Sunday, October 11, 2015


In the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, the 'peaceful' area, Massoud Barzani remains a source of conflict.  The president of the KRG has been president for as long as the Constitution allows plus two years that the Kurdish Parliament voted to allow him (the vote took place in 2013).

Now the issue of him remaining president is becoming especially tense.

Today, Goran (Change) joined the critics by insisting that he was fighting for personal power (in his fight to continue as president) and not fighting for the Kurdish people.

The PUK has made similar charges but are less easy to take seriously.

Just as Barzani (and his family) control the KDP, Jalal Talabani's family controls the PUK (the current president of Iraq, like Jalal, is from the PUK party).

Goran is supposed to be the party of change.

Created with CIA seed money and assistance, the party emerged from nowhere and yet managed to replace the PUK as the second most popular party in the KRG.

The two-year extension came out of the June 30, 2013 meeting and perhaps it was foreshadowing that the session of the Kurdish Parliament erupted in violence with MPs fighting one another?

Barzani wants to remain president.

It's hard to see how he thinks that possible.

He has served two terms and even gotten two years added on.

He has now exceeded what the Constitution allows and he took the two year extension knowing that was supposed to be it.

So it's hard to argue that the efforts to hang on to the post of president are about his desires and not about what Iraq needs.

Though far more effective as a president of the KRG than Nouri al-Maliki was prime minister (of Iraq), like Nouri he needs to honor agreements and, in his case, that means recognizing that his time as president  needs to be in the past.

Honoring his 2013 agreement would show real leadership.

I'm traveling in some vehicle
I'm sitting in some cafe
A defector from the petty wars
That shell shock love away
-- "Hejira," written by Joni Mitchell, first appears on her album of the same name

 The number of US service members the Dept of Defense states died in the Iraq War is [PDF format warning] 4497.

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