July 12, 2010
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Farewell Iraq! - By Baqi Barzani

After 7 years of engagement in vain democratization efforts, apart from the scan, vague level of tranquility, in reality, the state of affairs in Iraq has not experienced any tangible shifts.

The crippling economy, political instability, intensifying ethnic and religious divide testify to the fact that the sham state of Iraqi cannot be coalesced together.

The central government still remains powerless and lacks the capacity to impose laws on the tribally-administered Iraqi society. All government branches (judicial, executive, legislative) run quite autonomously from the authority of central government. Governmental corruption, fraud, embezzlement abound. The growing unemployment rate, inflation and poverty, especially among women are relapsing the country decades back.

Loyalty is only to the tribal and political leaders in lieu of the state. Sectarianism, factionalism,  and lack of patriotism among the  reinstated Sunni  “Bathist” loyalists and new-fangled Shiite recruits in the files and ranks of military is marring the optimism for creating a self-sustaining force that the public can rely on in case of any internal and external threats.

Illicit oil is being smuggled out of the country amounting in billions due to laxity in border control. Iraqi national resources are being plundered by foreign private firms without any accountability.

The unsettled discords existing between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the central government gravely imperil the future of the country and could trigger a new civil ethnic war at any time.

With two widely divergent chains of commands, Kurdish “Peshmarga forces” will never integrate with the Iraqi Arab-dominated Army. Calling in a UN peace-keeping force after the US leaves the mayhem behind for the Iraqis to shoulder as proposed by senior US military commanders will only spur more regional intervention.

The Iraqi central government does not comply with its own drafted constitutional obligations that were agreed upon by all Iraqi religious and political parties, including Kurdistan Regional Government. The future status of historical Kurdish oil-rich city of Kirkuk and other distributed territories remaining in limbo has disillusioned the Kurds to an extent that they do not hold any more faith in the ineffective central government and ponder about acting unilaterally. Indeed, the Kurds have been goaded into adopting the US inflicted agendas. South of Iraq has turned into a permanent base for Iranian military and terrorist activities. North of Iraq (Kurdistan) is the target of ruthless Turkish daily bombings. Regional countries continue to sabotage Iraqi infrastructure in order to thwart American gains in the region. Iraqi politics are shaped by foreign manipulation.

The 2011 withdrawal of all US combat forces in Iraq is contingent on the level of peace and political stability. Should the level of violence heighten at any moment, America forces will require reassessing their position and deferring their drawdown plan in order to contain the status quo from exacerbating.

Glancing at the Northern part of the very same country, (Kurdistan), resembles to comparing Paris with Rwanda. Kurdistan is at least two decades ahead of the rest of Iraq. Thanks to the consistent efforts of Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) for maintaining a terrorism-free climate and drawing foreign investment. The business and private Sector is booming, most of the infrastructure has been restored, and foreign companies are investing in tens of Billions.

Kurdistan cannot be weighed against Iraq. The two quite distinct nationalities (Kurds and Arabs) do not share any values in common. Even the curriculums indoctrinated at schools differentiate. The Kurds are embracing liberalism, secularism and more western values. 

American forces are well cognizant of the fact that departing Iraq at this very critical stage will produce contrary domino effects. The creation of an independent Kurdish state in North of Iraq will substantiate to be the best exit strategy.

It is time to make a clean breast and resume seeking long- term, practical solutions to the affliction of Iraqi masses. By splitting Iraq into two independent states, the US uphill struggle will come to an end once and forever.

The Kurds unveiled to the world that they do not hold the slightest desire to remain part of an unfounded Iraq through legitimate referendums. The overwhelming majority of Kurds voted in favor of an independent Kurdish state. 

An independent Kurdistan will serve the US and allies strategic military and political interests in the region. Kurdistan can also be employed as a permanent base for US forces to oversee the entire Middle East. The state of Israel enjoys outstanding relations with Kurdish nation. Israel can establish its embassy to curtail Iran’s burgeoning menace. This could be an encouraging indication to other Muslim states to open up direct diplomatic channels with the Jewish state, as well.

Serving as a gateway to Europe, given its immeasurable, concealed natural resources if further explored, wealth in oil, Kurdistan can safeguard US energy necessities, therefore, cutting off US out-all dependency on foreign unfriendly countries oil.

Iraq should be partitioned along ethnic lines. The disintegration will initially salvage Iraq and its citizens from the internecine conflict, and ultimately aid the US to wrap up its liberation mission.


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