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The evidence continues to suggest that the Kurds don't want to be part of a strongly centralized Iraq:

Kurdish officials this fall took delivery of three planeloads of small arms and ammunition imported from Bulgaria, three U.S. military officials said, an acquisition that occurred outside the weapons procurement procedures of Iraq's central government.

The large quantity of weapons and the timing of the shipment alarmed U.S. officials, who have grown concerned about the prospect of an armed confrontation between Iraqi Kurds and the government at a time when the Kurds are attempting to expand their control over parts of northern Iraq.

[...]

While violence in Iraq has decreased markedly in recent months, political tension is rising as Iraqi leaders gear up for provincial and national elections scheduled to take place next year, and as they prepare for an era in which the U.S. military will have a smaller presence there.

Of the primary fault lines -- which include tension between Sunnis and Shiites and rivalry among Shiite political parties -- the rift between Kurds and the Arab-dominated Iraqi government has become a top concern in recent months. Senior government officials have engaged in a war of words, and Iraqi army and pesh merga [Kurdish militia] units have come close to clashing.

"You could easily have a huge eruption of violence in the north," said Kenneth B. Katzman, a Middle East specialist at the Congressional Research Service in Washington. "Nothing having to do with the Kurds is resolved."

Iraq hasn't been garnering much attention in the US media of late, but the problems still exist.  And problems with integrating the Kurds in to a centralized Iraq shouldn't surprise anyone.  As I wrote in September 2007, Mr. President, Democratic Leadership: There Is No Such Thing as Iraq:

Sure, look on a map, and it exists.  It’s got a seat in the United Nations.  The electrical grid is national, and the people who live within the geographic boundaries are considered, by other nations, "Iraqis."  But George W. Bush is trying to fool a nation and a world in to thinking that there is a nation known as Iraq.

There isn’t.

There are Kurds, and they don’t want to be in a nation that includes Sunni Arabs, whose leadership they blame for the genocidal policies known as the Anfal.  Expecting Kurds to remain part of the Iraqi nation-state is like expecting Jews to have gotten a national homeland adjoined to Germany after the Holocaust, but expecting the Jews to make nice with the Germans and let bygones be bygones.  Most Americans probably don’t realize that it’s ILLEGAL to fly the flag of Iraq in Kurdistan.  The Kurds are Kurds.  They are not Iraqis, and they never will be.

In the 14 months since I wrote that, there hasn't been any serious progress at bringing Iraqi Kurdistan in to a tighter bond with the rest of (Arab-dominated) Iraq.  The Kurdish political leadership recognizes that declaring independence could possibly bring attacks by some combination of Turkey, Iran and Syria, all of whom have their own Kurdish minorities they wish to keep from seeking autonomy or independence.  And that's to say nothing about retribution from Iraqi Arabs.

But not seeking independence is not the same as accepting central control from a Baghdad government led by Arabs.  Vice President-elect Joe Biden has long recognized this, and has been a strong proponent of a divided Iraq, split roughly along lines that would leave a Kurdish section, a Shiite Arab section, and a Sunni Arab section.  

The eventual shape of Iraq—including the degree of autonomy for Kurdistan and the distribution of oil revenues, especially from Kirkuk, which is being contested by Kurds and Sunni Arabs—will not be easily solved.  It probably won't get "solved" until we start drawing out troops in earnest, as Obama and Biden have pledged to do.  And it's one more intractable problem that Bush has left for Obama and the Democrats to solve.  

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 04:13 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  If I was a Kurd, I'd want out too. (8+ / 0-)

    And I'd want oil.

    "The military industrial complex not only controls our government, lock, stock and barrel, but they control our culture." - Mike Gravel

    by Wilberforce on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 04:15:10 PM PST

    •  As a poet once said, 'Maps are of (7+ / 0-)

      time, not place.'

    •  Stick to (0+ / 0-)

      ...the boardgame Risk...that's all we need is for the rest of the world to hear us getting into the former European powers' imperialistic partition plans.  Maybe we should focus on our own problems.  Yes?

      •  Ever hear of internal colonialism? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DHinMI, sofia

        That might be an issue, too. The idea is that states often exploit their peripheries for the benefit of an ethnicity/population that controls the center.  That's one reason why Sudan remains mired in an intractable civil war, and that's one reason the Kurds are skeptical of remaining in Iraq. I might also suggest that the European powers' division of the Ottoman Empire set the stage for most of what is going on now.  Read The Peace To End All Peace, a great book on the formation of the modern middle east.

        "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

        by ivorybill on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 07:19:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  well yeah! (0+ / 0-)

      how better to finance a unification of Kurdish lands throughout the area and stop the long, brutal persecution of them at the hands of overlords (and foreign powers) a like? This has been in the offing for quite some time, and was a major if not the only reason the Turks were so opposed to the US using their airspace to launch this war - they knew what would come of it.

      Ignorance is natural. Stupidity takes commitment. --Solomon Short

      by potty p on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 07:09:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  the kurds have to make nice (8+ / 0-)

    while they want autonomy they don't have any ports,
    so they must pipeline oil out of turkey iran, iraq or syria.

    as a landlocked nation, they must maintain their road nets.

    George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

    by nathguy on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 04:17:12 PM PST

  •  It's not acceptable to advocate for partition of (4+ / 0-)

    any country and doing so is really quite imperialistic. Joe Biden was, rightly in my mind, heavily criticized for doing so.

    •  He Didn't Advocate As Much As Say... (13+ / 0-)

      ...it's the reality we have to face.  It's not us dictating the dissolution of Iraq as much as us facing the reality that the people and the leadership of those people who live within the boundaries of what's called Iraq don't want to go back to what they had, and that it's almost a certainty that there will be some kind of "soft division" in to three separate entities.  

      The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

      by Dana Houle on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 04:21:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Soft is different than hard but Turkey will (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        walkshills, Navy Vet Terp, MI Sooner

        never countenance an independent Kurdistan. Besides - opening up the division of Iraq would mean that Turkey could press its claims to the North of Iraq, particularly Kirkuk which was always part of the Ottoman empire until the foundation of modern Turkey.

        •  None of the "Solutions" Work (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          walkshills, vcmvo2, jds1978

          But one of them will have to.

          The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

          by Dana Houle on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 04:24:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  At least the Kurds vs the rest of Iraq (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            walkshills, zannie

            are more or less in defined locations--ie we know where Kurdistan is.

            But Sunni /Shia are quite mixed (as are Kurds, but again, at least they have known homeland) , and I think going down that route causes mass and possibly forced migrations, possibly worse things like ethnic cleansing.

            "The military industrial complex not only controls our government, lock, stock and barrel, but they control our culture." - Mike Gravel

            by Wilberforce on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 04:37:50 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Except in Kirkut (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              shpilk, behan, walkshills, Wilberforce

              Where Arabs and Kurds are all mixed up, in part due to Saddam Hussein's settlement of Arabs to dilute Kurdish claims to the city. Kurds claim it as part as Kurdistan, a claim strongly disputed by the rest of Iraq.

              "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

              by Navy Vet Terp on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 04:42:59 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, it's always been a part of Kurdistan, but (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                shpilk, behan

                Many Kurds live in other areas also.  

                Obviously, this is a big mess with no good solution caused by Husseign, The British, and now the US. And soon Turkey and Iran will weigh in in a big way which is unlikely to help.

                "The military industrial complex not only controls our government, lock, stock and barrel, but they control our culture." - Mike Gravel

                by Wilberforce on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 04:48:10 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  There has never been a "Kurdistan" and the term (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Crookshanks

                  itself is so amorphous as to be absolutely useless.

                  •  What?? According to who? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    shpilk

                    Maybe you should look at Wiki.

                    "The military industrial complex not only controls our government, lock, stock and barrel, but they control our culture." - Mike Gravel

                    by Wilberforce on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 04:53:26 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Maybe you shouldn't rely on reader-driven (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Crookshanks

                      web-based encyclopedias and instead take a class in Middle East history somewhere.

                      •  Now you're just embarrassing yourself. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        shpilk

                        "The military industrial complex not only controls our government, lock, stock and barrel, but they control our culture." - Mike Gravel

                        by Wilberforce on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 05:06:12 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  Maybe you should (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        potty p, DHinMI, Leftie Gunner

                        (a) Talk to some Kurds, who might disagree
                        (b) Read some Ottoman history - there are references to Kurdistan from at least the 16th century.
                        (c) Consider reading a little bit about the Lausanne Conference at the end of WWI, Mahmoud Barzinji, Shaykh Sa'id Piran,

                        You have a point that there is not an historically-recognized Kurdistan, and you also have a point that Kurdish independence is in some ways more problematic than Armenian independence.  I'm not saying that independence is the best or most just solution, although it might be inevitable.

                        However, the Kurds have every bit as strong a claim to nationhood as the Armenians, the Georgians, the Azeris (historical Azerbaijan??), the Uzbeks, the Tajiks, etc.

                        The substance of your comment was wrong.  The tone was rude.  I write this from Sulaimaniyah Iraq, (Slemani in Kurdish) where you just took a dump on 90% of the population who have wanted independence since the first Kurdish newspaper was established in 1904. You need to at least inform your opinion by actually studying a little bit about the Kurds, because you make a very common mistake based on your own particular academic bias.

                        "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

                        by ivorybill on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 07:02:41 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Well said, sir.. (0+ / 0-)

                          And I might add that the Kurds are, today, the largest ethnic group in the world without their own State.

                          If they want one, and it's pretty clear that they do, by what standard does Turkey get a vote, yea or nay?

                          If the Turks are dumb enough to grab the buzzsaw by intervening, they're gonna get their asses kicked. Which they will deserve.

                          --Shannon

                          "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
                          "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

                          by Leftie Gunner on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 09:40:32 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  I don't think Wiki says they have been a Nation (0+ / 0-)

                        But the fact is "Throughout their history they have remained under the thumb of various conquerors and nations".

                  •  Just Like There Was Never an "Israel" (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    behan

                    Or never a Palestine.  Or never a "Timor."  Or a "Kosovo."  Or a...

                    The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

                    by Dana Houle on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 05:05:04 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  You could say the same thing about a lot of (0+ / 0-)

                    places and peoples .. the facts are, Kurdistan has existed and has been recognized as a distinct ethnicity for thousands of years.

                    2008, the Year the Republican Party dissolved into a little pond of goo

                    by shpilk on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 05:09:30 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  No, Kurds have existed and have been recognized (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Crookshanks

                      as a distinct ethnicity for thousands of years. NOT Kurdistan.

                      You should talk about the role the Kurds played in the genocide against the Armenians. It was the Kurdish tribes who did the majority of the raping, robbing and murdering of the Armenians as they were driven in columns through "Kurdistan." If that's an example of what ethnic minorities can look forward to under an independent "Kurdistan" then perhaps the Yazidis and others needs to start thinking about leaving.

                      •  Well if you want to open that can of worms (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        DHinMI, zannie

                        You should remember that the only modern use of chemical weapons on a civilian population occurred in Halabja in 1987, in which about 5,000 Kurds died. There's also the matter of the Anfal campaign. Genocide tends to fuels separatism.  Turkey, including its Kurdish citizens, need to acknowledge and deal with the Armenian genocide - which has led to a comparable landlocked state with bad relations with its neighbors and a pissed-off attitude.  

                        I would have thought you would understand that genocides have a way of forging national identity.  

                        But maybe not.  After all, you are the reader of history who claims that Israel "always existed", when in fact the genocide in WWII is pretty much integral to the formation of the Jewish State.  I dunno... it's kind of hard to take you seriously.

                        "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

                        by ivorybill on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 07:15:29 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  You know nothing about Jewish history (0+ / 0-)

                          That much is obvious from your absurd post. The re-establishment of the state of Israel has been a goal of the Jewish people since the late 1800s.

                          •  And the establishment of a state (0+ / 0-)

                            has been the goal of the Kurds since almost the same time.  You are not going to get anywhere arguing that particular logic.  Additionally, the Kurds had de-facto states in middle and late Ottoman times, when the Jewish community in Palestine did not.  (Mire Kure controlled an area almost as large as the KRG in the 1830's, and the Emirate of Baban, centered in Sulaimaniyah in the late 18th and early 19th century, controlled the Iranian border regions from modern day Diyala to the Turkish/Iranian border.  Furthermore, the Kurds established the Mahabad Republic from 1945-46, with a population greater than that of Israel, two years before the state of Israel was founded.  The only difference? The UN recognized Israel, and not the Mahabad Republic.  Admittedly that is an important difference, but legal status is the only significant difference between the two.  In terms of imagined states and national mythology, the Kurds claim a right to Kurdistan from about the same time as the Jews claim a right to Israel - Kurdish claims date to the overthrow of Ninevah in 680 BC by the Medes, who spoke a language related to Kurdish and who are the biological ancestors to the population today.  That sort of ancient historical claim is of course is a little bit ridiculous coming from the modern Kurds or the modern Israelis.  I suppose you might say that Moses' claim on the Holy Land pre-dates the Kurds' claim on northern Iraq by another thousand or two thousand years, but what the hell, what's a couple thousand years when it comes to the mythical foundations of a state?

                            "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

                            by ivorybill on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 10:38:22 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  i agree (0+ / 0-)

                          Turkey, including its Kurdish citizens, need to acknowledge and deal with the Armenian genocide

                          yep

                  •  It's not useless (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    shpilk

                    to the people of Northern Iraq who believe that they are now living in Kurdistan. They have a good chance of projecting their belief into statehood when they decide to declare statehood. No one want to go into the mountains and fight the pesh merga. Iran and Turkey both know that is suicide.

                    We have nothing to fear except for the really scary stuff

                    by charityslave on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 05:14:05 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  the peshmerga? (0+ / 0-)

                      No one want to go into the mountains and fight the pesh merga.

                      don't you mean the pkk?

                      they are different.

                      Iran and Turkey both know that is suicide

                      for who? the pkk, or iran and turkey? frankly i wouldn't underestimate either of them. (iran and turkey i mean)

                      They have a good chance of projecting their belief into statehood when they decide to declare statehood.

                      it is about as simple as the southern states separating from the union. actually it is a lot more complicated because neither mexico or canada was involved. i'd say it is a triple wammy against the kurds..but considering they have the US and israel on their side,..lets just say it could turn into a massive clusterfuck.

                      •  US and Israel calculate their own interests (0+ / 0-)

                        They might be tempted to fight a proxy war against Iran using Kurds but Turkey is a different story. Turkey is a strong NATO ally of US and has a strategic partnership with Israel. It would be foolish of US and Israel, if all elements of their national interests are calculated, to confront Turkey.

            •  if we get into defining territory by culture (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              zannie

              or ethnicity, we'll get into an ugly area that is no good for anyone in the long run.

              and also, how do we view jordan? syria?  hell, if you want to talk about a country that isn't "real", there is nothing more fake than kuwait. that was an arbitrary line drawn by some british pricks.

              the entire middle east is like this. even the arabian peninsula is fake. what the hell is "saudi arabia". get me a genuine middle eastern scholar to justify the map as it exists today and you'll have a fun discussion of all the crap that has been going on the last 2 hundred years.

              the only "just" think we can do is just leave. all of us and all of our "influence" should completely leave the middle east and let them figure it out for themselves.

              i can only dream of the day that we don't want their oil anymore and "our" government can make the decision to completely evacuate the middle east of all americans.

              we and middle easterners will be better off.

              •  It's not us defining (0+ / 0-)

                culture or ethnicity; its the people themselves.  Iraqi (and Turkish) nationality is strongly connected to Arab identity and ethnic Turkish identity.  Ataturk defined "Turkish" a whole lot more narrowly than the Ottomans.  Every Arab nationalist government in Iraq has defined Iraq as an Arab state and dissed the Kurds, with the possible exception of Abd al-Karim Qasim in 1960. Too bad he got assassinated, because Iraq may have ended up in a different place had he lived.  

                "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

                by ivorybill on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 11:09:43 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Who cares what Turkey wants? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          shpilk, OrganOfThought

          I imagine they still want half of Greece and all of Armenia, and maybe a few other places too.

          But they're not going to get it.

          So why should they get to screw the Kurds anymore?

          "The military industrial complex not only controls our government, lock, stock and barrel, but they control our culture." - Mike Gravel

          by Wilberforce on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 04:34:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That sounds like Bush talking (4+ / 0-)

            "Who cares" was his attitude too.

            Turkey is a rising power with the biggest army in NATO outside of the US and a growing population and economy. You should care what Turkey wants if you want a stable Middle East.

          •  umm, Turkey is a NATO Ally and a potential EU (3+ / 0-)

            member.  I don't agree with Shane's position but you can't just disregard the Turks either.

            I imagine they still want half of Greece

            What are you basing that on?  Greco-Turkish relations have cooled quite a bit in recent years and in any event the main dispute was always the Aegean Islands.  Turkey hasn't had designs on Greece since the fall of the Ottoman Empire.

            A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -1.75/-4.00

            by Crookshanks on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 04:36:51 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  They can be kicked out of NATO. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Wilberforce, OrganOfThought

              The need for Turkey to be in NATO was a direct result of the Cold War. Short of Putin poking his head up like a bad cartoon, Turkey's influence has waned.

              The Kurds have be subjected to heinous discrimination and attacks by Turkey, which very few writers in the West dare to cover. Turkey has a huge lobby in the Beltway, and their human rights abuses are being shoved off to the side repeatedly by both Republicans and Democrats.

              They attack Kurdistan, they can forget getting into the EU, that much is for certain.

              2008, the Year the Republican Party dissolved into a little pond of goo

              by shpilk on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 04:42:22 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I was stationed in Turkey 1980-82 (7+ / 0-)

                And I heard Turks, even the educated Turks, say things about Armenians and Kurds that were beyond shocking.  Things like "kill them all" and "Hitler killed the wrong people, he should have killed the Armenians and Kurds."  I would not have wanted to have been an Armenian or Kurd living in Turkey.

                "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

                by Navy Vet Terp on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 04:46:18 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Apparently quite a few posters here are not (8+ / 0-)

                  aware of the nature of the systemic violence, state sponsored terrorism of Turkey against the Kurds or the horrible things barely reported by the corporate media.

                  Turkey has been remarkably brutal towards Armenians, Greeks and Kurds over the years, and seem to get a free ride by the Western press for most of it.

                  I have a theory about why that is, too ..

                  Turkey controls the flow heroin in the region, and it's quite clear that money has tremendous control over individuals within the EU and US governments as well as the corporate media.

                  Sibel Edmonds was gagged for just this reason, she lifted up the very edge of the carpet to reveal the slime underneath. It's potentially a huge story, and little bits and pieces of it have leaked out. Just those little pieces reveal a potential of incredible levels of criminality and mass bribery.

                  2008, the Year the Republican Party dissolved into a little pond of goo

                  by shpilk on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 05:02:20 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Thank you, (0+ / 0-)

                    I had really no idea about these crimes, could you site or link, not being confrontational, just interested due to my own ignorance about this.

                  •  On the other hand (5+ / 0-)

                    We had a U.S. airman in prison for negligent homicide - running over a pedestrian - who was in prison for 8 months.  I visited him at least once a month. I have been in American prisons also and I would have to say that Turkish prisons are not any worse.  Our airman was well fed and even gained weight.  He became the star of the prison soccer team and they took the team to other prisons for games.  He even raised a stink about being released.  His team had some important games coming up and he felt he was letting his teammates down by being freed.

                    The same Turks who ranted their hate against Kurds and Armenians always added that they liked Greeks.  My impression was that the tiny Greek minority left in Turkey is not in danger.

                    "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

                    by Navy Vet Terp on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 05:13:25 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  That's a change, as their prison system used to (0+ / 0-)

                      be horrible in the 70s and 80s and was cited numerous times by Amnesty and other human rights organizations as being amongst the worst.

                      I have to wonder as well if your friend was in a typical Turkish prison.

                      2008, the Year the Republican Party dissolved into a little pond of goo

                      by shpilk on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 06:39:59 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Well, they've had pogroms. The Greek minority in (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      shpilk

                      Turkey numbers 2,000, all in Istanbul, and they have their civil rights curtailed.

                      They are only in danger from right-wing hooligans at this point, the likes of which killed Hrant Dink.

                      That being said, the Greeks of Istanbul are being fazed out through death and attrition. The Eastern Orthodox Church is dying there because Turkey will only allow citizens to become patriarchs, and there aren't enough Eastern Orthodox citizens from which to cull new leaders.

                      Look at these people! They suck each other! They eat each other's saliva and dirt! -- Tsonga people of southern Africa on Europeans kissing.

                      by upstate NY on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:02:11 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

              •  I like how casually you talk about kicking (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                bagman, Shane Hensinger, timbuck

                countries out of NATO.  Should we also kick France out because of the heinous discrimination against Muslim immigrants?  Maybe we should kick ourselves out because of our heinous discrimination and attacks on the Native peoples of this country?

                I'm glad the people who will be running our foreign policy are more deliberative than the people posting comments to this diary.....

                A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -1.75/-4.00

                by Crookshanks on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 04:47:18 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Can you remind me why we still have Nato (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  OrganOfThought

                  again?

                  'Cause I forgot.

                  "The military industrial complex not only controls our government, lock, stock and barrel, but they control our culture." - Mike Gravel

                  by Wilberforce on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 04:49:50 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Are you aware of the war crimes committed (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  DHinMI

                  against the people of Kurdistan by the Turkish army?

                  To compare France's problems with the ethnic cleansing that Turkey has done both within it's own borders as well as illegally crossing into what we call Iraq, killing civilians wholesale is a bit of a reach.

                  The EU will have little to do with Turkey because of these war crimes.

                  2008, the Year the Republican Party dissolved into a little pond of goo

                  by shpilk on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 04:55:02 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  are you aware (0+ / 0-)

                    the latest burst if christian deaths in mosel are attributed to the peshmerga?

                    are you aware when the US invaded iraq the peshmerga were their partners in cleansing the sunnis.

                    •  This particular allegation (0+ / 0-)

                      needs a reality check.  I'm not totally taking the Kurds' side in this.  There were in fact credible reports of the Kurds preventing Christians in Al Qosh and Ba'ashiqa from voting in the last election.  The Kurds have stolen some Christian land too.

                      But "al-Qaeda" - i.e. Sunni Arab fundamentalists - are the ones who are killing Christians and Yezidis in Mosul.  You know where Christians go when they flee Mosul?  They either flee the country or go to the KRG.  There are perhaps 20,000 Christian IDPs in Dohuk, and an equal number in Erbil.

                      The Kurds have not always done right by the Christians.  But I am confident that the Kurds are not slaughtering Christians in Mosul.  They have no incentive whatsover to do so.  Arab nationalists have every incentive to blame it on the Kurds.  Sunni Fundamentalists have both an ideological and practical motive for killing Christians - as the Christian community is overrepresented in providing services, translation, support for US forces.

                      "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

                      by ivorybill on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 11:15:32 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  could you please (0+ / 0-)

                        link to your sources?

                        for example, w/the latest rashes of christian murders in mosel in the last month, where are you sources it is  Sunni Arab fundamentalists?

                        it is the kurds who want a portion of mosel..for their state. they have walled off mosel. the peshmerga has been patroling mosel. so who are your source that say otherwise? the green zone?

                        •  I am outside the Green Zone (0+ / 0-)

                          Yes, the Kurds control east Mosul.  The Iraqi armed forces are increasingly controlling west Mosul, mostly Shia' troops.  Check Juan Cole, don't have time to find the link.

                          The Kurds don't have any illusions about annexing Mosul. They are looking for a bargaining chip over Kirkuk, Sinjar and Aqrah.  Not even the most rabid Kurdish nationalist thinks that they can take over Mosul. The Kurds have been fighting in Mosul in part because until recently, they have been the only reliable army other than the Americans in Iraq.  

                          Also just because the Kurdish forces are a major component in the Iraqi army in Mosul does not mean that they are the ones killing the Christians.  There is a very strong Islamist insurgency in Mosul - and these are the guys with a history of beheading people.  

                          "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

                          by ivorybill on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 12:09:31 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  do you have (0+ / 0-)

                            like ..ANY kind of source docs for this allegation?

                            Also just because the Kurdish forces are a major component in the Iraqi army in Mosul does not mean that they are the ones killing the Christians.  There is a very strong Islamist insurgency in Mosul - and these are the guys with a history of beheading people.

                            there are lots of big guy sunnis in mosel. you can't wrap them all into the beheading types. when was the last time someone was beheaded in mosel?

                            did you follow the news of the gov of mosel, or the major or something? maliki accused him of funding AQ? and he was a kurd?

                            fuzzy brain, i'd have to search..

                          •  I don't have documentation easily at hand (0+ / 0-)

                            But like in any murder, you have to look to motive.  We can both agree that the Kurds are very interested in keeping good relations with the US and with EU nations, for their very survival. It would make no sense for them to start butchering Christians in Mosul.  Hardly anything could be more offensive and more damaging to their diplomatic efforts except perhaps feeding the bodies to lions.  Also remember that Kurdistan has a very large Christian population and many of them are integrated into the political parties.  One of the main KDP field commanders was Franzo Hariri, a Christian, until he was blow up by Ansar al-Islam. There are some Christians (mostly Assyrian) in the Kurdish military forces.  

                            And I could reverse the argument... Is there any documentation at all that the Kurds are the ones killing Christians?  Where are the allegations coming from? And what are the motives for the allegations?  Iraq is filled with rumors and lies, and not all of the lies are coming from the US State Department.

                            "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

                            by ivorybill on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 01:08:23 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  tomorrow (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            ivorybill

                            i will get back to you.. really

                          •  from today, marketwatch (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            ivorybill

                            i have just started my search because this info is a month old, but from today

                            Terror Reigns over Mosul's Christians

                            The conflict between Kurdish and Sunni Arab political parties and allied armed forces provides the political context for this anti-Christian terror campaign. "The unarmed minorities of Nineveh Province are caught in a deadly trap between militarized Arab and Kurdish political movements", Eibner said
                            In addition to defeating the al-Qaida linked terror cells, measures required for the survival of Christians and other minorities include: eliminating all death squads, securing the withdrawal from Nineveh Province of occupying militias of the Kurdistan Regional Government, and the removal of mutinous elements from the national army. During the recent anti-Christian terror campaign in Mosul, Prime Minister al-Maliki ordered the transfer of predominantly Kurdish military units out of Nineveh Province, but their commanders refused to obey, citing ultimate loyalty to Kurdistan.

                            does that lend creedence to the 'rumor', or do you think maliki is removing the peshmerga from the security apparatus in mosul because they are doing an honorable job of protecting the christians?

                          •  Who is Eibner? (0+ / 0-)

                            I will address your other comments below.  

                            First, this is not proof that the Kurds are killing Christians.  It's an editorial about what is necessary to keep the Christians safe, and it is actually right in part - defeating Aq terror cells comes first, and then securing the withdrawal of occupying militias.

                            I don't see anything here besides a rhetorical device to suggest that the reason Maliki is asking the Kurdish units to withdraw is due to the killing of Christians.  He wants the Kurds out because he is concerned about excessive Kurdish power.  I can understand that... I even agree with it.  I don't think the Kurdish forces should control Mosul.

                            "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

                            by ivorybill on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 08:26:39 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •   Who is Eibner? (0+ / 0-)

                            did you read the link?

                            Today, Dr. John Eibner, Executive Director of Christian Solidarity International -- USA,

                          •  What I meant to say (0+ / 0-)

                            During the recent anti-Christian terror campaign in Mosul, Prime Minister al-Maliki ordered the transfer of predominantly Kurdish military units out of Nineveh Province, but their commanders refused to obey, citing ultimate loyalty to Kurdistan.

                            Is that this quote implies causality but does not prove it.  I'm not sure that Maliki wants the Kurds out in order to protect Christians. I think he wants the Kurds out because he fears that the Kurds will attempt to take over or use Mosul as a bargaining chip.  The two are separate, and the rhetorical device of linking them is a little sloppy on the journalist's part.

                            "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

                            by ivorybill on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:19:07 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  killing mosul christians (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            ivorybill

                            yahoo

                            "At night we are terrorised," said Hanna.

                            "We used to have two guns at home but the peshmerga (Kurdish militia) took them away last year," added Hanna as he stroked his youngest daughter's hand.

                            bbc Viewpoint: Mosul Christians

                            The two main theories for who is behind the violence are: First, that it's al-Qaeda and the remaining Saddamists and Baathists who are using Mosul as a stronghold. This is what the government and its allies believe, including the Kurds.

                            The second is that the Kurdish militias are behind it. Most of the Christians who have fled are from the east side of Mosul, which is a Kurdish area.

                            One of the Christian guys whispered to me that the Kurds want the Christians out so they will do better in the provincial elections in a few weeks' time.

                            so, who do you believe? the christians?

                            IWPR

                            The US military has blamed al-Qaeda sympathisers for targeting Christians in Mosul,

                            .......

                            The attacks have also resurrected long-standing Kurdish-Christian tensions and debates over whether Iraq’s minorities should have autonomous administrative areas.

                            Some Christians from Nineveh have fled to neighbouring Iraqi Kurdistan and see the Kurds as protectors, but Qasim Amin of Kurdish Human Rights Watch said that many of the displaced his organisation interviewed blamed the Kurdish authorities for the violence.

                            Kurdish parties hold substantial political power in Nineveh province and have been accused of discriminating against other minority groups.

                            the political motive is there.

                            Assyrians claim the Kurdish government and the KDP have discriminated against them, including confiscating land and disenfranchising Christian voters in the 2005 elections. The Kurdish government would like to incorporate much of the Nineveh Plain into its area of rule, but many residents want to create a special administrative area of their own there.

                            "There isn't necessarily a special solution for Christians, because any solution needs to address all political, security and economic concerns through Iraq," said the human rights activist. "But Christians want their own autonomous region with the Shabak and the Yazidis in the Nineveh Plains."

                            Youash agreed, saying,"This is what's needed to save these people."

                            Advocates for a special territory run by minorities on the Nineveh Plains cite the Iraqi constitution, which guarantees administrative rights for minorities such as Turkoman, Chaldeans and Assyrians.

                            If momentum gains for a minority-run area in Nineveh, it will probably be fiercely opposed by the Kurds and perhaps other political groups.

                            the kurds are perhaps the only salwart supporters of the occupation in iraq. it would be untenable for those supporters to be accused of killing christians. but seriously, excusing everything bad in iraq on 'al qaeda' is getting old ,tired, and unsupportable.

                            btw, i found these references quite easily on the first google page from today googling 'mosul christians'.

                            i will go back a month from when this started and get you more references.

                          •  Let's take them one by one (0+ / 0-)

                            We used to have two guns at home but the peshmerga (Kurdish militia) took them away last year," added Hanna as he stroked his youngest daughter's hand.

                            Big difference from disarming someone and killing him.  Actually, I think the government (and Kurdish forces for that matter) should confiscate guns.

                            The two main theories...it's al-Qaeda and the remaining Saddamists and Baathists who are using Mosul as a stronghold. This is what the government and its allies believe, including the Kurds.

                            The government believes it because it is true.  Note carefully - I agree with you that the Kurds have been taking Christian land in some parts of Ninevah Governorate, and I do not dispute that some of them are probably taking property in east Mosul. This has been going on for a long time - before the last provincial elections too, and I readily admit that the Kurds helped supress not just Christian voters but other minorities as well. I'm not justifying that. But they were not killing Christians before, and I haven't heard of any evidence that they are in fact committing the killings now. Again, they have forced Christians from their homes (and Arabs have been forcing Christians from their homes too, both in Baghdad and in Mosul).

                            The Ninevah Plain is not Mosul and is not where the murders have been taking place.  The murders have been taking place within Mosul.  I was recently in Al Qosh and Ba'ashiqa, two of the major towns in the Ninevah plain, visiting a doctor named Rakan who works with us, by the way. He is a Christian.  I went there without guards (actually, I don't use guards). The Ninevah Plain has been under KDP military control since 2004. Rakan is suspicious of the Kurds but he left Mosul because he feared assassination by Islamists.  I freely agree - and deplore - the fact that the KDP has been pressuring people in the Mosul Plain on various issues, but again, this is not an area where murders are taking place.  If the Kurds wanted to massacre Christians, they could easily to so there.  (Actually you could visit there too and perhaps you should - rt ticket to Turkey is about $1200 and you can cross the border w/o a visa.  I would even arrange someone to accompany you.)

                            In short, it's not evidence, and the most direct and logical explanation still points to Islamist insurgents for killing the Christians.  Christians continue to enter the KRG for refuge, and even though they are subjected to pressure and some have their land stolen, I don't know of murders of Christians within areas controlled by KDP.  The murders are happening in areas that are not especially well controlled by anyone.

                            "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

                            by ivorybill on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 08:40:42 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  so you say (0+ / 0-)

                            The government believes it because it is true.  

                            i do believe you said earlier

                            I don't have documentation easily at hand (

                            But like in any murder, you have to look to motive.

                            i showed motive, i think it might be appropriate to show some evidence for your/governments allegation.

                            In short, it's not evidence, and the most direct and logical explanation still points to Islamist insurgents for killing the Christians.

                            good, then you should have no problem w/supporting documents.

                          •  This information supports your position (0+ / 0-)

                            Of all that I have read, the following information is most likely to change my mind.  I know Yonadam Kanna and do not think he is trying to spin things - particularly since he fought the Ba'ath regime and was an ally of the Kurds in the past.  If it is true that a majority of the murders occurred in East Mosul, then you may in fact be right.

                            I still maintain that the Christians remain under assault from Sunni fundamentalists, based on the threat from Ansar, and the fact that the al-Qaeda denial mentions only that they are not attacking Christians who pay the special tax on non-Muslims (which means they may well be targeting Christians who are not paying the tax), and based on my conversations with quite a few Christians here in the KRG. However, if this is correct, then it appears that both the KDP and the fundamentalists are killing Christians in Mosul.  

                            From al-Ahram, Egypt:
                            http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/...

                            On Sunday, Iraqi MP Yonadam Kanna called for an international investigation of the recent targeted killings in Mosul against the Assyrian minority.

                            Kanna, a prominent Assyrian politician, told the Iraqi website Newsmatique : "If the Iraqi security service is unable to disclose which group pushed these terrorists to force the Christians out of Mosul, we will then ask for an international investigation to find out the truth." He said that 90 per cent of the attacks occurred in an area which is under the control of the second army unit in Mosul, composed entirely of Kurds.

                            Kanna also confirmed that 10 individuals have been arrested so far and linked to the attacks on the Assyrians in Mosul. He stepped short, however, of directly blaming any group, adding that the attacks were "systematic".

                            Kanna's implicit allegations about a possible Kurdish involvement in the Christians' recent plight, the most severe since the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, were also echoed by other Iraqi Arab politicians.

                            "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

                            by ivorybill on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 07:40:39 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  chicago tribune (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            ivorybill

                            controlling the narrative is difficult when christians themselves see a motive that is politically embarrassing for the US.

                            But the battle in Mosul, a city of 1.8 million, is not just against Al Qaeda and other extremists who continue to lay deadly mines and carry out car bombings. It also is a conflict among the nation's religious and ethnic groups for dominance as provincial elections, scheduled for January, approach.

                            ....

                            Neither Christian leaders nor U.S. military officials in Mosul are certain who is behind the attacks, which received widespread international attention and were condemned by the Vatican.

                            ....

                            Rumors and theories about who targeted the Christians range from Islamic extremists bent on extinguishing Christianity in Iraq to Kurds conspiring to control the Christians in a bid to expand Kurdistan, an autonomous region in northern Iraq. Kurdish officials vehemently deny any involvement in the violence.

                            ....

                            The violence comes as Iraq's government this month approved an election law that reserves only six of 440 seats on provincial councils for Christians and three smaller minority groups. The legislation angered Christian leaders, who said it failed to give their community sufficient representation.

                            Iraqi Christians now make up about 3 percent of the country's 28 million people, and most live in northern Iraq.

                            perhaps you could explain to us the motivation for AQ to attack the christians now, at this juncture?

                            furthermore, here is a simple explanation why the US doesn't crack down on kurds.

                            Central government officials recently bristled at Barzani's offer to allow U.S. troops to establish bases in the Kurdish autonomous region, saying the regional government had no authority to make such an overture, especially as Iraqi officials are calling for a gradual withdrawal of U.S. troops.

                            why else the special treatment (wapo)

                            Iraq's interior minister, Jawad al-Bolani, said in an interview that central government officials did not authorize the purchase of weapons from Bulgaria. He said such an acquisition would constitute a "violation" of Iraqi law because only the Ministries of Interior and Defense are authorized to import weapons.

                            Experts on Iraq's constitution said the document does not clearly say whether provincial officials have the authority to import weapons. However, Iraqi and U.S. officials said the Ministries of Interior and Defense are the only entities authorized to import weapons. The Defense Ministry provides weapons to the Iraqi army, and the Interior Ministry procures arms for the country's police forces.

                            The Iraqi government has acquired the vast majority of its weapons through the Foreign Military Sales program, a U.S.-run procurement system, Brig. Gen. Charles D. Luckey, who assists the Iraqi government with weapons purchases, said Saturday. He said he knew of no instances in which provincial authorities had independently purchased weapons from abroad.

                            With thousands of American military officials involved in the training of Iraq's security forces, there is little the U.S. government does not know about weapons that are legally imported to Iraq. The shipments from Bulgaria in September caught the American military off guard, the three officials said. They first learned of the shipments from a source in Bulgaria, the officials said.

                            offguard? did the kurds get a slap on the wrist from their americans friends?

                            i doubt it. the US has every reason to support a separate region in northern iraq. you want motive? how about a permanent base.

                          •  If Barzani has asked the US to establish bases (0+ / 0-)

                            then where are they?  There's a rumor about an airbase in Shahrazur, but it is not actually there.  There are almost no US forces in Kurdistan.  I agree - Barzani wants US forces in Kurdistan, perhaps even more than the US does.  They want out of Iraq.  The Kurds have fought for independence in 1921, 1946-48, 1960-63, 1970-75, 1981-88, and have been de-facto independent since 1991.  Young people in Sulaimaniyah don't even speak Arabic (which is foolish, BTW).  If you were a Kurd, wouldn't you want US bases?  They fear another subjugation.

                            My question is, why are there not more US forces? The answer is that the US will not protect them.  I think people tend to see Iraq through the lens of US imperialism and attempts to secure oil only, and the left is as guilty as the right for not thinking about Iraqi motives.

                            But again, none of this is evidence of Kurds killing Christians.

                            "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

                            by ivorybill on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 08:46:41 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •   They want out of Iraq. (0+ / 0-)

                            really? if that were true, they would pack up and leave.

                            My question is, why are there not more US forces?

                            because the kurds are our best friends in iraq. why do we need to be there when the peshmerga do our job for us?

                            I think people tend to see Iraq through the lens of US imperialism

                            how perceptive of you.

                            and attempts to secure oil only

                            oh please. we all know this is not true. there is also the aspect of securing a permanent presence in a strategic location in the middle east. most of iraq is hostile to our presence. in this regard, kurdistan is very friendly.

                            the left is as guilty as the right for not thinking about Iraqi motives.

                            i think we might be on different planets. what motive might a puppet have for wanting protection? all one has to do is look at their history. they didn't treat their last collaborators so nicely.

                            none of this is evidence of Kurds killing Christians.

                            right, spoken from someone who has offered no proof or motive whatsoever this is the work of AQ.

                            timing is everything. why now? w/sofa? what has AQ got to gain?

                          •  I meant to say (0+ / 0-)

                            the Kurds want out of Iraq, not the US.  

                            Not sure what you mean about a puppet - are the KDP and PUK political parties puppets? I would note that the KDP has existed since 1946, and the PUK since 1977 and that initially the PUK was against the US. Also Dawa' (Maliki's party) existed since 1979 and was not allied with the US at all until after 2003.

                            re: evidence on AQ killing christians... I don't have so much time, but let me find more evidence.

                            "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

                            by ivorybill on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 05:50:21 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  you meant to say (0+ / 0-)

                            the Kurds want out of Iraq

                            beacause it doesn't look that way, it looks like they want iraq out of where they are, which is in iraq!

                            Not sure what you mean about a puppet - are the KDP and PUK political parties puppets?

                            let's not play stupid. what i mean by puppet of the US is someone whose power would dissolve w/out US sponsorship. speaking of which this might interest you

                            I don't have so much time, but let me find more evidence.

                            more? don't you mean some. in order to have more, you must have something first. so far you have exactly none.

                          •  mosel, The deputy governor (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            ivorybill

                            The gist of the Saturday story in Al-Akhbar was that Iraqi authorities are getting ready to arrest Goran on charges of running a death-squad in Mosul.

                            from Mosul: Peshmerga reported digging in, claiming a promise from Maliki

                            here's more news of your 'al qaeda' in mosel..aptly called Mosul operation: The comic framework (don't you love the arab press) from june.

                            When the American and the Iraqi armies entered Mosul, and with them the Peshmerga forces within the city, there was not a single shot fired! And what happened then to cover this scandalous situation? They arrested former Baath officers on the pretext of conducting investigations, and government sources said they arrested up to 1500 people! And they wanted to show some kind of victory so they talked about saboteurs and gangs and so on, and all those expressions that Iraqis have grown so fed-up with.

                            And then Maliki came to Mosul, with his Ministers of Defence and the Interior, and his national security adviser and others from the "leadership". And the only thing he could do was to utter that miserable explanation where he announced that he, after examining the situation, regretted that Mosul had been left for five years under the control of the Peshmerga... What we don't understand is what is the role of the Prime Minister of Iraq if it is not to have a grasp of what is going on in one of the provinces of Iraq. And after that we heard news of [Maliki's] meeting with local tribal leaders and recruiting 11,000 of their members into the army--and the flight of Khosro Goran to Irbil--and Maliki's communications with Barzani--and suspending Dureid Kashmula the governor of Mosul--and the firing of Mataa Al-Khazraji, commander of the Second [Iraqi Army] division in Mosul, and subjecting him to investigation...

                            And then--Maliki returned to Baghdad!!!

                          •  I will read the links and respond later (0+ / 0-)

                            I have to get to work right now.  You will get a comment from me later.  But a few first impressions:

                            (1)  Goran should be arrested, but I really suspect he has been killing Arabs rather than Christians. As you cite in the excerpts in your comments, the war in Mosul is between Arab militias, the government and the Kurds - the Christians are caught in the middle.  The Kurds have and continue to torture and kill people suspected of being insurgents.  I am not justifying it.  The parties you support also do this - Sadr in particular, and certainly the Iraqi government.  Perpetrators should be arrested no matter who they are.  

                            (2) Nobody controlled West Mosul - not the government, and not the Kurds, least of all the Americans.  There are patrols, sure, but that is not control.  That part of Mosul has been kind of a free-for-all for years.  So to assume that the Kurds control it and therefore direct what happens nor are able to prevent assassinations or killings is just false.

                            Let me read the links.  I'm just skeptical that Islamist insurgents in Mosul have suddenly changed and now the Kurds are the ones behind the pattern of killing Christians. Nothing I have read has changed my mind about that.

                            "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

                            by ivorybill on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 08:55:40 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  " The parties you support also do this " (0+ / 0-)

                            what parties might that be?

                            the christians?

                            Sadr in particular

                            as opposed to badr?

                            So to assume that the Kurds control it and therefore direct what happens nor are able to prevent assassinations or killings is just false.

                            you framing is interesting. do you mean

                            'So to assume that the Kurds control it and therefore direct what happens or are able to assassinate or kill is just false?'

                            because realistically to assume they are able to prevent assassinations or killings, assumes they aren't commiting them. and might i remind you, so far you have offered nothing to prove AQ did these killings. in fact, they have denied these killings. why would they do that? do they usually deny killings?

                            does it even matter to you that many iraqi christians think the kurds are behind them? or don't they count?

                          •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

                            does it even matter to you that many iraqi christians think the kurds are behind them? or don't they count?

                            Yes of course that matters.  I think you have presented plenty of evidence that the Kurds are threatening Christians.

                            so far you have offered nothing to prove AQ did these killings. in fact, they have denied these killings. why would they do that? do they usually deny killings?

                            I've presented a UN security e-mail from last week quoting a Sunni insurgent group (not AQ, but similar) threatening Christians throughout Iraq.  I've presented an article with a named AQ member who was convicted of killing Mosul's archbishop to show that AQ in fact has targeted Christians.  

                            I don't want to back myself into the position of saying that Kurdish threats or abuses against Christians are justified, or that I in any way support that.  I don't.  Furthermore, I do not think that the Kurds should be occupying Mosul.  All I am saying, and all I have been saying, is that I have not seen evidence that the large number of Christians being killed right now in Mosul are being killed by the Kurds.  

                            "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

                            by ivorybill on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 06:16:55 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  excuse me (0+ / 0-)

                            I've presented a UN security e-mail from last week quoting a Sunni insurgent group (not AQ, but similar) threatening Christians throughout Iraq.  I've presented an article with a named AQ member who was convicted of killing Mosul's archbishop to show that AQ in fact has targeted Christians.  

                            elsewhere in this diary? what exactly is a UN security email? it seems to me that if a Sunni insurgent group was threatening christians there would be some news of it in the arab press, no?

                            so far you haven't linked to anything in our exchange.. but i could be wrong..

                          •  If you send me your private e-mail (0+ / 0-)

                            I will send you the actual UN email.  The informantion does not come from a website.  This is the UN email alert we get (which is confidential) regarding security threats.

                            By the way, I did find information supporting your position and posted it in response to another one of your comments.

                            "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

                            by ivorybill on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 07:43:49 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  i am going (0+ / 0-)

                            to be away from my computer for a little while. after that i will figure out how to send you my email.

                            something tells me if this allegation were true, we would have some definitive news in the arab press.

                            frankly i am very bored w/the AQ excuses. the timing is very shitty in this regard. iraqis don't believe it, and neither do i. it is just a narrative being pushed by the US. do you think they have any connections in the UN?

                            AQ reminds me very much of the boogieman. do you know who he is?

                          •  Text (0+ / 0-)

                            Well, the e-mail is real.  If you dispute it, you can either text or call me at +964 (0) 770 768 5378 and I will send it to you.  (remember +8 hours from EST) But I would like to know just a little more about you because I hate to give out my identifying information.  Perhaps we can actually talk on the phone if you really want this e-mail.

                            something tells me if this allegation were true, we would have some definitive news in the arab press.

                            There's a lot that doesn't make it into the Arabic press.  Not specifically related to these incidents in Mosul... but if you want to know more about Kurdish issues and politics, it is a good idea to balance a steady diet of Arabic press with some Kurdish press as well.  I would not trust the Kurdish press to get it right when it comes to Arab politics and issues; likewise the Arab press is not a very good source on Kurdish issues. Hawlati is the best and most independent, but unfortunately it is only in Kurdish and Arabic.  If you read Arabic, you can find the link here:
                            http://hawlati.info/...

                            AQ reminds me very much of the boogieman. do you know who he is?

                            Again, enough with the sarcasm.  Can we both agree that Al-Qaeda, as in Bin Laden's al Qaeda, does not exist in Iraq?  Can we agree that we are using "al Qaeda" colloquially as a short-hand for various armed Sunni fundamentalist organizations, such as Ansar al-Islam, Mujahaddin Shura Council, Islamic State in Iraq, etc? Many Iraqis themselves refer to these groups broadly as "al Qaeda". Perhaps I should be more specific rather than use this colloquial term.

                            "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

                            by ivorybill on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 09:59:13 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  not into (0+ / 0-)

                            generic terms that simply mean, bad guys.

                            what possible logic could there be for these sunni groups to go after the christians in mosel? as opposed to the pkk or kurdish separatists?

                            brazini has a creepy reputation from before we got there. every group of people has bad guys and good guys the US has simply made it abundantly clear which groups they don't like (not coincidently the ones that don't want us in iraq) and given them shittier names which the dumbed down american public gets shoved down the collective msm funnel..

                            i would like you to link to one article about some illegal rampage the peshmerga has gone on. right, you can't. that gives us 2 options. either they just don't do anything like that (unlike everyone else during wartime) or we just don't hear about it because the ptb don't write stories that include the kurds being badguys, or rarely. but americans are supposed to believe in this web or connected sunni people that extends down into africa and beyond who just happen to pop up wherever their is oil or something..called AQ. right.

                          •  you misunderstand (0+ / 0-)

                            me.

                            Well, the e-mail is real.  If you dispute it, you can either text or call me

                            the email may very well be real, this doesn't mean the information in it is. calling you or seeing the email will not change that. i think if there were any logical reasons christians were being killed by sunnis at this time there would be some sort of paper trail besides a UN email. one article about a trial/death sentence of an AQ member nobodies ever seen doesn't quite cut the mustard.

                            thank you for taking the time to discuss this with me. i have provided you w/numerous links supporting the allegations i made at the beginning of this exchange. i could come up w/more i am sure as i only spent one google search finding them.

                            you on the other hand have not provided me w/anything thus far other than your beliefs. while i respect your beliefs i simply cannot base my opinion on your (liberal democrat) hunch or the word of the US occupation authorities, for we know they have their own bone to pick w/'AQ'.

                            thank you for you efforts. i remain completely

                            unconvinced.

                          •  I did a little searching on my own (0+ / 0-)

                            Here's from the last UN security update:

                            To: undisclosed-recipients:
                            Subject: Ansar al-Islam Battalions warn the Christians to leave Iraq (URGENT)
                            Sensitivity: Private

                            On 16-11-2008 ,  One of the Christians archbishops received a written threat from the so called "Ansar al-Islam Battalions", which called upon the entire Christians to leave Iraq.
                            They said in their statement that this is their ultimate warning to the Christians in Baghdad and the remaining provinces of Iraq to leave for ever.
                            Below is the full text of the threat:
                            The general secretary of Ansar al-Islam Battalions is giving the ultimate warning to you and all your followers of the Christians and crusaders infidels in Baghdad and the other provinces to leave the country of Muslims (Iraq) immediately and for ever.

                            We called upon you to join the Pope Benedict XVI and his followers who go too far on the greatest symbols of Islam and humanity.
                            There is no longer a place for you - Christians and crusaders infidels -among the Muslims in Iraq.      
                            He who warns is excused.

                            "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

                            by ivorybill on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:12:03 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  One other quick point about this (0+ / 0-)

                            Ansar al-Islam includes some Kurdish islamists.  So it is possible that Ansar-linked Kurds are killing Christians.  However, this is a very different thing than an orchestrated campaign of murder by Kurdish authorities. Ansar used to have bases in Tawila and Biyara, and a few of the bombings that have occurred in the KRG are suspected to have been carried out by Ansar.  

                            "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

                            by ivorybill on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:04:08 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  who said anything about (0+ / 0-)

                            this is a very different thing than an orchestrated campaign of murder by Kurdish authorities.

                            that would be like alleging some targeted work of the cia or saic meant it was an orchestrated campaign of murder by the US military.

                            beside, you and i both know i never said anything about an orchestrated campaign of murder by Kurdish authorities. i mean after all, iran contra was not an organized campaign by US authorities. it only takes a few 'special forces' y'know.

                            Few minutes ago, Aljazeera quoted a statement by the so called "Al-Qaeda" denies any involvement in the bloody campaign against the Christians in Mosul saying:

                               Al-Qaeda has evidence that the Kurdish militia’s involvement in displacing and killing campaign of the Christians in order to control certain parts of the province.

                            You can see Iraqi newspaper Azzaman’s confirmation in its headline today "Militias gunmen of powerful government parties roam the streets of Mosul chanting threat slogans".

                            Iraqi MP Al-Najafi from the "Iraqi List" confirms this information saying:

                              Kurdish Peshmerga militias are behind the forced displacement of Christians in the Mosul. The military forces in Mosul are infiltrated by the Kurdish militia using military vehicles to threat the Christians.

                            Kirkuk’s Archbishop Louis Sako warned last Thursday of campaigns against Christians in Iraq saying:

                               Brutal political goals (...) to emigrate, or force us to cooperate with parties that we do not want their agendas.

                            rather odd we didn't get these reports here? no wonder the kurds want US 'protection'. they arn't to popular right now in parts of iraq, if you know what i mean.

                          •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

                            that the kurds are taking Christian land.  Not sure they are engaged in a pattern of assassination.

                            By the way this article describes Catholic protests against the (AQ) assassin of Archbishop Rahho:

                            http://www.catholic.org/...

                            "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

                            by ivorybill on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 05:57:16 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  btw (0+ / 0-)

                            the way this article describes Catholic protests against the (AQ) assassin of Archbishop Rahho:

                            actually, the protests in the article were against the death sentence for the alleged assasin, there is a difference.

                            In response to the Death sentence for the killer of the Bishop of Mosul: "Violence must not call forth more violence! We are in favour of justice, but not of capital punishment".

                            furthermore tha article was rather revealing.

                            The authorities have not provided any more details on the case. The outlines of the entire affair are still vague and unclear.

                            not to reassuring

                            For example, nothing is known about the circumstances of the arrest; about the motive for the kidnapping of the archbishop (money, religious fanaticism?); about the accomplices of Ahmad Ali Ahmad; about why the other crimes certainly committed in Iraq by the al-Qaeda member are not mentioned, but only the assassination of Rahho.

                            hmmmm

                            There is also silence on the status of the investigation opened following the discovery of the archbishop's body on the outskirts of Mosul on March 13, after 14 days of captivity. Some Christians in Baghdad emphasise that the television has still not even shown the face of the terrorist, who is also known by the name of Abu Omar.

                            hmm

                            no where in this article does this describe your allegations:"describes Catholic protests against the (AQ) assassin"

                            just saying.

                          •  You are right of course (0+ / 0-)

                            that the article is about the Catholic church protesting the death penalty.  I think I was typing too quickly.

                            "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

                            by ivorybill on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 09:18:04 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  so far (0+ / 0-)

                            the amount of documentation you have presented there is any evidence this was the work of AQ..

                            0

                            nada. although i did read something on pat robertsons website, or maybe it was jerry falwell.

                            who is the UN's connection inside mosel that would allow them to make this determination? the US?

                            do you know what i call it when a few people of a certain group gets murdered and as a result a bunch of people move?

                            a soft partition.

                          •  I wanted to offer one more thing (0+ / 0-)

                            The person quoted in "the comic framework" is linked to one of the Sunni insurgent groups.  That's actually fine - don't misread me on that - the Sunnis do have a right to fight the Americans.  My concern is that some of the people reading the blogs where you post might be linked to other people who could harm me or people who work with me. If one were to go back through my commnent history, one could find out a fair amount about me. I try not to divulge too much information, but since I work in Iraq, and I don't use guards, information about me can potentially be dangerous.

                            So my request is this... just as we respect our differences of opinion, please also respect my security.  Please don't directly link posts under my user name to other Iraqi political websites. You can certainly comment elsewhere on what I write, pls leave out the DKos username or a direct html link.  Would that be OK?

                            "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

                            by ivorybill on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:57:22 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  absolutely (0+ / 0-)

                            what you say here, stays here. i seriously doubt anyone is still reading this thread.

                            The person quoted in "the comic framework" is linked to one of the Sunni insurgent groups.

                            gee, ya think? could it have been this clue..

                            What follows is a summary of the last part of an essay by Ali Al-Hamdani published on the Sunni-resistance website albasrah.net,

                          •  I'm not so concerned about this thread (0+ / 0-)

                            I'm concerned about being quoted elsewhere. But thanks.

                            "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

                            by ivorybill on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 06:17:36 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  ps (0+ / 0-)

                            i am really looking forward to your source documents of it being AQ in mosel responsible for the slayings. pardon me for not always believing whatever my government tells me to think. knowing we spend so much on infowarfare and propaganda doesn't exactly give me lots of confidence it is the truth. on the other hand, when christians in iraq say they think they are being slaughterd by kurds..well.. i listen. why don't you?

                            maybe the US will encounter another AQ laptop with detailed plans and information. wouldn't that be a major catch. btw, i would think that after all this time AQ would stop storing so much important detailed information on their laptops.

                          •  btw (0+ / 0-)

                            i read your diary on the birds of kurdistan.

                            sweet. what exactly do you do there?

                          •  Several projects (0+ / 0-)

                            Train Iraqi women lawyers to represent victims of gender-based violence, and train social workers in mediation of threatened honor killing; primary health care in rural southern Iraq; mental health integration in ministry of health (thus my experience with Sadr movement), juvenile justice reform project with UNICEF, street children project in Baghdad. Yes, although sympathetic to Kurdish self-determination, I really am a liberal democrat.

                            "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

                            by ivorybill on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 06:03:43 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  'Train Iraqi women ' (0+ / 0-)

                            bummer about the US eradicating the secular from iraq. women were in better standing there during saddam, bastard that he was. the need for your services has multiplied by a thousand since our invasion.

                            what difference does it make whether you are a democrat or a republican in terms of your job description in iraq? how is being a liberal democrat even relevant? or being a conservative or liberal?

                            although sympathetic to Kurdish self-determination, I really am a liberal democrat.

                            please explain this to me. what is the difference between being sympathetic to Kurdish self-determination and being pro dividing iraq into separate regions?

                          •  Difference (0+ / 0-)

                            please explain this to me. what is the difference between being sympathetic to Kurdish self-determination and being pro dividing iraq into separate regions?

                            Depends on who is doing the dividing.  Do I favor an arbitrary division by the occupying forces? No.  But here's where you and I probably differ.  Do I think the Kurds should be forced back into Iraq at the point of a gun? No. If they are, there will never be peace in Iraq, and this is an issue that predates the Americans by decades.  Iraq has been chronically unstable since it was carved out of the Ottoman Empire, because the Kurds are not interested in assimilating or being subservient to the dominant culture.  The question is how to resolve this with the minimum bloodshed.  Too bad we don't have a functioning UN, because there will likely be a partition at some point and there is a need for international peacekeeping.

                            "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

                            by ivorybill on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 08:38:12 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  the two options (0+ / 0-)

                            you list are rather telling.

                            either way, i really don't think it is our business or decision. as was mentioned numerous times neither turkey or iran want this at all. sometimes people just have to learn how to get along. the answer isn't always 'give them their own land'.

                            dividing people by religious or ethnic classifications isn't always the best answer. the middle east really doesn't need the west to make these kinds of determinations whenever it suits their regional goals.

                          •  the Sunnis do have a right to fight the Americans (0+ / 0-)

                            wow, ya think?

                            what about other iraqis. do they have that right?

                          •  Yes, why the sarcasm? (0+ / 0-)

                            Although, technically, that right was a little stronger and clearer when the CPA was in charge.  I do believe they have the right, in part because the GOI lacks some legitimacy due to the lack of inclusion in the last election.  But this too is not a black and white matter.  Do the insurgents have the right to use suicide bombers against Iraqi government troops?  More questionable.  

                            Do the Kurds have the right to ethnnically cleanse Kirkuk? No.  Do the Kurds have the right to take Christian land? No.  Do the Kurds have the right to self-determination?  Well, yes.

                            "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

                            by ivorybill on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 06:09:06 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  sorry for the sarcasm /nt (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            ivorybill
                          •  in all honesty (0+ / 0-)

                            that right was a little stronger and clearer when the CPA was in charge.

                            as an american i have no right to say what is or is not a right of iraqis in iraq. and i don't think you do either, unless you are iraqi.

                          •  Referring to international law (0+ / 0-)

                            Not that international law seems to matter much to the US... but the insurgency had a rock solid 100% legitimate right to use violence against US forces during the CPA prior to the formation of an Iraqi government.  The question now is, to what extent is the Iraqi government legitimate?  You presumably argue (and I partially agree) that the government lacks legitimacy and therefore any agreement regarding the US troop presence is likewise illegitmate and the insurgents have a right to fight the US forces.  

                            "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

                            by ivorybill on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 09:44:51 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  close but no cigar. (0+ / 0-)

                            The question now is, to what extent is the Iraqi government legitimate?  You presumably argue (and I partially agree) that the government lacks legitimacy and therefore any agreement regarding the US troop presence is likewise illegitmate and the insurgents have a right to fight the US forces.  

                            our occupation is illegitimate regardless of whether the iraqi government is legitimate or not. we invaded another country by force. the only way or presense their could be considered legitimate is if we completely withdrew our forces first and came back thru some kind of vote or mandate.

                            as long as we have strategic goals in that region and the job of our military is to meet those goals, our presence is illegitimate.

                            you can dress it up any which way you want to. you even even claim you are a completely far left loonie liberal. btw, at this point, there is NO agreement regarding the US troop presence w/the people of iraq. so by your own standards any resistance thus far to american intervention is legitimate.

                            what i try to do is just imagine every iraqi is an american, and every american in iraq is the chinese..and it is all taking place on our soil. now what possible reason would anyone thinking resisting against chinese occupation would be illegitimate? what kind of redblooded american made government could possibly exists that would consider a chinese occupation of millions of chinese (the equivilant of our numbers in iraq) legitimate? under these circumstances if i said to you:" The question now is, to what extent is the american government legitimate?", i would have to reply 'well, that is not my question because i already know no legitimate american government would never allow for millions of chinese to control our airspace'.

                          •  'very strong Islamist insurgency' (0+ / 0-)

                            speaking of sunnis in the north.

                            Arab tribes of Kirkuk say they are ready for confrontation

                            Around 500 Arab leaders in the Kirkuk area met yesterday
                            Around 500 Arab leaders in the Kirkuk area met yesterday in Hawija (50 km west of Kirkuk city), including leaders of the Abeed, Jabbur, and AlbouHamdan tribes, and heads of local awakening councils. Their spokesperson, Hussein Ali al-Jabburi said the Arab tribes are "in a state of readiness" (in the event the Kurdish parties persist in their threat of annexation), adding that their tribal relationships "extend to all of the cities of Iraq". The gist of the statement is reported by both AlHayat and AlQuds alArabi, the latter paper in more detail. The AlQuds reporter leads the story this way:

                              The crisis over the fate of Kirkuk saw further escalation yesterday, with a threat by Arab tribal leaders to use force in defense of the Arabness of the city, in response to the demand of the Kurds for annexation to Iraqi Kurdistan, and [in response to] their forces having surrounded the Arab and Turkmen districts...

                            The spokesman said: "[We] Arabs have a limited patience, and if we are obliged to confront, then we will do so. We do not want recourse to violence but we are ready, and we have capacity and capability that should not be underestimated."

                            The journalist points out that Jabburi is also head of his local Awakening. Having expressed his hope that the crisis with the Kurds would not lead to violence, he added: "We do not want violent confrontation; we are part of the political process, and we are fighters against AlQaeda and against criminals...Our concern is the dispossession of the rights of Arabs and the confirmation of the Iraqness of Kirkuk".

                            which leads me to wonder..why don't we hear about this in the western press? why the talk of AQ but know talk of legitimate concern regarding the UNITY of iraq. why are there no reports of the US pressuring the kurds to back off. the US has no problem airbombing and killing targets it deems hostile. why no kurds? why only the narrative of AQ in this region as the explanation for the conflicts.

                            i'd say the 'official' narrative of the ptb is weak and watered down.

              •  There exists no mechanism to "kick out" (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Crookshanks

                a member state from NATO. None.

              •  excuse me (0+ / 0-)

                it is a 2 way street. the pkk attacks inside turkey all the time.

            •  So what ? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              shpilk

              You think they should dictate that the Kurds not have a homeland, because they're in Nato ?

              They have a long record of abuses, and should not be allowed to dictate on this or any other human rights issue.

              "The military industrial complex not only controls our government, lock, stock and barrel, but they control our culture." - Mike Gravel

              by Wilberforce on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 04:42:48 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I don't think they should be able to 'dictate' (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Shane Hensinger

                anything.  I just take issue with your attitude of "Who cares what they think?"  Shane was right to call that Bushian on your part.

                A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -1.75/-4.00

                by Crookshanks on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 04:44:16 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Don't Anybody Like Anybody Anymore? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                zannie
                We need some songs for the world which its children can sing and soothe some antagony into harmony.
              •  From a practical standpoint (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                zannie

                Turkey is like Joe Lieberman - you can make an argument that it's better to have Turkey inside NATO's tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in.  Turkey is more likely to moderate the oppression of its Kurdish population as long as it remains connected to the West through NATO and through the possibility of joining the EU.  I have visited the Kurdish parts of Turkey frequently over the last 15 years, and the conditions now are better than they were.  There's still severe oppression, but it's not like a decade ago.  Turkey needs a civil rights movement in order to remain unified and present an alternative to separatism.  If they continue to back away from Ataturk-style fascism, and recognize that being Turkish is not a matter of Turkish ethnic nationality, they just might succeed. I hope so.

                In Iraq, however, the burden of recent history may be too much for the Kurds to ever willingly remain within the Iraqi state.

                "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

                by ivorybill on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 07:32:30 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  The central question.... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ivorybill

                  In Iraq, however, the burden of recent history may be too much for the Kurds to ever willingly remain within the Iraqi state.

                  Would you?

                  --Shannon

                  "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
                  "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

                  by Leftie Gunner on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 09:45:35 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  a homeland? (0+ / 0-)

                does every ethnoic group get their own homeland?

                WFT, what would america be if we did this. get real.

                •  America is founded (0+ / 0-)

                  on a multi-ethnic principle.  Turkey is not - Ataturk banned the Kurdish language and until 1988, you could go to jail for speaking Kurdish publicly.  That would be as if the US arrested people for speaking Spanish in the Rio Grande Valley.  We would hardly be surprised by armed resistence if that happened.  

                  Some states have an ethnic basis, historically, while others do not.  Modern state formation took a very different pattern in the New World than in the old.  The problem in Iraq is that it has always been an Arab state with the Kurds as second-class citizens. The Kurds for legitimate reasons do not trust their fate to an ethnic majority controlling state power that has historically oppressed them.  Had disease and genocide not wiped out the Native Americans, you can bet there would be an ethnoseparatist movement in New Mexico if the Pueblos had a population of 4 or 5 million.  

                  "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

                  by ivorybill on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 11:22:03 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  very interesting (0+ / 0-)

                    America is founded on a multi-ethnic principle.

                    no. it was founded on a principle of freedom and expression partly from people fleeing from religious prosecution. it instilled in some a generosity wrt acceptance of others beliefs.

                    OT, it is secularism that is a threat to the west.  as a result we wiped out the baath and installed an islamic govt. may not be a coincidence israel initially founded and supported hamas. (food for thought)

                    people need not be divided by religion. we took the most ethnicly diverse mixed society in the ME, and broke it into ethnicity. one could agrue that was not the intent. so what. let's just look at what is, and not assume our thinktankers are clueless idiots.

                    i have more to say w/the rest of your comment, but must succumb to late night fears i will bungle my response.

                  •  so what (0+ / 0-)

                    The problem in Iraq is that it has always been an Arab state with the Kurds as second-class citizens.

                    we just elected a black president. the kurds need to learn how to move forward in ways other than violence. what has always happened can change tomorrow.

                    •  Pretty big differences (0+ / 0-)

                      First, in the US, the majority elected a minority president.  Talabani is a Kurd and is president of Iraq, but that is raw power politics and the necessity of giving the Kurds at least one important position. Anyway, the power rests with the Prime Minister. No way, absolutely no way, Arab Iraqis are going to allow a Kurd to run the government.

                      Second, the Kurds are worried about being the victims of violence... of course they are capable of carrying out violence, and sometimes genocides are sparked when one group thinks they will be oppressed and overreacts against the other group (as in Rwanda).  But it's just not possible to tell the Kurds - hey, get over it and integrate.  Nearly everyone in this city walked through the snow to Iran in 1991 out of fear, and change is going to be generational at least.  Nobody is going to get over it and change tomorrow.  That's even more unrealistic than a viable Kurdish state.  

                      "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

                      by ivorybill on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 12:01:55 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  of couse (0+ / 0-)

                        change is going to be generational at least.

                        i should have been clearer

                        "we just elected a black president" and it has only been 40 years since the civil rights movement. i was referencing

                        the Kurds as second-class citizens

                        .

                        think..yesterday.

                        Nobody is going to get over it and change tomorrow.

                        i didn't say that. but there becomes a tipping pt. look at south africa. at some point, on some tomorrow, people are going to 'get over it'.

                •  Are you against Kosovo's independence? (0+ / 0-)

                  The Kurds have been massacred. They seem to deserve a homeland more than most, certainly more than the Kosovars.

                  Look at these people! They suck each other! They eat each other's saliva and dirt! -- Tsonga people of southern Africa on Europeans kissing.

                  by upstate NY on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:58:33 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Agreed (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Shane Hensinger

              Turkey has a fairly European culture.  They aren't quite there yet, but their secularism separates them from their neighbors to the east and south. The problems with this rivalry in Iraq has largely to do with resources and infrasructure I think; water, oil (pipelines), roads, realestate.

              •  regarding water (0+ / 0-)

                it is helpful to look at the Tigris and the Euphrates originating in eastern Turkey. My recollection is that the area that the Kurds would like as a country is highly significant regarding controlling water resources downstream, which includes Syria and Iraq. Turkey as well has been interested in dam development (I don't know where they are with that at this time). So yes, what would be Kurdistan if there was a Kurdistan, would have a lot of control over water, which will matter long after the oil is gone.

                It is also easy to look at Israel's water resource and its military actions and see connections similarly.

                "I am infused with the day, even tho the day may destroy me." - John Wiener

                by mieprowan on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 05:55:38 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  your are kidding right? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                zannie

                ""Turkey has a fairly European culture.""  only in an economic sense. they have benefited greatly from their geographical location.

                turkey has a large percentage of its population that can easily be described as rabidly racist. go up to a turk and engage them in a conversation that leads to you saying something like "turks, like other middle easterners.... " and watch the flames shoot out from their eyes.

                you want to offend and make a mortal enemy of a turk, just compare them to an arab. so i guess you are right, they are pretty european.

                i have female middle eastern friends that traveled by car through turkey on their way to europe. they were escaping from iran and going to germany to claim asylum. the turkey part was the most horrifying experience of their lives. it was worse than anything they experienced before or since.

                and to comment on your other point:
                the problems iraq is having are only indirectly related to ethnicity and control over resources. iraq has and will have unsolvable problems as long as america and europe are in iraq. when all western governments, troops, security, corporations, organizations, banks, money, weapons, etc... leave, then iraq will start working out its problems. they may have civil war, but eventually they will learn to live together.

                not that there is any actual chance of this ever happening because we all know that oil companies and banks own our government, but as long as we are there, nothing will ever be fixed. zero chance.

            •  I find it disgusting that NATO membership is (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              upstate NY

              being used as a free pass to commit war crimes.

              2008, the Year the Republican Party dissolved into a little pond of goo

              by shpilk on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 04:56:39 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  nobody has suggested that NATO membership (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                bagman, Shane Hensinger

                is a free pass to commit war crimes.

                The only thing that Shane or I have said is that you can't just casually disregard the opinions of a NATO Ally, as Wilber suggested:

                Who cares what Turkey wants?

                A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -1.75/-4.00

                by Crookshanks on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 04:58:07 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  NATO allies should not be allowed to conduct (0+ / 0-)

                  massive bombings of civilians - Turkey has committed horrible crimes in the past, and the only thing stopping them now is the presence of Western journalists in Kurdistan.

                  2008, the Year the Republican Party dissolved into a little pond of goo

                  by shpilk on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 05:05:02 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                    •  Well I'll give you an eye witness account (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      DHinMI, sofia

                      I drove through Shiladeze, a small Iraqi Kurdish town about 30 km east of Amadiya, in October 1993. I had seen some fighter jets fly through the valley just before. A couple boys ran up to me with 50 calibre or so bullets and stoped the vehicle. The turks had just strafed the village and killed a number of civilians moments before I arrived.

                      Now, I happen to agree that the conversation about kicking Turkey out of NATO isn't very realistic, but the Turks behave like the Israelis (and regrettably the US in both Iraq and Afghanistan) in this regard.  We're not going to kick ourselves out of NATO.  Turkey routinely shells and bombs along the borders of Iraqi Kurdistan and they don't care a whole lot about whether they kill some civilians at the same time.  Just two weeks ago in Diyarbakir, I saw some fighters take off and head toward the mountains - bombing happens all the time, against targets in Turkey as well as in Iraqi Kurdistan.

                      "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

                      by ivorybill on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 07:39:09 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

            •  Uh, wrong. (0+ / 0-)

              They have been in dispute as recently as 1998, and uh, last week.

              The navies went at it over the continental shelf.

              Turkey also recently claimed the island of Gavdos was theirs, and Gavdos is south of Crete, very far away from Turkey.

              Look at these people! They suck each other! They eat each other's saliva and dirt! -- Tsonga people of southern Africa on Europeans kissing.

              by upstate NY on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:57:35 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  what planet are you on (0+ / 0-)

            everything isn't just black and white

        •  The Turks they think they have some (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wilberforce

          special power because of their location; their treatment of the Kurds has been horrible through the years.

          The influence of Turkey in the region has fallen dramatically, and they need to back off. The Kurds should be left to find their own path.

          The continued blind support for Turkey in the Post-Soviet era is beginning to look very bad.

          2008, the Year the Republican Party dissolved into a little pond of goo

          by shpilk on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 04:38:45 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The Turks would disagree on the "blind support" (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Crookshanks

            accusation. It's quite hilarious that you say that since even Greece has long since ratcheted down its criticism of Turkey in recognition that it was doing more harm than good.

            •  So criticism of Turkey does more harm than good (0+ / 0-)

              therefore Turkey is not receiving blind support?

              Look at these people! They suck each other! They eat each other's saliva and dirt! -- Tsonga people of southern Africa on Europeans kissing.

              by upstate NY on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:56:06 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Actually, Turkish influence has grown (0+ / 0-)

            Their economy is doing a little better than in the past, the Erdogan government has pretty strong domestic legitimacy (and actually got pretty good electoral support in the Kurdish region), and they have better diplomatic relations with Iran than ever before. The Turkish government has also become a bit more moderate in most regards, including on the Kurdish issue.  People focus on the headscarf thing, but honestly, this is one of the better Turkish governments in a long time.  Now that's a relative matter - Turkey still commits serious human rights violations against its Kurdish population and the ghost of Ataturk style authoritarian violence is still very much present.

            "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

            by ivorybill on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 07:43:36 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  'soft division' (0+ / 0-)

        is a made up psyops infowarfare term that is about as soft as the clean air initiative.

        it's one more intractable problem that Bush has left for Obama and the Democrats to solve.  

        why? you mean like england had to solve our internal affairs?

        It's not us dictating the dissolution of Iraq as much as us facing the reality that the people and the leadership of those people who live within the boundaries of what's called Iraq don't want to go back to what they had

        huh??? the dissolution of iraq into small separate states has been a goal of the invasion from day one. did you miss the 'new middle east map'? your words sound like psychobabble.

        we aren't dictating what we want and have promoted from day one (the same way lots of war designers divide and conquer) because why?? because it is just a reality? yeah righto.

        problems with integrating the Kurds in to a centralized Iraq shouldn't surprise anyone

        kurds could integrate IF THEY WANTED TO. they don't. but still what someone else has already pointed out, iraqs neighbors ESPECIALLY TURKEY, will never allow a separate kurdish nation. not going to happen.

        There Is No Such Thing as Iraq:

        and exactly HOW is that any different than what all those  NEOCONS have been alleging for the last 7 years?

        earth to you, it is not for you or any other colonial representative to say what is and is not REAL, fyi, there very much is an iraq, we invaded it and our goal is to dismantle it, and you are carrying water for team divide

        WHY?

        George W. Bush is trying to fool a nation and a world in to thinking that there is a nation known as Iraq

        really? care to back that up with ANY QUOTES, links, or supporting documents.

        this is by far the weirdest diary i have ever read on the home page. i'll pass on whatever kool aid you're drinking.

        •  Yawn (0+ / 0-)

          If we were trying to split up Iraq, we wouldn't have created the central government, which was the fantasy of the Neocons.

          You may want to read something about Iraq and about the neocons' views toward Iraq before you again have the impulse to show how little you know.  

          The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

          by Dana Houle on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 07:03:52 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  lol (0+ / 0-)

            You may want to read something about Iraq

            there are 7 iraqi blogs on my tool bar i read and comment in daily, for the last 5 years. including roads to iraq, healing iraq, alswat al iraq, arablinks, and many others.

            i spend a minimum of 5 hrs a day reading about iraq, especially from iraqis and people who translate the arab press.

            i just finished participating in siun's thread over @ firedoglake (she posts on iraq every sunday night there, last week hosting Mohammed Ibn Laith, a member of the Sadrist trend). in fact, there is an extremely current youtube from reporter Eid Milad Sa'eed! Aswat Al Iraq up right now over there, who was just in kurdistan imbedded w/the pkk.

            so i do read a little something about iraq, but not from numbskulls UScentrics like you.

            good luck w/the analysis lol

            •  OK, I Guess Your Ignorance Isn't Connected... (0+ / 0-)

              ...to lack of effort.

              Maybe you read crap.  Or maybe you're immune to reality.  

              The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

              by Dana Houle on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 08:36:15 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  so tell me (0+ / 0-)

                what iraqi blogs do you read?

                where do you get your info?

                wapo? nyt?

                i'm very curious how it is you know what iraqis think.

                this idea iraq isn't really a country. like..which iraqi said that?

                •  What Iraqis Think Has Little to Do... (0+ / 0-)

                  ...with the motives of the neocons.  If you think Iraqis and their thoughts are at all relevant to understanding the delusions of the neocons, you're delusional yourself.  

                  The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

                  by Dana Houle on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 06:01:27 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  current press iraqi style (0+ / 0-)

                The differences between the various groups in the Maliki government are like the differences between the person that brings the knife to the killer, the person that puts it through the heart of the victim, and those others who stand aside in satisfaction. The differences are superficial, but the essence of the participation in the killing of the Iraqi homeland is without excuse. The bankrupt Pope and Church of the [16th] century sold indulgences to collect wealth, at the expense of religion, moral principles and values. What we have here is the occupation government headed by Maliki selling to the occupation forces, not only the future of Iraq [he noted earlier there is also a long-term strategic framework agreement included in the package] but also indulgences for the killing of a million and a half Iraqi martyrs, all in exchange for their acquisition of wealth, the slaking of their thirst for revenge, and the chance of being granted asylum in the countries of the occupation once they are expelled from by their own, and by their own people.

                Because their fate, which they themselves have chosen, is within the womb of the occupation, and they are linked to it by an umbilical cord, which will be severed on the day that [the occupation forces] withdraw.

                source

                wake up and smell the roses. this is what they read over there. this is what they think over there. you are ignoring the iraqi people. what you are repeating the the equivilant of reporting what americans think, and ignoring the progressives.

                •  And this is a chilling comment (0+ / 0-)

                  Not your comment, but the Iraqi comment you site.  The potential for genocide in Iraq certainly exists; the comment you posted is reflective of the most violent sort of Iraqi mindset - those who "collaborated" will be deprived of oxygen (and life, probably) once the occupiers leave.  Presumably that means the Kurds, several Shia' political parties, and moderate Sunnis.  Who's left?  Sadr and more extreme Sunni political parties.  My perspective is that Maliki is actually gaining strength because sensible people saw the Sadr Movement butchering people in the streets and decided they want no part of it.

                  "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

                  by ivorybill on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 11:30:13 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  powerful (0+ / 0-)

                    is reflective of the most violent sort of Iraqi mindset

                    really? this woman? i think she is a respected arab writer. why do you think her vision is violent. do you not think it reflects reality?

                    those who "collaborated" will be deprived of oxygen (and life, probably) once the occupiers leave.

                    really? like the baath party? so where does it say they will be deprived of oxygen? are you projecting the american talking pt about why we need to stay?

                    Presumably that means the Kurds, several Shia' political parties, and moderate Sunnis.  Who's left?

                    Presumably? shall we proceed into full strawman prose? let's all take a leap from reality and pretend the US/cia  would never digress into targeting people by sect, political parties, and moderate/secular.

                    righto

          •  ps, i noticed (0+ / 0-)

            you skipped the references.

               George W. Bush is trying to fool a nation and a world in to thinking that there is a nation known as Iraq

            really? care to back that up with ANY QUOTES, links, or supporting documents.

            cat got your tongue?

        •  Interesting (0+ / 0-)

          First, you decide that the goal of the US invasion was to split up  Iraq, despite ample evidence that the Bush Administration has tried hard to dampen down Kurdish expectations of independence.

          Second, you talk about not dictating to the Iraqis what to do, and then basically tell one group of Iraqis that it's all in their heads and they could reintegrate if they wanted to.

          I do have some problems with the diary - but I have more problems with your comment.

          "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

          by ivorybill on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 07:49:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  in your dreams (0+ / 0-)

            the Bush Administration has tried hard to dampen down Kurdish expectations of independence

            links?

            i didn't think so.

            •  Link (0+ / 0-)

              Check the bottom of page 6, among other places in the document, for US position on a national unity government.  http://www.state.gov/...

              BTW, I spend about one month in three in Iraqi Kurdistan.  Its symbolic of teh relationship between the US and the Kurds, I know... but the last time Condi Rice visited the north, the State Department insisted that the Kurds fly Iraqi flags and take down the Kurdish flags.  The Kurds ended up flying both, and then taking down the Iraqi flags once Rice left. She read Barzani the riot act over his position on Kirkuk. Trust me, the State Department political advisor for the north is Turkish-speaking (and has strong Turkish nationalist sentiments) and is no friend of the Kurds.

              I could be pissed that you ask me for links, when in your original post, you seem proud to offer none. However, I'd rather try to have a more nuanced and accurate dialog on this issue.

              "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

              by ivorybill on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 08:59:48 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  sorry, not impressed (0+ / 0-)

                I could be pissed that you ask me for links, when in your original post, you seem proud to offer none.

                specifically, if there is anything you would like me to reference w/links, ask.

                Check the bottom of page 6, among other places in the document, for US position on a national unity government.

                yes, and we all know how the state department always tells us the truth.

                The Kurds ended up flying both, and then taking down the Iraqi flags once Rice left.

                obviously, which completely supports my statement

                kurds could integrate IF THEY WANTED TO.

                they want their own state. it isn't a matter of the 'problems with integrating the Kurds' it is a matter of kurds resisting integrating.

                Trust me, the State Department political advisor for the north is Turkish-speaking (and has strong Turkish nationalist sentiments) and is no friend of the Kurds.

                i could believe this. what is this persons name. david satterfield? i didn't think so.

                I'd rather try to have a more nuanced and accurate dialog on this issue.

                your diary is not nuance, in the least.

                you may find this guy interesting. from this recent post...

                btw, did you know most iraqis think all the recent bombings are a result of americans..in pressure to get the sofa signed. i could go dig for it, from nyt iraqi reporter blog.

                •  Ummm... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  zannie, ivorybill

                  I've got no dog in this fight, but...

                  You read blogs.

                  Bill's been there.

                  There's a difference.

                  --Shannon

                  "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
                  "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

                  by Leftie Gunner on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 09:49:31 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  We are having a disagreement (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    zannie

                    but that's not unusual. The thing about Iraq is that rational people can come to conclusions, based on real information (including sometimems the same information) and good faith, that are in total contradiction.

                    That's what's going on here.  I was pissed at Zannie at first, but he has done some homework and his perspective is worth something. He's connected to an Arab nationalist crowd, including some Sadr movement supporters, who have a certain perspective.  I'm more connected with Kurds, moderate Shia', rural southerners and a few Sunni lawyers.  The conversations I have are a little different, and I'm coming with a bit more experience (and sympathy for) the periphery.  

                    So while s/he pissed me off at first, I'm enjoying the conversation now.

                    "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

                    by ivorybill on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 10:49:07 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  definitely (0+ / 0-)

                    You read blogs.

                    Bill's been there.

                    There's a difference.

                    the blogs i read are primarily written by arabs/iraqis or translate their words.

                    he, as an american..has a completely different perspective.

                    i do have a dig in this fight. it's finding the truth. i have 2 options:

                    !. assume iraqis are, on average, as smart as everybody else in the friggen world.

                    1. assume iraqis are prone to unwarranted suspicion, hypersensitivityparanoia, w/a dash of studid, and a lust for death, revenge, and ethnic cleansing.

                    i'll take #1. IOW, i will listen to iraqi voices over american voices to judge what iraqis are thinking. i trust their judgement more than an american judgement.

          •  we would never (0+ / 0-)

            even consider divide and conquer..because we're so...nice.

            First, you decide that the goal of the US invasion was to split up  Iraq

            btw, i said 'has been a goal', i did not say 'the goal'.

            splitting iraq is a means to an end..not THE END.

            control, of course, is the gosl. (that includes resource control)

            besides, it is probably just a coincidence we separated iraqis by sect the minute bremmer took over...oh yeah, like hell. wake up. are you aware we divide iraqis by big walls..that iraq used to be mixed, now it isn't. coincidence?

            massive koolaid. do you ever even read iraqi bloggers?

            •  Iraqi bloggers (0+ / 0-)

              Given the resources and background necessary to blog from Iraq, I would bet that Iraqi bloggers are far less representative of Iraqi society at large than are DailyKos bloggers are of American society.  Iraqi bloggers have something to offer, but even so, one gets a middle- and upper-class Baghdadi youth perspective with little input from the periphery or from those who actually impact events. The bloggers you are reading are not by and large from the Shia' Islamic parties, from the Kurds, or from the Sunni poor or underclass. It's a little like reading Michael Berube and assuming that things work the same way in Utah.

              "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

              by ivorybill on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 09:04:17 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  really? (0+ / 0-)

                so in other words, if an iraqi has to leave the country because fo the ethnic violence, they don't count?

                The bloggers you are reading are not by and large from the Shia' Islamic parties, from the Kurds, or from the Sunni poor or underclass.

                the upperclass higher, secular iraqis, sunni in particular, the ones mostly impacted by the ethnic cleansing..are actually very bright, some attending US universities. some shia, some sunni. they most definitely do not want to see iraq divided.

                as for the shia underclass.. the majority are protesting the signing of the sofa. the are represented by sadr. they are poor and underclass. they are represnted here. they most definitely do not want iraq divided.

                i thought this might interest you. originally on the airfoce journal, but they took it down. it may give you a little insite into the plans for iraq. the photos were originally posted here. if you scroll down, you can see the 'new map'

                Note: The following map was prepared by Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Peters. It was published in the Armed Forces Journal in June 2006, Peters is a retired colonel of the U.S. National War Academy. (Map Copyright Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Peters 2006).

                Although the map does not officially reflect Pentagon doctrine, it has been used in a training program at NATO's Defense College for senior military officers.

                .

                •  I never said (0+ / 0-)

                  that the opinion of Sunni educated elites don't matter.  My point is that the universe of Iraqis who blog and use the internet is pretty limited.  There's plenty of Shia' educated elite and poor in Karbala (a city in which Maliki and Dawa' have strong support) who are terrified of Sadr taking over and support the SOFA for this reason. The Shia' underclass does not uniformly support Sadr.  Not by a long way.  Sadr gains some political strength from opposing the Americans, but many in the Shia' community are disgusted with the brutality his party demonstrated while they were part of the government.  

                  "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

                  by ivorybill on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 10:03:06 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  when you say elite (0+ / 0-)

                    do you mean it in the way the gop calls us elite?

                    i suppose what i meant were the educated professional working class. hell yes they left, wouldn't you?

                    over 5 million people have fled. that is 20% of the country. compare that to 20% americans that had the means to leave the US if china invaded. does their voice count? or are they elite?

                    The Shia' underclass does not uniformly support Sadr.  Not by a long way.

                    how do you measure 'longshot'?

                    •  I mean "elite" (0+ / 0-)

                      in the more traditional political science sense of the term.  And elite is not necessarily bad. Also not all of them have left and many are coming back.

                      My ideas about who the Shia' support come from the fact that we work in 8 southern governorates in both cities and rural areas, and I employ a few dozen of them and work with a few hundred more. We need to be attentive to fighting between the Shia' political parties, so I follow it pretty closely.  Even in Missan province, there are major tribal differences that play themselves out as contests between ISCI and Tayyar as-Sadr.  

                      "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

                      by ivorybill on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 12:17:52 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  many are coming back.? (0+ / 0-)

                        when? if you mean now, please link? this is not what i am hearing.

                        My ideas about who the Shia' support come from the fact that we work in 8 southern governorates in both cities and rural areas, and I employ a few dozen of them and work with a few hundred more. We need to be attentive to fighting between the Shia' political parties, so I follow it pretty closely.

                        ok. wow.

                        i am well aware they all aren't  cozy/cuddly types.

                        here's my main thought on this. they represent the mases. our options are listen, or genocide. it is pretty obvious the sadr city/basra invasion stuff was because of their power in the election. soi are we interested in democracy?

                        my choice? secular. but wtf?? didn't we drive them all off? what's w/the iranian flavored theocracy we ushered into power. and you wa nt me to worry about sadr? i can find an iraqi rant a,bout sadr vs hakim from a year or so ago. one definitely has more resouces and is more cutthroat. literally. so why the sadr beef? could it be cuz he's natioanlis? do you think it is just a coincidence we back the free trade/privatization guys?

                        speaking of priorities.

                        Even in Missan province, there are major tribal differences that play themselves out as contests between ISCI and Tayyar as-Sadr.  

                        of course.

                        •  I have a personal beef with Sadr (0+ / 0-)

                          because a person I work with narrowly survived a kidnapping and assassination attempt by Sadr forces.  I'm probably revealing too much, but we had to work with the Min of Health through 2006 and we had to work secretly with many good and courageous people in the MoH in Baghdad - Sunni, Christian and Shia - who tried to hold health services together while the Jaysh al-Mahdi was using ambulances to transport people to Sadr City in order to torture them.  Also we work in an IDP camp in Kurdistan in which many of the residents are victims of the Jaysh al-Mahdi (camp residents are both Shia' and Sunni Arabs).  You are correct, Badr is not much better... in fact prior to 2006 they were committing more violations than the Sadr Movement.  I'm under no illusions about them, or the Kurds for that matter - who have a better record than either, but still execute and torture people.  

                          But the Sadrists were horribly bloody in 2006 and they frighten me.  If you imprison a couple million people in a slum and torture them literally or through sanctions for a couple decades, you can expect some real psychopathology to manifest itself.  The Sadrists may be nationalists, and that may be a good thing from some perspectives, but please be under no illusions about their willingness to use real savagery in pursuit of their political goals.  Every single Kurd I know believes that war is inevitable if Sadr comes to power.  They are willing to work with the other Shia' political parties, but they really can't stand him.  

                          "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

                          by ivorybill on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 12:59:54 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  beef w/sadr (0+ / 0-)

                            I'm probably revealing too much, but we had to work with the Min of Health through 2006 and we had to work secretly with many good and courageous people in the MoH in Baghdad - Sunni, Christian and Shia

                            MOH? let's talk MOI. yeah i get it that there's evil all around. and where would we be without it? realistically, if one were to position themselves sympathetically in iraq.. what might the best position be? maybe to be the only good calming force standing between highly volitle entities waiting to explode? necesssary for good to prevail? dire, in need ? the moderating force?

                            oh my. what a coincidence. that is america's role.

                            but what if the tension between the parties is exacerbated by america?

                            see the thing that doesn't convince me is we know america wants to be in iraq. we know this cuz we invaded and sent massive bucko bucks building infrastructure FOR OURSELVES, as opposed to iraqis. we are salivating for an agreement and we haven't pulled out. so you tell me..what better position could we be in than one of benign good guy honest broker? what choice do we have?

                            leave. there is no evidence less people will die if we go, as opposed to staying there indefinitely.

                            everybodys bad. stop fantasizing the only way out is america.

              •  nyt..this is real (0+ / 0-)

                this is what many iraqis think, whether it is true or not. they think it is the americans creating this chaos, because they really don't believe iraqis are doing this to eachother.

                Some people are saying that the Americans are making the bombings to make Iraqis believe that it is very important for them to stay in Iraq, that they are still needed. The Americans say that when they
                withdraw from Iraq violence will increase. Is that a threat? You can read it as a threat, or you can read it as an expectation. Some Iraqis take it as a threat.

                Some people are asking: "Are the Americans punishing us with bombings because Iraq has refused to sign the SOFA?" [Status of Forces Agreement]

                Here that is a reality, people think it. I can see it in people’s eyes when they say it to me. Real belief in what they are saying.

                Anwar J. Ali is an Iraqi journalist who works for The New York Times in Baghdad.

                source

                if you look for it on the nyt homepage, you can find it somewhere i'm sure..if you are very determined, it isn't like they put this stuff on the front page.

                from Sunday, November 23, 2008

                current enough for you?

                •  I also find it odd (0+ / 0-)

                  that the Iraqis say that the bombings must be the work of the Americans. I don't dispute that they say this, but it is symptomatic of how fractured and screwed up the society is that this belief is so widely held. After all, when the Sadr Tendency was in charge of the Ministry of Health, they kidnapped and killed the general director of health for Diyala (a Sunni) from the Minister's waiting room, and they routinely slaughtered Sunnis who showed up to collect the bodies of loved ones. Everyone in Baghdad knew this. I worked with some individuals in the MOH at that time and I'm not against all Sadrists.  But they have no business being in  charge or you will see remarkable levels  of violence and abuse. Many Iraqis recognize this, and this is why Mahdi is more powerful and Sadr less. (And you may want to be skeptical of Sadrist bloggers too) The idea that Iraqis feel that they are incapable of slaughtering each other this way is frankly a little delusional on their part.  The Americans are not bombing in order to force people to accept the SOFA.  A great many Iraqis, including members of the Sunni parties, actually want the SOFA because they are frightened of a Sadrist attempt to take over the government.

                  "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

                  by ivorybill on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 09:58:37 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  hmm (0+ / 0-)

                    A great many Iraqis, including members of the Sunni parties, actually want the SOFA because they are frightened of a Sadrist attempt to take over the government.

                    perhaps some members of sunni parties, but in general you must know most sunnis aren't fans of continued occupation.

                    I also find it odd that the Iraqis say that the bombings must be the work of the Americans.

                    what do you mean also? did i ever imply i thought it was odd. so what part of our history, in either vietnam, or south america..guatemals, nicaragus, el salvadore, chile..did we NOT do little things like bomb civilians to pressure them into our way of governance? or do you think we just don't do that stuff anymore? like maybe negroponte is now on the up and up.

                    After all, when the Sadr Tendency was in charge of the Ministry of Health, they kidnapped and killed the general director of health for Diyala (a Sunni) from the Minister's waiting room, and they routinely slaughtered Sunnis who showed up to collect the bodies of loved ones.

                    yes, i remember this. that was during the time when all the news was about sunni insurgents. btw, who was it that allowed the sadsists to control MOH? who was in charge of iraq then? what about badr brigades? in what way was their slaughter of sunnis a benefit for the US? when newsweek published the salvador option quoting american officials "the sunnis haven't paid a price".. exactly who did they think was going to carry out this price? the americans? no..of course we used different factions within society. even pipes was quoted as saying civil war was 'cool' and strategically could work for us.source abc

                    But they have no business being in  charge or you will see remarkable levels  of violence and abuse.

                    you mean unlike hakin, the badr guys, the iranian thugs we put into power, the theocracy fruitcakes aligned w/iran? how reassuring.

                    Many Iraqis recognize this, and this is why Mahdi is more powerful and Sadr less.

                    do you mean mahdi army?

                    (And you may want to be skeptical of Sadrist bloggers too)

                    as a rule, i don't read sadr bloggers.

                    The Americans are not bombing in order to force people to accept the SOFA.

                    oh, that is so reassuring. and you know this how? when you say americans, do you mean the marines, the cia, or Triple Canopy?

    •  even if that "country" was an artifical creation (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hoya90, shpilk, jds1978, appletree

      of the British Empire whom just drew the lines on the map with no regard to the history or culture of the region?

      A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -1.75/-4.00

      by Crookshanks on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 04:23:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The entire Middle East is an artificial creation! (5+ / 0-)

        All the states outside of North Africa, especially Jordan, were created with lines drawn on the map.

        •  so why should we really give a damn one way or (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          shpilk

          the other if Iraq remains as a unified country?  How well did those artificial lines on the map hold up in the Balkans?

          The only problem that I could see is with Turkey and the Kurds.  The Turks are a NATO Ally so we can't just disregard their views -- but on the same token I'd wager that the Kurds are eventually going to fight for a homeland.  That's a power keg just waiting to explode and I don't see how you defuse it....

          A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -1.75/-4.00

          by Crookshanks on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 04:28:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Why should we give a shit? (0+ / 0-)

            Three words - regional stability + precedent.

            •  we already set that precedent when we recognized (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ivorybill

              Kosovo.  That train has already left the station.

              And would the impact on regional stability really be worse than the impact of an Iraqi civil war and an even bigger refugee problem?

              A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -1.75/-4.00

              by Crookshanks on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 04:31:42 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm unsure but if you're saying that it can't (0+ / 0-)

                get any worse therefore we should "risk it" is a pretty flimsy reason on which to base the dismemberment of another country. I can't support it and unless the Iraqis and their neighbors do then it's illegal under international law.

                •  since when did the neighbors have a veto over (0+ / 0-)

                  whether or not a country divides under international law?  That's like saying the South was wrong to try and secede because they didn't consult with Canada (well, the UK back then) and Mexico beforehand.

                  I don't think the Iraqis themselves would support it.  I also don't think they can hold the country together once we leave and that it's the most likely outcome after a few years of civil year.  I suppose time will tell though.

                  I'm curious as to why you ignored my point about Kosovo though?  Kosovo was a part of Serbia for a lot longer than Iraq has existed.  Did the Serbians (or the neighbors for that matter) get a veto over what happened to it?  And what about the precedent that it set?

                  A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -1.75/-4.00

                  by Crookshanks on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 04:42:00 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Kosovo is a red herring you're dragging (0+ / 0-)

                    across this argument and you know it. I'm not going to discuss Kosovo here, perhaps you should write a diary on Kosovo and your reasons for opposing its independence and we can discuss it there?

                    •  I don't oppose it's independence..... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Hoya90

                      .... I just think that your claim that it would set a bad precedent is a moot point since we decided to allow the exact same thing to happen to Serbia.

                      In fact I recall a lot of writers (from the right and the left) saying as much when it happened.  The gist of it was, "We've set a precedent that will bite us in the ass in the future"

                      A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -1.75/-4.00

                      by Crookshanks on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 04:49:26 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Kosovo is very much a precedent for the Kurds (0+ / 0-)

                      Believe me, there's plenty about Kosovo on the Kurdish television stations here.  Unfortunately, the Kurds will not get the sort of western support Kosovo got.  I would also point out that the population of South Ossetia is about 40,000 and they are in the process of declaring themselves independent (defacto they are rejoining Russia).

                      Iraqi Kurdistan within its current borders, not including Kirkuk, has about the same population as Georgia, and four or five times the population of Kosovo.

                      "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

                      by ivorybill on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 07:53:57 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  And since when did "international law" (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Crookshanks

                    matter worth a good goddamn to the actions of any nation sate, at any time, for any reason?

                    If you win, it's legal.

                    So it has been, and so it shall be. Anything else is wishful thinking.

                    Had Germany won, nobody would have seen a rope at Nuremberg. No matter how richly they deserved it, if they hadn't lost, nobody would have hanged.

                    --Shannon

                    "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
                    "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

                    by Leftie Gunner on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 05:54:03 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  actually, I'll wager that the leadership of the (0+ / 0-)

                      8th Air Force and RAF Bomber Command probably would have hung.....

                      if they hadn't lost, nobody would have hanged.

                      But yeah, I do agree with your view.  Particularly as applied to the Great Powers.

                      So it has been, and so it shall be. Anything else is wishful thinking.

                      A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -1.75/-4.00

                      by Crookshanks on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 06:01:26 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

      •  That's exactly what happened at Paris in 1919 (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Navy Vet Terp, Crookshanks, masterp23

        Ppl say the USA is a young country, the modern state of Iraq is less than 100 years old and was cobbled together from three separate Ottoman provinces.  Because of WW2, ppl forget just how wild the changes were to the map of the world after WW1.  Three empires collapsed, the Ottomans, the Austro-Hungarians, and the Germans.  All their holdings were chopped up, then divided up among the victorious nations, mostly Britain and France.  There wasn't even the pretense of democratic process or local autonomy.  Why be bound by something like that?

      •  The French had a hand in it too (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hoya90

        The French got what became Syria at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference.  The French and British delegates argued over the oilfields west of Mosul.  The boundary today between Iraq and Syria was a compromise drawing the line down the middle of what were then the known oilfields, although subsequent discoveries would prove that Britain/Iraq got the better deal.

        The French drew the lines around Lebanon to create the largest possible country they could with a majority Christian population.  The French goal was to make Lebanon permanently beholden to France with its Christian population, but the French didn't foresee that the Christians would become a minority.  Had they made Lebanon smaller and more Christian, it might still be a part of France.

        Kuwait was created around the known oilfields of the time.  The British created this country intending it to be a permanent British colony floating on oil.

        Winston Churchill wrote later that he was the one who drew the line between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, he admitted to being "tipsy" when he drew the line.

        "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

        by Navy Vet Terp on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 04:54:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Iraq is an early 20th Century Creation (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vcmvo2, bagman, Crookshanks

      ...of the British Empire.  There never was an Iraq before that

      "Go Away! I'm tired of the horrible things that happen when you're around." - Charlie the Unicorn

      by jds1978 on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 04:26:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh Please, The whole freeking world can... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nulwee

      take a lesson from Canada. If part (like an ethnic or linguistic group) wants to go, fine have a vote and go if you want. I would go to the country of Quebec as a tourist if they left. What am I supposed to do, go shoot them?

      And just a comment to you Americans that are somewhat proud of your war of independence and your civil war. Ahem, things just take time. You would eventually have had an independent government and nation if your genius founding fathers showed a little patience. Look at India, Canada etc. you think we are colonies? Britain did come around, you know? Without going to war, do you think there would be slavery in the South today? That fell throughout the world long ago, the south itself would have rid itself not that long after your civil war. In 1833 the Abolition of Slavery Act was passed in Britain. So my point is, if Americans had been less hot headed and waited for things to unfold as they will, there would be no deaths due to your revolutionary war or your civil war, but there would be four countries in North America. Terrible! For all your pro democracy rhetoric, its hypocritical because if a state voted to secede, apparently that is not allowed. I have one rule, self determination. All groups should have that right.

      •  The US civil war (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shane Hensinger

        is not particularly relevant to Iraq.  Secession in the US was based on completely different factors.

        "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

        by ivorybill on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 08:03:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Uh, you missed the point: (0+ / 0-)

          I'm NOT arguing the "factors" are comparable. Central governments (in both cases) refusing to allow part of it's territory to go off on it's own is comparable. Whether it's over territory, oil, secession does not matter to the point I was trying to make.  Your flip comment sounds good but is not particularly relevant to what I wrote.

          I'm arguing If some folks want to split, LET THEM.
          I think the Basques should leave Spain if they want, I think the Scotts should leave Great Britain if they want. Tibet should be free. I just don't think any central government has a right to keep large areas of people in countries against their will. I think it was a mistake for Britain to defeat the French in Quebec. They should have let them have it. I think Lincoln should have said "Good Luck" to the South and slapped an embargo on them until they gave up slavery. But it's only my opinion. There are those who are in favor of solving things through conflict.

          •  BTW (0+ / 0-)

            If we are talking about letting borders find their natural locations... I have always thought "Pacifica" makes a sensible country. California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, Alberta and a few US mountain States. Any takers? We could at least count on the fact NO ONE like George Bush would ever be elected leader. Most of the time we in western Canada would like to lose central Canada : )

    •  Oh, so (0+ / 0-)

      if the actual people who live there don't want to be part of the country that you think it should be unacceptable to divide, then anybody who points out that fact is an imperialist??

      Hypocritical, much?

      --Shannon

      "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
      "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

      by Leftie Gunner on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 05:43:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  well said, i agree (0+ / 0-)

      we all need to just get the hell out of there and let them figure it out for themselves. i'm sure it would be ugly and painful for a while, but its their country.

      and by "we all" i mean, all us officials, non-officials, troops, security, corporations, contractors, weapons and weapon salesmen, banks, imf, world bank, etc...  every freaking body.

      if they ever actually threaten us or one of our allies, we have enough bombs to flatten the place. but until we actually have a verified threat, we have no right to interfere in someone else's land.

    •  nor is it (0+ / 0-)

      anything but rule by fiat to create countries by drawing lines in the sand to carve out spheres of influence. Most of these countries are the creations of imperialistic dreams of empire in the Middle East. We have been foisting our version of politics on this region well before we started along this new road of democratization.

      That said, I agree, it isn't really our choice, now if they decide to Balkanize on their own, which seems to be the direction they are heading, then what? Will we rule that illegal as well?

      Ignorance is natural. Stupidity takes commitment. --Solomon Short

      by potty p on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 07:16:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Precursor to the Next World Re-Alignment? (0+ / 0-)

    Notice: This Comment © ROGNM

    by ROGNM on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 04:18:31 PM PST

  •  Everyone snickered when Biden.... (6+ / 0-)

    suggested dividing Iraq into three federalized states due to the vitriol between Shiites, kurds and sunnis.  It is still a viable alternative.

    •  Location of the oil (0+ / 0-)

      The oil is located all in Sunni controlled areas, I believe. SO splitting up the oil would require the Sunnis to deliver oil to each of the 3 groups. Not sure if that is likely to happen.

    •  It's also the most likely alternative (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Meteor Blades

      In the long run.

      Well, at least sunni/shite division--the Krds may be screwed because of Turkey and Iran.

      "The military industrial complex not only controls our government, lock, stock and barrel, but they control our culture." - Mike Gravel

      by Wilberforce on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 04:22:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's the only practical solution. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vcmvo2, jds1978

      Nothing else will work. Biden was right, and I thought he was right back then as well.

      You cannot force people together to live in peace after a dictatorship holds them together; there's no example of it ever working by introducing democracy, especially using military force, in history.

      Yugoslavia, the extant Soviet Union are prime examples where the ethnic groups get in each other's faces as quickly as the dictator fades away.

      2008, the Year the Republican Party dissolved into a little pond of goo

      by shpilk on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 04:26:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  reading these strands makes me really glad palin (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DHinMI

      is no where near having anything to do with these relationships!

      "may your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view." Edward Abbey

      by timbuck on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 05:17:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not sure dividing Shia' and Sunni sections (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      appletree

      will work.  Actually there has been a lot of progress toward working on a unified Iraqi state incorporating both Shia' and Sunni.  Still a long way to go, but this particular division of Iraq is neither what the people want nor what is likely to happen.

      The Kurdish issue is more problematic and runs much deeper.  The Kurds have never really wanted to be part of the Iraqi state.  They advocated for their own country after WWI and when that failed, they fought to get out of Iraq in 1921, 1946, 1960-63, 1970-75, 1980-88, and 1991 to the present. There have been at least six wars of sucession in Iraqi Kurdistan since Iraq became a nation.  The cost has been great - the first use of chemical weapons against civilians (by the British in 1921), the largest number of civilians killed by chemical weapons (by Saddam's regime in 1987), and a never-ending history of lesser events - or example, villages near Taqtaq have been destroyed and rebuilt 13 times since 1960.

      The Kurds have made it pretty clear that they want out.  As long as they are forced to remain, Iraq will be an unstable autocratic state, because the only way to incorporate the Kurds is at the point of a gun.  Frankly, this will probably be the end result this time as well.

      "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

      by ivorybill on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 08:12:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Civil War guaranteed after we leave.... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk, eaglecries, jds1978, timbuck, appletree

    Everyone saw that, except a few people in Washington now who thought that we can impose peace and democracy at gunpoint.  Heck, they were even warned about it.....

  •  gee, and if things fall apart (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jds1978, appletree

    it will be just in time for it to be blamed on incoming president Obama... or, new president Obama.

    at least, I'm sure they'll try to do that.

  •  Maybe Joe Biden was right? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jds1978

    I wish I knew how the story would end up.

    I just can't imagine a unified Iraq after countless generations of animosity.

    I'm not saying it can't happen.  I'm just saying that I can't imagine it.

    Justice, mercy, tolerance, hope, love, grace, and redemption are all Judeo-Christian values.

    by Benintn on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 04:24:32 PM PST

  •  The main reason this whole thing is such (4+ / 0-)

    a clusterfuck, is that our goal was a unified, coalition Iraqi Government. It was never the goal of the Kurds, the Sunni, or the Shia.

    There simply isn't anything we could have done to make our objectives mesh with their objectives, which is why there hasn't been, and isn't, a resolution to the conflict.

    Staying in Iraq indefinitely isn't, and never was an option. We simply don't have the resources.

    The question is will the lid blow when we pull out. This news about the Kurds arming up suggests such an outcome is more likely.

    •  Humpty Dumpty (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sarge in Seattle

      My conclusion from September 2007:

      Iraq is Humpty Dumpty, but we pushed him off the wall, and all the king’s Armored Cavalry and all the king’s mechanized brigades will not put him back together again.  The president said this war in Iraq is "just, and right, and necessary."  No, the war in Iraq is futile.  The American people have figured that out.  Now, it’s time to stop talking about leaving our troops in Iraq to train Iraqi military units, because there aren’t any.  It’s time to stop expecting progress and the achievement of benchmarks by the Iraqi government, because there’s no Iraqi government that has legitimacy with the population of Iraq.  It’s time to stop thinking that we can put Iraq back together again.  It’s time to face the reality that Iraq no longer exists, start making plans to remove our troops, and get the leadership of the Iraqi factions and the leadership of the surrounding nations to engage in trying to mitigate the suffering and chaos that will ensue when we leave, but will also happen if we stay.

      There’s no good solution for Iraq.  There is no Iraq.  It’s time to get our troops the hell out.

      The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

      by Dana Houle on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 04:28:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Very Good point (0+ / 0-)

    I was wondering when someone would remember the Kurds. It's going to be ugly...

    ~ Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase ~ Martin Luther King, Jr ~

    by vcmvo2 on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 04:28:27 PM PST

  •  Biden was right (0+ / 0-)

    Now he's gonna be Vice President.

    It's impossible to make a "country" by drawing lines on a map.

    I will not plead guilty

    by SecondComing on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 04:35:56 PM PST

    •  It's impossible to force people to make (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SecondComing

      country by drawing lines on a map, especially when they still are killing each other.

      It is possible to negotiate between agreeable parties to 'make a country by drawing lines on a map'.

      "Iraq" has had almost 5 years to try, and 'agreeable parties' are no where in evidence. Biden saw all of this years ago, as many of us have from the beginning. I was saying this would never work in 2004.

      2008, the Year the Republican Party dissolved into a little pond of goo

      by shpilk on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 04:49:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here's the latest about the SOFA (0+ / 0-)

    from Al Jazeera

    and another piece from them:

    Al-Mashhadani, a Sunni Arab who supports the pact, said chances that the deal will pass are 50-50.

    "We support the agreement because it is the least bad alternative," he said.

    Some other Sunni politicians are calling to put the pact to a referendum.

    "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you can succeed." -Nancy Pelosi, 6/29/07.

    by nailbender on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 04:44:34 PM PST

  •  Freaking Bulgaria (0+ / 0-)

    What's up with Bulgaria?  During the Cold War and still to this day, it's a creepy country.  An unknown kind of dark gray place where you know there is some bad shit going down.

    Doesn't really feel like part of Europe.  The US never had any history of immigration from there.  Left with a vague feeling it's the home to secret arms deals, Soviet style leadership and all sorts of stuff that would put them on the Group W bench.

    •  I dunno.. Hristo Stoichkov was a good man.. (0+ / 0-)
    •  Not true (0+ / 0-)

      Im from Ireland and Bulgaria is just as much a part of the EU as any country...and secret arms sales? Bullshit any sales need to be approved by the EU for its members. Just like in the US Texas wouldn't just sell weapons without the federal government knowing.

      If Bulgaria sold arms to the Kurds the EU approved it and probably the US didn't object.

      "We were warriors then, and our tribe was strong like a river" - Hunter S Thompson

      by GonzoLegend on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 06:45:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The kurds aren't going to be happy (0+ / 0-)

    until they have their own country -- one of the reasons they couldn't get along with Saddam.

  •  I have a feeling that this isn't going to end (0+ / 0-)

    happily. Turkey does not want an independent Kurdistan. And if the Kurds don't want to be part of Iraq I'm not sure how this ends.

    •  Turkey can handle an independent Kurdistan - so (0+ / 0-)

      long as the Kurds don't attempt to take any Turkish territory. It's an impossible situation really. The brits (my peeps) screwed the region up royally. Creating Iraq by destroying other nations. Putting the Shah in power. I hope the next move by the Western Power is not one of those 'start a revolution' kinda tipping points.

  •  McCainism seems to be an implicit (0+ / 0-)

    view of Iraq in this country.

    What good does it do if violence temporarily subsides if the country just falls apart later?

    It won't be because the Americans leave, it'll be because this is a political crisis.

    If the political crisis were solved there would not be al-Sadr or the Sunni militias. What people are missing is those militias are filling a government role, not simply a military one.

    Just like in this country, BushCo completely abdicated infrastructural funding and repair--to radical results.

    Wall Street pirates loot this country, destroy people's lifelong work and their pensions. If you need to execute someone, shoot those motherfuckers.

    by Nulwee on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 04:58:34 PM PST

    •  You're making one of the most (0+ / 0-)

      common mis-assumptions...

      That all problems have peaceful solutions, and that all wars are a failure of diplomats.

      That's simply not true. Most wars result from interests so basically incompatible that no negotiated settlement was ever possible.

      --Shannon

      "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
      "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

      by Leftie Gunner on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 05:59:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Huh? (0+ / 0-)

        No. I didn't.

        What do you think the Biden plan was, if not a negotiated settlement? Bangladesh circa the Ford Administration?

        Wall Street pirates loot this country, destroy people's lifelong work and their pensions. If you need to execute someone, shoot those motherfuckers.

        by Nulwee on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 06:02:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  By this... (0+ / 0-)

          McCainism seems to be an implicit view of Iraq in this country.

          What good does it do if violence temporarily subsides if the country just falls apart later?

          It won't be because the Americans leave, it'll be because this is a political crisis.

          I took it to mean that you think that there is a political solution that will result in all Iraqi groups getting along in some kind of united country.

          I don't think that this is possible, I never have. From where I sit, the Iraqi government can either let the Kurds leave, or fight to keep them.

          Guess which one they're gonna pick?

          --Shannon

          "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
          "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

          by Leftie Gunner on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 07:34:03 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Really? I thought that the Sykes-Picot (0+ / 0-)

    Agreement created the intractable problem regarding the eventual shape of Iraq.  Did I miss something?

    Having credibility when making an argument is the straightest path to persuasion.

    by SpamNunn on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 05:03:25 PM PST

    •  Joe Biden knows his history in this regard. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      timbuck

      Having credibility when making an argument is the straightest path to persuasion.

      by SpamNunn on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 05:04:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sykes-Picot Didn't Invade It and Place... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nulwee, George Gould

      ...150,000 of our troops there, at a cost of $10B per month.  

      The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

      by Dana Houle on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 05:09:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You can ignore history and blame Bush (0+ / 0-)

        for that problem (the shape if Iraq) if that makes you feel better.

        Having credibility when making an argument is the straightest path to persuasion.

        by SpamNunn on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 05:26:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  When Did Sykes-Picot... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          George Gould

          ...get US embroiled in internecine Iraqi conflicts?  Where in your history books is that written?  

          The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

          by Dana Houle on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 05:54:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Listen to the question. (0+ / 0-)

            Then answer.  

            I thought that the Sykes-Picot Agreement created the intractable problem regarding the eventual shape of Iraq.  Did I miss something?

            Having credibility when making an argument is the straightest path to persuasion.

            by SpamNunn on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 05:58:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It Wasn't OUR Problem (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              George Gould

              What's so hard to understand about this?  

              The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

              by Dana Houle on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 06:22:45 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You don't listen well. (0+ / 0-)

                The question was:

                What created the intractable shape of Iraq?

                Sykes-Picot is the answer.  Bush had nothing to do with that.  If you want to rant about the lame duck, go ahead, but that wasn't my question.  [EOD]

                Having credibility when making an argument is the straightest path to persuasion.

                by SpamNunn on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 06:30:41 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Because My Computer Doesn't Speak Your Words (0+ / 0-)

                  Look, you just seem to want to argue and prove you're right about something (although what, it's unclear).  Iraq wasn't our problem in 2002.  It's been our problem ever since.  But you seem to think the post-WWI settlement of the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire (which we didn't participate in, btw) is our problem.  Well, whatever.

                  So, since you can't seem to figure out what I'm talking about, but seem obsessed with being right, let's just do this: you're right.  

                  Feel better?  

                  The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

                  by Dana Houle on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 07:06:57 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  No. actually. I find you to be (0+ / 0-)

                    an unpleasant diarist, with a very condescending  attitude and insulting manner.   I have come to realize that I should neither read nor comment in your diaries. That makes me feel better.  Fare well and good night.  

                    Having credibility when making an argument is the straightest path to persuasion.

                    by SpamNunn on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 07:24:19 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

  •  Gee, nobody . . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LondonYank

    .
    could have seen . . . or predicted . . .

    ...this coming.

    Sheesh.

     bg
    ____________

    "We in the gloam, old buddy," he said, "We definitely right in the middle of it." -Larry Brown

    by BenGoshi on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 05:06:38 PM PST

  •  what's in it for the Kurds? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LondonYank

    What is their payoff for being part of "Iraq"?

    Crickets, I would imagine, at least from their (uniquely Kurdish) perspective.

    don't always believe what you think...

    by claude on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 05:07:02 PM PST

    •  Perhaps a place where they don't get massacred.. (0+ / 0-)

      They should tell Howie they'll take any deal after the history of the last 20 or so years.

      •  Unless you count other Kurds. (0+ / 0-)

        They did have their own civil war.

        The Kurds aren't exactly angels when it comes to minorities in their region either.

        Needless to say, I'm all for an independent Kurdistan, as long as it's not our country's responsibility to create and protect it.

    •  The "Fig Leaf" of Nationhood (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Movac

      The Kurds are determined to control their own future.  However, I think the vast majority of Kurdish leaders recognize that they still need the fig leaf of Iraq to protect them from truly nasty interference by the neighbors.

      Turkey, Syria, and Iran have no interest in seeing a new Kurdish state get international recognition.  It would risk too much internal agitation.  If the Kurds truly tried to break away, you might see Syria and Turkey "assisting" the Iraqi central government with the repatriation of Kurdistan.

      However, a Kurdistan that is a de facto nation without de jure recognition allows everybody to pretend that there isn't a problem.  

      Let's hope the Kurds recognize where the red lines are.

      - "You're Hells Angels, then? What chapter are you from?"
      - REVELATIONS, CHAPTER SIX.

      by Hoya90 on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 06:33:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This has been apparent for quite some time (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk

    See, for instance, THERE IS NO IRAQ!, Jun 24, 2006:

    I'm shouting to overwhelm the mass delusion that there is a single country inside the borders that we now call "Iraq."
    Every time anyone, whether Republican, Democrat, media or neighbor says the word "Iraq" they are under the spell of a delusion that has been fostered for almost a century. They are reflecting the overall delusion that there is an Iraq, and there are Iraqis.
    I'm painting a grossly simplified version of an alternate picture of that region knowing that there are many nuances and ambiguous trends in play there, but if anyone looks at the historical context with any timeline from the past millenium to the past century to the past week, one can see that there are three separate and distinct, and mutually hostile, cultures (Sunni, Shiite and Kurd) that were violently forced together under the brutal despotic rule of Sunni masters since at least 1920.
    The US was led to invade and topple the Sunni regime in the mistaken assumption that "Iraq" would hold together and would greet us as liberators and would form into a unified democracy allied to the US that would allow access to oil and permanent US military bases.
    Ahmed Chalabi further suckered Dick Cheney and his cohorts with a ten-year effort to provide them with the case for invasion in the form of WMDs, ties with 9/11 and promises of grateful Iraqis.
    Chalabi was working closely with Iranian intelligence the whole time, and now we see that the unambiguous winner of our invasion of "Iraq" is Iran.
    Iran's military, economic and Islamic infrastructures are rapidly bringing order and prosperity to the Shiite 2/3 of "Iraq," and General Casey told a press conference that Iran is training the Shiite militias, who will provide the security that the US is unable to provide. There is no actual border between "Iraq" and Iran.
    Every time we kill a Sunni, from Zarqawi to insurgents to women and children, we are helping Iran become the prevailing mideast superpower, and we are killing only Sunnis. That will probably change soon, when Iran and the Imams decide that the US military presence is no longer needed, whereupon they will demand that we leave and will begin to shove us out with a vengeance, and we will leave. That process is already underway.
    I recommend that we just leave of our own accord, immediately, but of course under Cheney/Rove/Bush we won't leave until we have suffered thousands more casualties, so they don't have to admit their mistake.
    We have lost over 2500 brave soldiers and over 40,000 seriously or permanently disabled. Families have been ripped apart. Our entire military, personnel and materiel, has been exhausted, including National Guard capabilities and equipment which will be needed for disasters caused by global warming, which we desperately need to plan for but are not allowed to talk about while the war sucks up media time.
    Our national economy is going bankrupt as we become a debtor nation, in hock to China, Saudi Arabia and a variety of nations that may not stand with us if our economy goes south. Our democratic values and institutions, from the CIA to habeas corpus have been thrown away. Our sense of community continues to be dismembered for temporary partisan gain, to defend this disastrous war. Our credibility and diplomatic influence worldwide have diminished and we have become a rogue, criminal nation as a result of this war. All to make Iran a superpower. Let's just leave.

  •  why can't they just be Kurdistan (0+ / 0-)

    already? Let them have their own country

    Keep that faith, keep your courage, stick together, stay strong, do not yield! Stand up, WE'RE DEMOCRATS AND WE'LL NEVER SURRENDER!

    by deaniac20 on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 05:18:29 PM PST

  •  sorry guys (4+ / 0-)

    but this is one of the strangest, most boneheaded discussions I have every read on Kos, much of it a jaw dropper.
    'Iraq' was not a nation but it is now, and it is simply NOT UP TO US to decide what it will or won't be, and not up to the Kurds alone, or Joe Biden or even <gasp> Barack Obama.
    The discussion of Turkey is also shocking in its ignorant dismissal of Turkish rights, roles, responsibilities and culpabilities. Sure, kick Turkey out of NATO. Do we get to vote on it?
    And, vis a vis greek-Turkish conflict, can you say CYPRUS?

    Shane Hensinger tells us there always was an Israel but in the next breath that that state was created by the UN (in 1948!) and therefore more legitimate than some national entity created some other way.
    Is this whole discussion  a form of Sunday-itis?
    Next stop: TAIWAN!

    •  Please provide (0+ / 0-)

      a single, solitary Turkish "right" that is violated by the existence of an independent Kurdistan?

      Oh, and governments do not have "rights". They have powers.

      --Shannon

      "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
      "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

      by Leftie Gunner on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 06:02:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Get out of Iraq and... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JoanShearer, The Movac

    Afghanistan. Europeans and Americans have no business there. Sulahadin taught us this lesson 800 years ago when he captured Richard the Lionheart. He mercifully sent him home to England, but promised him death if he returned.
    Will there be a blood bath if we leave Iraq? We already created one and it continues. Time to come home and pay the bills run up by Bush/Cheney.

    Cities are good for the environment

    by citydem on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 05:31:03 PM PST

  •  Israel and the Kurds (0+ / 0-)

    Can you say "hip deep"?

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    Their real God is money-- Jesus just drives the armored car. © 2006 All Rights Reserved

    by oblomov on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 05:45:02 PM PST

  •  Bushco laziness and desire to use as political... (0+ / 0-)

    cover the relative quiet in the north has led to a very dangerous situation.  The semi-country of Kurdistan overlays large portions of Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. Most Kurds in these neighboring countries have stronger ties to a Kurdish Nation than the country which they are citizens. Most countries with Kurdish regions are threatened by this nationalism and fear separatists. In many ways its potential for danger exceeds the squabble "in country".  Strong, decisive diplomacy with especially the Turks to keep out is essential.
     Just another parting gift from the disaster team of bush/cheney.  Thanks for a good post.

    "Now it is of the essence that we learn to hope. The work of hope will not fail us, it is devoted to success, and not to failure." -Ernst Bloch

    by moondancing on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 05:56:48 PM PST

  •  Let the Iraqis and Kurds deal with this. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JoanShearer, citydem, Oblogama

    We've done more than enough meddling and all it has done is cause death and destruction.

    If the Kurds want to break away, good for them. That's their responsibility though, not ours.

    If Iraqis want the Kurdish region to remain a part of their country, once again that's their responsibility.

    The Kurds are capable of defending themselves. They're a sovereign people, so let them solve their own problems. Same goes for the Iraqi people.

  •  Sorry, we're busy in Afghanistan. (0+ / 0-)
  •  Didn't you know that (0+ / 0-)

    Zombietime has declared Victory in Iraq Day!

    Zombie Jesus, what kind of drugs do you have to take to live in their fucked-up reality?

    This is what happens when Democrats put winning ahead of accountability. -rolandzebub

    by James Kresnik on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 06:22:02 PM PST

  •  The Iraq war has been a failure. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JoanShearer, citydem, Oblogama

    America lost the war.  Shiite Iraqis and Iran are the primary victors/beneficiaries.  Sunnis and the Iraqi state were the big losers.  The Kurds basically had no net change from their pre-war position, as there are risks and opportunities as a result of the fall of the Hussein government.  

    I believe the structure of an Iraqi state will remain intact because it is the only way the international community will permit the constituent elements to engage in international relations.  Turkey, Syria, Iran and possibly even Russia (though who knows how Putin would play that scenario) will not permit the Kurds to have an independent Kuridsh state to gain international recognition (or de facto status).  The Kurds are widely viewed in the region as a menace because of their ambitions for nationhood, and a conservative Islamic streak which pushes some towards militant Islamic fundamentalism.

    The other reason for the Iraqi state to exist is because the path of oil traverses all three major regions of the country.  The purpose of the Iraqi central government, much like the neo-socialist government of Alaska, is to collect and divide oil revenues, protect the pipeline, the borders, and the seaports to the Persian Gulf.  Nothing else.

    In fact, one might say that the new Iraqi government might fit the conservative pipe dream of a limited central government.

    Alternative rock with something to say: http://www.myspace.com/globalshakedown

    by khyber900 on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 06:31:48 PM PST

  •  One big problem with this article (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Oblogama

    Kurdish officials this fall took delivery of three planeloads of small arms and ammunition imported from Bulgaria, three U.S. military officials said

    Em... I'm from Ireland and this seems like a big oversight. Bulgaria is a member of the European Union and an ally of the United States. It needs to report ANY arms sales to foreign countries to the European Comission.

    Much the same way that Texas or California cannot just sell arms to countries without letting the federal government now.

    That means the EU has approved this arms sale to the kurds (which in turn probably means the US doesn't object to it).

    And dividing Iraq into 3 regions which Biden is all for is such a bad idea. See Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya article/map here

    "We were warriors then, and our tribe was strong like a river" - Hunter S Thompson

    by GonzoLegend on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 06:41:28 PM PST

  •  Let's Talk Turkey (0+ / 0-)
    I mean, talk to Turkey. Make it worth their while to allow a semi-autonomous Kurdish region inside Iraq. How much could that cost? $700B. I doubt it.

    The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by easong on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 07:24:07 PM PST

  •  The Map of Kurdistan should have given pause (0+ / 0-)

    to Cheney and his energy taskforce.

    masterplanners . fools .

    Photobucket

    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -Thomas Jefferson

    by ezdidit on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 07:27:00 PM PST

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