June 27, 2007


Kurdish Iraq focuses on investment and building (Kirk Semple, June 26, 2007, NY Times)

It is a measure of soaring Kurdish optimism that government officials here talk seriously about one day challenging Dubai as the Middle East's main transportation and business hub.

The Kurdistan Regional Government is betting that it can, investing $325 million in a modernist terminal at the Erbil International Airport to handle - officials hope - millions of passengers a year and a runway that will be big enough to handle the new double-decker Airbus A380.

"We're not saying Kurdistan is heaven," said Herish Muharam, chairman of the Kurdish government's Board of Investment. "But we're telling investors that Kurdistan can be that heaven."

As the rest of Iraq has plunged into a downward spiral, Kurdistan has enjoyed relative political stability and limited violence, in part owing to a sectarian and political homogeneity lacking elsewhere in the country.

Which, unfortunately, is the template for the rest of the country too.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 27, 2007 7:15 AM

Why unfortunately?

Posted by: erp at June 27, 2007 8:53 AM

"Why unfortunate"

Because attaining "sectarian and political homogeneity" can be bloody and nasty.

Posted by: h-man at June 27, 2007 8:57 AM

The dream of a multi-ethnic, multi-confessional Iraq--a mini-America--was perfectly noble. But you can't make the Sunni accept it.

America is distinct.

Posted by: oj at June 27, 2007 9:57 AM

I can't see that any of them want it.

Posted by: Genecis at June 27, 2007 11:12 AM