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Will oil companies provide Kurdistan its de facto statehood?

Iraq, Kurds, Turks and oil - A tortuous triangle The governments of Turkey, Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan play a dangerous game [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 2, 2013 - 9 comments

Decontaminating Halabja

Halabja chemical weapons: A chance to find the men who armed Saddam? "Nearly 25 years ago, Iraqi forces killed thousands of their own civilians using chemical weapons on the Kurdish town of Halabja. Now steps are about to be taken to discover which country - and possibly which factory - supplied some of the chemicals." Via BBC
posted by marienbad on Dec 4, 2012 - 24 comments

Kirkuk: Ignore It While You Can

Kurds Move To Upend The Status Quo In Kirkuk - "In northern Iraq, Kirkuk has always been a flashpoint with Kurds, Turkmen and Arabs, who all claim it as their own. It has a special place in the new Iraqi constitution, but nothing has changed for years." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Mar 31, 2011 - 1 comment

The path to 'victory'

Is This a 'Victory'? "We hear again and again from Washington that we have turned a corner in Iraq and are on the path to victory. If so, it is a strange victory."
posted by homunculus on Sep 28, 2008 - 52 comments

The Khaldun Option

A Kurdish-controlled Iraq?
The goal of human society, ibn Khaldun thought, was the development of culture and the sciences.
For a variety of reasons, namely "geopolitical reality," it'd never work, but a poli-sci friend of mine did call it "philosophically interesting and compelling even."
posted by kliuless on Sep 24, 2007 - 30 comments

Several Thousand Turkish Troops Enter Iraq

Newsfilter: Turkish Troops Enter Iraq
posted by huskerdont on Jun 6, 2007 - 66 comments

Yezidi woman stoned to death in "honour killing"

A teenage girl was stoned to death for loving the wrong boy. Du’a Khalil Aswad, a 17-year old Yezidi girl who lived in Northern Iraq, fell in love with a Sunni Muslim boy, and possibly converted to Islam. For this she was stoned to death in a public "honour killing" which was recorded on video and spread on the internet (warning: graphic and disturbing. YouTube took theirs down.) 23 Yezidis have been killed in retaliation. [Via Disinformation.]
posted by homunculus on May 4, 2007 - 265 comments

"The name of the photographer cannot be revealed at this time."

"'Who has this picture?' he asked, his voice rising. 'Nobody.'" He won a Pulitzer in 1980 for "Spot News Photography" , but didn't, or couldn't, take credit. (via [1] [2] [3])
posted by bardic on Dec 5, 2006 - 25 comments

Partitioning Democracy

The practical future of the country formerly known as Iraq. [NewsFilter, but a significant acknowledgement of something long-in-coming.]
posted by digaman on Aug 9, 2006 - 63 comments

The Other Iraq

The Other Iraq: "The Government and the peoples of Kurdistan invite you to discover their peaceful region, a place that has practiced democracy for over a decade, a place where the universities, markets, cafes and fair grounds buzz with progress and prosperity and where the people are already sowing the seeds of a brighter future." via Sterling
posted by signal on Nov 15, 2005 - 33 comments

Peter W. Galbraith on the new Iraqi constitution

Last Chance for Iraq - Peter W. Galbraith, writing in the New York Review of Books, on the new Iraqi constitution. He compares it to a peace treaty between three warring parties. Previous threads: Bush's Islamic Republic. The Bungled Transition. How to Get Out of Iraq.

Underneath an Islamic veneer, Iraq's new constitution ratifies the division of Iraq into three disparate entities: Kurdistan in the north, an Iranian-influenced Islamic state in the south, and, in the center, a Sunni region that has no clear political identity, but that with luck and concerted diplomacy could be governed by a new generation of Sunni Arab leaders. The constitution provides a basis for resolving Iraq's most contentious issues: oil, territory, and the competition to be the dominant power in Baghdad. If these issues are not addressed, they could set off a widespread civil war. ... The constitution has many flaws, but it provides a peace plan that might work, and it is therefore the most positive political development in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein from power.
posted by russilwvong on Sep 14, 2005 - 16 comments

The battle the US wants to provoke

The battle the US wants to provoke Make no mistake: this is not the "civil war" that Washington has been predicting will break out between Sunnis, Shias and Kurds. Rather, it is a war provoked by the US occupation authority and waged by its forces against the growing number of Shia who support Moqtada al-Sadr (by Naomi Klein in Baghdad).
posted by acrobat on Apr 6, 2004 - 49 comments

Remembering Halabja

15 years ago today Saddam Hussein launched an unprecedented chemical weapons attack on 20 Kurdish villages. (warning: disturbing images). I think this speaks for itself.
posted by clevershark on Mar 16, 2003 - 53 comments

A cry for help from Kurdistan

From the faculty at Salahaddin University in Kurdistan: "We as academic staff for the region's biggest Universities attended by different nations including Kurds, Turkman, Assyrians, Chaldeans and Arabs condemn this terrible threat towards our achievements and legitimate rights and express our complete refusal to any Turkish military intervention into the region's territory and affairs."
posted by Artifice_Eternity on Mar 3, 2003 - 3 comments

A War Crime or an Act of War?

A War Crime or an Act of War?

But the truth is, all we know for certain is that Kurds were bombarded with poison gas that day at Halabja. We cannot say with any certainty that Iraqi chemical weapons killed the Kurds. This is not the only distortion in the Halabja story. ..

This much about the gassing at Halabja we undoubtedly know: it came about in the course of a battle between Iraqis and Iranians. Iraq used chemical weapons to try to kill Iranians who had seized the town, which is in northern Iraq not far from the Iranian border. The Kurdish civilians who died had the misfortune to be caught up in that exchange. But they were not Iraq's main target.

And the story gets murkier: immediately after the battle the United States Defense Intelligence Agency investigated and produced a classified report, which it circulated within the intelligence community on a need-to-know basis. That study asserted that it was Iranian gas that killed the Kurds, not Iraqi gas. (NYT)
posted by y2karl on Jan 31, 2003 - 34 comments

This New Yorker article

This New Yorker article is a must read. Long and exhaustive (but well worth the trip), I believe it could have the power to change many minds about what should be done, and when, about Iraq and its dictator. The essential story is about the horrible and terrifying effects of Saddam Hussein's gassing of Kurdish villages, but as the story reminds us at the end "Please understand, the Kurds were for practice"
posted by cell divide on Mar 27, 2002 - 13 comments

Hawk hiccup? How wide is wider in a `wider war'?

Hawk hiccup? How wide is wider in a `wider war'?
    With the world dazed and everything in flux, seize the moment. I'd make a deal with Ankara right now to move across Turkey's border and annex the northern third of Iraq.
    Safire has been Monday-morning quarterbacking in his column since September 11. (He suggested the FBI wasn't doing enough to "deprogram" material witnesses with "conservative Muslim clerics".) He's made no bones about his desire to squash all terrorists, coalition be damned. He's sided with "wider war" wing of the administration, but this is by far the zaniest scheme--projected onto his ex-boss in a convo from hell. I know there are a lot of people--intelligent people--reading MeFi that support the war. Mostly our discussions have run pro/anti. The flower-children (anachronistic anarchists?) like me should sit out this one. Do any of you imperialists pig-dogs support this?
posted by rschram on Nov 5, 2001 - 28 comments

Iraq's Kurds OK with sanctions?

Iraq's Kurds OK with sanctions? (and from the Washington Post here) The Kurds in the no-fly zone recieve a fraction of the oil money under the sanctions and seem to be doing pretty well; there's food and medicine enough to go around, to say nothing of free elections and an abundance of political parties. Is there something I'm missing? It doesn't feel like it's being spun; nobody's making a big deal about it. But it does go against the conventional wisdom on sanctions...
posted by dreamless on Sep 16, 2001 - 16 comments

At his gig on Sunday, Mark Thomas did a show about the continuing repression of the Kurds in Turkey, the appalling record of torture and other human rights abuse there and in particular the building of the Ilisu Dam, a social, environmental and archaeological disaster. And we in Britain are paying for it. Hurrah.

Contrary to that article, UK Gov support for the the Dam has not been dropped. Previous (vaguely similar)MeFi thread here.

Oh and, apparantly wearing a badge can be illegal now.


posted by Grangousier on Jun 27, 2001 - 2 comments

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