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[casi] Kurds

Dear PG and all

> Australia's THE AGE newspaper reports "Saddam came into the hands
> of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK.)"  It doesn't talk about Kurds,
> but a Kurdish state. Except, that state does not officially exist. It's a
> dream of the Kurds in Northern Iraq, and a nightmare for Turks.

PG has recently mailed an article from 'Op-ed news' (I don't know what Op-ed
News is) arguing that the US might have cut a dangerous deal with 'the
Kurds' giving them the separation they want which might throw the whole area
into (yet more) turmoil. Which may be the case but this extract, which
confuses the name of the political party, the PUK, with the name of a state
doesn't inspire confidence.

On the other hand, the confusion may be understandable. Does anyone have any
idea what is happening in the Kurdish areas? Shortly before the invasion a
united Kurdish Parliament was hastily cobbled together (see my news mailing
for 6-13 September, 2002), uniting the PUK and the KDP controlled areas. We
hear a lot about the 'Prime Minister' Barham Saleh, who I assume is the PM
of this united Parliament. So does that mean he is PM of the area that
includes the KDP areas? And that he speaks for them as well? Or is he just
PM of the PUK area, since I think the two fiefdoms still have their own
Parliaments, and it seems probable that the united Parliament is only there
for the sake of appearances.

In fact we hear nearly nothing about Barzani and the KDP. A recent article
in the FT on Ahmad Chalabi posted to the list referred to his rival 'Jalal
Talabani's palatial spread on the banks of the muddy Tigris. The place is so
large and garish it seems more like an official building than a residence,
typical of the old regime.'

So has the PUK won the old inter-Kurd war? Or is something being prepared in
the Kurdish areas while Talabani is swanning about with the international

Best wishes


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