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Peace Is the Way, a response to a supporter about war

September 21, 2014

My dear friend,
Thank you very much for your letter. Indeed, it surprised me! The tone of the letter is not yours––at least not the tone of a person I have known and benefited from for the last decade. Through all these years of prison time, I learned a lot from the stories and letters you sent me. They helped me remain patient, they strengthened my faith in the peace movement, and they gave me hope for a peaceful future. But now, all of sudden comes this shocking letter!

Of course, as human beings we all have our up and down moments! But they should not affect the principles we live by. Situations will always change, but the principles do not. I wish I could show your letter to Gandhi or Dr. King or Nelson Mandela and see how they might respond to it, and what they would tell you about it!

I am sure you admire them very much, and you know more about them than I do, but I would like to remind you of what Gandhi said: "There is no way for peace, peace IS the way!" Yes, my friend, to me this is the principle: "If they really want peace, let them use it"––or at least, as Kak Steve used to demonstrate about it before Iraqi's second war, let them "Give peace a chance." But it's politics (I mean hypocrisy) to cry for peace and then declare a war, to talk about freedom and then invade a country, to claim to stand for human dignity and rights and then end thousands of innocent lives! Of course there are always excuses and plenty of fictional reasons for war, it's very easy to deceive people and frighten them into creating a case for war and gaining their support, but it will not be easy to stop it or even predict where it will go and how it will end!

Those honorable intellectual politicians––I mean the thieves and the arrogant ones who are making millions of dollars by sending other people's children to war (I mean, to die), while they send their own children to Cambridge and Harvard for education and to Hawaii and the Bahamas for vacation––to them, people like me and those poor ladies (mothers) who shouted in Congress, "No to a third Iraq war... don't attack Syria...don't go back to the Middle East!” are nothing but worthless people, insane noisemakers. But in fact, they themselves are ignorant hypocrites, it seems they do not read history and do not benefit even from their own mistakes, since they keep repeating the same thing and expecting a different outcome!

It's really sad to see a bunch of mad youths pushing the entire world toward their direction and to what they always dreamed about it: a "clash." They want it to be big, so they can claim it's between two civilizations. I am wondering: how can the fragile Middle East, unstable Iraq, and wounded Syria endure another decade of war? How many more people need to die, and how many more millions need to lose everything and end up in refugee camps? Let’s look back at a few wars in the last two or three decades. I am sure you still remember that before each of them, we heard a lot of promises, from nation-building to democracy to freedom to a peaceful life for all––but now we know they were nothing, just illusions.

Look at Somalia: after all these years of war and destruction, where's the promised democracy, rebuilding, and peace? All they created was chaos, which brought Al-Shabab into existence, and then even before they got rid of them, the new group, Boko Haram, popped up in their back yard!

Look at Afghanistan: where’s the promised democracy, freedom, and peace? They brought back corrupted warlords to power and they ruined the country, and even before they destroyed the Taliban, another Taliban popped up in their back yard!

Look at Iraq: after a sea of blood and almost a million innocent people dead, where’s the promised democracy, peace, and freedom? All we got were sectarians and extremists who opened the door for Al-Qaida to come in, and then even before they demolished them, ISIS popped up in their back yard!

Now, like me, millions of concerned citizens and peace activists are wondering: how will this war be any different? Why are we going back again for another possible decade of war? What can really be accomplished? And more important, what may pop up this time? And where?

As for what the Kurds need, you are absolutely wrong. Kurds don't need weapons, and money will not solve their cause. The Kurds’ problems did not start with ISIS and will not end with them. The Kurdish cause is centuries old and needs a real answer. Whoever loves the Kurds and wants to help them––let him go to the UN and make a case for their independent state. Kurds are a nation, and we must be acknowledged as a nation! That what is the Kurds need, that is what will really protect us and save our land, that is what we have being struggling for, and that is what we are still longing for. Giving them weapons and using them for fighting just damages their image, complicates their problems, and destroys the justice of their cause.

So I beg you, and all the Kurds’ friends in the West, to rally and support Kurdish liberty and an independent state of Kurdistan. You can educate people about that, you can write to your lawmakers and ask your politicians to support that, you can send a petition to the UN secretary general about that.

Thank you very much for your past support and friendship.