THE RIGHT TO KURDISH SELF-DETERMINATION AND A NATION-STATE
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During these days, when so many countries around the world view our American Republic in a bad or false light, it is refreshing to see a nation and its people extend a hand of peace and goodwill. That country is Kurdistan, also known as Kurdistan. Between the nations of Armenia, Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran, there are some 30 million Kurds, living in diaspora. A recent look at American involvement in the Iraqi theatre in the last 25 years has shown that the Kurds, in general, have been supportive and friendly to the United States. Since even the time of World War I, the Kurdish people have dreamed of their own, independent state and have had to battle oppressive regimes in order to keep that dream alive. It is with great joy and hopefulness to declare that the reality of a free and independent Kurdistan is at our threshold.
As Americans who love independence, freedom and the right to self-government without fear of oppression or tyranny, the creation and stability of a free and independent Kurdish state is something we must support, just by virtue of us being Americans, aside from the fact that we Americans also prize freedom and independence.
As it stands today, in the Middle East, there is no government or nation, besides Israel, that is placing itself in the heart of the fight against radical Islam. The brave Kurdish people have a standing army that is essentially doing our bidding against ISIS. If Kurdistan is strong and vibrant, then ISIS is weakened. On the other hand, if Kurdistan is weakened and destabilized, then ISIS is encouraged to proceed in taking more villages, towns and cities in north Iraq. The time has come for the United States to throw its full support behind Kurdistan, not only for purposes of its own self-determination, but for the promotion of democracy and representative government in the Arab world.
The level of commitment which the Kurdish people have shown in their longstanding fight against the ultra-radical ISIS in these last three years, is not only commendable, but also, a cause which demands our allegiance and support as a nation. Again, other than Israel, there is no other nation or state that has shown itself to be a serious contender to oppose the spread of ISIS and its ideology. This alone should cause us, as Americans, to throw our support behind her in every way.
I am here today to declare that, if elected as Congressman, I will be Kurdistan’s greatest supporter on Capitol Hill, not if, but when it finally becomes a nation.
Let us look at the facts about Kurdistan and what it stands for in what is otherwise a geographically tough neighborhood:
Kurdistan is sovereign territory in north Iraq. Its business and economic development in the last decade is a welcome sign when compared with the infrastructural breakdowns in Iraq. It has stood by America as a staunch ally when needed. It has never turned its back on us. Now, when the times are most desperate, we cannot and should not turn our backs on Kurdistan, especially against an enemy who is intent on turning the clock back 1000 years, if given the chance.
In a region where so many women are fighting for such basic things as the right to drive a car or the right to attend school, or even the right to be free from physical abuse, the Kurdish governing authority has entrusted its own self- defense and survival to the mothers, daughters and sisters of Kurdistan.
Kurdistan’s Women Defense Units have done a remarkable job in standing up and fighting against ISIS. If there is one group of people who need to see our support and solidarity in the Middle East, it is the Kurdish people.
Even through its female population, Kurdistan has demonstrated its serious intent to become a beacon of democracy to its people groups, irrespective of their gender, religion or ethnicity. And by its example, I am hoping and trusting that other totalitarian regimes in the region would follow suit. There must be a strong and pronounced American declaration in support a free and independent Kurdistan, which will serve as a beacon of liberty, justice and equality.
The men, women and children of Kurdistan need you and I to act now. We can all become a part of history by demanding that our candidates for Congress, and incumbents in Congress, begin to work together to draft formal legislation which recognizes Kurdistan as a free and sovereign nation-state in 2016. There’s a lot of work ahead for a new Kurdistan, I am sure, but the starting point is to build on a foundation based on democracy and reverence for human rights and social development. Kurdistan and its people are serving by example.
As your Congressman, I will continue to be an active and committed proponent of an American foreign policy that encourages and supports a lively democracy in Kurdistan. It is with exciting hope that I will welcome the newly-built nation of Kurdistan.
Just recently in March 2016, it was reported that there are at least 100 Westerners who have joined the Kurdish fight against the Islamic State. They come from all walks of life and from every corner of the world. Too often, on the news, we hear the discouraging stories about confused or misled youth who are somehow deceived into joining ISIS or throwing their support behind this evil group of people. We rarely ever hear about these brave women and men who have locked arms in solidarity with the Kurdish people and their army to fight ISIS in the hills, mountains and deserts of Iraq and Syria. These men, some of whom are ordinary citizens and others who are in fact, former soldiers, see the practical need in lending support to the Kurdish cause and Kurdistan’s own fight for survival.
Because we all know that a victorious Kurdistan is also a victory for the United States in our own fight against terrorism – at the very least – it will lessen the need for Americans to send their own sons and daughters back to the battle fields of Iraq and Syria. And that’s a good thing that I am sure we can all get behind.
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