Sunday, November 29, 2015

Women Warriors

Thirty percent of the Peshmurga (Kurdish Army) are women. They often announce their presence to the Islamic State enemy by shrilly ululating, the traditional middle-eastern cry of female exultation. The jihadist fears them, not only for their prowess as snipers, but because he believes that if he is killed by a woman, he will not be awarded the promised houri of paradise. "So when you shoot ISIS," an interviewer observed, "you're really sending them to hell?" The female peshmurga laughed merrily: "I'm giving them one-way tickets."

These women are hard-core. Although they train separately from men, they go out on missions together. It is not unusual for a woman to be in charge of a group of men. The Kurds are proud of their women and of their fierce reputations.

Christians, Yazidis, and other religious minorities are pouring into Kurdish-occupied Iraq, where a pluralistic state of tolerance is being established.

Turkey, long the oppressor of the Kurds, is not pleased. Because of course the Kurds see this war as not only a crisis, but an opportunity, to realize their dreams of independence. And if any people deserve their own nation, it is the Kurds.