Excerpt from Michael J Totten’s interview with Iranian Kurds during his most recent trip to Iraq:
MJT: Which regime was more oppressive to you?
Mohtadi: The Iranians.
MJT: Worse than Saddam?
Mohtadi: Yes, of course. To Iranian Kurds, yes.
MJT: Tell us something about this. Very few Americans, including me, know very much about what the Iranian government has done to the Kurds in Iran.
Mohtadi: That’s exactly our problem. So many people in the West and in the world know that Kurds had problems in Iraq, they have problems in Turkey. But very few people know that Kurds are under oppression in Iran, as well.
Something to think about as we contemplate policy towards Iran.
Our relationship with the Kurds in Iraq is and has every reason to continue being a working one. For all our blunders and betrayals, we came through for them in the end. Point in fact is that the prosperity the Kurds now enjoy in Iraq demonstrates what can be achieved when the West sticks to its guns; it was enforcement of the no-fly zones over the years between the wars which enabled them to build the successful modern state (a sovereign state all but in name) that they have today while the Shia inhabitants of Saddam’s playhouse were in bloody shackles.
What, I wonder, will be our policy regarding the Kurds in Iran? Can they look forward to a day of liberation with (if need be) borrowed muscle from the free world or is the game of liberation a game that we’ve all grown tired of? This is an example of the kind of question I would like to see put to presidential candidates at home when election time rolls around.