Kurdistan blogger. Blogging about life in Kurdistan.
There are rumours about the city council results and I am now working to confirm them then I will post them here. It seems that PUK
has won in Sulaimani and KDP
has won in Hawler and Duhok.
The Kurdish-Turkmen-Arab Brotherhood list of Kirkuk seems to have won the majority of the voters according to Hawlati
, a Kurdish newspaper.
Bush's blue finger
I received this via email.
There is an 11 year old girl in Montana that is trying to get all Americans to ink their finger in Support of Iraq. I doubt if it will get off the
ground but that is exactly how all of us feel.
So let's have a Blue Finger's Day for the support of democracy in the world !
(HELP....the blue has turned purple and then black and I don't know what next !)
Historic Day For Democracy
All these fingers are up for you terrorist, anti-democracy, pro-beheading, suicide-bombers, Baathiest, Saddamist and anti-peace people.
In Kurdistan and Iraq now, people check each others index finger, "Oh you have a normal finger ?!! How come it is not blue ?! You are NOT democratic at all"
Ironically, Al-Zarqawi, the head of the terrorists and co, means "The Blue", and the finger of every voter participated in this great event, is blue !
The FINGER of PRIDE !
A woman voting near Baghdad.
2 fingers for the terrorists.
Women at a polling station in Kurdistan. Women turnout was higher than men in some polling stations.
Barzani, the president of the Kurdistan Democratic Party also got his finger stained.
This is how you had to do it. That container doesn't have liqiud. It is something like cotton.
More women at another polling station in Kurdistan.
Oh no, how can you lead the democrats and have a normal finger ?! ch ch ch ch.....
Oh Mr. President even you ?! I can't beleive it....
That last 2 was just for humour purposes....
I will soon get some more photos for the elections...and I thank everyone who has sent an email and I will reply very soon you can just imagine how busy I was with the elections...We have to do it again in December
London Kurd blog
has voted in the Iraqi elections and posted some photos of the elections in the UK.
for the Kurdish Institute for Elections for more information about the tomorrow's elections.
Also check Dilnareen
, Xosh 7al
posts (photos) for more personal stories of the Iraqi voting system.
Curfew is in place now in Kurdistan and the organisers have arranged "Safe" buses to transfer passengers to the polling stations. All the streets are virtually empty of traffic and there are rumours that suspected cars will be shot at if they were spotted.
Scroll down of this weeks pre-election photos.
Watch KurdSat TV
online for live elections coverage (starts from 7 a.m Kurdistan time 4.00 GMT).
Tomorrow 30th January 2005 (for the historians to remember):
1. Iraqi Elections.
2. Kurdistani elections.
3. City Council Elections.
4. Referendum on Kurdistan (Unofficial)
Tomorrow will be a historic day in the Middle East and the whole world generally. I think the Iraqi elections are now as famous as the American elections back in November.
As usual, the recent few nights people have been rallying and celeberating in the streets until late. Here are some more photos.
Cars in Sulaimani at around 12 a.m. Usually this street at that time of the day has a low traffic.
Referendum on Kurdistan to take place tomorrow :
The group seeking a referendum on Kurdistan will hold a popular unofficial referendum in all Kurdistan in every single polling station. There will be some monitors from some NGO (Non-governmental organisations). This is how the card will look like :
It says "What do you choose?"
Kurdistan part of Iraq. (tick the box near Iraq flag)
An independent Kurdistan. (tick the box near Kurdistan flag)
Mostly all the buses have been covered with posters of the political parties. The buses are private. So the posters depend on the driver's political sense.
The elected mayor of Sulaimani. Qader Jan was elected in 2000 by a majority of more than %60. He is expecting another win. He is on the PUK
list. People like him because he has done very well in transforming Sulaimani city. This is during a press conference. The flag behind him is for the American City of Tuschon in which has signed partnership links with Sulaimani this summer.
Scroll down for more photos.
Campaigning for elections by Text-Messages (SMS)
A mobile telecomunications company called Korak Telecoms has sent thousands of text-messages (SMS) to its subscribers promoting the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) (List 296) for the Sulaimani, Duhok and Erbil Council elections.
Mobile users have received text-messages saying "Vote for the No. 296 List in the Council elections for Sulaimani, Erbil, and Duhok".
Last night was mad
People until 1-2 a.m were in the streets shouting and chanting slogans in favour of their parties. This photo is taken from one of the Kurdish newspapers. The Council elections is where people are doing the competition. List number 109 (PUK list) and list number 296 (KDP) list are racing against each other.
Torn posters ! Very common in the mornings !
Elections Campaign officially stopped as for today.
Celeberation for the Elections in the Snow !
It has been a few nights when everyone goes out at night celeberating the elections campaign in the freezing cold.
Snow has been falling in the recent days in some parts of Kurdistan but despite that people are happy for the elections coming up.
Here are the photos :
Snow in the Azmar mountains
Vehicles like this are being used with loud speakers in the elections campaign.
Cars with elections posters and loud speakers.
One of them crazy pre-election nights. Drive the way you want.
After the snow fall, many ran to the mountains to snow-fight !
Tight security !
Decorated buses !
the Sulaimani Public Park.
Another No-to-traffic polices night !
Heavy snow in some parts of Kurdistan (This is Penjwin near the Iranian boarder).
Turkmen Front Party also prepares for the elections.
Even more photos to come soon !
American blogs about elections on BBC in Kurdistan.
Susan Raymond. It says that her location is near Kirkuk. I think I know where is that precisely. But for security reasons BBC might not be giving the exact location.
Enjoy her post :
As a foreigner living and working in northern Iraq, I am able to observe
some of the election activity up close. Some of the time, since I'm so busy
with my work, you forget what a historic occasion it is. As far as safety
and security go, everyone is aware of the possibility of terrorist attacks.
But this area of the country has been very safe due to both the supportive
attitude of most Kurds and the experienced, active local security forces.
Most people in my city don't seem too worried, though the expats in my
organisation are going to take some extra security precautions. We have
heard that car traffic is going to be pretty much shut down on election day,
but rumours the mobile phone service will be suspended in order to prevent
bad guys from using it to plan attacks is probably just that - a rumour.
Even if it does go down, it won't make a huge difference, since half the
time the system is too busy to get calls through easily.
Lately the streets have had more of a party atmosphere, with cars going around bearing Kurdish flags or the flags of the political parties.
Trucks mounted with loudspeakers have been touring the neighbourhoods and
blaring election messages and songs. I joked with local friends that I had been
planning to vote for the one of the major parties, but since they caused a
traffic jam and delayed my journey, I changed my mind. (Of course, not being
Iraqi, I can't vote.) The local television station has also been full of ads and
programmes about the election.
I have heard that Iraqis in general have to travel to whatever town they are registered in, in order to vote. Some aren't willing or able to go to the trouble to do this. Some are cynical and think the two main opposing political parties in the north of Iraq will end up shooting each other again, like they did in the early to mid-1990s. But I think a lot of people in northern Iraq will vote, because they want to do what they can to ensure Kurdish rights and their semi-independence in Iraq's
future. As they say in Kurdish, they will "give their voice.
A mixture of Eve (Eid - Jezhn) and snow and elections has given the best partying time for some people in Kurdistan. I am sorry that those further south don't enjoy this.
Some posters from the Kurdistani elections
Some posters of the united list of the KDP-PUK and Co. (Kurdistan National Democratic Alliance) running for the Kurdistan parliament.
This poster says"Installing the federalism system in Iraq's permenant constitution based on a voluntary union (means between Kurdistan and Iraq)."
My comments"Well that is if the Arabs agree with it. "
This poster says"Uniting both the Kurdistan administrations and protecting Kurdistan people's achievements. "
My comments"Since Clinton forced you to stop fighting each other in 1998 you promise to unite your administrations. Get real. "
This poster says"Increasing the salaries of the govermnetal staff."
My comments"Do you mean your own salaries ?!"
This poster says"Each young man will get married to a girl like this. (Jokes) "
No, it says "Giving more attention to youth and increasing women's participation in the society.
My comments"Just 2 weeks ago your security forces fired on a peaceful student's demo in Sulaimani. Is that how you give them attention ?!
This poster says"Legalising Turkomans, Assyrians, Chaldeans full political and cultural and ethnical rights "
My comments"I loved this one."
Even more posters and photos are coming soon. I don't want to flood the blog with posters. But only 4 days are left for the big day.
P.S. If any of the Kurdish readers or bloggers have enough time they can translate Asos Hardi's column in Hawlati's newspaper in which he gives a very good discription of the elections in Kurdistan. He says "In Iraq, I will vote for the KDP-PUK list, but in Kurdistan, there is no way I would vote for them". Column in Kurdish is here.
F.A.Q Elections !
1) Why did you change your mind about participating in the elections ?
After allowing about 100,000 Kurdish refugees to participate in the Kirkuk elections, and seeing these letters from the US ambassidor in Iraq and Ayad Allawi giving their guarantees for a peaceful solution for the Kirkuk issue , I decided to participate.
2) Are you voting for Hungary in the Iraqi elections ?!
(the poster on the right hand with number 173 on it)
There are a lot of Hungry parties in Kurdistan and Iraq but no that is the Kurdistan flag without the Sun. The Iraqi Elections Committee didn't allow the Kurdistan flag to be used as symbols in the elections for some uknown reasons. That is why they ended up with a flag similar to Hungary.
3) What is the funniest thing you have heard about the Iraqi elections !?
Some Faili Kurds (Shia Kurds) saying that if they don't vote for Sistani's list they are going to hell. Vote Sistani or enjoy the grill !
* More posters to come soon.
This poster by the Al-Sistani blessed Iraqi Alliance List has 2 photos of Allawi (current PM) and Shalaan (current Defence Minister and dubbed Sahaaf Number 2) says :
The Baath is returning...Are you going to allow it ?! Your vote is able to stop them. Don't hesitate to give your vote to who they deserve.
Note: Both Allawi & Shalaan were ex-Baathiest members of Saddam's Baath Party.
Al-Sistani has said "Voting is a religious duty.
And even more photos of the Iraqi elections in UK by Rawaz Hiwa
I will be posting more elections posters soon. Check some of them in my previous post.
Yad has a very interesting story of a Kurdish family returning to Sulaimani this month after spending 20 years in Baghdad.
"The Iraqis are between tow choices now, one they have to determine their future, the other they have to protect their life, both of them are important but if you were an Iraqi which one would you prefer?...... "
Post a reply on his blog.
While Simko asks "Who rules Iraq" ?
a co-blogger at KBU is back with an interesting but rather hard to understand from a non-Kurdish view at KBU.
is sharing his experience for registering to vote in the Iraqi elections.
Good work bloggers. We are covering up the elections more than any other Kurdish and Iraqi news media outlets.
Some photos of the Iraqi and Kurdistani elections
The 8000 years old castle of Arbil (Hawler) has two posters of the Kurdistani Alliance List (coalition of the two Kurdish ruling parties plus some other sattelite Kurdish, Islamic, Turkmen Chaldean , and Assyrian parties).
Hawlati, Kurdistan's most popular weekly newspaper has an advert for the Independents & Toilers list (number 173 for the Kurdistani elections).
This is another advert published in Hawlati newspaper says :
*Through a referendum, the people of Kurdistan freely must decide on their future.
*The Kurdistan parliament has total authority. It must has its own independent power and decisions.
*The return of Kirkuk and Khanaqeen and other Arabised Kurdish cities to Kurdistan's adminstrations.
*Annual budget for Kurdistan must be shared fairly.
*Support for a free market and foriegn investments in Kurdistan.
*Support youth and women's roles in politics and power sharing.
*Supoprt women's full rights in all legal documents.
*Equal opportunity for everyone. Rules for jobs must be assigned and support must be given for thouse who can't work.
At the bottom it says in bold :
Your vote for this list, is a vote for the independence of Kurdistan and the end of corruption.
A poster of Ayad Allawi's Iraqi Coalition List is torn up in Baghdad and a banner for the Kurdistani Alliance List is replacing it, in the run up for Sunday's first free Iraqi elections. The poster says "Kirkuk is the diamond of Kurdistan and it is the city of brotherhood".
Newand, another Kurdish newspaper supports the Independents & Toilers list for the Kurdistani elections on its main page.
Allahu Akbar ?!
Two innocents are being beheaded by Zarqawi's group in public, infront of a few open shops in an uknown location in Iraq.
(NOTE : WATCH AT YOUR OWN RISK)Victim one
seems to resist a bit, and victim two
seems to be breathless when they are beheaded.
The terrorists shout "Allahu Akbar" when they kill these people. In what religion God says "Say my name when you kill innocents" ?!!
Or those suicide bombers who killed the innocents in the wedding party yesterday, do they really expect to go to Heaven after killing 20 or so innocents ?!
What makes someone beleive that if he kills innocent he goes to heaven and how long does it take to brainwash an idiot ?!
Iraqi President defends Anfal genocide leader
Three wife-d Iraqi President Ghazi Al-Yawar defends Sultan Hashem, the leader of the Iraqi Army in the genocide operations nicknamed "Anfal" (Spoils of War). Anfal was carried out by the former Iraqi government and anything "Kurdish" was meant to be destroyed in the 1980s. Around 5000 Kurdish villages were destroyed and estimated 200 000 Kurds were killed.
The Iraqi government carried this out in public and the Iraqi newspapers at that time were publishing their crimes in their newspapers.
In this newspaper (Al-Thaora number 6508, of 20/03/1988
), Sultan Hashem says "From General Sultan Hashim Ahmad, the chief of Anfal Operation"
Sultan Hashim admits that he IS the leader of Anfal.
Look at what Ghazi Yawar says to Al-Arabiya
" personally , I personally, I will work very hard to get him (Sultan Hashem) released because there are no evidents to show that he is a criminal until now. Sultan Hashem was a professional military man and he was being respected by Iraqis".
So Mr. Al-Yawar, you think that a genocide scaled operation like "Anfal" is not a crime, what you think is a crime ?!
A referendum for freedom maybe ?!
Things like that keep Kurds away from "Iraq".
Polls show PUK will win in Sulaimani
A poll carried out by the Kudish weekly (Hawlati
) shows that the PUK
which already controlls Sulaimani , will win the majority of votes for the Sulaimani Council. (Different from Iraqi and Kurdistani parliaments elections).
The poll showed that PUK might get %37 of the votes while its rival KDP might only get %6 of the votes.
Sulaimani has been a PUK stronghold since the begining of the 1990s.
Remember that people will vote for the "Council members" based on the services that these people will get from them.
In 2000, PUK won the majority of votes in Sulaimani with more than %60. KDP didn't participate in that elections.
Simko has a weird formula here
, try if you can solve it.
that during the "Eve of Sacrifice" there is no electricity and water.
Everyone talks about "Elections"
London's Kurd blog
is talking about his/her experience in trying to register and a somehow a funny story of a clash between pro and anti elections in London with photos.
has another interesting story to tell.
Got more interesting elections stories ? Share it in the comments.
Oh and Happy Jezhni Qurban (Happy Eid)
Iraq The Model is a Model not a fake
I just want to add my comments to a report by BBC
regarding theories by Anti-War people that the great Iraqi blog is CIA-funded.
Iraq The Model
is currently the best Iraqi if not Middle Eastern blog. I also support Mohammad, Ali and Omar's efforts to boost out postive views from Iraq.
People see negative things all the time on the news. In fact, most people might think that all Iraqis are masked men with AK47s and RPGs eager to cut off "infidels" heads.
Is that what the anti-war people want Iraq The Model be ?!
2 very interesting reports
My favourite editor Asos Hardi (Hawlati newspaper) is giving his views on the elections here
, (a report from Sulaimani), and another report from the capital of the Kurdistan government (Hawler aka Arbil) here :
But Kurds face an uncertain future. Many in Arbil fear an Arab-dominated government in Baghdad will curtail the freedoms they achieved after decades of oppression.
Vote 'Em Out
To all those who think to participate in the coming elections, and to those who think that they will boyocott it, please consider reading the following paragraph and use your judgemental skills to understand its concerns.
I , as many other angry ordinary Kurdish people decided before not to vote. Following a few discussions with friends, I came to the conclusion that without me voting, the elections will go through, this is because a "boyocott plan" has not been put by the Kurdistani people. So I decided to participate.
So to those who live in Kurdistan, and to those who live abroad, you have a chance to "Vote Out" unjustice, single-party ruling and fake democracy.
So instead of boyocotting the elections, boyocott the "Kurdistani Alliance List"
(made up of PUK, KDP, and a few pro-PUK & KDP parties).
You may say "If I don't vote, nothing changes". But if you gather all these "single" votes you end up with thousands of votes. So every vote counts.
Go to the polls ! And vote for any other party apart from the Kurdistani Alliance List.
Don't let the parties which ignited a civil war and later blamed it on all of us dominate the Kurdistan Parliament again.
Don't let the parties which once invited Saddam Hussein back to Kurdistan and later invited Turkey & Iran in their disgusting civil war to rule us again once more.
Don't let the people who only care about personal interests to rule us anymore.
Vote for the Independents & The Taylors (List number 173 for the Kurdistan Parliament).
The Kurdistan Independents & Taylors list programme is here in Kurdish, I will soon translate it to English
Kurdish participation in the elections will be higher
More Kurds are expected to participate in the upcoming elections after 170,000 refugees in Kirkuk were let to vote.
The Election Committee has extended registering voters in Kirkuk until 25th of January 2005. Hence allowing more returning Kurdish refugees estimated to be 145,000 to be participating in the elections.
Before this stage, the number Arab voters in Kirkuk were higher than the number of Kurds. The Kurdish political parties have also announced that they will participate in the Kirkuk elections.
Also other good news :
Two former members of Saddam Hussein’s toppled party, the Baath Pary, voluntarily withdrew from participating in elections, Weekly Medyia reports. Namiq Reqib Surci and Jewko Muhammad Kelhi, both enlisted on the Kurdistan Alliance ballot ticket, said that they will not participate in provincial elections in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.
I will publish the programme of the people that I vote for in the coming days.
Some mad news from Kurdistan before the elections
A house of 6 bed rooms (1000 meter square) costs $2,000,000 in central Sulaimani
in Kurdistan. $2 Million ! That is mad. Sulaimani is currently the most expensive city in Kurdistan and also in Iraq. A kilo of meat costs between $3.5 to 5. A plain land of (200 meters square) in the outskirts of Sulaimani near the newly built Sulaimani Airport costs around $20,000 to $30,000 !
It is not like Sulaimani is a European capital or anything. But I think the stability of the region and the mass influx of money from companies and from the Kurds who live in Europe have resulted in this massive increase in prices.
Before the war, that house that I mentioned was for $100,000 and a kilo of meat was for $1.
On the last day of last year (2004), Santa Claus beat up a few kids in Kirkuk. Santa was there to give out presents. Then kids attacked him for presents from all sides. He started kicking kids to teach them to be more dicipline. When a Kurdish newspaper's reporter asked him why he is doing so, because Santa is supposed to be loving kids not harming them he said "These kids are new to democracy, force must be used to show them the correct path".
Kurdistan Democratic Solution Party
I will try to cover most of the Kurdish parties that are participating in the elections. The Kurdistan Democratic Solution Party is entering both the Kurdistani and the Iraqi elections by a seperate list.
This party was established in March 2002 and it was headed by a Kurdistan Parliament MP. There are speculations that this party is the Iraqi Kurdistan wing of the Kongra-Gel (PKK). Their slogan is to find a democratic peaceful solution for the Kurdish issue in the Middle East.
They support a federal democratic multi-ethnic civil Iraq. (A Kurdistan federal state within Iraq).
Here are their logos :
A photo of the Kurdish refugees in Kirkuk, Will they ever be allowed to return home ?!
Iraqi & Kurdistani Elections Coverage.
The political parties have started campaigning for the elections. In Kurdistan, on 31st of January 2005, the people of Kurdistan (except Kirkuk) will go to polls to vote for :
1. Iraqi Parliament (Iraqi National Assembly)
2. Kurdistani Parliament (Kurdistan National Assembly)
3. City councils.
4. Kurdistan Referendum (Unofficial referendum conducted by The Referendum Movement to determine whether the people of Kurdistan want to stay within Iraq or no).
Now on the Iraqi level, I see some correlations between the recent Palestinian elections, and the Iraqi elections.
The photo of Yasser Arafat, was enough to give the majority of votes to Mahmoud Abbas.
In Iraq, the photo of grand Ayatollah Al-Sistani, is enough to give the Iraqi List (backed and blessed by Al-Sistani) the majority of votes. (photo at the end).
The Kurdistani Alliance List, is composed of (the 2 Kurdish ruling party, the Islamicists, some Assyrian & Chaldean parties, some Turkmen parties, and a few other small Kurdish parties, as well as independent Arab intellectuals).
For the Iraqi Parliament, I think I will vote for this list. People don't care which party they will vote for as long as they are Kurdish in the Iraqi elections.
Now to the Kurdistani Parliament elections, The same "Kurdistani Alliance List" is called "Kurdistnai Patriotic Democratic List", is composed of the same groups that I mentioned above. (Basically all the ruling parties have united).
They have a special website for the elections in Kurdish, Turkmeni, Arabic and Syriani (Assyrian & Chaldeans language). http://www.helbijardin.com/
(Helbijardin = Elections)
Many people in Kurdistan are fed up with the KDP & the PUK's policies. They think that these people are just getting rich on our benefits. For example, members of the ruling parties enjoy electricity sometimes 24/7. While ordinary people are just getting a few hours.
Many of the middle-class people will like to vote against these parties. There are 2 independent groups. One, called (The Independents & the Zahmatkeshan, a party not very happy with KDP & PUK ) , and another group of so called "independents". As well as the communists, and a few other small groups.
In the Kurdistani elections, I will vote for "The Independents & Zahmatkeshan". I tried to find this group's website on the internet but I couldn't. I found one of their candidates speeches at a Kurdish site. Dr Rebwar Fatah: Candidate for Independents & Zahmatkeshan.
Let's see if we can do something "democratically" this time. I hope that the PUK & KDP will lose in the Kurdistani elections, and I hope that Kurds will get the maximum votes in the Iraqi elections.
Some election news:
+ In Kirkuk, 170 000 will be allowed to vote, of those 145,000 returning Kurdish refugees. They have 5 days between 15-20 of January to register themselves. (published in Peyamner.com and KDP's Khabat official daily.)
Posters of the Political parties:
Kurdistan Alliance List :
Iraqi elections logo:
Kurdistan elections logo:
Iraq's Alliance List :
Euphoria is over, let the hangover begins
Just after April 2003, euphoria started all over Kurdistan. After 80 years of wait, we thought that is it. We are in charge of ourselves for the first time.
At that time, I read a "Reuters" report qouting a western diplomat as saying "The Kurds are now in euphoria, when they wake up tomorrow and see the political dilemmas, that is when their hangover starts".
At that time, I thought this "Western Diplomat" might be a "Turkish diplomat" and God knows how sad he is. But after almost 2 years, I think he was right.
Just weeks before the elections, I think now is when the hangover starts. The Kurdish people are now in the hangover period, and only God knows how much they have drank the night before.
Hangover is here
, and here
, and here
, and here
. and this
A number of new Kurdish blogs :
Kurdish Point of View by Swara
Blender by Chia
Ups & downs of a London Kurd
Also, check Simko
for their updates on the elections.
Elections, Bombing Kurds, and the American policy in Iraq
I received some emails telling me to express my opinions regarding the latest series of US attacks on Erbil (Hawler) and the Kurdish villages around Kirkuk.
First, many in Kurdistan think that the Americans, have not returned the true alliance that they were given by the Kurds.
Soon after the Kurdish forces liberated Kirkuk & Mosul in April 2003, the US government said "That is it, your help is not needed anymore, withdraw now".
Jubilant "liberated ?!!" Kurdish refugees started returning back to Kirkuk, and to represent their joys, they were flying Kurdistan flags all over the streets. In May 2003, the US foces main task in Kirkuk was to collect all the Kurdistan flags and burn them. This task is still in operation in Kirkuk, until recently
they removed another one. (We have now painted back the flag they removed in December 2004).
It seems that the series of US attacks on Kurds are somehow coordinated. I do not have enough evidence to blame it on the US policy, but there are possibilities that the people who give these intelligence to the US forces might be Baathists Zarqawists. And this is of great danger, it shows that US is no longer in control of anything in Iraq, even the intelligence.
To me, this is how it seems, you punch someone in the eye, and you say "Oh sorry did that hurt ?! I am so sorry"...Then you punch him again in the other eye, and say "Oh my God I really didn't mean that...." WHat about this (Punch him in the mouth this time).
This is how the American attacks seem to most Kurds. (Oh sorry did it really hurt, what about this ....).
Not to hide the fact, that USA have stated clearly that they oppose the return of Kirkuk to Kurdistan's borders. Hence, approving Saddam Hussein's Arabisation campaign. (Arabisation, is the process in which hundreds of thousands of Kurds were displaced from their homes in Kirkuk and surrounding villages. Saddam Hussein, is not standing trial for this crime. Arabisation, is not a crime according to the Iraqi government and according to the US government as well.)
The political parties in Kurdistan have started rallying for the elections. I am now considering voting as well. A few friends and families have persuaded me to vote. I will tell you soon who I will vote for.
Posters can be seen everywhere, TV statoins have started broadcasting election propagandas. (I will soon post some of their posts and propagandas).
Another US attack on Kurds in just 2 days
Last night US helicopters backed up by Iraqi National Guards and US Marines attacked Dar Jeel village near Kirkuk, reported Kurdistan TV.
Several Kurds were injuried and one man was killed in the attack. The US Marines as usual captured several innocents, according to Kurdistan TV.
The villagers were very angry at the US attack because they said their zone is outside the terrorists zone. One woman said "They come to bomb us blindly at 12 midnight, even the Baathists weren't doing that".
The Kurdistan TV reporter said "This is the second time they (didn't say US) attack their main allies in Iraq".
From the interviews everyone was very irritated of the random attacks. The Kurdistan TV reporter said that the people of the village are trying to organise a large response (didn't say if peaceful or not). The reporter continued to say that "They (again didn't say who) are trying to disturb the peace and stability of Kurdistan".
that 6 Kurds were captured in the attack. The killed man was named as "Ahmed Radha Shakir, 38 years of age".
Dar Jeel village's original inhabitants were forced to leave during the Arabisation campaign conducted by the former Iraqi regime (1960s-2003). They returned to their homes after April 2003.
Ham apologised ...
Mr. Ham, the US commander in Mosul, gave his apologies on behalf of the Coalition Forces in the region stressing that the incident was not planned in advance and that a student house came under fire by mistake.
General Ham also expressed his gratitude towards the Kurdish forces who the General praised for not letting the incident escalate and restored control rapidly.
He stressed that there are certain groups who want to create divisions between the Irbil (Hawler) people and the coalition forces.
US forces attack innocents in Irbil (Hawler), current capital of Kurdistan
Irbil Castle: One of the world's oldest continually settled towns, it has been continuously inhabited for about 8000 years (GlobalSecurity.Org)
The photos of the Barbaric US attack on peaceful Hawler (Irbil)
Last night at around 12 a.m. local time, a group of US soldiers backed up by US helicopters and fighter jets, attacked "Saydawa" district in Irbil (Hawler).
The US forces claimed that a house has sheltered some terrorists. When they entered the house, they couldn't find no one there.
On going out, the US forces blindly fired the civilians in that district. A woman travelling home in a taxi was injuried.
Then the US forces attacked the Halls of Residents in the Saladdin University, they set fire to the place injurying 4 other innocent students preparing for their mid-term exams.
The Interium Ministry of the Kurdistan Regional Government has denounced the attack saying that the US forces could have worked with the Kurdistan police forces. If the US forces would have co-worked with the Kurdish police they wouldn't injury innocents.
Kurdistan TV interviewed several locals and this is what they said :
"If the US attacks us with no reason, then what was the difference between them and Saddam ?"
"We were asleep, suddenly shooting started out of the no where, all the children were waken up by the explosion sounds".
I think this was a stupid unnecessary job. Kurdistan enjoys a high level of peace and prosperity comparing to the rest of Iraq.
Logically, when you want to capture someone, you don't take your whole army there. No need for helicopters, no need for fighter jets. We have police forces who speak the local language. You contact the local police, and you send a 5-6 of your guys, you go to that address and find who you want.
It seems that the US commander in Iraq is a military man who doesn't speak the language of politics and "winning hearts and minds".
I think that the US military are very good in losing "Hearts & Minds". So last night, many hearts and minds were lost in a place known until last night as a "pro-US area".
click here for mapHawler is the largest Kurdish city which hosts the Kurdistan parliament and the KDP-Kurdistan Regional government. It is the current capital of the Kurdistan Regional Government with a population of around 2 Million people.
30th January 2005, Iraqi or American elections ?!
I just read from different sources that most of the political parties participating in the elections on 30th of January have not released their candidate list due to security concerns. (except Kurdistan and some Shia parties).
Everyday 100s of Iraqis are being killed in different places. The United Nation observers are not coming to Iraq to observe the elections because of the secuirty conditions.
The Iraqis are not feeling safe enough to go out and vote. There are threats of blowing up "Election Polls". There are threats of killing candidates.
Yet we see the American government insisting of forcing Iraqis to go to polls to vote for uknown candidates.
I just wondered, is this going to be an Iraqi or American elections ?! If Iraqis don't know who they will vote for, if they don't feel safe to go to polls, how can they participate in an elections ?
As a Kurdish politician said once, "Americans like fast things, fast food, fast music, supersonic flights, and fast elections". But unfortunately, "Fast democracy" will not prevail. Democracy needs time, it can't be rushed.
Before any elections, there are pre-election preparations, where candidates compete between each other. They release their plans, they say vote for us we do that and that.
But in Iraq, candidates are unknown, their plans are unknown, yet the Americans insist of going to polls and voting for uknown candidates.
Democracy can not be rushed, and this elections need to be postponed until we are ready enough to feel safe enough to go to vote.
Not just "Turtles", we can also fly
Beleive it or not, turtles can fly, and so the people of Kurdistan. Strange world eih ?!
I can't remember the last time I saw a turtle, I guess it wasn't flying too. After the 2003 war, work on two airports began in Kurdistan. The first one which has officially started working is called "Hawler International Airport".
. The second one which will start working is called "Sulaimani International Airport" will open on 15th of February 2005. Finally, we can fly. The first direct flight from Kurdistan to outside world has taken place a couple of days ago from Hawler (Erbil) to Jeddah (in Saudi Arabia) to transfer the Hajis
(pilgrimagers) from Kurdistan to Saudi Arabia. (see photo).
Also, the Kurdish movie, "Turtles can fly
" has been nominated to THE OSCARS 2005. This is the first time a Kurdish movie is entering this great international event. The movie has won several global awards in 2004.
The actors are not super-famous people, just ordinary children. A great movie to watch.
Haajis leaving for Saudi from Hawler International Airport.