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 Why so much animosity between Baghdad and Kurdistan?

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


Why so much animosity between Baghdad and Kurdistan? ‎ 4.5.2012 
By Rizgar Khoshnaw, Washington DC

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Kurdistan president Massoud Barzani (R) with Iraqi PM Nouri Al-Maliki, Photo: AP/ 2010. Read more by the Author
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May 4, 2012

It seems lately that not a day goes by without reading an article/story about how the Iraqi government is in serious conflict with the Kurdish government and Kurdistan in general. I am sure many of us are wondering what Baghdad is "up to" when it comes to dealing with the Kurds now and in the future.

By now we all know that without the support of the Kurds, the current Iraqi government would not been established. It was the support of the KRG that allowed the formation of it and it is very disturbing and scandalous to see that Baghdad is turning its back on the Kurds. Not only Baghdad is "reneging" on its promise, but it seems that they disapprove everything that the KRG is doing; politically as well as economically.

For example, I read today that Mr. Massoud Barzani's visit out side of Kurdistan has been criticized by the Iraqi central government for absolutely no valid reason. And when Mr. Barzani visited Washington, DC, the Iraqi government attempted to stop the meeting between Mr. Barzani and the US president, Mr. Obama. What would the Iraqi government accomplish/gain by stopping such meeting? What was the motive behind such request and malicious action taken by the Iraqis?

Another example of how the Iraqis are making every effort to hurt and marginalizes the Kurds is by removing top Kurdish military officials/officers that are currently serving in the Iraqi national army. Once more, it is obvious to see that they are telling the Kurds that they are no longer part of the Iraqi military elite. Furthermore, Baghdad is asking the KRG to abide and oblige them with many unreasonable requests. Requests such as: Hand over "heavy" military equipments, turn over Mr. Tariq Al-Hashime and Mr. Al-Shahristani call this conflict, "internal affairs" and expect the international community to remain silent on such abusive practices/attitudes against the Kurds.

From everything that I am reading in the news media, it seems that the Kurdish politicians are sincerely trying to resolve all issues peacefully with Baghdad as well as the local Kurdish parties. In the past month alone, Mr. Nechirvan Barzani and Mr. Massoud Barzani have held meetings with Mr. Nawshirwan Mustafa, as well as other party leaders, to work out their differences for the sake of the Kurdish survival and well being. I think it is the right move for all parties in Kurdistan to join forces and work together now since we are faced with such hate and anger from Baghdad. We can not allow Baghdad to determine our fate and future.

To make our case more complicated and dangerous, Baghdad is now "hinting" at using their newly acquired jet fighters (F-16) from the US against the Kurds. I am sure we all know that such move, or the thought of taking this action, will not be tolerated by the international community. I am also certain Baghdad realizes this and yet it does not appear to make any difference to them! Baghdad is bent on causing serious damage to Kurdistan and we should not remain silent and continue to fight for our rights.

Even thought Mr. Massoud Barzani made his displeasure/concern known about such military sales to Baghdad during his meeting with Mr. Obama, unfortunately he could not stop this sale. The US will surly go a head with the sale of these jet fighters no matter what we Kurds think or do! Anyone that knows about American system and "interest" will say that the sale of these F-16s will move forward no matter what. Honestly speaking, if I were Mr. Barzani's advisor, I would have suggested to him not to ask or make such request since the US will do what is the best interest of its people and not ours! It is time for the Kurds to unite and work together if we are going to survive and prosper and not depend on any outside forces to come to our rescue.

Read more at my newly created Facebook page (Iraqi Kurdish issue, Rizgar Xoshnaw)

Rizgar Xoshnaw, a regular contributing writer and columnist for

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


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