Saturday, October 28, 2006

Our real ally in Iraq - Kurdistan

Want to know about the real ally we have in Iraq, the one superb example of western style democracy we've managed to establish there? Welcome to Kurdistan.

Here in a Wall Street OpinionJournal featured article by Judith Miller, you can read an interview with the president of Kurdistan, Iraq's success story.

Here's a sample:

`ERBIL, Iraq--Unlike Baghdad, 200 miles away, the air here does not echo with the sound of gunfire, car bombs and helicopters. Residents of this city of a million people picnic by day in pristine new parks and sip tea with friends and relatives at night. American forces are not "occupiers" or the "enemy," but "liberators." Mentioning President Bush evokes smiles--and not of derision. American forces were "most welcome" when stationed here at the start of the invasion of Iraq, says Massoud Barzani, the president of Kurdistan in the north. Not a single U.S. soldier was killed in his region, he adds proudly, "not even in a traffic accident." Would U.S. forces be welcome back now? "Most certainly," he declared this week in an interview in his newly minted marble (and heavily chandeliered) palace. The more American soldiers the better, a top aide confirms. The secret of Kurdistan's relative success so far--and of America's enduring popularity here--is the officially unacknowledged fact that the three provinces of the Kurdish north are already quasi-independent. {...) The U.S., Mr. Barzani believes, should leave it to the Iraqis to decide if they want "one or two or three regions." Then, he adds: "But it already exists. The division is there as a practical matter.' Even the most fleeting visitor cannot but notice that Kurdistan is almost a full-fledged state. Kurds no longer speak Arabic, but various dialects of Kurdish, in offices and schools throughout the 74,000 square miles that comprise their provinces. They fly their own flag, provide their own services, raise their own army--the legendarily disciplined Pesh Merga, or "Those Who Face Death"--and have gradually consolidated their de facto state. Divided between two parties--Mr. Barzani's Kurdistan Democratic Party, his clan's power base in north Kurdistan, and the southern-based Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, headed by Jalal Talabani, now president of Iraq (or "President of the Green Zone," as Kurds here call the post)--Kurdistan is booming with construction, new businesses and ambitious dreams of self-rule. Kurdish aspirations for autonomy, however, clearly require Turkish and Iranian acquiescence, or a persuasive reason for Turkey not to attack. Hence the desire for the redeployment of some American forces to Kurdistan. "The presence of American forces here would be a deterrent to intervention by the neighboring countries," Mr. Barzani says, with characteristic bluntness'.
In other words, the Kurds would be a bulwark and an ally against Iran and Syria.

So far, as the article relates, the Bush Administration continues to fail to recognize this golden opportunity. They're concerned that an independent Kurdistan would end with a Sunni jihad state in the Green Zone, and Iranian control of the Shiite South. As President Bush said inhis press conference last week, he's agin' proposals to carve Iraq into three virtually autonomous regions as `destabilizing' and exacerbating Sunni-on-Sunni and Sunni-on-Shiite tensions. "The Kurds will then create problems for Turkey and Syria," President Bush said.

Guess what,Mr. President? Things are ALREADY DESTABILIZED...except in Kurdistan. And Iran ALREADY controls the Shiites whose government is on record as refusing to allow US bases there to be used against their friends in Iran! As for `creating problems for Turkey and Syria - who gives a rip? The Turks are no longer our allies, Syria never was, and a strong, US backed Kurdistan, with ties to the oppressed minorities in Syria, Turkey and especially Iran could be the start of a US encouraged resistance and regime change in those countries.

A strong Kurdistan would give us a secure base in the region within easy flying distance from Iran and Syria, and a common border with our ally Jordan. And the Pesh Merga, the best fighting force in the country next to the US would effectively double our troop strength in one stroke.

Yet the congressionally created Iraq Study Group, headed by former Republican Secretary of State James Baker and Democratic co-chairman Lee Hamilton, which is studying policy alternatives for Iraq, didn't even bother to go to Kurdistan or consult with Barzani.

The Kurds are the people we should be allied with. They're a democratic, oil producing nation with a fine military who would be loyal, strong allies in the War on Jihad, and it's amazing to me - and saddening - that we refuse to take advantage of that fact.

1 comment:

Bert Lord said...

To be frank with you sir - the squeaky wheel gets the oil!!! If you want money or attention in Iraq all you need to do is shoot at the US. The US does have an ally in Kurdistan. They know it and they also know it is not going away. Kurdistan needs the US just as much as the US needs Kurdistan, maybe more.
Forget the military. In the US the military always follows the money. Shhhhh, do not tell anyone but we went to war in Iraq at the prompting of corporations. You may think that is alarmist thinking but it makes complete sense. There are many evils in the world and we chose to eliminate the EVIL that also lined pocketbooks. If you want to look at it from a religious point of view at the end of times when the countries in the Middle East attack Israel - the people of Iraq are the only ones not to attack. If you can think back to Daniel's people in the pagan kingdoms of the Medians and the Persians they were in Iraq and then Iraqi Kurdistan.
From this you can see that many things point to us being in Iraq and that is where we as the US should be. Now how can we make the most out of the situation and increase the peace? The answer is not to put our money where our mouth is, but to increase the money where we want our mouthpiece to be. The answer always lies with the money.
If you want more US government action in Iraq - put the money there. Kurdistan is now working to get US companies and investors to be interested in Iraqi Kurdistan. The University of Dohuk has established the American Development Center which is charged with teaching advanced English to college students, bringing in pure water for school children, mapping the hydrology of the area, improving power supply issues, and bringing in American businesses to do most of the work. They want the Americans to come in and teach them how to be a democracy. They want schools to spring up to make an educated work force that is a benefit to any country that aligns with them. Kurdistan is looking towards the future that has the US involved within it. How we choose to be involved is all up to us now.