Good Kurds, Bad Kurds

Saddam Hussein gassed the Kurdish people
Killed thousands in a single day
And twelve long years later
Uncle Sam said “you can’t treat your Kurds this way
“And furthermore all Kurds are freedom fighters
Who’s resist this Iraqi tyranny
And Uncle Sam will give them guns and maybe sometimes ammunition
So the brave Kurds can fight until they’re free”

Meanwhile in southeastern Turkey
The Turkish Army had a unique plan
We’ll go in and burn down three thousand villages
Get rid of what they call Kurdistan
Well some of these pesky Kurds decided
That they would rather fight instead of die
So Uncle Sam said, “You are terrorists
Because Turkey is our ally”

Geopolitics is confusing
In fact, it can be quite absurd
Especially if you value your freedom
You live in Turkey and you are a Kurd

Yes, when Iraqi Kurds are massacred
We say this is genocide
OK, we armed the Army through the eighties
But now we proudly take the Kurdish side
But in Turkey it’s an internal matter
And for us to get involved would be wrong
So we’ll sell some tanks and ‘copters to Ankara
And hope these poor folks can get along

Yes, geopolitics is confusing
And you can’t take the Yankees at their word
At least that’s distinctly how it looks
If you live in Turkey and you’re a Kurd

So when they talk about American interests
And it somehow seems that they’re not yours
Going all over the world
Bombing countries and starting up wars
You’d better leave it to the experts
Go on back to your Playstations
‘Cause our foreign policy only makes sense
To CEO’s of multinational corporations

‘Cause geopolitics is confusing
And if you feel like you’re not being heard
Just imagine how much worse it could be
If you lived in Turkey and you were a Kurd

“Good Kurds, Bad Kurds” first appeared on the 2002 CD, Hang A Flag In The Window. You can find the sheet music in my Songbook Vol I (1997-2004).

I wrote this song after watching the excellent documentary of the same name. Why are the Turkish Kurds often branded as terrorists, while Iraqi, Syrian and Iranian Kurds are not? It’s about geopolitics, US imperial interests, what’s convenient for NATO, and Turkish nationalism. And other things.