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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

From the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI)

This document is provided as a service by UNAMI. The material is drawn from non-UN sources and does not reflect the opinions of the United Nations, nor can the UN vouch for its accuracy

Wednesday, 16 February 2005

HEADLINES, Click to follow link

·         Sunni party leader says all groups must help draft constitution
·         Iraqi army closes down Baghdad area after attack
·         Poll-winning list nominates Al-Ja'fari for prime minister
·         Iraqi TV reports explosions on Samarra outskirts
·         Three explosions target crude oil, gas pipelines in Kirkuk
·         Kurdish leader says no agreement to appoint Talabani president
·         "Hundreds" of Turkomans protest at election violations in Kirkuk
·         Programme summary of Iraqi Al-Sharqiyah TV news 15 Feb 05
·         Al-Diyar TV news 15 Feb 05
·         Iraqi Al-Iraqiyah TV news 15 Feb 05
·         Iraqi Kurdish leader Talabani hails poll success
·         Iraqi Kurdish PUK official shot dead in Mosul
·         KDP leader praises women's participation in elections
·         KurdSat TV news 15 Feb 05
·         Updates from Kurdish Press- 15 Feb, 05

IRAQI NEWS, 15 Feb 05

Sunni party leader says all groups must help draft constitution

The leader of the Iraqi Islamic Party, Muhsin Abd-al-Hamid, said in an interview on Iraqi Al-Sharqiyah TV on 14 February that all Iraqi groups must participate in drafting the Iraqi constitution. Concerning the possible application of Islamic sharia law in Iraq, Al-Hamid said: "First of all, I would like to tell you that 97 per cent of the Iraqi people are Muslims. In all mundane laws, this overwhelming majority has the right to draft the constitution based on the laws of the Islamic nation." (Al-Sharqiyah TV 14 Feb 05)

Iraqi army closes down Baghdad area after attack

The Iraqi army closed off the entire Al-Adhamiyah area in Baghdad on 15 February, imposing a virtual curfew, Iraqi Al-Sharqiyah TV reported. The area was closed after gunmen attacked the headquarters of Al-Adhamiyah river police with rockets. The headquarters were reportedly used by the army as a base. According to the report, the attack resulted in a large number of casualties among the army members, although no details were given. (Al-Sharqiyah 15 Feb 05)

Poll-winning list nominates Al-Ja'fari for prime minister
The United Iraqi Alliance list nominated Ibrahim al-Ja'fari, head of the Islamic Da'wah Party, for the post of Iraqi prime minister, said Al-Jazeera TV on 15 February, quoting a source in the list. Al-Ja'fari currently holds the post of vice-president. (Al-Jazeera TV 1340 gmt 15 Feb 05)

The announcement came following the withdrawal of Finance Minister Adil Abd-al-Mahdi from contention and despite a report on Iraqi Al-Sharqiyah TV on 14 February that Ahmad Al-Chalabi, the leader of the Iraqi National Congress (INC) was a candidate for the post. In a press statement, Al-Chalabi had said: "I cannot predict the results, but I am supported by many of the winners in the elections and also by the United Iraqi Alliance." Jalal Talabani, leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan party (PUK), said that he intended to nominate himself for the post of the president. (Al-Sharqiyah 14 Feb 05)

Iraqi TV reports explosions on Samarra outskirts

Several strong explosions and intensive gunfire were heard in several areas on the outskirts of Samarra, north of Baghdad, Iraqi Al-Sharqiyah TV reported on 15 February. According to the report, the explosions seemed to be related to clashes in the same area, the correspondent noted. A medical source at the city hospital was quoted as saying a woman and a child were killed, and five others were wounded when a mortar shell fell on their house. The victims' house was reported to be near a US military base in the Al-Sikak area in southern Samarra. (Al-Sharqiyah TV 15 Feb 05)

Three explosions target crude oil, gas pipelines in Kirkuk

Lt-Col Husayn Muhammad, from the Iraqi Civil Defence Police in Kirkuk, said that three explosions overnight on 14-15 February targeted three pipelines used for transporting crude oil and gas in the eastern part of the city. Iraqi Al-Sharqiyah TV reported Lt-Col Muhammad as saying that the explosions had targeted crude oil and gas pipelines which connect the Dibs oil fields with those of Kirkuk. He said at 1005 local time (0705 gmt) that columns of smoke were still rising over the area, and that fire brigades were finding it difficult to extinguish the fires. (Al-Sharqiyah 15 Feb 05)

Kurdish leader says no agreement to appoint Talabani president

Barham Salih, a candidate on the Kurdistan Alliance list, denied media reports that an agreement had been reached with the United Iraqi Alliance list to support Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani as Iraqi president, Al-Diyar TV reported on 15 February. Salih said alliances with the coalition list had been forged more than 15 years ago. (Al-Diyar TV, Baghdad, in Arabic 1230 gmt 15 Feb 05)

"Hundreds" of Turkomans protest at election violations in Kirkuk

Hundreds of Turkomans demonstrated on 13 February in Baghdad to protest against what they said were numerous election violations in Kirkuk, the Iraqi newspaper Al-Dustur reported on 14th. A Turkoman Front leader said the worst violation was the arrival of a large number of Kurds from Arbil and Al-Sulaymaniyah governorates in Kirkuk Governorate "where they were housed in schools or taken in as guests by other people". He added that they had been "allowed to cast ballots more than once even though many were not of legal age". He also said that some voters had been forced to use pencils to mark their ballots, that there were "no electoral forms in Turkoman, Arab and Chaldean-Assyrian regions", that a number of polling centres had been closed on the grounds that they had run out of forms, that officials at some electoral centres had been beaten up, and that supporters of some Kurdish parties had been "wearing National Guard uniforms and taking ballot boxes to unknown places". (Al-Dustur, Baghdad, in Arabic 14 Feb 05)

Programme summary of Iraqi Al-Sharqiyah TV news 15 Feb 05
·         Lebanon declares three-day mourning following killing of former prime minister; Lebanese opposition accuse government, Syria of being behind killing of former prime minister; call for withdrawal of Syrian troops; observers fear return of Lebanon to civil war. Report over video showing Beirut streets, scene of attack on former Lebanese premier motorcade.
·         US pledges to punish perpetrators of crime against former Lebanese premier; France calls for independent international inquiry; Israeli foreign minister says former Lebanese premier killed by opponent of democracy in Lebanon; Palestinian Hamas, Islamic Jihad say Israel, US are sole beneficiaries of killing of former Lebanese premier. Archive pictures showing aftermath of yesterday's attack in Beirut.
·         Syrian vice-president, Spanish foreign minister present their condolences to Al-Hariri's family. Report over showing Syrian vice-president, Lebanese opposition leaders.
·         Anti-occupation Iraqi nationalist, religious forces hold meeting in Baghdad to discuss post-election developments in Iraq. Report over video showing meeting.
·         official sources tell Al-Sharqiyah TV correspondent efforts under way to increase number of votes received by some political parties to enable them to hold seats in parliament. Report over archive video showing Iraqis casting their votes.
·         Political forces competing for post of prime minister continue contacts; Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani seems to be favourite for post of president. Archive video pictures showing Iraqis voting.
·         Independent election commission's spokesman denies number of seats, percentage of representation of political forces in parliament was determined. Still picture of election commission spokesman.
·         Iraqi Islamic party says general election results do not represent true aspirations of all Iraqi voters; says non-participation of 42 per cent of registered voters represents drawback in elections, legitimacy of parliament.
·         Iraqi troops close Baghdad's Al-A'dhamiyah; prevent residents from using their vehicles. Report over video showing Iraqi soldiers, US troops, body of victim.
·         Baghdad primary school pupils miraculously escape mortar missile dropped on their school. Report over video showing school, scene of mortar attack, pupils describing explosion.
·         Iraqi soldiers lift bodies of four US soldiers drown in north Baghdad.
·         Iraqi oil gradually flow from northern Iraq to Turkey.
·         US soldier, two Iraqis killed in two separate attacks in Samarra. Map of Iraq.
·         Karbala police impose strict security measures to guarantee security for pilgrims ahead of Shi'i religious festival of Ashura. Report over video showing Karbala local authorities.
·         Spanish premier says he did not show respect for US flag on occasion of one of Spain's national holiday to stress his opposition to invasion of Iraq. Still picture of Spanish premier.
·         Iraqi Planning Ministry inaugurates first national centre for to provide geographic data in service of state institutions; provide information for foreign investment companies. Report over video.
Al-Diyar TV news 15 Feb 05
Electoral commission spokesman denies that commission specified number of seats and percentages in National Assembly for various political entities. He says commission still studying complaints... Barham Salih, candidate on Kurdistan coalition list, denies reports that agreement reached with United Iraqi Alliance list to give post of president to Jalal Talabani. Leader of Turkoman Front says election result does not fulfil ambitions of Turkomans. Al-Ja'fari expresses satisfaction with results... United States says it intends to help Iraqis form fully representative government... France calls on Iraqi political forces to engage in national dialogue... Turkey says it believes Iraqi election result does not reflect fair representation of all ethnic and religious groups... Former official with Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq accuses authority of wasting millions of dollars... Dutch forces in Al-Muthanna Governorate will leave Iraq on 7 March... Lebanese government says suspect in Al-Hariri's assassination arrested... traffic congestion in Baghdad... American soldier and 13 Iraqi security personnel killed in number of attacks in past 24 hours... British newspaper says British soldiers in Iraq leave army and join private security firms for better pay... Universities and schools in Mosul remain open despite security challenges... Al-Shuhada Bridge in Kirkuk repaired... Palestinian and Israeli officials to meet today to discuss handover of Jericho to Palestinian National Authority... interview with Education Ministry official on exam fees
Iraqi Al-Iraqiyah TV news 15 Feb 05
Independent Higher Commission for Elections in Iraq spokesman Farid Ayar denies final number of seats, vote percentage of poll winners already decided; says appeals against irregularities still being examined... UN Secretary-General Kofi Anan says Iraqis showed courage by voting... Vice-President Rozh Nuri Shawes says moves to form coalition government under way... Ammar Abd-al-Aziz al-Hakim, leader of the Martyr of the Al-Mihrab Foundation for Islamic Propagation, tells Al-Iraqiyah United Iraqi Alliance committed to its election pledges, parties which boycotted election should be integrated into political process, meetings held with Iraqi Islamic Party and Muslim Ulema Council... Iraqi transport minister to attend former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri's funeral... Lebanon investigators search home of Palestinian shown on video tape claiming responsibility for killing of Al-Hariri and 14 others in Beirut... Lebanon opposition calls for international investigation into killing... Report on history of political assassinations in Lebanon... Abducted Turkish businessman released in Iraq... American soldier killed, three injured in blast near Ba'qubah... Members of terror network arrested in Ninawa... Iraqis hope elected government will fulfil their aspirations... Report on Iraqis welcoming election result, expressing their hopes for better future... Baghdad residents pleased by decision to declare 30 January national day... Health centres in Baghdad's poorer districts suffer shortage of medical supplies... Education minister says new teachers to be recruited... French foreign minister holds talks in Saudi Arabia... Palestinians and Israelis reach agreement on security handover in West Bank cities... Kyoto Agreement comes into effect... Philippines army prepares for offensive in south... At least 59 killed in fire at mosque in Tehran; miners killed in China... US proposes UN sanctions against Sudan over Darfur crisis... Business bulletin. Tax reforms carried out in Iraq. International market report. Report on Al-Hariri's role in Lebanon's reconstruction... Iraqi artist Khalil al-Rifaye honoured at literary festival

KURD NEWS, 15 Feb 05:
Iraqi Kurdish leader Talabani hails poll success

Leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) Jalal Talabani met a number of Kirkuk-based party officials at his headquarters on 14 February, Kurdistan satellite TV reported. Talabani welcomed the elections results and the success of the Kurds in Iraq, and in particular in the provincial elections in Kirkuk governorate. Talabani pointed out that the alliance between Kurds, native Arabs, Turkomans and Cheldo-Assyrians was the major factor for the victory. (KurdSat TV 15 Feb 05)

Iraqi Kurdish PUK official shot dead in Mosul

Iraqi Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) newspaper Kurdistani Nuwe on 15 February reported that Husayn Jubra'il, member of the PUK Green Committee, was killed on 14 February in Mosul. The report quoted a source at the Ninawa branch office in Mosul as saying that "terrorist groups and remnants of the Ba'th regime" opened fire on Husayn from an Opel car. (Al-Sulaymaniyah 15 Feb 05)

KDP leader praises women's participation in elections

A high-ranking delegation from the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) met the secretary and members of the Kurdistan Women's Union (KWU) in Salah- al-Din, Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) satellite TV reported on 15 February. During the meeting, the KDP delegation, led by the secretary of the KDP Political Bureau, Fadil Mirani, thanked the Kurdish women for their active participation in the Iraqi and Kurdish regional elections. The secretary of the KWU, Shereen Amedi, in turn thanked the KDP leadership for its help and support to women. (Kurdistan Satellite TV 0800 gmt 15 Feb 05)

KurdSat TV news 15 Feb 05

Lebanon mourns Hariri, three days of mourning declared ...

·         The US Administration condemns Hariri's assassination ...
·         Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, PUK, leader Talabani receives outgoing commander of multinational forces based in Mosul, Gen Ham ...
·         The PUK leader meets members of the PUK Kirkuk branch ...
·         US military spokesman says a serviceman killed and three wounded in an explosion in Ba'qubah.

Updates from Kurdish Press- 15 Feb, 05

www.peyamner.com <http://www.peyamner.com>


The United Nations announced today in a statement that the organization provided support to a number of Kurdish refugees stuck on the Iraqi-Jordanian border. The UN also said that a Jordanian charity organization provided the support for the refugees adding that another number of refugees were heading to the same location on the border. More than 100 Iranian Kurdish refugees have been stuck on the borderline since 4 weeks.


Leadership Committee member of the Kurdistan Islamic Group (KIG) Zana Saeed announced in a telephone conversation with the website that his Group got 5 of the 111 seats of the Kurdistan National Assembly in the January election. Saeed further said that his group expected another seat once the remaining votes under representation level are counted and re-distributed among the winning lists.
¾         A source from the Independent Electoral Commission for Iraq (IECI) announced on condition of anonymity that two thirds of the objections raised on the results from Kirkuk governorate election were from the Iraqi Turcoman front. The source further said that while the IECI was engaged in the counting of the votes, [Turkish officials from] Ankara were in constant contact with the Commission to monitor the results from Kirkuk poll. It is worthy mentioning that the IECI annulled 90,000 Kurdish votes n Kirkuk under pretext that the voters did not have registration tickets from the year 1957 census.

Khabat daily issued by KDP in Erbil


KDP politburo executive Fadhil Mirani and his comrades received on Monday Shirin Amedi, who headed a senior delegation of the [KDP-affiliated] Kurdistan Women Union (Afratan). The discussions focused on the forthcoming sixth conference of the Union to find proper mechanisms to better advocate for women rights in Kurdistan. Mirani acknowledged the active participation of Kurdistan women in the elections.


Newswires quoted Iraqi FM Hoshyar Zebari as expressing his optimism for the Iraqi elections results. On distribution of ministry portfolios, Zebari reiterated the need to multi-lateral negotiations among the Iraqi political forces before approaching the new Parliament.
¾         The Iraqi Justice Minster Malik Dohan Al-Hasan falsified a news report by Kuwaiti Al-Qabas pepaer that quoted him as saying that Iraq's deposed dictator Saddam Hussein was not responsible for Halabja massacre with chemical weapons [in 1988]. The Minster said that he would sue the paper for the ``fabricated report'' that aimed at disgracing him.
¾         The Lebanese ex-PM Rafiq Al-Hariri died in a strong explosion that rocked Beirut on Monday. Two other Lebanese misters were also died in the explosion that damaged a luxurious hotel, as well as other buildings, including the office of the [KDP-affiliated] Kurdistan satellite TV in Beirut. The Ktv office manager sustained slight injuries in the incident.
¾         The Fraternity List for Kirkuk governorate municipal council election received 59% of the votes. The list has guaranteed 24 of the council's 41 seats versus 6 for Iraqi Turcoman front and 5 for the Iraqi Republican Gathering, one for the Iraqi National Gathering and one for Turcoman Islamic Alliance. The remaining 4 seats will be distributed among the winning lists, therefore the Fraternity list is expected to get another 2 seats to reach 26 in total.
¾         Kiruk Deputy Governor Ismael Al-Hadid [of Arab ethnicity] said the elected Governor and members of Kirkuk municipal council would have to act for implementation of Article 58 of the Transitional Administrative Law (TAL) in cooperation with the special committee established [by the Iraqi government] for normalizing the extraordinary situations in Kirkuk and other areas, which in practice means reversing Arabization.
¾         In a 2-hour clash inside a mosque in Mosul, the Iraqi national Guards troops and the multi-national forces killed 24 terrorists and captured another 18. Another four terrorists were killed in Intisar quarter of the city. Also in Mosul, the terrorists abducted a Kurdish young girl in Sumer quarter and killed another citizen at a traffic light downtown.

www.KurdistanPost.com <http://www.KurdistanPost.com>


The website launched an online poll asking whether it was still possible for the Kurds [in Iraqi Kurdistan] to establish their independent state after voting in the Iraqi elections. About 77% of the online voters answered YES and the remaining 23% said NO.

Kurdistani Nwe daily issued by PUK in Sulaymanya


The PUK leader Jalal Talabani said the election results reiterated the Kurdistani characteristics of Kirkuk, although the situation in the governorate is not normalized yet, the IDPs have not returned all and the detached [Kurdish] towns are not reintegrated into the governorate boundaries. In a broad meeting with head and senior members of PUK HQ in Kirkuk Monday, Talabani further said that the success of the Fraternity candidacy list [for Kirkuk governorate municipal council] was a pleasant start for Kirkuk's new history, The importance of the Fraternity list success lied in uncovering the groundless noise of Turcoman and Arab chauvinists, Talabani elaborated. Also at the meeting, PUK politburo member Jalal Jawher, who is in charge of his party's Kirkuk HQ, proposed the establishment of a special ministry in the forthcoming Iraqi cabinet to look after Kirkuk the liberated Kurdistani areas [outside the official boundaries of Kurdistan Region] in terms of supporting the return of IDPS and provision of service projects to them.


Talabani chaired PUK politburo meeting Monday. The meeting participants evaluated the elections outcomes at Kurdistan and Iraqi levels and studied the Kurdish Bloc's options for alliance at the Iraqi national assembly.
¾         The new Kurdistan National Assembly (KNA) will convene 10 days after the announcement of certified results and ratification by the incumbent KNA, PUK politburo member and nominee for the position of Parliament Speaker Adnan Mufti said. Mufti further explained that the eldest PM would chair the first session, during which the Speaker would be elected and the MPs sworn in. He added that the new Parliament would ask KDP politburo member Nechirvan Barzani to form the united KRG cabinet and that both KRG administrations in Erbil and Sulaymanya would continue running the region's affairs until the new cabinet takes office.
¾         The KRG-Sulaymanya Health Ministry announced the arrival of 50 ambulances from Dubai on Monday. The new ambulances purchased by KRG are of Mercedes and Kia brands and equipped with sophisticated medical devices.
¾         The Lebanese opposition condemned assassination of ex-PM Rafiq Al-Hariri and held both Lebanese and Syrian governments the responsibility demanding the fist to resign and the latter to pull out its troops from Lebanon.

KurdishMedia.com <http://www.kurdmedia.com>

Cultural divide set Kurdish north apart from Arab south: Associated Press - By Scheherezade Faramarzi, SULAIMANIYAH, Iraq -
SULAIMANIYAH, Iraq - Persian pop songs blasting from shops compete with Kurdish music from passing cars. Hotel bars and restaurants are packed on the weekends, when people take strolls through peaceful streets.
Kurdish cities like this one in northern Iraq have been largely immune to the kind of violence that much of the country has suffered since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in the spring of 2003.
History and language differences add to Kurdistan's contrast with the rest of Iraq - differences that will become ever more important when a new transitional government takes power, with the largely secular and independence-minded Kurds playing a major role for the first time.
The key difference between "here and there," said columnist Hiwa Osman, is the feeling of responsibility that Kurds have toward their cities and towns.
"If people see a suspicious car," for instance, "they immediately report it to the security forces," Osman said. "In Baghdad or other areas, there's no sense of ownership."
Kurdistan is exempt from a nationwide emergency law that has been in force since November. Law and order is largely enforced here, a far cry from the chaos that reigns in the rest of the country.
"First of all, the economic situation is better here, so is the security situation," said Noshirwan Mustafa, a senior official in the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, the party that controls Sulaimaniyah.
Mustafa, who studied at Baghdad University in the 1960s, said although he still loves Baghdad, it's too risky a place to venture out unless absolutely necessary.
Almost daily bombings, kidnappings and murders have driven many Baghdad residents to take refuge in Kurdistan.
Here, they find a very different culture.
Plenty of shops sell alcohol openly in Kurdistan, unlike in Arab-populated areas where Islamic extremists have murdered liquor vendors.
Although Saddam's army fought a ruinous 1980-1988 war against neighboring Iran, Iranian films and music are popular among Kurdish youth. Most Kurdish youngsters speak Persian, and many were either born or raised in Iran while their parents were exiles during Saddam's regime.
The recent elections, though, have brought out a nascent Iraqi nationalism in some Kurds.
"We finally feel we are Iraqis," Osman said. "People feel they have a new identity."
Osman said the constitution, which the new National Assembly is tasked to draft, has to recognize that the Kurds are different from the Arabs, if there is to be national unity.
"We have a young professional generation - at least a million of them - who do not speak Arabic. You can't force them to learn Arabic to become Iraqis," Osman said.
Most of the younger generation never lived under Saddam, whose genocide against the Kurds led to the deaths of some 200,000 men, women and children. But the hatred lingers, even among the youths who have never felt a part of Iraq.
Still, there are signs that the young generation may be ready to bridge the gap between Kurdistan and the rest of Iraq.
Ninth-grader Bafrin Najib wants to learn Arabic so she can understand the subtitles to the TV films. She also wants to understand the language of her fellow citizens.
"I am very sad that I don't know Arabic," she said in English. "I went to Baghdad and I couldn't speak a word of Arabic. We are in Iraq, we have to speak it. We are also Iraqis, not Turkish," she said.
For 13 years since the end of the first Gulf War, Kurds lived in a semiautonomous region under Western aerial protection, and Kurdish language and customs ruled.
At the very least, the Kurdish parties now want a secular, democratic and federal Iraq that will protect the freedoms they already have.
With their newfound clout, they may well get what they want.
The religious, majority Shiite Muslims were by far the biggest vote-getters in the Jan. 30 election. But because a two-thirds majority is needed to control the legislature, the Kurds, who make up about 15 percent of Iraq's population, are in a powerful position to shape a new government.
Many Sunni Arabs, who comprise an estimated 20 percent, stayed home on election day, either out of fear of violence or to support a boycott call by radical clerics opposed to the U.S. military.

KurdistanObserver.com <http://www.kurdistanobserver.com>

On Kirkuk, Talabani and Barzani resonate Kurds' unanimous conviction:
By: Khasraw Saleh Koyi
On the Kurdistani identity of Kirkuk, in the last two months, KDP leader `Massoud Barzani' and PUK leader `Jalal Talabani' have taken a pragmatic stand and resorted to objective tactics in their efforts to remove the doubts of both the ill-informed sceptics and that of the `anti-Kurd' rejectionists of historical and geographic facts who have chosen to maintain their repressive and fascistic wish of realizing their robber's dream of taking the loot and getting away with it.
Whether it be for tactical reasons or under pressure from their new allies with whom the Kurds now share both agreeable and conflicting interests, for long, these two Kurdish leaders resisted to openly reflect the genuine feelings of the Kurdish masses and their thoughts with regard to their sense of ultimate injustice and brutality the Kurdistani city of Kirkuk and its Kurdish residents underwent throughout much of the rein of Iraq's consecutive nationalist regimes of the Sunni Arabs (empowered by the British after the creation of Iraq in the early 1920s in their bid to use Iraq as a potential oil-cow to satisfy Britain's Imperialist thirst and hunger for more power and prosperity, but without giving any ethical consideration to the brutal reality which will emerge from such a dictated action).
Although many British generations have born since, and the political reality has undergone significant changes to reshape much of the old British imperialist concept towards a more progressive goal of universal freedom, equality, humanrights and other democratic rights, nevertheless there still remain out there many potential traces of the old colonial mentality which could affect policies; especially, when the issue of Brittan's collective interests in the Middle East is at the centre of the decision making process. Old-fashioned and nostalgic conservative Britons continue to relish the rewards of Britain's post WWI policies and often they wish that the status quo would remain intact, or at least, it wouldn't change much different than the way they are accustomed to.
Therefore, it should not be a surprise for the Kurds today to face resistance from such classical types of British politicians regarding the Kurdistani status of Kirkuk, as well as the degree of self-rule and influences the Kurds would possess in the post Saddam Iraq. The only concern though is how much impact the outdated views of such British politicians and bureaucrats could have `with regard to the natural rights of the Kurds' on US policy makers and the moderate British politicians fogging their vision and divert their course from the intended objectives. As for the Kurds daily interpretations of the political events, they must refrain from delivering the kind of messages that could be interpreted by those unfriendly and untamed Britons as presenting a polarized view of the Kurds as being excessively pro-American but apathetic towards the British (as a vindictive reaction for the role of Winston Churchill's government in setting the grounds for the misfortunes and the brutality the Kurds suffered from as the consequences of Britain's Middle East policies).
In a persistent manner characterized with increasing intensity, the brutalization of the Kurds of Kirkuk and the Arabization of its neighbourhoods and environs gained momentum with the arrival of the Baathists to power in 1963 and up to the very last day of their demise in April 2003. It was quite ironic to see that for a while, the brutality and the injustices that underlined some of the most heinous aspects of Saddam's Baathist regime were overlooked by the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq and only to continue later in various other forms. However, as the events began to unfold in their unpredictable ways, the old presumptuous views gave grounds to more provable and objective thoughts.
As the date for the Iraqi elections was approaching, Mr. Talabani and Mr. Barzani woke up to the fact that their continued failure for a timely reflection of the popular thoughts of the Kurds `with regard to the Kurdistani identity of Kirkuk' will reflect negatively on them and their political parties in the ballot boxes. Eventually, they began to do right by their constituencies; a political behaviour which is more in line with the demands of true democratic principles and conducts. Hence, Mr. Talabani did an excellent job in making an objective argument `in Baghdad' supported by all the necessary evidence to convince the sceptics, while leave the adversaries with no choice but to put their heads down speechlessly. As for Mr. Barzani, he added more emphasis and enthusiasm to his defence of the Kirkuk true identity, as well as vigorously rebuffing the `traditional' ridiculous and threat-ridden counter claims of the virulent and violence-prone civilian and military Turk leaders.
Massoud Barzani's latest statement "Only death - no powers or states in the world - can make me give up Kirkuk." very much resonated with the deep-rooted passion and conviction of all the Kurds about the status of Kirkuk (as the uncompromising sacred heart of Kurdistan). Kurds, male and female, young and old, in Kurdistan or anywhere else are all ready to pay the ultimate sacrifice to defend the Kurdistani identity of Kirkuk against any malicious attempts of those Baathist Arabs and Kemalist Turks who `many times over' have proven to be amongst the least ethical and the most brutal people human beings can ever get. As the identity of these sadistic fascists is revealed more and more by their words, actions, and reactions, the civilized world will eventually condemn them and will accelerate the speed of their departure to the history bins of the most disgraceful and inhuman beings the human race has ever known.

As these enemies of the Kurds `by virtue of their inherent viciousness and ignorance' are incapable to rationalise their behaviour and restrain their temptations, the Kurds should not waste any opportunity to resists the rhetorical buzzing and the cowardice and futile threats of their traditional enemies with moral courage and civilized conviction. Time and will-power is all what the Kurds need to eventually cleanse Kurdistan and the Kurdish nation from these parasitic beings who have for long preyed on the Kurds in the most inhuman ways, using every hypocritical and ridiculous excuses and justifications they can concoct.
It is both a strategic mistake and a moral failure for any influential Western power in Iraq to sanction the heinous crimes of the Baathist thuggish regime in Iraq to the detriment of the Kurds. Anything short of reversing the entire Arabization process in South Kurdistan is a gross violation of the natural rights of the Kurds and an encouragement of the Baathist regime in Syria and the repressive ethnocentric regime of Turkey to take a hint and do more harm to the Kurds by displacing more of them from their traditional Kurdish cities and villages believing that someday later, it will be accepted `by the civilized world' as a reality justified by false presumptions logics suggesting that `in a democratic environment thieves and intruders will have the right to keep the loot and free to choose where to live. No one will ever succeed pushing such a perverse logic down the throats of the Kurds in favour of their brutal Turk and Arab oppressors.
I remember in the early 1970s in Baghdad, the Baathists were saying that ``they will be very happy with an Iraq of three millions providing they are all Baathists''. Then Iraq's population was about 12 millions of which 3 millions were the Sunni Arabs. In the years later and the mass murdering of hundreds of thousands of Kurdish and Shia civilians made me realize how serious the Baathists were in their saying. It was a standard tradition in the Baathist political culture to be cold-blooded and cruel natured. The more a Baathist proved to be a savage, the higher rank and responsibility he was given. There are no doubts that Saddam's regime had hundreds of thousands of such criminals within its civilian and military ranks.
All of these hardened criminals who still live today `mainly' in the Sunni region of Iraq are fully aware of the fact that their survived victims, as well as the non-Baathists amongst the Iraqis know them all. Their ideological heritage combined with their fear of revenge and punishment will guarantee their insurgency status and anti democratic role for as long as they can find safe heavens amongst their tribes, relatives and friends. A good number of these Baathist criminals now live in the Arabised areas of Kurdistan and they continue to murder innocent Kurds and blow up oil pipelines and others' properties. For the Kurds to exercise democracy effectively, they need stability in their traditional territories. Therefore, there is a strong urge amongst the Kurds not to allow these Sunni Baathist criminals and their collaborators to remain in the Kurdish region for much longer.
I don't suggest that all Iraq's Sunni Arabs are Baathists or their sympathisers, but indeed very large numbers of them are, while another good number are supporters of various Islamist terrorist groups. Either out of desperation and/or lack of demographic and cultural knowledge, some US and British policy makers have entertained the thought of using the policy of appeasement, or similar to that, the policy of `the carrot and the stick' with these extreme and criminal elements in the Arab Sunni population. For the sake of proof by trial and error, it is within the rights of these authorities to take such approaches but it shouldn't be practiced at the expense of the Kurdish population.
Today, many Kurds believe that `for all the right reasons' the US president `George W. Bush' will not `knowingly, neither wilfully' sanctions any action that may unjustly harm the Kurds. The Kurds in general are also `optimistically' hopeful that the more the Americans get to know the Kurds, the more they adjust their criteria to deal with the new reality in Iraq in a manner to be in lime with the US's noble mission of the `Universal liberation and freedom for all the peoples and cultures of the world'. Therefore, at least for the next four years, the Kurds expect to enjoy a good level of peace of mind knowing that the man with so much influence on their lives and destiny is a man with deep-down benevolent moral conviction. He will be there to defend right from wrong, good from evil, and the victims from the villains.
Arab Baathists and their Kemalist Turk counterparts may not like that, but too tough; who says that their era of repression and brutality has to last forever?

NB: This is not an official document. The information contained therein was compiled by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, Information Office. If you have any questions/suggestions, please contact us at (+ 962 550 -4631/4632 or Cell. + 962 77 619 731 jarrar@un.org <mailto:jarrar@un.org> or alsokhni@un.org <mailto:alsokhni@un.org>

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