As The New Year Opens, Politics is Dying: KRG Politicians Must Go

Iraqi forces during their takeover of Kirkuk, October 2017

By Arian Mufid:

A year ago Kurdish politics in the south of Kurdistan was awash with nice predictions. It is safe to say that 2017 — which brought the terrorist attacks of ISIS to an end, but also the referendum disaster, political shocks and economic uncertainty, the death of Nawshirwan Mustafa the leader of Goran, along with his wife, and the death of Talabani, leader of the PUK — was a year that won’t be much missed. Kurdish politics today is at its lowest ebb among the people since 2009 when the Gorran movement was founded and spiced things up a bit by challenging the status quo. For decades Kurdish politics has been dominated by the two clans and two families, and in consequence we should have expected nothing but disaster after disaster. A year dominated by the referendum has ended with the Iraqi state now in effective control of Kirkuk and reducing the rest of south Kurdistan’s cities toward the level of Baghdad and the rest of Iraq, with no progress or advance for the last three months. The aim of the Iraqi state was achieved and Kurdish hopes and aspirations for an independent state, people and nation have been punished by followers of Saddam Hussein, the former Iraqi dictator. The negotiations between Baghdad and Erbil have been tortuous. But one critical thing has not changed: Masud Barzani is still in charge, even though the KRG has lost 51% of its land as the result of the referendum fallout. Barzani is on record as telling the people, “I will be responsible for all the consequences”, but in reality he took zero responsibility. He and his party have been calamitous for this nation since 1975 but still they are at large and controlling most of the Kurdish finances and politics. The whole world came out against the referendum, including Israel. The Israel state pretended to support the referendum but its inaction was louder than its talk. The Barzani party and family are specialists in failure. They have failed to serve the interests of the people and instead plunged the population into political and social disaster. Masud Barzani gambled with the nation’s future and lost badly.

Finally, we need to regain the initiative in the new year. The KRG must learn more from its relationships with the outside world. The current Iraqi leaders must learn from history that Iraq cannot thrive without the cooperation of the Kurds and efforts to the contrary have inevitably led to the collapse of the Iraqi state.

The leaders of the KDP and PUK should be brought to fair trials for stealing public money and corruption or else they could be offered soft landings with Mugabe-style exits. As for Barham Salih’s new party, we don’t know how effective it can be in these circumstances since he is a man without significant popular support. However, clearly we need a new political configuration focused on building real international backing for an independent Kurdish state and committed to a new strategy of increased self-reliance and the transformation of all aspects of the local economy.

One Response to As The New Year Opens, Politics is Dying: KRG Politicians Must Go
  1. Alex
    January 9, 2018 | 13:28

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