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 Masrour Barzani’s comments on Kurdish independence rights

 Analysis — Opinion
  The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author


Masrour Barzani’s comments on Kurdish independence rights ‎ 23.6.2011 
By Baqi Barzani -

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June 23, 2011

Trailing his father and grandfather’s footmarks, Masrour Barzani, the son of the President of the Kurdistan Region, seeks to rekindle the long-sought Kurdish nation’s optimism by asserting that Kurds reserve the legitimate right to self-rule.

His late grandfather, Mustafa Barzani, is the most the prominent political figure in the contemporaneous and modern Kurdish politics. He was the national and spiritual father of the demoralized Kurdish people and a symbol of struggle, hope, peace, and freedom for tens of millions of homeless Kurds around the globe. The irreplaceable Mustafa Barzani, passed behind a legacy of tolerance, justice, leniency, diplomacy, harmony and love.

His father, Massoud Barzani, has persistently lobbied for the universal recognition of Kurdish independence right in hundreds of private interviews and official meetings. In Damascus, Tehran, Baghdad and Ankara, nothing has dissuaded him to stridently bespeak, champion and convey the single message of his people “An independent Kurdistan is our right”.

Barzani directly objected to the skewed “Baker Hamilton report in 2006”, suggesting it would strip Kurds of many of their legitimate constitutional rights. Most recently, when he was honored with the “Atlantic Award for Peace by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), he did not dither to seize the prospect to put forward Kurdish self-rule case once encore with his EU links.

Almost every Kurdish leader in any part of Kurdistan has had strong convictions in Kurdish independence. Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in South Kurdistan (Iraq) can turn into another “Republic of Mahabad”. Kurds retain another golden chance in their hands, and Kurdish hesitation and consternation should not shelve its transpiration.

During a recent interview with The National in Erbil, Masrour Barzani, the son of the President of the Kurdistan Region, states "If, for instance, tomorrow we declare independence and nobody in the world wants to deal with us, what good would that do?" He goes on by saying, “We have [minerals], we have gas, we have - you name it, but if nobody wants to do business with an independent Kurdistan, then it will not survive. ”We don't want to be isolated; we don't want to live here without being a part of the international community. "He adds, “Kurds should exercise restraint and demonstrate more meekness.

Masrour’s remarks are persuasive and reasonable. Most Kurds grasp the geo-political sensitivities surrounding Kurdistan; therefore, it would be in Kurdish nation best interest to apply the United Nation leverage and muscles to garner more support. This would also circumvent any direct confrontation or illegitimate aggression by the powerful adjacent states. A starting proposition can be for the Kurds to attempt collecting signatures and submit a petition to the UNO to revitalize Kurdish case and kick off the preliminary procedures.

Sooner or later, Turkey, Syria and Iran will have to reluctantly admit to broaden the extent of autonomy for their own sizable Kurdish population. An independent Kurdish state only in South Kurdistan (Iraq) will offer more security, stability, economic advantages, primarily to Turkey. Turkey would definitely prefer a Kurdistan over an Iraq dominated by Islamists Arabs. Kurdistan has been flooded with Turkish companies; especially in oil and energy sector. Turkey harvests some 12 + billion US dollars in annual trade with KRG,
www.ekurd.netand is currently the primary recipient of giant reconstruction projects. Why would Turkey opt o jeopardize its economic and political interests for the Shiite or Sunni Arabs? Given the strong antipathy by neighboring powers and vitality of outstanding neighborhood ties, in particular toward Turkey, any declaration of independence should be contingent on merely containing the territorial disintegration of South Kurdistan (Iraq). Turkish objection could then be overcome and appeased by not losing its lucrative exclusive economic deals with Kurdistan Government (KRG).

Damascus and Tehran regimes are already on the verge of collapse. It is just the matter of time.

Relying on international protection is a perquisite; however, we can partially be blamed for our lack of proper planning’s, as well. Have we contemplated over some defined strategies to achieve our independence ends?

There was an extensive advocacy for Kurdish self-rule case, but it witnessed a steady decline as Iraq overall stability level boosted partially. A secure and stable Iraq, not Kurdistan, will not serve our national interests. Baghdad central government should not be strengthened by any means. Baghdad can exploit oil funds to dominate the nation and gain back its military strength. Kurdish Peshmarga forces should resist being integrated into a national Iraqi Army. The pro- Kurdish US should be dragged into mediating a settled solution among the lingering dissensions between the Kurds and Arabs. Implementation of article 140, once and forever determining the status of Kirkuk and other disputed Kurdish regions, should no more be postponed and it is more stress-free to be clinched while the US military is still in attendance.

Concluding my opinion: centralism will only strengthen Arabs position in Baghdad and federalism will only result in our discrepancies remaining in the offing. Every successive Iraqi centralized system of control has failed to assimilate and integrate the Kurds since last century. It is a substantiated vain effort. With the drawdown or relocation of US forces, Iraq will eventually break apart. We must be geared up to confront the challenges and thwart the potential menaces ahead of. Are we ready?

Baqi Barzani is a Kurdish citizen of Sought Kurdistan [Iraq]. He advocates the notion of " establishing an independent Kurdish state". He contributes to various Kurdish media outlets, especially You may reach the author via email at: [email protected]

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  The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author


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