The Kurdish National Assembly of Syria fights for Federal Democracy

The Kurdish National Assembly sent me the following information about amendments it seeks to get accepted to the Syrian Accountability Act and other information about the role it hopes to play in bringing down the Assad regime and promoting a loose federal democracy to Syria. As they explained: "Kurds are the key to democratization of the Middle East," and "the glue that keeps Syria together."

Here is the note I received from the Kurdish National Assembly leadership in Michigan

Dear Mr. Landis,

I would like to thank you for showing an interest in Syria and Syrian people; however, I am disappointed with your information or reports about Syria and Syrian people because it is very weak regarding the Kurds or the Kurdish question in Syria.   Moreover, your information is biased, may be because of your relationship to your Syrian family.  In our views – Kurdistan National Assembly of Syria, the only real opposition to the Syrian doctorial regime is Kurds and we proved it on March 12, 2004 when for first time in Baath and / or Assad's history people stood to them and destroyed anything resembled them.

Kurds are the key to democratization of the Middle East, they part of the solution not part of the problem, especially for Syria; they can be the glue that keeps Syria together as Iraqi Kurds did in Iraq.

 

For Kurds, the real issue is matter of survival.  Therefore, Kurds have no choice but to bring democracy to Syria one way or another unlike other non-Kurds who suffered or suffering for some human and / or economic.   Kurds are fighting against ethnic cleansing and have one choice and that is to survive because they do not want to be a buried-a-live nation, as Refugees International called them.

Amendment to Syria Accountability Act

Kurdistan National Assembly – Syria met Last week with Rep Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R), Foreign Affairs Committee (D), Committee on Foreign Relations (D), and other US officials to amend the Syrian Accountability Act in the following manners:

Whereas the Syrian Baathist regime of Bashar Assad has denied regional, ethnic and religious rights to the majority of the Syria's population; whereas the Kurds in Northeastern Syria have been ethnically cleansed and forcibly replaced by Arabs and deliberately undercounted in national census and thus become undocumented…

Be It Resolved that the USA supports a democratic change in Syria and the granting of equal rights to
ethnic and religious minorities in Syria, and supports moreover, the establishment of regional governments elected democratically and without interference from the Damascus regime.

The following are excerpts from a Jerusalem Post article by Caroline Glick sent to me by the KNA, explaining how the Kurds can help promote democracy by assisting America's allies.

 

Friday, April 20: Fighting the Next War

Israel's strategic aims should be to degrade Syria's capacity to harm it and to change the Syrian regime's assessment of the attractiveness of attacking Israel…

Syria's economic weakness undermines the regime's political stability. Another factor undermining that stability is the restive Kurdish minority in northeast Syria. The Kurds, who comprise twenty percent of Syria's overall population, already staged an uprising against the regime in May 2004.

Today, Syria's Kurds are inspired by their brethren in Iraq to work to achieve their rights. Like the Iraqi Kurds, the Syrian Kurds, who have good relations with their Arab compatriots, do not demand independence. Rather they seek to transform Syria from a centralized totalitarian state into a federated democracy.

Two weeks ago a conference of Iraqi, Syrian, Turkish and Iranian Kurds took place in Irbil, Iraq. Massoud Barzani, the President of Iraqi Kurdistan, spelled out the Kurdish view of Israel in an interview with Al Arabiya.

In his words, "If [Iraq] establish[es] relations [with Israel] we will do so publicly. There is no reason for these relations to be kept secret, because we are neither afraid nor ashamed of such relations."

Barzani attacked the Iranians, Hizbullah and Palestinians for supporting Israel's destruction, explaining, "I am against driving Israel into the sea…. This policy is wrong, illogical, and unreasonable. Why annihilate a people?"

Sherkoh Abbas, who heads the Kurdistan National Assembly of Syria from his home in the US, participated in the conference. In a recent conversation he explained, "Most Syrian Kurds…have views similar to President Barzani. As Kurds we can say that we have no issues with Israel; in fact we are against the desire of the Ba'ath party, the Muslim Brotherhood or terrorists to destroy Israel…

"The Kurds did not suffer by the hands of Israelis or Jews. All or most of their sufferings were caused by Arabs, Persians and Turks. In Syria, the Ba'ath regime Arabized the Kurdish region, stripped 300,000 Kurds of Syrian citizenship, and killed many Kurds….. We do not want to fight for the Syrian regime."

The Kurds' desire to replace the current regime with a democratic federal government is backed by the Syrian Reform Party, an exile group with strong ties to the population in Syria. Farid Ghadry, a Washington-based Syrian exile who heads the party, believes that the Kurdish federal plan is the best way to bring freedom to Syria.

The interests of the Kurds and the other regime opponents align with Israel's interests in many ways. First, Israel will benefit greatly if they achieve their aim of democratizing Syria and protecting minority rights by decentralizing authority while maintaining the territorial integrity of the country.

Centralized governments throughout the Arab world are the primary fulminators of Arab hatred of Israel. These regimes require a constant drumbeat of incitement against Israel to deflect their people's attention from their failure to provide basic services. Decentralized governments would have difficulty blaming the Jews for their failures.

There is widespread fear in Israel that if Assad's regime is overthrown, it will be replaced by the Muslim Brotherhood. This makes sense given that for the past 30 years, the Ba'athists ensured that the Muslim Brotherhood is the only other force in the country with organizational and financial means. But even so, strengthening the Kurds – who oppose jihad – will counterbalance the Muslim Brotherhood, whether or not the regime falls.

Turkey, too, fears Kurdish separatism. But Israeli support for the advancement of legitimate Syrian Kurdish rights through the cultivation of democratic federalism rather than secession, should not concern Ankara.

One of the reasons the Olmert-Livni-Peretz government is taking the Arab "peace plan" seriously in spite of the fact that it is inherently hostile to Israel is because the government is desperate to find allies against the Iran-Syria-Hizbullah axis. The trouble with this gambit is that the Sunni countries involved in the initiative act as the Iranian-Syrian-Lebanese-Palestinian axis's support network against Israel. The Saudis and their colleagues have no interest in helping Israel.

In contrast, the Kurds are natural allies for Israel with overlapping interests and values. They would be happy to receive Israeli media and financial support. And, if at the same time as Israel helped broadcast Kurdish language television and radio into Syria, it also provided the Kurds with arms to defend themselves against Syrian aggression, the move could potentially alter Syria's cost-benefit analysis of war with Israel.

Even if the Syrians open hostilities, arming the Kurds would likely muddy the waters in a manner that would cause serious harm to Syria's war-making capacity. How well would Syria contend with the IDF if it were simultaneously trying to put down a popular rebellion? And how long would the regime survive in the aftermath of such a war?

Studying past wars is always worthwhile. But today we must prepare for the next one.

There is an Israeli strategy for victory. If we conduct a military strike that degrades Syria's ability to harm us while economically weakening the regime still further and politically supporting an oppressed, large, pro-Israel minority, perhaps we could avert war altogether.

At the very least, if war comes, we would win.

Comments (15)


1. souri said:

Aussama,

The difference between you and Fares is huge.
He is a man with HONOR, RESPECT etc… But you are not.
My advice to you is that you should learn how to become a GOOD MAN.

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May 25th, 2007, 2:41 pm

 

2. souri said:

FREE SYRIA.FREE SYRIA.FREE SYRIA.

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May 25th, 2007, 3:19 pm

 

3. majedkhaldoun said:

(if war comes, we would win.

we must prepare for the next one.

the Kurds are natural allies for Israel

and supports moreover, the establishment of regional governments elected democratically and without interference from the Damascus regime. )
if this is not treason,what would treason be?.
If the kurds are not supportive of Syria,why would syria should be supportive of them.
It sure was a mistake by Hafez Asad to support Ojalan.
Kurds autonomy must not be part of NSF, it must be denounced by them, we do not want to divide Syria, the arab nationality is pan-arabism that include and not exclude other nationality, and Kurds must adapt to live inside panarabism.

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May 25th, 2007, 3:34 pm

 

4. MSK said:

MK-

you said “Kurds must adapt to live inside panarabism”

Why?

On that nationalist pro-Assad election post … first I thought it was pure sarcasm … but since the ending looks like the author is actually serious … I wonder if some of the phrases in the first few paragraphs do amount to anti-semitism & racism.

Josh, I take it that you don’t want to have your blog removed from your server because of some commenter … And there are plenty of right-wing Zionists out there who would spend a lot of energy to do just that.

–MSK

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May 25th, 2007, 3:54 pm

 

5. ausamaa said:

MSK,

I like your “selective” sensitivity. Very impressive indeed.

Incidently, is a pro-Assad voice a “Nationalist” one, or a “Ba’athist” one?

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May 25th, 2007, 4:11 pm

 

6. ausamaa said:

This has appeared at arabtimes.com, is there an independent “verification” that Al Meqdad did say the same??

“Russian Pressures prevented Syria from entering the War with Hizbullah against Isreal (in 2006). Attributed(?) to Syria’s Deputy Foriegn Minister Faisal Al Miqdad.

المقداد : الضغوط الروسية حالت دون دخول سوريا الحرب مع اسرائيل الى جانب حزب الله

كشف نائب وزير الخارجية السوري الدكتور فيصل المقداد أن الموقف الروسي الضاغط حال دون دخول بلاده الحرب إبان العدوان “الإسرائيلي” على لبنان في صيف العام الماضي. وقال مقداد لجريدة الخليج إن سوريا كانت مستعدة للدخول في هذه الحرب ضد “إسرائيل” تمام الاستعداد خلال العدوان على لبنان في يوليو/تموز الماضي، وكانت ستحقق نصراً مؤكداً مع حزب الله وحركات المقاومة الإسلامية والشعبية من الجانب اللبناني. وأضاف أنه على الرغم من أن العدوان على لبنان أمريكي “إسرائيلي” إلا أنه وللأسف حدث بطلب من دول عربية لتصفية حزب الله ووصف الإدارة الأمريكية بالعمياء والحمقاء، ولا تحترم القانون الدولي والإنساني، بل تريد فرض هيمنتها على دول العالم، وخصوصاً بعد انهيار الاتحاد السوفييتي وتركز اهتمامها على منطقة الشرق الأوسط في عهد بوش الابن لأنها المنطقة الوحيدة في العالم التي لم تفرض أمريكا هيمنتها عليها بالكامل

وكانت مصادر سورية قد ذكرت ان الجيش السوري كان سيتقدم باتجاه الجولان في الايام الاولى من المعركة وان اتصالات روسية عالية المستوى حالت دون اقدام السوريين على هذه الخطوة وقالت هذه المصادر ان سوريا كانت سترد على اية غارات جوية على المدن السورية بقصف صاروخي ثقيل لتل ابيب وان الاف الصواريخ السورية كانت معدة للاطلاق فعلا

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May 25th, 2007, 4:21 pm

 

7. ausamaa said:

This is another Article from the same source. A speach in Aleppo by the pro-Syria Lebanese Nasser Qandeel. The relevant part deals with Syria’s intent on entering the War in July 2006, can be “considered” if the above statement of Al Miqdad is a true one.

ناصر قنديل في حلب : سوريا كانت ستدخل الحرب … وجنبلاط طالب باغتيال حسن
نصرالله … والتنظيمات الارهابية تمول من السعودية وتدرب من الاردن بتعاون الحريري … وحسن نصرالله هدد بحسم الموقف في لبنان خلال ست ساعات اذا افتعلت قوى 14 اذار فتنة داخلية

كشف النائب اللبناني السابق ناصر قنديل في محاضرة له في حلب بعنوان ” سوريا في
قلب المقاومات ” :أنه في منتصف المعركة الحربية والإعلامية من العدوان الإسرائيلي الأخير في تموز على لبنان، كشف سماحة السيد حسن نصر بأنه تبلغ من الرئيس بشار الأسد بأن
قرار دخول سوريا الحرب قد اُتخذ، وأن سوريا تضع توقيت دخول سوريا الحرب بيد حسن
نصر الله.وأضاف قنديل موضحاً بأن سوريا وضعت أولوية أخرى في حساباتها، حتى لا تخفض من سقف الانتصار الكامل للمقاومة اللبنانية وحدها، وأنه في حال واجهت المقاومة
أوضاعاً حرجة ونتائج صعبة في حربها، فإن سوريا ستدخل الحرب حينها وأوضح ناصر قنديل بأن العالم كله ينتظر لكي يعرف ( كأحد آخر الفصول الأخيرة للمعركة التي تخوضها سوريا) إن كانت مواقف الرئيس بشار الأسد هي مواقف رجل، أو مواقف حزب، أو مواقف جبهة، أو مواقف دولة، أم هي مواقف شعب ومواقف أمة؟

هذا هو السؤال الذي ينتظر العالم كله أن يحصل على إجابة لهذا السؤال الكبير في 27 أيار
مايو القادم، أما عن الشعب السوري الذي يهتف صادقاً *” بالروح بالدم نفديك يا بشار”* فأوضح قنديل بأن الشعب السوري ليس مطلوباً منه روحاً أو دماءً، فزمن الحروب والتضحيات
الكبرى في المنطقة قد انتهى، وأن أصوات الشعب في يوم الاستفتاء لا تقل خطورة عن
الأرواح والدماء والمطلوب أن يخرج الشعب إلى الصناديق.

أما عن جريمة اغتيال الشهيد رفيق الحريري فكشف ناصر قنديل في رده على أحد التساؤلات مستشهداً بالوقائع التالية أنه التقى الرئيس الحريري بتاريخ 4 شباط ( قبل عشرة أيام من استشهاده)، وأن الحريري أخبره بأنه أخطأ في ظنه بأن قانون الانتخاب على أساس القضاء الذي طرحته حكومة كرامي آنذاك من كونه مشروعاً سورياً وُضع لتحجيم الحريري، وأن الرئيس بشار الأسد وراءه، وأن الحريري طلب من ناصر قنديل بالعمل على تأسيس حوار
للتفاهم حول قانون الانتخابات مع الرئيس بري والسيد حسن نصر الله، بينما كان
على الحريري بأن يُصرح لصحيفة السفير اللبنانية بأن القرار / 1559 / *” يقسم
اللبنانيين وأن الطائف يوحدهم “، *وبعد ذلك بدأت اللقاءات بين الأطراف للوصول
إلى الاتفاق منذ تلك الليلة، وأنه قبل استشهاد الحريري بأربعة أيام كانت
الأطراف قد توافقت على قانون للانتخابات، *وبدأ السيد حسن نصر الله في ترتيب
موعد لقاء الرئيس الحريري مع الرئيس بشار الأسد، واُغتيل الرئيس الحريري قبل
يومين من لقائه بالرئيس الأسد. وهذا ما أدى إلى حالة من الإرباك الشديد الذي واجهته سوريا وحلفائها خلال عشرون يوماً بعد الاغتيال، بينما كان الفريق اللبناني الآخر يسير وفق خطة منظمة ومحددة في تحميل اللوم على سوريا، من خلال شعارات واضحة وأطر محددة

في كانون الأول عام 2006 جاء إلى بيروت الكاتب الأمريكي سايمون هيرش الذي يكتب
في نيويورك تايمز (قبل ستة أشهر من وفاة الحريري) وكتب مقالاً لم يُنشر
حوالي60% منه بسبب الرقابة الأمريكية جاء فيه الآتي: أنه سأل وليد جنبلاط عما
فعله في أمريكا بتاريخ 16/01/2006 الساعة 6:20 دقيقة عندما قابل إليوت أبرامز؟
وأنه سأل وليد جنبلاط إن كان قد طلب من الأمريكيين اغتيال السيد حسن نصر
الله!!! فاتهمه جنبلاط بأنه عميل لسوريا .و جاء في ذلك المقال المدقق من قبل إدارة الصحيفة كي لا تتعرض للملاحقات القضائية، بأن ضابطاً كبيراً سابقاً في المخابرات الأمريكية أبلغ الكاتب بأن أحد الأمراء من دولة خليجية كبرى وهو مستشار أمن قومي فيها في اشارة الى بندر بن سلطان قد اقترح على إدارته الأمريكية بأن تُمول وتُسلح وتُطور وتُدرب مجموعات متطرفة لإنشاء توازن رعب في وجه حزب الله في لبنان، وإن مخابرات دولة من دول الاعتدال – يقصد الاردن – تقوم بالتدريب والتسليح ، وأن آل الحريري تعهدوا بأمرين : هما التمويل وتقديم تسهيلات المرور الأمنية للمرور من جهاز أمن المعلومات اللبناني، وأن هذه التنظيمات أبرزها ثلاثة ” فتح الإسلام، وعصبة الأنصار، وجند الشام”. وبناء على ذلك التقرير الذي نُشر بتاريخ 16/1/2006 فقد جاء بأن نظرية ” تسمين العجول” المعتمدة لدى المخابرات الأمريكية والتي تنص بأنه عند مواجهة قوى كبيرة في كثير من الأحيان عليهم تسمين قوى غير صديقة ، وأن تُهيأ الظروف لإصطدام هاتين القوتين “.والهدف النهائي هو إقرار تدويل أمن المخيمات، الوصول إلى وضع إشراف الأمم المتحدة على الوجود الفلسطيني في لبنان أي منح ثبوتيات للتواجد الفلسطيني في لبنان ( جواز سفر فئة ب )،وختم قنديل حديثه بأن في سوريا المزيد من الأمل وتتويج النصر بمزيد من النصر، وطالب بعدم القلق على لبنان لأن الذين انتصروا في حرب تموز، لن تهزمهم لا أكاذيب جنبلاط ولا أقوال الحريري.وأن قرار الحسم قد اُتخذ من قِبل السيد حسن في حال حدثت أية محاولات لتفجير الفتنة الأهلية في لبنان فإن الأمر لن يُكلفه أكثر من 6 ساعات، إذا لم يستطع تجنب هذه ال6 ساعات، مع إبقاء حبل التواصل قائماً بين الأطراف السياسية في لبنان للوصول إلى الوفاق المنشود

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May 25th, 2007, 4:27 pm

 

8. MSK said:

Ausamaa,

I just pointed out to Josh that such a comment could get a bunch of haters from the Zionist right to pressure the ISP to shut it down. It’s happened before.

And to answer your question: That depends on context. Could be something else, even.

–MSK*

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May 25th, 2007, 5:31 pm

 

9. alle said:

Kurds must live under pan-Arabism? Why not Arabs under pan-Kurdism…?

Seriously, I can see why Kurdish demands for autonomy might destabilise the opposition, but not to address the special grievances of the Kurds (stripped of citizenship, disapproval or banning of their cultural activism, etc) will create problems too.

There’s no reason to fear Balkanization of Syria, since there are no other large, regionally dominant ethnic/linguistic minorities in Syria — it’s just the Kurds, and as long as they are openly resolved to stay inside the borders of Syria, then there’s no problem. It could even be a great asset, considering the personal and business ties to self-ruling Kurds in Iraq that could benefit Syria.

The problem, rather, will arise if the issue isn’t being dealt with, so that Kurdish groups feel forced to move towards more radical intepretations of what it would mean to be a Kurd in Syria, like what the Israeli author and Ros Lehtinen are probably interested in, hardening differences and strenghtening independence sentiment. It’s in the interest of the non-Kurdish opposition (and of the government) to be inclusive and supportive of a Kurdish self-rule in some affairs, so as to prevent this escalation, which would be truly destabilising for Syria.

On racist and pro-Assad comments: I just scroll past it. I don’t think racist comments could cause a legal problem for a blog based in the US, no? But it is a nuisance for readers…

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May 25th, 2007, 5:32 pm

 

10. ausamaa said:

While contemplating the Kurdish Question, can we expect a similar zeal in dealing with the 1967 Palestinian refugees’ sentiment of wanting to live “away” from Democratic Israel. How about the 1948 Palestinians who surely see themselves as a seperate entity from Israel? Can they have their own seperate Canton if not their own State? Can the origional US Indians have their cantons also, they hate the US government which has oblitrated their Nation a couple of hundred of years ago? How about Kashmir’s poplation who is a Muslim population in a non-muslim India? How about the Arab residents of the Golan? Would Israel kindly allow them the liberty of re-joining their motherland? Again to the Kurds, there are more Kurds in “moderate” Turkey, why do we not start with them? And Turkey is a “model” state getting dressed to join the EU parade?

I love over-zealous humanitarians. They see what they want to see when they want to see it.

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May 25th, 2007, 5:58 pm

 

11. alle said:

I love over-zealous humanitarians. They see what they want to see when they want to see it.

Noted. But first of all, you know nothing about my opinions on those cases. Second, if the best you can come up with to defend discriminatory treatment of the Kurdish minority is that Israel is doing similar things, then you should realize you’re on thin ice.

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May 25th, 2007, 6:21 pm

 

12. MSK said:

Ausamaa,

yet again: you have no idea who I am or what I do. So please stop to infer things about me.

You see to be full of spite & venom. Much of your sentiments are good – but the way you are voicing them makes you look like a whining child.

Actually, you do sound exactly like those Arab and Israeli and American and Iranian leaders who keep saying “of course we’ll give up our claims, but first the other side has to give up theirs”.

That’s pretty pathetic.

–MSK

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May 25th, 2007, 7:38 pm

 

13. tony said:

to ForSyria and the Idiot majed khaldoon
are you for real?
the first is a racist pig and the other is soo out of of it it is not even funny
may be it is signs of time I wonder if Josh should allow such stupidity ik this site
Josh
are we still on the bet of $100 if the inter-court will be passed?

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May 25th, 2007, 7:41 pm

 

14. mick said:

Whereas the Corporate Republican regime of George Bush has denied regional, ethnic and religious rights to the majority of the America’s population; whereas the Hispanics in Southwestern America have been ethnically cleansed and forcibly replaced by Anglos and deliberately undercounted in national census and thus become undocumented…

Be It Resolved that Syria supports a democratic change in America and the granting of equal rights to
ethnic and religious minorities in America, and supports moreover, the establishment of regional governments elected democratically and without interference from the Washington regime.

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May 26th, 2007, 2:24 am

 

15. Meelo said:

To AUSAMAA!

We can’t believe your words fella! And would ya please be more down to earth! we’ve been promised citizenship cards, but where the hell are they now?!! from 2000 to 2004 we were given three promises but till now i can’t see anything!!

Youve been taking lands from us!
youve been bringing arabs to our places! we have enough pains!

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May 28th, 2007, 1:41 pm

 

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