Toward a Road Map that is Hidden Agenda-Free
I had a gratifying expedience to visit Iraqi Kurdistan during a business trip, throughout which I had a relatively embellished opportunity to materialize factuality and get encompassed with realities of Kurdistan region particularly and Iraqi affairs collectively. Benchmarked on the insights I had from readings and outside brooding, I had some of my previous assumptions confirmed and many others altered and changed.
- The inflammation on Iraq ground now, while being conducted through Iraqi hands, is highly curried, supported and financed by exterior forces, US, Saudi Arabia, and Iran being on top of the list. While the internal conflict benefits the states through exhausting the Iraqi bullets into Iraqi flesh, in the stead of using it to resist occupation. For Iran, Iraqi land became the soft belly wherein they can agonize Americans to decrease the international pressures resulting from the Iranian nuclear activities. Moreover, the foundation of a Shiites' state alongside the west shores of Iran will offer a strategic friendly horizon. Finally the Saud family worst dream has been always to see the Eastern zone Shiites revolting and dominating over the oil rich zone of the kingdom. Foundation of a Shiites' state in Iraq will be a triggering and a supportive element to the Shiites tribes in Saudi, who suffers oppression despite the whole kingdom is financed through the oil in their territories.
- Ethnic, political and religious figureheads and barons are the inflaming fuel of the masses, each for his very own agenda of ambitions and glories. The political breach now in Iraq is overwhelming the local leaders to seek boundary spanning. For the simple man in the streets, like everywhere in the world, he is seeking security and basic needs’ satiation for his family and himself. Nonetheless, he can not help being a part of the uproar whenever his herd is altered, as explained by the herd leader, only as well as evey simple man in the world too.
- Whatever is going-on is a common blameworthiness for both Saddam and Baath regimen on one hand and USA with the rightist gang on the other hand. While Saddam system sinned ignoring and inhibiting the diversity of a harlequin society, harboring different ethnicities, Arabic, Kurdish, Turkmen and Assyrian. Plus a diversified religious profile including Shiites, Sunnites, Chaldean Catholics, Syriac Orthodox and minorities of Mandaeism, Baha’ais, Shabak and Yezidism also exists. Absolute ignorance of such a highly diversity together with oppressions being drove by the ethnic and religious belonging of Saddam, who was an Arab and Sunnite, amplified the gap of mistrust between the mosaic elements, and inflamed hatred among individuals as well as groups. When the US blinded tirade broke the oppression bung with the fallen Ba’ath regimen, without even knowing enough about the mosaic composition of the nation, they granted an opportunity to both hatred and influence lust to unleash its evils, resulting in the cloudy blood bath we all see today.
- While I grasp the motives of the initial coalition between Peshmerga and US invasion forces in 2003, a thing that gathered PUK and KDP forces to work together, maybe for the first time in their history, my trip did not give me any justification to the extended alliance with the invasion army of USA. Letting go of a totalitarian through a coalition with an invader with his eyes kept on the national wealth of Iraq, I do not see as a good move politically, leave alone its ethical constrains.
- Kurds represented in some of their intellectual elite are showing limited interest in furthering the self-governance autonomy they have today into an independent state. This altered my previous belief of the Kurdish everlasting strive for a pan-Kurdish state. However, this is not necessarily reflecting the standpoint of Kurdish masses. Elite is elite, and if mankind followed the knowledgeable elites pathways from Socrates down to the present time, life would have been very different.
- The pleasurable feeling I had among the Kurdish partners over there exceeded my apprehensions; it turned the talks about Kurdish allergy and prejudicial antipathy toward Arabs to be blasphemous. I witnessed a genuine hospitality and embracing attitude that goes beyond the business protocols to express an outgoing extroverted personality of the Kurds. Apart from our friends there, walking in the streets, talking to people in Arabic, I felt no xenophobic manner at all. I am sure there must be some ethnic zealots, like everywhere in the world, nonetheless, I can affirm they are not the masses of Kurds.
- The security and normal life flow in Kurdistan, apart from the troubles in the middle zone and the tension in the south exceeded my expectations and turned any cautions we through about before the trip to be meaningless.
- Swayed by the views of Peshmerga militias, I was prepared to meet fundamentalist Shafi’i Sunnites, this was the most false expectation I had. Kurdistan is a country that is well prepared through its intellectual elite to be a secular state.
- The level of dedication of Kurdish youth to their self-governed region was surprisingly high. The degree of eagerness with which the traffic police and the security forces operates shows something beyond fulfilling a duty, it can be only expressed as categorical loyalty.
However, this should not at all distract us from the urging risk of extended civil war in Iraq, a thing that will limit the chances of one unified Iraq, giving a wider room for tribalists and communalists to seed more and more hatred very deep in the masses. While coming back from my visit to Iraq, I found my head exploring the possible actions that can represent a road map out of today's maze, something that can be cnducted if, and only if, someone overthere is still caring for unity more than personal agendas. I found myself fantasizing about a new Iraq, under a slogan of "Prosperous Unity...Esteemed Diversity". A scenario that capitalizes more and more on the intellectual, civilian and business elite more than the conventional tribal and religious leaders who took Iraq to what it is today.