by Scott Creighton
As the Obama administration effort to build Greater Kurdistan hits a bit of a bump on the road, our puppet dictator in Iraqi Kurdistan shows his true colors.
While US media apologists are trying to put the best looking spin they can on the situation, our dictator ruling family in Iraqi Kurdistan is acting, well, like a US-backed dictator ruling family. The Barzani family is reportedly worth billions since they have ensured their connection to power profits them greatly. All sorts of industry and government contracts are controlled by Barzani family members.
A worsening political dispute on the front lines of the fight against the Islamic State group threatens one of the few silver linings for U.S. policy in the Middle East.
Since last week, five people have died and four ministers have lost their jobs in Iraqi Kurdistan, the semi-autonomous region of Iraq whose Western-backed fighters have retaken nearly all the territory they briefly lost to the Islamic State group, or ISIS, and become heroes in the U.S.
A mix of political and economic issues are fueling the crisis. Many protesters accuse the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party, or KDP, of hoarding power because its leader, Massoud Barzani, declined to surrender the presidency when his term officially ended on Aug. 19. Many demonstrators also blame the KDP for failing to end economic difficulties caused by delayed government salary payments and the massive refugee influx into Iraqi Kurdistan.
The KDP has responded with actions that appear to target Gorran, the top opposition party. On Monday, it prevented a Gorran member who is the speaker of the Kurdistan parliament from entering the region’s capital, removed Gorran members from the coalition government and shut down some offices of a Gorran-linked TV channel. Those actions came as the KDP-led government was already facing scrutiny over its treatment of dissidents in Kurdistan, including KDP critic Esa Barzani, and Yazidi and Sunni Arab refugees. Huffington Post
Barzani has refused to relinquish power at the end of his presidential term in office and they write that some “accuse” them of “hoarding power”?There are scores of protesters dead in the streets and the ruling party has expelled the next most popular political party, Gorran (Change movement), from not only the government, but Irbil as well.The speaker of the Kurdish parliament is a member of Gorran and he has been told he is not allowed back.
Is this starting to sound familiar to anyone?
President Barzani has been the only president of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), serving since 2005, but his mandate expired in August. He is arguing that the ISIS war means he has to stay on indefinitely, unelected, to “steer the region,” which has caused some unrest, and protesters marched against several KDP offices recently.” AntiWar
Barzani “assumed” the office of the presidency back in 2005 after heading up the Governing Council of Iraq for a month, working closely with the guy who single-handedly wrecked the nation, Paul Bremmer.
There have been numerous reports in the past of the Barzani family killing or arresting journalists who write things that aren’t very favorable of the family or how they run their little pro-Western dictatorship in northern Iraq.
Now it seems the family wish to remove the opposition party from the self-declared country before holding an “election”
Troops Bar Opposition MPs from Iraqi Kurdish Capital – “The Goran (Change) Bloc says that a “huge military force” was deployed at one of the Peshmerga checkpoints between Kirkuk and Irbil to prevent the parliament’s speaker, a Goran MP, from passing.”
So now they are using the Pershmerga against their own people… against political opposition parties in order to remain in power. This is exactly the kind of behavior we have come to expect from our “friends in the region”. After all, it is the definition of stability, is it not?
Violent protests threaten Kurdistan’s stability – “The violence began Friday in Qalad Dze, a small town in Sulaimaniya province, when three protestors were shot dead and more than 20 more were wounded outside the main KDP office. KDP guardsmen fired on the crowd after protestors began throwing stones, according to eyewitnesses. One of the people killed was identified by one protestor as a 13-year-old boy.” Iraq Oil Report
Not only are they barring opposition leaders and party members from the capitol of the country, they are also rounding up journalists who don’t toe the dictator’s line and shipping them off as well.
On Saturday, the Erbil staff of Sulaimaniyah-based TV station NRT were detained and driven from the region by security forces loyal to the KDP, AFP reported.
The channel said in a statement that its office in Dohuk, the other major city in Kurdistan was also shut down.
“NRT asks the representatives of foreign countries in Kurdistan, all organisations and political parties, and the people of Kurdistan to raise their voices against these abuses,” it said. Middle East Eye
The Barzani clan is very close to US, British and Israeli power structures. Like the Saudis and every other Middle Eastern dictatorship that’s friendly with the West, they have made billions while imposing neoliberal economic ideology on their people.
The Kurdish people are sick and tired of living under the Barzani rule and the powers that be understand that quite clearly.
As they did in Egypt when Mubarak became too tainted internationally after killing so many in 2011 during the uprising, the US may have to cut ties with Barzani and force him to step down so they can put another dictator in place. Of course, like the Mubarak family before them, the Barzanis will be allowed to keep their business interests and government contracts.
But Barzani may not wish to go that route. He might want to do away with the appearance of democracy altogether, instead opting for the House of Saud option: Barzani Kurdistan.
We will have to wait and see how it goes.
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