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The War Nerd November 19, 2007
Da Kurds: Boo Hoo Who?
Why Kurdistan is not a nation and never will be By Gary Brecher Browse author Email
Page 4 of 5

Oh, there was a Wilson style "treaty" that was supposed to give the Kurds a country--the Treaty of Sevres in 1920--but you can't give people a country. They either luck into one or they carve it out with a knife. Ataturk rejected the treaty and told the Kurds, "How about we just fight ya for it?" The new army, now the Turkish Army, fought Kurdish guerrillas all through the 1920s and beat them--and again, it wasn't because the Kurds can't fight, but because they couldn't unite and the Turks could. If you had Ataturk sitting back at HQ you'd follow orders, too. You better, boy. The Kurds followed their nomad tribal bosses and got cut to pieces, real bravely.

A Kurdish major dressed to kill

And then, after the slaughter, comes the comedy. That's what I love about modern war: how the language crap always follows the carnage. See, Ataturk's new country had to follow Wilson's line that a country means a bunch of people from the same tribe, preferably talking the same lingo. The Ottomans never even heard of that idea, and the Turks didn't really get it either; all they knew is that they had taken their country back from pretty much the whole damn world and weren't going to give any of it back, not an inch, period.

Ataturk was a smart guy; he knew you had to deal with the Anglos' crap about "the rights of small nations" if you were going to do business in the 20th-century world. So he or his Propaganda Ministry came up with this hilarious revisionist history where the Kurds were actually "Mountain Turks." Meaning, hillbillies, but from the same tribe as the main branch of the Turks, just kinda backward, needing a little help from Istanbul. You know: "Never mind, Meeester President Weeeelson, these so-kall-ed Koords, they eez joost poor mountain Turks, we help them, they our brothers"--and then the Effendi shuts the door on some League of Nations dweeb and calls to the back room, "Mehmet, haven't you torn that bastard rebel's fingernails out yet? What are you, expecting time-and-a-half because it's Friday? We're secular now, asshole, so get the pliers and write down the names of all his relatives so we can get them buried before sundown!"

Actually, and I expect you to be properly impressed I looked this shit up, Kurds ain't Turks at all. Nobody seems too sure what they are ethnically or even what a typical Kurd is supposed to look like. One thing you'll remember from the Kurdish uprisings after Gulf War I is how the women reporters were all blubbering about "blue-eyed children" getting gassed by Chemical Ali, like it's a whole lot worse when a kid with some recessive gene drowns in her own lung butter than one with brown eyes. Still, in this pissant era you use every propaganda weapon you got, and one of the few cards the Kurds are holding is that they've got their share of blondes and blue eyes. Not a high card--I mean, look how far the moron Nazis got basing their ideology on a couple recessive genes--but better than nothing. Of course there are plenty of pale Turks, too--people used to do a lot more rapin' and ridin' in those parts and genes kinda got swapped around--but they're not "victims," so nobody cares.

Sir Noble Knights

As for "the Kurdish language," that's another messy one. I realize most war nerds would rather talk MBT main-gun caliber than linguistics, but if this crap is good enough for Petraeus, it's good enough for us. Fact is, language is a huge part of making war in the past 200 years, ever since that whole "small nations" crap started. The basic idea is that if there's a language out there, you need to give it a flag and a little song and the whole deal or it'll be wiped out by the big, bad languages. A whole bunch of guerrillas who are willing to die for their idiot language and songs and poems. Don't ask me; I guess it's something you have to get conquered to understand. Maybe if Iceland invaded California and banned me from humming "Kickin' up a fuss in the Cumberland Gap," I'd riot, too.

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Gary Brecher
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The future of The eXile is in your hands! We're holding a fundraiser to save the paper, and your soul. Tune in to Gary Brecher's urgent request for reinforcements and donate as much as you can. If you don't, we'll be overrun and wiped off the face of the earth, forever.

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