August 30, 2005


Kurds first, Iraq second (Bashdar Ismaeel, 8/31/05, Asia Times)

Finally free from the totalitarian grip of Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath regime, the Kurds for the first time in 1991, thanks largely to the establishment of a US-sponsored safe haven - enforced by daily air patrols in the three northern-most Iraqi provinces - have flourished economically, socially and politically with relative freedom and stability.

Ever-grateful for the US liberation, soldiers are hugged and given warm receptions and not targeted in this part of the country. Ghomma Mustafa, a prisoner for nearly nine years, showed typical enthusiasm for the US liberation: "Thanks to the US, now the whole of Kurdistan is free and we are grateful. Right now, without the US presence in Iraq, it would collapse."

The problem in this part of the world, a far cry from the terrorist-ridden and volatile south and central areas, is that people do not feel a part of Iraq, or even want to be associated with any of its traditional customs. In this part of the country, it is the Kurdistan flag and not the Iraqi flag that is ubiquitous. Even the crossing at the Haber border gate between Iraq and Turkey suggest that one is entering a separate country, and not Iraq.

For the Kurds, they have fought with their blood and lives to live this day, and they are determined to not settle for anything less than what they feel they deserve - now federalism, as proposed in the draft constitution submitted to parliament this week, perhaps later full autonomy, even independence.

Why should they settle for less? For a fiction called Iraq? That would be foolish.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 30, 2005 12:00 AM

How about a fiction called Turkey?

The Kurds have been true allies in the fight against terrorism and we should return the favor by supporting their fight for a free Kurdistan.

Posted by: erp [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 30, 2005 9:16 AM

Kurdistan is landlocked and surrounded by enemies. they need the rest of Iraq.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 30, 2005 11:13 PM

Like the Swiss need to be part of Germany...

Posted by: oj at August 30, 2005 11:25 PM