The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
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Dear List, I am sorry that Peter has once again attributed to me thoughts that I haven't entertained and put in my mouth words I hadn't said. Peter first accused me of denying the Kurds the right to the land they lost through President Hussein's Arabization policy. Now he has accused me of changing the subject explaining that the issue is confusion about the meaning of a word. I think the issue is not the word itself, rather how it is used and in what context. I have not changed the subject at all, and I can't help it if Peter thinks so. I don't think there is any confusion, on my part, about the word "occupied". Peter may understand Alexander's thought as he wishes, but when one has followed Alexander's other posts, one can only reach the conclusion that I and some others have reached and which I openly stated: Alexander is pro-sanctions and pro-war, and it is my conviction that he is not an objective arbiter in this matter, nor should his words be taken as the absolute truth. Peter says: "Alexander, as I understand it, was talking about individual (Arab) farmers encouraged by the government to occupy individual (Kurd) farmers' land. Hassan was talking about occupation by one people of another people's 'national territory'." That is not my understanding of what Alexander meant. In his post of 15 May 2003, Alexander Sternberg (who is secretary to Dilšad Barzani) stated: "In 'old' liberated Iraqi Kurdistan, occupier-Arabs left and Kurds, and Assyrians, returned to the lands they were earlier forced from." These are not words of someone who is talking about individual "farmers", but of "national territory". A "liberated" area is only one which was "occupied" and that is not a reference to "individual" occupation, but to "national territory".. In 2001 Alexander Sternberg posted an article on CASI "Lifting Sanctions on Iraq - dissident view", which was criticized especially by Abi Cox and Peter himself. In fact, Peter had reached the same conclusion like I have when in his reply of 30 Jul 2001 he stated the following: "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." Peter had therefore believed that there was Kurdistan and there was Iraq, and that Kurdistan was NOT being considered by Alaxenader to be part of Iraq. My conclusions have been partly based on such views and partly on my readings of Alexander's posts. If Alexander would be reflecting the views that the land is Iraq, he wouldn't be talking about C-S Iraq vs. Kurdistan; he wouldn't be talking about Arabs occupying Kurdish land, rather "Arab farmers" occupying "Kurdish farmers' lands"; he wouldn't be working for a tribal separatist movement; and he wouldn't be conducting a census on the territory of the (KRG) whose purpose is to determine who will be allowed to vote in elections for the KRG parliament... Isn't that the attitude of one who believes in "national territory"? Isn't the aim of the census to determine who is to be "excluded" from voting, based on ethnic background?? And we go back to another issue: Is Kirkuk and the area round it 'Kurdish'? or 'Arab'? or 'Iraqi'? It all depends on what you believe in. If one is to think of a unified Iraq, then the area is Iraqi and should be considered like any other part. If one is to think of it on ethnic basis, then the area is predominantly Turkoman, with a Kurdish and Arab minorities. But the notion that areas where some ethnic group once lived makes it its own forever, is not one accepted by the west at all. Otherwise, we would see the Native Amaericans returning to their lands, as would the native inhabitansts of New Zealand, Australia, Palestine and Northenr Europe. I first presented the explanation that Arabs inhabited what is now predominantly Kurdish, millennia before the Kurds came to the area. Does that mean that Kurds should leave to let the Arabs regain their land? I was accused by Peter of denying the Kurds their rights... The Arabs and Kurds lived in what is now Southern Turkey for centuries before the Turkic tribes came to the land. Does that mean that the Arabs and Kurds should regain that land for themselves? I do not approve of the policies of Arabization, but I also refuse the principles of Kurdization. Alexander talks at length of Arabization, yet he never refers to Kurdization policies carried out in villages and town that are NOT predominantly Kurdish. Kurds have forced the Kurdization of Assyrian villages, even though those people are not ethnically Kurds and have been in the land BEFORE the Kurds came. The Kurds have forced the Kurdization of the Yezidi people in north Iraq, even though those people are Arabs and even believe they are descendents of the Umayyad dynasty. In short, the Kurdish leaderships believe that the whole area should be 100% Kurdish and there should be no place for other ethnic groups; a first step towards an independent state, ethnically pure. Because the area lacks any economic basis for survival, the leaders of the Kurdish movements have demanded the oil rich Kirkuk and Khanaqin, on the grounds that they are Kurdish.. Peter also accused me of thinking that Alexander shouldn't be allowed to contribute to the list at all because he has defended sanctions. I don't see how such conclusion can be reached from my posts. Alexander, for the information of list members, is an employee of the Kurdish authority in Iraqi Kurdistan, and his views reflect that of his employers. His views are NOT one of an independent outsider as one would like to imagine. And although his views are irritating, I have never thought of excluding him from the list. On the contrary, I believe that posts like his would generate discussions, something the group suffers from as it has become a place mainly for posting articles. Only once did I ask the moderator to exclude one member, and that was because that member had promised in one post to "prevent" anti-sanctions people from expressing their views... I hope that finally my views are clear and that I would not be again accused of what I have not said. Best HZ __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? The New Yahoo! Search - Faster. Easier. Bingo. http://search.yahoo.com _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk