How a better Middle East would look By Ralph Peters (2006)As for those who refuse to “think the unthinkable,” declaring that boundaries must not change and that’s that, it pays to remember that boundaries have never stopped changing through the centuries..The most glaring injustice in the notoriously unjust lands between the Balkan Mountains and the Himalayas is the absence of an independent Kurdish state. There are between 27 million and 36 million Kurds living in contiguous regions in the Middle East (the figures are imprecise because no state has ever allowed an honest census). Greater than the population of present-day Iraq, even the lower figure makes the Kurds the world’s largest ethnic group without a state of its own. Worse, Kurds have been oppressed by every government controlling the hills and mountains where they’ve lived since Xenophon’s day. See: Genocide in Kurdistan, an accounting of the 1988 Iraq use of chemical weapons to kill the Kurdish population.
The U.S. and its coalition partners missed a glorious chance to begin to correct this injustice after Baghdad’s fall. A Frankenstein’s monster of a state sewn together from ill-fitting parts, Iraq should have been divided into three smaller states immediately. We failed from cowardice and lack of vision, bullying Iraq’s Kurds into supporting the new Iraqi government — which they do wistfully as a quid pro quo for our good will. But were a free plebiscite to be held, make no mistake: Nearly 100 percent of Iraq’s Kurds would vote for independence. Read this great analysis here.
‘Election law could fail over Kirkuk’
Article 140 of the Iraqi constitution calls for a referendum to decide Kirkuk’s fate, which Kurds have long wanted to make the capital of their autonomous north, an aim strongly opposed by the province’s Arabs and Turkmen.Parliament is set to discuss the election law on Wednesday, ahead of nation-wide legislative polls on January 16. Now they are trying to pass an Election law that would allow for closed voting, and many are against that. Read the whole story.
Remember Iraq? Queen honours British Iraq troops Did you know that Britain ended its military mission in Iraq in April 2009, after six years of service in the troubled country?
The U.S. has 120,000 troops there (how many “contractors” is not known, but is estimated to be of equal or higher number that the troop number). The Long War has posted in May the following: Iraqi Security Forces Order of Battle update: May 2009. Read this to understand the Iraqi Government can take care of themselves. Get those troops out and sent home now.
Pakistan facing worst-case scenario?
The worst-case scenario facing Pakistan – prolonged insecurity with militants launching bloody attacks on the key pillars of the state – is no longer just a risk for markets and Western policymakers to fret over.
It is already here. ‘Poll after poll shows Pakistanis increasingly do fear the threat posed by extremists… but they believe the US is an even bigger danger to their country,’ Riedel said, adding many Pakistanis saw the US as a greater threat than India. ‘And any time you outpoll India as the bad guy in Pakistan, you are in deep trouble.’
* * *
Our Opinion: Is there a second Ghandi here? How about a reduction in troops by 20,000 (including NATO) and setting a date for total withdrawl? People will say “you can’t do that, the Taliban will win”. Are we in Afghanistan to protect a government? Wern’t we told we were there to get Bin Laden and al Quaeda?
Take Action Now:
Call President Obama: To reach the U.S. Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121 or 202-225-3121 Leave a message: No more Troops. End the War(s). Call Leon Panetta at (703) 482-0623, CIA headquarters, leave a message: Don’t attack Quetta, End the War(s).
Today, please tell your member of Congress and U.S. Senators to End the War in Afghanistan, sign this petition. If you live outside the United States, write to your leaders, End the War Now.
Tags: $20 for Taliban, 100 dollar bills, 60K troops, Afghanistan, AfPak, Balochistan, Bill Roggio, Charlie Wilson, Charlie Wilson’s War, Drones, Durand Line, End the war, Gas Pipelines, Kirkuk, Kirkuk oil fields, Kurdistan, Kurdistan Regional Government, Leon Panetta, Lyndon Johnson, Military bases, Mullah Omar, Musharraf, Nawab Akbar Bugti, New America, North Waziristan, Oil Pipelines, PakAf, Pakistan Military, Pashtuns, Pipelineistan, President Obama, South Wariristan, Swat, taliban, The Long War, Troop increase, Troop Morale