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Anxious to keep lid on Iraq, Obama woos Kurds
Reuters ^ | 4/17/12 | Alister Bull

Posted on 04/17/2012 3:11:39 PM PDT by ColdOne

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama, facing a damaging election-year problem if Iraq's political crisis worsens, has launched an urgent behind-the-scenes push to ease tensions between the Baghdad central government and the Kurds.

Masoud Barzani, president of the Kurds' semi-autonomous regional government, paid a quiet visit to the White House on April 4 and left with backing for two long-standing requests that could help build the worried Kurds' confidence in U.S. support.

Barzani's heated criticism last month of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has fanned concern the country could splinter, potentially setting off a fresh civil war.

Reuters has learned that to demonstrate U.S. support, the White House and Congress agreed to lift a designation that treats Kurdistan's two main political parties as if they were terrorist groups, complicating members' travel to the United States. In addition, the U.S. consulate in Arbil will begin issuing U.S. visas before the end of 2012.

(Excerpt) Read more at sg.news.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 04/17/2012 3:11:41 PM PDT by ColdOne
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To: ColdOne

That won’t go over well with his BFF leading Turkey.


2 posted on 04/17/2012 3:17:27 PM PDT by AU72
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To: ColdOne

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Here’s what I wrote on the subject of Iran, Iraq & Afghanistan a while back.

To: NormsRevenge
We SHOULD withdraw from Iraq — via Tehran.

Here’s how I think we should “pull out of Iraq.” Add one more front to the scenario below, which would be a classic amphibious beach landing from the south in Iran, and it becomes a “strategic withdrawal” from Iraq. And I think the guy who would pull it off is Duncan Hunter.

How to Stand Up to Iran

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1...osts?page=36#36
Posted by Kevmo to TomasUSMC
On News/Activism 03/28/2007 7:11:08 PM PDT • 36 of 36

Split Iraq up and get out
***The bold military move would be to mobilize FROM Iraq into Iran through Kurdistan and then sweep downward, meeting up with the forces that we pull FROM Afghanistan in a 2-pronged offensive. We would be destroying nuke facilities and building concrete fences along geo-political lines, separating warring tribes physically. At the end, we take our boys into Kurdistan, set up a couple of big military bases and stay awhile. We could invite the French, Swiss, Italians, Mozambiqans, Argentinians, Koreans, whoever is willing to be the police forces for the regions that we move through, and if the area gets too hot for these peacekeeper weenies we send in military units. Basically, it would be learning the lesson of Iraq and applying it.

15 rules for understanding the Middle East
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1774248/posts

Rule 8: Civil wars in the Arab world are rarely about ideas — like liberalism vs. communism. They are about which tribe gets to rule. So, yes, Iraq is having a civil war as we once did. But there is no Abe Lincoln in this war. It’s the South vs. the South.

Rule 10: Mideast civil wars end in one of three ways: a) like the U.S. civil war, with one side vanquishing the other; like the Cyprus civil war, with a hard partition and a wall dividing the parties; or c) like the Lebanon civil war, with a soft partition under an iron fist (Syria) that keeps everyone in line. Saddam used to be the iron fist in Iraq. Now it is us. If we don’t want to play that role, Iraq’s civil war will end with A or B.

Let’s say my scenario above is what happens. Would that military mobilization qualify as a “withdrawal” from Iraq as well as Afghanistan? Then, when we’re all done and we set up bases in Kurdistan, it wouldn’t really be Iraq, would it? It would be Kurdistan.

.
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I have posted in the past that I think the key to the strategy in the middle east is to start with an independent Kurdistan. If we engaged Iran in such a manner we might earn back the support of these windvane politicians and wussie voters who don’t mind seeing a quick & victorious fight but hate seeing endless police action battles that don’t secure a country.

I thought it would be cool for us to set up security for the Kurds on their southern border with Iraq, rewarding them for their bravery in defying Saddam Hussein. We put in some military bases there for, say, 20 years as part of the occupation of Iraq in their transition to democracy. We guarantee the autonomy of Iraqi Kurdistan as long as they don’t engage with Turkey. But that doesn’t say anything about engaging with Iranian Kurdistan. Within those 20 years the Kurds could have a secure and independent nation with expanding borders into Iran. After we close down the US bases, Kurdistan is on her own. But at least Kurdistan would be an independent nation with about half its territory carved out of Persia. If Turkey doesn’t relinquish her claim on Turkish Kurdistan after that, it isn’t our problem, it’s 2 of our allies fighting each other, one for independence and the other for regional primacy. I support democratic independence over a bullying arrogant minority.

The kurds are the closest thing we have to friends in that area. They fought against Saddam (got nerve-gassed), they’re fighting against Iran, they squabble with our so-called ally Turkey (who didn’t allow Americans to operate in the north of Iraq this time around).

It’s time for them to have their own country. They deserve it. They carve Kurdistan out of northern Iraq, northern Iran, and try to achieve some kind of autonomy in eastern Turkey. If Turkey gets angry, we let them know that there are consequences to turning your back on your “friend” when they need you. If the Turks want trouble, they can invade the Iraqi or Persian state of Kurdistan and kill americans to make their point. It wouldn’t be a wise move for them, they’d get their backsides handed to them and have eastern Turkey carved out of their country as a result.

If such an act of betrayal to an ally means they get a thorn in their side, I would be happy with it. It’s time for people who call themselves our allies to put up or shut up. The Kurds have been putting up and deserve to be rewarded with an autonomous and sovereign Kurdistan, borne out of the blood of their own patriots.

Should Turkey decide to make trouble with their Kurdish population, we would stay out of it, other than to guarantee sovereignty in the formerly Iranian and Iraqi portions of Kurdistan. When one of our allies wants to fight another of our allies, it’s a messy situation. If Turkey goes “into the war on Iran’s side” then they ain’t really our allies and that’s the end of that.

I agree that it’s hard on troops and their families. We won the war 4 years ago. This aftermath is the nation builders and peacekeeper weenies realizing that they need to understand things like the “15 rules for understanding the Middle East”

This was the strategic error that GWB committed. It was another brilliant military campaign but the followup should have been 4X as big. All those countries that don’t agree with sending troups to fight a war should have been willing to send in policemen and nurses to set up infrastructure and repair the country.

What do you think we should do with Iraq?
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1752311/posts

Posted by Kevmo to Blue Scourge
On News/Activism 12/12/2006 9:17:33 AM PST • 23 of 105

My original contention was that we should have approached the reluctant “allies” like the French to send in Police forces for the occupation after battle, since they were so unwilling to engage in the fighting. It was easy to see that we’d need as many folks in police and nurse’s uniforms as we would in US Army unitorms in order to establish a democracy in the middle east. But, since we didn’t follow that line of approach, we now have a civil war on our hands. If we were to set our sights again on the police/nurse approach, we might still be able to pull this one off. I think we won the war in Iraq; we just haven’t won the peace.

I also think we should simply divide the country. The Kurds deserve their own country, they’ve proven to be good allies. We could work with them to carve out a section of Iraq, set their sights on carving some territory out of Iran, and then when they’re done with that, we can help “negotiate” with our other “allies”, the Turks, to secure Kurdish autonomy in what presently eastern Turkey.

That leaves the Sunnis and Shiites to divide up what’s left. We would occupy the areas between the two warring factions. Also, the UN/US should occupy the oil-producing regions and parcel out the revenue according to whatever plan they come up with. That gives all the sides something to argue about rather than shooting at us.

38 posted on Thursday, July 12, 2007 3:55:19 PM by Kevmo (We need to get away from the Kennedy Wing of the Republican Party ~Duncan Hunter)

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3 posted on 04/17/2012 8:00:05 PM PDT by Kevmo (If you can define a man by the depravity of his enemies, Rick Santorum must be a noble soul indeed.)
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