Ridiculous Recommends of an Imperial Think Tank: The Case of the International Crisis Group and the Kurds

By Dr. M. Koohzad:

Peshmargas on the front line against ISIS

Peshmargas on the front line against ISIS

The website of the so-called International Crisis Group, ICG, claims that it “is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization committed to preventing and resolving deadly conflict.” Yet, it is fair to observe that their conclusions will only lead to further crisis and conflict. The company is neither “independent” nor non-profit. Instead, it is “for-profit,” and it represents Western imperialist governments, it has not and cannot “prevent or resolve” any conflict, deadly or not. If nearly half of their budget of $25 million comes from Western countries, according to their own statistics, it is not allowed to have any independent, impartial thinking or plans. The leadership, the Board of Trustee of the company, is made of a group of very old and excessively rich men with an 19th century mentality that, unfortunately, encourages colonialism formula for the realities of the 21st century.

Recently some aspects of this corrupt corporation have been studied. For example, the whole issue of the Third World Quarterly, Vol. 35, No. 4, 2014, is devoted to the falsehood, fabrication, duplicity and hypocrisy of this lobbyist group. In the first place, Dr. Bliesemann de Guevara documented that this think tank’s “general lack of analysis of the historical and socioeconomic context is one major criticism of the ICG’s work among the wider academic community…” (p. 548). This is why the group dived into the Kurdish case beginning with the June of 2014. She concluded that the ICG’s impact on the international policies “range widely from negligible to instrumental… it would be misleading to take the ICG’s self-description of its important role in international policy making at face value and overestimate its influence.” In other words, the company is wasting Western taxpayers’ money and everybody’s time.

On Tuesday May 12, 2105, this corrupt think tank/lobbyist group, the ICG, published a report on their site blaming all of the problems in Iraq today on the Kurds. Actually, this International “Crisis-Making” Group insulted the Kurds and their brave fight against the Jihadist terrorist thugs and their century-old struggle for an independent Kurdistan. This imperialist lobbyist group was more concerned about Iraq’s supposed territorial integrity that has never ever existed than Kurdish self-determination. For doing so, the ICG was paid handsomely by concerned parties that wistfully attempted to show that Iraq is a unitary nation-state. Furthermore, it is criminal to compare or put in the same sentence the Kurdish Peshmerga freedom fighters with the ISIS terrorist group. Shamelessly, the ICG has done so.

According to Ayub Nuri (May 13, 2015) the ICG’s piece designated “the Kurds as land grabbers and a threat to Iraq’s integrity. It says that the Kurds must not speak of independence and that the West should send them arms only through [Baghdad] Iraq.”  The report called the Kurds “land grabber.” This refers to the fact that the Kurds extended their control over the Kurdish oil field of Kirkuk. Thus, Mr. Nuri wrote, since June of 2014, the Kurds “are fighting to prevent their own land from being grabbed.” One also can ask a question from these nameless-faceless authors in the ICG, what would have happened “if” the Kurds did not take back their own oilfield?

At the end of their highly flawed report, the group provided a handful of free but funny
recommendations for the Kurds in Iraq. As was reported by Mr. Nuri, the ICG asked Mr. Barzani, “the Kurdish president to refrain from any mention of independence. If the ICG were really concerned about the region and aimed to prevent crisis, it should have instead offered a plan for a smooth partition of Iraq.” This advice is indeed insulting not only to President Barzani but to 40 million Kurds all over the world. The reality of the matter is that Iraq, the world’s most artificial and failed-state, was disintegrating the day after it was given independence for the first time in 1932. The Kurds did not cause Iraq’s disintegration. It was already crumbling.

In addition, Namo Abdulla (May 14, 2015) in an interview with David Pollock of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, WINEP, another thin tank, went over the ICG’s report, point-by-point. Mr. Pollok concluded “… the conditions they [ICG] are setting out might be desirable someday in the future, but right now I see them as very unrealistic and actually wrong.” But, the WINEP is a lobbyist group advocating Zionism and Israel’s agenda. This is a company that is unable to make up its mind to call the region that they are concerned about “Middle” or “Near” something. It is also interesting to find out why for now these two think tanks disagree with one another!

While the ICG is following what Washington dictates, the WINEP is more worried about Israel’s policies and neither is concerned about the age-old Kurdish dream of independence. Currently, Israel sees an opportunity to befriend an independent Kurdistan for its plans against Iran. Although, it helped the Kurds in Northern Iraq, led by the father of the Kurdish president, General Mustafa Barzani, Israel betrayed them in 1975 when the Shah of Iran and Saddam signed the Algiers Accord. It is believed that Israeli Mossad helped Ankara in 1999 in capturing Abdulla Ocalan, the now imprisoned PKK leader. However, Israel began seriously supporting the Kurds after the Islamists took control of the regimes in Tehran and Ankara. Israel’s agenda is more self-centered than genuine.

The Kurds must slowly stop respecting and the appeasement of the Western sources of power. They do not understand the pains and sufferings of a nation in servitude. The so-called think tanks or shark tanks must leave the Kurds alone. For Kurdish independence, nobody is really inspired but the Kurds. Since a top-down tactic for declaring independence has not produced any tangible result, a United States of Kurdistan, USK, a People’s Republic, should be constructed on the grassroots movement and bottom-up approach. There will never be a perfect time to declare freedom from the control of others. In fact, waiting is a waste of time and energy. The Kurdish people united for independence will never be defeated.


Dr. M. Koohzad is a professor emeritus of Middle Eastern Studies and the author of a forthcoming book entitled: Kurdistan: World’s Largest International Colony, Reflections On Its Real Political Economy.

2 Responses to Ridiculous Recommends of an Imperial Think Tank: The Case of the International Crisis Group and the Kurds
  1. Virginia Apel
    May 22, 2015 | 08:02

    An excellent assessment of the situation. It’s time Western military forces begin asking themselves who they are really working for.

  2. Michael Saunders
    May 31, 2015 | 00:55

    Dr. Koohzad,you need to take a deep breath and relax a little.I know it’s frustrating.The west could do much more and erroneous views of the Kurdish people must be corrected.But the reality is that Kurds must extract from the west whatever they can,whenever they can.And keep pushing for more.I’d like to see the US provide the YPG direct arms support.On the other hand the combined USAF/YPG offensives are carving out the borders of Rojava.That is a wonderful thing.
    The region is fraught with political as well as real booby traps.Many in the west are still reacting clumsily.But there is widespread support for the Kurdish people throughout the US and the congress.The pressure is on Obama to find ways to provide more direct help.It would be helpful in Iraq if the Peshmerga would unify.That is the real obstacle to direct arms help.The PYD,linked to the PKK,is complicated by the situation in Tayyipistan.Ocalan is trying to do the right thing.The US is aware of Erdogan’s treachery.But he’s been slapped hard for helping Daesh.Now he’s working closer with the GCC’s effort to remove Assad.And the project will include a deal for Rojava’s autonomy.Menawhile there’s a crucial election coming in Turkey.Let’s see how successfully Tayyip can steal it…..or not.

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