March 6th was the anniversary of the Battle of the Alamo, San Antonio, Texas, 1836. Today's Kurds and Texans may be surprised by the comparison of their respective struggles and sacrifice.
To begin with, there are a number of immutable laws of the universe. Among them;
• The earth revolves around the sun – just ask any 3rd grader from Sidney to Saudi Arabia.
• ISIS can and will be defeated – just ask any Kurd.
• Texas is the greatest of America's 50 United States – just ask any Texan.
To my Kurdish friends in the Peshmerga and the YPG, I would request, hope and pray that those who have recently lost their friends, father, son or especially their daughter upon the battlefields of Syria and Iraq, will regard this small piece from a Texas/American, to be written to you with all due respect.
To my fellow Texans I would request, hope and pray that you learn and spread the story about the good, brave and long-suffering people of Kurdistan. You will discover that in a very real way the Kurds have, and in fact continue to defend our revered Alamo with their lives. As was true at the Alamo, the Kurds are volunteers all; men and women, killed and wounded, hungry and thirsty, cold and dirty, outnumbered and outgunned...they are standing and fighting against seemingly insurmountable odds. In the Kurdish language the word "Alamo" could be spelled "Kobanê."
Texans and the US have no better friend and faithful ally in all the world than the Kurds...except for one glaring, yet surmountable problem; very few Texans and even fewer Americans as a whole, have heard of Kurdistan. And sadly, next to none would be able to locate this mythical country on a map. "Kurds...who are the Kurds?"
Despite this informational void, Texans and Americans will strongly support the Kurds if they are informed about the truth of your story and struggle. For you see, the majority of true Texans and Americans know and understand the price of freedom, and the fact that it is usually won and defended by young lives in their prime. In the words of Thomas Jefferson, the author of America's Declaration of Independence, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
From childhood Texans are taught about the Battle of the Alamo; 14 exhaustive days under siege by a 2,000 strong, European-trained Mexican army and the loss of all the approximately 200 volunteers who gave their lives in defense of liberty. Yet they died with the ultimate trust that their sacrifice would eventually see the dawn of a brighter day for their surviving families and countrymen.
Does this seem or sound vaguely familiar to Kurds? It should.
During the recent battle for Kobanê an intrepid journalist asked a young Kurdish fighter, "Why are you here...why are you fighting against ISIS?" The Kurd answered exactly as any volunteer at Alamo would have replied if asked the same question. "We are fighting to defend you."
Please do not simply brush over the response of that young Kurd. "We are fighting to defend you."
If Kurds knew about the 1836 Alamo story they would certainly understand and could easily compare their own love, determination and very real sacrifice for liberty and freedom with Texans and Americas.
In the story of the Alamo, Kurds must also understand that the men who sacrificed their lives came to Texas from all over the United States as well as England, Scotland and Ireland, Germany and Denmark, Spain and Mexico. In other words...the Kurds have many more friends and allies than may be realized.
It should also be noted; while Kobanê's brave volunteer Kurdish defenders, men and women, have been victorious against ISIS to this point, the Alamo's volunteer defenders died...to the last man.
If true Texans knew about Kurdistan they would demand that the US Congress and President support the Kurds in their very real and very deadly struggle.
Kurds and Texans share more than might be realized at first glance; a deep love of liberty and their homeland; self-confidence and appreciation of the value of self-reliance; faith in right over wrong, good over evil and the determination to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with noble men and women who will defend the weak and innocent from the transgressions of tyranny.
And on the culturally comparative lighter side...the Kurdish "helperke" is simply Texas "line-dancing" with Willie Nelson or Trace Adkins on the jukebox.
If our American politicians and president were to show the same bravery and dedication exhibited by the Alamo defenders and today's Kurdish men and women on their battlefield...ISIS will surely be cast into history and Kurds will have earned their rightful and long overdue place among the community of nations.
Whether Kurds would make good Texans or Texans would make good Kurds...the comparison is clear. When men and women understand the cost of freedom and are willing to pay the price...they are kindred spirits...no matter the language they speak or the land from whence they come.
Richard Ross (mills) is a TV producer/writer based in Texas.