Kurdistan: The Other Iraq? The Iraq that Iraq Could Be?

[quote]ERBIL, Iraq — It is a measure of soaring Kurdish optimism that government officials here talk seriously about one day challenging Dubai as the Middle East’s main transportation and business hub. The Kurdistan Regional Government is betting that it can, investing $325 million in a modern terminal at the Erbil International Airport to handle, officials hope, millions of passengers a year, and a three-mile runway that will be big enough for the new double-decker Airbus A380.
“We’re not saying Kurdistan is heaven,” said Herish Muharam, chairman of the Kurdish government’s Board of Investment. “But we’re telling investors that Kurdistan can be that heaven.”

As the rest of Iraq has plunged into a downward spiral, Kurdistan has enjoyed relative political stability and suffered limited violence, in part owing to a sectarian and political homogeneity lacking elsewhere in the country. The Kurdish region has enjoyed de facto autonomy since 1991, when the American military established a no-flight zone there, a status formalized by the new Iraqi Constitution. Although many Kurds would prefer to secede, Kurdistan, with a population of about 4.2 million, has its own army and virtually total control of its territory.

Kurdistan’s rising fortunes have been nowhere more apparent than in the wave of building and investment that has swept the region in the past four years. Iraqis and foreigners alike have poured in billions of dollars, defiantly wagering that the region will remain relatively peaceful, even as the rest of Iraq slips deeper into civil war. Where explosions and bomb-scarred buildings have been a defining symbol elsewhere in Iraq, construction cranes are now a common feature on the Kurdish landscape, tugging hotels, shopping centers and office and housing complexes from the ground. While public infrastructure is still suffering from chronic underinvestment, the regional government has approved more than $4 billion worth of mostly private development projects since August, when the Board of Investment was created. Billions of dollars worth of other projects were already under way. Much of the money is coming from overseas, including the United States, Europe, the Persian Gulf countries, Iran and Turkey, officials say.

Last December, Austrian Airlines began twice-weekly flights between Vienna and Erbil, becoming the first European commercial airline to fly into Iraq since 2003. Taher Horami, the airport’s director general, said he is in discussion with other major international airlines on opening routes into Kurdistan.


nytimes.com/2007/06/27/world … wanted=all

“War rationale of the day: The Iraq War was all about giving Kurdistan a decent chance to break free and secede from Iraq. This has been communicated from the very start as early as 1853 by the Bush Administration and only been ignored by the liberal media so far out of sheer spite.”

Anyhow … nice even you eventually come around to acknowledge that all this “we will keep Iraq together as a model democracy, this is NOT another messy case of a decolonization break up but a rerun of post WWII” was all that much tralala. Interesting tidbit: Kurdistan enjoyed de-facto autonomy since 1991. Your pet project of “invade Iraq, be the messias” started when again?

Anyhow … still two to go. Any idea what to do about the Sunni and Shia areas? Those described by your article as “plunging into a downward spiral”, “explosions and bomb-scarred buildings being the defining symbol”? And why you post to such a defeatist article anyway? I mean, wasn’t the rest of Iraq about to be just going swell always as you pointed out from the very start?

Nice news nevertheless … once the “official announcements” cited will show some results instead of just promises. Regular flights by a European airline though make this look at least as if this latest progress report were not total fabrication again. But your defeatist link and post about the rest of the country is very alarming Fred. From where comes this sudden change of heart? Please don’t tell me reality eventually caught up with you. It would be too sad to lose another deluded know it all fool since the 68ers moved themself out of significance.

I still bank on your for entertainment value. You know … Werewolves, Nazis and the whole Captian America circus.

P.S.: Just to be on the save side … this link of yours was not just a lame attempt to distract from how big the reality gap between aspiration and outcome of your pet project has turned out, right? This was an honest attempt of you to acknowledge “well, it is by far not all I envisioned and projected with my far-fetched plans, but it is better than nothing at all”, correct?

Thanks for posting Games. You are nothing if not predictable in your responses. No. My intent was not defeatist. I merely wanted to point to the success of Kurdistan. Do you dispute that Kurdistan is prosperous and relatively safe? Yes or no?

Turkey for one is not thrilled by the prospect of a free Kurdistan on its southern border, and the inevitable tension that will foster with their local Kurds (long persecuted and long seeking to secede). There will be lots of EU handwringing over this, especially as Turkey can’t show it has control of its Islamic fundamentalists and nationalists even as it wants to join the EU.

IMHO, the creation of a Kurdish state is long overdue (including pieces hived off from Turkey), and perhaps a foretaste of a free Palestine… probably not including Gaza though. Shot themselves in the foot, Hamas have.

A lot of the troubles of the Middle East have come from big powers cutting up the area by drawing lines on a map that ignored the ethnic divisions inherent in such a tribal environment. Turkey solved some of its empire-hangover problems by eliminating much of the Armenian and the Kurdish populations, as Saddam tried to do to people in his area of control, but simpler and far less bloody would be to give these people some land to call their own. Of course, when we tried to look recently for an example of countries chopping off parts of their own corpus to promote peace, we could not find any…

I am most surprised. Given the loopholes your stance usually has I would not have expected you could recognize consistancy if it bit you in the ass. Based on how “accute” your perception of reality usually is I am most impressed here.

Not at all (so far). You on the other hand probably want to dispute that otherwise Iraq turned out a a far cry from what especially you projected.

Be my guest and start your whitewash now. Let me just put on my rosey glasses first so I am able to follow your mumbo-jumbo about how right you were all along and what well Iraq measures up these days to your 60 year plan. :sunglasses:

P.S.: Is your formula for “the 60 year war without support from home” due any time? Just asking, you been pretty silent on this issue all the time so I guess you and Harry Potter are working on it tripple shifts.

Are things going well? No. Were things going well before we invaded? No. Did I expect that things would be better now? Yes. Do things always go as I expect? No. Does that mean that I need to change my expectations? Yes. Does that mean that I stop expecting good things to happen? No. How am I doing for that all important consistency that you seem to want to inculcate me with?

My purpose in posting this “remarkable” success story in Kurdistan was to just see if you think that things are going well in Kurdistan? Is it prosperous? Are people investing? What do you think? Do you think?

There, now I should have given you plenty to respond to with your usual relished cynicism. I think that sometimes Germans these days have nothing to live for (and given their history I suppose that I am not surprised) except proving how clever there are at scoffing at others attempts to act. Now, I can understand why Germans themselves do not want to act (and God save us from any future attempts to get busy again!) but surely that does not entitle one to sit back and make comments about others actions to such a degree? Are you involved? Are you affected? If we should choose to act stupidly, what does that really do to you?

That said, at least you have the decency to hit us over the head for ACTING. Period. Full stop. What I really cannot bear is those Germans who criticize us for acting in Iraq but demand that we do something about Darfur. There, now we both can agree on the devilish need for consistency.

Probably … but then why sacrify the only one ethnicity cooperative in Iraq to please Turkey. Sure Fred is all hot to toss EU membership and what not at Turkey pretty unconditionally … but then you know about Fred and his “grand schemes” probably by now.

Turkey will not like it and it does not like a host of other things (like losing a match of soccer for instance) and as long as they go about it like a spoiled brat I do not really think I care a big lot about their sentiments.

Speaking of Grand Schemes… Do you view EU membership for Ukraine with the same apparent disdain that you view such a status for Turkey?

Sorry to hit you again with a dose of reality (just cry when your daily limit is reached) but this whining for action on behalf of all these (bawl, sob) deserving nice people abroad does not seem to be a particular German problem. Last time I checked you were bragging around how charity was such a great American past time. Sure … Bono, Bob and you will save the world from Africa to Afghanistan just the other day, correct?

My advice about Dafur: I am all for those nearby Muslim nations in the area to reeeeally stand us up by showing how their superior, compassionate and simply great societies deal with ths closeby situation. After all the tralala how they and Great Allah is, it should be a cakewalk for them.

And if not … I can live with any national sport foreigners practice in their own lands. How judgmental of you to consider ethnic shoot outs not part of the local culture. Pay a bit respect to local sentiments Fred, will you? And I thought you were an expert of the area.

No shit … when did you finally notice too?

Relevance? Back then egg was on Saddam’s face. You elaborate why you been so keen to put the US in his position and take the blame for the locals not performing up to specs as promoted in your catalogue?

Based on what again? Given you are such an “expert” I am most curious.

Should the question not be “Do things ever remotely go as I project?”

How telling you did not phrase that “Does that mean that I need to change my demands and act less smug given how wrong I have been time and again with my rosey projections?”

IF you are serious about changing your expections though … one place to start would be lower them about how much support will come your way when you tell people about your latest, all new, all shiney project. You may have experienced differently but in general oversell and underdeliver is not going over well everywhere.

Sure, suit yourself. That’s what it trickles down to again, isn’t it? “I am wishing well … and that should be enough for you all to heed my call. Due diligence is for wussies, action for actions sake.”

Answered already above … learn reading. If that’s to hard I can quote again for your of course, but I prefer to spare you that embarrassment.

Hey Fred … a simple “yes I still need lame WWII innuendos to prop up my point about Iraq” would have been fine. Given you and Harry Potter are busy bringing world peace about I do not want to steal too much of your valuable time.

But I like your phrase “attempt to act” … it captures the whole futility of your flailing actionism nicely. Ever tried to think first, act later? I have my doubts.

That said … sure I am entitled to tell you that you sound like a snake oil salesman when you time and again demand action, support and resources from others for your far flung plans. What did you expect? A hand out based on alone on your “good faith and feeling” about your plans?

Where did you get that attitude from? American education system? You told already how bad it has become that “feelings” substitute for merit … you could have been more blunt about yourself being living proof though.

It is not the acting silly I bother about. It is your constant clamoring for support, help and respect that is annoying. Can’t you just bask in your own grandeur (chuckle) without whining all day how misunderstood a genius you are?

Action for action’s sake again, isn’t it? How comes you always rehash that phrase when someone points out the actions you so vehemently advertised turned out more expensive than you promised and the outcome less fantastic too?

Sorry Fred, but just acting MAY have given you a pass back in your high school. That’s okay, can’t blame you for the school system you grew up under. Where I come from students still failed their grades when all their action produced was horse dung though. Yes, I know … very depressive, but what can one do?

This kind of sounds as if you deem consistency unnecessary. And it shows in your super-duper “plans”. And why just Germans critizising your great Iraq War? Any word still on your magic formula as “how to run my 60 year plans when I am not even able to build basic trust into my designs domestically”.

Regarding asking the US to do something about Dafur: again count me out. Take a look at the people who make such demands and then reconsider what a fool you are to pay attention to them. Though my guess is you actually LIKE to pay attention to specifically that kind so you can feel better in your due dilligence free bubble of actionism when you design your “great plans”.

Or maybe you got so used to feeling-based hand outs by now that you just can not help reacting to them on an instinctive level. In that case: thumbs up for the level of conditioning your school system is able to instill. :smiley:

I see now that two can play the Fred game just as well as one.

Most entertaining!

[quote=“urodacus”]I see now that two can play the Fred game just as well as one.

Most entertaining![/quote]

Problem is: different from Fred I actually have a job so can not indulge myself as often. And too many other games to play. Hence my rather pittyful number of posts a day.

Sorry. :blush:

What’s this ‘the Iraq that Iraq could be’ nonsense? Kurdistan has no intention of being a meaningful part of an Iraqi nation and, if given the choice, the remnants of Iraq would devolve overnight into Shiitestan and Sunnistan. The only thing keeping that from happening now is the sheer willpower of George W. Bush.

The ‘Iraq that Iraq wants to be’ is an all-or-nothing proposition. It’s either one 'stan dominating the other two or it’s a fragmented, permanently unstable balkanization of the heartland of the Middle East.

And Spook chimes in! My targeted goals have been accomplished! We may not be making gains in Iraq, but the usual cast of characters can still be manipulated to post on cue! Congratulations! Special recognition to Games! Consolation prize to Spook!

I hope that you will acknowledge my contribution to your thread, Felch.


Fred, do you realize that you’re sounding more and more like a character in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland? Something like the Viscount of Vapirland or the Duke of Diamonds. You know it’s time to crawl out of the rabbit hole when you start having conversations with the echo of your own voice rather than other human beings.

I do Broon Ale! But I think that you understood what boredom does to people all along. That is not the case with our other two friends, hence, I feel that the joke worked. I doubt seriously that you seriously thought that I was serious… That kinda is the difference and a SERIOUS one at that. haha

What should we post about now? Back to Paris Hilton getting out of jail?

Extra points! Of course, when I already know exactly what you and Games are going to say, and I suppose the same can be said for you knowing what I will say, then what exactly is the definition for “voices in the head?”

Come on. Don’t be mad. I was just making a point about kneejerk reflexes on this subject. The joke is equally directed at me as it is to the two of you. No hard feelings?

Extra points! Of course, when I already know exactly what you and Games are going to say, and I suppose the same can be said for you knowing what I will say, then what exactly is the definition for “voices in the head?”

Come on. Don’t be mad. I was just making a point about kneejerk reflexes on this subject. The joke is equally directed at me as it is to the two of you. No hard feelings?[/quote]

I’m not mad. You know after all these years of haggling online I love you like a brother. I’m just concerned that a potentially decent human being such as yourself has somehow convinced himself that reality is now merely a “kneejerk reflex.” Consider, for example, the notion that Kurdistan is an archetype for Iraq. That’s tantamount to saying that Balkanization is “the way forward” in the Middle East. How could anybody in their right mind fall for that illusion?

And this realization took how many years to dawn on you, you “expert”?