Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Another Monster Part 2

Back in April, I posted a diary entitled “We’ve Created Another Monster”. In that diary I discussed how the Kurds were making plans to secede from Iraq through annexing Kirkuk, negotiating independent PSA’s with oil companies, and destabilizing the northern region. This crisis as I predicted is continuing to intensify with the Iraqi Kurds unwillingness and the Iraqi and US governments unable to stop the cross-border raids of the PKK. The PKK is the terrorist wing of the Kurdish independence movement and has been designated as a terroristic organization by most governments including the US.

Well, true to the script that Iraq is a black hole from which there is no escape; the Kurds are on the move. In the past few weeks the PKK has been conducting deadly cross-border raids against the Turkish military culminating with the kidnap of 8 Turkish soldiers. This incident is causing great alarm in Turkey with demonstrations being held throughout the country calling for government action against the PKK. The PKK has been using northern Iraq to stage their raids against the Turks with the silent acquiescence from the Iraqi Kurds. The patience of the Turks is wearing thin and they are amassing troops on the border with Iraq, the Turkish military has also asked and received authority to cross into Iraq to quell the terrorist attacks and to locate its troops.

The ambush on Sunday was the most serious in recent memory by the militants, separatist fighters of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, or P.K.K., and came only four days after the Turkish Parliament formally approved contingency plans for military retaliation across the border.

The Turkish military struck back inside Turkey, killing as many as 34 Kurdish militants, the military said today, a higher number than had earlier been reported. But the Kurdish ambush still drew strong public outrage here, and its brazenness could effectively force the government to make good on its warning to send forces into northern Iraq.[1]

As the tensions continue to escalate the Iraqi Kurds seem content to allow events to spiral out of control. I believe this is part of their plan to destabilize the region and create a crisis for the Iraqi government. It will be during this crisis that the Kurds will make their play to try to break away from the Iraqi central government’s authority. As the past weeks have shown the Kurds continue to negotiate and sign PSA’s with oil companies despite calls from the government of al-Maliki and the US to stop the practice.

Saddam Hussein was hung for what he did to the Kurds; I wonder what punishment the current Prime Minister will receive for cracking down on the Kurds? The Kurdish problem has long been a thorn in the sides of Turkey, Iraq, and Iran. Prior to our setting up the Kurds in northern Iraq each country had initiated crackdowns in various forms to subjugate their minority Kurdish populations. Because we allowed the Kurds autonomy in Iraq, they are using that freedom to export terrorism and fan the flames of independence for Kurds in the region. It is these activities that will cause the war in Iraq to escalate into a broader regional conflict. The problem with not studying the country and region you are invading is that you have no perspective or history of the underlying conflicts of that region.

This Kurdish issue is not going to resolve itself quietly through diplomacy I’m afraid. The Kurds seemed to be determined to push this crisis to the breaking point. They have continued to talk of reigning in the PKK and yet have brought none of the leaders to justice. In what appears to be a strategy of forcing the hands of the Turks and the Iraqi central government, the Kurds appear to be playing a game of brinksmanship to take this situation beyond a regional issue into an international issue. I am not sure if the Kurds believe they can bring enough international pressure to form a separate independent Kurd nation or if they want to have the sovereignty of the state of Iraq but still be able to act independently.

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, who called on the PKK to cease fighting and to turn itself into a political organization, angered Turks further on Sunday by saying: "We will not hand any Kurd over to Turkey, not even a Kurdish cat," according to media.

At the same time, Mr. Talabani seemed to shrug off Turkish requests that the Iraqis hand over P.K.K. leaders hiding in northern Iraq.

“The leaders of P.K.K. do exist in Kurdistan’s rugged mountains, but the Turkish Army with all its power could not stem or arrest them, so how can we?” he said after the meeting which took place in Sulaimaniya in northern Iraq. “Handing over P.K.K. leaders to Turkey is a dream that will never be realized.”[2]

It is obvious by these statements that the Kurdish officials in northern Iraq have no intention of reining in the PKK or of doing anything to lower tensions in the region. It is a dangerous game that they are playing and in the process whatever little success we have in Iraq could be the first casualty of a larger conflict. The US does not seem to have any leverage over the Kurds who are acting as if they are independent of Iraq and the US.

Due to their desperate need to show progress in Iraq and the region, the US has allowed itself to be co-opted by terrorists who have little desire for peace or a unified Iraq. It will be difficult to criticize the Kurds after having held them up as the model of democracy for the whole region. They have us by the short hairs and they know it. This is the monster created from removing a monster…


No comments:

HTML stat tracker