Barzani’s Terrible Miscalculation

By Arian Mufid:

Masud Barzani

Masud Barzani

Masud Barzani is a man on the wrong side of history; rather than embracing the wave of progress in the world with regards to democracy and civilization, in contrast he has stood against this which in effect has resulted in him standing against his own people. Two months ago, in August, Barzani’s presidency expired and several groups, including the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, Change Movement, Islamic League and Kurdistan Islamic Union, objected to the renewal of the presidency for Barzani on the basis that he has dominated Kurdish politics for many years, yet achieved very little. Despite immense pressure from these four political parties for Masud Barzani to relinquish his presidency, his decision remains unchanged.

Kurdistan is currently experiencing various kinds of historical levels of hardship. Firstly, the war with IS which is covering 1100 kilometers of the south of Kurdistan border, halting all political and economic development for the time being. Secondly, the corruption of the Barzani party and family which controls the backbone of the government and as a result is crippling prospects for political independence in the south of Kurdistan. Thirdly, the incompetence of the current government has damaged the relationship between Baghdad and Erbil and consequently the Iraqi budget is not reaching the KRG on time and there is a backlog in the payment of public employees’ wages of almost four months.

The people of Kurdistan have gone en masse into the streets of many cities of the south of Kurdistan, such as Halabja, Sulaymani, Ranya, Kaladyza and others, to protest and voice their discontent. Demonstrators are furious and some have even torched offices of the KDP in several cities. The KDP has used the Goran movement as a scapegoat to carry out their political and military quota against the Kurdish people. My own contacts inside the Turkish intelligence have reported to me that the reaction of Barzani has coincided with that of Erdogan in Turkey. On Monday 12th October, the military power of the KDP effectively dismanted the KRG parliament and did not allow the leader of Parliament, Dr Yousef Mohamed, to enter the city of Erbil. The KDP acting almost in the mannder of a military junta sacked all of the ministers of the Goran movement under the pretext that they had incited violence against the KDP offices in the south of Kurdistan. The Goran movement responded by calling the KDP’s claims unfounded and dishonest as well as criticizing Masud Barzani’s reaction to the people’s demand for their salaries.

Barzani’s KDP has breached the rules of the KRG parliament and we now have a very serious problem in the south of Kurdistan. Barzani’s deliberate act has been condemned by a far-reaching spectrum of Kurdistan society. The KDP have caused this problem in the south of Kurdistan and they have miscalculated the reaction of the people of Kurdistan. It should not be forgotten that the KDP took sides with Sadam Hussain’s forces on 31 August 1996, during the civil war, when PUK forces tried to capture Erbil. That historical event and the developments of the last several days are part of the chain of political mistakes which will ultimately cost the KDP their future in Kurdistan and the Middle East.

Protest in Sulaymani

Protest in Sulaymani

3 Responses to Barzani’s Terrible Miscalculation
  1. Rebin
    October 17, 2015 | 20:24

    Kurds must set aside their internal feuds for a later appropriate time. Kurdistan is in peril. It’s threatened by Islamic fundamentalist extremist terrorists from one hand and by four powerful hostile regimes on the other.
    Focus on peace, economic development & independence. Kurds must have backup plans if Iraq gets out of control.
    Don’t you follow the news: Turkish and Iranian fighter jets shelling Kurdish territories in all parts randomly on a regular basis. National unity is key at this historical moment to guarantee Kurdish nations gains. Kurds must maintain enough patience to win their battles and obtain their rights. They have not yet healed from wounds of civil war, constant genocides, and chemical bombardments. If KRG does not succeed in its missions, the whole Kurdish nation will be the ultimate loser. Unite us, not divide us! Thank you all! Your view is heard and heeded.

  2. Kuvan Bamarny (Abdul-Qahar Mustafa Musa Bamarny)
    October 17, 2015 | 23:47

    The goal and path of all people of Kurdistan is one( or not) which is to do their best in all possible ways to build up a Kurdistan that is democratic ,run by rule of law ,safe, stable, developed , prosperous and free from oppression ,discrimination ,injustice ,poverty and most importantly free from human right abuse.

    All Kurdish people, have made sacrifices and paid a price for Kurdistan and Kurdish people in one way or the other. Some of them have longer history of serving poeple, or have made more sacrifices and have given away more lives, while some others have sacrificed fewer lives while some others have lost their properties, or have devoted their time, energy and money for Kurdistan.

    Political parties are not supposed to be business institutions, or gang clubs that are formed in the line of blood, keenship, tribal background, language, religion and etc. (Are they) they are rather institutions to produce skillful managers with right qualifications and moderate ideological beliefs in order to mange and administrate the affairs of the nation in the best possible way when they are elected to power. Other than that they are business men who care only for money, power, fame and name, and themselves.

    Peshmarga are the honorable guardian , heroes and martyrs of Kurdistan and its people .They protect the values of all people who live in Kurdistan ,starts from security ,peace,stabilty ,prosper, borders and in general the whole people of the nation and its land from being invaded ,harmed by evil forces like Dash. If they are at war with an evil forces they are our heroes as they always are ,but if they are at peace and just protect the borders they are just honorable guardians of the nation that deserve all respect and admiration. If they lose their lives, they are our heroic martyrs that will stay in our heart for ever and their names will be engraved in stones and their heroic sacrifices will be written in our history.

    Parliament and prisedent represent the will of people .Their work that are worthy of admiration and respect. War with dash should not hold us back from progressing and aching our desirable goal .It should not become a reason for our government institutions to postpone their plans of reaching the goal, nether should become a reason to make our mangers and admintartors to slack off in doing their job in developing the nation .If they stop working, or quarrel or kick each other off for their own personal interest or grudges that means they have not only betrayed the scared vote of people ,their will , but also have neglected their duties and are considered to be lazy workers or free loaders.

    Other security forces such as police and secret services also have an important role in protecting the nation and its properties from being harmed ,and abused within the borders of the country ,starts from the capital all the way to provinces and then to the cities ,towns and villages. They should remain as devoting faithful forces in protecting all people regardless of dialct, coloer, social status, political parties, tribe, and the history of serving or the amount of sacrifices that were given for the nation. If they take sides, they are corrupted and biased.

    And by the way, there is no shame and fear to it if you reject an unlawful order from your boss politely .It is good to think twice before you take an order from your boss as it will help you to avoid getting into troubles. Maybe he is trying to put you through a test to see if you are doing your job right way or aware enough in doing a legal job for your minstery or not. Maybe he is throwing bait to you with the hope to catch you and turn your mistake as a blackmail tool to use you and control you.

    At the end ,the goal of all people of Kurdistan should be one which is to do their best in all possible ways to build up a Kurdistan that is democratic ,run by role of law ,safe, stable, developed , prosperous and free from oppression ,discrimination ,injustice ,poverty and most importantly free from human right abuse, or else Kurdistan will remain as Kurdistan that is full of unsolved problems and injustice.

  3. Kuvan Bamarny (Abdul-Qahar Mustafa Musa Bamarny)
    October 20, 2015 | 16:56

    Dear Rebin

    First of all why should Kurds fight and give lives away for a war that is not there in the first place? Dash war is not a war that was waged between Kurds and Islamic extrimists, it was rather broke out between the central shier government in Bagdad and Sunii tribes including members of Bathi party of Sadam.

    Sinnes and Bathi members, out of spite brought over Jihadists foreigners to help them fight Shia .These Jihadists elements who were helped by Sunni tribes to sneaked into the Sunni areas of Iraq like Al anbar ,Samara ,Tkrit and Mosel to help Sunnis and Bathi members to fight Shia people who are the majority and control Iraq.

    Kurds were blackmailed to help shia to fight this war because Bagdad government made it a condition and in return send the budget of Kurds on time and establish good relations with Kurds in both Iraq and syria.However ,I believe using military means and fighting and killing people (except Jihadists) is not a good solution to solve the problem between Sunnis and Shia .The best solution in my opinion is the central shia government should give Sunnis their budget share and let them have autonomy and control over their own areas and affairs .

    Secondly, the hostile state that we are surrounded by are Muslims .I believe we should deal with them assertively and on the bases of mutual interest and respect .We should be careful and refrain from stepping on the toe of our neighboring countries and avoid hurting their interests no matter who order us to do so. I do appreciate the sacrifices that USA solders made in over throwing Sadam, but it would be too much of attitude and unfair for someone who came 1000 miles away to the region and order Kurds to make sacrifices in return for them and fight for their interests in the region their whole life.

    Thirdly believe Kurds should give, as possible as they can morale and humanitarian support to our Kurdish brothers from other three parts of Kurdistan when they are in need of humanitarian help. We can also support them in making peace and progress in dealing with their own central government in Turkey, Iran, and Syria.

    Fourth, the flock of refugees and displaced people from Syria and other places in Iraq into provinces of Kurdistan, have left negative effected on the lives of local people and the economy in general ,such as effects on job markets ,consumption of services ,traffic ,and so on .However ,I do not think much of the budget that the central government sends to Erbil is spent on refuges and displaces people because many humanitarian organization have also been active and contributing financial ,health care ,educational support to the needs of all the refugees and displaced people in Kurdistan.

    Fifth, I see that Kurdish society have deeply divided ideologically, economically and politically into classes political parties. How could unity be possible among all people from Kurdistan when there is class division and a huge gap between rich and poor? Why is that there is always jobs and salaries available for some rich powerful people but not available for weak poor people from lower class? What’s happens to the whole annually budget and what is it allocated for? As far as justice and ethics concerns, the needs of human beings such as food, shelter, clothing, healthcare and work, comes before any other important national projects to spend money on.

    Sixth, I challenge any one in this world to convince me that having a democratic constitution or making further democratic amendments to it is bad or is not in the interests of the nation.

    Seventh, many Kurdish people including me believe that only a small, powerful groups of people exclusively control wealth and political power in Kurdistan and are superior to the rest of people in terms of social status, ability or qualities of life .These powerful rich groups do not take the rest of people from lower class as important as they are no matter how intelligent, hard working and devoting they are for the country. They rather accept only rich and from the same class, meaning only one another, understand one another ,sit together, marry one another, tend to work and to think, together and make decisions regardless what the rest of people think or say.

    The children of these rich big men have the best quality of life ,possessing anything they dream of be it food ,clothing or houses ,cars, mobile phones ,computers etc.They attend most important schools and universties.They go to highly exclusive places ,like hotels ,restaurants that no poor people is allowed or can afford to get close to it much less to enter the place. They mock and ridicule the poor when a poor man have something good to or stand up against injustice because it hurts the illegitimate interests and big egos. In some cases these rich kids even pay money to some gangs to beat the poor man secretly or psychologists to get the honest out spoken poor man under torture, or get him arrested through entrapment or hurt his rights and interests, or damage his reputation in the public.

    Eight, while every individual has a single vote in a democracy, in a country where it is controlled by these kind of rich men, people have very little say in the actions of government because men form rich privileged families, who receive special education in special universities, usually enter three branches of the government .Their financial and social capital gives heavy influence in elections, economic and political decision making, allowing them to move toward attaining desired outcomes. In addtion, they control the principal institutions in the country whose opinions and actions influence the decisions of the policymakers because they have big business and banks that give them upper hand to fund media, propaganda, TV channels and fund their election campaigns.

    You can see propaganda and advertisement of rich people are everywhere during the time of elections. They are on every billboard, on every TV program, new paper, magazine and so on. When this is done by governments in dictatorships we call it propaganda, when companies do it, it is called advertising. They are both forms of brainwashing people.

    Nine, some of these rich men make unilateral decisions for the nation and work with most important high ranking military officers plan wars and spend money on wars and military. Let’s not forget that many of the wars fought in recent years have been over profit and oil. In Iraq, the war was largely funded by oil business men, and it was private firms who handled most of the security after the initial invasion. Same thing happened in Libya. Western forces intervened in Libya when the civil war caused oil supplies to be cut off. They only sided with the rebels because they thought they were the most likely to win. In Iran, military intervention is being threatened over the blocking of trading routes to transport oil.

    Ten, in a country were a government have deficits and go short in money; they usually borrow money from other places like world banks to pay off the salaries of workers. Or how about the rich big brothers of us spear some money from their own gigantic saving accounts and pay the workers and public servants .it will help us to love each other more and unite us much better.

    Furthermore, many people do know that government men and their kids get paid massive salaries on time, and award themselves huge bonuses on top of them, while they claim they have no money to pay their workers. The bosses do not do the hard work; neither does produce the most important goods and servces.They control people, work places, and give orders. And whenever you bring up this debate and discussion of the gap between rich and poor, usually these rich people say that “O we have worked very hard for our money, {you would say they have worked days and nights on building up pyramids of Egypt for collecting all that money} and you should do the same so that to become rich”.

    How can one have enough money to cover up all important expanses of the life such as a house, proper food, clothing, and a car when they have no job at all or have an odd job making low income of 300 or 400 thousand dinars per month? How is it possible for such a person to have a family and children living with such a low income? Clearly the opportunity of working or becoming rich is politicized and monopolized by only a group of people who are superior and hold power and wealth within the nation.

    I have high school diploma from Canada .I have applied to more than 20 places starts from NGOs ,private schools, hotels shopping centers ,but no one have given me a job. While there have been people who are not in need of money and work as much as I do ,nether can speak English as fluent as I do, or have as much as social knowledge as I do ,yet they are favored over me and are given jobs with no difficulty. And the reason is because these kinds of people have been a member of a political party or have a powerful, influential person in the government who connect them to employers and make special referrals for them.

    I have been facing work discrimination on top of the human right abuse. I have been illegally arrested ten times and was assaulted by a policeman in Duhok but no one was hold accountable for it because the crimes of privileged individuals within the corporations or government offices usually go undetected and unprosecuted due to the relative power, status and political influence of the perpetrators. They are often shielded from prosecution by corporate law and their greedy allies who have similar interests.

    This inhumane unjust experience I went through, made me believe that rich people get off easier when they break the law because the criminal justice system treats rich and poor people unequally because rich people with money to navigate the criminal justice system easier than for people without money
    So if we are brothers and want to be united, than we should be treated equally and live and die together. We should share all what we have together ,or do some of us have to fatten themselves with the wealth, fame name, power, and some other people live on over drafts and debts accounts ,awaiting for the salaries of the work they do for months and months before it come through or might not ?

    I believe the key to unity of us is that government authorities should treat everybody equally regardless of social status, money and power. They should create job opportunities for people equally regardless of political parties and tribal blood lines. They should also provide more of social assistance programs for poor and low classes ,so do provide subsided housing for poor poeple,unemployment benefits,unemplyment support work programs ,support for poor children and families and more support for disabled people in Kurdistan .
    Kuvan Bamarny/Duhok/Sarsing

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