Dear Mohamad, Salah, Jalal, and Walid:
I hope you, your families, and friends are safe, either somewhere within Kurdistan or in the USA. I find myself apologizing for our President. He has seriously hurt your peoples by his abandoning you.
You know all Americans are not like him. There were many brave Americans who served side-by-side with the Peshmerga in first defeating Saddam Hussein in 2003 and later temporarily ISIS. Unlike our President, they served in combat, fighting for a cause. Against tyranny. Against terrorism. For democracy. For freedom.
I say “temporarily” because ISIS is a hate “group” composed of individuals. Hate never completely is destroyed. There are many reasons for hating—none justifiable—but it’s what drives some human beings towards anarchy, World Wars, genocides, and terror. My prayer is the Kurds do not end up hating Americans.
Our President forgets history. In 1988, Saddam used chemical weapons on Kurds, murdering thousands— “al-Anfal”. In 1991, after the Persian Gulf War, after we asked you guys to revolt, we abandoned you then except for limited refugee airlifts. (We helped refugees back then). Afterwards, many more Kurds felt Saddam’s revengeful hate.
I don’t know why the Turks, Persians, and Arabs don’t like you guys. Having lived and worked with you and other Kurds, I can attest you were honest, hard-working, intelligent, and ethical. You want freedom (which others won’t allow) to exist amongst your beloved hills and mountains. You want to be left alone. You’ve never tried to conquer other folks.
You also defended me—a Christian—as well as fought alongside other Christians. Most recently, Kurds defended Syrian Christians. I have no justification for why our leader, a purported Christian, supported by Evangelicals, turned his back on you.
I want my kids and grandkids and friends to know my facts and thoughts. I only hope that they will argue and fight for what is right in the future. I want your kids and grandkids and friends to know there are Americans with you and yours in spirit and prayer.
Someday we will again be on your side. Not today. Not within the next year. Someday the sun will be rising over Kurdistan, peacefully, again.
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