Monday, February 18, 2002

Friday Night Special

From Andrew Dodge:

Friday night I attended a meeting where the head of the Parliament of Kurdistan spoke at lenght.

Fun way to spend the Friday, Andrew. Any way we can profit from Andrew's lack of a social life, or different priorities in life, by reading the account he has written.

There are a few caveats I'd like to add to this:

1) Journalists were coming away from Khomeni in Paris babbling on about how moderate a figure he was. Political dissidents do know the right tunes to play to Western audiences.

2) There are two factions running various bits of Iraqi Kurdistan, and they are both seperate from the Iranian Kurds and the Turkish/Kurdish PKK which has colonised parts of London (as Andrew points out, sort of). A "Kurdish Parliament" is a bit of a misnomer.

3) They firmly believe in the state of Iraq. Then why do they call themselves a "Parliament" which is itself a declaration of sovereignty.

4) An independent Kurdistan is going to cause ruptions throughout the Middle East. Not just in the axites Iran and Iraq, but in our ally Turkey (with by far the largest Kurdish population). An active Western support for statehood could spin out of control in Turkey. Be careful not to use this as a wedge issue unless destabilising Turkey is judged an acceptable risk.

Anyway, if you haven't yet read his piece, please do so.


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