View Full Version : The Kurdish Complication

07-25-04, 08:44 AM
Allan Topol: The Kurdish Complication

For several months, U.S. policy in Iraq and the occupation have been battered on all sides. Desperate now to shake up Allawi's interim Iraqi government and control the insurrection, the last thing the U.S. needs right now is one more serious problem. That's precisely what it's getting. The Kurdish issue is rearing its head, and it won't be easily resolved.

The Kurds are a rugged ethnic people who follow the Islamic faith. But they are not Arabs. In this respect, they are like the Iranians. The Kurds, who do not have their own state, inhabit portions of northern Iraq, northeast Iran and southeast Turkey.

Four million Kurds live in Iraq. About twenty percent of the Iraqi population.

For years the Kurds have dreamt of having their own nation. In the 1970s, the Kurds, encouraged by the United States and the Shah of Iran, commenced a rebellion. They came very close to achieving their dream. Then in 1975, they were betrayed by the United States when Washington acceded to the Shah's request to withdraw support.
What followed was a blood bath and massacre of the Kurds. Saddam Hussein used all power and chemical weapons against them. In Saddam's 1987-88 campaign alone, more than 100,000 Kurds were killed, including 5,000 gassed in Halabja.

The Kurds' situation changed with the first U.S.-Iraqi war. The Kurds offered wholehearted support for the United States in that war.

From the time that it ended until the present, the Iraqi Kurds have enjoyed quasi-independence. Assisted by the internally supported no-fly zone over northern Iraq and a U.N. mandate providing them with a share of Iraq's oil revenue, the Kurds have managed to create a democratic quasi-state in the northern provinces of Iraq. They have developed institutions, conducted elections, and lent support in the second Iraqi war as requested by the United States.

The Kurds have been reasonable in recent discussions about the structure for the new Iraqi government. They have not insisted on an independent state. What they do want is for the new government to be a federation among the three regions and ethnic people, sixty percent of whom are Shiites, and twenty percent of whom are Sunnis. The Kurds are the other twenty percent.

This means that the Kurds want a veto over the enactment of important laws. Otherwise, the Kurds believe - and history supports - that the Arab majority will trample their rights.

The U.S. occupation authorities granted this to the Kurds in the temporary administrative law governing Iraq until the adoption of the new constitution. However, the Kurds were betrayed by Washington once again when this language was dropped from the U.N. resolution in order to gain votes.

The bitter opposition to Kurdish rights came not only from the Ayatollah Sistani and other Shiite leaders in Iraq, but from other Arab nations and Turkey, who fears that if Kurds receive rights in Iraq, the Kurds in Turkey will push for a similar situation.

This time it appears that the Kurds won't acquiesce so easily. They have more than 70,000 armed men, twice the planned strength of the Iraqi army. They don't want Iraq army units in their areas, and will fight to the last man to keep them out.

The Kurds have made it clear to Washington that they will not join in a newly formed Iraqi government if they do not have their veto power. In a letter to President Bush, they wrote, "The people of Kurdistan will no longer accept second class citizenship in Iraq."

This is no bluff. If they do not receive what they want, it is very likely that the Kurds will declare their independence from Iraq. Then they will move quickly to seize the city of Kirkuk, which has special significance for them and also happens to be the center of one of the two Iraqi regions with the most substantial oil reserves.

If they do that, all hell will break loose. Although with what's going on now, it might be more accurate to say even more hell will break loose.


07-25-04, 04:32 PM
Hmmm, well, from what VERY little I know of this, I say, MORE POWER TO EM!

I mean, really, who can blame them for wanting at least SOME eqaulity? And before anyone starts blathering about these rabble rousers, remember where OUR nation got it's start. only difference between a rebel or trouble maker and a patriot, is the victor in the conflict, and whether or not they have a good press agent.

( and yes, I realise that this is a very simplistic way of looking at things, but come on! Not everything is quantam physics and rocket science)

07-25-04, 08:06 PM
I say, if Iraq doesn't grant them all the rights we fought for them to also have, let them draw their swords and cut off some Iraqi heads.

It will then be a civil war and we shouldn't get involved with suppling either Iraq or the Kurds

07-25-04, 10:14 PM
The kurds had more freedoms when saddam was in power than they do know. The morons running the show, among other things, never considered this. Why do ya think the Turks would let us cross their borders to attack Iraq.

07-25-04, 10:16 PM
'know"??? WTF, have another beer, see if i spell better.

07-25-04, 10:52 PM
Everybody wants their own d!&n state or nation these days. We here in the U.S. may not be the best at sharing our space, but a lot of the rest of the world could sure take an example from us.

07-25-04, 11:03 PM
I think I will read again
"The Generals' War
The Inside Story of the Conflict in the Gulf"
By Micheal R. Gordon and General Bernard E. Trainor USMC

Lately I been worried about the outcome of Iraq.
Lately one soldier said;
"We got to get it right or the lives of all those that died will have been in vain."
This part of the "end game" that many have no idea of what needs to be done before we leave Iraq.
12 years of no-fly zones and two years or more of war in Iraq.
Means that we have been safe-guarding the Kurds against the Iraqi's.
Wars are so easy to get into but so hard to get out...

Semper Fidelis/Semper Fi

07-25-04, 11:14 PM
my only comment to you milrat is, "lately" you've been worried?, hell i was worried from the get go.

07-26-04, 04:23 AM
yeah, but you ALWAYS seem to be worried, Ivalis ;)

07-26-04, 08:09 PM
there's over 900 now that have no worries. forking bush.

07-26-04, 08:13 PM
true. and I bet most of em would do it again, given the choice.