KDP diplomatic failure has shocked the people of Kurdistan

YPJ fighters are inspiring Kurds everywhere

YPJ and YPG fighters have inspired Kurds everywhere

By Arian Mufid:

After Mosul was seized by IS forces in June, the KRG (Kurdistan Regional Government) managed to secure some ‘disputed’ areas belonging to the south of Kurdistan, after these areas were abandoned by the Iraqi army. A few weeks later, Masud Barzani, leader of the KDP (Kurdistan Democratic Party) and president of the Kurdistan Region, told the world that Article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution, dealing with the future of the city of Kirkuk and other ‘disputed’ areas, had been implemented in practice. Then came his announcement on TV, at the beginning of the new term of parliament, asking the parliamentary leader to create a law for a referendum on independence. This generated a popular fever for an independent Kurdish state without any logical consideration of how it would come about.

In summer 2013 I was talking to a member of the KDP leadership committee and I asked him about the KDP’s relationship with Turkey and what it would mean if there was any threat to Erbil. He replied that, “the Turkish interest in Erbil is to the extent that the national security of Erbil will have the same value that of Ankara or any other city of Turkey”. The KRG and the president of Kurdistan had been reassured by their Turkish friends that IS would not be allowed to attack the south of Kurdistan. However, on 2nd August 2014, when IS attacked Sinjar and Guir and Maxmur and the KDP leadership asked Turkey for help, Turkey refused. In reality, Turkey was happy for the KRG to sink in front of their eyes. Clearly the KDP has badly lost its diplomatic game with Turkey and now we don’t know what the future holds for the party’s leadership. The KDP’s managerial style of politics, with its emphasis on short term plans, has failed to provide security for the people. The KRG’s relationship with Turkey over the last several years has been one-sided, benefiting only Genel Energy and other Turkish companies that have made millions building faulty bridges and bad roads and exporting poor quality food to the people of Kurdistan.

When the anti-human thugs of IS mounted their attack on Kobani, in the west of Kurdistan, they expected another Sinjar or Mosul and hoped the city would fall within hours. However, the heroic men and women fighters of Kobani, with few resources and old weapons, have fought these criminals for the last 25 days without surrender or even hesitation. The YPJ women fighters especially have attracted global attention for fighting shoulder to shoulder with the men of the YPG. It is the first time in history that women have been so pivotally involved in a fight against terrorism and, largely for this reason, the eyes of the world have become focused on Kobani. The morale and fighting skills of the YPG/YPJ have boosted the morale of Kurds all over Kurdistan and the world. The name of Kobani and its fighters is on the tongues of all genuine Kurds these days. In contrast, when the IS attacked Sinjar in August, within a few hours the whole KDP military apparatus fell to pieces, their commanders fled and a few hundred peshmargas were trapped and killed or captured by IS. The KDP military machine is a hundred times greater than the PYD’s in the west of Kurdistan but the morale of the KDP leadership has been destroyed by corruption. Basically the KDP wasn’t prepared for the battle although they’ve tried to divert attention by telling the international media that they had warned the Iraqi government about the IS threat to Mosul.

These days ordinary people have little trust in the KDP’s leadership and organisation. I was disturbed when I saw that angry demonstrators had attacked and seriously injured three Rudaw TV correspondents this week. Unfortunately the pro-KDP Rudaw TV station is seen by many now as a marketing tool for the Turkish state that serves to weaken the morale of Kurds. The KDP is in a dilemma and it has probably never before been under such strain as a ‘player’ in the region. President Barzani and his son-in-law, prime minister Nichervan Barzani, are the architects of Kurdish foreign policy and they are responsible for the contradictions and failure of that policy. On top of this, people are baffled by president Barzani’s low-key response to the Battle for Kobani. It is as if the thinking is that, if Sinjar has been raped, why not Kobani?

These days we hear comments by KDP commanders on the ground that it is time to recapture Sinjar or another city as an example, but we don’t have the orders to go ahead from the KDP leadership. People are bewildered about what is going on inside the KDP. There is some news of internal upheavals and changes in the faces 0f the political leadership, but nothing has been substantiated. We at KT have conducted a small survey indicating that support for the main two parties in south Kurdistan, and especially for the KDP, is lower than ever. The people of Kurdistan lack confidence that the KDP and PUK (Patriotic Union of Kurdistan) can truly safeguard Kurdistan. That’s partly because both parties are so tribal. In both parties there is a hard core that is utterly corrupt.

The KDP leaders understand self-interest and the main reason they should take their political and military situation more seriously is that, unless they repair the damage they have done in Sinjar and build a new foreign policy, their party will not be re-elected and it will never be trusted again.

2 Responses to KDP diplomatic failure has shocked the people of Kurdistan
  1. Amanj
    October 10, 2014 | 18:05

    True but nor will Gorran. Gorran is dependent and was corrupted by KDP, as well. Solution: They must all work together or go together.

  2. Rojhgar
    October 10, 2014 | 18:53

    great article. everything is true except PUK defended it’s territory but corrupt like KDP. When others or sometimes we think Kurds are naïve, we get angry. There are many Jashes and opportunists among us. Do you know how many KDP members or sympathizers left KDP after August 31, 1996? I think, None! Their member of parliament like Omed Xoshnaw publicly admired what KDP did in August 31, 1996.
    I’m not sure how KDP leadership not getting embarrassed and still stay on TV after what happened in Shangal and Maxmoor and Guwer. Barzani should have resigned. period. And now, they don’t acknowledge the existence of Rojava cantons. The Barzani has been and always be the agent and mercenary of the occupier. Even now at this moment where the whole Kurds raising against of what happening of Kobani, the KDP leaders side with the Turks.
    What’s amazed me is that there are still people in Bashuri Kurdistan call themselves true and patriotic Kurds and still follow KDP leadership. When will the Kurds wake up? That’s a good question!

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