In 1988 the Iraqi regime launched the Anfal campaigns against the Kurdish peshmerga and their civil supporters in the rural areas. This article investigates narrations about Anfal constructed by peshmerga ten years after the events. It compares the memoirs of a leading commander published in Kurdistan with the biographical interview of a lower-ranking peshmerga conducted by myself for “Western” academic purpose. In so doing, the article highlights differences in dealing with the experience of defeat and harmed masculinity, which result from the situatedness of memory production. Left a vague topic in the 1990s, Anfal has become broadly discussed since the destruction of the former regime in 2003. By means of scientific concepts, academics and non-academics, among them former peshmerga, explain Anfal as an inescapable genocide that aimed to destroy the Kurds, suggesting that there is no need to remember defeat and harmed masculinity.

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