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Date: Mon, 9 Sep 1996 05:57:27 -0500
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>>> Item number 8724, dated 96/09/05 18:24:13 -- ALL
Date: Thu, 5 Sep 1996 18:24:13 CDT
Sender: Activists Mailing List <ACTIV-L@MIZZOU1.MISSOURI.EDU>
From: NY Transfer News Collective <nyt@blythe.org>
Subject: Washington No Friend to Kurds

Washington is no friend to the Kurds

By John Catalinotto, Workers World, 12 September 1996

The Clinton administration presents its attack on Iraq as aid to the oppressed Kurdish people. But imperialism can never liberate an oppressed nation. It only uses one oppressed nation against another.

U.S. imperialism has a long history of doing just that with the struggle for Kurdish self-determination.

Back in the days when the shah still ruled Iran, the U.S. CIA helped him by backing the Kurdistan Democratic Party- Iraq.

In his book In Search of Enemies, ex-CIA officer Dean Stockwell writes: In 1974 and 1975, the CIA, under orders from [Secretary of State Henry] Kissinger, had mounted a program to arm and encourage the Kurdish people to revolt against the Iraqi government. This was done at the request of the shah of Iran, who was contending with the Iraqis.

When the shah had reached a satisfactory understanding with the Iraqis, the CIA was called off and it abruptly abandoned the Kurds, leaving them helpless, unable to defend themselves against bloody reprisals from the Iraqi army.

Regarding this manipulation, Kissinger made his famous statement, One must not confuse the intelligence business with missionary work.

The CIA certainly didn't confuse the two. In 1991 the U.S. spy agency again urged the Kurds inside Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein. (New York Times, April 6, 1991) Some of the Kurds believed the U.S. would intervene on their behalf. Again, it was just a cynical manipulation to use the Kurds in the war the U.S. waged against Iraq.

Any intervention that helped the Kurds set up an independent nation would disrupt U.S. relations with Turkey, an important client in the region.

The Kurdish nation consists of over 20 million people in areas controlled by Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria. They have a legitimate claim for self-determination.

The most heroic struggle in this direction has been led by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has carried out armed struggle against the Turkish regime since 1984. About 12 million Kurds live in Turkey, which is a state dependent on the imperialists, especially the U.S. and Germany.

Of course U.S. imperialism gives full support to the Turkish army's attack against Kurdish areas in Turkey and PKK camps outside Turkey. That's because the PKK is a legitimate anti-imperialist group fighting for Kurdish self-determination.