The decision of the Kurds of Northern Iraq to revive their regional parliament has roused the anger of their powerful neighbour, Turkey. The Kurds' relationship with Turkey has now deteriorated to a virtual war of words, with Turkish leaders accusing them of covertly preparing the way for an independent Kurdish state. (AFP photo)...
little George encourages the Kurds to attack Saddam, creates problems with Turkey, Syria and Iran who have Kurd populations: more Iraqi fallout
I am convinced that little George has an as of yet unrevealed agenda in Iraqi. It has to be more than oil. I wonder how much Daddy George is going to make on oil contracts after we invade Iraq?
The Kurds are really stupid to trust little George. They need to go talk to the Cubans in Florida who were left on the beaches in Cuba during the Bay of Pigs. And then there was the last time we went after Saddam and promised support to the locals who rebelled. Again we left them hanging in the wind and in time a lot of them were disposed of by Saddam.
little George is encouraging the Kurds to unite but uniting is going to mean a demand for nationhood. And that is going to create a lot of chaos with Turkey, Syria and Iran who have large Kurd populations.
little George cannot solve the Palestinian Statehood problem and now he wants to create chaos with the Kurds.
None of this considers the problems that are going to occur with the Muslims and particularly the Arab Muslims who are going to hate little George even more for going after Saddam; the only Middle East leader to stand up to the United States.
And then there is the problem that little George cannot find Saddam the same way he cannot find bin-Laden. And then there is the problem of how much of Saddam's family does little George kill or exile before Iraq become the 51st State. If the European Union continues to add nation states, why should not little George continue to add states to the United States. Alaska and Hawaii are not contiguous with mainland USA.
Destabilizing governments is bad business. Assassinating world leaders is a bad precedent. Being a self righteous and arrogant war monger is a lifetime handicap.
October 6, 2002
By Jim Muir
BBC Middle East correspondent
The decision of the Kurds of Northern Iraq to revive their regional parliament has roused the anger of their powerful neighbour, Turkey. The Kurds' relationship with Turkey has now deteriorated to a virtual war of words, with Turkish leaders accusing them of covertly preparing the way for an independent Kurdish state.
That is an anathema to the Turks because of their own large Kurdish minority.
The Kurds are obviously lining up to associate themselves with the expected American move to bring about regime change in Baghdad, although the exact role envisaged for them remains unclear.
But in doing so they are risking aggravating their immediate situation.
Iraqi Kurdish leaders have repeatedly stressed that their only ambition is regional autonomy within a democratic federal Iraq.
But no matter how loudly and how often they say that, Turkish suspicions apparently remain.
The Iraqi Kurds are hoping at least to dilute Turkish hostility by having their ideas for a democratic federation endorsed by a broad meeting of all the Iraqi opposition in Brussels in about a month.
But the Turks aren't the only powers with whom the Kurds' relations are strained.
Two other neighbours who also have Kurdish minorities - Syria and Iran - are watching the situation very closely too.
Further afield, Russia came in for a verbal lashing from one of the main Iraqi Kurdish leaders, Jalal Talabani, at Friday's revival of the parliament.
He said Russia's policies were much worse than those of the old Soviet Union, which had struck a balance between the Baghdad government and the Kurds, while Moscow today had sided entirely with Saddam Hussein.
The Iraqi Kurds are convinced that Washington will go ahead with its plan to topple the Baghdad regime.
They seem to be becoming increasingly outspoken as that expectation grows.
But they are in a highly vulnerable situation.
by Amberin Zaman Ankara 5 Oct 2002 02:24 UTC
The Kurdish parliament in northern Iraq reconvened Friday for the first time in six years. Kurdish politicians in Iraq have hailed the session as a very special day for the Kurdish people.
In the words of Hoshyar Zebari, a senior Iraqi Kurdish official, the opening of the parliament signaled the burying of discord and disunity.
The legislators, based in the Kurdish-controlled city of Arbil, unanimously ratified a peace agreement signed in Washington in 1998 between the two main Kurdish groups in Iraq: Massoud Barzani's Kurdistan Democratic Party and Jalal Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, groups that fought a bitter war in the mid 90s. Under the U.S.-brokered agreement some 3.5 million Iraqi Kurds are entitled to their own federal state within a unified Iraq.
Reconciliation between the two main Kurdish groups could prove a major asset in any military campaign against Saddam Hussein. They have about 50,000 men under arms and control a large chunk of territory in northern Iraq. But the Kurds have made it clear that they will only participate in a military campaign if their demands for quasi statehood are met.
A draft constitution setting out the parameters of that state, and which designates Kirkuk, Iraq's main oil producing province as its capital, was due to be debated by the chamber.
At the opening session on Friday, the speaker of the parliament speaker read out a message of support from U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell. Mr. Powell praised the Kurdish groups for shelving their differences and said the United States shared their vision of Iraq's future as a democratic, pluralistic and united state.
But the prospect of Kurdish independence, no matter how limited, is deeply worrying to neighboring Iran, Syria, and Turkey, countries that have large Kurdish populations of their own. But the unity of Iraq's Kurds, if it lasts, will be most alarming to the Iraqi government. Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has long backed one Kurdish faction against the other in order to keep them divided and weak.
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