Interviews

Gallery

Latest News.

Latest Iraq News, Pictures and Videos | Mail Online

Reuters News

 

 

 

Laurie Mylroie

WASHINGTON DC, United States (Kurdistan24) – Condoleezza Rice, former US Secretary of State and National Security Advisor to President George W. Bush, speaks highly of the Kurds in her new book, Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom.

Most notably, Rice suggests the Kurds have shown themselves to be more effective and skillful at self-government than the rest of the Iraqi population.

As a people, [the Kurds] had long suffered discrimination and persecution at the hands of Arabs and Turks,” she writes.

They dreamed of an independent Kurdistan and “were closest to realizing that desire in Iraq,” Rice continues.

The Kurdistan Region became a self-governing entity within Iraq following the 1991 Gulf War.

In 2003, after Baghdad fell and Saddam Hussein was toppled, it was evident the Kurds had used the previous 12 years very effectively.

The Kurdistan Region “functioned efficiently” and “the infrastructure was far superior to much of Iraq’s,” the former US Secretary of State adds.

Additionally, Rice says, “The Kurds were by far the most competent and coherent group in post-Saddam Iraq.” However, the “very competence” of the Kurds “made the politics of the country more complicated.”

Why should the competence of the Kurds cause problems for Iraq?

Generally speaking, a lack of skills in developing countries is the source of problems, and the US makes a considerable effort to ameliorate those problems through capacity-building programs.

Kurdish competence caused complications in Iraq, because of the “one-Iraq” policy to which the US and other powers adhered.

The international community was united in the view that Iraq had to be a single, unified state,” Rice states.

Preserving the unity of Iraq meant subordinating the more competent party, Erbil, to the less competent party, Baghdad.

However, in her book, of which she began to conceive four years ago, Rice refers to the period before 2014 and the major changes the fight against the Islamic State (IS) and its brutalities have wrought in the region.

Speaking on Friday at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, Rice offered a somewhat different perspective.

She affirmed that Iraq, with US help, would soon defeat IS, but the question would then be understanding what form the country of Iraq had assumed.

She noted the Kurds would likely have new demands, regarding greater autonomy or even independence. Iran will have substantial influence in the south, while Sunni alienation from the government in Baghdad will continue.

Rice, thus, suggested it will be difficult to reconstitute Iraq and its political institutions, as they now exist.

So why bother? Kurds and their friends might well suggest the difficulty of reconstituting Iraq in and of itself makes a strong argument for Kurdish independence.

After all, why should a political entity that is more successful at self-government be subordinated to a larger entity that is less successful and which can only be put back together with considerable effort? If that can be done at all?

Rice also made some interesting points about Operation Iraqi Freedom, which remains controversial to this day in the US and elsewhere.

Indeed, the current US president Donald Trump has called it a mistake, as did his predecessor.

Rice explained the war was motivated by security concerns, and it was not a decision simply to spread democracy.

She said Hussein had been a threat to the region and the Bush administration believed he had rebuilt his proscribed weapons of mass destruction. That was the basic reason for the decision to oust him.

Once that decision was made, the question became what should replace Hussein, and Bush decided on democracy.

However, as Rice’s book reveals, some senior officials, including Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, argued the US should simply “install another strongman” to replace Hussein.

 

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany

Source link:

http://www.kurdistan24.net/en/news/d961af9b-b87a-4cfb-aa1a-dcd230dfc7aa/Condoleezza-Rice--Kurds-most-competent--coherent-group-in-Iraq

 

 

By Arian Mufid:Yazidi women

The night of 2nd-3rd August was one we should have anticipated: when the Kurdish nation suffered at the hands of people who have the same roots as the perpetrators of the Anfal of 1988, which was comparable to the Jewish Holocaust. On that dreadful, recent night when the Islamic State (IS) attacked Sinjar, no one knew they would come to the town so quickly and dramatically. Many people managed to flee but some did not. Some citizens of Sinjar, many of them women and children, were trapped by the criminal thugs of IS. Now the story of the tragedy of three sisters has come to light. Like hundreds of other Yazidi Kurdish woman caught by IS, they were raped. Later they managed to escape to Sinjar mountain to join their mother and father. The three sisters were traumatised. They asked people to kill them. When this was refused, they ended their lives by hurling themselves off the mountain.

 

IS has auctioned for sale more than 500 women in the market of Mosul. While they revel in the degradation of women, traditionally in Kurdish society women have been highly valued as the backbone of our families. The historian Charles Townshend (1) has written about our more tolerant traditions. ”In religious terms they were also diverse – some were Christians, some Yazidis and a few Jews – though they were overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim”. He judged the ordinary Muslim Kurds as “by no means fanatical’, and writes: “they treated their womenfolk with much more respect than do most Mohammedan races”.

These genocidal and barbaric crimes by IS forces mirror those of other gangsters and terrorist groups; they reflect other atrocities against women around the world. These poor Yazidi Kurdish women who threw themselves from Sinjar Mountain have conveyed the tragedy, sorrow, trauma and pain of too many woman in the 21st century. The world should be united to eliminate this terrorist group and wipe them out from everywhere. The IS should not be allowed to run away without any punishment: if they can get away with it today, they will inflict more tragedies on the streets of London and New York.

(1). Charles Townshend, ‘When God made Hell’, 2010, Faber & Faber Ltd

Arian Mufid (Mufid Abdulla) will no longer be using the surname Abdulla.

 

source:

http://kurdistantribune.com/2014/why-tragedy-of-yazidi-kurdish-women-should-unite-world/


We learn with disbelief that the first World Humanitarian Summit will be hosted by President Erdogan in Istanbul.*)

Of all locations where such an international event could be held, Turkey, at the present time, is the least suitable.

The world is currently facing a humanitarian crisis on a massive scale. With that sentiment we wholeheartedly concur. Action needs to be taken at an international level to foster peace, reduce conflict and ameliorate the social divisions that are literally tearing countries apart. As the preamble to the coming UN summit states, “In our rapidly changing world, we must continually seek better ways to meet the needs of millions of people affected by conflicts and disasters.”

The conflict that has been unfolding in Turkey’s southeast over the past few months is one such conflict that needs to be urgently resolved. It is precisely because the Turkish government has turned to an unwinnable military solution to the Kurdish conflict that a humanitarian disaster is now looming in many parts of the southeast. This ongoing conflict makes the location of the forthcoming UN Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul wholly inappropriate. The government headed by President Erdogan has consciously exacerbated a conflict with its Kurdish minority population since the result of last year’s first national election which saw the pro-Kurdish HDP achieve a dramatic breakthrough that denied the AKP its majority. People are currently being slaughtered as a result of a malign state policy that is fanning sectarian conflicts and deepening social tensions. Peace-making has been taken off the agenda in Turkey and the whole country is suffering the consequences. It is therefore very hard to see how the government in Ankara deserves to be rewarded by the honour of hosting such an important international initiative.

One of the main themes of the planned summit is to be, “Serving the needs of people in conflict", which surely renders it utterly inappropriate for Turkey to be hosting the event, given the current humanitarian disaster taking place in cities across the country’s southeast which have been subjected to curfew, bombardment and deliberate destruction by Turkish state forces.  

This important and timely initiative by the UN Secretary-General set to take place on 23 and 24 May 2016 will bring together governments, humanitarian organisations, representatives of peoples affected by humanitarian crises and others to develop solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges and set an agenda for future humanitarian action. The Kurdish people are desperate for such action to resolve their plight but the government in Ankara is making their lives intolerable and destroying their communities.

Therefore, at a time when the Turkish state is waging a war against its own people in the Kurdish southeast under the pretext of fighting the PKK, the summit definitely should not be held in Istanbul. It is a time when President Erdogan has been taking ever more divisive steps that are fostering fear and conflict among communities in the country.

It is a time when independent Turkish journalists, academics, lawyers and creative artists are harried, intimidated and prosecuted for exercising legitimate rights to free expression.

It is a time when basic democratic, political and human rights are under serious assault from an increasingly authoritarian government run by the AKP.


It is a time when the Kurdish people as a whole are collectively targeted and punished mercilessly for alleged support for the PKK.

It is a time when Kurdish men, women, children, old people, are indiscriminately bombarded by Turkish military operations against towns and villages; a time, when hundreds of thousands of entirely innocent people have been forced to flee their homes in fear; a time, when largely erroneous accusations are levelled by the Turkish government at Kurdish people branding them as sponsors of terrorism.

This is all the result of a sectarian domestic policy, unprecedented in modern times, which is taking Turkey back to the dark days of the 1990s when martial law, death squads and targeted assassinations were a regular feature of daily life; when political prisoners were detained without a fair trial, when the country was notorious across the world for its torture of political dissidents, when activists simply disappeared and when the bodies of Kurds were ritually mutilated by security forces whose activities were protected by a secretive state that flagrantly snubbed all international human rights standards and norms of legality.  

In view of the worsening situation inside Turkey today we must strongly urge the UN to reconsider its decision to select Istanbul as the venue for this important event. Please think again even at this late hour.

Your valuable initiative will be seriously undermined and tainted by association with a regime that routinely abuses its powers; a divisive government that poses a threat to democracy, free speech and civil rights; an authoritarian government that has been accused of pursing a sectarian foreign policy, and one that has even been alleged to be an active supporter of Islamic State terrorism in Syria.

Indeed, it is widely alleged in particular that Ankara has been assisting ISIS with the supply of weapons; that it has facilitated illegal trading by ISIS; that it is turning a blind eye to ISIS fund raising, permitting the transport and delivery of lethal military equipment across Turkish territory and likewise permitting volunteers to travel through Turkey to join the ranks of ISIS.

There is much more than circumstantial evidence to indicate that Turkey is heavily involved in the ISIS support network and as such these allegations need to be subject to a thoroughgoing, independent investigation. While such question marks hang over Turkey and its record, the policies of the AKP government should give grave cause for concern for the UN and all who uphold freedom and democracy. We therefore genuinely believe that the country at present constitutes a totally unsuitable host for the forthcoming humanitarian summit.

If the summit is held in Istanbul as planned it will only be used by Erdogan as fuel for his own well-oiled propaganda machine. It will be interpreted by Turkey’s tethered media as a ringing endorsement of Erdogan, the AKP and the increasingly divisive policies it pursues at home and abroad. In particular, it will help to prolong the conflict with the Kurds when this historic conflict demands impartial mediation to achieve a lasting peace and which seemed to be a real possibility less than two years ago when the peace process was starting to get under way.

To hold a humanitarian summit in Turkey will be an affront to the Kurds and all those who are now suffering under the oppressive measures pursued by the government of Erdogan, who is seeking to acquire more and more presidential powers.Not so long ago Turkey was held up as a model of moderation to be emulated all over the Middle East and Asia; it has now become a real threat to its neighbours, to the democratic process inside the country and to its own people. 

The Kurds right now are facing the full force of the Turkish state’s brutal onslaught. This must be stopped by raising voices loud and clear against it; rather than passed over in silence.  

In order to maximise the potential success of this humanitarian summit and to command universal support, we urge you to think again and to relocate the summit to a more suitable location. We feel sure that such a location can be found.

SIGNATORIES

Noam Chomsky; Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley Lecturer of Political Sociology, Cambridge University, UK;  Dr Derek Wall Writer and International Coordinator of the Green Party, UK;  Mark Thomas political satirist, author and journalist, UK; Michael Rubin,American Enterprise Institute, US; David Romano, Missouri State University, US; Dr. Zaradachet Hajo, Former President of the Kurdish PEN Centre; Roger Mckenzie,Assistant General Secretary UNISON, UK; Dimitri Roussopoulos Co-founder of the Transnational Institute of Social Ecology,  Quebec, Canada; ; Janet Biehl, writer, translator, artist, US; Federico Venturini School of Geography, University of Leeds, UK ; Eirik Eiglad writer, translator, New Compass Press, Norway; ;  Michael Gunter,professor of political science at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, US; Debbie Bookchin, journalist, US; Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, UNESCO Linguapax laureate 2003, Denmark; Robert Phillipson, Copenhagen Business School, UNESCO Linguapax laureate 2010, Denmark; Liz Saville-Roberts MP, House of Commons,UK; ; Dr. Johanna Riha, Policy Director of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health, UK; Dr. Manali Desai, Lecturer of Sociology, Department of Sociology at Cambridge, UK; Prof. Sarah Franklin, Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology at Cambridge, UK;  Prof. Lawrence P. King, Professor of Sociology, UK; Dr. Monica Moreno, Lecturer in Sociology, Department of Sociology at Cambridge, UK; Margaret Owen OBE, barrister and Widows for Peace Through Democracy, UK; Dr Carol Mann,Women in War, Paris, France; Board of Trustees, National Alliance of Women’s Organisations (NAWO), UK; Peter Tatchell, Peter Tatchell Foundation, UK; Ara Sarafian Director, Gomidas Institute, UK; Stephen Smellie Deputy Convenor UNISON, Scotland; Bert Schouwenburg, International Officer GMB, UK;  Steve Hedley,  Senior Assistant General Secretary, RMT, UK; Roger McKenzie, Assistant General Secretary of Unison - Black Lives Matter, UK;  Nick Hildyard Policy adviser, UK; Stefano Squarcina, Puntorosso Association, Italy; Kariane Westrheim, Professor and EUTCC Chairperson, Norway; Cynthia Cockburn, researcher and writer, UK; Zaher Baher, Rojava Solidarity Group, UK; Trevor Rawnsley Lecturer Public Service Management – City and Islington College, UK; Jonathan Bloch, writer, UK; Bronwen Jones, barrister, UK; Sarah Parker, Haringey UNITY, UK;  Steve Sweeney, Branch Secretary, Unite National Publishing and Media Branch, UK; Paul Bullock, Managing Director, European Business Management School, UK; Lisa Marie-Taylor, Feminist Activist, UK; 

Find out more or sign the appeal 
here. 

  
*) link to the event: 
www.worldhumanitariansummit.org   

Organized by Peace in Kurdistan 
Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish Questionhttps://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com

Email: 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  Contacts Estella Schmid 020 7586 5892 & Melanie Gingell - Tel: 020 7272 7890

Patrons: Lord Rea, Lord Dholakia, Baroness Sarah Ludford, Jill Evans MEP, Jean Lambert MEP, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Hywel Williams MP, Kate Osamor MP, Elfyn Llwyd, Sinn Fein MLA Conor Murphy, John Austin, Christine Blower, NUT General Secretary, Bruce Kent, Gareth Peirce, Julie Christie, Noam Chomsky, John Berger, Edward Albee, Margaret Owen OBE, Prof Mary Davis, Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley, Mark Thomas, Nick Hildyard, Stephen Smellie, Derek Wall, Melanie Gingell

 

Source link:

http://82992.seu1.cleverreach.com/m/6536383/0-f04fb113e2a4433424f291698c34d309

-----