RealNews

Kurdish Resistance Fighters Now Have Nothing to Resist

The older ones, and most of them are older, could be the high school principals and insurance adjusters of a quiet place with a quiet history. Squat, partly balding and with well-groomed mustaches, the men who live in the cinder-block building buzzing with flies and conversation here demonstrate little on first blush to support the hero’s status they have achieved among their countrymen. Except for Akbar San Ahmad’s heavy limp, apparent when he crosses the room to examine a military wall map, or the puckered silver-dollar size bullet hole in Salim Mohammed’s upper left arm, awkward and painful despite years of healing. There are the stories, too, of hundreds of dead friends, lifetimes passed without sharing a home with their wives, gas attacks and high-mountain combat against larger armies. The men are pesh merga, the Kurdish resistance force raised to confront Saddam Hussein’s military in their ethnic homeland of pomegranate groves, remote peaks and a brutalized people. The name means “those who face death,” something these men certainly have done during decades of guerrilla warfare that as much as anything has cost them a chance at normal lives. Full Story

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