Kurdistan blogger. Blogging about life in Kurdistan.
Stayed in all day yesterday to watch Saddam's trial.
I think the trial is unfair - (not to Saddam, but to his victims) because :
1. The trial is not live. We get 30 minutes delay. Let's hear what the man has to say. Why he did that to us LIVE and without censors.
2. The trial video is edited and censored. This is not fair. So many people have died and so many mothers and fathers and orphans want to hear the facts. Why is the video censored and edited ?
3. All we get to see is Saddam being defiant, his aids crying for help....but nothing about facts...Saddam wanted to explain what he was doing in the video and he was stopped from doing so. Let's hear what the man has to say for fairness's sake.
Get paid up to $800 for blogging from Iraq/KurdistanSalam Pax, sent this to emigre :
Channel 4 Documentaries are making an Iraq season for the new year, and they're thinking of promoting the diary of an Iraqi on the website for a week. (This has nothing to do with Channel 4 News, they're just asking me as a favour to pass this on to Iraqis I know). They're willing to pay the blogger £500 for a 7 days worth of blogs (approx 1-200 words each).Please contact Ziad directly:Ziad.Al-Hasso@itn.co.ukI can't do. 7 days is just too long . Sometimes I post 5 posts a day sometimes 1 in 5 months .
Ideology change in Kurdistan
So remember all these hyper pro-independence minded opinions out of Kurdistan ? Well, there has been a very sharp obvious change in ideologies in Kurdistan, perhaps more important than that of Ariel Sharon's.
Currently, and especially after the end of the transitional period in Iraq following the approval of the Iraqi constitution, there have been more calls by Kurds for equality and democracy.
There are almost frequent protests by civil servants and students against the Kurdish governments...People are extremly angry at both parties... There are people out there talking about an uprising similar to that of 1991 which happened against the Iraqi army..
Talking of uprisings, actually there were 2 uprisings in two Kurdish cities against the Kurdish parties. One in September
against PUK and one in October against KDP.
Just last week, there were several students protests against PUK and KDP in both Arbil (Hawler) and Sulaymani.
Thankfully, international media have started picking up the stories and I was very happy to read this.
This is what the report started with"Iraqi Kurds complain of nepotism and power abuse. Just a small group of powerful officials benefits from the economic boom in the Kurdish region of Iraq. The regular citizens complain of nepotism and corruption. But the two parties have lost a lot of support among their population."
So this democratic "Other Iraq" and "Model for Iraq's future" is just being laughed at in Kurdistan. That day a Kurdish journalist was speaking on a Kurdish radio. He said "I hope Iraq will not be modelled on Kurdistan, because otherwise, we will have an ineffective parliament, corrupted leaders, and massive fraud and theft, and an angry poor nation".
To sum up, this is what a Kurdish newspaper published in its backpage last week. The change of the Kurdish dream. The dream of independence (on right) has changed to the dream of equality and democracy between Kurds themselves.
Iraq abuse claims...Both sides of the story
This week there have been some terrible news for those who still have hope of peace and democracy...I hope these were just a bad nightmare but unfortunately they are not...
1st....reports of using chemical weapons by the Americans in Fallujah and then reports of prisoners abuse and torture by the Iraqi government...
These reports destroy the hopes of the people of Iraq who still to build a democratic and peaceful system in a shattered land.The president of Kurdistan has condemned these acts
but the irony is that many in Kurdistan also beleive that the Kurdish authorities also carry out prisoners abuse. Especially those who get caught in terrorist activities....
This issue is very sensitive and I always try to avoid its discussions, because sometimes you get terrorists blowing themselves up and they get caught just before they do that...Now is it possible to torture this person in order to extract information taking into account that he was on a mission to kill and possibly seconds away from dying ?
I can not answer this question because I am not in the position of the authorities...But I take their point of view that they are desperate to stop the insurgency...So we better take both sides of the situation...
Another thing..I guarantee you that after these 2 reports, there will be a fierce attack by the anti-war movements...Well... this is their right and I also support their campaign for bringing better human rights for the people of the world, but wouldn't it have been nice if these people also raised their voice while we were being tortured and gassed by Saddam Hussein ?
In other developments, another blow
has hit the Kurdistan Alliance Movement (which is headed by the Iraqi President Jalal Talabani)...The Yezidi Kurds are now not very happy with the way they were treated by secular Kurds....They only had one candidate in the Iraqi National Assembly in January's elections (if you remember this was the guy who told the parliament not to say anything bad to The Devil because Yezidis regard Devil is something positive). Now they demand 5 seats instead of one...
On good articles this week, The Middle East's real bane: corruption by Michael Rubin
andKurds struggle for power, autonomy in Iraq by Anita Powell
are two different sides of the story from Kurdistan (1st one mainly on Middle East but Kurdistan also being discussed breifly)..
Iraqi Elections and Kurdistan
In the following days I will try to shed lights on the coming Iraqi elections which is exactly about 29 days from now.
This time, there will be no Kurdistan elections. Only Iraqi elections. This is because the Kurdistan elections in January was for 4 years (permanent government).
Well we have not yet seen this permanent government. There are still 2 Kurdish governments instead of one. This has angered many Kurds.
For this reason, many Kurds don't want to participate in the next Iraqi elections.
This will give a kick in the teeth for the Kurdish political parties, but political observers are not very worried about this.
This is what happened in the Iraqi Referendum on 15th of October 2005 :
"Kurds did not go to vote in masses, but the results said that turnout in Kurdistan was about 95%. Magic isn't ?
Nope it is not magic. The Kurdish political parties simply voted for us. They just sat there and filled out the ballots. Since the elections monitors were members of both parties, no violations were recorded.
This time, I am afraid the same thing will happen.
I have made my mind up and I will not participate in the elections. If you remember last year I initially said that I will not participate because the Iraqi government has not done much about Kirkuk. Then there was a decision that Kurdish refugees in Kirkuk would be allowed to vote and I changed my mind.
But this time it is different. My anger is not towards the Iraqi government, but the Kurdish government.
We feel like we have been cheated and fooled by our own Kurdish politicians. Therefore, as many Kurds have decided, I will not participate because :
1. Kurdish politicians need a kick in the mouth in order to come back to the people of Kurdistan.
2. This kick can best be achieved by not giving them any seats in Baghdad. Now they will try to use the "Nationalism" card and say that "Arabs will eat us if we didn't have enough seats in Baghdad", well, why we care about this ? You guys eat us in Kurdistan why should we care about you guys being eaten up in Baghdad ?
3. There are only two Kurdish groups : Kurdistan Alliance (PUK & KDP) and Islamic Union of Kurdistan. I am not interested in any of them.
4. Even though that I don't go to vote, I am sure that the folks at the Polling Station will fill in my name and register me as "Voted for Kurdistan Alliance".
5. This time the election system has changed. This means that if every single Kurd holding the Iraqi passport in this world vote for the Kurdish List, the number of the Kurdish seats in the parliament will be 40 t0 45. (New Shitte suggested system). So this is not like January.
So don't be surprised if Kurds were the opposition in the next parliament.
(p.s. check my other post in KBU about the American reactions towards the Kurdistan adverts
THE OTHER IRAQ
The Other Iraq Have you seen THE OTHER IRAQ ? (check out the videos, they are very cool with a funny nice Kurdish accent )
Why not visit it ? Direct flights from Europe to Kurdistan (no need to go through Baghdad).
I have been on a break for almost five months now. It just seems like yesterday when my last post was, but can you beleive it that it was almost 4 months ago ? (4 months and 4 days).
I have been very busy especially in the summer. My break was excellent, to be away from "thinking" is something everyone should do. I know we are told "think think think all the time" but to take a break from "thinking" is also essential too.
OK so what's happening in Kurdistan ?
Over the last 4 months, some very important developments.1st
The Iraqi Constitution gives the legal background to the Kurdistan regional government. And hence the name "Kurdistan" to be approved "legally" and "officially" in the world. For example, the US president and British PM welcomed the Kurdistan regional President as "The President of Kurdistan". Something which made our Turkish neighbour to go nuts especially on their satellite channels and newspapers.2nd
The "Independence" issue has somehow changed its directions. Now everyone accepts (well to be more accurate assumes) that Kurdistan is independent of Iraq. People are worried about Pan-Arab nationalism (especially after it was stated in the constitution that Iraq is part of the Arab League)
. People are now working for "democracy" for Kurdistan. Well, you might have heard from media reports that Kurdistan is already democratic. Rubbish
Corruption and unequality and not respecting laws by the two major Kurdish ruling parties have angered a lot of people. For example, in the last 2 months there have been several bloody
and peaceful protests
against the ruling Kurdish parties over the gas, electricity, and other services.3rd The Iraqi Constitution :
As you might have heard that Kurdistan had the highest turnout and people ran to the polling stations to vote. Again Rubbish
!! People estimated the number of those who went to vote as about 25-35% . This is because people are very angry at the two ruling Kurdish parties. But what can we do ? Both leaders of the parties are our presidents. 1st Iraqi President (Jalal Talabani = PUK) 2nd (Massoud Barzani = Kurdistan region President = KDP).
In fact if you ask anyone in Kurdistan about the results, they will tell you "the observers at the polling stations were part of KDP and PUK. They simply filled out the forms for those who did not attend".
It almost became a joke...I called someone asking him if he goes to vote or no on 15th of October..He told me "Oh the observer told our neighbour don't bother to waste your time. We will do it for the whole neighbourhood".
Many people did not like the fact that Iraq was stated as an Arabic country, and the fact that the issue of Kirkuk was postponed to 2008 (AGAIN !!!) and the right of self-determination was ignored (Kurdish leaders used it as a card against Arabs and did not respect the word of the people of Kurdistan).4th
This new TERROR
thing is very scary. It is not scary because we get bombed. We got bombed a few days ago (15 dead and 30 hurt). But now if you do anything against the Kurdish ruling parties, you will be accused of being a terrorist.
The Iraqi president said "Those who voted against the constitution are terrorists". (What the hell...Is this supposed to be democracy ? If I vote No or Yes it is my right and people should not call me a terrorist just because I disagree)...
On TV, a Kurdish Minister was speaking. A caller said "What have you done in your post apart from stealing money".
The Minister became angry and soon the caller was cut out. The Minister said "This is an example of a terrorist Kurd-hater. All these who speak against us are terrorists and facists and should be punished severly". (What the hell...If I disagree with the government, I am a terrorist. Welcome to democracy).
One day my friend was driving. He came across a road where there was a big land-cruiser (called Monica in Kurdistan) was parking in the middle of the street. He honred a few times but no reply. He came down and went to the driver. There was an armed man in front of the house. He talked to the armed person "Where is the driver of this car ?
Why is he parking in the middle of the road ?" The armed person looked like he was in a battlefield with all his bullets and AK47 and grenades. He said "My Sir is busy upstairs..."...My friend said "can you call him to move his car..we can't go through there"...the guard said "He told me not to disturb him. Now go away"...
My friend became angry and he said if you don't remove it I will remove his car myself...his guard smiled and said "Go away you terrorists before I call the other guards and beat you like you have never been beaten."
A man walking on the street said "The driver is the son of Kak ****** (name hidden to avoid troubles)
I advise you to go before he takes you to his dad's workplace and accuse you of being a terrorist..they beleive him but not you"...
Under the name of democracy and freedom, the Kurdish parties are having it their way. People are also angry about the Iraqi government. But the anger in the first place is towards the Kurdish parties which rule (KDP - PUK).
People say we have supported these two parties with our souls...Why now they are not building a democratic , equal, transparent, free system in which all of us could be treated equally ?
I guess this is it for this time of Re-turn. Until another "turn" best wishes from Kurdo.p.s. still have problems with my email account. Some emails have been deleted unfortunately because I did not check my email for while due to time shortage reasons