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Author Topic: Kurdish leader wants Saddam overthrown
Whazzup?
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posted 05 February 2003 05:39 PM      Profile for Whazzup?     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
In today's New York Times:

quote:
Indeed, we Kurds are willing to give up our dreams of an independent Kurdistan in order to bring our expertise in governing to a new democratic Iraq.

Sadly, what we Iraqi democrats are hearing from many in the West is that we should not seek the world's help to be freed from tyranny; that the war is for oil; and that the Arab and Muslim "street" will rise up against those who liberate Iraq.

We have watched demonstrators in Washington and other cities chant, "No to war." But the Baathist dictatorship has been waging war for decades. It has inflicted hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties. Every day, Iraqis of all ethnic and religious groups are tortured in horrible ways. The regime even now is waging a brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing in the parts of Iraqi Kurdistan it still controls.

. . .

Some of the protesters in the West say that this war is simply for oil. Iraqis know that their mistreatment has too often been ignored because Iraqi oil was more important to the world than Iraqi lives. It would be a wonderful turn if at long last oil would become the vehicle of our liberation — the oil will then be a blessing and not the curse that it has been for so long.

Others say, "Justice for Palestine first." Why should justice for the Palestinians, and for the Israelis as well, be a reason to postpone justice for the Iraqis? If anything, this Iraqi dictatorship has made it all the more difficult to bring an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict. A democratic Iraq will foster peace and justice in the entire region.

We Iraqis hear much about the rage of the so-called Arab street. I know the streets of Baghdad, and I know they will be filled with jubilant Iraqis once the dictator is gone. Recall the joy of liberation in Rome and Paris in 1944, the cheering crowds in Kosovo in 1999, the Afghans who danced in the streets in 2001. Wars of liberation created hope and opportunity in these places.

The only way for Iraqis to escape their nightmare is for the international community to help us liberate Iraq and build a postwar democracy that is peaceful, stable and based on the rule of law.

In their conference in London in December, the Iraqi opposition movements endorsed a vision for a democratic, federal Iraq — one in which my people, the Kurds, would be an integral part. I ask the free people of the West to lend their passion and energy to support our liberation.


[ 05 February 2003: Message edited by: Whazzup? ]


From: Under the Rubble | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
clockwork
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posted 05 February 2003 05:49 PM      Profile for clockwork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Which regional government is Salih speking for? Is he speaking for both?

And why the change of heart?


From: Pokaroo! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tommy M
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posted 05 February 2003 05:52 PM      Profile for Tommy M     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:

Indeed, we Kurds are willing to give up our dreams of an independent Kurdistan in order to bring our expertise in governing to a new democratic Iraq.

He is in for an unpleasant surprise if he expects democracy in Iraq any time soon after an american invasion.


From: Here | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mandos
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posted 05 February 2003 05:58 PM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Kurdish pro-war individuals are probably the most credible and justified people on Earth to be for the war. But if they think that this war, in this way, will solve their problems in the long run, I think they are in for a surprise. I hope not. But history (including their own) tells us that they are.
From: There, there. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Whazzup?
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posted 05 February 2003 05:59 PM      Profile for Whazzup?     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
What change of heart?

[Salih is the (PUK) co-prime minister of the Kurdistan Regional Goverment in Northern Iraq]


From: Under the Rubble | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
clockwork
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posted 05 February 2003 06:13 PM      Profile for clockwork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
We don't have the luxury of the policy wonks in Washington," said Mr. Salih, who last year completed 10 years as the Patriotic Union's representative in Washington, with close links to many of the C.I.A., Pentagon and State Department planners now working on Mr. Bush's strategy. "They can afford to make mistakes; we cannot. We live here; they do not."

Just as keenly, the Kurds fear that the very "regime change" that Mr. Bush advocates could replace one dictator with another. Washington has always favored a strongman government in Baghdad, Kurds say, as a counterweight to the Islamic radicalism of Iran's ayatollahs and as the kind of leadership capable of holding Iraq and its fractious Shiite, Kurdish and Arab populations together.



So does Salih speak for both regions? Look, help me out here. I don't know much about this. There are two seperate, and sometimes divisive, regional governments in Iraq. The PUK and PDK. (and whats the PKK?).

edited: nevermind - the PKK is the Kurdish Workers Party which is apperently fighting everyone.

[ 05 February 2003: Message edited by: clockwork ]


From: Pokaroo! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
clockwork
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posted 05 February 2003 06:42 PM      Profile for clockwork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Kurdistan Democratic Party

Led by Massoud Barzani; joined with the Baghdad government to defeat their Kurdish rivals in 1996. Saddam Hussein moved into the Kurdish "safe haven" established by the United Nations and wiped out the Iraqi National Congress; as many as 200 opposition figures were executed.

Patriotic Union of Kurdistan

Led by Jalal Talabani. Recently Talabani sent envoys to Baghdad to try to make peace with Saddam Hussein.


Mind you, that description is probably out of date. It comes from this, A washington Post article from 1999 about Iraqi government overthrow.


From: Pokaroo! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
clockwork
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posted 05 February 2003 07:02 PM      Profile for clockwork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Whoops. I mispoke. Apparently both the PDK and PUK are interested in a united Iraq.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2144063.stm


From: Pokaroo! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
swallow
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posted 05 February 2003 07:19 PM      Profile for swallow     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The PKK is the one that operates in Turkey, isn't it?

But i'd not get too bogged down in the intracacies of Kurdish realpolitik. From everything i've heard, the Kurds have been through the wringer a million times. Like all oppressed people, they mainly want the oppression to end. They want to run their own affairs. They want to make sure that the won't face another genocide (a word too easily thrown around, but one that probably the Kurds have a right to). If they can get independence, great, they're sure entitled. If that's obviously impossible, as some of their leaders have been forced through the bitterest of experiences to learn, in 1991 most recently, then those leaders will play the shitty hand they've been dealt as best they can. Let's not be too harsh if that means the occasional inconsistency on their part.


From: fast-tracked for excommunication | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
clockwork
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posted 05 February 2003 07:32 PM      Profile for clockwork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
That general Abdullah Ocalan is apparently a PKK guy. The one Turkey has imprisoned (or did they release him??)


The PUK is a social democratic party while the PDK is a nationalist party.

Holy crap!

quote:
You have repeatedly been betrayed throughout your history. Do the Kurds have any real friends in this world?

Socialist International is one of our friends. It has accepted the PUK as a member of Socialist International, and it has recognised the rights of Kurdish people.

Nowadays - and I repeat, nowadays - the United States is our friend. Second, the United Kingdom. France is also very friendly to us. The French government has always been kind to the Kurds, recognising our rights within Iraq.

The day has gone forever that we had only our mountains. This is a Kurdish proverb, that we have only our mountains. But now we have many friends all over the world. In general, all freedom-loving people and all democrats within Arab countries are supporters of the Kurdish people. This includes Arabs, Turks, and Iranians.

Libya is another example. Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has been calling for more than what we are asking for. He thinks there should be a united Kurdistan, while we are calling for a federal system in Iraq. Kuwaitis are also our friends. We are not isolated now. We have friends all over the world.


Link


From: Pokaroo! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
clockwork
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posted 06 February 2003 06:06 AM      Profile for clockwork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
You know what? While I don't wish the Kurds ill will and what not, from all my links, and all the ancillary websites that I read to find these few links, I think this federated Iraq stuff is a cover. From my last post:

quote:
Libya is another example. Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has been calling for more than what we are asking for. He thinks there should be a united Kurdistan, while we are calling for a federal system in Iraq. Kuwaitis are also our friends. We are not isolated now. We have friends all over the world.

The Kurds don't want to be apart of some new Iraqi federal state. They bloody well want their own homeland. It's just that they know the gig is up for their no-fly zone enforced freedom. It's either be antagonistic (or non-committal, which probably amounts to the same thing), to the US, or hope to influence the US in their new Iraqi regime to let them have free rein.

But, hell. I highly, highly, doubt the Kurds consider subservience to some foreign federal government the perfect world.

This Salih guy: of course he says this stuff (original post). He now has to. The US wants territorial integrity, Salih has to come out in favour of Iraqi territorial integrity. He needs to work inside the new system and not outside of it (babblers who thinks electoral politics is for the dogs, take not).


From: Pokaroo! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Moredreads
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posted 06 February 2003 07:09 AM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
PKK is the Turkish Communist (Socialist?) movement. Yes led by Ocalan, now facing possible execution. Did someone say this already. In any case, the PKK has been waging a war with Turkey very simillar to the one waged in Iraq by Kurds.

The Turkish government embarked on a program of ethnic cleansing, and forced displacment of Kurdish villages, starting in 1984 very similar in scope, purpose and effect to the one that is being talked up in Washington concerning Iraq between 1987 and 1989. An estimated 13,000 people were killed in the ensuing conflict.

The repression continues.

Some people like to take notice of these kinds of events, when they happen in countries that are not on the approved allies list, or when the west decides it time for war.

They forget about the issues once the issue disapears from the press and start talking up other issues.

[ 06 February 2003: Message edited by: Moredreads ]


From: Canada | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 09 February 2003 01:09 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Moving this to the Middle East forum.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
darkhorse
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posted 09 February 2003 01:29 PM      Profile for darkhorse     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
The only way for Iraqis to escape their nightmare is for the international community to help us liberate Iraq and build a postwar democracy

Why do all these groups only think in terms of war? As if war-mongers will suddenly transform into bestowing angels of democracy. Iraqis are not likely to 'escape their nightmare' after the world's deadliest superpower has bombed their infrastructures, power-stations, water-purifiers, schools and hospitals to smithereens. A post-war Iraq will be a nightmare worse than Saddam, with the entire region destabilized, extremist groups and anti-interim government groups, and a general police state guarding oil interests and repressing the people. Not to mention widespread famine and disease, high rates of cancer from the DU shells the U.S will drop, contamination of water, etc...

Groups thinking war will liberate them should think again. If they were serious or had put any thought into the matter, they would propose a UN Peacekeeping mission which would oversee Iraq's trade and Oil for food program while monitoring and curtailing Saddam's powers.


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mandrake
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posted 09 February 2003 06:52 PM      Profile for mandrake     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Iraqis are not likely to 'escape their nightmare' after the world's deadliest superpower has bombed their infrastructures, power-stations, water-purifiers, schools and hospitals to smithereens. A post-war Iraq will be a nightmare worse than Saddam, with the entire region destabilized, extremist groups and anti-interim government groups, and a general police state guarding oil interests and repressing the people. Not to mention widespread famine and disease, high rates of cancer from the DU shells the U.S will drop, contamination of water, etc...

Didn't you post the same things in the same words about the liberation of Afghanistan from the Taliban tyranny? I know you'd be bitterly disappointed to be proven wrong a second time.


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Markbo
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posted 09 February 2003 08:35 PM      Profile for Markbo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Al Qaeda just killed 4 main Kurdish Generals Saturday night Feb 8th. They're calling it the first strike in the Iraqi war.
From: Windsor | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
darkhorse
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posted 10 February 2003 01:19 AM      Profile for darkhorse     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Didn't you post the same things in the same words about the liberation of Afghanistan from the Taliban tyranny? I know you'd be bitterly disappointed to be proven wrong a second time.
No. And in any case Afghanistan and Iraq are totally different cases. Iraq is an urbanized society with a highly developed infrastructure and an educated public. War will bring total disaster as the military is integrated into urban centers, and bombs will target power-stations and water-sanitation that supply millions.
As to Afghanistan, with the exception of the center of Kabul, there is fighting, looting, rape, and famine - as the RAWA have been reporting.
AFP did an article on the radical changes made by the new interum government. So whereas under the Taliban victims publicly executed were left to hang for up to four days, the new government only leaves them up there for 15 minutes.
Another change regarding stoning:
quote:
"Adulterers, both male and female, will still be stoned to death, Zarif said, "but we will only use small stones."

[ 10 February 2003: Message edited by: darkhorse ]


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skdadl
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posted 10 February 2003 09:29 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
mandrake, whom are you reading on Afghanistan?

As a start, why not try a selection of these?

(Note: that is a mirror-site for the main RAWA site; the main site is overwhelmed by traffic and redirects to this one.)

[ 10 February 2003: Message edited by: skdadl ]


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
swallow
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posted 10 February 2003 11:44 AM      Profile for swallow     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
PUK leader murdered by Ansar Al-Islam.
From: fast-tracked for excommunication | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 10 February 2003 11:49 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
One funny detail there: why was a PUK official carried out by three Ansar members "who managed to flee"? If the ambush was an Ansar ambush? I do not understand.
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
clockwork
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posted 10 February 2003 12:23 PM      Profile for clockwork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/02/10/international/middleeast/10KURD.html
From: Pokaroo! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 10 February 2003 12:54 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
That is clearer: about 1/5th of Ansar want to defect.

The poor buggers.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
mandrake
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posted 11 February 2003 12:06 AM      Profile for mandrake     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
As to Afghanistan, with the exception of the center of Kabul, there is fighting, looting, rape, and famine - as the RAWA have been reporting.

Sounds a lot like downtown Toronto to me. O.K., there's mayhem in rural Afghanistan. Anything to keep darkhouse and skdadl happy. They'd be so disappointed if things ran smoothly.

[ 11 February 2003: Message edited by: mandrake ]


From: erehwon | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Moredreads
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posted 14 February 2003 08:10 AM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Hmmm Afghanistan... well back to Kurdistan, the Stan without a Stan, if you will...

Radical Islam in Iraqi Kurdistan: Ansar al-Islam

quote:
Little is certain about the external connections of Ansar al-Islam, an offshoot of an Islamist movement with a long history in Kurdish politics. Media interviews of Ansar fighters have usually been conducted in the presence of their captors, guards of the staunchly secular Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). The group itself remains secluded in a narrow wedge of hills above the Halabja Plain on the Iranian border. What is clear is that the main support for Ansar al-Islam comes from powerful factions in Iran, its sole lifeline to the outside world.

[ 14 February 2003: Message edited by: Moredreads ]


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