Senator Jason Atkinson: The failure of a one-Iraq policy

Article by State Senator Jason Atkinson
as written for World Net Daily.

The current U.S. State Department “One Iraq Policy” is forcing the Kurds in the north to slow their successful rebuilding and democratization in order for the rest of Iraq to catch up. The State Department’s fear is too much success in the north will lead to jealously in the south and continued violence. This is the childish equivalent of telling students not to read because the bullies don’t want to.

The Kurds in the north are the greatest success story of the Iraq war. With the U.S. overthrow of Saddam Hussein, the Kurds were free of genocide. Immediately, they organized into a democracy, created the Kurdistan Regional Government, provided women the right to vote, created layer upon layer of security, hunted terrorists bringing them to justice, invested millions in education, allowed every Kurd to pursue wealth creation and stabilized an ancestral homeland.

With the exception of CBS’s “60 Minutes,” American media have rarely reported the success of the “Other Iraq.” Sectarian violence is better for ratings, and the State Department has an army of spin-doctors to account for Baghdad rather than the stability in Kurdish-controlled areas like Erbil, Sulaimania or Dahuk.

“Its not the American’s fault,” KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani told me about the 1,400 year Arab Sunni/Shiite wars. In his recent meeting with President Bush, Barzani said, “We’re Shiuni!” That statement is telling. The Kurds may be a mixture, but the reality is they want no part of Arab tribalism. The Kurds are not Arab. They are Indo-European with their own culture, own language and their own security. Rather than a policy of the lowest common denominator, Iraq will stabilize when the Kurdistan Regional Government is allowed to succeed.

The U.S. State Department’s pro-Arab and pro-Turkey biases are well-known, and in this case the U.S. media are following their lead. This bias is not new to the Bush administration; rather it is long-standing policy of thousands of career bureaucrats whose daily decisions are made with no regard for who is in the White House.

The State Department has its heels dug in based on Cold War politics and is completely blind to America’s greatest success story in Iraq. Imagine a U.S. senator on the Foreign Relations Committee who planned to visit the troops in Iraq being rebuffed at the border. There would be outrage. When the Kurdish equivalent of a senator or governor attempts to gain a U.S. visa, they are routinely told no. The prime minister’s family and the governor of Sulaimania, for example, are not granted visas. This State Department policy is destroying the best friendship the U.S. has in Iraq.

The Kurds were embarrassed by the U.S. media’s partisan treatment of Gen. David Petraeus. From the common Kurd, to Kurds who fought with him, Petraeus is a liberator. Never forget: Genocide is a weapon of mass destruction.

The Kurdistan Regional Government supports a one federal Iraq, in which the northern region is allowed to grow, develop and succeed on its own terms. Would it work in Kurdistan? It worked for the United States. Thirteen colonies became states and were not held back by the federal government to succeed. The Kurds in the Other Iraq deserve no less.

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  • dean

    The US Kurdish policy is not from the “State Department.” It is from the Bush adminstration and Congress. The State Department carries out policy, it does not make policy.

    The reason the US government does not support an independent Kurdistan is that there are over 40 million Kurds living in 4 nations that share the Zagros Mountains (Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Iran). If the door to independence is opened there is likely to be a major regional war over the top of much of the world’s oil supply. The Iraq war will look like a picnic compared to what may happen.

    We are walking a very fine line with respect to the Kurds. They deserve to have their own nation but won’t get there without major bloodshed, given the way problems are worked out in that part of the world.

    Also, Senator Atkinson leaves this out but the Kurds had already acheived independence from Saddam prior to the Iraq war as a result of the Bush 1 and Clinton Administration efforts and control of air space. The Iraq war was unecessary to end the Kurdish genocide. It had already ended.

    • Daniel

      Dean,

      You might want to look a little deeper. You might even go there. You are right, though, about the Bush Administration. They should have cleaned out the State Department when they took office. They didn’t. The immediate problem is the State Department. For any who haven’t, read Peter Galbraith’s “The End of Iraq”. The Kurds did not achieve independence – they asserted it. They then subordinated their will to the Iraqi constitution creation process. They are a peaceful, pluralistic, sophisticated people who deserve to be supported.

  • Alan

    IS it not better to talk of an independent Kurdish stat after peace has been established in the country?

  • Donnie Brasco

    “The State Department carries out policy, it does not make policy.”

    Wow, are you out of touch with reality.

    • Daniel

      Ideally, perhaps. Peace is achieved daily in this part of the world. To wait for a kind of permanent peace would mean putting everything else off indefinitely. The Kurds of northern Iraq have already secured their own peace and are good at maintaining it. This should be be rewarded with investment, now.

      • dean

        Daniel…the Kurds achieved independence by asserting it under our air cover. They are “peaceful” when they get what they want and are left to themselves, just like everyone else. When they don’t get what they want they fight. Ask the Turks. Or see what they do if they do not get Kirkuk.

        Yes…Bush is such a genius at diplomacy, he should have really cleaned house and got rid of everyone at State who knew anything at all about the rest of the world. He had his “gut instincts’ and Rumsfeld to guide him after all. Why would he need actual experts? Aren’t they the same ones who suggested NOT invading Iraq? Obviously idiots who don;t know anything useful.

        • Abraxia

          Dean, you are a sick individual. These people are trying to be free, and you don’t want them to succeed.

          Frankly, I’m glad they fight. Because it means that they’re willing to do the same thing Israel has done for the last 60 years.

          Turkish idiot.

          • dean

            Turkish idiot. That is a hoot. I am Greek-American, and Greeks are generally not considered to be friends of Turks. My Maniati ancestors, who fought successfully to keep the Turks out of their poor rocky penninsula for 400 years, would laugh at one of theirs being mistaken for a Turk.

            I think the Kurds got royally screwed when the Ottoman Empire was broken up and they did not get their own nation out of the spoils. I support their aspirations to be as free and as independent as they can manage to get to. But I don’t want further American blood or treaure spent on their behalf, nor on Israel’s behalf for that matter unless they agree to withdraw to the UN recognized green line, or negotiate a peace with their neighbors.

            The middle East is a messy and dangerous part of the world. Our efforts to manage outcomes there have brought disaster to our own shores, have depleted our military and our taxes. Encouraging the Kurds to expand their nationalization is like throwing a lit match into a gasoline tank.

            As you say…they fight when they need to. That is all I said, which was in response to Senator Atkinson’s claim that they are a “peaceful people.” Yes, but no more or less so than anyone else.

          • Anonymous

            Peace is overrated. It is a response by people who are soft. The weak will say I am STRONG. That’s not from peace. That’s from being tested in WAR.

            I don’t care if you don’t want American blood spent on other people’s behalf. We do that because we actually give a damn about these places. You figure it as a punchline.

            Senator Atkinson is right. They are a peaceful people, who are able to get up and fight like men…not take it up the ass like little Greek Olive fscker Dean.

          • dean

            Bravely posted by a twit with no name.

            Do we ask the Kurds onto our shores to help fight our battles? Have you volunteered to go over there and risk your own cowardly arse?

            Weak.

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