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I notice that both articles you cite here discussing the future of Iraq interestingly omit the most important word, OIL. ----- Original Message ----- From: "AS-ILAS" <AS-ILAS@gmx.de> To: "casi" <email@example.com> Sent: Tuesday, July 29, 2003 6:04 AM Subject: [casi] Turks, Kurds and the US-Turkish relationship > 1) A voice of sanity amid Iraq's chaos > 2) Turks, Kurds and the US-Turkish relationship > > ------------ > > 1) > > http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/EG29Ak02.html > > Jul 29, 2003 > > A voice of sanity amid Iraq's chaos > By Syed Saleem Shahzad > > SULAIMANIYA, Northern Iran - Violence continues in most parts of the central > Iraq, with sloganeering against the US presence the daily business in the > south, and anxiety over the right of determination for the Kurds in the > north. Yet a slow and steady political process is very gradually evolving. > > Side by side with the daily casualties of US soldiers, a well-thought out > and enduring package of policies is very much in the focus of the indigenous > political forces of the post-Saddam era, although it remains to be seen how > long it will take for the present anarchy and political vacuum to be > replaced by a stable political system. > > Under Saddam Hussein, all political forces opposed to his self-hatched, > so-called Arab socialist nationalism were crushed. As a result, southern > Iraq seems to be devoid of any political force and the half -literate > clerics are exploiting the chaos. A similar situation exists in central > Iraq. However, the situation in the northern region of Kurdistan is > different. After the Gulf War of 1991, the Kurds began to establish > democratic norms and civil society, and these endeavors are now bearing > fruit. > > In the present chaotic circumstances, the Kurds have a team, unified > theories for the future of Iraq, and a decisive role to play. And unlike the > other regions, the Kurds are playing their cards very cleverly and making > sure of a powerful role in any future government. > > One man, Dr Faud Masum, has emerged nationally in the post-Saddam period as > a powerful political personality. > > He is also the most prominent figure in Kurdistan right now and is tipped as > the president of its next joint parliament. (He was the first prime minister > of the joint parliament, but resigned immediately because the Kurdish > factions could not develop consensus on issues). Currently he is a member of > a committee in Baghdad which is pondering a constitution for Iraq. > > Masum, 65, has had a dynamic career. A PhD in Islamic Philosphy from Cairo > University, he wrote his thesis on Iqwan-u-Sifa (a group of sufis in 10th > century Iraq who believed in secularism). He was a teacher at Basra > University but later he chose to be a peshmerga , a member of a Kurdish > volunteer force and which means "a person who faces death" in the Kurdish > struggle. He says that he fought for Kurdistan and carries many old wounds, > but he never wounded anybody. > > This correspondent had a chance to speak to Masum at his modest house in a > middle-class district of Sulaimaniya, in Iraqi Kurdistan, where he outlined > his political perspective on post-Saddam Iraq. > > ATol: Iraq is situated in the heart of the Arab world. How do you see the > present developments and their impact on neigboring countries, especially > the presence of US troops? > > Masum: Let me clarify. Iraq is not an Arab country. It is a multi-ethnic > country comprising Assyrians, Kurds, Arabs, Turkmens, etc. But we are a > member of the Arab League and we would retain that membership. In my > opinion, an "Iraq first" policy is in our interest, but we would not be part > of any plan against our neighbors, nor would we support it. > > ATol: The US' aims in the Middle East seem to be obvious. It plans to change > the dynamics of Middle Eastern society and wants broad democratic and > economic reforms in the region. How do you see these developments? > > Masum: Of cource, the situation in Iraq will have a direct impact on > neighboring countries, and that is why these countries are afraid. > Interestingly, they already have US troops on their land, but they are > afraid of US designs for political and economic reforms in the region. The > US has a clear line of interest behind these policies, but we too have our > interests. Let's see what happens in the future. > > ATol: There is an impression that the US would not allow a big local army > and it would continue to dominate the region through its presence. Do you > think this is part of its colonial thinking on Iraq? > > Masum: I do not think so. Colonialism is history now. The US cannot directly > rule in Iraq. I think they will keep their presence through some of their > bases in Iraq. As far as an Iraqi army is concerned, it would number 130,000 > to 140,000, not including the border guards. Since the Ba'athist regime > developed its own military doctrine, we aim to purge that trend and develop > an army on a new theme. > > ATol: How do you see the present political trends in Iraq, with so-called > Islamic fundamentalism taking root after the prolonged secular rule of the > Ba'athist regime? > > Masum: The southern Iraqi region used to be a nest of leftist and > nationalist movements before Ba'athist rule. However, during Saddam's period > several factors combined to weaken the real political forces. For instance, > Shi'ites were suppressed. Similarly, the Iranian revolution took place, > which helped the Islamic parties in the south to follow a model like the one > communists used to have for the USSR. > > But I think that once elections are held, these Islamic parties will not > hold a majority. They are only more organized now because of the political > fractures caused by the Saddam government's victimization. Islamist parties > are also playing skillfully with some temporary problems like civic unrest, > and they are painting the present US invasion as a fight between Islam and > infidels. > > You see, there is a person named Muktadarus Sadr emerging as a leader in the > south. He is not a cleric qualified to issue any religious ruling. He is too > young to be the top scholar of the Shi'ites. He has started raising slogans > against the US and many of the former Ba'athists [those who are Shi'ites] > have joined him. This is now the order of the day in the south. > > I see these developments as a temporary phase and once the country gets on a > political track, they will fizzle out. > > ATol: The Sunni Arabs ruled Iraq from the beginning. Now they have a sense > of deprivation. Many believe this is the main propelling force behind the > resistance against US troops. What is your opinion? > > Masum: Saddam has already explioted Arab nationalism. He has used Sunnis > against Shi'ites. We Kurds are Sunnis but he destroyed us. Shi'ites are > Arabs but they were suppressed. What we here call the "triangle of > resistance" mostly comprises the remnants of the Ba'athist regime. They have > nothing to do with Sunni Arabs. The resistance movement has no political > manifestation; it is just a fight for vested interests of the former > Ba'athists. Saddam was equally bad for everybody, and anybody can see the > bodies of Arab Sunnis in the recently found mass graves besides those of > Shi'ites and Kurds. > > However, there is a group of Sunni clerics who are preaching that power > should be in the hands of Sunni Arabs. These clerics mostly belong to the > Ba'ath Party. Sunni Arabs ruled this region during the Ottoman Empire, > during King Faisal's reign, after the 1958 revolution, and after the Ba'ath > revolution. There was no room in the past for non-Sunni Arabs in any > sensitive or important positions. Even the governors of the Kurd and Shi'ite > regions were Sunni Arabs. But in my opinion this injustice should not > continue in the future. A federal system, not like in the West, but like in > many Eastern countries, should be implimented in which all three parts of > Iraq should have greater autonomy for their decisions. > > ATol: The US failed to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and failed > to find a link between the Saddam regime and al-Qaeda. Is there any > justification for the US invasion? > > Masum: I saw mass graves and suppression under Saddam Hussein, and I think > that it is the moral duty of any nation to help another nation out from > these circumtances. > > ------------------ > 2) > > > http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/EG29Ak03.html > > Jul 29, 2003 > > Turks, Kurds and the US-Turkish relationship > > By Robert M Cutler > > The recent detention of Turkish soldiers by US troops in northern Iraq is > only a symptom of the divergence of interests between erstwhile Cold War > allies. The vote of the Turkish Grand National Assembly this year against > allowing the United States to use Turkey's territory for transit of military > forces in the run-up to Gulf War II is likewise only a symptom of that > divergence of interests. > > At the origin of that divergence is the response of US foreign policy to the > events around September 11, 2001. Look for those divergences to continue to > manifest, despite Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul's recently concluded > visit to Washington. > > The naming of the trinity of Iraq, North Korea and Iran as the "axis of > evil" covers over the "deterritorialization" of US security and defense > policy. What does this mean? It means that geography no longer has > fundamental strategic, but only tactical, significance. The term > "deterritorialization" arose among political scientists in the late 20th > century to refer to the emergence of non-traditional security issues and the > significance of the psychological aspect of social mobilization. Under > conditions of contemporary US security and defense policy, it has been given > a new connotation. > > Euro-American international political studies drew attention during the > 1980s to the new emergence of security issues, from the danger of "nuclear > winter" to that of global warming, which required international cooperation > to be resolved and so were no longer based in zero-sum notions of > traditional military-strategic calculations. They were therefore called > "non-traditional" security issues. (Mikhail Gorbachev and his ideologues in > fact drew upon that Western academic work when they reformulated Soviet > foreign-policy doctrine so as to place the common interests of mankind above > even those of the Soviet state.) > > As for social mobilization, Western social scientists in the 1990s, caught > up short by the eruption of ethnic conflict throughout Central Eurasia, had > recourse to so-called "constructivist" theories of "identity politics". > These theories were often divorced from systematic consideration of the > social bases for the emergence of those identities or, indeed, the role of > (indigenous) intellectuals in creating them and so fomenting ethnic > conflict. The Wars of the Yugoslav Succession illustrate this process, and > Valerii Tishkov, head of the Ethnography Institute of the Russian Academy of > Sciences, is one of the few scholars who has attentively examined its > significance in the former Soviet areas. > > But because identity is a wonderful concept about which to speculate, these > "constructivist" Western theories frequently tended to slight the importance > of geography and other tangible resources that condition the actual outbreak > and course of ethnic conflicts. > > If we look back on the evolution of US Cold War doctrine over the years, it > becomes clear that the collapse of the Soviet bloc, including that of the > Soviet Union (a process distinct from the former), signaled a late victory > for the earlier Cold War doctrine of "rollback" over the later Cold War > doctrine of "deterrence". Deterrence doctrine (along with its concomitant > war-fighting strategy of "escalation dominance") was fundamentally a > psychological artifact. It was really grounded more in presumed cognitive > processes of Soviet decision-makers than in any immutable facts of > geography. By contract, rollback at least suggested the relevance of > geography: rolling "back" was a spatial rather than psychological concept. > In a particularly striking manner, however, we have since September 2001 > watched, following the validation of a geographically based Cold War > doctrine, the progressive deterritorialization of US security and defense > doctrine. > > This means that geography no longer matters from the standpoint of defining > US national interests. The "war against terrorism" is an all-subsuming > rubric under which the doctrine of "preemptive war" is asserted without > respect to military theater. The current US administration brings the "war > against terrorism" home through such legislation as the "Uniting and > Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept > and Obstruct Terrorism" (USA PATRIOT) Act of 2001. US security and defense > policy has been "deterritorialized" not because it is has become without > reference to territory, but because it does not distinguish among > territories. > > That fact establishes the parameter within which Turkey has lost its > relative geopolitical significance to the United States as a regional power > allied against a territorially defined enemy (the erstwhile Soviet Union). > Turkey has, since September 2001, been transformed in practice from a > strategic regional ally into a tactical facilitator of the deterritorialized > "war against terrorism". Thus when the Turkish Grand National Assembly > failed to approve the US deployment into Iraq through the country, the > Americans simply made other plans. > > The war on Iraq was not really fought against an enemy capable of inflicting > fundamental harm upon the United States; the US reply to the events of > September 2001 illustrates the country's resilience. The war on Iraq was, > rather, a means to an end: it is intended as a demonstration of Washington's > capacity to assert US prerogative without restriction, anywhere, any time: > when reach is ubiquitous, territory ceases to have meaning. One unintended > consequence has been, as a conservative Eastern European diplomat has put > it, that former anti-anti-Americans in his region have found themselves > turned today, against their will, into anti-Americans. This is the dynamic > that threatens to play itself out also in Turkey, but with much greater > violence and unpredictability. > > Why will this happen so? To be sure, Turkish public opinion was > overwhelmingly opposed to the US deployment. Yet as Deputy Defense Secretary > Paul Wolfowitz recognized during a visit to Ankara in late May, the Turkish > government allowed a parliamentary "free vote" (ie, not subject to party > discipline) because "the military [did not] say it was in Turkey's interest > to support the United States ... with the kind of strength that would have > made a difference". And this was because the Turkish military, still > thinking itself a strategic rather than tactical player in Washington's > eyes, miscalculated and sought to impose upon the US its own conditions for > acquiescing in a war that it did not really need on its own border. These > conditions included the deployment of tens of thousands of Turkish troops in > northern Iraq and, by implication, Turkey's policy toward the Kurdish people > within Turkish borders. > > Thus Gul's visit to Washington occurred in the context of the creation of a > high-level US-Turkish military committee to investigate the detention of > Turkish soldiers by US forces in northern Iraq this month. News reports from > Ankara indicate that discussions in the joint committee included exploration > of possibilities to create an "international protection force" for northern > Iraq. > > With the refusal of India, France and Germany to supply forces to backstop > the US occupation of Iraq, and with United Nations Secretary General Kofi > Annan's invitation to Washington to supply a timetable for withdrawal of US > forces unlikely to be accepted, an international aegis for such a force is > unlikely. Press reports from Ankara state that the United States has > accepted the principle that Turkey will take command of any region in > northern Iraq where Turkish soldiers may be deployed. > > In the absence of UN authorization, then, it seems increasingly likely that > the US will come to rely at least in part upon Turkish troops to be sent > into northern Iraq. How far "mission creep" will go remains undetermined. > > The quid pro quo for this could likely be US acquiescence, if not > assistance, in suppression of Kurds in Turkey. That would be an ominous > development in light of a recent statement by the presidency of Turkey's > Kurdistan Freedom and Democracy Congress (KADEK), the political and social > organization into which the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) transformed > itself in the late 1990s, during and after PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan's > arrest and trial. > > KADEK has stated that if the Turkish state does not reciprocate its own > policy of compromise (in effect since the late 1990s at Ocalan's suggestion > and insistence), then it will resume armed combat. With the Kurdish ethnos > spread across the map from Syria into Iran, and with a political and > territorial foothold in northern Iraq - where the main Iraqi Kurdish parties > wholly support US policy and seek to establish a degree of relative autonomy > from Baghdad within a federal state - the stage would be set for further > "unintended consequences" of the US invasion: just what Washington doesn't > need. > > Robert M Cutler (www.robertcutler.org) is research fellow, Institute of > European and Russian Studies, Carleton University, Ottawa. > > > > _______________________________________________ > 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 _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. 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