The Kurds, the darlings of the West

The Kurds, the darlings of the West
Because of their stand against the Islamic State group, the Kurds have become the darlings of the West. But the West has a habit of picking favourites that serve its own interests.
4 min read
24 Oct, 2014
The world is watching the seige of Kobane [AFP]
They roam individually or in groups, searching for satellite trucks on the Turkish side of the border near the Syrian-Kurdish town of Kobane. Once they see a television reporter on camera reporting news of the ongoing battle between Kurdish forces and the Islamic State group (IS, formerly known as ISIS), they surround them, take pictures of them and record their words with their mobile phones. They get what the journalist said translated, and if they are not satisfied with what the journalist said - or even with how it was said - they hunt them down and punish them. The punishment is mostly verbal, though it can be physical.  

They are angry Kurds. Angry because of the battle their own people have been forced to fight against IS. Their reactions are extreme towards Arabs and Muslims in general. They think thuggish bullying is the only way to control the media. 

Amid their rage, these Kurdish "thugs" attack Arabs in retaliation at IS, forgetting or ignoring the fact that IS is not comprised of Arab nationalists. They ignore the fact that IS kills everyone who disagrees with it, without regard to national or religious affiliation. And IS itself includes Kurdish fighters, one of whom is directing the siege of Kobane, while its ranks are filled with fighters from all over the world.

This chauvinistic Kurdish rejection of things Islamic and Arab is obvious on social media, where they hysterically renounce Islam and revive the stories of ancient Kurds, proclaiming "we are the children of sun and fire". 

I wonder how different from IS these Kurds would be if they had the same power? They blindly terrorise people who actually support their cause. Every time I saw them assaulting reporters, or read what they wrote on social media, I would say this was the behaviour of a few individuals, which undermines the righteousness of the historic national struggle of the Kurds for self-determination in their own land. I regarded them as failed advocates of a just cause. But as bad experience has followed bad experience, including a threat to my person that forced me to leave Kobane, the matter is bigger than that and more dangerous. These Kurds belong to Kurdish parties whose leaders act on a Machiavellian logic that contradicts their own raison d'être as liberal revolutionary powers. They no longer feel shame in cooperating with and coordinating their security with the regime of Bashar al-Asad, harming the Syrian uprising. Some even reportedly cooperate with Israel.

The West's darlings 

The world's attention continues to be monopolised by IS - and perhaps all the attention is making it seem as if it were the only source of terror in the region, as if all other belligerent forces are peace-loving doves. 

Assad's regime, Hizballah, the Houthis, the Abu al-Fadl al-Abbas Brigades and other groups all do what IS does every day, and more. They raid cities, killing and torturing. But they do so without bragging about beheadings on camera, so the international community overlooks their brutal crimes and does not mobilise armies to fight them. The US and Western Europe even favour some of them over others, to suit their own interests. All this, of course, is done under the slogan of defending human rights.

Take, for example, what is happening in Kobane right now. The international coalition has thrown its support behind a Kurdish force the West has labelled as "terrorist". The coalition bombs IS positions from the air and pushes its fighters back from the city centre. But when they stop, IS advances again. Between attacks the US-led coalition drops arms and ammunition to Kurdish fighters, which fall – by mistake – into the hands of IS fighters.

Did they say it was by mistake? Who knows if this is the truth or if their intention was to prolong the battle, until Turkey could be dragged into a potential threat to its domestic stability. Ultimately, the darlings of the West will be those who remain alone, secure and stable, while all their neighbours crumble.

This article is an edited translation from our Arabic site.