DEVIDING IRAQ AND ASKING FOR INDEPENDENCE
When the UN has lift the sanctions against Iraq and left the Kurd remind in Iraq, as we know it today:
a) Was carved from the Ottoman Empire at the end of the First World War and placed under British protection as a mandated territory;
b) Includes the MOSUL VILAYET, or province, mainly inhabited by Kurds, which itself was almost made a separate mandated territory at the end of the great war;
c) Was allowed by the League of Nations to become an Independent state in 1932 provided strict conditions concerning ethnic and religious minorities within its boundaries were recognised and adhered to; these stipulations were to be observed in perpetuity, and the UN in one of its earliest acts in 1946 acknowledged the validity of the 1932 undertakings.
Letís take a moment to read the declaration of the Iraqi Government, which was the basis for the formation of the Iraqi state (translated from the original French) and is the basis today for the call for Kurdish independence:
Reading and re-reading the 1932 declaration, as one must when considering the plight of the Kurds, several observations can be made.
1- Britain knew there was oil at Kirkukas early as 1926, and was anxious to have access to this increasingly important resource; it thought this could best be achieved by incorporating the Mosul Vilayeat in a larger state centred on Baghdad and ruled by a King which Britain would install.
2- As the mandatory power and sponsor of Iraq, Britain felt guilty at the way the hopes and aspirations of the Kurds were crushed, and the 1932 declaration was written to try to mitigate the wrong that they were committing.
3- In due course the giant Kirkuk oilfieldwas developed by the Iraq Petroleum Corporation and oil was exported at the rate of up to one million barrels a day.† What a prize this was! But little benefit flowed to the Kurds.† In fact the 1932 Declaration was largely ignored right from the start by the Arab regime in Baghdad headed by King Faisal and backed by Britain.
4- Kurdish frustrations with their situation by the mid 30ís again took the form of guerrilla action, which continued, off and on right up to the time of the Gulf War.
5- With the overthrow of the Faisal regime in 1958 there was a revival of hope that the Kurds in Iraq would gain the security and recognition promised in the 1932 declaration.† Unfortunately the new Baathis regime in Baghdad, which included a young Saddam Hussein, proved even harsher in its treatment of the Kurds.† The treatment of the Kurds in the 1970ís and 1980ís under Saddam Husseinís personal direction became nothing less than an ethnic cleansing operation.
6- All the while the Western powers have turned a blind eye to the real plight of the Kurds and their aspirations for freedom.† The creation of the no fly zones after the Gulf War was no doubt a reflection of the guilt felt by Britain, the U.S. and France at the continuing injustice experienced by the Kurds and the other minorities in Iraq.† However, no fly zones and sanctions are no substitute for a policy on human rights.
7- It is interesting indeed that the West has literally gone to war in recent years in Bosnia and Kosovo for instance in the name of human rights, but has steadfastly refused to take concrete steps to ensure the safety of the Kurds.† Unfortunately as so often happens when a political vacuum is prolonged as is the case today in Iraqi Kurdistan, various factions begin to fight each other politically for control of the Iraqi income.† In this case the new Iraqi Government empowers Talabani and Barzani, giving the impression that the Kurds are weak and disorganised.† The U.S and Britain for the past 20 years now have aided and abetted this tragedy by their dithering.† This must stop.
††† In the meantime the Kurds on the ground in Northern Iraq are at the point of total despair, reflected not least in the massive numbers who are moving westwards in the hope of achieving refugee status in Germany and Britain. Already half a million have reached Europe and thousands more are on their way.† Why is this?† The reason is oil.† The U.S., Britain and France obviously think that the best way to preserve access to the oilat Kirkukis through a regime in Iraq centred on Baghdad.† This idea must not be allowed to grow as a de facto policy.† The continued theft of Kirkukís oil, the money from which lines the pockets of the Iraqi Oil Smuggler and his entourage and otherwise is wasted on military preparations, is an affront to all right thinking people and must be stopped.† It is time the Kurds of Iraq took control of their rightful heritage.
8- Because the Western powers clearly have never had any real interest in the long term welfare of the Kurdish peoples, the Kurds of Iraq at least now wish to announce that the time has come to move beyond the 1932 Declaration and to broadcast to the world their own Declaration of Independence to take effect from today.
9- An independent Kurdistanwould of course include the original province of Mosul extending south almost to Baghdad, and including Kirkuk. Because Saddam Hussein forcibly resettled over two million Kurds in Baghdad and to the south in his programme of ethnic cleansing, we would want to extend the boundaries of our new Kurdistan to bring in those so displaced as well.
10- Be reminded then that the Kurds in Iraq have grievances and a claim to freedom, which is historically valid, and certainly no less valid than their brothers in Palestine.† We appeal to all right thinking people in the world to join us in saying ĎThe time has come!í
An Independent Kurdistanwill welcome the involvement and investment of banks, companies, and legitimate business interests generally to build up our resources and facilities. Talk to us now!