‘Post-ref­er­en­dum fu­ture un­known’

‘Barzani has pow­ers bless­ings’

Arab Times - - LOCAL -

“WHEN we re­call the Kurds, our mind im­me­di­ately goes to the depth of his­tory and brings the mem­o­ries of the Is­lamic leader Sul­tan Salahud­din Al-Ay­oubi — the leader who led the Mus­lims to vic­tory over the Cru­saders and brought down the Fa­timid State in Egypt who was Kur­dish,” colum­nist, the dean of the Col­lege of the Tech­no­log­i­cal Stud­ies at the Pub­lic Author­ity for Ap­plied Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing (PAAET) and the Deputy Chair­man of the Is­lamic Her­itage Re­vival So­ci­ety (IHRS) Dr Wael Al-Has­sawi wrote for Al-Rai daily.

“How­ever, the Kurds through­out their long his­tory have al­ways been part and par­cel of the Is­lamic State. In other words, they had never founded an in­de­pen­dent state for them, but the his­to­ri­ans say they had once founded what they called the King­dom of Kur­dis­tan in North Iraq, the Red Repub­lic in Azer­bai­jan, Ararat Repub­lic in Turkey, Ma­habad Repub­lic in the North in the 1920s, but all of the above king­doms and re­publics were swiftly brought down.

“The Kurds are cur­rently liv­ing in Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Syria and Azer­bai­jan in ad­di­tion to some other coun­tries. The to­tal pop­u­la­tion of the Kurds is es­ti­mated to be 60 mil­lion, but it is need­less to say the Kurds had made a lot of at­tempts to es­tab­lish an own in­de­pen­dent state, but all went in vain, sim­ply be­cause these at­tempts were re­sisted by all neigh­bor­ing coun­tries.

“In this con­text, we cite the mas­sacre of the Kurds dur­ing the reign of the for­mer Iraqi pres­i­dent Sad­dam Hus­sein when the Kurds at­tempted to se­cede from Iraq and found their in­de­pen­dent state in North Iraq.

“Mean­while, his­tory shows that many ex­trem­ist Kur­dish move­ments were founded whose aim was to found an in­de­pen­dent state for the Kurds and one of the move­ments was the Kur­dish Demo­cratic Union which was led by Saleh Mus­lim — a wing of the Kur­dish La­bor Party.

“On the other hand, we look at the ar­ti­cle that was penned by the Edi­tor-in-Chief of the Is­raeli Haaretz news­pa­per Aluf Benn in 2011 un­der the ti­tle ‘The Mid­dle East Warn­ing Dur­ing the Re­con­struc­tion Phase’ in which he re­ferred to the in­creas­ing wave of pop­u­lar in­tifadas (up­ris­ings) and said the strong in­ter­nal strug­gles in the Mid­dle East, will ac­tu­ally lead to the re­draw­ing of re­gional maps that will be to­tally dif­fer­ent from Sykes/Pi­cot Agree­ment and other agree­ments.

“He added this pe­riod of in­tifadas will see the ap­pear­ance of new in­de­pen­dent states in ad­di­tion to ‘re­treaded’ states such as South Su­dan, Kur­dis­tan and Pales­tine and may be Barqa in East Libya, the Western Desert of Morocco and South Ye­men. He hinted these states should be es­tab­lished.

“Ralf Peters penned an ar­ti­cle un­der the ti­tle ‘The Fron­tiers of Blood’. He hinted ‘we are still deal­ing with tremen­dous man-made defama­tions, that still con­tinue to gen­er­ate grudge and ha­tred un­less they are kept in check’. He added, the big­gest in­jus­tice here is rep­re­sented by ‘No State for Kurds’.

“Given the above, we in­fer that the ref­er­en­dum which was or­ga­nized by the Pres­i­dent of the Kur­dis­tan prov­ince of Iraq Ma­soud Al-Barzani, was to test the waters — the de­sire of the Kurds — for an in­de­pen­dent Kur­dish state to be ‘carved’ out of Iraq.

“Ac­tu­ally speak­ing this has not come from a vac­uum, rather it seems Barzani had ob­tained the nec­es­sary green light from the West in gen­eral and the United States of Amer­ica in par­tic­u­lar, be­cause the lat­ter had sup­ported the Kurds in var­i­ous fields even through their (the Kurds) con­fronta­tion against the Is­lamic State (IS) or the so-called ‘DAESH’.

“This hap­pens in spite of an ap­par­ent US re­sent­ment to the ref­er­en­dum of Barzani un­der the cur­rent cir­cum­stances cur­rently fac­ing Iraq.

“With re­gard to the re­ac­tions of the neigh­bor­ing coun­tries to the Kur­dish ref­er­en­dum, they


ac­tu­ally look un­known so far, par­tic­u­larly since we know that the Turks, for in­stance, had threat­ened to bring down the state of the Kurds and had vowed to im­pose eco­nomic sanc­tions on them.

“For its part, the Iraqi gov­ern­ment has de­manded that Bagh­dad should ‘dom­i­nate’ the ar­eas which are in con­flict be­tween Iraq and the upcoming Kur­dish state.

“In spite of the above, no­body knows what will hap­pen, but we hope the birth of a Kur­dish state in Iraq will not be amid blood­bath, par­tic­u­larly since we know that our coun­tries are no longer ca­pa­ble of han­dling more prob­lems and strug­gles and as such it would be ab­surd to see Iraq be­ing fur­ther torn apart and di­vided.”


“It is need­less to say the ref­er­en­dum that was held in the Kur­dis­tan prov­ince in a pre­lude to se­cede from Iraq is rife with dan­ger­ous reper­cus­sions and as­so­ci­a­tions which will en­gulf the en­tire re­gion that is likely to ex­ceed the danger caused by the Zion­ist en­tity (Is­rael), but how?” colum­nist Ha­mad Saleh Al-Qat­tan wrote for An­na­har daily.

“In this con­text first we cite the di­rect mil­i­tary, eco­nomic and diplo­matic sup­port from the Zion­ist en­tity Is­rael to the Kur­dis­tan re­gion, es­pe­cially Mas­soud Barzani, and this is con­firmed by Is­rael and Iraq and other po­lit­i­cal re­ports. I had ear­lier penned an ar­ti­cle on the Is­raeli/Kur­dish re­la­tions.

“Se­condly, it will en­cour­age ev­ery mi­nor­ity in the Arab and Mus­lim coun­tries to con­duct a ref­er­en­dum for the es­tab­lish­ment of a sep­a­rate ad­min­is­tra­tive, po­lit­i­cal and mil­i­tary state. This is a fear that is cul­ti­vated in all Arab and Mus­lim coun­tries in­clud­ing the Chris­tians in Egypt and the Kurds in Syria and other mi­nori­ties in Libya, Tu­nisia, Al­ge­ria, Pak­istan which can­not be over­looked.

“The third danger is likely be rep­re­sented by the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Bernard Lewis scheme of di­vid­ing the Arab and Mus­lim coun­tries into small con­flict­ing states, par­tic­u­larly since we know the Is­lamic State (IS) or the so-called ‘DAESH’ failed to carry out this scheme and this means it is high time for the mi­nori­ties in the Arab and Mus­lim coun­tries to im­ple­ment the Amer­i­can/Zion­ist project in ques­tion in these coun­tries.

“With re­gard to the eco­nomic danger to be caused by sep­a­ra­tion of Kur­dis­tan from Iraq, this ac­tu­ally con­sti­tutes a threat to all coun­tries of the Mid­dle East re­gion in gen­eral and the oil pro­duc­ing coun­tries in par­tic­u­lar, be­cause Kur­dis­tan fol­low­ing the an­nex­a­tion of gover­norate of Kirkuk in 2014 pro­duces as much as 15 per­cent of the Iraqi oil.

“In spite of the above, some ob­servers say any war in North Iraq against the prospec­tive Kur­dish state will ac­tu­ally re­sult in the oil pro­duc­ing coun­tries in the re­gion achiev­ing high rev­enues from petrodol­lars, be­cause this war will re­sult in in­creas­ing the oil prices in the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket and this will be for the good of these coun­tries.

“Speak­ing of the fifth danger, this ac­tu­ally will be rep­re­sented by the prospec­tive Is­raeli ex­is­tence in the re­gion and this means this ex­is­tence will be felt on the bor­ders of four coun­tries which con­sti­tute a threat to the Zion­ist en­tity in­clud­ing Turkey, Iran, Syria and Iraq. This de­vel­op­ment shall con­sti­tute an op­por­tu­nity for both Is­rael and the US to di­rectly threaten these coun­tries.

“How­ever, al­though this threat is not likely to be big, cer­tainly it will cause ‘a per­ma­nent po­lit­i­cal and in­tel­li­gence headache’ for these coun­tries and this means the Arab and Mus­lim coun­tries should not deal reck­lessly with the Kur­dish ref­er­en­dum in ques­tion and even­tu­ally keep in mind that this rep­re­sents an out­set of a per­ma­nent danger against these coun­tries in the name of democ­racy and free­dom of choice.”

“The de­mo­graphic is­sue re­cently be­came the talk of the town in the Kuwaiti po­lit­i­cal arena,” Amer Zayeb Al-Tamimi wrote for Al-Qabas daily.

“The gov­ern­ment re­cently is­sued a de­ci­sion to re­duce the num­ber of ex­pa­tri­ate em­ploy­ees in the pub­lic sec­tor in the com­ing five years at dif­fer­ent rates based on the work re­quire­ments, as well as in­crease the num­ber of Kuwaiti em­ploy­ees in the pub­lic sec­tor.

“How­ever, sev­eral con­cerns were raised about the ca­pa­bil­ity of the gov­ern­ment to im­ple­ment such a de­ci­sion with­out qual­i­fy­ing the cit­i­zens and de­vel­op­ing their skills. Un­doubt­edly, there are large num­ber of ex­pa­tri­ate em­ploy­ees who are oc­cu­py­ing ad­min­is­tra­tive, re­cep­tion and sec­re­tar­ial jobs that cit­i­zens can do.

“The pri­vate sec­tor must also be ad­justed such that it can be made ca­pa­ble of em­ploy­ing large num­ber of cit­i­zens and pay­ing them suit­able salaries.

“Ac­cord­ing to a re­cent re­port is­sued by the Pub­lic Author­ity for Civil In­for­ma­tion (PACI), there are 129,653 il­lit­er­ate peo­ple in Kuwait who rep­re­sent 3.4 per­cent of the to­tal pop­u­la­tion of Kuwait. About 82 per­cent of these il­lit­er­ate peo­ple are ex­pa­tri­ates.

“This in­di­cates the pres­ence of huge num­ber of mar­ginal work­ers in Kuwait. In ad­di­tion, there are large num­ber of ex­pa­tri­ates who hold ele­men­tary level cer­tifi­cates or lesser. This is­sue re­quires com­pre­hen­sive re­form in­clud­ing can­ce­la­tion of the spon­sor­ship sys­tem and as­sign­ing the Pub­lic Author­ity for Man­power to mon­i­tor the in­ter­ac­tions be­tween em­ploy­ees and em­ploy­ers. This is the way visa traf­fick­ing can be con­fronted.

“The ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor is also in dire need for de­vel­op­ment in or­der to meet the de­mands of the la­bor mar­ket. More fo­cus must be given on tech­ni­cal and ap­plied ed­u­ca­tion. The re­quired range of marks for ad­mis­sion to univer­sity must be in­creased.

“Both the leg­isla­tive and ex­ec­u­tive au­thor­i­ties must co­op­er­ate to achieve eco­nomic re­form based on the real con­di­tions of the so­ci­ety.”

“Sup­port­ers of the de­ci­sion to in­crease tar­iffs on ser­vices ren­dered to ex­pa­tri­ates, which in­clude health fees, rent and res­i­dency fees are in­con­sid­er­ate and un­rea­son­able, be­cause the de­ci­sion is forc­ing ex­pa­tri­ates to send their fam­i­lies (spouses, chil­dren or par­ents) out of the coun­try so as to save money while search­ing for al­ter­na­tive so­lu­tion to the predica­ment,” colum­nist Khalid Al-Has­san wrote for Al-Shahid daily.

“An al­ter­na­tive so­lu­tion is usu­ally found in shar­ing an apart­ment with five or more peo­ple in or­der to save money and trans­fer about 80 per­cent of the salary to their home coun­tries.

“As a mat­ter of fact, the law­mak­ers and cit­i­zens press­ing for im­ple­men­ta­tion of the de­ci­sion do not pay at­ten­tion to side ef­fect of the de­ci­sion on Kuwaiti so­ci­ety. We are re­minded that so­cial and moral is­sues will drop dras­ti­cally if ex­pa­tri­ates are en­cour­aged to keep their fam­i­lies in Kuwait.”

“The coun­try of hu­man­ity that fills the earth with good­ies and pros­per­ity has al­ways ex­tended a hand to those cry­ing out for help in all di­rec­tions, re­gard­less of their gen­der, race or re­li­gion,” colum­nist Ab­dul­rah­man Al-Awad wrote for AlSabah daily.

“Kuwait, the coun­try of the hu­man­i­tar­ian leader and the cen­ter of hu­man­ity has not quit its acts of gen­eros­ity, and its peo­ple con­tinue to lend a hand to the peo­ple in need across the globe, be­gin­ning with Syria, Iraq and Ye­men ... just to name a few!

“Kuwait’s char­ity ac­tiv­i­ties are driven by the wise po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship in the quest to ease the suf­fer­ing of needy and poor peo­ple. This is deemed an hon­or­able achieve­ment in the his­tory of hu­man­ity!

“Since the out­break of the Syr­ian cri­sis, Kuwait has been help­ing out through its hu­man­i­tar­ian sup­port to refugees and in­ter­nally dis­placed peo­ple in an at­tempt to al­le­vi­ate their suf­fer­ing. This is in ad­di­tion to hu­man­i­tar­ian aids to the peo­ple of Iraq, Ye­men and other coun­tries af­flicted by wars, diseases and nat­u­ral dis­as­ters — not for­get­ting the re­cent ini­tia­tive to help dis­placed Ro­hingya Mus­lims based on the di­rec­tives of HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.”

–– Com­piled by Zaki Taleb

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