Trump and the Kurds: what the media doesn’t understand

Special to

By Sheda Vasseghi

It appears the Mainstream Media – not Donald Trump – “tripped up” again regarding the identity of the Iranian peoples.

In a Sept. 3rd article by The Washington Post, Sullivan and Weigel claim that the Republican candidate Donald Trump “appeared to mistake [Islamic Republic of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards] the Quds for the Kurds, a Middle Eastern ethnic group.”

The Kurds are not a Middle Eastern ethnic group as the term “Middle Eastern” is a misnomer based on prejudicial Orientalism view point that was coined or invented around 1902 by Alfred Thayer Mahan in support of British influences in the Persian Gulf region which is located in West Asia. [For a full overview of how and why the term “Middle East” was invented in the early 20th century, consult R. Adelson’s London and the invention of the Middle East (1995) published by Yale University Press.]

However, the Kurds are inhabitants of Asia, a continent making up 30 percent of Earth’s total land area.

Most importantly, contrary to The Washington Post’s misleading claim, the Kurds are not some mysterious and stand-alone “ethnic group,” but one of many Iranian peoples.

Since the Islamic Republic’s usurpation of power in Iran under the banner of foreign theocracy partially due to the then President Jimmy Carter’s lack of leadership, the Iranian people have had no choice other than earning a living by working for various government and military setups such as the Quds.

Hence, one may regard the members of the Quds and the Kurdish people as the same stock – the Iranian branch of the Indo-European linguistic family. Despite dozens of Iranian dialects, the national language in Iran is Persian while the Kurds speak Kurdish – both Western Iranian languages.

Since the Mainstream Media appears to be unfamiliar with the definition of Iranian peoples, it should note that since antiquity the peoples of Iranian stock are spread across Asia and Europe. They are, in whole or in part, including but not limited to, the Mede, Persian, Parthian, Saka, Scythian, Sogdian, Sarmatian, Alan, Bactrian, Kurd, Azari, Lur, Bakhtiari, Cimerian, Hephthalite, Massagetae, Kambojas, Bulgar, Croat, Serbs, Jassic, Ossetian, Shirazi, Tajik, Khazari, Dacian, Thracian, Phrygian, Mitanni, Sagartian, Corduchi, Caspian, Arachosian, Khwarezmian, Dahae, Zarangian, and Arimaspi.

Therefore, one may conclude that Donald Trump was not technically incorrect.

According to the current fashionable style of censorship tactics dominating Mainstream Media, The Washington Post should apologize to the Iranian peoples and Mr. Trump for misrepresenting one of the oldest national identities in the world.

Sheda Vasseghi is a doctorate candidate, historian, and educator specializing in Iran (Persia). She is a member of Azadegan Foundation in Washington, D.C.

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