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 Dire consequences may await Kurds when American troops exit Iraq

 Source : Rauf Naqishbendi - opinion
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Dire consequences may await Kurds when American troops exit Iraq  25.11.2008 
By Rauf Naqishbendi

November 25, 2008

The Iraqi government and U.S. officials recently signed a pact regarding American troops withdrawal, that may well prove to be one of the most costly diplomatic blunders in U.S. history. It will compromise Iraq’s future and the fate of all Iraqis, subjecting them to the vices of Iranian Mullahs. The balance of power in the Middle East will shift in favor of Iran, posing a grave threat to U.S. interests and the security of its allies in the region. Moreover, America's only real friends in the Islam world, the Kurds, will suffer another genocide at the hands of Arabs who are known for their brutality toward Kurds, assisted by the Turks who are notorious for practicing genocide against defenseless people.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Iraq's foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari signed a broad document(17 November 2008) setting the American troop pullout from Iraq by December 2011. Mr. Zebari, a Kurd has just endorsed genocide against his people and placed his signature on a document assenting to mass Kurdish slaughter by Turks, Iranians, and Arabs.            

Rauf Naqishbendi
In the meantime, Secretary Rice signed a document welcoming Iranian domination in a volatile Middle East and accepting America’s defeat. In a nutshell, this hairball agreement has been a victory for the Iranians and Al-Qaeda, and a death certificate for a federated Iraq with an autonomous Kurdistan region, let alone a sovereign Kurdish state.

President George Bush’s legacy would have been enhanced if his Iraqi invasion succeeded in establishing a democratic Iraq which would have isolated and weakened the Iranian regime and resulted in regime change in Iran. That was a realistic assumption were America to win the peace in Iraq. But failure to secure peace has derailed every attempt to deflate Iran. Instead, it dealt Iran an upper hand in the region and elevated its political influences. As long as Iranians are in contention with American interests in the Middle East, this situation will be detrimental to the interest of the U.S. and its allies in the region. Economically, a combined Iran and Iraq would constitute a petroleum powerhouse that could disrupt the world economy by driving oil prices up and controlling its flow to the world market.

Pursuing the troop pullout from Iraq has been Iran’s goal since the ousting of Saddam Hussein’s regime. Iranian Mullahs have been fearful of the U.S. military presence in their neighboring country, knowing that an ultimate goal would be to render regime change in Iran. In this context the consensus for U.S. military withdrawals from Iraq has been more in line with Iranian demands rather than demands from the Iraqi people. Remarkably Iran hasn’t used much of their monetary or military resources in this pursuit, preferring instead to let loyalists from the Iraqi government act on their behalf. Iraqi Shiite leaders are all granted asylum from Iran.

They are indoctrinated, sponsored and supported by Iran, and while they pay lip service to America, they are solemn Iranian loyalists. The perception of seasoned observers confirms that they have been acting as agents of Iranian influence. In essence, it is the Iranians rather than the Americans who are exercising political power and influence over Iraq. Essentially when U.S. steps out of Iraq, the Iranians will step in. The Iraqi government will become a franchise of the Iranian regime. This will broaden Iranian influence in the Middle East. Iran already enjoys solidarity with the Syrian government, leverages enormous influence over Hezbollah in Lebanon, and has the ability to sway power over terrorist organization in Palestine. This leaves Israel and other U.S. allies at a grave disadvantage.

Kurds, who have been pro-American and battled Saddam’s regime along with the Americans, face annihilation with the absence of American troops in Iraq. The Kurds are a minority locked between three anti-American countries - Syria, Turkey and Iran - with all three opposed to Kurdish freedom and united in crushing their demand for freedom. Surely the Kurds will not be able to defend themselves. The Kurds realize how ominous is the situation that faces them. Every single Iraqi government since the inception of Iraq has engaged in mass slaughter of the Kurdish population. The last Iraqi Arab leader in this line was Saddam, who committed genocide against Kurds. Kurdish consternation is well founded. Arabs, Turks, and Persians never had a shortage of tyrannical leaders toward Kurds. History bears witness to the tragedies inflicted upon Kurds at the hands of Turks, Arabs and Persians from the birth of Islam and uninterrupted to the present time.

The biggest loser in this ordeal will be Kurds who enjoyed great power in the Iraqi government during the early years of U.S. occupation. Foolishly, Kurdish leaders used their military and political clout to advance peace and security in Iraqi Arabia. While this was a benefit to both Arabs and American-Iraq policy, it left their Kurdish constituents dreams for independence with neither foundation nor political leverage. Kurds know full well that the bulwark necessary to shield them from the brutality of their neighboring nations is a sovereign Kurdish state, yet their leaders irresponsibly have done little toward this end.

Regardless of who will prevail after the U.S. military withdrawal in Iraq, Kurdish achievements under U.S. occupation will be erased much faster than it was earned. Kurds need American protection and without U.S. protection they will be consumed by anti-American forces in the region. In fact, Kurds in the Arab world are detested as much as Israel, and many Arab Mullahs have declared Jihad against Kurds, labeling them as “infidel” for their friendship with America. Kurds are an easy target for their fanatic belligerent neighboring nations for they are defenseless. To make the matter worse, the U.S. has been an ally and supporter of every nation abusive toward the Kurds in the past and present. Kurdish call for justice perhaps will be answered by President-Elect Barack Obama should he decide to return sanity to U.S. foreign policy and reassert America's perception of human rights.

The pact for US troop withdrawal may not hold true for decades to come. But if it does, December 31, 2011 will bring an end to American military forces in Iraq. If appropriate measures are not set in place before then, January 1st 2012 may well see the commencement of another round of genocide against defenseless Kurds.

Rauf Naqishbendi is a contributing columnist for Kurdish Websites, American Chronicle and has written Op/Ed pages for the Los Angeles Times. He has just completed his memoirs entitled "The Garden Of The Poets" which reads as a novel depicting his experience and the subsequent 1988 bombing of his hometown with chemical and biological weapons by Saddam Hussein. It is the story of his people's suffering. Rauf Naqishbendi is a software engineer in San Francisco Bay Area.

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