The Kurds’ struggle is part of all of Iraq’s battle against forces of darkness

It is time for the wise among the Kurdish populations to realise that their so-called leaders are corrupt opportunists.
Sunday 18/03/2018
Passengers are seen at Erbil International Airport, on March 15. (Reuters)
A sign of goodwill. Passengers are seen at Erbil International Airport, on March 15. (Reuters)

In the end, the Islamic Dawa Party in Iraq had it its way and made the coalition government of the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan Party give in to its demands. As usual, the Dawa Party’s excuse was its concern for Iraq’s unity and territorial integrity and its refusal of any breach of the constitution and the law.

None of the strong men who ruled post-colonial Iraq before Haidar al-Abadi had dared do to the Kurdish people and their long heritage of political, tribal and regional diversity what he has done. No Sunni nor Shia nor Christian nor Jew, starting with Nuri al-Said and ending with the quintessential dictator Saddam Hussein. Abadi has outdone them all.

He has stripped Iraqi Kurdistan of all control and management rights to its known and unknown revenues and expenditures, turned its government into a ghost government and forever slammed the door on the partition dream and on the dream of self-rule that the Kurds wished to regain.

Following months of collective punishment of the Kurdish people, Abadi lifted his ban on international flights to and from Erbil and Sulaymaniyah airports in Kurdistan. The Kurdish government consented to turning administrative control of both airports over to its former ally and close friend, the Dawa Party government. Before the airports, the Dawa Party government of Iraq had seized control of Kurdistan’s oil revenues and of its border crossings.

The one good thing that came out of former Kurdistan Regional Government President Masoud Barzani’s suicidal adventure and his partition dream was the death of the evil quota system of government in Iraq. Barzani’s adventure exposed the rotten roots of the fake federal system in Iraq and made it possible for the world to know that, like it or not, Iraq has been turned into a unified colony of the mullahs’ regime in Iran.

The decision to reopen Erbil’s and Sulaymaniyah’s airports and of paying their staff is an improvement but that is not what will bring back freedom and good life to Kurdistan. Iraqi Kurdistan can look forward to a long period of enslavement under the yoke of the new Iraqi, Iranian and Turkish alliance.

After bringing this misery on the Kurdish people, Barzani decided to lay low. Still, he commented on the decision to reopen the airports by saying: “The [Kurdish] region’s problems with Baghdad are not restricted to the airports and the budget. … The problems between Baghdad and Erbil are historical, political, ethnic, related to human rights, economic and constitutional.”

Obviously, Barzani is fuming and has not revised his stubborn attitude nor repaired his lack of understanding of the regional context. He sounds like a worn-out record.

Despite his cruelty and despotism, Abadi might end up being remembered as a peaceful dove and the Kurds may very well end up regretting his absence, if, by misfortune, Hadi al-Amiri or any other hawk from the merciless Islamic militias in Iraq becomes the country’s prime minister in accordance with the wishes of the powers that be in Iran.

It is clear that Kurdish leaders, especially Barzani and Jalal Talabani, made major judgment errors when they allied themselves with pro-Iran parties in Iraq and with the Syrian intelligence services.

The Kurdish government and political parties should give up trying to rebuild old coalitions and to come to new understandings with Iraqi parties and militias. It’s going to be a major waste of time.

Barzani, Talabani and company chose to turn their backs on the Iraqi Arab Kurdish democratic and liberal forces in Iraq. They did it even during the Saddam years before the invasion of Kuwait. They plotted against the opposition forces and sold them down the river.

Following the US-led invasion of Iraq and the Iranian takeover, these same individuals preferred to guard their territories and opposed the inclusion of the democratic opposition forces in the quota system.

It is time for the wise among the Kurdish populations to realise that their so-called leaders are corrupt opportunists. Not only did they ruin the political, economic and cultural lives in Kurdistan, they contributed to the same disaster in all of Iraq. They have traded the dream of a democratic, egalitarian and civilised Iraq for a fake, corrupt and murderous one.

When will Kurds join hands with their other angry brothers in Iraq and start the struggle against the forces of darkness that robbed them of their freedoms and dignity?

Kurds and Iraqis alike need to realise that the destruction of Kurdistan and of Iraq by the turbaned heads in Iraq and Iran and their Kurdish political allies will pale by comparison to the coming destruction by people like Amiri, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and Qais Khazali.

None of this would have happened if Kurdish leaders had chosen a united, strong and flourishing Iraq over the mirage of a useless and doomed mini-state.