By William Markiewicz
One Toronto journalist wrote that the leader of the pro-Iraqi Kurds does not have his father's wisdom; that once Barzani swallows Talabani, Saddam Hussein will swallow Barzani. Was the Barzani -- Saddam Hussein alliance really a trap for Barzani or was it an unavoidable step? If you cannot fight you negotiate. If Barzani has really obtained autonomy from Saddam Hussein then he is the first Kurdish leader who has ever obtained such a thing from any ruler over the Kurds. Meanwhile the U.S., taking the Iranian faction's side, has tried once more to release the fundamentalist Jinn from the bottle.
During the Gulf War, after receiving a knife in the back from Bush, the Kurds understood that they don't have friends. The neighbouring countries of course took advantage of the Kurds' embattlement by creating their own Kurdish factions while the Americans offered air protection, not to protect Kurds but to weaken Saddam Hussein. Turkey has initiated a very profitable trade through neighbouring Kurdish territory to the advantage of both sides. So all the enemies were courting Kurds and once more the Kurds lost a great historical chance. That which should have favoured the Kurds was also a source of their disgrace. Greed and clan ambitions prevented them from having broader political vision and going toward the freedom they always dreamed of. They drowned themselves in a fratricidal battle like the Orthodox, Muslims and Catholics in Bosnia. And as in Bosnia, the U.S. took sides. The triumph of pro-Iraqi Kurds in Northern Iraq is similar to the initial triumph of the Serbs in Bosnia. And in Iraq as in Bosnia, the U.S. seemed determined to reverse the situation and ensure the triumph of pro-Iranian Muslims. Future historians will certainly break their brains wondering at this U.S. love for Mujahadeen shown in Bosnia and Kurdistan. The triumph of fundamentalism in Northern Iraq would of course weaken Saddam Hussein but also Turkey which seems to fight a losing battle with rising Turkish fundamentalism. So to destroy a small enemy, Saddam Hussein, the U.S. again fed the monster, forgetting the lessons of Afghanistan. It is like releasing a hive of killer bees against a mosquito.
And if there is a method in this madness? It could only be explained by some shadowy pact between the USA and the Mujahadeen: "Take Bosnia, take Iraq and leave us alone in Saudi Arabia and in the USA..."