Qaddafi and the Kurdistan Question?
Qaddafi has received, this past week in his tent, the Governor of the Iraqi region of Kurdistan, Masaud Barazani. He even has given the invited guest full nine-yards of protocols, and has sent his hapless PM, the presumptive head-figure of the country’s government, to welcome him at the airport. The question what interest’s Libya has with a region of an occupied country? And what cues, hints, and messages, if any Libya was trying to send, to whomever, by receiving a governor of a renegade province, in full regalia?
The world has moved but Qaddafi got stuck somewhere, in his imagination’s mists of time, perhaps in the ‘50's or ‘60's! He’s evidently not learnt a thing during all these years of hopping and knobbing with the grandees and biggies of this world. This lack of learning from the history and the events taking place during one’s life is only enforcing that other bigger problem: backwardness and ignorance!
If there’s one indicator to backwardness, it must be the lack of self-consciousness, what’s commonly called the innate sense of history. Individuals as well as nations without the realization of time and its passing lose sense of themselves and become no different from the beasts in the jungle. Without keeping the eyes focused on the compass of time, humans risk getting lost in the mayhem of daily occurrences. But keeping one’s antennas, so to speak, sharp and in the right directions is perhaps the most important quality one should have and what the art of governance is all about. Lacking that cute sense of consciousness and its sublime attribute that of being aware of what’s going on in the world is a first step to relate the events in a chain of cause and effect down the memory lane as far as the collective memory can go.
If Qaddafi had that sharp sense of history, he would’ve thought twice, if not more, about time and its rolling events. Cronus, by- and in-self, in its flow, is no more than a river, its water’s pass unnoticed until a bridge, as Martin Heidegger put it, has crossed its banks and thus had gathered its unique qualities in single gesture which would’ve brought the river, its banks, and the bridge into the harmony of a specific place and time, which in their turn will define not only the passing of events but above all the intensity of the river’s flow as well. What took place back then in the ‘60's, ‘70's, ‘80's of the last century, a lot of it had turned out to be no more than a farcical rehearsal, when was played out in real time, became what Marx has contended in the double occurrences of events, of tragic consequences. Most of those events have turned out to be of wack with real history. Since history itself was sort of spun into warps by the gamers of the Cold War. Among such made up issues, were the so-called questions of minorities! Not that minorities didn’t exist, or were not having some legitimate claims. However, no matter how sadly and unfortunately, there are still minorities and their issues have not been addressed yet, the fact of the matter minorities’ questions were mere pawns played with from those who’d never taken them seriously worthy of consideration not have any sincere intentions to settle them.
Minority questions, ironically, while they may have constituted a structural problem in their specific societies, by themselves were not deemed serious questions to start with since they’d have unrivaled the fabric which the biggies had long labored to spin into place. Rather, the issues were seen as symptoms to a graver and much insidious disease infecting mostly 3-World societies: the failure of their States to get above the fray and its divisive forces, such tribal, sectarian, etc. and be one and the same to and for all those who claimed a share in it. In other words, these questions were part of pre- modernity. As soon as these societies adapt modernity’s fully with its demands and sensibilities, the question of minorities will fade way. However, there was the other phenomenon which acted as counterforce to such a scenario. The monopolistic lure which had gripped the State in many places of the 3-world, has also put their destinies in the hands of some ethnic group, Religious sect, or a peculiar interest group which has treated society as if it were made up of a chess-board on which the different constituents were mere set pieces to be played with one against the others according urges and circumstances of the time and/or the interests of the players.
Such a game became less attractive the centripetal forces of powers and markets started acting in the opposite direction. In an age of globalization, worrying about the parts or cutting bits and pieces and giving them autonomy or independence, would neither solve the problems of the minorities nor the society they’d leave behind, nor the markets and their demands. The Balkans were a good example! And so, neither Chechenya, Kashmir, Tibet, Xinjiang nor Kurdistan, nor any of the myriad other regions in this world will have a real autonomy or independence by declaring a state or brandishing a banner of their own; chances are they’d fall easy prey to a bigger beast than the one they’d left. East Timor today is no better than Biafra, or one of the -Stans in central Asia. The drive to secession in most of the cases has turned out to be a band-aid to a deeper and much rotten wound gnawing at these groups and their societies at large. The mere fact of the existence of such a phenomenon in a society would mean its men and women have not grown up yet to sit down together and sort out their differences and find ways live together. And if there were not able to talk it over together they’ll never be able to talk each on his/her own. The old saying hang together or will be each hanged separately is still true today as in the days of the American Revolution. History has shown many times over that just because a group became smaller or more ‘homogeneous’ didn’t guarantee that it’s acquired more commonsense or wisdom to face its failures. China with 1.3 billion, India with 1.1 billion are doing much better and facing their problems with such realism that doesn’t exist yet in a country like Libya with less than 6-millions or Iraq with 25 million. It’s not the number which matters, it’s quality of that number? Israel is a good example with ~ 5-million, who’d come from all over the world, has built one of the most stable and strongest States, not only in the Middle East, but in the modern world, and has been racking havoc since its inception with 300+ million Arabs and few more millions of the other ethnic groups living beyond the borders of the area.
Thus Qaddafi has shown not only his ignorance but also plenty of hypocrisy, which knew no bounds, once again! On one side he goes around pontificating "geographical spaces," about bringing the 53-States of Africa into a union, about bringing 22-statelets of the Arabs together, on the other he’s hawking some of the most lost causes as that of the Kurds! Whatever claim, the Kurds may have had, during Saddam Hussein’s regime, they certainly have lost it the minute the sold themselves and their cause to purpose of the Empire. When they’ve sided with their country’s invaders and occupiers, they became automatically a bunch of traitorous, and thus they’ve ceded whatever claim to what may have been a legitimate grievance. Today the Iraqi Kurds, and perhaps the rest of them too, are no more than sold-out lackeys of imperialism. If such a group would ever spring in the USA, they’ll be wiped out in no time. To ask autonomy or a State under occupation is tantamount to conspiring and collaborating with the oppressors. A state or an independence that couldn’t be realized by the struggles and sweats of sons and daughters of that ethnic group are not worth having. The Kurds will never be soveriegn and independent state, since Uncle Sam has put its paws and nose inside their shattered and frayed tent, the Kurds’ cause was one of those tragic mistakes that had been lost by the machinations of its leaders and their unscrupulous attitudes and alliances. They couldn’t pitch a tent on their own. What the Kurd couldn’t fight for as men and women, has conspired and plotted to have done by outsiders. Even if their cause still has some legitimacy; in today’s Iraq would have to be put on the back burner until the occupation is over and there’s a clear idea and vision of what the next stage will look like.
Qaddafi has no business in sticking his nose in a tragic situation by adding more salt to a pestering wound. He should have stayed out of the mess of Iraq until the fire burns itself out and what remains could be assessed. Iraq needs help! From food to convincing the occupier to leave, to telling Iran to take its hands off, and the Saudis and the rest of them to stop adding fuel to the fire. Perhaps, it ain’t the first time, but certainly in mine and yours, an Arab State that has been destroyed and its social fabric was dismantled with the full collaboration of those hooked-noses, goatee-bearded, wrapped-heads, treacherous bunch called Arabs!