Kurdistan blogger. Blogging about life in Kurdistan.
Democracy for beginners
If you have it , you might not know how it feels without it. The United Nations Resolution 1514 (XV) of December 14, 1960 describes "Self-Determination-Rights
" as :
All peoples have the right to self-determination, by virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.
I sometimes feel very strange...How come some people want to decide for others.. Isn't this strange ? Someone said "If Kurds got their self-determination-rights" it would be a disaster for the whole Middle East, United Nations and the World and "if every nation got their self-determination-rights we will return to the Middle Ages"...
Now here is a question, Aren't we in the Middle Ages now where oppressors don't recognise "self-determination-rights" for others ?
Isn't oppression and denying others self-determination-rights are of the principles of the Middle Ages ?
Yes they are !
DEFINITION OF SELF-DETERMINATION
(for those who still live in the Middle Ages
The right to self-determination is a fundamental principle of human rights law. All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development. (Basics of Self-Determination-Rights
The International Court of Justice
refers to the right to self-determination as a right held by people rather than a right held by governments alone. The two important United Nations studies on the right to self-determination set out factors of a people that give rise to possession of right to self-determination: a history of independence or self-rule in an identifiable territory, a distinct culture, and a will and capability to regain self-governance.
Now, since Kurds have a successful 13 years of self-rule and infact (independence) in an identifiable territory, and has a distinct culture and language (different from the rest of Iraq) , and has the capability to regain self-governance, aren't we living in the Middle Ages if we refused Kurds their self-determination-rights ?
Kurds want to decide their fate.
After the World-wide pro-referendum for Kurdistan demonestrations, the organizers have handed the Referendum petition to Iraqi and American officials..
Approximately 1.7 million signatures on the petition "demanding a referendum" on the future of (Iraqi) Kurdistan's region were collected.
What do Kurds want exactly ? It is not that Kurds want to rule the whole world... Kurds basically ask to decide their fate in Iraq. We have had enough of being ridden like sheep to uncertain futures... Now, is this too much ? I don't think so.
Throughout 83 years of living with Iraq, Kurds haven't benefited anything...Nothing at all... All these atrocities were caused when the British Empire decided to create a new state without consulting its inhabitants.. Shall we repeat the same mistake ? I don't see any reason to do so.
One wonders what about the "New Iraq"
? I could say "What New Iraq ?" ??? What is new in Iraq ? I can see nothing new... It is the old story starts over again...
I see Iraqi politicians on TV saying "To the Iraqis in Northern Iraq, we warn you not to do anything stupid or otherwise you will pay heavily"... Not they only deny our existence as Kurds, they are threatening us.. Sounds like a Cool New Iraq !!!
The Iraqi mentality is still the same..The only thing that has been changed is Saddam Hussein... He has moved from a palace to a prison that is all. The people are the same, the mentality is the same, etc etc
Recently, an Iraqi politician and the current head of IGC has said
that Iraq may claim on Jordan and Kuwait !! WOW ! What does that supposed to mean ?
We hear that the Arabs are unease about the Kurdish autonomy !!! That tells me that the people in "New Iraq" are worse than Saddam Hussein towards Kurds... Saddam Hussein signed the Kurdish autonomy agreement by himself on 11th of March 1970 ! Now the New Iraqis want us to go back 34 years and get nothing !
Now if Saddam Hussein accepts Kurdish autonomy and New Iraqis refuse it, what does that supposed to mean ?
Hell NOO to New Iraq.... New Iraqis have no power at the moment and they threaten us, what would happen if they get power and WMD ? They will do worse than what Saddam did.
The sooner Kurds decide on their fate, the safer they will be !
Let's Remember Anfal
Today, is the 16th anniversary for the start of the mass-genocide campaign codenamed "Anfal" by the Iraqi government conducted on 23rd of Feb 1988 against the Kurdistani people.
Great real documents can be found here.
Anfal maps can be found here.
is a Koranic chapter and means "Spoils of War".. The Iraqi government used Islam for its genocide against the Kurds who were asking for self-determination-rights.
The anti-Kurdish "Anfal" campaign, mounted between February and September 1988 by the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein, was both genocidal and gendercidal in nature. "Battle-age" men were the primary targets of Anfal, according to Human Rights Watch/Middle East (hereafter, HRW/ME). The organization writes in its book Iraq's Crime of Genocide: "Throughout Iraqi Kurdistan, although women and children vanished in certain clearly defined areas, adult males who were captured disappeared en masse. ... It is apparent that a principal purpose of Anfal was to exterminate all adult males of military service age captured in rural Iraqi Kurdistan" (pp. 96, 170). Only a handful survived the execution squads.
described by Gendercide Watch
After 16 years, ordinary Iraqis and Iraqi political parties, nor USA and her allies, nor the United Nation, can't give Kurds a guarantee that another Anfal and Halabja will not be repeated.
World-Wide Pro-Referendum for Kurdistan Demos tomorrow
Tomorrow, 21st of Feb 2004, there will be a world-wide Kurdish demonestration for a "Referendum in Kurdistan". Kurds and Kurdistanis all over the globe is expected to attend.
BREAKING NEWS : Kurds and US come to agreement !!!
Yesterday, Moufaq Rabii, a Shia member of ICG told CNN that Kurds and the IGC have come to an agreement on the Kurdish issue.
The Kurdish news portal "Kerkuk-Kurdistan.com
broke the news yesterday at 23.00 !
Paul Bremer and Massoud Barzani, (president of KDP), Barham Salih, (Prime Minister of the Sulaimani-based Kurdistan Government and Fouad Massoum, (high ranking PUK member and head of the Iraqi Constitution) have had serious discussions on 17th of Feb.
Here are the points of the agreement according to Kerkuk-Kurdistane :
1. Kurds and Americans are allies. (hope won't be single-sided).
2.USA will support Geographical federalism in Iraq. There will be an independent Kurdistan Government and parliament along with independent Kurdistan Court inside Iraq
3.The new-liberated Kurdish areas which were under the control of Baghdad before 19th of March will return to the control of the Kurdistan Government.
4.The Kerkuk districts which were given to the Sulaimania and Erbil governates will be returned to Kirkuk. Displaced Kurds will return to Kirkuk. Arab settlers will go back to their homes (whereever they came from).
5. A census will be held in Kirkuk to determine the number of Kurds in that state. Afterwards a referendum will be held in the state to determine whether people want to go back Iraq or be part of the Iraqi Kurdistan Federal State.
Do Iraqis have no solutions ?
A while ago, I suggested that Iraqi bloggers should come up with a solution to be the model political system for Iraq. As Iraqis describe this issue "very sensitive", only one Iraqi blogger came up with a suggestion.
came to a very important question "What do Iraqis want ?" !!
This question is what Iraqis call "sensitive". Running away from this question has turned the 83 years of Iraq's history into a disaster for all. Not wanting to answer this question, will lead to another 83 years of terror !
It is only dialogue which makes us able to solve our problems. So let's solve it first !
Kurds want to vote on their "Self-determination-rights" since the creation of Iraq in 1921 ! Unfortunately, non of the Iraqi regimes were able to satisfy this demand. Therefore, the Iraqi state hasn't seen a single day of peace in its 83 years of history !
Is it too hard to let the Kurds have their "self-determination-rights" ? According to this poll by Hawlati,
%96 of people in Iraqi Kurdistan demand a "Kurdistan Federal State with Kirkuk as the capital"
within Iraq. %77 will go for independence if the Iraqi government failed to solve the Kurdish issue again.
Now people might ask "How would a land-lock region like Kurdistan survive among deadly enemies?" ! , to answer this question, we can look back at the 12 past years of history. Iraqi Kurdistan was in fact independent and it was surrounded by Turkey, (Iraq, Iran and Syria members of the axis-of-evil) !
Kurdistan turned into a modern, some-how "democratic", flourished state in the Middle East. (not to forget the UN sanctions on Iraq also included Kurdistan).
Back to the main subject, now the Kurdish political leadership have suggested a plan to solve the Kurdish issue. A Federal Kurdistan State (to include the areas of Kurdish majority with respect to minorities rights)
. (Note that this is not much different from what Saddam Hussein offered Kurds in 1970. Saddam offered Kurds some limited "self-autonomy" in the areas where Kurds are the majority but later he withdrew from his promises on Kirkuk)
There is this feeling now in Kurdistan... "Saddam and Baath were better. At least they were accepting that there is something called "Kurdistan". The editor of the Kurdish weekly, Hawlati
wrote yesterday "Until Baath was ruling, we were ruling a semi-independent de-facto state, now we can't have the same rights that we were enjoying during the Baath regime"..
I just wish we will be mistaken... but will we ?
It is been four days since my last post.. well ..I have been some kinda busy recently.. There was a huge demonstration
on Saturday in Sulaimani...Estimated 10,000-15,000 people participated in the event... Basically, they were calling for Kurdish self-determination rights through an independent Kurdistan. They demanded to live peacefully with their neighbours for ever.
Funnily, the Al-Jazeera biased Arabic channel mentioned the event as another demonstration for a "Federal Iraq" by Kurds.
Now what will happen if a Kurdistan state was announced ? It is not gonna be the end of the world. Kurds will not attack their neighbours. It is not like we have nuclear weapons or anything.. how can we threaten our neighbours who all have WMD ? (Iran, Syria and Turkey).
I think Iran and Syria are incapable of doing anything. They are not in a good position to invade another country (being on the US list of terrorist states ).
Everyone talks about Turkey, well ..I think Turkey can't do such a stupid mistake. One, because they are on the edge of becoming an EU member and being an EU member will not allow you to invade another country.
Two, if Turkey invades (Iraqi) Kurdistan, Kurdish nationalism will raise among the 20 Million Kurds north of the border. I think Turkey will be dragged into a mass guerilla war not just in Iraqi Kurdistan, but in the Kurdish areas which is known as (South East Turkey)..
Remember that the US (and against the Kurdish wishes) offered Turkey to invade Iraqi Kurdistan during the run-up for the Iraq war. In return, US expected a safe passage of its troops to Iraq. But the Turks refused so. I think their refusal was not because they don't like USA. But it was because they knew that if a Turkish troops enter Iraqi Kurdistan they will spark Kurdish nationalism in their own Kurdish populated areas. Leading to a mass uprising in both regions.
So I think the Turkish threats are not that serious. And if they are, there are people ready to die for the cause of their people's demand for self-determination-rights. People say, "What is life if you don't live freely?"
a march for independence
On 14 of Feb 2004, a march will be held in Sulaimani in order to establish an independent "South Kurdistan" government.
The participants will demand :
+ unification of both of the Kurdistan governments (PUK and KDP) as soon as possible.
+ hold a free democratic general elections to establish parliament and a cabinet government.
+ condemn terror
Apparently they want the South Kurdistan government to be observed by the UN and the CPA
for 10 years and afterwards they want to hold a referendum in the region to see if people still want to be independent or to be part of Iraq.
I think people have fed up with the slow progress in Kurdistan in 2003-2004. Now everything is linked to Baghdad, and since Baghdad is not functioning due to terror, etc etc everything has stopped...
when they make you lose your temper lol
This is a rare picture of the PUK
general secretary and a member of the Iraqi Govering Council, Jalal Talabani.
Apparently the non-Kurd members of the IGC made Talabani lose his temper by saying "Kirkuk is not part of Kurdistan".
Talabani became angry and brought out an ancient Ottoman map of the region where Iraq's borders were at Hamreen Mountain(Iraq was known as Basra and Baghdad Willayats (states) during the Ottoman ages).
some news from Kurdistan...
Here are some topics which were published in today's independent Kurdish weekly (Hawlati
+ A new version of federalism has been suggested by the Americans Admin Paul Bremer III. According to Hawlati, the Americans have proposed that the North Federal State (Kurdistan) would include Kirkuk, Sulaimani, Hawler (Erbil), Duhok, Mosul and Tikrit. Some Kurdish areas around Diyala will not be included in this state.
hmmmm..... The addition of Mosul and Tikrit will balance out the Kurdish majority in Kurdistan. Sounds very good to me !! but the paper says Bremer is still waiting for the replies of Barzani and Talabani.
+ Hawlati says that the suicide bombers who blew themselves up on 1st Feb 2004 in Hawler (Erbil) are an Arab, and a Kurd. The paper claims that the guy who blew himself up at 10.05 PUK office is called (AbuBakir Hawleri) and he is a Kurd from Hawler (Erbil). The other fella who blew himself up at the KDP office is called (Kathem Joburi) and he is an Arab. They both belong to the terrorist Islamic extremist group Ansar Al-Sunna which was formerly part of Ansar Al-Islam, a group linked to Al-Qaeda.
Hawlati is an independent Kurdish weekly and it is the most readable newspaper in Kurdistan. Most of their sources are trusted and they are known for their liberal criticism of KDP and PUK.
Iraqi Outkast !
while I enjoy reading your great comments.. I would like to put a smile on your face..
Watch the Iraqi version of outkast
! (probably most of you have seen it)
like the bits where it says (hide it, hide it, hide it like a Nuclear Bomb) lol
Which model for Iraq................
blogged on a very important issue on Saturday. "The Kurdish Question in Iraq". I quite liked his honesty. I am a great fan of him. used to read most of his blog during the war. While I am very sorry that he couldn't go to Sulaimani
during Eid but wish he could make it another time. It is worth it Salam trust me ;-)
Salam's confession is very true.. I have believed in what he just confessed for ages.. When I talk with Arab-Iraqis and ask them about the "Kurdish question" they say "hmmm yeah yeah federalism is very good".. I used to get this answer from everyone I talk to. But when I was reading message boards or watching TV programmes "They used to say the opposite.. "NO NO federalism will torn our Iraq apart etc etc.."
So I decided to send an email (with a different username obviously lol
) to one of my Arab Iraqi friends and said that I was interested in his discussions and asked him "to explain what federalism means and what the Kurds want".
He totally got it wrong. Federalism (which means union
) does not mean to torn Iraq apart. It means to unite Iraq. The reality is that some areas of Kurdistan were in fact independent from the rest of Iraq. We even had our own currency before 2004 ! So what the Kurdish political parties are now offering to the Iraqis is a project to re-unite Iraq.
There are also some Kurdish refusals of federalism among some Kurdish nationalists. They say that we don't need to be part of Iraq again. We have made it so far so great for 13 years and we should announce our independence. What is gonna happen ? Turkey on one hand can not intervene as they claim (being on the edge of becoming an EU member it can not invade another country). Iran and Syria are not in a very good position to give away any mistakes for a US-led invasion. The Americans do not want to turn their resting resorts (Kurdistan) into another Fallujah (just like William Safire says touch wood no US soldiers have been hurt in Kurdistan)
. In fact if 2-3 million Kurds turn up to the streets and demand independence no one can stop them. It is a very serious matter in fact.
So which models shall we use for Iraq ? Learning from the past, the British model with some small changes is the best for Iraq. If you ask a Scottish in Scotland what is your nationality, he/she will say "Scottish ey !"... If you ask the same guy the same question outside U.K he/she will say "British" !
The Scots, the Welsh, the Irish etc all enjoy their full rights within the British boundaries...There is no seat for Sctoland in the United Nation but there is a seat for Britain....Can't we use the successful British model for Iraq with some small changes i.e. monarchy etc ?!
In this way, we can actually make a Kurd say that "S/he a Kurd at home and an Iraqi abroad" without fearing prosecutions.
I hope that the Iraqi bloggers would give me their ideal model for Iraq. Let's all share and discuss our future peacefully! Please speak out... don't be just be nice..say what you want to say.. make some noise lol !
guess we have had too much headaches recently... here is some fun
Saddam Hussein (Left) digging a farm (as a poor young teen) with his stepdad's brother.
Guess he had fun earning 5 Fils (0.05 Dinar) a day !
how to finish off racism in a racist country like Iraq ...some Kurdish thoughts
The Iraqi governments used different ways and styles to control the people of Iraq... For a peaceful, democratic, federal Iraq, the CPA and the Iraqi government needs to format the brains of the Iraqi people first..
There are great haterous towards Kurds in Iraq. For example, this website (aliraqi.com)
has broken the records for banning Kurdish members. (hint: sign up with a nick (which includes Kurdistan word) and u will be banned before even sending a message. Look at the Banned List and see how many Americans and Kurds are banned).
The Iraqi governments used the same Nazi methods to create haterous and racism between the different ethnic groups (especially between Kurds and Arabs).
For example, the Nazis claimed that the Jews were capitalists and socialists just like their enemies and they decided to kill them all.
The Iraqi governments did the same. They accused Kurds of being close to Israelis and Iranians and this created haterous towards Kurds all over Iraq. This has created so much hate, that you see some people saying, "Saddam was not wrong in bombing Halabja with WMD".
Now how can we cure this? If you ask some (not generalising) Arabs in Iraq, what do you feel about Kurds? They pause, and then if they are being honest, they say, "Well they are agents of Israel and America". If they are being nice, they say, "They are good people".
Now this is the result of the former Iraqi media networks. The Iraqi governments and in order to change the public view in ignoring the Kurdish demands for self-determination rights, they were using these type of media wars to portray Kurds as their enemies by drawing lines to conclude that Kurds are agents of Israel and USA.
What I suggest for cure this racism disease, is to create positive images of all the ethnic groups. This role must be assigned to the Iraqi media network. The Arabs must be reminded that Kurds are not that negative as they think. At least, the only Muslim leader who managed to liberate their Palestine was a Kurd.
If positive images can't be found for Kurds/Arabs/Turkmens/Assyrians/Chaldeans Turkmens, perhaps the Kurdish/Arabic/Turkmen/Assyrian/Chaldean doctor who works across the street could be a positive image. The Kurdish/Arabic/Turkmen/Assyrian/Chaldean mother who brings up her children could be a positive image. The nurse, the teacher, the student, the engineer, the baker etc etc.
Positive signs of other ethnic groups should be shown to others in order to overcome the racism roots inside the different ethnic groups. Otherwise, a democratic, federal Iraq will be based on haterous and racism.
Some update on the double-suicide bombings in Hewler (Erbil)
The death toll has risen to 101.. Number of injuried is around 245.
I managed to find another photo of the moments before the suicide bombing (this one from the London-based Arabic daily Al-Shariq Al-Awsat) taken from KurdSat
According to this Debkafile
report, the Turkish Intelligence Services are behind the attack in an attempt to wipe out the entire Kurdish political and military leadership.
I can not confirm this (as most of Debka reports are wrong). I suspect Islamic fanatics.. probably Ansar Al-Shaytan (Islam) or Al-Qaeda. But hey, Turkish Intelligence services have been working in the area for long (undercover).
A photo of terrorist who blew himself up was released by the Kurdish police. He apparently looks like this :
Kurds and Israel
hmmm Zeyad from HealingIraq
has just blogged on a very important issue. The Kurds and Israel !!?
There were some reports mainly from the Turkish newspapers that Kurds are selling lands to Israel in Kurdistan (Northern Iraq) and Israel is paying Kurds to buy lands from Arabs and Turkmens around Kirkuk.
These lies and accusations of Kurdish-Israeli relations have sparked anger among Arab and Turkish nationalists on one hand, and among Islamic fanatics on the other hand..
Now let's come back to the Turkish-Israeli relations..The Turks who accuse Kurds of getting help from Israel are Israel's biggest ally in the Middle East. So why accuse Kurds of doing something that they(Turks) are proud of ?
Now to the Arab nationalists, Arabs were the first Muslim nation to recognise Israel and fly the Israeli flag on their lands...So why accuse Kurds of something they have done in the past, and they are doing at the moment ?
As a person with no state, I am fully with fact that Jews have the right to have a state as well as the Palestinians. Since Egypt, Jordan and some other Arab countries recognise Israel, I am fully with the fact that Kurdistan and Iraq must have peaceful relations with Israel.
There is a huge Iraqi and Kurdish minority in Israel. According to this site
the number of Kurds in Israel are estimated to be around 150 000.
God bless all human beings on this Earth !
Terror Unites Kurds
The terror attacks on Sunday have united Kurds world-wide. As far as I am aware from the Kurdish sattelite channel Medya TV
, the Mayor of the Kurdish town of DiyarBakir (Amed) in Turkey's Kurdistan (South East Turkey) has announced a three-day mourning for the victims in Hawler (Erbil).
The PUK's Kurdish sattelite channel, KurdSat
, released a video-tape showing the moment the suicide attack has happened. The footage shows a man from behind shaking hands with a Kurdish politician and then he blows himself up. Both the cameramans have lost their lives too.
Both of the main Kurdish political parties now feel that they are in danger. In order to overcome this, they go towards unity. The bombers and their masters wanted to detroy the stability in Kurdistan. Before the war, the Iraqi government wouldn't allow Arabs to visit Kurdistan. (Even some Kurds who were born in Baghdad couldn't visit Kurdistan). After the war, the borders were removed. Checkpoints were lifted and people started coming to Kurdistan (since it was calm and safe).
But now with this incident, people in Kurdistan feel that the Terror-cancer would spread to Kurdistan (and it actually has). For this reason, I think we gonna see a more isolated Kurdistan region from the rest of Iraq.
Border checks would be tightened. Security levels would be high. Suspicious people speaking regional languages might be arrested on the suspicion of terror etc etc.
I have managed to get a picture of the moment just before the suicide bomber blew himself. The picture was taken from KurdSat and it was published in the KDP's daily "Khabat".
Here it is.
The man on the left (his nose appears) is the suicide bomber.
Terror is something that we have to live with it nowadays.. The deadly suicide bombers who blew themselves up in (Hawler) Erbil on Sunday made everyone sad..
This is because many of those who killed were not even politicians.. In Kurdistan, we have this habit of visiting each others during Eid (Eve)...so anyone can go to anyone's house and he/she will be given sweets and juices....
At this Islamic event, these people who call themselves "Muslims", saw the opportunity to make others sad (just like they are sad themselves)...
So basically what happened, a group of Kurdish politicians were at their headquarters on the first day of Eve (Eid) to greet the well-wishers.. People usually come and ask for forgiveness...
The KDP and the PUK headquarters were full of well-wishers..Just normal ordinary people who are interested in socialising with politicians.... The first suicide bomber entered the KDP headquarter, disguised as a cleric figure (Mullah) and the moment the terrorist shook hands with the Erbil governer, he blew himself up killing some senior Kurdish politicians along with an estimated 67 innocents (numbers are expected to go up dramatically as many are very bad situations).. After 5 minutes, the second one blew himself up in the PUK headquarter a few miles away...
The senior politicians who were killed by this cowardic act are :
Erbil (Hawler) Governor Akram Mintik, Deputy Prime Minister Sami Abdul Rahman, Minister of Council of Ministers Affairs Shawkat Sheik Yazdin and Agriculture Minister Saad Abdullah.
These coward Al-Qaeda fugitives can't fight the Americans..They attack innocent civilians...
Until the day the world is cleaned from Al-Qaeda, have a good day all.
Thanks for your nice comments and god bless you all.