Author Topic: Kurdistan Referendum/Other Developments (split fm Op IMPACT)  (Read 7751 times)

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Re: Kurdistan Referendum/Other Developments (split fm Op IMPACT)
« Reply #25 on: September 23, 2017, 11:35:32 »
Odd bedfellows @ Ottawa Kurdish rally?
Quote
Two Members of the Canadian Parliament on Thursday extended their support for the Kurdistan Region’s “democratic” process ahead of the historic independence referendum on Sep. 25.

The MPs spoke to Kurdistan 24 on the sidelines of a pro-independence rally in Ottawa, Canada, organized by The Greater Toronto Kurdish House and the Kurdish-Canadian Association of Ottawa.

Ziad Aboultaif, a Conservative party MP representing the Edmonton-Manning riding, said Canada “definitely always supports the freedom of people when they ask for it.”

“It is very important for the Kurds [who have been] waiting [for independence] for a long time to get to this point,” he stated.

Aboultaif also said the promises made to the Kurds within the past century need to be fulfilled.

“We support the process [of the referendum],” he added. “We support it to be peaceful, to be as easy as possible without having to leave any pieces for the future.”

Xavier Barsalou-Duval, a Bloc Québécois MP for the Pierre-Boucher—Les Patriotes—Verchères riding, said the Kurds deciding to exercise their right to self-determination through a referendum was a “very good thing.”

Barsalou-Duval highlighted the Kurds’ right “to choose if they want to be free or not,” adding that democracy and peace were important.

“I think every nation should have the right to decide if they want to be independent or if they want to stay as they are,” he said ...
A little bit more @ link
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Re: Kurdistan Referendum/Other Developments (split fm Op IMPACT)
« Reply #28 on: September 26, 2017, 13:27:29 »
Stand by for the "Qatar Option Cold Shoulder"?
Quote
Iraq gives Kurdistan till Friday to hand over control of airports to avoid embargo
Reuters, September 26, 2017 / 12:28 PM

The Iraqi government gave the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) until Friday 3:00 p.m (1200 GMT) to hand over control of its airports in order to avoid an international air embargo, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said, according to state TV.

The measure is meant as a retaliation against the independence referendum held by the KRG in northern Iraq on Monday.

Domestic flights are not involved in the ultimatum and in the worst case, international travel to and from the KRG will be re-routed through Baghdad and other Iraqi airports.

Baghdad last week asked foreign countries to stop direct flights to the international airports of Erbil and Sulaimaniya, in KRG territory, but only Iran declared such an air embargo, halting direct flights to and from Iraqi Kurdistan.

Humanitarian and “emergency” flights are exempted, provided they are pre-approved by Baghdad, Abadi said.

Baghdad will also ask neighboring countries to shut the border with Iraqi Kurdistan if the KRG doesn’t hand over border posts to the central government by Friday.
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Offline CBH99

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Re: Kurdistan Referendum/Other Developments (split fm Op IMPACT)
« Reply #29 on: September 26, 2017, 13:33:40 »
That's really going to hurt the economic prospects of Kurdistan, being that there are just sooooooooooooo many people and flights desperate to land there...   ::)
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Re: Kurdistan Referendum/Other Developments (split fm Op IMPACT)
« Reply #30 on: September 26, 2017, 13:55:01 »
That's really going to hurt the economic prospects of Kurdistan, being that there are just sooooooooooooo many people and flights desperate to land there...   ::)

I think the Iraqis are trying to embargo weapons deliveries.....
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Re: Kurdistan Referendum/Other Developments (split fm Op IMPACT)
« Reply #31 on: September 26, 2017, 14:54:31 »
The referendum is to proceed with negotiations on independence, now that they have a yes vote, the grabbing of cards to bring to the table begins. 

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Re: Kurdistan Referendum/Other Developments (split fm Op IMPACT)
« Reply #32 on: September 26, 2017, 20:59:51 »
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/451758/donald-trump-kurdistan-independence-isis?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=NR%20Daily%20Monday%20through%20Friday%202017-09-26&utm_term=NR5PM%20Actives

Trump Should Buck the Consensus on the Kurds

by Jonathan S. Tobin September 26, 2017 11:30 AM

The administration shouldn’t be bullied into betraying them.

We all know President Donald Trump isn’t a fan of the foreign-policy establishment, either in Washington or at the United Nations. To the contrary, he delights in confounding the experts and defying the international consensus on a variety of issues. Yet on one key matter, Trump seems to be adhering to the conventional wisdom. When it comes to independence for Kurdistan, Trump has been listening to the so-called wise men both inside and outside the government and has been clear that his administration opposes the referendum held there yesterday.

But in this case he should buck the consensus. He ought to signal that the United States will not go along with efforts to suppress the Kurds’ bid for freedom. Doing so would be not only the right thing to do for America’s sole reliable ally in the fight against ISIS, but also good strategy. Giving the Kurds a leg up toward their goal would provide Trump with something he has been looking for: leverage against Iran.

Trump put the world on notice last week, in his speech to the General Assembly of the United Nations, that he was not prepared to follow the lead of America’s European allies on Iran. He made a strong case that the nuclear deal his predecessor struck with Tehran had been ineffective in achieving its goal of ending the threat of an Iranian weapon. Just as important, he pointed out that the pact had both enriched and emboldened Iran.

There is good reason to believe that the Iranians are already pushing the envelope on compliance with the agreement, which legitimized their nuclear program - and whose provisions will start to sunset within a decade, essentially allowing Iran to build a weapon with international approval. The deal also has encouraged Iran’s leaders to believe that the country’s illegal missile tests, continued status as the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism (a designation that Obama’s State Department reaffirmed after the deal went into effect), and successful military adventure in Syria will go unchallenged by the West. With the help of the Russians, the Iranians have enabled the barbarous Assad regime to prevail in Syria’s civil war. That has given them what is, in effect, a land bridge to the Mediterranean stretching from an Iraq run by their Shiite allies to Lebanon, where their Hezbollah auxiliaries dominate.

Trump has struggled in vain to balance his desire to finish the campaign against ISIS in Syria and Iraq with his recognition of the danger that a triumphant Iran poses to the West and to Sunni Arab states eager to cooperate with the U.S. This question has exposed a terrible contradiction in his foreign policy: His desire to restrain Iran has collided with his hopes for better relations with Russia, which acts as Tehran’s ally in Syria.

Unfortunately, his urge to finish off ISIS has blinded him to the rights of the group that has done more than any other in the region to carry on that fight: the Kurds. While the Assad-Iran-Russia coalition in Syria has paid lip service to the war on ISIS, it has largely ignored the Islamic State in practice, concentrating instead on eliminating Assad’s other domestic foes. The Kurdish Peshmerga, the military force raised by Iraqi Kurdistan, has been the only reliable land force in the campaign against ISIS. Without the Kurds, U.S. efforts to rout ISIS would have continued to fail. And yet the same Western governments that have cheered the Kurds’ efforts are unprepared to countenance their desire for a state of their own.

Western indifference is a product of more than ingratitude. Though the U.S. regarded the Kurds as a friendly force throughout the war in Iraq, America was also heavily invested in maintaining the country’s unity, even if that concept was more of a legal fiction than a reality. Just as important, giving statehood to Iraq’s Kurds scares both Turkey and Iran, who both have substantial restive Kurdish minorities that have been subject to discrimination and repression.

Seen from that perspective, giving the Kurds their due might constitute not only a distraction from the war on ISIS but also a threat to Turkey, Iran, and the survival of the fragile Iraqi government in Baghdad.

But as Trump well understands, the boat sailed on Iraqi unity - and on any attempt to create a democratic federal system in Iraq - long ago. The Kurds know that if their rights are put on hold until after they’ve finished the dirty work of fighting ISIS, the world won’t lift a finger to ensure that any promises made to them will be kept. That’s why, in spite of condemnations from those neighboring governments and even discouragement from the United Nations - which is so solicitous about achieving statehood for Palestinians who support rather than fight terrorism - the Kurds have gone ahead and held their referendum.

Rather than providing support for the worrisome threats coming from the Turks, the Iranians, and the government in Baghdad, the U.S. ought to be signaling that this time, unlike numerous times in the past, the Kurds won’t be left to their fate. Supporting the Kurds, who have bled and died in a battle against terror the U.S. wanted fought but was too squeamish and war-weary to commit major land forces of its own to, is the right thing to do. And contrary to all of those wise men whispering in Trump’s ear that he can’t do anything to offend the Turks and Iranians, standing up for the Kurds is also in America’s strategic interest.

Though an independent Kurdistan in what is now northern Iraq won’t block Iran’s land bridge to Hezbollah, the presence of a strong armed force on Iran’s flank would provide the U.S. with the sort of strategic leverage against Iran for which Trump has been looking. Moreover, given the strength of the Peshmerga, the Kurds can defend themselves so long as the U.S. is prepared to honor its word to arm them.

Though the new state will fall short of a Jeffersonian democracy, it will still be freer than its neighbors. Like democratic Israel elsewhere in the region, Kurdistan will act as a bridgehead for the West in an area where dangerous forces have seized the initiative since Obama’s retreat from his “red line” in Syria and his nuclear deal with Iran.

As for the increasingly dictatorial state in Turkey, it’s time for Trump to send the Erdogan regime a message that he cannot dictate U.S. policy, and that the U.S. will not legitimize his ill treatment of Turkish Kurds by denying freedom to their coethnics in northern Iraq.

Backing the Kurds is exactly the sort of outside-the-box thinking that Trump promised when he was elected president. If he abandons the Kurds, just at the moment when they are most entitled to Western support, it won’t merely be another in a long history of betrayals of that people. It will be a sign that Trump lacks the insight and the courage to ignore his establishment advisers, and that his talk about rolling back Obama’s dangerous nuclear blunder with Iran is just posturing. That would be a greater danger to both his administration and U.S. interests than the displeasure of Erdogan or the ayatollahs could ever be.

Jonathan S. Tobin is opinion editor of JNS.org and a contributor to National Review Online.

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“The risk of insult is the price of clarity.” -- Roy H. Williams

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Re: Kurdistan Referendum/Other Developments (split fm Op IMPACT)
« Reply #36 on: October 02, 2017, 11:01:41 »
Even if Iraq manages to subdue the Kurds for now, then they have a new insurrection on their hands and eventually the Sunni tribes will regroup and fight as well.

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Re: Kurdistan Referendum/Other Developments (split fm Op IMPACT)
« Reply #37 on: October 15, 2017, 23:23:29 »
Looks like ground combat is beginning between the two sides.

Kirkuk: Iraqi forces advance on Kurdish-held sites
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-41631697

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Re: Kurdistan Referendum/Other Developments (split fm Op IMPACT)
« Reply #38 on: October 15, 2017, 23:37:29 »
We got our selves a hot war, fighting for control of Kirkuk has apparently begun, Kurdish CTG are arriving as reinforcements. This was posted a couple minutes ago on FB, I know not the best source

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Re: Kurdistan Referendum/Other Developments (split fm Op IMPACT)
« Reply #39 on: October 16, 2017, 03:26:24 »
Jesus, what a mess. I hope CANSOF is popping smoke RTFN. It does not serve our national interest to have any of our men and women die in this mess.
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

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Re: Kurdistan Referendum/Other Developments (split fm Op IMPACT)
« Reply #40 on: October 16, 2017, 06:16:25 »
Looks like ground combat is beginning between the two sides.

Kirkuk: Iraqi forces advance on Kurdish-held sites
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-41631697

Shouldn't they be more concerned with ISIS? Or am I missing something.
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Re: Kurdistan Referendum/Other Developments (split fm Op IMPACT)
« Reply #41 on: October 16, 2017, 10:45:22 »
Never underestimate an Arab's ability to find ways to start infighting. I suspect that Kurdish advances against ISIS outside of their claimed territory will stop right now and troops will be pulled back to defend the claimed areas, this will take the pressure off of ISIS and likely they will regroup, possibly only focusing on Syrian forces in order to allow Iraqi and Kurdish forces to fully engage each other.

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Re: Kurdistan Referendum/Other Developments (split fm Op IMPACT)
« Reply #42 on: October 17, 2017, 14:44:35 »
Is it just me or did the Peshmerga get pushed aside by the Iraqi army rather easily?

Disparity in equipment?
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Re: Kurdistan Referendum/Other Developments (split fm Op IMPACT)
« Reply #43 on: October 17, 2017, 16:15:45 »
Is it just me or did the Peshmerga get pushed aside by the Iraqi army rather easily?

Disparity in equipment?

The first thing you need to realize is "The Pehmerga" is not really a monolith.  They are in fact smaller fighting units affiliated with the individual politcal parties of Kurdistan.  They have fought together as their interests were aligned.

In this case it appears that the PUK party cut a deal with Iran/Shia Iraq and abandoned its key defensive positions leaving the KDP Peshmerga (Barzani clan) positions indefensible. Kurdistan is probably closer to civil war than independence at this point and the Turks, Shia Arabs and Iranians are ecstatic that it was all so easy.
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Re: Kurdistan Referendum/Other Developments (split fm Op IMPACT)
« Reply #44 on: October 17, 2017, 16:45:42 »
The first thing you need to realize is "The Pehmerga" is not really a monolith.  They are in fact smaller fighting units affiliated with the individual politcal parties of Kurdistan.  They have fought together as their interests were aligned.

In this case it appears that the PUK party cut a deal with Iran/Shia Iraq and abandoned its key defensive positions leaving the KDP Peshmerga (Barzani clan) positions indefensible. Kurdistan is probably closer to civil war than independence at this point and the Turks, Shia Arabs and Iranians are ecstatic that it was all so easy.
infighting within infighting?

Perfect, as if the region couldn't go any more into the gutter.
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Re: Kurdistan Referendum/Other Developments (split fm Op IMPACT)
« Reply #45 on: October 17, 2017, 16:46:44 »
Is it just me or did the Peshmerga get pushed aside by the Iraqi army rather easily?

Disparity in equipment?

By all accounts, the Peshmergha didn't fight back. They didn't want to get into an engagement, and simply moved back to the previous Kurdish autonomous regional lines.


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Re: Kurdistan Referendum/Other Developments (split fm Op IMPACT)
« Reply #46 on: November 15, 2017, 14:44:10 »
Interesting realignments of forces and interests appear to be happening now. What this means for the Kurds is difficult to determine, they could be useful as a regional ally against Iran (especially since there is a sizeable Kurdish minority in Iran). Most probable outcome is everyone will be attempting to use them for their ends, and whatever fragile Kurdish unity exists will be tested as the various sides compete to either court or crush the Kurds in their region:

https://pjmedia.com/spengler/trumps-unsung-success-middle-east/

Quote
Trump's Unsung Success in the Middle East
 BY DAVID P. GOLDMAN NOVEMBER 14, 2017 CHAT 56 COMMENTS

President Trump's Middle East policy is simple: Back our friends and scare the hell out of our enemies, and negotiate where possible with our competitors like Russia and China. By and large it's working, unlike the catastrophically failed polices of the previous two administrations. Trump did what he said he would do and succeeded. You wouldn't know that from the #fakenews media.

Start with Israel: The Muslim strategy to destroy Israel hasn't envisioned war--not at least since 1973--because Israel in all cases would win. Instead, the objective is to ring Israel with missiles and force Israel to retaliate against missile attacks in such a way that the "international community" would respond by imposing a "settlement" on Israel that would leave Israel vulnerable to further missiles attacks, and so forth. This is stated explicitly by Palestinian strategists cited by Haviv Rettig Gur in The Times of Israel.

George W. Bush and Obama gave aid and comfort to the encircle-and-strangle strategy by tying Israel's hands. Then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice wouldn't let Olmert attack Hezbollah with full force in 2006. Rice thinks the Palestinian movement is a branch of the U.S. civil rights movement (if you don't believe that characterization, read her book "Democracy," which I will review for Claremont Review of Books).

Obama sandbagged Israel during the 2014 Gaza rocket attacks, suspending delivery of Hellfire missiles to the Jewish State. Israel is the only country in the world that embeds human rights lawyers in every infantry company to make sure that its soldiers keep collateral damage to a minimum.

Hezbollah, Iran's Lebanese militia, has 150,000 rockets aimed at Israel, and many of them can hit any target in the country. In the case of a major rocket attack from Hezbollah against Israel, military logic dictates the preemptive neutralization of rocket launchers embedded in civilian populations--what an Israeli strategist close to the PM described to me as "Dresden." There would be tens of thousands of civilian casualties. Trump will not tie Israel's hands in the case of attack, and will not interfere with Israel's ability to defend herself. That makes Israel's deterrent against Iran credible.

Hillary Clinton insisted that the "technology of war," in particular the rockets ringing Israel, would force Israel to accept a phony peace agreement whose main effect would be to bring the rocket launchers closer to Israel. The photograph below shows the runways and main terminal building of Israel's international airport from an Arab village in Judea: Hand this over to the Palestinians and primitive short-range missiles can shut down the Israel economy. There's an easy way to stop the rockets, which is to kill the people who shoot them. That might mean killing the human shields whom the cowardly terrorists put in front of the rockets, but under international law, a country acting in self-defense has every right to kill civilians.

For that reason alone, anyone who claims to be a friend of Israel must support Trump against the alternative. One can criticize Trump all day with justification, but the existential issue of Israel's survival requires Jews to support him. Jewish never-Trumpers are infected with what our rabbis of antiquity called "baseless hatred."

The second big issue is Saudi Arabia, which competed with Iran for decades as the biggest funder of terrorists and religious extremists. After Trump's March 2017 trip to Saudi Arabia, where he read the riot act to assembled Arab leaders, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince has centralized control of the government and seized hundreds of billions of dollars of royal family assets. The $800 billion of royal family wealth targeted is larger than the national reserves of the kingdom. As I wrote in Asia Times last week, Saudi Arabia has gotten its first real government, as opposed to the family regime that allowed every crazy cousin to write checks to terrorists. Of course, the kingdom well might get its second, third and fourth real government in short order if Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman fails. But the de facto coup is a huge blow to Sunni jihadism and a victory for American policy.

Prince Mohammed and his father King Salman had visited Moscow in late September, and the Russian and Chinese press express guarded optimism about the regime change (see the cited Asia Times article). Russia and China have a great deal to fear from Sunni jihadists (virtually all their Muslim citizens are Sunni) and a Saudi ruler willing to close the tap is good for them. As I wrote, its win-win-win-win for the U.S., Russia, China and Israel.

That ought to scare the Persians plenty. The Saudis get very bad press for chopping up the Houthi-led tribes in Yemen, Iran's allies. They are making a horrible example of the Houthi for the edification of Iran. That is disgusting, to be sure, but that's the way things are done in that part of the world. The Assad government in Syria did much worse, deliberately bombing civilians to drive out the Sunni majority in order to replace it with Shi'ite colonists.

The Saudis don't have much of an army, and their air force depends on Pakistani mercenaries, but they do have nearly 300 fourth-generation aircraft (F-15's, Eurofighters, and Tornadoes) as well as a huge stock of Chinese-made medium range missiles. They can hire Pakistanis or Egyptians to fly them if necessary. Iran has tough soldiers but no air force to speak of. If it comes to war (which it shouldn't) between Iran and Saudi Arabia, Iran will suffer badly. A dozen power plants provide more than half the country's electricity, for example, and could not be defended in case of war.

There isn't much to do about Iran now that its economic ties point eastwards to China, except to terrify the Tehran mullahs. That's old-fashioned balance of terror--not my favorite way of doing things, but a policy that worked reasonably well during the Cold War. It's easy to talk about tearing up the Iran nuclear agreement--but now there are two rail lines linking Iran to China, and the West's influence in the region has vastly diminished. Unfortunately, grand gestures may not bring grand results, and the U.S. has to play tought and sometimes dirty.

Ultimately any regional issue depends on the strategic position of the United States with respect to China and Russia. We continue to lose ground, and Trump hasn't yet offered an initiative to reverse it (I would begin by a crash program for missile defense, including space-based systems).

There are any number of things to criticize in the administration's handling of the Middle East. I would have preferred a tougher approach to Iran's presence in Syria in our negotiations with Russia over a cease-fire, and a more supportive stance towards the Iraqi Kurds' aspirations for independence (although as Daniel Pipes observes, the fact that the independence referendum backfired was the Kurds' own fault). And I would like the president to keep his campaign promise to move our embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

But overall, Trump's Middle East policy has been a success, in striking contrast to his predecessors. The supposed Middle East mavens among the preening NeverTrumpers (Max Boot, Reuel Marc Gerecht, Bill Kristol et. al) made a mess of things, and Trump has gone a long way to cleaning it up. That's not bad for one year in office.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.