Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Understanding Iraqi Kurdistan

Via Iraqi Mojo I have discovered this telling article by Michael J. Totten on Iraqi Kurdistan. It is something he wrote in the early summer which has just been published.

In it he calls for the establishment of a separate,independent and recognised nation to be set up in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region. I don't share this viewpoint as (a) the region remaining as part of Iraq offers one of the few avenues for the spread of democratic and civic society values inside the whole country and (b) it would cause massive intervention from an intransigent Turkey who have always acted vigorously to contain the demands of their own Kurdish population, especially in relation to activities from Kurdish paramilitary groups who operate from the mountains in southern Turkey and northern Iraq.

Indeed, Totten himself has backed off somewhat from his initial conclusion about the need for independence and now calls it his plan "B". But his article is invaluable for his description of life in Iraqi Kurdistan. Where he points out that it is a region which suffers from fewer terrorist assaults than Spain does.

For anyone with a serious interest in Iraq, it is an important read. Soma, the Iraqi-Kurdish Digest published in Sulaymaniyah is then well worth an examination.


mrs k said...

Ammar al-Hakin on the Treasure of Bagdad Blog 'Are we ready yet'.

Looks as though he is proposing the same idea.

Harry Barnes said...

Mrs K; Ammar al-Hakin proposes a federal solution, dividing Iraq into Kurd, Sunni and Shia areas.the first of which already exists. This was my response in the comment box on "Treasure of Baghdad"'s blog -

"Whilst Iraqi Kurdistan benefits from its status as the only current federal unit in Iraq, the main questions about having a universal federal system for Iraq include the following -
(a) Where should Kirkuk and its oil be placed?
(b) Where should Baghdad be placed or should it be given a distinctive status?
(c) With full federation, what will be the formula for running the oil industry and dividing up its revenues?
(d) What degree of autonomy will federal units be given? For the greater their rights are, the stronger the pressures for the break-up of Iraq might become.

There are, of course, clear provisions in the current Iraqi Constitution which could be acted upon to instigate a federal system.

For those of us who can't read Arabic could someone kindly translate the original comment from Iraqi Doctor?"