Monday, September 03, 2007

A New Kurdish Voice Emerges

By Cernig

Via reader Shirrin and IraqiVoice, here's an interesting development for those who try to see beyond the simplistic divisions the mainstream media try to impose on Iraqi politics - a new anti-occupation Kurdish political party.
- A new Kurdish Party “Freedom and Justice Party” announced itself today, opposing the domination of the two Kurdish warlords on Iraqi Kurdistan, in their announcement they put their four points objectives:

1- A unified, independent and liberated from occupation Iraq, is the Iraq of all its citizens, and what brings its citizens together over every inch of land is the citizenship, which is the State of all citizens is no difference between the citizens and they are equal before the law.

3- The Complete unconditional withdrawal of American occupation forces and the recognition of the national sovereign and independent, is the demand of all Iraqis.

3- Our party does not depend on and do not allowed family-succession as is the case with the current [Kurdish] parties, but it is the party of the people.

4- Struggle for federalism within the unity of Iraq, to create the conditions and atmosphere of cooperation and among the Kurds, Arabs and Turkmen and the rest of the communities and groups that make up the Iraqi people is the higher goal sought by the party.

This is serious thing because they appointed a very well known Kurdish figure “Jawhir Alharki” as the head of Freedom and Justice Party, they already get Turkey’s acceptance and the congratulations from the Iraqi resistance.
I've no idea who Alharki is, or just how influential he might be in Kurdish politics. However this is a significant development even so. Shirrin writes:
This is a potentially interesting development, and could have a significant impact in Kurdistan if this party is not quickly squashed by the two corrupt proto fascist mafiosi warlords and their American sponsors. Kurdish opposition to Talibani and Barzani, who are sometimes referred to by Kurds as "mini Saddams", is not new, and open opposition is costly, as Kamal Sayid Qadir, Hawez Hawezi, and many others know only two well. Qadir and Hawezi were arrested, and imprisoned for criticizing "President of Kurdistan" Mas`oud Barzani, and they are only the most high profile of many such cases.

According to my contacts Kurds are also becoming increasingly fed up with the American presence.

This party appears to be a nationalist group, in contrast to the seperatism Barzani and Talibani have forced on Kurdistan. It is, for example, illegal in Kurdistan to display the Iraqi flag, and several Kurds were arrested following Iraq's victory in the Asia Cup soccer competition for publicly waving Iraqi flags in celebration (which is also clear evidence that many Iraqi Kurds do, in spite of propaganda to the contrary, have a sense of identity as Iraqis). So much for Kurdistan as a bastion of all that is right with Bush's Iraq project!
I haven't thought Kurdistan was a bastion of all that was right in Iraq for some time now. It seems clear to me that Barzani et al. are mostly interested in a seperate state and in staving off a Turkish invasion which would inevitably follow such independence by trying to ensure a constant, friendly, US presence in the North of Iraq. Any calls to leave a residual US force in Kurdish Iraq are really about exactly this, as their placing would make them next to useless for any other purpose.

However, the launch of this party does help confirm, for me, a sense of foreboding about future developments in Iraq which I've had this last six months or so. While everyone has been watching the Sunni/Shiite slo-cooker civil war, a new set of cross-sectarian battle lines have been drawn between those who want a nationalist, unoccupied and unified Iraq and those who want to see Iraq balkanized into seperate regions. The latter group includes the current Iraqi government.

As usual, the mainstream media narrative is six months behind the curve - because they're getting their narrative form the US military and the Bush administration who are likewise (as usual) six months behind the curve of developments. In 2003 we were being told that the insurgency was was a phenomenon based on small numbers of foreign fighters while in fact it was a large-scale and essentially Iraqi one. Then we were told the violence was all about stopping "freedoms" when in fact it was the beginning of the current sectarian strife. Now we're being told it's Sunni vs Shia, while Shiite factions divided not just by greed but also by level of nationalism contest in the South and while cross-sectarian Accordance Fronts and nationalist anti-occupation movements spring up from every ethnic background.

In Iraq, being six months behind the curve again is a recipe for unpleasantly violent surprises and political disasters.

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