Kurd Sellout Watch: Day 355

Give up the peshmerga? You have to be kidding.

Imagine you’re a Kurd. Your army, the peshmerga, gave coalition troops their only indigenous military support in last year’s overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s government. Atrocities against your people—about which the United States raised little fuss when they occurred two decades ago—provided President George W. Bush with the major human-rights justification for intervention. Dozens of your fellow Kurds, including many important political leaders, were killed earlier this month in two suicide bombings in Irbil, in the deadliest attack inside Iraq since August. You suspect the Americans and the British will eventually make you give up the city of Kirkuk, or at least the revenues from its oil, because otherwise the post-Saddam Iraqi state will collapse into civil war. You’re quietly resigned about giving up some of the freedoms you enjoyed during Saddam’s rule—when Iraqi Kurdistan was protected by the “no-fly zone” created by the United States, the United Kingdom, and France—in order to help sustain the new Iraqi regime you helped create.

Imagine all that, and then imagine that Paul Bremer, administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority, tells you to disband the peshmerga. And that, if possible, to please do so by the end of this month. Here’s how he put it in a Feb. 19 press conference:

We have made clear in discussions with the Kurdish leaders and other political leaders that we believe there’s no place in an independent, stable Iraq for armed forces that are not under the control of the command structure of the central government. 

What do you tell him? You tell him to go to hell.

Kurd Sellout Watch Archive:
Jan. 6, 2004: Day 310

Nov. 8, 2003: Day 251
Oct. 24, 2003: Day 236
Oct. 20, 2003: Day 232
Oct. 7, 2003: Day 219
July 27, 2003: Day 147
July 23, 2003: Day 143
May 16, 2003: Day 75
May 1, 2003: Day 60
April 25, 2003: Day 54
April 23, 2003: Day 52
April 18, 2003: Day 47
April 10, 2003: Day 39
April 3, 2003: Day 32
March 26, 2003: Day 24
March 25, 2003: Day 23
March 23, 2003: Day 21
March 21, 2003: Day 19
March 20, 2003: Day 18
March 17, 2003: Day 15
March 14, 2003: Day 12
March 11, 2003: Day 9
March 6, 2003: Day 4
March 4, 2003: Day 2
March 3, 2003: “How Screwed Are the Kurds?”