On Iraq, from the view of Iraqi Kurdistan - U2 Feedback

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Old 08-18-2002, 02:38 PM   #1
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On Iraq, from the view of Iraqi Kurdistan

I have waffled on what to do about Iraq and Saddam Hussein, but an interesting report from the Canadian TV network, CBC, shed some interesting light.

In the report, it visited the Kurdish area of Iraq, which, since the institution of the "No-Fly" zones, has become completely autonomous from the rest of Iraq, and, actually, has installed a democracy, which has relatively flourished for the last decade. In it, it describes the atrocities Saddam Hussein committed against the Kurds, namely genocide.

Why, perhaps, this report is never reported in America is that the Kurds are very critical of how the Gulf War was handled. Originally, the Kurds were supportive, but, as the Gulf War ended, not only did Bush, Sr. leave Hussein in power, but he left him with conventional weaponry. Immediately after the Gulf War, Hussein punished the Kurds by air strikes and troop advances, thus creating the origins for the U.N. instituted "No-Fly" zones. Since then, the Kurds have had a shaky autonomous government, one that will be inevitably destroyed if the sanctions are lifted against Iraq.

Most interestingly, the CBC report showed oil trucks lined up from Turkey, where Hussein circumvents sanctions and earns approximately $10 million a day from illegal oil shipments. Iraqi Kurdistan, interestingly enough, makes about a million of that in taxing them. Also, it is reported from Iraqi Kurdistan that they believe Al-Qaeda is busy regrouping in Northern Iran, where Al-Qaeda declared "jihad" against the Kurdish democracy, leaving scores of dead and mutilated Kurds in the border area.

I am indeed wary of war, but I am further convinced that leaving Iraq and Iran go would be a dangerous prospect.

Thoughts?

Melon
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Old 08-18-2002, 04:38 PM   #2
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I sympathize with the Kurdish movement (especially since they have established democracy), but unfortunately the past two U.S. administrations and the current one are nervous of pissing off Turkey, who has its own little Kurdish insurgency. Ideally, the we would give the Kurds our full support; I do think we owe them something in return for their 1991 support.

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Old 08-18-2002, 08:11 PM   #3
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Originally posted by U2Bama
I sympathize with the Kurdish movement (especially since they have established democracy), but unfortunately the past two U.S. administrations and the current one are nervous of pissing off Turkey, who has its own little Kurdish insurgency.

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Though apparently there have been Kurdish Prime Ministers in Turkey (I wasn't aware of this at all, nor was I aware that there even was an Iraqi "Kurdistan"). Turkey officially denies that Kurds even exist even though "The Kurdisk population is estimated to be about 30 million people living in Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria".
The majority, as far as I know, live in Turkey. I sympathise to some extent with the Kurdish movement, however I think the PKK have given them a bad name. I wouldn't mind seeing a Kurdish state established, but I admit it's quite unlikely to happen. Can't see the Turks just handing over any of their land for it! Does anyone know if there have ever been any viable plans for a Kurdish state?


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Old 08-18-2002, 09:11 PM   #4
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Of course there is sympathy for the Kurdish movement. Haven't they suffered enough? The question here is not, by any means, whether or not the Kurds should be helped, for if it were, they would have been helped ages ago. With all due respect, this has nothing to do with the question at hand; should the US attack Iraq or not any time soon? And my answer to that question has always been a firm 'no'.

Wonderful sentiments, those sympathies for the Kurds are. However, when did they feature in any of Bush's speeches and concerns, his main list of priorities? The main argument for an attack on Iraq is to irradicate the threat of nuclear/biological warfare, and to carry on this 'war on terrorism'. It is NOT a rescue mission for the Kurds. It wouldn't be some gloriously noble mission to help all of those Kurdish people, who have been suffering ever since the Allied forces failed to complete the mission of neutralising the threat once and for all a decade ago. I am quite resolved, that the West don't particularly care for the Kurds, atleast, not enough to start an entire war on a nation.

What provocation would there be, for an attack on Iraq? The answer is that there wouldn't, and most nations would see it as the first violation of the first rule of warfare - no war if there is no provocation. In the Gulf War, the provocation was the invasion of another nation, just as there had been enough provocation in every major conflict prior to this one.

Is there any doubt that most nations would do absolutely nothing to aid this attack? I do believe that most nations will do nothing, and not only that; an attack would further infuriate Arab nations (including, might I add, Kuwait - who has been, at best, obscure and vague on its position in this entire scenario) and further exacerbate the Middle Eastern Crisis, a crisis, might I add, that is in no way close to being solved by ANY party. When the time comes, and I sadly believe it will, we will see just how 'friendly' and how good an 'ally' nations such as Saudi Arabia are, when the American forces gear up to blow Sadam Hussein into kingdom come.

Will the objective be reached? What IS the objective? Bush claims that its to remove an evil dicator, to restore democracy into an empoverished and terrorised nation, and in return get ever so close to wiping out terrorism. I do believe that these are noble goals, if not totally unrealistic. Time and time again, I have reminded people that most, if not ALL of America's Arab 'allies' are not even close to being democratic. Kuwait isn't a democracy. Saudi Arabia isn't a democracy. The UAE isn't a democracy. None of these are democracies, but autocracies with 'benevolent dictators', benevolent meaning to the Bush Supporter, that they don't attack their own people with biological weapons. This is certainly true, but other atrocities occur, everyday. Sutbler, and perhaps in the largest scheme of things, less important atrocities. Atrocities, nevertheless.

Most countries are host to atrocities. A lot of countries have their atrocious dictators and their atrocious regimes, are they ALL going to be wiped out?

You remove Hussein, and you certainly aren't going to leave his son to rule. You're going to 'restore democracy', in a place that never even had it. You're going to do what you did in Afghanistan, and form a cabinet that represents everyone. Well, thats quite wonderful. However, the only real supporters we have are the Kurds, and even then, what agenda do they have? Everyone has their own agenda. Perhaps a lot of Iraqis don't like Hussein at all, but there is an alarming number of Iraqis who amass everytime Hussein makes an appearance on his palace balcony, an alarming number of people cheering him on as he fires shots into the air, vowing to remove the world of the Evil that the West brings. An alarming number of people who see Bush the same way we see Hussein. What are you going to put in Iraq, in his place? No one has given anybody a straight answer about anything. If indeed we are concerned for the people of Iraq, shouldn't we be discussing the aftermath of it all?

Honestly, I don't believe that there is anything to replace Hussein at the moment that will satisfy our idea of 'democracy' and 'fairness'.

I believed in the war against terrorism in Afghanistan, because it had a clear idea of what it was going to do, it had atleast an idea of how it was going to sort things out , and there was clear CLEAR provocation in the wake of September the 11th. Essentially, Afghanistan was harbouring Osama Bin Laden and the other leaders of Al - Qaeda, and they refused to cooperate in the capture of such. War was imminent. The restoration of a potentiall fairer form of government was imminent. There was a clear structure to it all.

If the US strikes now, it will be seen as unfair by many nations. Purely because of the timing; the awful timing that will make America look like the Agressor, not the Defender.

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Old 08-19-2002, 12:12 AM   #5
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you know what, fuck the "timing" that other countries have a problem with

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Old 08-19-2002, 06:32 AM   #6
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Thats fine. Just don't expect too much support when Bush returns to his 'if you're not with us, you're aginst us' crap.

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Old 08-19-2002, 10:25 AM   #7
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as opposed to now? really, what support are you referring to?
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Old 08-19-2002, 11:08 AM   #8
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Excelent post Anthony. so far Germany and some Arab nations have stated that they will not go into this "dubya adventure", and I believe many more european countries aren't really happy, just as reminder, in 1991, there was a UN resolution that was the base to the alliance, I don't see that now.

On the other hand, Hussein should thank the US for this extra 10 years he had as dictator.

P.S. I love the post with class
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Old 08-19-2002, 02:33 PM   #9
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Originally posted by rafmed
Excelent post Anthony. so far Germany and some Arab nations have stated that they will not go into this "dubya adventure", and I believe many more european countries aren't really happy, just as reminder, in 1991, there was a UN resolution that was the base to the alliance, I don't see that now.

On the other hand, Hussein should thank the US for this extra 10 years he had as dictator.

P.S. I love the post with class
Wait, I'm confused. Are you saying that it would have been okay for the US to eliminate Saddam 10 years ago, but not now?
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Old 08-19-2002, 02:54 PM   #10
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Did I said that? I doubt it.

To clarify, I dislike Hussein as much as anyone around here, maybe what confuses me is why he was not removed from power in 1991, and it worries me if someone know what will happen when Hussein is gone, if it will not bring more war to fullfill the void of power that will be created, or if USA will again left off the hook the Hussein oposition in Irak.
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Old 08-19-2002, 03:08 PM   #11
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I think we should get Saddam into counseling
and
find out about his inner-child.

DB9
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Old 08-19-2002, 04:32 PM   #12
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Originally posted by rafmed
Did I said that? I doubt it.

To clarify, I dislike Hussein as much as anyone around here, maybe what confuses me is why he was not removed from power in 1991, and it worries me if someone know what will happen when Hussein is gone, if it will not bring more war to fullfill the void of power that will be created, or if USA will again left off the hook the Hussein oposition in Irak.

There were a whole host of reasons why he wasn't removed from power in 91 (fear that someone smarter but just as dangerous would take over, fear that Iran would use the void of power to seize Iraqi territory, etc etc). That's why attempts to assassinate him were stopped (better the devil you know??).

I'm not too sure whats so different this time round (perhaps there is a valid plan for installing and keeping a democracy there), I do know that, unless Saddam can be made to look like he's really provoking the US, the US will definitely look like the aggressors. As to whether that matters or not depends on your viewpoint I suppose. Also, the support that was there during the Gulf War, doesn't seem to be present now.


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