Kurds: “We have no friends but the mountains”

I had been meaning to assemble a piece about the Kurdish people for some time now. Fortunately, Henry Lewis has written a piece the keenly brings his personal experience to the fore. Actually, it is the best article I’ve yet encountered on the amazing Kurds. I think my readers will quite agree.

My quest blog

This week, following the Trump Administration’s betrayal of a long-time Middle East ally, I received a message containing these words from one of my former students in Iraq’s northern Kurdistan Region.

We as “Kurds have no friends but the mountains“ history repeats itself!

Over the past 100 years, the Kurdish people–whose territory includes northern Iraq, northern Syria, southeastern Turkey and northwestern Iran–have been repeatedly lied to, stabbed in the back, gassed and violently murdered by successive regimes from both the West and the Middle East.

The US Government has called on the Kurdish people repeatedly for help and these loyal allies have at all times capitulated to Washington’s requests. In 1972, they were asked by the CIA and US-placed Shah of Iran to rise up against the Ba’athist Party-led government in Iraq. The Kurds were used and then left alone to suffer the wrath of the Iraqi military when…

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Author: Bill Ziegler

I am a former resident of Delhi Township. These are memories of my life and times in that community during the 1950s and 1960s. A time capsule.

17 thoughts on “Kurds: “We have no friends but the mountains””

  1. Ethnic groups without officially recognized national borders are always the victims of the bullies. It’s understandable, since the Soviet onslaught that the Kurds would side with the US but they made a bad choice, a deal with a greedy Devil.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Quite right, Sha’Tara. Bullies such as the colonial powers who play a game of divide-and-conquer by drawing borders around traditionally feuding cultures, or who used disappearing ink when drawing a borderline around Kurdistan. How amazingly resilient are the Kurds who were literally quartered by those bullies.
      Never make a deal with a vile evil Devil.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This is a test comment. WordPress won’t let me post, says to follow, yet this blog is on my “following” list.


          1. Thank you for stopping by, and please feel free to post any or many comments. I have not blocked anyone, so it’s good to know that it was only a temporary delay.
            Wishing you well,


  2. That’s a huge shame for turning on the Kurds. It’s not good losing allies especially after something stupid like betrayal against them and they were already an oppressed group in that part of the globe.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for the comment, ospreyshire. The Kurds are literally open to a land-based attack at every point along their border — hence “We have no friends but the mountains.” Were you to walk the invisible border you would travel through Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and Iran. Colonial powers simply diced it up and distributed the parts to those four countries. Colonialists are not known for any nods to justice. Here is a link to a graphic that shows population distribution:

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You’re welcome, Bill. I’ve heard some stories about those issues. There’s a Turkish movie Before Your Eyes which is about Kurdish kids who are orphaned by a paramilitary officer and try to survive. It is an independently made film and is the first Turkish film in history to use the Kurdish language as a major form of dialogue which caused a ton of controversy in that country. Thanks for the link. It really puts things into greater perspective.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks for telling me about that movie, ospreyshire. Learning a language should be a way to remove barriers, it should never be weaponized or deliberately mistranslated to serve an agenda or propaganda aim. And now you have me interested in finding out more about the Kurdish language. As a language freak I’m always ready to discover how any particular language fits into everything 🙂
          Glad you liked that link too!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Thanks for the question and for the link, ospreyshire. My second fluent language is German, but I can understand written and spoken Dutch, Swedish and Danish. Of course, English words are used often in modern Germanic languages — and everywhere else for that matter. 🙂
            One of my German students, a Palestinian, introduced me to Arabic about ten years ago, I am now trying to work beyond a conversational level. One of my language hobbies is learning Arabic on YouTube videos produced by native Arabic speakers living in Germany — it gives me the opportunity to learn Arabic taught in German language. So it is a way to keep my German current and to learn Arabic at the same time. In other words, excluding English altogether. There is also an excellent mosque not far from here that offers additional opportunities that provide a window to another culture — one not based on the white-supremacist system.
            It also seems that Kurdish languages are based on Persian. Looking forward to Before Your Eyes.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Sure thing, Bill. I hope you enjoyed the review and that you check out that film. That’s great about learning all those languages. That’s true about English and Germanic languages having ties. It must be awesome learning Arabic. I need to improve on my language game. I took Japanese during my high school years and I’ve been teaching myself Lingala this year especially after finding out a major ethnic group in my DNA was Congolese alongside other African and European groups. I’m glad you were able to expose yourself to other cultures.

            I can see that making sense with Kurdish and Persian.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. No problem. Not going to lie, I wanted to learn that language back then because I was really into anime. Hahaha! Okay, I still watch some of it even now since I review it on my Iridium Eye blog in addition to other obscure and international movies or documentaries. Funny enough, I’ve covered two anime projects that Hollywood plagiarized from on that same blog.

            Persian is Indo-European, too? I would’ve never guessed it being part of that larger branch or with Kurdish. I’ll check out the link.


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