Kurdistan Democratic Alliance hopes the Baker-Hamilton Report will
not be reflected in George W. Bush soon to be announced new US strategy in Iraq
Kurdistan Democratic Alliance
05 January 2007
The much awaited Iraqi study Group Report which is also known as the Baker-Hamilton Report gives a very grim picture of the situation in Iraq. One would expect that such a high profile report would show a way forward in such a manner that there would be a win-win situation for all. However, the report has already condemned the United States to defeat and is paving the ground to betray the Kurds. Its implementation is very dangerous for both the United States and the Kurds.
However, we believe that the Kurdish administration and the Kurdish representatives have not been assertive enough to put the Kurdish position forward. Since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Kurdish leadership has been less enthusiastic in their international diplomacy. They have been too busy to form an Iraqi state while leaving the diplomatic initiatives to others. The Kurdish people expect their leaders to defend the Kurdish national interests and be proactive in defending the Kurdish rights, not to wait for such a report to be published and then react.
The Baker-Hamilton report is not about how to implement democratic values that the US has been promoting for the region. It is neither about the strategic interests of the United States in the region. It more than everything else takes a “pragmatic” approach effectively based on how make it easy, or less painful, for the US and their troops to get out of the mess in Iraq. To achieve this, the authors identified the sides that are responsible for creating the chaotic situation in Iraq and then they tried to eliminate all these sides in the equation one by one. Not by undermining them, but by giving them what they pursue. Effectively using the approach of “if you cannot beat them; join them.” In other words, it is to appease the terrorists and please the neighbouring countries who are responsible for creating this mess.
What the Baker-Hamilton report wants to achieve?
Baathist – make them happy by giving them power back, hence scrap de-Baathification and bring the former Baathist to power. In addition, put their Iraq back together, which means a powerful centralized Iraqi state.
Turkey – what Turkey wants in Iraq is to eliminate the Kurds. A way of achieving this would be to scrap Kurdish political entity by creating a centralised Iraqi state and diminish Kurdish hope for Kirkuk.
22 Arab Sunni states (including Syria) – They want a centralized Iraqi state like under Saddam Hussein which is governed by Sunni Arabs.
Iran – the position of Iran might be a bit different but it would like to see a cenralised but not threatening Iraqi states dominated by the Shi’ites but under its influence. What Iran shares with others is the prevention of a Kurdish state or an effective Kurdish autonomy in Iraq.
The Baker-Hamilton Report has a perfect solution for those anti-Kurdish players in the region. Looking at the history of the Kurds so far this position is very much in line with the US approach to the Kurdish issue. What the US policy makers have not understood is that the situation in the world and the Middle East has changed. There is a growing anti-Americanism in the Middle East in particular and in the world in general. Betrayal of the Kurds would be the betrayal of American strategic interests in the Middle East. In a region where the only common bond is anti-Americanism the Kurds have been the only supporters of the US.
George W. Bush will soon announce a new US strategy in Iraq. The Kurdistan Democratic Alliance hopes that the Baker-Hamilton report would not be taken seriously by the US administration and will not be reflected in the new US position towards Iraq as it is as much anti-American as anti-Kurdish and anti-democracy in the region. We expect that the US will remain true to its promise of promoting democracy and opposing the oppression in the Middle East.
The Kurdistan Democratic Alliance