Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Monday, June 26, 2006

Kurds “Accidental Beneficiaries” of Iraq War

In an article written in The Independent, Patrick Cockburn reports on the “unexpected consequences of the overthrow of Saddam Hussein,” on a region that, “in theory, is not independent, but is more powerful than most members of the United Nations.”

As reported in the article, “Iraqi Kurdistan remains a part of Iraq, but Baghdad has little influence on its actions.” Cockburn reports that “the struggle of the Iraqi Kurds for self-determination has been longer and bloodier than that of any nationalist movement outside Viet Nam.” In 1975 Saddam Hussein “imprisoned or forced hundreds of thousands of Kurds to flee when their independence movement collapsed,” and in the 1980’s his forces “slaughtered 182,000 of them and destroyed 3,800 of their villages as he crushed another of their uprisings during the Iran-Iraq war.”

However, today, Cockburn reports, “the Iraqi Kurds were accidental beneficiaries of George Bush’s determination to overthrow Saddam Hussein in 2003.” As the war continues in most parts of Iraq “the only peaceful parts of the country are the three Kurdish provinces of Arbil, Sulaimaniyah and Dohuk,” Cockburn says.

It is not only in geographic terms that the Kurds have benefited either. The President of Iraq, Jalal Talabani, is a Kurd. “The most effective members of the Iraqi government are Kurds,” Cockburn reports, and they would “like to have a legally independent state of their own.”

To read this article in full click here.


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