Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Kurdistan is not Iraq.

It has been my contention from before the "war" that the U.S. may well be messing in a civil war. Here is a statement from a Kurdish source that supports that notion.

The first Gulf War led to the virtual independence of three Kurdistani provinces and the internationalisation of the protection of Kurdistan through the Security Council Revolution 688. Then the establishment of a protected Kurdistani region and the SCR 986, which gave 13 per cent of the revenues of Iraqi oil to Kurdish-controlled Kurdistani provinces, consolidated the political and economic infrastructure of the de facto Kurdistan state. The Iraq War in 2003 gave us even a greater and more total opportunity by liberating the rest of Kurdistan and getting rid completely from even the existence of the Iraqi colonial state. Link

Thoughtful students will already know the facts, but the majority of Americans neither know nor care about the details of what may be happening over there. Nevertheless, in our blind and rowdy efforts to "support the troops" we are in danger of slipping into a no-win situation.

Iraq is not a state that Kurds can identify with. Arabisation of Kurdistan did not start with Saddam. It started as early as 1930s with the banning Kurdish language and education in Mosul and with Haweja project in Kirkuk in 1937. Iraq has from the very beginning a doubly colonial state: plundering Iraqi and Kurdistan oil on behalf of British imperialism and exercising internal Arab colonialism against Kurdistan through policies of underdevelopment, Arabization, imposition of the Arabic language, culture and religion, political oppression, cultural assimilation and then murder and genocide.

I don't expect anything of substance to happen until after the election. All conversations about our involvement in Iraq are heard in terms of position placements in electoral politics instead of serious concerns about solving problems abroad.

Even then the boring details of foreign policy are not the stuff that makes for interesting conversation at parties, so I don't think any popular swell of interest is likely. Let us hope that the right people in government will be able to speak, and whoever is in charge is smart enough to pay attention. (Thanks to Aziz Poonawalla for the link.)

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