Wedged Between Obama’s Poor Plan and Their Own Corrupt Leaders

Rauf Naqishbendi

By Rauf Naqishbendi:

The Islamic caliphate has been tenaciously holding on to what they gained since their expansion mission last June. Regardless of ominous threats and hollow words from the Obama administration, it seems that caliphate is here to stay and will further expand the domain of its control. To fight the caliphate, President Obama has created a phantom coalition which exists only in his own imagination, but not on the ground. Hitherto, Arab Iraqis and Syrians have proven timid, for they have not put up a good fight. So far, the Kurds have been the only formidable force engaging the caliphate; yet American arms and humanitarian aid to Kurds have been mediocre. Another daunting problem is that the Kurds are lacking a united front and have authoritarian and corrupted leaders that need to be dealt with.

Obama’s coalition is primarily made up of Saudis and Turks, and neither one is to be trusted, for they were instrumental of the rise of the Islamic caliphate. The involvement of Turkey is crucial, as Turkey has a long border with Syria, but Turkey has refused to engage in fighting the caliphate.  Furthermore, evidence on the ground has proven Turkey’s support to the caliphate, as Turkey left its borders wide open for the caliphate to recruit personnel, treated wounded caliphate members in Turkey’s hospitals, and bought oil from the caliphate.

Obama’s plan also includes five thousand moderates opposed to the Syrian regime to be trained in Saudi Arabia, and that same troop is to engage the caliphate.  First, there is no moderate opposition force against the Syrian regime.  In fact, the Arab world lacks moderates for the same reason that there hasn’t been a moderate regime in the history of the Arab world. Second, considering the Syrian army’s 178,000 and Iraqi army’s 250,000 active frontline personnel, well-equipped and well-trained but who failed miserably, one should question the effectiveness of this small troop of five thousand personnel.

Iraqi army personnel have forfeited their duties in defending their country and their people; as a result, the caliphate was rampaging its way from the north to the south and threatening the capital, Baghdad. The Syrian army has had no better showing. This is all due to anathematic leadership causing corruption that is ubiquitously spread in the rank and file of the authorities, causing a lack of faith in the government.

The aforementioned coalition that Obama has proposed is futile.  It has produced no desirable result, and it will not henceforth. That renders the Kurds to fight for the world. Thus, the Kurds are set for a perpetual fight against the caliphate in a war that is economically distressing, emotionally overburdening, and is claiming an enormous number of lives and impeding social progress.

The Kurds also have leadership problems. The continuing war in Kurdistan can cause social chaos because of the lack of unity among the Kurds, as Iraqi Kurdistan is divided by two power managers, Talibani and his cronies and Barzani and his clan. They haven’t been able to unite even in the wake of their most atrocious enemy, the Islamic caliphate. Moreover, people in Kurdistan are fed up with these despicable leaders who are two of the most corrupted authorities in the region.

The people in Kurdistan are frustrated with their financial burden, as public employees are not getting their salaries on time and there is skyrocketing inflation and high unemployment, in particular among college graduates. For nearly a decade, Barzani and Talibani have been stashing billions of dollars into their coffers.  As a result they are two of the richest people in the world. They have been taking money from the Iraqi government; additionally, they have been selling oil, and yet these proceeds haven’t been disclosed to the public.  They have treated this as their own business, rather than national revenue, but the people have a right to inquire and decide how these funds should be budgeted.

The fact is that war brings about hardships and economic difficulties, and since the Kurds are challenged by this most barbaric and fanatic group, unified opposition is mandated, along with pristine leadership that promotes higher moral ground. Suffice it to say that the Kurds need a bona fide leader who embodies the people’s inspiration and benefit, rather than two corrupted kings who are engaged in a power struggle and are indulgent in pursuing their own personal greed. Corruption is prevalent from the top down, which means cleansing the corruption must start with the top two leaders, Barzani and Talabani, and their families and cronies.

The caliphate seems to be holding out longer than anticipated, and the Kurds are the only force trying to hinder their advance, but without genuine international support. In order for the Kurds to succeed they need more humanitarian and arms assistance. In the meantime, the Kurds need meaningful reform to eradicate prevailing corruption.  Moreover, the Kurds must unite, for a divided house is grounds for tragic failure, particularly when the nation is threatened by sinister forces.  At present, the Kurds must fear this divided house and power struggle between their two leaders, as it wasn’t too long ago that these two leaders, for their own personal interests, flooded Kurdistan with blood of Kurds killing one another.

Rauf Naqishbendi has been a contributing columnist for: – 2011),,,, and has written Op/Ed pages for the Los Angeles Times.

Books by Naqishbendi:

  1. His memoirs entitled “The Garden Of The Poets”. It reads as a novel depicting his experience and the subsequent 1988 bombing of his hometown, Halabja with chemical and biological weapons by Saddam Hussein.  It is the story of his people’s suffering, and a sneak preview of their culture and history.

  1. My Articles: This is a collection of columns published from 2002-2013 through several web media sites. It addresses Kurdish issues,  American politics and democracy, humanities, religion, terrorism, and Middle East chaos.

Rauf Naqishbendi is a software engineer in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Comments are welcome at

2 Responses to Wedged Between Obama’s Poor Plan and Their Own Corrupt Leaders
  1. Amy L Beam
    February 13, 2015 | 05:34

    Rauf Naqishbendi presents a frank and refreshing description about Kurdistan leadership. He says what many think, but few have the courage to state on the record.

  2. Barbara Shabo
    February 14, 2015 | 11:03

    Obama has no plan. Iran and Qatar are running the show.

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