is a matter of national destiny, national security embodied in social justice and genuine liberty. Rest assured that the continuing reign of these two leaders will invite upon the Kurds turbulent days that may be more painful than Saddam’s days. No matter how near and dear independent Kurdistan is to the Kurds, that national ambition will never see the light of the day under the current leadership. Therefore, the sooner this hideous leadership is buried, the better it will be for the good of the Kurds.

Rauf Naqishbendi is a contributing columnist for Kurdish Websites, and 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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  The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author


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