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The Passion and Death of Rahman the Kurd

Auteur : Carol Prunhuber Multimedia
Éditeur : iUniverse Date & Lieu : 2009, Bloomington
Préface : Jonathan C. Randal MultimediaPages : 357
Traduction : Carol Prunhuber Multimedia | Ellen Porter ISBN : 978-1440-178-16-0
Langue : AnglaisFormat : 150x230 mm
Thème : Politique

Table des Matières Introduction Identité PDF
The Passion and Death of Rahman the Kurd

The Passion and Death of Rahman the Kurd: Dreaming Kurdistan

"Against the backdrop of the revolution that overthrew the Shah and through the shadowy back streets of the Cold War, Carol Prunhuber's Passion andDeath ofRahman the Kurd resurrects the doomed trajectory of assassinated Kurdish leader Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou. "A portrait against the grain: not a peshmerga with his bandolier, but a nationalist intellectual in a well-tailored suit turned movable target far from the Kurdish mountains. A Third World aristocrat who will quickly veer off the Marxist road from revolution to democracy.

"Professor of economics, bon vivant, and clandestine freedom fighter, Ghassemlou is tracked by the henchmen of the Shah only to be assassinated by the hit men of Ayatollah Khomeini's Islamic Republic. Prunhuber guides us, through an opaque world of ambiguous friendships, uncertain complicities, treachery, and open threats, from Tehran to Prague, from Paris to Vienna.

"This portrait is a political whodunit, a truer-than-life reenactment of a destiny, and a journey into a trap a trap implacably closing, until his execution in an anonymous apartment in Vienna in 1989.

"A page of history, too: abundant notes allow the reader to navigate with ease through the subtle maze of reheated hatreds and deceitful alliances that give the account all its authenticity."

Jean-Marc Illouz
senior foreign correspondent, France2 TV, News, Paris


When I think of Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou, whisky somehow comes to mind.

Neither of us—he the leader of Iran's Kurds, I a Washington Post foreign correspondent—in fact was much given to whisky. But our infrequent occasions for drinking the amber liquid had a purpose behind the pure pleasure of partaking of alcohol.

In the first instance the whisky was downed with a group of foreign correspondents in Mahabad, that emblematic site of twentieth-century Kurdish nationalism, in calculated defiance of the nascent zero-tolerance-for-alcohol Islamic Republic soon after Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini came to power in the winter of 1979.

And a decade later in July 1989, we drank whisky in my home in Paris to celebrate the first visa the United States had deigned granting him after decades on the blacklist as Communist or fellow traveler.

I think at the time I wondered idly if the visa was an outcome of the expiring Cold War or, more narrowly perhaps, the just recompense for his attempt to help American ambassador April Glaspie in Baghdad track down Saddam Hussein's use of gas against his own Kurds the previous year. I had suggested that she cultivate his friendship.

That July evening Ghassemlou credited me with helping obtain the coveted US visa in a bit of calculated flattery far from the truth, since at most over the years during his episodic visits to Paris I had called the political officer at the American embassy and suggested Ghassemlou was a man well worth listening to.

Such then were the very limited favors a journalist could render obscure leaders of Third World national liberation movements that the haughty United States, out of deference to the governments that oppressed them, officially pretended too inconsequential even to talk to, much less recognize…

Jonathan Randal





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