By Ara Alan

Kurdish Aspect
July 7, 2009

Armenian genocide remembrance was held at Georgia State Capital. Many
distinguished guests were present: Armenian community in Georgia,
Kurdish community in Atlanta, American friends and condemners of
genocide, elected officials such as: State Senator Van Street, Superior
Court Chief Judge Thelma Wyatt Cummings Moore, City Court Chief Judge
Elaine Carlisle, Atlanta Chief of Police Richard Pennington, and
Fulton County Sheriff Jackie Berrett, Dr. Julieta Stepanyan-Abgaryan,
Mrs. Carolyn Young, spoke on behalf of her husband, civil rights
leader, former Congressman and former US Ambassador to the UN Andrew
Young, and ANC Georgia Chairman Sarkis Agasarkisian.

Among the guests was a Kurdish perspective, shared by Ara Alan:

We are gathered today on April 24th to commemorate the souls lost
during the Armenian genocide. We are gathered to deliver the cries
of help from those who were silenced in 1915 by the ottoman Turks. I
would like to take a moment to remember all victims of genocide across
the twentieth century; a century that has been darkened with their
blood and silenced by our disregard.

Ottoman Turks led the way into the twentieth century with its first
act of genocide, their example was followed by many more such as the
Holocaust in Germany, Pol-Pot in Cambodia, Rawanda, Kosovo and the
notorious Anfal campaign by Saddam Hussein in Iraqi- Kurdistan.

I come and stand with our friends the Armenians because I understand
your cause. I understand what it means to have genocide committed
against you. I look into you with inspiration and pride. I wonder
will our next generation be as courageous as you are. Like your grant
parent, crime of genocide has been committed against us.

In Iraq, and in name of purification of a country, thousands of Kurds
were taken from their villages and murdered in the deserts south
of the country. This operation of genocide was name Anfal. In this
operation Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons. He used this illegal
weapon to help him scare and kill the innocent villagers. It was used
as a tool to round up the people.

In a strategic military planning; the Iraqi Army would attack a
region in Kurdistan from three or more fronts. They would leave
only one opening for the people. Doing so, the Army would force
the residents of many villages in that region to gather in one
location. The congregated villagers were then rounded up and shipped
to concentration camps where they were systematically killed.

Anfal genocide started in 1988 but it is without an end. The gassing
during Anfal genocide has acted as a mutagen and caused the DNA of
its victims to change. According to the health minister of Kurdistan
Regional Government (KRG) the ratio of patients with cancer in the
gassed populations is 5:1 when compared to non-gassed populations.

Many of the little girls exposed to the gassing in 1988 today give
birth to children with down-syndrome or still-birth and they have very
high rates of miscarriage and some are completely infertile. Incident
cases of breast cancer are much higher. Breast cancer in Kurdistan
is much more aggressive than in other countries, and it is much more
likely to kill.

As result of the gassing many Kurds are dying today. Many are
paralyzed, handicapped, blinded or bedbound. Many babies from the
new generation are born with genetic diseases that result in their
death or a life that is dependent on a medical care which is almost
non-existent where they are born. Kurdish genocide continues since
1988 into post Saddam-Iraq and today.

Dr. Stanton from genocide watch has categorized genocide into
eight stages. He has done so to help the international community
to use these stages as an indicators and a warning sign of upcoming
genocides. Strangely enough all genocide follows these eight stages.

They all start with classification of the target group then followed
by symbolization, then dehumanization, organization, polarization of
the society, preparation, the seventh is the actual extermination,
and the eighth stage is denial.

It might come to you as a surprise, why would denial be part of
genocide? According to Genocide Watch; denial is among the surest
indicators of further genocidal massacres.

The perpetrators of genocide dig up the mass graves, burn the bodies,
try to cover-up the evidence and intimidate the witnesses. They deny
that they committed any crimes, and often blame what happened on the
victims. In short denial is a sign of justification of genocide and
accepting it as a method of governance.

Turkey's 94 years of denial policy should come as an alarm to the
international community. The denial of Armenian genocide of 1915 was
followed by the Dermis massacre in 1937. In a similar fashion to the
Armenian genocide and with the exact justification 78 000 Kurds were
massacred in that city in Turkey. The denial policy once again allowed
Turkey to destroy over 4000 Kurdish villages in the 1990s.

Just like the Ottoman Turks greeted the twentieth century with
stains of genocide, our twenty-first century already has a stain:
Darfur. Darfur stands tall, as a symbol of our failure to learn from
previous genocides and our tolerance for genocide denial.

Genocides don't occur because one race of humanity is superior to the
other. They don't occur because one nation has the right to eradicate
another or that one religious view or political ideology is superior
above those different from it.

Genocide occurs when one group appoint themselves as superior and
the world turns a blind eye. Genocide occurs because we let it. Our
silence is the fuel that genocide perpetrators use to burn the bodies
and hid the evidence.

Let us not be silent... let us Speak and condemn... let us bring
those that deny to acceptance.