Confronted with bad news, what do you do? If you're Ruslan Mamedov, you just ignore it. Writing at MODERN DIPLOMACY, he notes that GALLUP polling has found 60% of Iraqis today believe the country was better off under Saddam Hussein. Since that reality doesn't fit Ruslan's rosy view of the war, he mentions it and then tries to pretend it's wrong by bringing up other topics.
It takes a lot of gall to dismiss the opinions of 25.8 million people. But if Ruslan didn't have gall, what would he be left with?
A week ago, Turkey attacked a convoy in northern Iraq that included at least 3 US military members. You'd never know it from US reporting. Winthrop Rogers (THE NATIONAL) reports:
The already troubled relationship between the ruling parties in Iraq’s Kurdistan region deteriorated further this week after an apparent Turkish drone strike near Sulaymaniyah airport on April 7, which struck near a convoy carrying Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) commander Mazloum Abdi and US military officials.
It is another example of the enormous influence the actions of external forces have on the politics of the Kurdistan region and how local parties try to leverage those events for their own purposes.
In the hours after the attack, Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) spokesman Jotiyar Adil released an incendiary statement against the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), which governs Sulaymaniyah, calling it an “authoritarian party” whose behaviour had encouraged the Turkish attack.
Turkey shut down its airspace to flights to and from Sulaymaniyah in the days before the attack and accused the PUK of being under the control of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has fought a decades-long conflict against Ankara for Kurdish rights and autonomy in south-east Turkey.
While nominally a government spokesperson, Mr Adil is a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), the PUK’s main domestic rival. At the moment, they sit in government together, but differences over internal revenue sharing, electoral reforms and security affairs have undermined their working relationship over the past year and a half.
Speaker of the Kurdistan Parliament Rewaz Fayaq, who is a member of the PUK, denounced Mr Adil’s statement. There was “no justification for the unlawful attack … just as there was none for any earlier attacks on Erbil airport,” she said, referring to repeated missile and drone strikes on the Kurdistan region’s capital over the past two years by Iran.
Tim Hogan Tweets:
Among the things that were reportedly released in the #PentagonLeak is evidence supporting what I've reported for years: #Turkey is plotting against NATO. This time by reportedly selling weapons to Russia to use in Ukraine. Turkey's reacted with an attack on a US convoy in Iraq. pic.twitter.com/8RUE6YmyVt— Tim Hogan 浩勤 (@TimInHonolulu) April 9, 2023
If true, not at all surprising. One administration after another has refused to call out the Turkish government. People talk about Vladimir Putin being in office forever, but Recep Tayyip Erdogen has been prime minister of Turkey or president of Turkey continuously since 2003. Yet the US government tries to pretend that's a democracy, skips around the Armenian genocide and refuses to acknowledge the Kurdish genocide that Turkey is carrying out.
and the Collapse of the US influence over Erdoğan Regimehttps://t.co/VqVtIFoN0u— @KurdishPeaceInitiative (@KurdishTurkish1) April 16, 2023
Turkish military not hesitating armed attacks on USA in Syria and Iraq, accusing USA supporting Kurds in eliminating ISIS threats and dangers.
Turkey angry at USA for that? https://t.co/i4bjQcKVJJ
We'll note this Tweet.
This evening, Turkish air forces bombed three villages in Penjwen district in Iraqi Kurdistan and targeted a pick-up truck. There are some casualties but it is not confirmed if they are civilians or combatants yet.#Turkey #Iraq #KRG #droneattack pic.twitter.com/6U10Zf2ZP4— CPT Iraqi Kurdistan (@cptiraq) April 15, 2023
What is confirmed? Tukey has no legal right or authority to be bombing Kurdistan. This is a breach of international borders and international law.
Lastly, Human Rights Watch notes:
The Iraqi government’s recent decision requiring applicants under the Yazidi Survivors Law to file a judicial complaint to be eligible for reparations is an alarming development that does not take survivors’ best interests into consideration, 13 organizations including Human Rights Watch said in a joint statement today.
Several survivors have reported harassment and stigmatization while filing criminal complaints with the judiciary. A requirement to describe their abuse in court would also put survivors at risk of re-traumatization and does not respect their agency to decide whether to bring their cases to court.
Members of the Yazidi group experienced lethal attacks, kidnapping, enslavement, and rape by the Islamic State (ISIS) in 2014. Thousands of Yazidis remain displaced and 2,700 are still missing. The law allows survivors to apply for compensation in the form of a monthly salary, and includes provisions for other forms of restitution such as provisions for a plot of land, continued education, employment, and the search for those who remain missing.
The Iraqi government should rescind the judicial complaint requirement and develop procedural and evidentiary rules in line with international standards that consider the reality and needs of survivors, ensuring their access to adequate, effective, and prompt reparations.
“Yazidi survivors should not be required to file a judicial complaint to access the reparations to which they are entitled, especially given the plethora of evidence collected by official bodies, nongovernmental groups, and the media,” said Sarah Sanbar, Iraq researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Adoption of the Yazidi Survivors Law was groundbreaking, and the Iraqi government should ensure that it is implemented in a way that respects the wellbeing, agency, and rights of survivors.”
The following sites updated: