"Kurdistan, the other Iraq"... or "Kurdistan, the other other Vietnam" ?

Iraq's Kurdistan region opened, through the Kurdistan Development Corporation, a lobbying office in Washington, DC*. Headed by Qubad al-Talabani, son of Jalal Talabani, the President of Iraq as a whole (a black hole some may say), this unit officially promotes investments and tourism in the region. Autonomy and independance could be part of the discussions.

I do feel some sympathy for Kurds in general and I do wish them a peaceful future. Yet, I'm not so sure this is the way everybody wants it and even if Talabani were honest, other players would join the lobbying frenzy.

I remember the intense Iraqi lobbying between the two wars. Who could forget Ahmed Chalabi and his Iraqi National Congress ? Among the different approaches for the liberation of Iraq, US theocons deliberately favored the factions that were bound to cause maximum damage. The parting of Iraq and the strengthening of fundamentalists across the region (especially and Iran and Israel) was not only expected but planned from the start.

If I were a US fundamentalist, I surely wouldn't want a democratic and peaceful Kurdistan to emerge in the dead middle of my playground.

A failed proof of concept Kurdistan could not only strengthen radicals in Iran but also infuriate and exacerbate fundamentalists in Turkey. To the contrary, I would seize the opportunity to bring chaos in this relatively protected part of the country, and to exacerbate radicalism everywhere. I would especially infuriate Turkish nationalists and fundamentalists, because as anybody can see these days, the radicalization of Turkey is key to the revival of Christian fundamentalism in Europe.

Don't mistake this initiative as an attempt to put a lock on Kirkuk oil fields : the aim of the game is to get rid of secularism in Turkey.

* see CMD's "The "Other Iraq" Opens a DC Lobbying Office" (20070302)

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