The Kurdish Time Bomb In Iraq, Thanks to Bush, Cheney and Olmert

[The explosion of Iraqi society and social order, to be replaced with a dialogue of weapons and whispering demons talking about a “Kurdish state,” has created a volatile mixture that simply cannot be unmade.  The apocalyptic solution put in play by Bush and friends cannot be allowed to play-out, simply allowing all the actors to have their way, even though it will ignite regional war.

The US is in dire need of some first class statesmen and diplomats to unravel the problems created by the previous fools and blind men–too bad that our trusted national leaders insisted on dumbing our generation down.  A government of dumb-ass, trouble-making back-stabbers–the perfect match for an idiot nation.]

Kurdish ‘self-determination’ call sparks Iraqi ire

BAGHDAD – Agence France-Presse
Kurdish regional leader Massoud Barzani speaks to the press in the northern Iraqi city of Arbil. AFP photo.
Kurdish regional leader Massoud Barzani speaks to the press in the northern Iraqi city of Arbil. AFP photo.

Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani’s recent call for self-determination for his people has drawn the ire of the country’s Sunni and Shiite Arab leaders, who say such arguments presage a break-up of Iraq.

“The right of self-determination is something that concerns people living under occupation, but this is not the case for Kurdistan, which has a special status in Iraq,” said Alia Nusayaf, a member of parliament aligned with the Sunni-backed Iraqiya bloc. “It makes me wonder if the Kurds asked for federalism [in Iraq’s constitution] to first form a region and then to separate from Iraq.”

Barzani said Saturday at the opening of a week-long congress of his Kurdistan Democratic Party that self-determination was “a right.” He said it would be presented at the meeting “to be studied and discussed.”

The Iraqi Kurdish leader’s comments mark the first time Barzani has officially presented the issue to the KDP’s congress, with the proposal set to be voted on during the meeting. His comments come at a time when Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Nouri al-Maliki is forming his cabinet. Barzani’s party is expected to be awarded several ministerial posts and Kurdish authorities are mired in a dispute with Baghdad over land and oil.

The six-day congress in Arbil is hosting a number of foreign representatives, including members of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, and main opposition Republican People’s Party, or CHP. The congress has drawn more than 1,000 delegates who are set to elect 50 new members to the KDP’s top leadership committee. The gathering is the first time the party has come together in 13 years.

Among those at the meeting in the northern Iraqi city were al-Maliki, Parliament Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi and Ayad Allawi, the leader of Iraqiya. “It’s shameful that with all the politicians present, not one of them spoke up [regarding Barzani’s remarks],” Nusayaf said.

There is also consternation among politicians loyal to radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, whose backing for al-Maliki largely ensured the incumbent would remain prime minister. “These declarations [of Barzani’s] are not in the best interests of Iraq, and they only serve to raise tensions,” said Jawad al-Hasnawi, a Sadrist lawmaker.

“I think an Iraq that extends from Zakho to Basra is much better than an Iraq that is divided,” al-Hasnawi added, referring to the country’s northern and southernmost cities.

Al-Hasnawi noted, however, that politicians at the Arbil meeting probably declined to respond to Barzani’s remarks to avoid “inflaming the situation.” Barzani’s KDP is a key member of al-Maliki’s governing coalition, and the Kurdish leader played a major role in bringing Iraq’s divided political factions together to agree to a power-sharing deal.

The party, part of a joint slate with Talabani’s Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, controls a substantial majority of seats in the parliament of the Kurdish regional administration in northern Iraq and in combination with the PUK holds 43 seats in Baghdad’s assembly.

Iraq’s Kurdish north, made up of three provinces, exercises control over all policy-making, except that relevant to national defense and foreign affairs. On Sunday, Kurdish regional Prime Minister Barham Salih, a PUK leader, pressed the issue again. “There is a consensus among Kurds over the fact that it is legal and legitimate to have the right to self-determination,” he told a press conference. “When we pushed for a federal Iraq we said that it was a form of expression of self-determination, and we have never abandoned this right.”

The northern Iraqi administration won greater freedom after the 1991 Gulf War and its autonomy was enshrined in Iraq’s constitution following the United States-led invasion to oust Saddam Hussein in 2003.

According to Khalid al-Assadi, an member of parliament with Maliki’s State of Law coalition, it is unlikely the Kurds want to go much further. Barzani’s comments were “for domestic consumption,” al-Assadi said. “Self-determination is a Kurdish ambition, and they bring it up from time to time, but I think the Kurds are wise enough not to leave Iraq.


Afghanistan Hopes To guard TAPI pipeline with 7,000 troops

Afghanistan to deploy 7,000 troops to guard TAPI pipeline

KABUL: Afghanistan will deploy up to 7,000 troops to secure a major transnational gas pipeline slated to run through some of the most dangerous parts of the war-torn country, an official said on Sunday.

The pledge comes a day after Turkmenistan signed broad agreements with Afghanistan, India and Pakistan at a summit in its capital Ashgabat on the ambitious venture.

The 1,700-kilometre TAPI pipeline, Ashgabat’s dream project that first appeared in 1995, has been on hold for many years due to the Taliban in Afghanistan.

The pipeline aims to transport over 30 billion cubic metres of gas annually from the Dauletabad gas fields in southeast Turkmenistan and could turn into a cash cow for Afghanistan in transit fees.

“This huge project is very important for Afghanistan,” Wahidullah Shahrani, the minister of mines and industries, told a press conference in Kabul. “Five thousand to seven thousand security forces will be deployed to safeguard the pipeline route.” The proposed Afghan section of the pipeline passes through southern Taliban heartlands including Helmand and Kandahar, where the central government has a tenuous grip on the territory.

Inhuman Monsters Bomb School Bus In Peshawar

busburnt 543 Explosion targets school bus in PeshawarA roadside bomb struck a Pakistani school bus on Monday, killing the driver and wounding children in the northwestern city of Peshawar, police said. – (File Photo)

PESHAWAR: A roadside bomb struck a Pakistani school bus on Monday, killing the driver and wounding children in the northwestern city of Peshawar, police said.

The explosion took place in the congested Bhana Marri area on the outskirts of Peshawar.

“The driver died in the blast. We have taken the two injured schoolchildren to the hospital,” senior police official Mohammad Ijaz Khan told Pakistan’s private Geo television.

Administration official Siraj Ahmad said the blast was caused by a roadside bomb, of the type used to deadly affect by Taliban militants against US troops in neighbouring Afghanistan and government troops in northwest Pakistan.

“It was a roadside explosion caused by an IED (improvised explosive device). The school bus was very close by, that’s why it damaged the bus,”Ahmad said.

“The driver died on the spot. Several children sustained injuries.”

Pakistan has stepped up security across the country, and the northwest in particular, for the holy Muslim month of Muharram, which began last week. – AFP