Saturday, March 29, 2008
Kirkuk holds the key for both Turkey, USA, and its evil PNAC designs worldwide.
Kirkuk holds the key for both Turkey, USA, and its evil PNAC designs worldwide.
Five years of US direct occupation of Iraq, and fifteen years of a cruel and savage sanctions regime, imposed by the PNAC Killers, have had two major effects on Turkey: a transformation in Turkish-American relations and the confirmation of the fact that USA considers Turkey now, a full fledged "enemy", rather than abolition, of perceived threats from Iraq. Their common denominator is Turkey's serious concerns about the aspirations of Iraqi Kurds to independence, pushed by the PNAC creeps. From Turkey's perspective, the next five years will to a great extent be shaped by the pace of events on these issues...
The failure of the Turkish parliament on March 1, 2003 to pass a resolution that would allow the stationing of some 60,000 US troops on Turkish territory--which was said to constitute the crux of US strategy in its war on Iraq--demoted Turkey in the eyes of the Bush administration to a full fledged "enemy" . Furthermore, the development provided justification for the US to elevate the status of the Kurds in northern Iraq to that of "strategic partner" in the region...similar to the case of Lebanon, Qleiat airbase and beyond....
Indeed, US interest in the Kurds had already taken a dramatic turn with the 1991 Gulf war at the end of which the "no-fly-zone" imposed by the US sowed the seeds of an autonomous, if not independent, Kurdish entity in northern Iraq. Hence, over the next five years the degree of commitment the US shows in fulfilling the expectations of the Kurds in Iraq and in neighboring countries such as Iran, Syria and Turkey will determine the scope and content of Turkish-American relations and the nature of the threat perceived by Turkey from the PNAC criminals.
Until now, and in spite of sporadic and short-term false improvements in relations between Turkey and the US, especially at times of high level visits, US policy in the broader middle east appears much more sensitive to meeting the demands of the Kurdish authority than those of its long-time NATO "ally".... This suggests that the general nature of Turkish-US bilateral relations will not improve and is even worse, a full fledged "enemy"....according to the PNAC murderers.
An example of this was the unanticipated and much resented attitude of the US during Turkey's recent ground operation against PKK strongholds in northern Iraq. Even though the White House and the Pentagon were in advance provided with detailed information about the scale and purpose of the operation, the undiplomatic statements of US President George W. Bush and Defense Secretary Robert Gates that "the Turks should get out" once again underlined the fact that Washington considers the Kurds in northern Iraq as its primary strategic ally at present and in the future.... similar to the case of Lebanon, Qleiat airbase and beyond....
The value of the Kurds to the US emanates from a number of factors. First, the Kurds are key to Iraqi integration or indeed disintegration. If the US wants to "transform the greater Middle East", it has to be successful in Iraq so as to set a precedent for the rest of the region. Without the consent of the Kurds, Iraq will not stay united (even if it has already in fact disintegrated). KIRKUK will be the explosive device and "cryonic" trigger.... in time....we should all watch out for Kirkuk....and the PNAC SNOW BALL in slow-motion...
Second, the Kurds control large oil and gas fields, especially in and around the Kirkuk and Mosul districts that are likely to be exploited by American companies. Third, the Kurds are among the most secular groups in the entire Islamic world. As such, in the age of America's "global Hegemonic wars " that is based on the neo-conservative belief that Islam is the "new enemy" needed around the world for PNAC to thrive and prosper...., a Muslim Kurdish community that can ally itself with the PNAC killers becomes indispensable.
Fourth, the geographical location of Kurdish northern Iraq provides the new evil alliance of the CIA2/MOSSAD, and Israel with a "forward defense capability" where an "offensive/defensive missile shield" can be based against threats from RUSSIA and potentially from Pakistan and beyond, who have long-range missiles that may carry warheads with weapons of mass destruction. Fifth, Kurdish northern Iraq also lies between Turkey's relatively rich water resources, namely the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers, and US allies in the region including Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf monarchies...subservient to the PNAC gangs for long.
The impact on Turkey of developments in Iraq over the next five years will be mainly determined by the extent to which the US is willing and able to mitigate Turkish confirmed fears vis-a-vis an imminent declaration of independence by Kurds in Iraq. If the next US administration is able to take a wider perspective on world affairs and see where Turkey fits into its hegemonic calculations, attaining the level of strategically disintegrating partner may again be possible and rewarding for PNAC hegemons.
If not, Turkey's attempts to prevent certain developments in Iraq may well lead to confrontation with the US that will delay America's attempt at building a new Iraqi state and thus "bringing continued Chaos, misery, divisions and wars to the lame-duck Middle East...of today".
For Kirkuk, Mosul, and Haditah...the PNAC's next great Game...Turkey beware !
President George W Bush's self-described "defining moment" in Iraq amounted to this: General Qassem Suleimani, the head of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) , brokered a deal in Qom, Iran, between Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's envoys and Hadi al-Amri, the head of the Badr Organization and number two to Adbul Aziz al-Hakim, the head of the the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (SIIC) and a key player of the government in Baghdad. That sealed the end of the battle of Basra... The battle of Basra may be virtually over. But nobody's talking about the invisible Battle of Mosul...
The IRGC was designated last year by Washington as a terrorist organization. Thus Iranian "terrorists" brokered a peace deal between the two largest Shiite parties in Iraq - ending a Baghdad government offensive that was fully authorized and supported by air power by Washington, according to Bush's National Security Adviser Steven Hadley. Even under Bush logic, "the terrorists" won, and Iran won - once again.
The annexation game .
Meanwhile, in northern Iraq, the Kurds are meticulously involved in de facto annexing strategically crucial, oil-rich Tameem province, whose capital is Kirkuk, with reserves of up to 15 billion barrels. Sunni Arabs and Shiite Turkmen fear the prospect - and are dead-set against the postponed Kirkuk referendum, which should have been held on December 2007. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government in Baghdad knew for sure they would lose this vote and thus see Kirkuk become a part of autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan. So giving the excuse of "administrative problems", they simply postponed the referendum.
It's true that Saddam Hussein "Arabized" Kirkuk by getting rid of Kurds and bringing in Sunni Arabs. In theory, the name of the game now is restoring Kirkuk's population balance to the same level prior to Saddam's forced Arabization. The Kurds are angered with the referendum being postponed and any spark at this stage could turn into another full-blown civil war.
This year, a smatter of Sunni and Shiite political parties united in calling the Kurdish platform "too large and irrational" - and that included Muqtada and former prime minister Iyad Allawi. As things stand, if there's no Kirkuk referendum, the provincial governor and the Kurdish-dominated legislature could unilaterally call for a vote.
It's a total impasse. Sunni Arabs in Iraq would never forgive any government in Baghdad for delivering Kirkuk to the Kurds. And the Kurds will fight to the death for Kirkuk. Sunni Arabs keep denouncing accelerated, regional "Kurdification" – translated as Kurdish monopoly of the provincial council and jobs in the police and civil service. This has led to the formation of Sunni Arab "Awakening Councils" - just as in the Sunni belt - also financed and armed by the Americans.
Kurdish journalist Rebwar Fatah insists Kurds will never give up Kirkuk - unless in the very unlikely event that the city's population rejects annexation in the endlessly postponed Kirkuk referendum. And no matter how the explosive situation is spun, Kirkuk's population will always want to directly benefit from the surrounding oil wealth.
'Clear, hold and build'.
But the whole problem goes way beyond Kirkuk. Kurds are also claiming half of Mosul, although Mosul has never been Kurdish. Nowadays, eastern Mosul is Kurdish and western Mosul is Sunni Arab. The Tigris River cuts the city in half.
Mosul, the second-largest city in Iraq and capital of Ninevah province, is (quietly) billed in Washington as being in the front line of the "war on terror" - more precisely, the war on al-Qaeda in the Land of the Two Rivers. Mosul's Chaldean Catholic Archbishop, Paulos Faraj Rahho, has been a victim of kidnapping. Unemployment is running at a whopping 70% - about the same as in Baghdad. Kidnapping is a prosperous industry. Public services are in shambles.
The Pentagon goes for its standard counterinsurgency approach - "clear, hold and build" - building a wall of mud and earth around the city's perimeter to prevent weapon smuggling as well as endless checkpoints for US and "Iraqi" forces. The problem is, these "Iraqi" forces are all Kurdish Peshmerga.
In late January, Maliki spun the success of a "decisive battle" against al-Qaeda in Mosul. It didn't amount to much. This month, the Iraqi police, army and border guards will all be linked with the Americans, just as in Baghdad. The difference is that unlike Baghdad, virtually all of them are Kurds.
It's true that a few hundred al-Qaeda jihadis, plus a few thousand Sunni Arab guerrillas, have fled to the Mosul area during the "surge". But that does not justify what's actually happening; 12,000 Iraqi Kurd troops plus 9,000 mostly Kurd police are using the Americans to perform their slow motion ethnic cleansing of Sunni Arabs while the Americans - with only 1,900 soldiers on the ground - spin it as a success for the "war on terror". And that still leaves room for Kurds to bitterly complain about lack of trucks, weapons and ammunition.
So where's the Kurd-Arab border ?
More than 90% of Iraqi Kurds want independence. Kirkuk and Mosul as part of a Kurdish entity will mean the expansion of a process that already features direct negotiations and agreements with oil companies such as Hunt Oil (totally bypassing Baghdad), signature of contracts with at least 30 international investors, and developing a new Kurdish constitution that totally contradicts Iraq's constitution - the one approved in 2005 after immense American pressure.
Mosul is a multicultural city. It's not part of Kurdistan. As for the only possible answer to the Kirkuk riddle, it would be transforming it into a kind of Brussels - a special autonomous region, independent from Iraqi Kurdistan. Then Sunni Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen, Christians and Chaldeans would all be able to coexist without friction. The proposal - by Pawzi Akram, a Turkmen - made it to the Iraqi Parliament. It was mercilessly shot down by both Sunni Arabs and Kurds.
The battle for Kirkuk and Mosul holds its own riddle; its outcome will determine how a knocked out Iraq will eventually perish, partitioned among Sunni Arabs, Shiites and Kurds.
Who will profit from it? Ayman el-Amir, writing last year in Egypt's al-Ahram Weekly, has come to as good a conclusion as any. The winner, according to him, will be Israel. Low-intensity civil war is already on - in fact multiplying itself into Shiite-Shiite civil war, such as in Basra, or Sunni Arab-Kurdish civil war, such as the battle for Kirkuk and Mosul.
Israel would like nothing better than a proxy war in Iraq pitting Iran and its Arab allies against Sunni Arab US allies. Meanwhile, writes al-Amir, "Israel would build a political-military-economic alliance with a semi-independent Kurdistan Regional Government, with oil wealth that would be considerably enhanced by the prospect of taking over Arab Kirkuk and Mosul." Israeli interests - not to mention strategic intelligence - are already deeply entrenched in Iraqi Kurdistan. Kurdish leaders have already demonstrated an extraordinary mobility to always strike deals with the best-positioned bidder - or with any player capable of advancing the utmost Kurdish dream, independence. As for a US-Israeli-greater Kurdistan alliance, that may still be Washington's way to achieve its own dream of a new, greater Middle East. If those pesky, enraged, realist, Iraqi nationalist Sunnis and Shiites don't get in the way.
With tears in their eyes and flowers in their hands people paid tribute to their national hero. Sad at the loss, which can not be compensated yet pride was all over their faces,sacrificed their son of the soil. His was a death for a noble cause of dying for one's own country. Such men are not born everyday, they belong to the rare class of humanity, who are an example in themselves, and they are the ones who set precedents. And they themselves are unprecedented.