October 14, 2015

Barzani’s Broken Promises - By Heyrsh Abdulrahman

Holed up in the resort once used by the dictator and tyrant Saddam Hussein is the man the west has grown accustomed to calling the opportunist, President of the Iraqi Kurdish Region, Masoud Barzani. Barzani has been accused by the opposition of living a life in luxury while his people faces an existential fight against the ISIS. Legitimately elected in 2005, Barzani who’s party continues to have a majority in Parliament has molded the rules to stay in power and yet even that seems to have dried up. It would seem it’s just a matter of time before he is forced to leave   the Kurdish cause alone.

When Masoud Barzani  came to power and imposed himself to counter Talabani in Baghdad, there were immense hopes in the hearts of the KDP loyalists for the son of Mustafa Barzani. Yet the tale of Barzani’s presidency has been one of broken promises and despair for the Kurds who are now facing the menace of ISIS at their door step.

The Independence that Never Came

When Masoud Barzani  came to power, the ordinary Kurds expected Barzani to announce separation from Iraq and to establish an autonomous and sovereign Kurdistan. Mr. Barzani  has made it a regular fixture of his speeches to promise his people independence on numerous occasions – the details of how exactly he acomplish this have only been a myth. The promise has yet  to come to fruition.

According to the Kurds, the time when ISIS attacked parts of Iraq and seized and overran it, sending the Iraqi Government in disarray and eventually leading to the removal of Maliki from the premiership after the elections, was the perfect time to strike and announce an independent Kurdiland. Yet despite a lot of public posturing, the President was never able to materialize his claims and he was criticized for his constant rhetoric being repetitive and aimed at falsely garnering popular support, but one which eventually always fell short, lying as some of his critics put it.

Keeping it All in the Family

Masoud Barzani’s broken promises are often associated with his personal and family ambitions to amass fortunes from the Kurdish cause. Barzani has used the enemies of the Kurds such as the Turks as allies. The current Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region is Barzani's nephew,  the son of his deceased brother Idris, further fueling the claims of Nepotism against his regime.

It has been alleged that the President who has served his constitutional limit of two terms and is currently on extended time, has been criticized for allowing and facilitating his family in amassing fortunes worth billions of dollars, using his contacts with the Iraqi government in helping them get oil contracts, etc. The Barzani family it has been claimed, by the Kurdish opposition and leading international journalists controls a large number of commercial enterprises in the region and have stakes in the oil market, mobile businesses and control a number of banks.

The majority of Kurds now believe Barzani is working with the enemies, the Turks, who have continued to suppress and bomb the Kurdish fighters to extend Barzani's stay in power.  As the saying goes, you either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become a villain.  Barzani should be able to see he has become the villain and the Kurdish cause and the region is better off without him.


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