mardi 3 novembre 2015

Stalemate, Not Statehood, for Iraqi Kurdistan

Stalemate, Not Statehood, for Iraqi Kurdistan

 Sunday, November 1, 2015, 10:11 AM

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry chats with President Masoud Barzani upon arrival at the Kurdistan Regional Government Presidential Compound in Erbil, Iraq, on June 24, 2014. [State Department photo/public domain]
Editor’s Note: The Kurds are the largest nation in the Middle East without a state of their own and their quest for more rights and at times independence has led to civil wars, unrest, and near-genocidal levels of killing. Iraq has often been the center of the Kurdish struggle, and the decline of the Iraqi state since 2003 – and the latest dysfunction manifest in its efforts to fight the Islamic State – seems to offer opportunities for Iraqi Kurds to carve out their own state. Denise Natali, an expert on the Kurds at the National Defense University, challenges this claim. She argues that the Iraqi Kurds’ current in-between status is likely to endure and, indeed, offers benefits for Kurdish leaders.
Since the creation of a weak federal Iraqi state a decade ago, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has moved toward what many analysts, pundits, and Kurds consider a desired end state: independence. Taking advantage of the ambiguous 2005 Iraqi constitution, disfranchised Sunni Arab community, sectarian conflicts, and dysfunctional Iraqi government, the KRG has developed its own energy sector; assumed de facto control over disputed lands; and created a cohort of influential supporters to lobby Kurdish interests in Washington and abroad. These trends have been further bolstered by the Islamic State threat, which has allowed the KRG to access U.S. and coalition military support, further expand its territorial reach, and challenge Baghdad with “independent” oil exports.
Yet a deeper look into the Iraqi Kurdish trajectory reveals a more complicated and interrupted scenario defined by legal, economic, and geopolitical constraints. The KRG may have created new “facts on the ground” that strengthen its internal sovereignty and international recognition, but it remains a landlocked, quasi-state entity lacking external sovereignty.
This condition means that the degree and nature of Kurdish autonomy, including any potential for independence, is not determined by unilateral decisions made by Kurdish elites but rather by the demands, deals, and incentive structures brokered by powerful regional states and non-state actors. These influences have not only checked Kurdish leverage and kept Kurds within the Iraqi state, at least nominally, they have also created necessary political ambiguity that benefits KRG officials. Maintaining the status quo has allowed the KRG to realize rights, revenues, and recognition as part of aweak federal Iraqi state while also pursuing a nationalist agenda based on victimization, struggle, territorial expansion, and opaque, oil-based economic development, supported by external networks.

Iraq’s Turkmen on their own By Nermeen Mufti

Turkmen are Iraq’s third largest ethnic group but they remain un­derrepresented in politics and their plight is largely ignored.
Baghdad - Iraq’s Turkmen are the coun­try’s third largest ethnic group after Arabs and Kurds but the community of nearly 3 million people has endured displace­ment, isolation, discrimination and violence throughout its history.
Today, the Turkmen remain un­derrepresented in Iraqi politics and their plight is largely ignored. 
Please click on the link hereunder:

lundi 2 novembre 2015

The Kurdish Terror Campaign in Turkmen Eli (video) by Salman Mofak

To watch the video please click on the link below:

After the fall of Saddam Hussein government the Turkmen, Arabs, and Chaldo Assyrians had high expectations of the interim administration established after 9th April 2003.

The Turkmen expected to see democracy, fairness, an end to discrimination, the right to self-determination and an end to violence. Unfortunately, the opposite has occurred regarding the human rights situation in Iraq, in particular concerning the Iraqi Turkmen. After the toppling of Saddam Hussein in 2003, hundreds of Kurdish militia poured into the Turkmen city of Kirkuk. 

The Kurdish militia ransacked the municipality buildings in Kirkuk, government offices and military buildings.
The land deeds belonging to the Turkmen were deliberately taken from the Registry Office making it difficult for the Turkmen to establish themselves as original inhabitants of the province. 

Large hotels, hospitals and a historical military barracks in the city (at that time used as a museum), which was built in the Ottoman era, along with Turkman shops and houses, including the land registry office were set alight by the Kurdish militia.

The invasion of Kirkuk in 2003 by the Kurdish militia was a mirror image of the events from 1991 during the uprising against Saddam Hussein after Operation Desert Storm.

Thousands of internally displaced Kurds and Turkmen returned to Kirkuk and other Arabised regions to reclaim their homes and lands that had been occupied by Arabs from central and southern Iraq. These returnees had been were forcibly expelled from their homes by the government of Saddam Hussein during the 1980s and 1990s. 
The majority of the returning Kurds were not originally from Kirkuk but were brought to Kirkuk with the help of the two Kurdish parties and they were housed in the vacant Turkmen and Arab houses.

The reasoning behind this was that they wanted to change the demography of the city and win the referendum that was planned to be carried out by 31 December 2007 to determine whether Kirkuk could formally join the Kurdish administered region, an outcome that Arabs and Turkmen in Kirkuk staunchly opposed.

Salman Mofak.