WASHINGTON DC, United States (Kurdistan 24) – Renowned French intellectual, Bernard-Henri Levy, discussed the current situation facing the Kurds after the showing of his film, Peshmerga, on Capitol Hill earlier this week.
Bilal Wahab, a Fellow of The Washington Institute, moderated the discussion.
“The Kurds were betrayed,” Levy told Wahab, as Washington opposed the September 25 Kurdish independence referendum and then acquiesced in the Iranian-backed attack on Kirkuk the next month.
Asked what it would take for the Kurds to be able to obtain their rights and live in peace, Levy replied, “A true, strong and sincere endorsement of the Kurdish cause by the community of nations,” particularly those committed to democracy.
“That is why I was so shocked in September and October 2017, when I saw exactly the opposite,” Levy continued, “how the Kurds were betrayed!”
In spite of the Kurds’ commitment to tolerance and democracy, and the key role they played in fighting the Islamic State (IS), “We—Americans and Europeans, French”—opted “to deliver to Iran, on a silver platter, the city of Kirkuk,” Levy said.
“Why?” he poignantly asked.
Asked what the Kurds should do and what his advice to the Kurdish leadership would be, Levy responded, “Honestly, they’ve already done their best.”
No government is perfect, whether American, French or Kurdish, he noted, but that said, “Frankly, I don’t see any country in the Middle East that acted so bravely in the defense of democratic values, their concern for tolerance, and their openness to other faiths.”
“I don’t know what we—French and Americans—could ask more from the Kurdish leadership,” Levy concluded.