Skip to comments.The Kurd Card
Posted on 03/11/2006 3:48:23 PM PST by dervish
Lost amid the news of all the bloodletting in Iraq is an important political development: The Kurds have switched sides. In the first parliament after the first set of elections, they allied themselves with the Shiite slate to produce the current Shiite-dominated government led by Ibrahim al-Jafari.
Now the Kurds have joined with the opposition Sunni and secular parties to oppose the Shiite bloc. The result is two large competing coalitions: (a) the Kurd-Sunni-secular bloc, which controls about 140 seats in the 275-seat parliament and would constitute the barest majority, and (b) the Shiite bloc, which itself is a coalition of seven not-always-friendly parties and controls 130 seats, slightly less than a majority.
If only it were that simple, Iraq would have a new, secular-oriented government. But to protect minorities and force the creation of large governing coalitions, the Iraqi constitution essentially requires a two-thirds majority to form a government.
If we had that requirement in the United States, we might still be trying to settle the 2000 election. In Iraq, the result for now is stalemate, which could lead to disaster if the whole system disintegrates because of the impasse. Or it could lead to a more effective, less sectarian government than Jafari's.
The key question is who is going to control the two critical ministries: interior and defense. In Iraq, as in much of the world, interior does not control the national parks. It controls the police. And under the current government it has been under Shiite control and infiltrated by extreme Shiite militias. Some of these militias launched vicious reprisal raids against Sunnis after the bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarra, jeopardizing the entire project of a national police force exercising legitimate authority throughout the country.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Seems yet again the Paleos are proven to be ignorant Know Nothings. Just consider it Evolution in Action Dinasours.
Sidenote: The kurdish population I believe is the largest ethnic group in the world without a home nation.
" The kurdish population I believe is the largest ethnic group in the world without a home nation."
The reason that that is OK is because they are perceived to be Christian so it's fine to make them bow.
"I never understood why they established their constitution the way they did with a parlimentary system"
It is even worse than that and we can thank the pernicious UN influence under Lahkdar Brahimi for it.
The Iraq system fosters factions. It is like the Lebanese and Israeli systems. It is not the US or British systems.
"The U.S. and Britain have what's known as constituency-based democracy. That is, voters in neighborhoods or districts select a single person to represent them in Congress or Parliament based on whoever wins a plurality of the vote. This system has many virtues, producing stable and effective governments that can be held accountable by voters at the next election. When Prime Minister Tony Blair came to power, for example, the Tory defense and foreign ministers lost not just their cabinet posts but their seats in Parliament--an outcome almost unthinkable under a system of "proportional" representation.
Yet the latter is precisely what Ms. Perelli proposed last week for Iraq. In this system, voters choose not among individual candidates but among parties that are awarded a share of legislative seats based on their percentage of the vote. Proponents say the system better allows all significant voices to be heard. But even in the best of cases--Italy over much of the past 50 years--proportional systems tend to produce unstable governments easily paralyzed by the little parties they have to cobble into a majority coalition. Would-be candidates are beholden to party bosses who determine their place on the electoral list and thus their chances of success.
In Iraq especially, with its many ethnic divisions, the risks of such a system are huge. As much as possible we should be encouraging Iraqis to think of themselves as Iraqis rather than as Kurds or Arabs, Shiites or Sunnis. First-past-the-post elections in Iraqi neighborhoods, many of which are multi-ethnic, would help accomplish this. Where local elections have been held thus far in Iraq, voters have chosen pragmatic and secular figures rather than religious or ethnic extremists.
By contrast, Ms. Perelli's nationwide proportional system will encourage voters and parties to separate themselves along sectarian lines. What's more, where constituency systems tend toward centrist politics as candidates seek a majority, proportional systems empower extremists who could never win outright in any single area but who can garner a significant minority of the vote. Look for the mad Shiite Muqtada al-Sadr, for one, to get elected under these rules."
Why would arabs think that kurds are christians?
If anything, they are sunnies just like the rest of them, just with a different ethnic background.
And Islam, requires them to support fellow muslims, regardless of ethnicity (Mohammad may have crazy, illiterate, and a pedophile, but he also knew you got to make sure you unite your army somehow).
interesting view of the labyrinthine ways of Middle Eastern politics
from a radio show called The Spirit of Things
Muhammad Kamal: Yes, in fact the history of religion in Kurdistan can be divided into two parts, we say pre-Islamic and post-Islamic.
In the pre-Islamic period the Kurds followed various religions. For instance, the Kurds were Ezidis and Zoroastrians, and Judaism, Christianity also were very popular among the Kurds. But when the Kurds were converted in 637, that is during the reign of the second Caliph of Islam, Caliph 'Umar, who was the second successor to the prophet Muhammad, then most of the Kurds became Muslims. But these Ezidis have remained as it is, they were not converted, and they kept their faith very secret. But then Kurds generally became Sunni Muslims and still we have some Kurds who practice, or lets say who are Shi'a Muslims, or 'Alawis in Kurdistan. But the mainstream of Islam in Kurdistan is Sunni Islam.
It's a shock to the UIA who thought democracy was merely majority rule and since they had the largest party they got everything. The Kurds have been under their own democracy for over 10 years and they really know how to play the gaem. This is the most encouraging sign yet.
Yeah, there's going to be a bit of a problem when Sadar goes ballistic, but I think everyone is prepared for that one.
Off topic. I seem to notice that Arab Muslims don't help non-Arab Muslims. I remember when the Indian Ocean tsunami happened, Arab Muslims did not help their fellow Muslims in Southeast Asia, especially from the Gulf states. Yes, I know they are Polynesians. Saddam Hussein invaded Iran, which is ruled by Persian Shiites, to show the Arab world they can take Iran's land. That's why Arabs of all religious faith sided with Iraq. Saddam had non-Muslim Arabs in his government like Tariq Aziz (Michael Yuhanna).
Iran has never been popular with middle eastern countries.
Besides the fact that they are a different ethnicity, sunnis don't even consider shi-ite to be real islam and based on some of the things Al Quada has said, they seem to really hate the shiite religion.....though thats probably just propaganda.
I do remember saudia arab sending money and trying to help out when the tsunami happened, but the other countries didn't seem to really care.
A quick glance over the history of islam does seem to show alot of racial problems internal among it followers (see Afghanistan).
The "kurds" have an agenda, and it doesn't have anything to do with the US, and very much to do with Turkey, our bitter enemies.....according to FR.
Yes, it's huge surprise....unless you read newspapers and the internet....
I was groaning as I read this at the table over breakfast this morning. The "alliance" is just a tactical ploy to push al-Jaafari out as PM, nothing more.
Dragons from the sea....
Your tag line says it all about the Chamberlain liberals in Americas congress.
Your tag line says it all about the Chamberlain liberals in Americas congress.
Who was responsible for the Armenian Genocide?
The decision to carry out a genocide against the Armenian people was made by the political party in power in the Ottoman Empire. This was the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) (or Ittihad ve Terakki Jemiyeti), popularly known as the Young Turks. Three figures from the CUP controlled the government; Mehmet Talaat, Minister of the Interior in 1915 and Grand Vizier (Prime Minister) in 1917; Ismail Enver, Minister of War; Ahmed Jemal, Minister of the Marine and Military Governor of Syria. This Young Turk triumvirate relied on other members of the CUP appointed to high government posts and assigned to military commands to carry out the Armenian Genocide. In addition to the Ministry of War and the Ministry of the Interior, the Young Turks also relied on a newly-created secret outfit which they manned with convicts and irregular troops, called the Special Organization (Teshkilati Mahsusa). Its primary function was the carrying out of the mass slaughter of the deported Armenians. In charge of the Special Organization was Behaeddin Shakir, a medical doctor. Moreover, ideologists such as Zia Gokalp propagandized through the media on behalf of the CUP by promoting Pan-Turanism, the creation of a new empire stretching from Anatolia into Central Asia whose population would be exclusively Turkic. These concepts justified and popularized the secret CUP plans to liquidate the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire. The Young Turk conspirators, other leading figures of the wartime Ottoman government, members of the CUP Central Committee, and many provincial administrators responsible for atrocities against the Armenians were indicted for their crimes at the end of the war. The main culprits evaded justice by fleeing the country. Even so, they were tried in absentia and found guilty of capital crimes. The massacres, expulsions, and further mistreatment of the Armenians between 1920 and 1923 were carried by the Turkish Nationalists, who represented a new political movement opposed to the Young Turks, but who shared a common ideology of ethnic exclusivity.
I'm not saying the Turks were anything less than fully culpable, only that the Kurdish sheiks were ready and willing to kill Armenian Christians when given the chance. Current political alliances, however, ensure the facts are covered up.
Not to hijack the topic but the Germans were behind the Young Turks. They tried out their deportation techniques in WW1. They were the man behind the curtain and controlled the policy and miltary.
That is a fact. There are many witnesses to the fact that when the Christian Armenians were forced evacuate their homeland on foot to places such as Syria, the Kurds came down from the foothills, raped, murdered and robbed these poor people. Once again, these mudslimes were barbaric savages then and now. It is only because they need our help against the shiite's that they want to be our friends. I do not trust ANY muslim.
I'm pretty sure I have read that the Kurds practice a Sunni brand of Islam.
By religious practice Kurds are mainly Sunni Muslims. But they are not ethnic Arabs. They consider themselves Indo-Europeans.
Thanks. I thought they were Sunnis.
" the Germans were behind the Young Turks"
That is quite true. The kurds joined in attacking the deported armenian who travelled under turkish "guard" throught heir territories, killing the men and raping the women then killing them. Many armenian women sought refuge with arab tribes, took roots and married. The arab tribes of early 20th century lived simply, and peacefully. Take into consideration that the moslem brotherhood, mother of all extremist moslem tendencies of today, of the egyptian Al-Banna started in the twenties.
Nevertheless, we are in 2006, Armenians and kurds have payed very harshly the new world order of 1920 till now. It is time the new world order of the 21st century reviews the legacy of the Ottoman Empire.
I agree. Everyone should read Bernard Lewis on this subject.