mardi 29 septembre 2009

The Elections Law: Who Will Stand Up for Kerkuk?

by Reidar Visser
on September 28, 2009
http://gulfanalysis.wordpress.com/

Iraqis are heading towards parliamentary elections early next year where most parties are likely to tout identical messages: “Yes, yes to Unity”, “No, no to Sectarianism”, “No to Division”, “No to Quotas”… Additionally, voters will discover that politicians who for years have been declared enemies now suddenly run on the same lists, forming the most unlikely mega coalitions. Indeed, these days even some of the past architects of Iraq’s partition are likely to employ unity rhetoric. So how can Iraqis be expected to find out who is sincere about their Iraqi nationalism and who is merely posturing?

Well, they could get an excellent opportunity over the next couple of weeks. The reason is very simple: For practical reasons, the Iraqi elections commission has asked the Iraqi parliament to come up with an elections law (or a revised version of the existing one) before 15 October; if they are unable to do so the existing law from 2005 will have to be used if elections are to go ahead on 16 January 2010. In line with this, the Iraqi government has prepared a draft for a revised version of the existing law which incorporates new elements from the legislation for the January 2009 local elections – including a popular open-list system giving voters greater say in deciding which politicians will benefit from their vote, as well as a ban on the use of places of worship and images of religious leaders for election propaganda purposes. Consensus on all these issues has been achieved and only one significant question remains: what to do with Kirkuk, also known as the Tamim governorate.

Why should anything be done about Kirkuk at all? After all, back in 2005 Kirkuk was treated as if it were an ordinary Iraqi governorate. However, the mood in Iraqi politics has shifted a great deal since 2005. When it comes to Kirkuk, Iraqi public opinion has gradually coalesced around the view that Kirkuk is an integral part of the Iraqi state and even constitutes an Iraqi microcosm through its multi-ethnic and multi-sectarian demographic character. In turn, the shift towards stronger Iraqi nationalist currents has led to greater criticism of the post-2003 Kurdish attempts to define Kirkuk as a “disputed territory” and its policies to strengthen the Kurdish population presence in the city centre, which historically had a closer connection to the Iraqi plains and was culturally dominated by Turkmens. (The Kurdish migration to Kirkuk accelerated in earnest only during the 1960s; while some of the post-2003 Kurdish immigration certainly rectified Baathist attempts to manipulate the urban demography in the 1980s and later, it is widely acknowledged that this has now gone far beyond a return to the status quo ante.) According to this logic, doing nothing about Kirkuk would be the same as tacitly recognising all the changes to the area’s demographic and political balance that have taken place since 2003.

Reflecting this greater concern for Kirkuk’s status in Iraq and the perceived need to protest the policies of Kurdification (and specifically the possibility of elections being manipulated), a group of nationalist parties known as the 22 July trend last year secured the insertion into the provincial elections law of special clauses that excepted Kirkuk from the local elections pending agreement on interim arrangements that could ensure a more just procedure for choosing the governorate council. The attempt to find a solution stalled, but the point had been made: For the first time since the fateful mention of Kirkuk as a “disputed territory” in the 2004 Transitional Administrative Law, Iraqi politicians had effectively managed to reverse some of the tendency towards ever greater fragmentation in post-war Iraq.

That’s why the debate on the upcoming elections law is important too: In a similar fashion it can differentiate between those parliamentarians who think Kurdish policies in Kirkuk are perfectly acceptable and those who really disagree with the Kurds on this issue. Of course, an exact replay of 2008 and the provincial elections law is unlikely. That would be deeply unsatisfying to everyone concerned, as no parliamentarians would be elected from Kirkuk at all and it would be somewhat pathetic to put both local and parliamentary elections on hold for an indefinite period. Alternative solutions have been proposed, but so far they have not been particularly inspiring. Unfortunately, several Iraqi nationalist parties (including some with links to the now more scattered 22 July trend) have become hopelessly attached to a proposal for four separate, ethnically defined electoral constituencies – a scheme that would only undermine, and quite fragrantly so, the very Iraqi nationalist ideals these parties say they believe in. The Kurds, for their part, reject any idea of special arrangements and seem prepared to stick to this position even if it would mean that no new legislation is passed at all.

Here the party politics kicks in. In the past, the Kurds have been supported primarily by the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI), many of whose members stormed out of parliament alongside the Kurds in protest against the provincial elections law last year. But this time, ISCI is facing a quandary. Its newly formed Iraqi National Alliance, just one month old, includes a strong Sadrist contingent. The Sadrists are arch-nationalists when it comes to Kirkuk, having fronted anti-federalism demonstrations there since early 2004 and even issuing an unusual expression of support for Maliki during his confrontations with the Kurds in neighbouring northern areas last year. As recently as last week, Talib al-Kurayti, a Sadrist from Karbala, told media that the anti-federal position of his movement remains the same as before. Accordingly, by supporting the Kurds once more, ISCI could end up seeing its newly formed coalition being ripped apart less than two months after it came into existence (Ibrahim al-Jaafari, too, has in the past been much more assertive in the Kirkuk question than ISCI) .

Indeed, ISCI politicians seem to worry over this. Hamid Mualla told Al-Hayat over the weekend that he feared a repetition of the quarrel seen last year during the provincial powers law, and expressed his hope that something similar could be avoided this time. But for those who are truly prepared to put action behind their Iraqi nationalist rhetoric, precisely this kind of a repetition would of course be highly desirable. In other words, through forcing a vote on some kind of special arrangements for Kirkuk, Iraqi politicians could make it clear for everyone to see what position different parties take on a highly specific issue, thereby cutting through the crap of empty unity rhetoric. This should be particularly interesting in terms of the ongoing coalition negotiations, because just like the Sadrists, the secular Iraqiyya list – lately reported as being involved in negotiations with ISCI – would normally take an anti-Kurdish position (as they reportedly did on 22 July 2008 as well.) Similarly, the Kurdish issue is one where the Daawa party in the past has held a position which dovetails with many of the Iraqi nationalist parties in the northern parts of the country. It would also be interesting to know the exact stance of the Sunni-dominated Iraqi Islamic Party, whose prominent representative Ayyad al-Samarraie is visiting Iran these days, technically in his capacity as speaker of the Iraqi parliament, but reportedly scheduled to hold talks at pretty high levels (including President Ahmadinejad and the national security chief Said Jalili in addition to Ali Larijani, his Iranian counterpart and apparently an increasingly important figure in Iranian policy-making on Iraq).
Of course, there remains the possibility of a presidential veto by the Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani. Indeed, this kind of veto has been used earlier, back in February 2008, when Talabani and his ISCI counterpart, Vice President Adil Abd al-Mahdi, both felt unease at the prospect of early local elections and threw out the first version of the provincial powers law; in that case both gentlemen promptly changed their minds subsequent to a quick visit by Vice President Dick Cheney. But whilst similar action by Joe Biden over coming months seems both undesirable and unrealistic, this kind of scenario would at least demonstrate clearly to the whole world where the priorities of the Iraqi president lie: Does he favour ethno-nationalist expansion over giving Iraqi voters a more progressive elections law?

Exactly what can be done still remains unclear. Iraqi nationalists will probably stultify themselves if they persevere with the idea of separate electoral constituencies, and a repeat of their initial demand from last year of a governorate-level distribution formula for seats (32+32+32+4 for Kurds, Arabs, Turkmens and Christians) would be a non-starter for the Kurds. There has been talk of a somewhat odd-looking proposal by Abbas al-Bayati (a Turkmen close to Maliki) whereby the political parties would create a single list with agreed quota representation for the various communities; the voters would then apparently vote for this particular list (and none other)! If quotas are to be used in the first place, it would probably be better to set a quota at the governorate level (perhaps with certain adjustments to the previously-proposed formula in order to make it more acceptable to the Kurds) whilst at the same time finding ways to keep voting competitive and potentially cross-sectarian. But even though this would have a certain affinity to the Lebanese system, the Lebanese block vote (voters vote for as many representatives as there are seats) would not be a good option, since in practice it often means majority groups imposing their preferred “minority representatives” without any real proportionality. So perhaps the most promising solution is one that would involve no quotas at all: It has been suggested that a roll of voters prepared back in 2004 enjoys greater legitimacy among Turkmens and Arabs than updated registers from the period since 2005. At the same time, this would involve a compromise on the Turkmen side, where some actually propose going as far back as the 1957 census.

Whilst the best mechanism for handling this remains open to debate, there can be no doubt that it would be enormously clarifying to Iraqi voters and a step forward for a more mature form of politics in Iraq if parliamentarians dared to take an open debate on the issue of Kirkuk’s representation. In the past many such debates have remained behind closed doors in consultations between “political leaders” trying to find a “consensus”, but in this case it would be useful to push the limits a little and force a vote in the parliament, and then leave the consensus issue and the pressure that comes with it to the presidency council.

lundi 28 septembre 2009

Erdoğan: Iran should not be sole target in nuclear dispute

Excerpt:

“We are completely against nuclear weapons in the Middle East. There is a country in the Middle East that possesses nuclear weapon: Israel. There is a difference, though; Israel is not a member of the IAEA, while Iran is.

Moreover, phosphorus bombs were used in Gaza. What is this? A weapon of mass destruction,” Erdoğan said, referring to the Israeli army's deadly offensive in Gaza last December, leaving more than 1,300 people dead.

“These issues are never brought to the table, and this personally annoys me as a person who is in an office [that carries with it] responsibility,” Erdoğan said. “That is to say, we need to be fairer. We have to act honestly if we want global peace,” he added.

See:

http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/news-188200-100-erdogan-iran-should-not-be-sole-target-in-nuclear-dispute.html

dimanche 27 septembre 2009

Muntadhar Al-Zaidi on Al Jazeera

Muntadhar Al-Zaidi on Al Jazeera
by Layla Anwar
arabwomanblues.blogspot.com/2009/09/muntadhar-al-zaidi-on-al-jazeera.html

Part I
September 26, 2009
I have done a simultaneous translation of Al Zaidi meeting with Al Jazeera Ghassan Ben Jeddu in an exclusive interview part I. Please consult my tweets on Twitter (click here) for the full translation. I will try to put it in a post form later on.
Layla Anwar's tweets about Muntadhar Al-Zaidi's interview

My HERO al Zaidi live on al Jazeera Arabic with Ghassan Ben Jedu. I dont like Ghassan at all.

My HERO has the OLD IRAQI flag on - YES !!!

Al Zaidi is thanking all of you out there who supported him
He says he has no respect for the invader G.Bush.
He wanted to erase the false pretended image that Iraqis welcomed Americans with flowers.
He says he saw limbs of children in rubbles , these images amongst others were printed in his heart.
He says that his pen dried, and his voice was muted, and other journalists were silent.. the only thing he had left was his shoe !
He said he could have not done anything and live a comfy life, or face the invader and take revenge...and pay the consequences.
he threw the same shoe that he wore during 50 days in Sadr City and in Mosul
He was expecting to be killed before doing his act. He gave his silver ring to his friend just in case.
American security searched the journalists in a humiliating and brutal way.
they gave him a badge saying welcome to the news conf. of the White House in IRAQ !!!!
He is talking of the raped women and the elderly having the boots of US soldiers on their heads, he talks of Sadr city massacre by F16
He said he saw a beheaded girl in Sadr city by the American bombs. He said he was ready for martyrdom for the Iraqi cause.
He professed the Shahada and asked for forgiveness from Allah, and was ready to throw his shoe in the face of Bush. He was a little hesitant
He said to himself if i dont do anything I will be a coward all my life...I will die as a coward because my self will not forgive me
he had prepared his shoe,and he said as an ARAB he could not hit Bush from the back but only from the front. Only face to face.

He gave his journalist badge so his fellow journalists would not be killed.

When he threw his first shoe the world stopped and saw nothing
but bush and the blood of Iraqi innocents.
Al Maliki security guards beated him with his mouth closed and with their rings leaving marks on his face. The American security told no don't hit him.
The Iraqis my brothers do this me, and broke my tooth by punching me on the face they pulled him from the conf.rm as he was deliberately screaming so the world can hear him. they dragged him from his feet
like israelis did to palestinians. his glasses fell off and he remembered Omar Al Mukhtar. He calls them the IRAQI ZIONISTS.

then they carried him and threw him on the floor, tore his clothes down and dragged him on the floor and tied his hands with electrical cable
then dragged to a muddy pool naked in the cold and was hit with a metal rod breaking his fingers, all over his body until the guy got tired

then they asked if he was shia or sunni and called him AQ and he refused to answer. he said am a muslim and then said am from the south

they insulted my dead parents and said my name is Muntadhar MAHDI, then americans arrived so they stopped beating me.
He saw the US boot the iraqis feared the americans. He felt that was even more humiliatiing.
All ministers were watching from afar, they threw a blanket on him
so others don't see his wounds.
He was put in a small van then to a house and then broke his nose, bleedlng all over, hands torn, and a doc wires, electrocuted, while he was wet, 220 Volts, and broke a table on his back. And he felt he was going to die.
They got him a track suit and asked him to eat.
He was still bleeding from all over. He did not eat. They insulted him again and his dead parents-

They took him again in another van to another place 150m from Maliki's office. They kept beating him and they left him with no blanket
and he was not allowed to go to toilet.
He called on the guards and managed to unwrap his hands and blindfolds. the house was empty he thought I can escape and they would call him a criminal escapee. He tied his hands and blindedfolded himself again. the torturer walked in and threw freezing water in january on him and started to flog him with an electrical cable. And they were laughing while doing that.

He kept flogging him and he was wishing to lose consciousness. Samir Haddad the doc came in again. His body was purple. The doc asked him
to confess...which party, which movement. they would terrorize him and stamp on his broken foot. and ask him for which country he worked
he says maliki never visited him he was lying.

Part I is over, part II is next week.

Talabani’s cash-for-vote started: $US5000 to Kurdish intellectuals of Kerkuk

19/09/2009
http://www.kurdmedia.com/article.aspx?id=16004
·
London (KurdishMedia.com) 19 September 2009: Talabani has given $US5000 to a number of Kurdish intellectuals in Kirkuk against taking part in the election, reported Hawlati on Saturday.

The PUK leadership has recently put their weight behind the election in Kirkuk fear, as the local media reported, of the humiliating defeat in the coming elections for the council of Kirkuk and for the Iraqi parliament. As part of his campaign, Talabani has met the different sectors of Kirkuk, including intellectuals, writers and journalisms, who were offered $US5000.

It is not declared which budget pays for this election propaganda and it is legality is seriously under question, as cash-for-vote is unlawful.

Last week by a presidential decree of Talabani, a Kurdish football player, playing for the Iraqi national team, was offered vast piece of land.

The power of Talabani in areas under his PUK control is unlimited and he has access to an open budget, local observers report.

vendredi 25 septembre 2009

The unarmed and unprotected Turkmen community continues to be targeted in northern Iraq.

Kurdish hegemony and expansionism in northern Iraq

The Turkmens continue to be victims of vicious attacks by Kurdish and Arab terrorist groups.

As the Iraqi local police and security forces have failed to stop these attacks, Turkmens have asked the Iraqi authorities in Baghdad to allow them to form their own local law enforcement units and to provide them with financial support and proper training.

The demands of the Turkmen political leaders are entirely legitimate and comprehensible as urgent measures need to be taken to stop the slaughtering of the peaceful Turkmen community.

http://merryabla64.wordpress.com/union-of-the-diaspora-turkmens/

Deux poids deux mesures

The Kurdish groups who invaded and occupied Turkmen cities and towns with their armed militias, the peshmerga (with the blessing of the US Occupier in 2003) are opposed to the Turkmens’ demands!!!

Do they fear that Turkmen law enforcement units could hamper their hegemonic ambitions in the north of Iraq by preventing the annexation of Turkmen cities and so-called ‘disputed territories’ to their autonomous region?

The Kurds’ arrogance, greed and hegemonic objectives have no limits:

Khalid Shwani, an Iraqi MP from the Kurdistan Alliance bloc has recently declared that
"the Turkmen demand to establish Special Forces in Kerkuk – that include only Turkmens – is useless, unpractical and unconstitutional" !!!!!!
http://pukmedia.com/english/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=13489&Itemid=52

While Sa’di Ahmad Bira, a member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan’s (PUK) Political Bureau and its external relations officer has declared that “We have some outstanding issues with the Baghdad government that are not yet resolved. There are still negotiations around these issues. But it is wrong to think that we can protect our accomplishments only through the media, there should also be a military force such as the peshmerga able to protect the region’s borders and the achievements of the people of Kurdistan. We should be ready for all scenarios and even for any military solution”.
http://www.niqash.org/content.php?contentTypeID=75&id=2531&lang=0

Where is the fairness and where are the principles of 'democracy’ that the chauvinist Kurds boast so much about?

As Northern Iraq’s second main ethnic community Turkmens should have their own protection units as it is clear that they cannot rely on the Iraqi forces (who are composed of peshmerga and Arabs) to ensure their safety.

WHAT IS THE GOVERNMENT IN BAGHDAD DOING ABOUT IT?

Almanya’da Seçim Yarışı

Federal Almanya’da 27.Eylül 2009 Pazar günü yapılacak genel seçim öncesinde Partiler arasında kıyasıya bir yarış yaşanıyor, son kamuoyu yoklamasın göre şimdiki başbakan Merkel’in lider olduğu Hıristiyan demokratlar yüzde 36, merkez sağdaki Liberal Demokratlar ise yüzde 12 desteğe sahip.

Buna Karşılık seçmenlerin yüzde 26’si sosyal Demokratları yüzde 11’i Yeşilleri ,yüzde 10’uysa sol Partiyi destekliyor.

Sonuçlar, merkez sağdaki Hıristiyan Demokratlarla Liberal Demokratların , bu oy oranlarıyla az farkla da olsa mecliste .çoğunluğu sağlayabileceğini gösteriyor.

Ancak Alman seçmenlerin tercihindeki küçük değişiklerin tüm koalisyon hesapları altüst edebilir.
Liberal Demokratlarla yeterli çoğunluğu elde edememesi halinde Merkel’in yine Sosyal Demokratlarla büyük koalisyona gitmek zorunda kalacağı kaydediliyor.

Halen mevcut Alman Parlamentosunda ‘’ 611 Milletvekili’’ var ‘’5’’i Türk kökeni Milletvekilleri:
Bu Pazar yapılacak seçimlerde ‘’Türk adayı çok’’ yaklaşık ‘’30’a yakın

Seçim kampanyasında Alman liderler hep ‘’yabancılara kucak açmaktan’’ bahsediyorlar ama:
611 üyeli parlamentoda ‘’sadece 11 yabancı kökenli’’ olduğunu unutuyorlar.(5 milletvekili ile Türkler ilk sıradalar, Diğerleri 2 Hindistanlı, 2 İranlı, 1 Hırvat, 1 Polonyalı.

Bu seçime dünyanın her yerinde çok büyük ilgi var ,ve çok gözlemci ve Gazeteci Berlin akın ediyorlar,bunlardan birisi Türkiye’nin önde gelen Sabah gazetesinin meşhur köşe yazarı sayın Yavuz Donat Berlin’de Irak Türkmen Cephesi Almanya Temsilcisi Sayın Ganim Authman’la bir araya geldiler. Görüşmede Federal Almanya Seçimi dışında Irak Türkmenleri ve gelecekte yapılması ön görülen Irak seçimi hakinde bilgilendirme toplantısı düzenlenmiştir. Sayın Ganim Authman Sayın Yavuz Donata , Profesör Dr. Suphi Saatçinin Kerkük adlı eseri kendilerin armağan etmiştir.



INF.ITC Berlin

mercredi 23 septembre 2009

Reception at the Turkish Ambassador’s residence in Brussels

His Excellency Fuat Tanlay, Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey
and ITF Europe Representative, Dr. Hassan Aydinli



His Excellency Mr. Fuat Tanlay, Ambassador of the Turkish Republic in Brussels will shortly take up his new function as Advisor (for European Affairs) to the Turkish Prime Minister in Ankara, he will be leaving Belgium at the end of the month and will be replaced by Mr. Murat Ersavci.


His Excellency Fuat Tanlay gave a farewell reception at his residence in Brussels on 21st September 2009.


A delegation of the Human Rights Commission at the Turkish Parliament who were visiting Austria, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Belgium attended the reception:


Professor Dr. Zafer ÜSKÜL, President
Mr. Mustafa Ataş
Mr. Çetin Soysal


Iraqi Turkmen Front Representative, Dr. Hassan AYDINLI, had been invited at the reception.


For article in Turkish Please see:

Statement of Pax Christi delegation to Iraq



Posted: Tuesday, September 22, 2009 5:42 pm
An international Pax Christi delegation visited Iraq last week. They went to Kirkuk, Mosul, Erbil and Dohuk from 10 September to 17 September. The situation for the Iraqi people is very uncertain and more violence being expected in the period leading up to the elections in January 2010. The delegation encountered many good examples of work for peace.

A representative said Pax Christi International was enormously grateful to the Christian bishops and communities as well as the civil society of the region for their warm welcome and hospitality and remains committed to the original goals of this visit to Iraq: to express solidarity with all Iraqi people; to gain a better understanding of Iraq’s complex reality; and to propose concrete actions that support the ongoing efforts of Iraqi people for peace and reconciliation in their country based on what was seen and heard.


The official Pax Christi statement follows:

An international Pax Christi delegation visited Iraq with the generous welcome and
assistance of Patriarch Cardinal Emanuel Delly, Bishop Rabban Al-Kass, Chaldean Bishop of Amadya-Shamkan and Erbil, Bishop Louis Sako, Chaldean Bishop of Kirkuk, Bishop Georges Casmoussa, Syriac Bishop of Mosul and Qaraqosh, Father NageebMikhail, OP, the Chaldean Seminary in Erbil and many other religious leaders and representatives of civil society groups in the north of Iraq.

The delegation included International Co-president, Marie Dennis; Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, Pax Christi USA; Christine Hoffmann, General Secretary of Pax Christi Germany; Wiltrud Rösch-Metzler, speaker of the Middle East Commission of Pax Christi Germany; Don Renato Sacco, Pax Christi Italy; Bishop Marc Stenger, President of Pax Christi France; and Katrien Hertog, Pax Christi International staff in Brussels.

They went to the governorates of Kirkuk, Mosul, Erbil and Dohuk from 10 September
to17 September 2009. A planned visit to Bagdad could not be realized.

The situation for the Iraqi people is very uncertain and more violence is expected in the period leading up to the elections in January 2010. On the one hand are forces that are aggravating divisions along ethnic and religious lines; on the other are those who promote dialogue, understanding, reconciliation and non-violence.

The delegation encountered many good examples of work for peace. The extraordinary
efforts among religious leaders in the oil city of Kirkuk made it possible for them to visit Sunni and Shiite mosques and to interact with Muslim leaders. In Dohuk they learned
about the program of Bishop Rabban's coeducational, interreligious International School which brings together Muslims, Christians, Yezidie and Turkman to provide a base of human values and an introduction to human rights.

They learned from the Dominican sisters of Mosul about their commitment to peace education at a primary level and met dedicated health care professionals in Kirkuk who serve Muslims and Christians alike. In Erbil the delegation met with Iraqi Non-Violence group LaOnf, an Iraqi nongovernmental organization building a network on nonviolence.

Pax Christi's organizational commitment to reconciliation and nonviolence made these
and other similar efforts particularly interesting to the delegation, which also experienced enormous tensions in the country. There were two major bombings while they were there and they encountered among people they visited a great fear of being kidnapped.

Of the areas the delegation was able to visit, the level of security in the Kurdish provinces in the north of the country was much better than in the so-called disputed provinces, Mosul and Kirkuk. But even in the Kurdish provinces, the sense of long-term physical and economic security was lacking and UN representatives described human rights violations, particularly against political prisoners and women. 100,000 refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) remain in the same area.

Christians and other minority groups continue to feel threatened in Iraq and to leave the country. This fact is of deep concern to many people the delegation met, who believe that reconciliation is the way forward and that the loss to Iraq of the Christian community, which was established there in the second century, would be a grea ttragedy. At the same time, the delegation was told that the conflict in Iraq is political rather than religious, with violence erupting over the balance of power. Minority groups are faced with the choices to join the struggle for power, to remain neutral or to work for a society where everybody has a place.

Finally, they heard from many people about the destruction of Iraq's infrastructure during the first Gulf War that had still not been repaired and about the impact of the long-lasting harsh sanctions that punished ordinary people. They were told that the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 destroyed security and created many new problems for the Iraqi people. The delegation agrees with the Iraqi non-violence network that "refuses occupation and war as a way to build democracy and establish rule of law, even when it is presented as the only possible option."

Pax Christi International is enormously grateful to the Christian bishops and communities as well as the civil society of the region for their warm welcome and excellent hospitality and remains committed to theoriginal goals of this important Pax Christi delegation to Iraq: to express solidarity with all Iraqi people; to gain a better understanding of Iraq's complex reality; and to propose concrete actions that support the ongoing efforts of Iraqi people for peace andreconciliation in their country based on what was seen and heard.

Pax Christi International will:

* inform the international community about the situation in Iraq and its minorities,
as well as about the work for peace and reconciliation of the Iraqi Church, including the testimonies of the martyrs, Bishop Paulos Faraj Rahho, Father Rajeed, Paulos and others;

* build partnerships between Pax Christi member organizations and Iraqi groups;

* explore the possibility of sharing Pax Christi expertise and resources on active
non violence, conflict resolution, peace building and responses to violent radicalization to interested institutions and communities in Iraq;

* promote interreligious understanding in our own countries, if possible by inviting
Sunni, Shiite and Christian leaders from Iraq;

* advocate with our own governments to support reconstruction efforts in Iraq.

We urge our churches to:

* strengthen the church's role as a builder of bridges;

* send official delegations from Bishops conferences in other countries to Iraq to
understand the reality better;

* promote reconciliation between the different Iraqi Christian churches;

* support work for peace and reconciliation in Iraq;

* prevent and counter the growth of Christian extremism;

We urge the international community to:

* support the reconstruction of Iraq;

* investigate and prosecute past and present war crimes and severe human rights
violations on all sides;

* build trust again in the international community and re-establish international law;

* work cooperatively to develop a regional system of security and cooperation in the
Middle East.


Brussels, 17 September 2009

For more information see: www.paxchristi.org.uk

mardi 22 septembre 2009

Iraq and Afghanistan will never accept colonialism

Monday, September 21, 2009
By: Brian Becker

Gen. McChrystal, Pentagon scramble to avoid appearance of defeat

The statement below was issued by Brian Becker, National Coordinator of the ANSWER Coalition.

The U.S. public largely opposed the invasion of Iraq while being generally supportive of the invasion of Afghanistan. That is now changing. Majority sentiment has moved, and will continue to move, in opposition to the plans for a protracted war and occupation in Afghanistan.

There is both uncertainty and debate within the Obama administration and among the Pentagon brass about what to do in Afghanistan: continue to send ever more troops; seek a truce with the Taliban and create a government of "national unity" that includes the Taliban and either Hamid Karzai or another U.S. political puppet; or both.

Because of the division within the ruling class on its Afghanistan policy, it is possible that the intervention of a mass grassroots movement opposing the war can become a factor in domestic political calculations. This is precisely what happened during the Vietnam War.

Reality requires change of Pentagon’s military goals

The primary strategic objectives and goals that originally motivated the U.S. invasion have been significantly modified as a consequence of the unanticipated armed resistance, also known as the insurgency, in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

The political alignments in Iraq bear little or no resemblance to the constellation of political forces in Afghanistan and yet there is an overarching similarity, at least in terms of the evolved objectives of the U.S. invasion and occupation.

Both in Iraq and in Afghanistan, a principal goal of the Pentagon morphed into a much lower baseline objective: to avoid defeat or the appearance of defeat at the hands of an armed insurgency.

Avoiding defeat was the goal Nixon and Kissinger set for themselves when they took office in 1969. They, however, quickly modified the objective: They quickly discovered that defeat was inevitable, so they settled on an even lesser objective: to avoid the appearance of being defeated. Thus was born the fraudulent slogan "Peace with Honor." For this noble cause, another 30,000 young GIs perished before the inevitable troop pullout from Vietnam in 1973. The number of Vietnamese killed between 1969 and 1973 was greater by many hundreds of thousands.

The initial goal of both the Afghanistan and Iraq wars was far greater. "Avoiding defeat" did not enter into the calculations of Bush, Cheney or Rumsfeld. No, they were sure that they could create in both countries a colonial-type state.

A colonial-type state is distinguished from a classic colonial entity.

Classic colonialism features the acquisition by the colonial entity of the formal state power and with it the formal and legal administrative and military obligations that belong to government. The indigenous population provides personnel, administrators, bureaucrats and soldiers under the command of the hierarchal authority of the colonizers.

Classic colonialism also featured the complete control and direction of the indigenous economy by the colonizing entity for the purpose of acquiring natural resources, cheap labor and access to markets for the industrial and commercial capitalist interests of the colonizer. This characteristic is equally present in both classic colonialism and in the modern colonial-type arrangement sought by the United States. In the case of Iraq, its vast nationalized oil fields were to be privatized and controlled by U.S. and British oil interests. Its nationalized banking sector was to be gobbled up by Wall Street.

Kwame Nkrumah, the former president of Ghana and a leader of the Pan-African movement, described the features of what he called neo-colonialism: "The essence of neo-colonialism is that the State which is subject to it is, in theory, independent and has all the outward trappings of international sovereignty. In reality its economic system and thus its political policy is directed from outside."

Nkrumah prophetically described the many variants of the new colonialism, but placed the primacy of economic penetration as the "normal" and central method whereby the old colonial powers retain control over the former colonies.

"The methods and form of this direction can take various shapes. For example, in an extreme case the troops of the imperial power may garrison the territory of the neo-colonial State and control the government of it. More often, however, neo-colonialist control is exercised through economic or monetary means." (emphasis added)

In the case of Iraq and Afghanistan, the creation of a colonial-type or neo-colonial state requires the garrisoning of large numbers of U.S. troops on U.S. military bases to dominate the political landscape and protect large numbers of U.S. administrators. Nkrumah called this "an extreme case," but it is indispensable in both Iraq and Afghanistan, although for widely different reasons. Without vast numbers of foreign forces on its soil, neither Iraq nor Afghanistan can function as colonial-type states.

Iraq for instance—with its oil, significant water resources, large and educated population, potential military capability, and political legacy since the triumph of the 1958 anti-colonial revolution—would resume its place as a regional power in the Arab world.

Hopes of new strategic axis shattered

The destruction of the Baathist state by foreign military invasion was supposed to blast open the possibility of large, multiple U.S. military bases that would remain forever in Iraq. U.S. rulers understood that, without foreign troops and permanent military bases on its soil providing protection for legions of U.S. administrators and technocrats, Iraq would resume its position of independence, notwithstanding its economic decline from years of war and sanctions.

The Bush administration and the Pentagon initially envisioned laying the foundation for a new strategic axis for the Middle East. It would be the Washington-Baghdad-Tel Aviv partnership that would police the oil-rich Middle East on behalf of U.S. interests. That would require turning Iraq into a colonial-type state.

It was a policy that had some historical resonance. It was a throwback to the golden days of a Washington-Tel Aviv-Tehran axis policing the oil-rich Gulf. The Shah of Iran was a loyal puppet, and the Israelis functioned as a dependent garrison state striking out at any expression of Arab nationalism that threatened U.S. domination strategies.
But the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld strategy was a fantasy that has been shattered by subsequent events.

Starting in 2007, the Pentagon adjusted its approach. The 2007 so-called surge of troops in Iraq was basically propaganda masking the actual new strategy, which was to pay the insurgents to stop shooting at U.S. troops and blowing them up with IEDs. This would allow the eventual withdrawal of U.S. forces in an orderly way thus avoiding the appearance that the empire had been defeated or had been unable to succeed in Iraq.

The humongous U.S. Embassy in Baghdad was conceived as the directing body of the new colonial-type state in Iraq. It is the largest in the world. Conceived for more than 1,000 U.S. personnel to function as behind-the-scenes administrators, the embassy would serve as the management arm of the new colonial-type state.

This, too, will turn out to be unviable. Iraq has been economically devastated, but the aspirations for a colonial-type state administered by the U.S. Embassy in downtown Baghdad are incompatible with the reality of Iraq. The Iraqi people are imbued with anti-colonial consciousness directly resulting from 90 years of struggle—dating back to at least the 1920 national rebellion that defeated British colonial forces.

Iraqi reporter Muntadhar al-Zaidi became a national hero when he risked death and endured terrible torture for hurling his shoes at Bush. His words on Sept. 15 upon his release and the depth of the support he continues to receive from throughout Iraq speak volumes about the political intensity of Iraqi anti-colonial sentiment:
"They [U.S. officials] will boast about the deceit and the means they used in order to gain their objective. It is not strange, not much different from what happened to the Native Americans at the hands of colonialists. Here I say to them (the occupiers) and to all who follow their steps, and all those who support them and spoke up for their cause: Never. Because we are a people who would rather die than face humiliation."

Afghanistan: perception and reality

In the United States, a large sector of the population recognized that the Iraq invasion was a war of aggression, pure and simple.

It was different with Afghanistan. Public opinion was largely supportive of the invasion, because the Bush administration and all Democratic Party leaders promoted the idea that Afghanistan was the source of the Sept. 11 attacks. After all, Osama Bin Laden was a "guest" of the Taliban government in Kabul at the time of the attack.

The cold fact is that there were no Iraqis or Afghans on the planes that were hijacked on Sept. 11, yet hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Afghans are dead because of the U.S. invasion. Millions more live as refugees.

Afghanistan, according to the Bush administration and the Pentagon, was to serve as the military pivot for policing U.S. interests. Huge forward bases for the Pentagon throughout the country would change the relationship of forces in Central Asia.

Afghanistan shares extensive borders with Iran to the west and a long border with Pakistan to the south and east. It borders China to the northeast and the former Soviet republics of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan to the north.

As with Iraq, the Bush and Pentagon military strategy in Afghanistan—now officially the policy of the Obama administration—has morphed, as the goals of the occupation have had to be scaled back. When asked to explain what a victory in Afghanistan would mean, U.S. government and Pentagon officials can only dish out vagaries. They cannot actually tell the truth because then more soldiers and marines and their families would hesitate to continue to act as bait and cannon fodder.

Stirring up the anti-war movement

The real and rarely mentioned goal is now to avoid defeat. Or, and this is important, to avoid the perception of defeat. Thus, tens of thousands more troops are being rushed into the country because the Pentagon cannot figure out what else to do.

General David Petraeus became a hero in the imperialist establishment because he was the architect of the so-called surge followed by the announced intention to withdraw from Iraq. In short, glory and reverential honor befalls the great general, not because he put U.S. forces on track to victory but because his policy may permit the withdrawal of military forces on conditions far less humiliating than the Pentagon’s rushed exit from Vietnam in the 1970s.

The people of the United States need to rise up and go into the streets demanding the immediate and full withdrawal from Afghanistan. The vast majority of the people of Afghanistan, including large numbers of those who despise the odious policies of the Taliban, revile the colonial character of the occupation.

As the bodies of civilians pile up in an escalating conflict, the hatred for the U.S./NATO occupiers will only grow. The mission is doomed.

http://answer.pephost.org/site/News2/1985974510?abbr=ANS_&page=NewsArticle&id=9211&news_iv_ctrl=1621

samedi 19 septembre 2009

WE SHARE THE GRIEF OF UIGHUR AND IRAQI TURKS

WE SHARE THE GRIEF OF UIGHUR AND IRAQI TURKS

The Rector of Giresun University has made the statement (announcement) below regarding the latest events in China and Iraq.

Respectfully submitted to the public opinion.

“Since the last week, Giresun University has been following the human rights violations that the Uighur Turks, living in Uigur autonomous region of the People’s Republic of China, the land of historical Eastern Turkistan, are being exposed and, since the last month, the inhuman and extra-legal attacks aimed at Iraqi Turks in Iraq (especially in northern Iraq), at the settlements of Iraqi Turks (The Turkmen) or where they are densely populated (Baghdad, Mosul, Kirkuk, Telafer, Tazehurmatu.) with deep concern and regret.

It is thought provoking that the basic human rights regulated with United Nations Treaty and other international documents are violated and ignored by the People’s Republic of China, the permanent member of United Nations Security Council. At the first quarter of the 21st century on which the titles of democracy, human rights and freedom left their marks, this action that the Uighur Turks are being exposed and in which 156 Uighur Turks died, according to the official statements, could not be accepted, tolerated and ignored. It should be remembered that today, the level of civilization’s legacy that the nations own is determined (measured) by the nations’ attitudes towards social peace, tolerance, justice and their respect to human rights.

Similarly, it is also thought provoking that, over the last month, the events in Iraq in which approximately 480 people, mostly Iraqi Turks, lost their lives and about 1200 people were injured, are not brought into the agenda of the countries which are the defenders of the such universal values as democracy, human rights and the superiority of law, and civil society organizations which know no limits.

As Giresun University, we believe that Turkey should embrace the foreign Turks and the people who have turned their faces to Turkey and we also believe that Turkey will benefit a lot out of this issue and it should be seen as a necessity of Turkey’s foreign policy.

Giresun University condemns the human tragedy in Eastern Turkistan and Iraq and condoles with Uighur Turks, Iraqi Turks and the whole Turkic World.”

Prof. Dr. Osman Metin ÖZTÜRK

Rector of Giresun University

The second Biden mission to Iraq, by Reidar Visser

Please see:

http://merryabla64.wordpress.com/2009/09/19/the-second-biden-mission-to-iraq-by-reidar-visser/

vendredi 18 septembre 2009

'Eid Mubarak




Şeker Bayramınız Mübarek Olsun



‘Eid Mubarak

Why Is Obama Still Using Blackwater?

By Jeremy Scahill
September 16, 2009

Two years ago on September 16, 2007, on a steamy hot Baghdad day with temperatures reaching 100 degrees, a heavily armed Blackwater convoy entered a congested intersection at Nisour Square in the Mansour district of the Iraqi capital. The once-upscale section of Baghdad was still lined with boutiques, cafes and art galleries dating back to better days. The ominous caravan consisted of four large armored vehicles with machine guns mounted on top.

As the Blackwater convoy was entering the square that day, a young Iraqi medical student named Ahmed Hathem Al-Rubaie was driving his mother, Mahasin, in the family's white sedan. As fate would have it, they found themselves stuck near Nisour Square. The family were devout Muslims and were fasting in observance of the holy month of Ramadan.

Ali Khalaf Salman, an Iraqi traffic cop on duty in Nisour Square that day, remembers vividly when the Blackwater convoy entered the intersection, spurring him and his colleagues to scramble to stop traffic. But as the Mambas entered the square, the convoy suddenly made a surprise U-turn and proceeded to drive the wrong way on a one-way street. As Khalaf watched, the convoy came to an abrupt halt. He says a large white man with a mustache, positioned atop the third vehicle in the Blackwater convoy, began to fire his weapon "randomly."

Khalaf looked in the direction of the shots, on Yarmouk Road, and heard a woman screaming, "My son! My son!" The police officer sprinted toward the voice and found a middle-aged woman inside of a vehicle holding a 20-year-old man covered in blood, who had been shot in the forehead. "I tried to help the young man, but his mother was holding him so tight," Khalaf recalled. Another Iraqi policeman, Sarhan Thiab, also ran to the car. "We tried to help him,'' Thiab said. "I saw the left side of his head was destroyed and his mother was crying out: 'My son, my son. Help me, help me.'''

Officer Khalaf recalled looking toward the Blackwater shooters. "I raised my left arm high in the air to try to signal to the convoy to stop the shooting." He says he thought the men would cease fire, given that he was a clearly identified police officer. The young man's body was still in the driver's seat of the automatic vehicle and, as Khalaf and Thiab stood there, it began to roll forward, perhaps as a result of the dead man's foot remaining on the accelerator. Blackwater guards later said they initially opened fire on the vehicle because it was speeding and would not stop, a claim hotly disputed by scores of witnesses.

Aerial photos of the scene later showed that the car had not even entered the traffic circle when it was fired upon by Blackwater, while the New York Times reported, "The car in which the first people were killed did not begin to closely approach the Blackwater convoy until the Iraqi driver had been shot in the head and lost control of his vehicle," meaning Blackwater had already shot the man. "I tried to use hand signals to make the Blackwater people understand that the car was moving on its own and we were trying to stop it. We were trying to get the woman out but had to run for cover," Thiab said.


To read on please click on:
http://www.thenation.com/doc/20090928/scahill3/print

mercredi 16 septembre 2009

What Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi had to say



September 15, 2009


What Iraqi journalist who threw shoes at Bush had to say


Click on the link below to watch the video
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/homepage/story/75438.html

BAGHDAD — Muntadhar al Zaidi, the Iraqi reporter who threw his shoes at former President Bush last year in an act of protest that gained international notoriety, was freed from an Iraqi prison Tuesday after nine months behind bars and gave a passionate defense of his actions.


Here are his remarks, translated by McClatchy special correspondent Sahar Issa.

In the name of God, the most gracious and most merciful.

Here I am, free. But my country is still a prisoner of war.

Firstly, I give my thanks and my regards to everyone who stood beside me, whether inside my country, in the Islamic world, in the free world. There has been a lot of talk about the action and about the person who took it, and about the hero and the heroic act, and the symbol and the symbolic act. But, simply, I answer: What compelled me to confront is the injustice that befell my people, and how the occupation wanted to humiliate my homeland by putting it under its boot.


And how it wanted to crush the skulls of (the homeland’s) sons under its boots, whether sheikhs, women, children or men. And during the past few years, more than a million martyrs fell by the bullets of the occupation and the country is now filled with more than 5 million orphans, a million widows and hundreds of thousands of maimed. And many millions of homeless because of displacement inside and outside the country.


We used to be a nation in which the Arab would share with the Turkman and the Kurd and the Assyrian and the Sabean and the Yazid his daily bread. And the Shiite would pray with the Sunni in one line. And the Muslim would celebrate with the Christian the birthday of Christ, may peace be upon him. And despite the fact that we shared hunger under sanctions for more than 10 years, for more than a decade.


Our patience and our solidarity did not make us forget the oppression. Until we were invaded by the illusion of liberation that some had. (The occupation) divided one brother from another, one neighbor from another, and the son from his uncle. It turned our homes into neverending funeral tents. And our graveyards spread into parks and roadsides. It is a plague. It is the occupation that is killing us, that is violating the houses of worship and the sanctity of our homes and that is throwing thousands daily into makeshift prisons.


I am not a hero, and I admit that. But I have a point of view and I have a stance. It humiliated me to see my country humiliated. And to see my Baghdad burned. And my people being killed. Thousands of tragic pictures remained in my head, and this weighs on me every day and pushes me toward the righteous path, the path of confrontation, the path of rejecting injustice, deceit and duplicity. It deprived me of a good night’s sleep.

Dozens, no, hundreds, of images of massacres that would turn the hair of a newborn white used to bring tears to my eyes and wound me. The scandal of Abu Ghraib. The massacre of Fallujah, Najaf, Haditha, Sadr City, Basra, Diyala, Mosul, Tal Afar, and every inch of our wounded land. In the past years, I traveled through my burning land and saw with my own eyes the pain of the victims, and hear with my own ears the screams of the bereaved and the orphans. And a feeling of shame haunted me like an ugly name because I was powerless.
And as soon as I finished my professional duties in reporting the daily tragedies of the Iraqis, and while I washed away the remains of the debris of the ruined Iraqi houses, or the traces of the blood of victims that stained my clothes, I would clench my teeth and make a pledge to our victims, a pledge of vengeance.


The opportunity came, and I took it.


I took it out of loyalty to every drop of innocent blood that has been shed through the occupation or because of it, every scream of a bereaved mother, every moan of an orphan, the sorrow of a rape victim, the teardrop of an orphan.


I say to those who reproach me: Do you know how many broken homes that shoe that I threw had entered because of the occupation? How many times it had trodden over the blood of innocent victims? And how many times it had entered homes in which free Iraqi women and their sanctity had been violated? Maybe that shoe was the appropriate response when all values were violated.


When I threw the shoe in the face of the criminal, Bush, I wanted to express my rejection of his lies, his occupation of my country, my rejection of his killing my people. My rejection of his plundering the wealth of my country, and destroying its infrastructure. And casting out its sons into a diaspora.

After six years of humiliation, of indignity, of killing and violations of sanctity, and desecration of houses of worship, the killer comes, boasting, bragging about victory and democracy. He came to say goodbye to his victims and wanted flowers in response.


Put simply, that was my flower to the occupier, and to all who are in league with him, whether by spreading lies or taking action, before the occupation or after.


I wanted to defend the honor of my profession and suppressed patriotism on the day the country was violated and its high honor lost. Some say: Why didn’t he ask Bush an embarrassing question at the press conference, to shame him? And now I will answer you, journalists. How can I ask Bush when we were ordered to ask no questions before the press conference began, but only to cover the event. It was prohibited for any person to question Bush.


And in regard to professionalism: The professionalism mourned by some under the auspices of the occupation should not have a voice louder than the voice of patriotism. And if patriotism were to speak out, then professionalism should be allied with it.


I take this opportunity: If I have wronged journalism without intention, because of the professional embarrassment I caused the establishment, I wish to apologize to you for any embarrassment I may have caused those establishments. All that I meant to do was express with a living conscience the feelings of a citizen who sees his homeland desecrated every day.


History mentions many stories where professionalism was also compromised at the hands of American policymakers, whether in the assassination attempt against Fidel Castro by booby-trapping a TV camera that CIA agents posing as journalists from Cuban TV were carrying, or what they did in the Iraqi war by deceiving the general public about what was happening. And there are many other examples that I won’t get into here.
But what I would like to call your attention to is that these suspicious agencies — the American intelligence and its other agencies and those that follow them — will not spare any effort to track me down (because I am) a rebel opposed to their occupation. They will try to kill me or neutralize me, and I call the attention of those who are close to me to the traps that these agencies will set up to capture or kill me in various ways, physically, socially or professionally.


And at the time that the Iraqi prime minister came out on satellite channels to say that he didn’t sleep until he had checked in on my safety, and that I had found a bed and a blanket, even as he spoke I was being tortured with the most horrific methods: electric shocks, getting hit with cables, getting hit with metal rods, and all this in the backyard of the place where the press conference was held. And the conference was still going on and I could hear the voices of the people in it. And maybe they, too, could hear my screams and moans.


In the morning, I was left in the cold of winter, tied up after they soaked me in water at dawn. And I apologize for Mr. Maliki for keeping the truth from the people. I will speak later, giving names of the people who were involved in torturing me, and some of them were high-ranking officials inthe government and in the army.
I didn’t do this so my name would enter history or for material gains. All I wanted was to defend my country, and that is a legitimate cause confirmed by international laws and divine rights. I wanted to defend a country, an ancient civilization that has been desecrated, and I am sure that history — especially in America — will state how the American occupation was able to subjugate Iraq and Iraqis, until its submission.

They will boast about the deceit and the means they used in order to gain their objective. It is not strange, not much different from what happened to the Native Americans at the hands of colonialists. Here I say to them (the occupiers) and to all who follow their steps, and all those who support them and spoke up for their cause: Never.


Because we are a people who would rather die than face humiliation.


And, lastly, I say that I am independent. I am not a member of any political party, something that was said during torture — one time that I’m far-right, another that I’m a leftist. I am independent of any political party, and my future efforts will be in civil service to my people and to any who need it, without waging any political wars, as some said that I would.


My efforts will be toward providing care for widows and orphans, and all those whose lives were damaged by the occupation. I pray for mercy upon the souls of the martyrs who fell in wounded Iraq, and for shame upon those who occupied Iraq and everyone who assisted them in their abominable acts. And I pray for peace upon those who are in their graves, and those who are oppressed with the chains of imprisonment. And peace be upon you who are patient and looking to God for release.


And to my beloved country I say: If the night of injustice is prolonged, it will not stop the rising of a sun and it will be the sun of freedom.


One last word. I say to the government: It is a trust that I carry from my fellow detainees. They said, ‘Muntadhar, if you get out, tell of our plight to the omnipotent powers’ — I know that only God is omnipotent and I pray to Him — ‘remind them that there are dozens, hundreds, of victims rotting in prisons because of an informant’s word.’


They have been there for years, they have not been charged or tried. They’ve only been snatched up from the streets and put into these prisons. And now, in front of you, and in the presence of God, I hope they can hear me or see me. I have now made good on my promise of reminding the government and the officials and the politicians to look into what’s happening inside the prisons. The injustice that’s caused by the delay in the judicial system.


Thank you. And may God’s peace be upon you.

mardi 15 septembre 2009

Le Figaro censure ceux qui dénoncent l'expansionnisme kurde dans le nord de l'Irak



French paper silences those who denounce Kurdish hegemony and expansionism in northern Iraq


LE FIGARO CENSURE CEUX QUI DENONCENT L’HEGEMONIE ET L’EXPANSIONISME KURDE DANS LE NORD DE L’IRAK

My comment to an article published in French newspaper LE FIGARO on 15/09/2009 : « Terrorism prospers on the black gold of Kerkuk » by Laura Marchand (Special envoy to Kerkuk) has been moderated ” for reasons of security and respect of my private life”



Mes commentaires sur l’article de Laure Marchand : « Sur l’or noir de Kirkouk, le terrorisme prospère » publié dans le Figaro le 15/09/2009 ont été rejetés :
Votre message et/ou contenus/contenu a été modéré “pour des raisons de sécurité et de respect de votre vie privée”


This is a pretext to silence the voices who oppose Kurdish hegemony and expansionism in the north of Iraq I CALL THIS CENSORSHIP

Ceci n'est qu'un prétexte pour censurer ceux qui dénoncent l'expansionnisme kurde dans le nord de l'Irak.

Hereunder are the comments I sent to Le Figaro re Laure Marchand’s (special envoy to Kerkuk) article:
« Sur l’or noir de Kirkouk, le terrorisme prospère »
« Terrorism prospers on the black gold of Kerkuk »
Ci-dessous les commentaires que j’avais envoyés au Figaro:

Historiquement Kirkouk n’a jamais été kurde.

Les partis kurdes de MM Talabani et Barzani ne cessent de clamer que : « Kirkouk est la Jérusalem des Kurdes » ceci est FAUX : historiquement Kirkouk n’a JAMAIS été kurde et les habitants turkmènes, arabes et assyriens de Kirkouk refusent l’hégémonie kurde et s’opposent à l’annexion de Kirkouk à la région autonome kurde.

L'expansionnisme kurde représente un réel danger pour la paix en Irak, avec leurs milices armées, les peshmergas, les Kurdes occupent (depuis l’invasion/occupation américaine de l’Irak en 2003) la région turkmène « Turkmeneli» dont Kirkouk est le centre culturel, la région chaldéo-assyriennes « Plaine de Ninewah » et les régions shabaks et yézidies dans le nord du pays.

Ce qu’il faut rappeler :

Les partis kurdes ont modifié la composition démographique de Kirkouk en vue du recensement.

Les partis kurdes de MM Talabani et Barzani ont organisé le transport de quelques 600.000 Kurdes de la région autonome kurde et leur installation dans la province de Kirkouk depuis que Kirkouk est tombé aux mains de leurs milices, les peshmerga, avec la bénédiction des américains le 10 avril 2003.

Ces nouveaux venus à Kirkouk ont reçu de l’aide financière pour venir s’y installer et les autorités kurdes leur ont fourni des cartes d’identités et des documents falsifiés les faisant passer comme Kurdes originaires de Kirkouk, soi-disant expulsés par le régime de Saddam Hussein. Ceci est un mensonge, étant donné que les registres officiels montrent que durant le régime de Saddam moins de 12.000 habitants de Kirkouk ont été expulsés et parmi ceux-ci les Turkmènes représentaient plus de la moitié. Ce qui signifie que moins de 6.000 Kurdes ont été expulsés de Kirkouk par le régime Baath.
Ces tromperies de la part des Kurdes, les falsifications des registres officiels, la délivrance de fausses cartes d’identité aux Kurdes ont été rendues possibles par le fait que les milices kurdes avaient pillé les bureaux de la population et d’enregistrement des biens fonciers de Kirkouk et confisqué les registres et les archives dès le premier jour de leur arrivée à Kerkuk le 10 avril 2003.
Voir : http://merryabla64.wordpress.com/les-turkmenes-irakiens/

Pour rappel :
La communauté irakienne en Suède dénonce les agissements anormaux de l’Ambassadeur irakien à Stockholm, un kurde, qui continue de délivrer des passeports irakiens à des étrangers, principalement à des Kurdes originaires d’Iran, de Syrie et de Turquie.
Voir :
http://turkmenfriendship.blogspot.com/2008/01/representatives-of-iraqi-community-in.html

Il est à signaler que les Turkmènes et les Arabes s’opposent au déploiement d’une force composée de soldats américains et de peshmergas kurdes dans les territoires soi-disant ‘disputés’ comme le propose le général américain Odierno.

"Des dizaines, voire des centaines, d’enfants nés depuis le mois de décembre ont été prénommés Mountazar"


par Ahmet Haşim *

"Des dizaines, voire des centaines, d’enfants nés depuis le mois de décembre ont été prénommés Mountazar"


Ahmet Haşim, est un journaliste turkmène. Il est installé à Kirkouk, dans le nord de l’Irak.
http://observers.france24.com/fr/profile/20090514-ahmet-hasim


Pour les Turkmènes, le geste de Mountazar al-Zaïdi a été un événement heureux. Tout le monde en a parlé ici. Les Turkmènes sont de vrais patriotes et jugent son acte héroïque. Nous le considérons comme un modèle pour tous les jeunes Irakiens.


Des dizaines, voire des centaines, d’enfants nés depuis le mois de décembre ont été prénommés Mountazar en hommage à son geste. L’un de mes amis n’a pas hésité à baptiser ainsi son premier enfant. Ce n'est pas rien, quand l’on connaît l’importance du nom donné à l’aîné dans notre culture... De nombreux jeunes de ma région voudraient se rendre à Bagdad pour l’accueillir à sa sortie de prison [ndlr, Al-Zaïdi est détenu sur la base militaire de Muthanna, située dans l’ouest de Bagdad], mais ils ont peur en raison de l’insécurité qui règne dans la capitale."

lundi 14 septembre 2009

KERKUK: Turkmens call for the formation of their own local law enforcement units





Turkmens in Kerkuk demonstrated on Saturday to reject the American proposal to deploy joint U.S. and peshmerga forces in the so-called ‘disputed areas’.



The demonstrators called for the formation of an armed force to protect the Turkmen region.


Independent Commission on Turkey

Independent Commission on Turkey
7 September 2009


Turkey in Europe: Breaking the Vicious Circle, the second report of the Independent Commission on Turkey, analyzes the key developments in EU-Turkey relations and puts forward concrete steps necessary to revive negotiations.

The Independent Commission on Turkey is convinced of the huge benefits of Turkish convergence with Europe and an eventual EU membership of a transformed Turkey, both for the country itself and the European Union. Despite a promising start to negotiations in 2004, the process has developed a vicious circle: continued negative comments by European political leaders, combined with growing public hesitation about further EU enlargement, have deepened resentment in Turkey and slowed the necessary reforms.

The report argues that this vicious circle must urgently be broken, in the interest of both Turkey and the EU. European governments must honor their commitments and treat Turkey with fairness and the respect it deserves. On its side, Turkey has to re-engage in a dynamic, broad-based reform process, thus confirming that it is willing and serious in its ambition to join the EU.

View the corresponding press release, read report chapter highlights, or read more information on the topic.
Download Turkey in Europe: Breaking the Vicious Circle (PDF, 826K)
The report is also available in the following languages:
French (PDF, 814K)
German (PDF, 825K)
Italian (PDF, 811K)

Spanish (PDF, 803K)
-->

Members of the Independent Commission

Martti Ahtisaari
Former President of Finland

Anthony Giddens
Former Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science

Kurt Biedenkopf
Former Prime Minister of Saxony, Germany

Marcelino Oreja Aguirre
Former Foreign Minister of Spain, former Secretary General of the Council of Europe, former European Commissioner

Emma Bonino
Former European Commissioner, Member of the European Parliament

Michel Rocard
Former Prime Minister of France, Member of the European Parliament

Hans van den Broek
Former Foreign Minister of Netherlands, former European Commissioner

Albert Rohan
Former Secretary General of Foreign Affairs, Austria

Bronislaw Geremek (In Memoriam)
Former Foreign Minister of Poland, Member of the European Parliament


View all member biographies.

Friends of Turkey by Joost Lagendijk

Friends of Turkey
Sunday, September 13, 2009

JOOST LAGENDİJK

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=friends-of-turkey-2009-09-13


There is always this moment during debates on Turkey-EU relations. After exchanging opinions and discussing different scenarios, a Turkish participant takes the floor and sighs heavily.
“I admire your optimism Mr. Lagendijk, but most Europeans do not share your views. You know, we know, in the end the Europeans don’t want us.”

It is the modern version of the famous phrase reflecting the self-image of Turks for centuries: “Turkey has no friends.”

Here is the news: Turkey has friends in Europe and they are very active in promoting Turkey’s membership of the EU. Their names: Martti Ahtisaari, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2008; Michel Rocard, former Prime Minister of France; Anthony Giddens, one of the leading global intellectuals. Plus several former European commissioners and foreign ministers. They call themselves the Independent Commission on Turkey. This week they published a report called “Turkey in Europe: Breaking the vicious circle.” Members of the commission toured several capitals to make Turkey’s case. Acting as ambassadors for Turkey on a voluntary basis.

I would really like to recommend all skeptical Turks to read this report (also in Turkish on www.independentcommissiononturkey.org). It touches on many of the issues that always pop up in reports on Turkey and the EU. But compared to the reports of the European Commission there are important differences.

Being out of office Ahtisaari and his colleagues can be much more outspoken on some of the hot topics. Let me give you some examples. They do not think the secular system in Turkey is in danger. Although they criticize AKP leaders for not being sensitive enough to legitimate anxieties of secularist they clearly state their conviction that secularism is a well-founded pillar of the Republic that only a small minority in Turkey would like to remove.

The European Friends of Turkey strongly support normalization of relations between Turkey and Armenia. At the same time they also speak out clearly against so-called “genocide recognition resolutions” in national parliaments calling them counter-productive. They are very positive on the efforts of Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davatoglu to eliminate all problems with Turkey’s neighbors. Together with further democratic reforms, the report states, “The example of its (Turkey’s) transformation has acted to project the soft power of core EU values eastward.” I can’t remember having read such outspoken support for the idea that Turkey would be a great asset to the EU.

The main difference with the reports coming from the EU institutions though is the harsh criticism in the first chapter of the report on some EU member states and their handling of the accession negotiations. Let me quote a key sentence: “Undermining these talks in advance by substituting alternative arrangements for the goal of membership constitutes a breach of faith with Turkey, stokes up a nationalist backlash in the country and creates the wider impression that the EU has discriminatory double standards when dealing with a Muslim country.”

These are the words of some of Europe’s best-connected and therefore most influential politicians. Yes, it is true, they are no longer in power. But their message got huge media coverage and, believe me, does have an impact on the debate on Turkey in Europe.

In Turkey, media and politicians tend to focus on antagonistic messages from Europe and to disregard the considerable support for Turkey’s EU membership in many European countries. I hope this report will convince Turks that they have powerful friends in Europe too.

* Mr. Joost Lagendijk is a columnist for the daily Radikal and a senior advisor for the Istanbul Policy Center.

dimanche 13 septembre 2009

Kerkük`te Türkmenler, kente karma güç yerleştirilmesi önerisini protesto etti








Kerkük`te Türkmenler, kente karma güç yerleştirilmesi önerisini protesto etti
13 Eylül 2009



Irak`ın kuzeyindeki Kerkük kentinde yaşayan Türkmenler, Irak`taki ABD güçlerinin komutanı General Ray Odierno`nun kente karma bir güvenlik gücü yerleştirilmesi önerisini protesto etti. Bağdat yolu üzerinde bulunan Irak Türkmen Cephesi(ITC) binasının önünde toplanan Türkmenler, Odierno`nun Kerkük`e Amerikan, Iraklı ve Peşmerge birliklerinden oluşan karma bir güç yerleştirme önerisine tepkilerini gösterdiler. Türkmenler ayrıca Kerkük`te bir Türkmen gücü kurulmasına yönelik taleplerini de yineledi. Türkmenler, bu Türkmen gücünün ise Irak merkezi hükümetine bağlı olmasını istediklerini belirtti.www.kerkukfeneri.com


ITC binası önünde bir konuşma yapan ITC Kerkük İl Başkanı Ersed El Salihi, bölgede Haziran ayından bu yana devam eden şiddet olaylarında 550 Türkmen vatandaşının hayatını kaybettiğine dikkat çekti. Saldırılarda zarar gören yerlerin de şimdiye kadar onarılmadığını vurgulayan Salihi, saldırıların hâlâ devam etmekte olduğunu belirtti. Merkezî hükümet tarafından Türkmenlere has ve Türkmenlerden oluşan bir güç kurulmasını istediklerini belirten ITC yetkilisi, Odierno`nun önerisini de reddettiklerini vurguladı.



Daha önce de Kerküklü Araplar, Kerkük`e Amerikan, Iraklı ve Peşmerge güçlerinden oluşan bir karma güvenlik gücü yerleştirilmesini istemediklerini açıklamışlardı. Kerkük`e bağlı Hevice`de geniş bir protesto gösterisi düzenlenirken, Kerkük İl Meclisi`nin Arap üyeleri de meclisten geri çekildiklerini ilan etmişlerdi. Arap meclis üyeleri, teklif geri çekilmediği müddetçe de İl Meclisi`deki oturumlara ve toplantılara katılmayacaklarını duyurmuştu.Bugünkü gösteriye katılan Kerküklü Türkmenler de söz konusu teklife tepkilerini dile getirdiler. Huda Şemsettin adlı Türkmen kadın, `Biz buraya yabancıların gelmesini istemiyoruz. Burada bizim de gücümüz var, ne ABD`yi ne de Peşmergeyi kabul ederiz.` dedi.


Zeynep adlı bir başka Türkmen kadın ise güvenliğin merkezi hükümet tarafından sağlanmasını istediğini dile getirdi. Türkmen kadın, `Eğer buraya Peşmerge gelirse kendisi için çalışacak. Ters bir uygulamada iç savaş çıkar` tehdidinde bulundu.Kerim Kayacı adlı bir Türkmen vatandaş da benzer bir talepte bulunarak, Irak Başbakanı Nuri El Maliki`den Türkmenlere has bir güvenlik gücü oluşturmasını istedi.



samedi 12 septembre 2009

Toronto´da 5 Kitap




Toronto’da Yéngi qurulan Türkman Evi’ne, merkezi İstanbul’da bulunan Kerkük Vakfı Yayınevi terefinden maqul bir miqdarada 5 ayrı kitap gönderilipti. Kitapların ikisi Türkçe ve diger ikiside ingilizce olmağ suretiyle , erepca yazılan bir tek kitapta var. Kitapların içinde Prof. Dr. Suphi Sa’atçı´nın qeleme aldığı ve yayın piyasasına yéngi giren "Irak Türkmen Boyları Oymakları ve Yerleşim Bölgeleri" adlı eserde , Türkmeneli cuğrafyasındaki Türkman aşiretleri ve ailelerini cox güzel tanıtırı. Türkmanların yaşadığları belde ve nahiyeleri tek tek el alıptı. Oxuyana çox teferrüatlı ma’alumatlar teqdim ediri ve geleceğteki araştırmacı ve yazarlara eyyi bir qayanağ sunmağtadı .


Diger kitaplarsa :

Kitabın Adı : The Iraqi Turkmen 1921-2005 ( ingilizce )

Yazarın Adı: Ali Gökhan Kayalı

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Kitabın Adı : The Turkmen Reality in Iraq ( ingilizce )

Yazarın Adı: Erşed Hürmüzlü

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Kitabın Adı : Kerkük’ün Milli Kimliği ve kültürü ( Erebce )

Yazarın Adı: Mahir Neqib

Erebceye Tercüme :Habib Hürmüzlü

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Kitabın Adı : Kerkük Seni Yazdım ( Türkçe )

Yazarın Adı: Kemal Beyatlı

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Kerkük Vakfının yayın yelpazesini denizlerötesi ülkelerinden Kanada´ya genişlettiği için şukran ve minnettarlığımı bu nacizane satırlardan bildirirem özlerine.

Burhan Bayatlı

Toronto / Kanada


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Not:Kanada´daki Türkmanlar bu kitapları Toronto´daki Türkmen Evinden Temin édebilirlerAdres:

Türkmen Evi

967 Albion Road

Etobicoke, ON, M9V 1A6

Canada

vendredi 11 septembre 2009

TOO MANY 9/11 COMMISSION QUESTIONS STILL UNANSWERED



TOO MANY 9/11 COMMISSION QUESTIONS STILL UNANSWERED
Allen L Roland


When Pandora's Box is finally fully opened on the deceptions and abuses of power by the Cheney/Bush administration ~ the 9/11 conspiracy and coverup will stand alone as the most treasonous act in American history. Here are 40 experts, including Commission members, who share their misgivings about the 9/11 Commission and the questions left unanswered : Allen L Roland

The resignation Sunday of longtime Bay Area activist Van Jones as a White House environmental adviser left many progressives, including myself, rightfully angry at the Obama administration for crumbling to conservative criticism of Jones' controversial past comments and actions ~ particularly regarding 9/11. Jones resigned amid a furor over his signature on a 2004 petition rightfully questioning the government's actions around the Sept.11, 2001 terrorist attacks. A petition that I and many other Progressive leaders proudly signed and still support.

As Gandhi once said ~ An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because very few choose to see or acknowledge it.

So let's set the record straight, Van Jones was not alone in his misgivings about the government's actions around the 9/11 attacks and most certainly it's response ~ as alluded to in the obviously deeply flawed 9/11 Commission report.

Some recent facts ~ “More than one-quarter of all footnotes in the 9/11 Report refer to CIA interrogations of al Qaeda operatives subjected to the now-controversial interrogation techniques ( torture ),” writes former NBC producer Robert Windrem in The Daily Beast. “In fact, information derived from the interrogations was central to the 9/11 Report’s most critical chapters, those on the planning and execution of the attacks.”

Approximately Sixty percent of the 9/11 commissioners have publicly stated that the government agreed not to tell the truth about 9/11 and that the Pentagon was involved in deliberate deception about their response to the attack according to the Washington Post ~
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/01/AR2006080101300.html

Here are 40 experts, including the Chairman, 9/11 Commission, Thomas H. Kean, Former Governor of New Jersey and Vice Chairman, 9/11 Commission, Lee Hamilton, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Homeland Security Advisory Council ~ sounding off in short quotes about their misgivings with the 9/11 commission and the far too many questions that are still UNANSWERED.

9/11 REVISITED AND QUESTIONED

Summarized from http://www.patriotsquestion911.com/.

Please see:

http://blogs.salon.com/0002255/2009/09/08.html