I was singing David Crosby’s rock classic, Almost Cut My Hair and when I got to the line “I feel like letting my freak flag fly”, it gave me the inspiration for today’s thought. I have been a supporter of the Free Tibet movement for many years and it grieves me that a peaceful 3,000 year old nation is under the thumb of tyranny and oppression. Recently I made one of my ongoing contributions to a group that tries to help and it made me consider again that it is true that “Man is free at the moment he wishes to be,” in the words of Voltaire.
And therefore after much consideration I am adding Free Kurdistan to myprayer list. 98% of the population living in Southern Kurdistan voted to form an independent state and as I continue to see the demise of a unified Iraqi state which was artificial from the get-go, I am now leaning toward a free Kurdistan. I really wanted Iraq to work out and maybe it still will but it seems to me that history shows such divided countries usually require a dictatorship to hold them together and with dictatorships, human rights often go to the wayside. Anyhow, the movement for freedom began in 1946 and is shared these days by an overwhelming majority of Kurds in Iranian, Syrian and Turkish occupied Kurdistan as well as Kurds in Diaspora who are determined to make statehood a reality. The U.S has or has had up to 20,000 troops in northern Iraq and Kurdistan. There are only 60 to 70 U.S. troops stationed in the Kurdish areas. I don’t believe a single U.S. soldier has died there. Correct this assumption if I am wrong. It is a safe place, an anomaly in the region, with a vibrant economy and Muslims there actually pray for America in their Mosques. Kirkuk, just a short distance from the Kurdistan border is a city that has been relatively calm over the past four years compared to the turmoil in Baghdad. Indeed, there are fears that ethnic tensions could escalate as there is a planned referendum on whether Kirkuk should become part of Iraq’s “autonomous” Kurdish region. Kirkuk sits on some of Iraq’s richest oil deposits. Yet I am for annexation of the city and further stabilization of the nearby oil fields. This may be a (petroleum) pipe dream. Therefore while it has never been my intention to be political in terms of advocating policy in this forum, I urge you to consider this key geopolitical situation with reason and uprightness even if you reach a different conclusion than me. Both the Tibetans and the Kurds at the very least deserve our deepest consideration and these are the types of friends we could use. Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I can finish that old Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young song I started, “I’m goin’ to find a space inside a laugh, yes, separate the wheat from some chaff.”