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Kurdish Supplement

All articles from The Kurdistan Observer,

These articles make disagreeable reading for opponents of sanctions on Iraq
since clearly the Kurds of Iraq have an interest both in maintaining the
no-fly zone and in preventing a normalisation of the situation which could
result in their being reincorporated into Iraq. But one thing that emerges
very clearly is that the present arrangement offers them very little in the
way of longterm security. They cannot have any trust in Œthe Westı, and they
are suffering from the sanctions regime, which, the writers suggest, is
being applied to them as rigorously as it is to S.Hussein. Which, if it is
true, is insane. It also appears that everything they receive through Oil
for Food is ordered by Baghdad. I canıt grasp the details of this or
understand how it can possibly work, let alone, as it appears, work rather
well ...

*  UK drops Turkish dam plan [ŒThe Observer has also been told by senior
government sources ... that it would be impossible to provide export
guarantees for British  firms involved in the project with such a damning
indictment hanging over it.ı Cynics may also note that ŒDoubts have also
been raised in the report about the ability of the Turkish economy, which
has been undermined by a recent currency crisis, to support the £1.25bn
*  Iraq massing troops along Kurdish-held north
*  Contribution to the hearing at the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament
about the new country report on Iraq from the Dutch Foreign Ministry [the
point at issue here is whether or not refugees from Northern Iraq/Southern
Kurdistan can justifiably claim to be fleeing a place where they are at
risk. The argument is that it is very far from being a Œsafe havenı. The
independence of the area has no international recognition and no
international provision exists, apart from the singularly inadequate Œno-fly
zoneı, for its defence].
*  The Kurds in Iraqi Kurdistan need a political solution [develops a
similar case but also stresses the harmful effects of sanctions on the
Kurd-controlled areas]
*  "Life and society in the Kurdish safe haven:  ten years after the
uprising in Northern Iraq", by Michael Rubin [how the Kurds are adapting
themselves to the requirements of the radiant future of humanity, aka the
End of History aka the New World Order]
*  Life and death of Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou [account of one of the leaders
of the Kurdish movement in Iran]
*  Banasiaw dispatch, by Michael Rubin [account of the sufferings of
refugees from the areas of Northern Iraq/Southern Kurdistan still under
Iraqi control]

A further long article, *  Lifting sanctions on Iraq: Center-South
vs.Kurdistan by Alexander Sternberg will be sent separately. It gives the
best case I have yet seen for taking the disparity between Kurdistan and
Iraq as proof that much of the suffering in centre-south Iraq is due to lack
of will, or deliberate policy, on the part of the Iraqi government.

by Kamal Ahmed
The Observer, London. 1st July

The government is to abandon its support for the controversial Ilisu dam in
Turkey after an  official report that it commissioned on the environmental
and human rights impact of the  project found that it had failed to meet
international standards.

The report was commissioned in 1999 by Stephen Byers, who was then Trade and
Industry  Secretary, as the 'definitive assessment' of the project which
campaigners say will ruin the  lives of tens of thousands of local people.

The study, which arrived on the Government's desk on Friday, is said to be
'very negative'  about how well Turkey has dealt with allegations that
building the dam would lead to the  displacement of more than 70,000 Kurds
in the south-east of the country and the destruction  of the
archaeologically significant town of Hasankeyf.

The Observer has also been told by senior government sources that the report
makes for  'difficult reading' and that it would be impossible to provide
export guarantees for British  firms involved in the project with such a
damning indictment hanging over it.

'There would need to be significant changes in Turkey's attitude to Ilisu if
the Government  was to continue backing this,' said one official.

Although the Department of Trade and Industry will insist no final decision
has been taken  and that there will now need to be a long period of
consultation, officials admitted that  human rights concerns were central to
their support.

Just before the general election, Richard Caborn, then a Minister at the
DTI, said: 'If these  [the report's] conditions are not satisfied, then
there will be no support.'

Doubts have also been raised in the report about the ability of the Turkish
economy, which  has been undermined by a recent currency crisis, to support
the £1.25bn project. 'We have  always argued that the impact of this would
be terrible for both the Kurdish people and the  environment,' said Matt
Phillips, the senior campaigns manager with Friends of the Earth.

'The test is now whether Tony Blair puts the interests of big business ahead
of the interests of  human rights.'

Two years ago the Government said that it was 'minded' to back the
construction of the dam.  The Prime Minister overruled concerns raised by
the Foreign Office that the building of the  dam across the River Tigris
would lead to increased tension with Turkey's neighbours, Syria  and Iraq.
Both countries rely on the river for scarce water resources.

Byers was also concerned by the negative ethical message that supporting the
dam sent out.

Iraq Press, June 30 

Iraq is sending fresh reinforcements of infantry and armor to several spots
along the  semi independent Kurdish enclave in north, travelers said.

The travelers, speaking on condition of anonymity, said more troops were
deployed last  night, including tanks, armored personnel carriers, artillery
and infantry units.

The buildup is an apparent bid by President Saddam Hussein to test the will
of both the  United States and Britain whose warplanes police a no-fly zone
over northern Iraq to protect  Iraqi Kurds from attacks by Iraqi armed

The travelers, arriving here from the government-held city of Mosul, said
more  reinforcements were already ferried to Sheikhan on the border of the
Kurdish enclave.

They said troop movements went ahead without interruption throughout last
nigh. The  troops, they added, took up positions in areas close to the
Kurdish-held region.

It is not clear whether the redeployment is routine or part of a new gamble
by Saddam. But  the buildup has already caused concern in Iraqi Kurdish

An Iraqi army thrust into the area will certainly prompt the allies to
respond with aerial  bombardment. The United States has repeatedly warned
Saddam not to cross into the  Kurdish areas.

Analysts say a foray into Iraqi Kurdistan is the last card left in Saddam's
hands following his  decision to halt oil exports and suspend cooperation
with U.N. weapons monitors who have  carried out no inspections in the
country for over two years.

Residents of the areas where the new reinforcements have taken place told
Iraq Press that the  intentions behind the buildup are not clear. Even Iraqi
army commanders are not aware of  ''the real targets'' of the latest
redeployment, they said.

But the buildup comes as the state-run media have mounted a campaign to
discredit Kurdish  parties and the status-quo in the region.

Iraqi newspapers issue almost daily vitriolic attacks of Kurdish
politicians, describing them  as traitors and agents.

The Kurdish service of Iraq's satellite television has recently been running
interviews with  pro government Kurdish personalities in which they hit out
at Kurdish rebel leadership in the  north.

Meantime, fuel prices eased in the area following a softening of measures to
crack down on  smugglers and their supply routes. Fuel prices had surged
nearly 50 percent when the  government early this month tried to impose
severe restrictions on movement to  Kurdish-held areas.

by Thomas Uwer, 25th June 01

Disputes over asylum policies always are a struggle over definitions.

The refugee regime established by the 51 Convention was concerned with
providing asylum  to persons in danger of persecution. The struggle over
definitions was first and foremost  fought out around the questions: "Who is
to be considered a refugee?" and that means: "Who  is to be provided with

But when attention turned to seeking durable solutions to the plight of
refugees, the question  at the heart of the struggle over defintions changed
- from "who is to be protected?" to  "where is the person to be protected?" 
The thinking which currently informs the  international refugee regime holds
that refugees are best located as close as is safely possible  to the scene
of their displacement. But precisely how such areas are to be defined
remains unclear. The Dutch Foreign Ministry uses the term "internal
resettlement  alternative". Others call it "safe haven, "safe relocation" or
"internal flight alternative".

When we discuss the questions of how such an "alternative" is to be defined,
whether or not  it is safe, and whether its stability is of a durable nature
or is a transitory phenomenon which  may collapse at any time, then we have
to keep in mind that the question which we are  addressing soleley is:
"Where are such refugees to be protected?"

Despite, the fact that people who flee Iraq are in need of protection from a
regime which the  former UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights Situation
in Iraq, Mr. van der Stoel,  once described as having only "few comparisons
in the world since the Second World War"  is indisputable. This provides us
with the first and primary criterion of definition: However  one calls that
area, it can only be considered as an "alternative" for refugees if it is
safe and  that is in the case of Iraq: safe from the persecution of Saddams

The Foreign Ministryıs report claims to give a clear overview of Northern
Iraq. It does so by  providing detailed information on the human rights
situation and the social and economic  situation in that area. But however
detailed such information may be, and whatever  conclusions the report may
reach on that basis, it would appear that someone forgot one  simple and
salient fact: the principal reason why people flee from that region, i.e.
the definite  fear that the Iraqi regime could regain control of the area.

It is particularly noteworthy that the report pays attention to developments
as far back as the  colonial period in the history of Iraq and during the
rule of King Faisal in the 1920s. But the  report makes a grave mistake of
ommission. It fails to give a clear definition of the region  which includes
the legal and international conditions for Kurdish de facto self rule, the
legal  and actual status of the region in relation to Iraq and its
neighbours, and the legal and actual  mechanisms of protection which may, or
may not, safeguard the region.

We should pay some attention on that:

In 1991 the Allies´ Operation Provide Comfort established a so called `safe
haven´ in  Northern Iraq. At that time about 1.5 million Iraqi Kurds were at
or near the Iranian and  Turkish border, fleeing Saddam Hussein´s wrath. The
Ministry´s report takes "Operation  Provide Comfort" as its starting point,
but in doing so it fails to mention two fundamental  facts: Firstly, that
safe haven was limited to a small area constituting less than a third of the
region as a whole. It consisted of the area arround the towns of Zakho,
Dohuk and Aqura.  But this is not indivated in the map provided by the
ministry in annex one of the report.  Secondly, "Operation Provide Comfort"
ended on 7th June 1991, when all allied forces  withdrew from Northern Iraq.
Since then there has not been any international military force  in place
which could keep Baghdad´s forces at bay. The only `protection mechanism´
that  remained was a `no-fly´ zone. But this covers only part of the region,
and does not protect  the region as a whole from ground attacks. Nearly half
of the de facto Kurdish-ruled area  falls outwith the `no-fly´ zone. It is
noteworthy that this is likewise not indicated on the map  at annex one of
the report.

"Operation Provide Comfort" was based on UN Security Council Resolution 688.
A  resolution which affirmed "the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and
political independence of  Iraq". The significance of this affirmation
should be obvious: Northern Iraq is not  independent, it is a frictional
separated part of Iraq. It is neither internationally recognised  nor
adequately protected.

The status of the so called safe haven in relation to the Iraqi regime can
be summarised in  three basic facts: Firstly, the withdrawal of
central-Iraqi administrative structures in 1991  did not in any way
represent an abandonment of legal sovereignty by the Iraqi government.
Secondly, the territorial integrity and the national sovereignty of the
Iraqi state continued to  be recognised. Thus, for example, all
international measures taken in Northern Iraq require  legal sanction
through a bilateral agreement with the Iraqi government - not with Kurdish
authorities -, on the basis of the Memorandum of Understanding. And,
thirdly, as a  consequnce of the foregoing, the regional Kurdish government
and administration are not  recognised.

Thus, "the ambivalent legal and political status of the area has prevented
an adequate  political settlement which provides durable international
guarantees for the population´s  safety. The problems (were) treated first
and foremost in humanitarian terms, at the expense  of a lasting political
solution." (Netherlands Kurdistan Society/Iraqi Kurdistan 1991-1996 -
Political Crisis an Humanitarian Aid/Amsterdam 1996) The Foreign Ministry
should also be  reminded that huge parts of the humanitarian programme in
Northern Iraq, run by  international NGOs such as the Dutch Consortium, are
regarded as illegal by the Iraqi  government.

In assessing the realities of the putative safety provided by the safe
haven, the following  points must be borne in mind:

 -no UN or other peacekeeping contingents are stationed in Northern Iraq or
nearby in  Turkey,  -no monitoring commission has ever been established to
deal with threats and attack by Iraqi  troops,  - no resolution or
declaration of an international body has ever recognised the "self rule" of
the area,  -no resolution or declaration of an international body has ever
expressed the will to  safeguard and protect the region,  -no resolution or
declaration by any body has ever established a demarcation line between
Baghdad ruled Iraq and the Kurdish territories.

This became all too evident in September 1996: In just a few hours the
Kurdish Capitol  Arbil was overrun by Iraqi troops and more than one-hundred
wanted persons were executed  in the course of the first day of incursion.
US humanitarian assistance collapsed. Arround a  thousand Kurds had to be
evacuated in an ad-hoc operation while others fled to Iran. This  was a
traumatic experience for every Kurd: it became obvious that there were no
international guarantees to protect the so-called safe haven from
persecution by the Iraqi  government.

The question of how the region is to be defined remains unresolved. Since
1991, the absence  of any legal definition resulted in the absolute absence
of legality in general. The Kurdish  rulers for example never changed but
adopted Iraqi law and justicial structures. Those laws  and structures which
have been cited by the International Commission of Jurists as "a clear
example of how a prevailing system facilitates violations of human rights"
(International  Commission of Jurists/Iraq and the rule of law/Geneva 1994,
page 9) How can they be  described by the Ministry as independent?

At least, the unresolved status might explain the vagueness of the reportıs
definition of  Northern Iraq as "that part of the Republic of Iraq which is
controlled by Kurdish parties in  the north of the country." So, if Northern
Iraq is to be defined by the rule of the Kurdish  parties, rather than by
the borders of a fixed territory, then its boundaries may change at any
time. Tomorrow it may dwindle away - as was the case in 1991 - to a thin
line along external  borders which a population in flight attempts to cross.
Significantly, the prevailing  circumstances and conditions in that region
do not suffice to allow it to be defined as a fixed  territory. So how can
they suffice to allow it to be declared safe for refugees?

Obviously, the main threat to the Kurdish region comes from the Iraqi
government. The  Iraqi state continues to assert its legal sovereignty over
the Kurdish region. The official Iraqi  statements demonstrate that there
cannot be any doubt that the Iraqi government is willing  and able to once
again extend its rule into Northern Iraq in the future.

A regime which has continuously carried out a policy of ethnic cleansing of
Kurds in the city  of Kirkuk in recent years. In December 1998 the Kurdish
authorities in Northern Iraq stated:  "some 200,000 ethnic Kurds have been
evicted from areas under government control since  1991." (Report on Iraq,
Human Rights Watch 1999 Report, published 2000; page 2.) The  Kirkuk
governate has been re-named Al-Taımim, which means "nationalization". (At
this  point the Ministry´s report fails to give a translation.) Amnesty
International has described  how detention, confiscation of property and
confiscation of the ration cards of the Kurdish  inhabitants of the Kirkuk
governate have been part of the Arabization campaign. (Amnesty
International Report: MDE 14/10/99, "Iraq: Victims of Systematic
Repression", November  1999; page 13.)

This is also a regime which disposes of the military means to reconquer the
region, and  which is determined and authorised to do so. Large contingents
of Republican Guards with  tanks and heavy artillery have been deployed
along the demarcation line throughout the past  two years. The Kirkuk
military airport is just some minutes away from the one million  inhabitant
city of Suleymaniyah south of the 36° parallel, that means outwith the
`non-fly´  zone. Who will protect the Kurds if Saddamıs tanks roll north
again? This is something  which could happen at any time. And this would be
ten times worse than the collapse of  another so-called Œsafe havenı, which
once existed in Bosnia. By that I mean Srebrenica, a  name which speaks
volumes about the bankruptcy of the concept of Œsafe havensı, and which
exposes them as death-traps rather than as places of refuge.

The catastrophe of Srebrenica could be repeated in Northern Iraq. In the
city of Arbil, for  example, where 1.3 million people live just three
kilometres away from government troops.  If the Iraqi tanks were to begin
rolling now, they would arrive in the centre of Arbil before  we end our
hearing. And the Œno-fly zoneı will not prevent them from turning Arbil into
a  second Srebrenica.

It is not idle speculation to draw up such a horrific scenario. In recent
years the Hussein  regime has carried out a large-scale military campaign
against Shiıite civilians in the south  of Iraq, leading to thousands of
deaths and the devastation of the entire area. The British  Foreign Office
reports: "The regime has been engaged in a massive project to drain the
marshes." Hundreds of square kilometres have been burnt in military actions.
Out  of a regional population of over half a million in the 1980s, fewer
then 50,000 remain in the  region today. In deliberate and indiscriminate
military attacks on civilian targets numerous  villages have been destroyed,
an unknown number of unarmed civilians have been  extrajudicially executed,
and, as former UN Special Rapporteur Mr. van der Stoel stated,  thousands of
people have been deported to detention camps or have simply disappeared.

 This was a campaign which took place over a period of years under the eyes
of the Allies. It  took place in an area which is designated as being under
the protection of a no-fly zone. The  consequences of a similar campaign in
Northern Iraq are, unfortunately, too easy to imagine.  What does the
Foreign Ministry intend to do if two or three million Kurds again flee the
country? It is unlikely in the extreme that the Kurds would place any trust
in further  international promises of protection inside the region.

I conclude by returning to the question of definitions.  Kurds too have
always had a problem with definitions, as if there was never a definition of
who was a Kurd, or a definition of which regions were to be considered
Kurdish. It was the  Iraqi regime which changed all that, when it began a
sweeping military campaign against the  Kurds. The campaign culminated in
the destruction of more than 4,000 villages and towns,  and the deaths of an
estimated 120,000 to 180,000 Kurdish civilians.

Since then the question of whether or not to be a Kurd has not been a matter
of personal  choice. It is no longer a matter of choice because people are
oppressed, persecuted, arrested,  deported, shot and gassed by the Iraqi
regime as Kurds.

This is symbolised by the city of Halabja. In the early hours of 16th March
1988 Iraqi  helicopters dropped three bombs containing poison gas on
Halabja, a Kurdish town inhabited  by 50,000 civilians. More than 5,000 died
in the space of a few hours. Around a further  10,000 are in the following
years from their injuries and cancer. Halabja is also a symbol for  the
Kurdish society whos people have learned that they can only survive if they

I beg you not to forget Halabja. Today, that means not accepting a report
which portrays as  safe for refugees a region which has not even been
defined, never mind provided with  protection. Do not let the Iraqi regime
yet again define by violence who will be a subject of  repression and where
that repression will be committed.

by Trude Falch and Ketil Volden

[Trude Falch works as programme co-ordinator for human rights in Norwegian
Peopleıs Aid.  Ketil Volden is programme co-ordinator for the Middle East in
the same organisation. This opinion editorial has formerly been published in
Norwegian in the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten on 25 May, 2001 under the
following head line ³The UN and the Kurds in Iraq²]    

The sanctions that were introduced against Iraq in the wake of the invasion
of Kuwait 2  August 1990, have had disastrous consequences for the Iraqi 
civilian population. There is  an increasing national and international
pressure to have the economic sanctions against Iraq  lifted, but few
discuss what will happen in the Kurdish self-rule areas of  Iraq when  the
sanctions are lifted.

The Kurdish self-rule in Iraq was established as a consequence of  a series
of events in the  aftermath of the Gulf War in 1991. In the spring of 1991,
a large part of the population in  Iraq made a revolt against Saddam
Husseinıs regime. When the uprising was quelled, 1,5 ­  2 million people
fled to Iran and Turkey.

6 April 1991 the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 688, which condemned
Iraqıs  atrocities and demanded that international humanitarian
organisations be allowed to operate  in Iraq. The UN also demanded the
protection of national minorities, in special, and the  protection of the
Iraqi civilian population, in general, and the respect of the human rights
of  the Iraqi civilian population. The allied forces launched ³Operation
Provide Comfort² and  entered into northern Iraq to give the necessary
protection so that the refugees could return to  their homes. The UN
Security Council declared the area north of the 36th latitude a security
zone for the Kurds. The USA established a no-fly-zone over the same area,
and the UN  concluded an agreement with Iraqi authorities on humanitarian

31 October 1991 Iraqi forces withdrew from the Kurdish areas north of the
36th latitude, but  also from areas as far south as Suleimaniya and from
northern parts of the Kirkuk province.  Iraqi authorities renounced all
economic responsibility for the region and initiated an  economic boycott of
the area. This affected all trade and the payment of salaries and  pensions,
and had severe repercussions on the legal system and the school and health

In 1992 elections were held for a popularly elected assembly in Iraqi
Kurdistan, and a  Kurdish regional administration was established. The
Kurdish self-rule had neither support,  recognition nor follow-up from the
international community. The UN and the Western and  Arab countries that
participated in the alliance against Iraq during the Gulf War, wanted to
prevent a splitting up of Iraq. They chose not to work for a political
solution, which would  entail an internationally recognised autonomy for the
Kurdish part of the country, in  accordance with the wishes of the

In 1994, warfare broke out between the two major Kurdish parties, KDP and
PUK. Since  then, the control over the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan
has been divided between  the two parties.

The UN support to Iraqi Kurdistan depends on negotiations with the regime in
Baghdad  which during the whole period since the Gulf War has opposed the
presence of  non-governmental organisations in the northern parts of the
country. The massive  presence of the organisations during the first years
after 1991, when many villages were  rebuilt, was possible because Turkey
allowed them to enter the Kurdish areas through its  common border with
northern Iraq. In 1996 Turkey closed the border for organisations,
journalists and political representatives, and thereby blocked the main
access road to the area  for all visitors who did not explicitly serve
Turkish interests or who lacked acceptance by  Iraqi authorities.

Apart from Norwegian Peopleıs Aid, which has been working in Iraqi Kurdistan
since 1995  with support from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
there are only seven other  international humanitarian aid organisations
present in the area. The working conditions are  difficult and characterised
by the areaıs  isolation from the rest of the world, especially with
regards to communication and possibilities for travelling. The sense of
isolation is of course  much stronger amongst the local organisations and in
the civil society.

Through the ³Oil for food² agreement, approved by the UN Security Council in
1996, 13  per cent of Iraqıs income from oil production goes to the three
Kurdish governorates in  northern Iraq. This has improved the humanitarian
situation, but the UN sanctions prevent a  sound, economic development in
the area. Trade with the neighbouring countries will break  with the
sanction policy of the UN, and the huge potential for agriculture is not
exploited  because the ³Oil for food² agreement does not permit purchase of
grain and other food items  in the Kurdish areas. Instead food from other
countries like USA and Australia is  distributed. The Kurdish society
depends on humanitarian aid from the UN in the same way  as it under the
Iraqi regime depended on centrally controlled goods and services.

The international protection of Iraqi Kurdistan is limited. The
international society does not  react when Turkey and Iran bomb areas within
the No-fly-zone. In addition, Turkey  repeatedly carries out military
operations in the area without any international reactions or  sanctions. 15
August last year 32 Kurds, most of them women and children, were killed in a
Turkish air attack. Iraqıs massive military operation inside the Kurdish
autonomous area in  September 1996 was only met with symbolic reactions.

Norwegian Peopleıs Aid has followed the situation in Iraqi Kurdistan
closely, and can only  conclude that ten years with the security zone and
humanitarian assistance have not given  the Kurds the security that they
have been struggling for. The international communityıs  lack of will to
consider the problem not only as a humanitarian, but also as a political
issue,  has contributed to the fact that no lasting solution has been found.

The continuous threat from Saddam Husseinıs regime and the lack of political
investment  from the international community lead to frustration, fear and
hopelessness. The social,  economic and cultural structures in the area are
breaking down. Every year 35 000 Kurds  from Iraq risk their own lives to
find security in Europe.

If the present Iraqi regime return to the Kurdish controlled areas, it will
represent a serious  risk for the population and most probably to gross
violations of human rights and oppression.  The seriousness of the situation
and the history of the Kurds in Iraq implies that UN should  immediately
take the initiative to find a political solution in order to make the
temporary and  de facto autonomy into a permanent and recognised autonomy.
Norway, which leads the UN  Sanctions Committee for Iraq in the Security
Council, can play an important role here.

A political solution must be based on the principle of peoplesı right to
self determination and  the solution must secure minority rights and general
human rights for the Kurds in Iraq. The  various alternatives must include
different forms of  self-rule within a democratic Iraq. A  first step can be
to send a UN appointed independent expert commission to the area to assess
different solutions and the wishes of the population.

The international community should guarantee that a reunion between the
Kurdish self-rule  areas and the rest of Iraq does not take place before
such a reunion has been approved of by  a democratically elected parliament
in Iraqi Kurdistan.

In any future negotiations between the Iraqi regime and Kurdish
representatives in order to  achieve an agreement within Iraq, it is
necessary that the Kurds have strong international  support. Because of
their weak negotiating position it is impossible to arrive at a viable and
credible agreement with the Iraqi regime without such a support. If the
sanctions are lifted  before such a lasting, political solution has been
found for the Kurds in Iraq, it is important  that they receive continuous
international protection. The Kurds must, in addition, be  guaranteed their
legitimate share of the Iraqi oil revenues.

If the Kurdish dimension in Iraq is ignored the world will most likely
witness a new Kurdish  refugee tragedy similar to the one in 1991. After
having been exposed to massive atrocities  during several decades, time is
ripe for the elaboration of a political solution for the Kurds in  Iraq
which takes into consideration the legitimate needs of the Kurds themselves.

by Michael Rubin
Kurdistan Observer, July 2, 2001   

Meeting Summary: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Current
Social Issues in Iraqi Kurdistan Presented at a Middle East Seminar titled:
"Life and Society in the Kurdish Safe Haven: Ten Years After the Uprising in
Northern Iraq" Michael Rubin, Fellow, Carnegie Council on Ethics in
International Affairs and Visiting Fellow, The Washington Institute for Near
East Policy 

Northern Iraq has been effectively free of Saddam Hussein for a decade.
Currently administered in separate sections by the Patriotic Union of
Kurdistan and the Kurdistan Democratic Party, Northern Iraq is a region in
social flux as its residents seek to build a civil society out of the
devastation wrought by decades of uprising, war, and a dictatorial regime in
Baghdad. Simultaneously, as the only region in Iraq free from Saddam's grip,
Northern Iraq provides an interesting case study as to the challenges to be
faced in Iraq when regime change does occur in the portion of Iraq
controlled by Saddam. 

As civil society in Northern Iraq has matured, there has been a development
of divergent social trends. Regarding women's issues, apparent
incompatibility between nascent feminism and rigid interpretations of
Islamic traditions challenge the university-age generation of women. For
example, some women argue that Northern Iraq should no longer abide by
Qu'ranic interpretations that mandate that the inheritance daughters receive
be just one half of each brother's share. However, many male students
counter this argument by questioning the feminists' loyalty to Islam and
warning that such reforms threaten to bring an "age of ignorance" upon
Northern Iraq. 

Likewise, the shattering of the region's long isolation, especially with the
introduction of satellite television reception (still banned in the rest of
Iraq) has led to an upsurge in honor killing, as girls are exposed to female
models outside of their traditionally conservative region. While many women
seek to ban honor-killing all together, some of their male university peers
counter that punishment exists if it turns out the perpetrators of the honor
killing were wrong (something that will not help the female victims). 

Northern Iraq's increasing exposure to the outside world also challenges
family relations. There is increasing access to imported pornography, a
trend some Kurdish officials blame on earlier Baathist attempts to loosen
the traditional morals of the Kurds. Among even educated men, there is an
immaturity regarding sexual issues which is reflected in the jokes told when
no women are present‹in both subject and nuance, these jokes would be akin
to something junior high age children might tell in America. This may be a
reflection of the continued separation of the sexes. From the time they
leave primary school, men and women operate in different spheres. While some
socialization does occur in the universities (when classes again become
mixed sex), there is significant peer pressure not to allow platonic
friendship to develop with women. Even after marriage, men and women operate
in different worlds, coming together only for dinner and sleep. Despite the
male dominance in the working world, the women still preserve a strong
family role; husbands often jokingly refer to their wives as "the interior

The division between the sexes is apparent in certain family issues. The
responsibility for birth control is the woman's, so long as the male wants
to limit family size; many do not. While birth control pills are available,
condoms are not. Abortion is legally available when the woman's health is in
danger according to the director of one of the maternity hospitals. "Back
alley" abortions occur, according to some of my women students, though most
of my male students were not aware of this and considered all abortions
against religion. 

Prostitution is very rare, though it does occur, especially among the
so-called Anfal widows‹women whose husbands disappeared during Saddam
Hussein's 1988 ethnic cleansing campaign but whose bodies were never found.
Because the women have no proof of their husband's death, they cannot
remarry and often live in abject poverty. Many students were aware of AIDS,
but attributed its cause to loose Western morals, especially relative to
adultery; drug abuse and homosexuality were considered less important

Other social divisions exist in society. There is a gap between the wealthy
and the poor, though almost everyone manages to feed him or herself. This
gap is exacerbated by the continuing influx of internally-displaced people
whose property has been confiscated by the Baghdad regime. Many of these
people were expelled from the city of Kirkuk; they often complain that they
have become scapegoats for any social ill that befalls Northern Iraqi

Another social division occurs between the many Kurds who have been in Iraq
their whole lives and those who grew up in Iran, after their families fled
Iraq following the 1975 Algiers  Accords which allowed Baghdad to crush the
Kurdish uprising. Many women from one group will actively criticize the
style of clothes worn by the other, their choice of music, or their style of

In the universities, the recent freedoms have created challenges for a
generation of administrators and professors who have as their only models
Iraqi and Iranian styles of management and teaching. Memorization and
recitation still dominate pedagogy, with analytical thinking discouraged.
However, as universities wire to the Internet and receive an influx of those
educated abroad, there is increasing friction between the Iraqi and East
Bloc-educated old guard and the younger generation, a battle the younger
generation is bound to win. 

None of these observations relate to high politics, but they give some hint
as to the social situation faced as societies emerge from the grasp of
authoritarian rule in the Middle East.

Kurdistan Observer, July 14, 2001

13 July 1989, in the very room where the negotiation took place Abdul Rahman
Ghassemlou was killed by three bullets fired at very close range. His
assistant Moustafawi succeeded in escaping. Mohammad  Jafar Sahraroudi
received minor injuries and was taken to hospital, questioned and allowed to
go.  Amir Mansur Bozorgian was released after 24 hours in police custody and
took refuge in the Iranian Embassy.   The life and death of Abdul Rahman
Ghassemlou  (1930-1989)

Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou, the Secretary-General of the Democratic Party  of
Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI), was born on 22 December 1930 in Ourmiah, 
Kurdistan. He went to university in Paris and later Czechoslovakia, had  a
Doctorate in economics and was an associate professor, having taught in 
Prague and Paris.

In 1941, the Allies invaded Iran in a 'bridge of victory" operation that 
inevitably brought about the downfall of Reza Shah because of his
relationswith the Axis powers. A major political change was to take shape in
the country.  In Iranian Kurdistan the national movement came back to life
and the PDKI founded on 16 August 1945, attracted young people in its
masses. One of them was Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou - not yet 15 years old. On
22 January 1946 the Kurdish Republic of Mahabad came into existence by
proclamation, but in December of the same year the imperial army with the
help of the Western forces entered the city, and the killing and arrests
that followed were as cruel as they were indiscriminate. The Republic had
fallen; its President, Qazi Mohammad, and his close followers were taken
prisoner, and then put to death on 30 March 1947.

Little by little the Kurdish people re-gathered their strength.  The
Republic of Mahabad may have been short-lived but in the collective memory
it did not die. Running unlimited risks, the Kurdish leaders set about the
vast task of protecting, educating and organising the population. Back from
Europe in 1952, Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou devoted his energies to these
clandestine activities for several years. In the next decade, he split his
time between Europe and Kurdistan working in double harness: his university
career and his repeated missions to Kurdistan.

In 1959, the regional context appeared to be more hopeful; in neighbouring
Iraq, the monarchy had been overthrown, and Molla Mostafa Barzani (leader of
the Democratic Party of Iraqi Kurdistan) had returned to his country after
eleven years of exile in former USSR. The government in Baghdad accepted the
principle of autonomy for the Kurdish population of Iraq. 

On the other side of the frontier, the PDKI steeled itself to renew the
struggle. In 1968-69, the armed conflict was rife in Iranian Kurdistan and
the period ended in a bath of blood with the massacre of the Kurdish leaders
- and yet, even then, Kurdish resistance managed to raise its head again.The
vice-like grip in which the Shah's armies were trying to hold it had to be
broken. At the third Congress of the PDKI (1973), Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou
was elected Secretary-general and at those that followed he was invariably
returned to office.

 During the years that followed, the prestige of the Pahlavi monarchy
continued to wane. The White Revolution was questioned by experts in
international affairs; the greedy demands and extravagant behaviour of the
court were criticised in the press, and the SAVAK was active throughout the
country with no social class being spared its baneful attentions. Clearly,
the regime was doomed.  If that happened, what should be the position of
PDKI ? In view of the complex nature of the problems in the region that
position had to be clear-cut. The Party had to reply unambiguously to a
number of questions about its identity, its allegiances, its aspirations and
its options. Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou and his aides drew up as coherent and
realistic a programme as they could which may be summarised, in essence, as
follows :

- We are Kurds, we belong to a people that the vicissitudes of history have
scattered over five states. A bond of brotherhood binds us, and will
continue to bind us, to all other Kurds, wherever they live.  - We are the
descendants of one of the oldest Indo-European civilisations. Our identity
is defined by the fact that we have our own language and our own culture.  -
We are the citizens of a country called Iran - on the same basis of the
other peoples living on the Iranian territory : the Baluchs, Persians,
Azeris, Arabs, Turkmens and so on.  - We are ardent defenders of the
Declaration of Human Rights and the right of peoples as defined by the
United Nations.  - We are for the freedom of worship and we respect all
religions practiced by our co-citizens. Faith is an inviolable right.
However, being resolutely modern in our outlook, we feel that a separation
between the religious institutions and the state is desirable. A lay state
is not, on that account, opposed to the faith or to those that serve it.  -
For the living conditions of all to be improved, and customs from long ages
past condemning women to a state of inferiority to be ended.  - To
accelerate development in our country, it is necessary to establish a system
providing free education of uniform quality throughout the country. A
special effort should be made in the peripheral areas (Kurdistan, for
example) that are clearly a long way behind.  - No attempt to leave poverty
behind will succeed without the active participation of the people
themselves. To feel concerned - so we believe - they have to feel free.
Freedom of movement for goods and persons, freedom of association and
freedom to form political parties or unions and to belong to such
organisations are the indispensable preconditions for economic and cultural
development. - For there to be trust between the population and the central
authority, large-scale decentralisation is necessary.  - In Kurdistan's
case, that decentralisation has to comprise a charter of autonomy for the
region whose boundaries would need to be precisely defined. Within this
Kurdish space, the administrative languages should be Kurdish and Farsi,
which would both be official languages of the regional and local
authorities. Primary education should be in Kurdish whereas the two official
languages should be routine practice in secondary school. Lastly, after so
many years of violence, the Kurdish people could not accept a police force
that was not manned by Kurds. It is only on these conditions that there
would be any chance of lasting peace in Iranian Kurdistan.  - Lastly, the
"kurdification" of the administrative and 'production structures would
demand major investment in the training of senior officials and staff and
also - it goes without saying - a multidisciplinary university on Kurdish

In other words, what the leaders of the PDKI demand is genuine and effective
autonomy. Unfortunately, as everyone knows, dictatorships hide behind
pyramid-shape structures excluding all horizontal communication. Feeling
themselves perpetually threatened (as indeed they are), they seek the
support of foreign powers which, in the end, become their masters. Dictators
are not free and they abuse the freedom of others. So the autonomy of
Iranian Kurdistan would be utopian unless Iran made the change to democracy.
Without democracy in Iran there could be no guarantee for autonomy in
Kurdistan. Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou saw that these two concepts were
inseparable and so they became the watchword of the PDKI: Democracy for
Iran, autonomy for Kurdistan.

This policy statement in which chauvinism and sectarianism had no part won
the PDKI the firm friendship of Third World countries and modern democracies
alike. During his many trips abroad, Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou was always sure
of a warm welcome. Many humanitarian organisations offered him help, eminent
figures on the world stage in political and university life thought highly
of him and human rights and religions militants encouraged him throughout
his life. It was thanks to him that the Iranian Kurds were able to emerge
from their isolation and make their voice heard in the international fora. 
Some of these sympathisers were surprised that the Iranian Kurds had "such
modest" demands after such a bitter struggle.  "It is really autonomy you
want - nothing more ?" was a not uncommon reaction.

No secret clause was ever planned or hidden in this blueprint for autonomy
because it was the fruit of long and profound thought about the world
political context following World War Il. The Kurdish leaders took the view
that major changes to frontiers were ruled out and that the general trend
was towards the formation of large groupings rather that the fragmentation
of existing units. In any case, once peace was restored, it would surely be
natural for countries with common borders to seek to develop trade and
cultural exchange. Therefore, in the long term,  the existence of big
Kurdish communities in various parts of the Middle East could be a positive
factor in inter regional relations. Everyone would stand to gain. It is well
known that the big exporting countries pay considerable attention to the
ethnic minorities, which often act as bridgeheads or relay stations in
campaigns to win a foothold in new markets.

In short, the Kurdish thinkers concluded that only the short-sighted could
see ethnic, linguistic or religious diversity as an obstacle to development.
In the future the big middle-eastern house would derive its energy from the
many different elements of which it was built. This pattern was particularly
true of Iran itself with its 45 million inhabitants of which only 40 % were
of Persian origin. (Today Iran has over sixty million inhabitants). At that
time, towards 1975, this type of thinking sounded at least advanced, not to
say fanciful. The Kurds were still under the heel of the Shah, but nothing
is eternal, dictators included.

One day in February 1979 Mohammed Reza Pahlavi finally gave up the throne.
At that time the PDKI had a solid base and a real impact in Iranian
Kurdistan. However, to run the territory properly and control its
administration the police had to be removed and the army thrown out down to
the very last man. This was the task of the "peshmergas" or partisans, who
attacked army barracks and seized large stocks of arms and ammunition. 
Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou was then able to claim that, in a large part of
Kurdistan, the Kurds were their own masters.

It was reasonable to hope that the Iranian revolution would have brought men
to power able to realise that the interests of the central authority and
those of the Kurds were compatible. Elections were planned and a new
constitution was being written for the country.

 Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou was elected to the Assembly of experts and made
ready to carry to the capital the message of the Kurds - a simple message:
there is room for all in this country where everything needs doing or
re-doing.  Imam Khomeini, unfortunately, saw things differently, he labelled
the newly elected representative of the Kurds an "enemy of God" and declared
a "holy war" on Kurdistan. This was in 1979. Sudden though it was, this call
to arms was, in retrospect, not surprising. How, after all, could this grim
gerontocrat with the cruelty of another age be prepared to give his
attention to the history and wants of the Kurds ? How could Abdul Rahman
Ghassemlou be expected to stay silent at the hostage-taking, occupation of
foreign embassies and other terrorist activities launched in 1979 by an Imam
who had recently returned from Neauphle le-Château to sow the seeds of hate
and insanity.

The Gulf War broke out the following September. Perhaps these unsubdued
Kurds would be forgotten during this conflict between Iran and Iraq
(1980-88). On the contrary, in fact, it cost them dearly, for their villages
lay on either side of the frontier where the fighting was at its fiercest.
They were accused, too, of being anti-patriotic : their settlements were
destroyed and the people living there reduced to a wandering existence. The
ultimate purpose of these crimes against humanity was obvious : to use the
war as an excuse for exterminating a people whose authenticity was denied as
strongly as it was proclaimed by the Kurds.

Iran came out of the war with Iraq exhausted and the Imam at death's door.
The facts had to be faced and Tehran had to find a compromise in Kurdistan. 
For his part, Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou had been saying for years that the
fighting had been imposed on him, that neither side would ever lose or win
and that, sooner or later, the Kurdish problem would have to be solved
across the negotiating table. After flying a few kites, Tehran issued a
concrete proposal for a meeting in Vienna on 28 December 1988 and the PDKI
accepted.  The talks lasted two days, 28 and 30 December and the results
must have been promising because it was agreed to hold another meeting the
following January. On 20 January, at the end of the first round of
negotiations, the representatives of Tehran were fully acquainted with the
Kurdish demands. The principle of autonomy seemed to have been agreed. The
details of how it was to be put into effect had yet to be defined.

Six months later, Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou returned to Europe to attend a
congress of the Socialist International. Tehran tried to contact him again
in order, he was told, to pursue the negotiations that had begun the
previous winter. The PDKI accepted the offer sent to it. The meeting took
place on 12 July 1989 in Vienna. The Tehran delegation was as before, namely
Mohammed Jafar Sahraroudi and Hadji Moustafawi, except that this time there
was also a third member : Amir Mansur Bozorgian whose function was that of
bodyguard. The Kurds also had a three-man delegation : Abdul Rahman
Ghassemlou, his aide Abdullah Ghaderi-Azar (member of the PDKI Central
Committee) and Fadhil Rassoul, an Iraqi university professor who had acted
as a mediator.

The next day, 13 July 1989, in the very room where the negotiation took
place Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou was killed by three bullets fired at very
close range. His assistant Abdullah Ghaderi Azar was hit by eleven bullets
and Fadhil Rassoul by five. Hadji Moustafawi succeeded in escaping. Mohammad
Jafar Sahraroudi received minor injuries and was taken to hospital,
questioned and allowed to go. Amir Mansur Bozorgian was released after 24
hours in police custody and took refuge in the Iranian Embassy.

Indignation was at its height.  How, in this age, in the heart of Europe,
could it happen for the representatives of a member country of the United
Nations to open fire at point blank range on the representatives of a
country with whom it was at war and had entered into peace negotiations? On
19 July two representatives of the political bureau of PDKI came to Paris to
attend the funeral. At a press conference they announced, among other
things, that the higher authorities of the PDKI had appointed Sadegh
Charafkandi to perform the duties of Secretary-general.  Sadegh Sharafkandi
(who was also assassinated on 17 September 1992 by the Iranian terrorists)
was in his fifties and had a doctorate in industrial chemistry from Paris
University. He was Deputy Secretary-general of the Party up to the death of
Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou .

The two murdered men of the PDKI were buried on 20 July in Paris in the
presence of a throng of some two thousand people from all parts : Kurds and
Armenians, Azeris and Turks, Persians and Europeans, poets and doctors,
ministers and workpeople, representatives of humanitarian organisations and
members of parliament. Leading the funeral procession, the peshmergas in
their Kurdish resistance fighters' uniform advanced with difficulty in the
torrid heat of the Parisian summer. They were all there, all that had been
able to travel on their crutches and in their wheelchairs, having come from
the various capitals of Europe where they were recovering, as best they
could, from the wounds received in the conflict. Tehran denied all
connection with this triple murder and told Austria to look for clues in
other directions than Iran. But the findings of the ballistics experts were

In late November 1989 the Austrian courts issued a warrant for the arrest of
the three Iranian representatives and the Austrian Government expressly
accused the Iranian Government as having instigated the attack on Abdul
Rahman Ghassemlou and the two other Kurds.

Thus died this man who was no warmonger but a man of letters, master of
several languages and persuasive speaker. Overflowing with enthusiasm and
energy, he was an intellectual of his time, this end of the twentieth
century when the triumph of democracy seems really within reach.

by Michael Rubin
Kurdistan Observer, July 23, 2001 (from The New Republic)

When Americans think ethnic cleansing, they think of Bosnia, Kosovo, Rwanda.
They donıt think of Iraq. But thatıs because most Americans donıt go to
places like Banasiaw, a checkpoint along the border between the
U.S.-patrolled safe haven in northern Iraq and Saddam Husseinıs distinctly
unsafe terrain to the south. In Banasiaw, the ethnically cleansed-Iraqi
Kurds, Turkmans, and other non-Arabs forced from their homes by Saddamıs
men-constitute a brisk traffic. ³We had two expelled families arrive just
today,² says a Kurdish commander named Jamal. Two families today. Another
four tomorrow. Theyıve been coming for years. According to the U.S.
Committee on Refugees, the number of internally displaced persons in
northern Iraq increased from around 640,000 in 1994 to almost one million in
1999. And thousands more are expelled every year.

Saddamıs ethnic cleansing isnıt new. In fact, he was once famous for it. In
1988, during the Iran Iraq War, Saddamıs forces carried out the infamous
Anfal Campaign-razing some 5,000 villages in northern Iraq, relocating
populations into well-guarded ³collective towns,² and using chemical weapons
against those who did not move fast enough. By the end of the year,
approximately 182,000 non-Arabs had been massacred. But, over time, Saddam
has grown more savvy about public relations. Today, by carefully controlling
press access, he keeps his ethnic cleansing from international view. Indeed,
to listen to many in the United States and Europe, youıd think the main
cause of suffering in Iraq today is not Saddam, but the U.S.-led sanctions
campaign against him. In the swelling towns of northern Iraq, however, they
know better.

Abdullah, 44, a married father of six, tells a typical story. He was an
elementary school teacher in the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, a veteran of the
eight-year Iran-Iraq War, and a conscript in the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait.
One day last spring, several policemen and an official from Saddamıs ruling
Baath Party (which foments racism against Kurds and other non-Arabs) pushed
their way into his house without warning. They confiscated the family's U.N.
oil-for-food-program ration cards, then ordered Abdullah and his elderly
parents to accompany them to the security headquarters "for five minutes,"
while his wife and six children waited at home.

When Iraqi security finally released him-not five minutes but one week
later-they told Abdullah that his parents would remain in jail until the
entire family agreed to abandon their home and property. Abdullah relented.
Three weeks later, the family left, having lost their house and two cars,
not to mention the quarter-million Iraqi dinar bribe they paid police in
order to get back their U.N. ration cards (so they could get food when they
arrived in the northern Kurdish safe-haven).

Abdullah said his expulsion was due to "Saddam's oil strategy. He does not
want any Kurds in areas of oil wealth." The Iraqi dictator, it seems,
suspects Kurds and Turkmans of disloyalty and feels his countryıs precious
oil reserves would be safer surrounded by ethnic Arabs. The expulsions have
grown so frequent, Abdullah added, that "there is no Kurdish family in
Kirkuk who is not waiting for the knock on their door."

Many Kurds have no choice but to wait. According to several refugees in
Bardiqariman, a tent city in the safe haven that held 1,660 people the day I
visited, the Iraqi government no longer allows Kurds to hold good jobs
unless they reregister their ethnicity as Arab. Some Kurds try to do just
that, but it often doesnıt work. Saddamıs henchmen still cleanse them from
oil-rich areas, but, in an ironic nod to their assumed identity, many are
banished not to the Kurdish north but to non-oil producing areas in the Arab
south. I asked one family in the northern town of Kalar how they got there.
After I pointed out a few discrepancies in their accounts, they admitted,
embarrassed, that they had tried to change their identity to Arab but were
expelled anyway. Torture isnıt widespread, but it isnıt exactly unheard of

Qasim, 57, told me how security police snatched him and his family from
their house in Khanaqin, then savagely beat him in jail while his wife and
daughters sat in the adjacent cell. After one particularly harsh beating,
Qasim's daughter Bisma explained, blood oozed from her father's ears; he has
been deaf ever since. Other families tell similar stories.
Seventy-three-year-old Nadeema cares for her son, who suffers from brain
damage_the result of a severe beating by Iraqi officers in 1994 during a
round-up of young Kurdish men. Despite her family's subsequent expulsion to
Sulaymaniyah in the north, she considers herself lucky, explaining, "Most
families in Khanaqin never saw their sons again."

And the abuse can also be more subtle. Ruhnak, a 37-year-old woman, told me
that Iraqi security officers arrested her and demanded she divorce her
husband, whom they accused of working against the government. When she
refused, they expelled her four children from school and told her they would
stop her U.N. oil-for-food rations if she did not leave Khanaqin. She now
lives in the city of Kalar across the border in the safe haven.

According to Zahir Shukur Bapir, head of the governing Patriotic Union of
Kurdistanıs Displaced Persons Bureau in Darbandikhan, the capital of the
Kurdish-controlled section of the Kirkuk governorate, "Every governorate
[under Saddamıs control] has an Office of Peoples' Issues from where they
order expulsions." An emerging paper trail backs up his claim. In one
two-year-old document, recently smuggled into the safe-haven, one of
Saddam's governors issued detailed expulsion instructions, attaching a list
of 1,380 people to be expelled over the course of three months. Separately,
the September 19, 2000, edition of the official Iraqi newspaper Sawt al
Ta'amim (Voice of Nationalization) reported the distribution of 10,000 plots
of confiscated land to members of the Iraqi military and security forces.
Saddam's government quickly pulled the paper from newsstands, but dissidents
had already sent a few copies to the north.

Life for the Kurds expelled to tent cities in northern Iraq is bleak:
Temperatures exceed 100 degrees during the summer, then fall below freezing
in the winter. Drinking water is scarce. Most displaced persons say they
want to return home but cannot do so while Saddam remains in power. Most of
the refugees think Saddam views the Bush administrationıs ongoing effort to
soften the sanctions regime as a sign of weakness. And, as they know all too
well, Saddam usually responds to weakness with aggression. Asked about
returning home, Muna, a recent arrival from Khanaqin, referred to Saddam's
legendary chemical weapons attack in 1988: "We are too afraid of another
Anfal," she said. Perhaps the Bush administration should be as well.

Michael Rubin, a Carnegie Council fellow and visiting scholar at The
Washington Institute for Near East Policy, recently returned from nine
months in northern Iraq.
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