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.