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 Meet the Kurdish Female PJAK Fighters of Kurdistan: ViceTV

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Meet the Kurdish Female PJAK Fighters of Kurdistan: ViceTV  27.7.2012   
By Nick Gillespie
Vice TV







 
Since 2004 the PJAK took up arms for self-rule in Kurdistan province northwestern of Iran (Iranian Kurdistan, Eastern Kurdistan). Half the members of PJAK are women. The PJAK has about 3,000 armed militiamen. Photo: Ekurd.net/ViceTV/YouTube   See Related Links
July 27, 2012

Come with us to Kurdistan region in northern Iraq for a springtime frolic with the lovely lady guerillas of the Kurdish Liberation Movement.

Video report: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

From Boudica of the British Celts to Corporal Klinger, few things unsettle the male mind like a lady in arms. The Kurds of Northern Iraq have long recognized this principle and incorporated it into their quest to build a Kurdish homeland in the overlap between Iraq, Iran, Turkey, and Syria. Fighting alongside their male comrades in a region not exactly known for its progressive stance on women's rights, the female Peshmerga guerillas of the Kurdish Liberation Movement built a reputation for themselves in the 70s and 80s as demure diaboliques with the deadly poise of Leila Khaled or Tania-era Patty Hearst.

Having secured the northern third of Iraq for themselves in the aftermath of the first Gulf War, the Kurds have spent the last two decades divesting themselves of their guerilla jamjams, building up a stable and booming economy in their semi-autonomous little hamlet, and generally enjoying not being in the middle of the current Iraq War. Up in the hills abutting Iran and Turkey, however, the struggle for a Greater Kurdistan continues for boy and girl alike.

The successors to Iraqi Kurdistan's old rebel militias are a milk-besodden Alphabits bowl of various Maoist, quasi-Maoist, and won't-say-they're-Maoist-but-come-on guerilla armies. You've got the PKK, the PJAK, the KCK—all of whom have slightly different tactics, territories, and ideologies but the same ultimate goal and, secretly, a lot of the same personnel. More importantly, they are all completely gender-equal, just like Mao wanted it. From the highest command to the lowest potato peeler to the ghillie-suited sniper on the front lines, dudes and dames do it the same.

We picked the youngest of these new Kurdish guerilla groups, PJAK, the Free Life for Kurdistan party, and drove up to their outpost on the Iranian border to see how their female fighters are helping their people draft a definitive answer to the Kurdish Question that's vexed Middle-Eastern politics for the last century. And hopefully find an answer to our own Kurdish Question. Which is, What the fuck is the Kurdish Question?

Hosted by Thomas Morton | Originally aired in 2012 on http://VICE.com
Follow Thomas on Twitter: https://twitter.com/@BabyBalls69

Ekurd.net: The PJAK, or the (Partiya Jiyana Azad a Kurdistane) (Party of Free Life of Kurdistan), is a militant Kurdish nationalist group based in Kurdistan region in Iraq's north that has been carrying out attacks Iranian forces in the Kurdistan Province of Iran (Eastern Kurdistan) and other Kurdish-inhabited areas. PJAK is a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Confederation (Koma Civaken Kurdistan or KCK), which is an alliance of Kurdish groups and divisions led by an elected Executive Council.

Led by Haji Ahmadi, the PJAK’s objective is to establish a semi-autonomous regional entities or Kurdish federal states in Iran, Turkey and Syria similar to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq. Since 2004 the PJAK took up arms for self-rule in Kurdistan province northwestern of Iran (Iranian Kurdistan, Eastern Kurdistan). Half the members of PJAK are women. The PJAK has about 3,000 armed militiamen.

The United States on February 4, 2009 added the Iranian Kurdish PJAK militant group opposed to Iran to its list of terrorist organizations. Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey all have significant ethnic Kurdish minorities. Estimate to 12 million Kurds live in Iran.

Nick Gillespie is editor in chief of Reason.tv and Reason.com, the online platforms of Reason, the libertarian magazine of "Free Minds and Free Markets." The two sites draw over 4 million visits per month and have been named among the nation's best political sites by Playboy, Washingtonian, National Journal, and others. Gillespie is co-author, with his Reason colleague Matt Welch, of The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America, published in June 2011 by Public Affairs.

Copyright ©, respective author or news agency, reason.com

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