Travels in the Kurdish Blogosphere

This week was fairly quiet in the Kurdish Blogosphere compared to week's past. Many Kurds have been focused on the upcoming/ongoing trial of Saddam Hussein. One such blogger, Kurdo from Kurdo's World remarked that after watching the first day of the trial that it was unfair…to Saddam's victims. He gave 3 reasons:

1. The trial is not live. We get 30 minutes delay. Let's hear what the man has to say. Why he did that to us LIVE and without censors.

2. The trial video is edited and censored. This is not fair. So many people have died and so many mothers and fathers and orphans want to hear the facts. Why is the video censored and edited ?

3. All we get to see is Saddam being defiant, his aids crying for help….but nothing about facts…Saddam wanted to explain what he was doing in the video and he was stopped from doing so. Let's hear what the man has to say for fairness's sake.

Another blogger writing about the trial is Hiwa from Hiwa Hopes who wouldn't be surprised if Saddam got out of the trial “clean” based on some sort of technicality like the court translators. However, other trials are looking up. For instance, a Dutch businessman, Frans van Anraat, who is charged with complicity in war crimes and genocide for selling chemicals to Iraq (knowing Saddam Hussein would use them to carry out poison gas attacks) started his trial on Monday. As promised, Hiwa also translated more Kurdish party manifestos of groups running in the upcoming December 15th elections, this week was the Kurdistan Alliance Manifesto.

The Iraqi Vote has also been commenting on topics relating to the December elections, including a short profile of Hamid al-Kiffaey head of the Movement for Democratic Society. He also discusses why Kurds are against the proposed lift of the parliamentary immunity on former Iraqi minister of defense, Hazim al-Sh’alan. The Iraqi Vote also has similar comments to Kurdo about the televising of the Saddam trial.

Roj Bash! has an excellent post with documents and evidence from the Anfal campaign, which is one of many incidents that Saddam Hussein is being held on charges for.

The Is-Ought Problem does an excellent job this week of trying to define some of the nuances of Kurdish politics in Northern Iraq/Southern Kurdistan. For example, Jalal Talabani, who is Kurdish but also the current president of Iraq, recently stated that an independent Kurdish state would not be viable. He also signed off on an agreement with the Arab League catagorizing the nature of resistance and terrorism, which could be construed as advocating the killing if non-Iraqi civilians as not terrorism, but instead legitimate resistance. Whereas Masoud Barzani, the president of the Kurdistan Regional Government, commented that attacks on foreign forces should not be considered as “Resistance”. It seems to be a common misconception that the Kurds are united in all things, and the Is-Ought Problem does an excellent job in showing that reality is not the case.

Moving outside of the realm of Southern Kurdistan. Bleak Blogorrhea posts about student protests in Eastern Kurdistan/Western Iran, and about some of the handicrafts that come out of that region. He also gives a link to the Ottawa Kurdish Community Association which has been newly founded.

From Holland to Kurdistan has a post about a recent press-conference where Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left the conference upon hearing that reporters from Denmark-based Kurdish Roj TV were present, while the rumor and the truth of this story is still left to be found, it has spawned a series of paranoia jokes about the Prime Minister. And while I stated that we were moving away from Iraqi Kurdistan, I would still like to direct you to a wonderful post From Holland to Kurdistan has about the Iraqification of Kurdistan.

Content on the Kurdistan Bloggers Union focused this week on the finding of several new Kurdish blogs, including a link to Wikipedia in Kurdish. While a total of four were mentioned, only two of the new blogs are in English and will be introduced in this posting. The interesting thing about these 2 new blogs is that both were started this week, and I personally find it interesting to watch the birth of both of these blogs. However, as with any new child/project you cannot always tell their full worth from the beginning. Both have postings that cover the entire region of Kurdistan in its scope and it seems difficult to try and classifiy their niche at this time, however I think that we will see a lot from Rasti and Welcome to the East of Kurdistan in the near future.

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