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Kurdistance: The Price of Oil

The oil control issue in the Northern Iraq/Southern Kurdistan city of Kirkuk is again at the forefront of Kurdish bloggers’ fingertips. With large oil companies and the US pushing for the passing of a regulatory oil law in Iraq, fears reignite that a sinister “Plan B” might be launched in order to gain control of the oil reserves…involving a Turkish incursion into the region.

The Oil Law
In order to ease the fears of Sunni populations in Iraq (and hopefully quell further rebellion) a new oil law is being pushed in Iraq that would regulate the oil industry and evenly distribute the proceeds among the population. In the oil rich and Kurdish city of Kirkuk, this is an unacceptable bill to sign. The referendum for Kirkuk to vote to become part of the Kurdish regional government is set for December of this year. If Kirkuk decides to be part of the KRG than that places the Kurdish government in an excellent position to declare independence as the oil industry there would make that possible. Independence plans in the region would be completely shut out if the oil bill were to be signed.

However, the issue of the oil and the money that will and can be generated from it is being pushed by many sides..especially independent oil companies that stand to profit from the oil law arrangement like Exxon-Mobile. Kurdish blogger Hevallo was the first to post information showing the link between Exxon-Mobile's attempt at changing the foreign policy (vis-a-vis oil) in Iraq:

ExxonMobil, the US oil company that is eager to get its hands on Kurdish oil in Kirkuk, is paying groups to bring about change in US foreign policy.
Here we have the first shot of the American Enterprise Institute, that was joined recently by Paul Wolfowitz and is funded by ExxonMobil. It is delivered by Michael Rubin of the same ‘think tank’. Read here some more of Michael Rubins lies
This speech is clearly aimed at changing US foreign policy in favour of Turkey and away from the Kurds.
You will notice how there is a, not so subtle change, from the Kurds are our friends and allies, to the Kurds are the enemy's of Turkey and of democracy. This is not the maverick Scott Sullivan, who presumably is also in the pay of ExxonMobil and was the outrider, this is Michael Rubin speaking to policy makers of the US Foreign Affairs Committee!

In support of Hevallo's work, Rasti posted the following:

Well, well, well . . . it looks like Hevallo wrote something he shouldn't have written–something like the truth.
Earlier today, Hevallo wrote a post in which he put forth the proposition that ExxonMobil may be paying the AEI to change foreign policy vis-a-vis Iraq. Naturally, such a foreign policy change would also be directed against South Kurdistan. To support his proposition, he includes a link to a new screed from the virulent anti-Kurdish AEI resident scholar, Michael Rubin. By the way, this new screed was presented as testimony to the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Don't remember Rubin? Rubin's the guy who pretends to have no clue as to the bloody repression the Ankara regime has inflicted on Kurds since 1923.
Hevallo points out that it was just at the beginning of this year that ExxonMobil was found to have paid a number of ideology factories to lie to the public about the state of global warming. Prominent among those ideology factories was Michael Rubin's AEI. See Hevallo's post for the link.
It's not out of the ordinary for big corporations to pay to have propaganda deposited in the American mainstream media. Philip Morris, the huge tobacco corporation, gave $100,000 to the AEI in 1997 and it was in the same year that the Washington Post published a report on how Philip Morris had tried to “systematically woo[ed] scientists who might help the company counter the growing consensus on the health risks of secondhand tobacco smoke and ‘keep the controversy alive.'” According to the WaPo, Philip Morris was up to this particular propaganda trick way back in 1988.
Basically, ExxonMobil attempted the same thing with AEI over climate change. Since AEI accepted the bribe, we might as well conclude that it's been in the business of propagandizing for the corporate world for some time.

Hevallo states that if the oil law is not signed than a “Plan B” might result in order for US oil companies to get access to the oil in the region:

And considering how the massive Iraqi and Kurdish opposition to the law is slowing it down and perhaps halting it, leads one to the very obvious conclusion. That if they cannot bullying the Iraq and Kurdish governments into signing the ‘oil law’ they have a ‘Plan B'!

Plan B?
Plan B is over 140,000 Turkish troops on the border just waiting for the green light from the USA. The signs are already clear. And I bet that green light will be switched on when and if the Iraqi and Kurdish governments refuse to sign the oil law handing over Iraqi/Kurdish oil to US oil companies.

Turkey won't have any such problem with signing an oil deal with the US and will jump at the chance to enter Kurdistan. It is all becoming horribly clear.

Bloggers alone are not the only ones worried about this possible situation.

Mahmoud Othman, a prominent Kurdish MP believes that the United States of America will side with Turkey in any upcoming conflict. His statements come as a massive blast hit the offices of the PUK in Kirkuk killing at least 80 people.
Mr Othman said, “Our experience as Kurds with the United States has been negative all along and that is why our fears and concerns are legitimate.”

The Role of Turkey
It is no secret that Turkey has the necessary troops available in order to go into Northern Iraq, but as the Turkish parliamentary elections draw nearer more and more Kurds within Turkey are being harassed. While Kurdish parties are trying to actively participate in the elections, there have been many obstacles:

This coming Sunday will be election day in Turkey. Many remember that the Ankara regime, and both the AKP and CHP in particular, has done what it can since the Amed Serhildan to marginalize the pro-Kurdish DTP. The regime has refused to engage in a dialog with DTP politicians. It has sent army officers to register soldiers to vote in “The Southeast.” It continues to support the racist 10% threshold. It's even attempted to prevent illiterate Kurds from voting for the independent candidates–and all of DTP's candidates are running as independents–by changing the ballot at the last minute:

“As regards independent candidates, on the other hand, no one can defend that either the ruling AKP or the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) performed in any manner compatible with democracy when they legislated in haste to include names on independents in the joint ballot sheets rather than letting them run on separate voting papers. They did that hoping that the practice will lead to confusion among the mostly illiterate voters of the southeast “where many pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) people are running as independent candidates” and thus the number of “unwanted DTP people” in Parliament would be limited.”

And that's aside from the fact that no one seems to be asking why a regime which has expressed a desire to enter the EU has not invested in a part of its own territory, a part which it treats as an internal colony and not as an equal region of the nation. There is no discussion of why the Ankara regime maintains its internal Kurdish colony in extreme poverty, why it destroyed what little economy existed there after the destruction it wrought in the days following the founding of the modern state, why there is no investment in jobs, infrastructure, services, housing, or education. Things, you know, that are taken for granted in civilized nations.

Another thing being taken for granted within Turkey is the treatment of POW's as new Kurdish blog Independent Kurdistan Journalism reports:

A wounded Kurdish Guerrilla named (Hassan Metin 42), who must have been treated as a prison of war (POW), is beaten up by Turkish Hospital Staff and civilians in the Turkish city of Erican!! This Kurdish Freedom Fighter was recently injured and captured by Turkish troops 2 days after he was wounded. But while he was potentially under the police arrest and protection, these people seen in the pictures, beating him up!

Other Kurdish News
In other Kurdish news, Roj Bash reports about the fate of two Kurdish journalists in Iran:

On 16th July 2007, the “Revolutionnary Tribunal” of Marivan condemned to death two Kurdish journalists, Adnan HASSANPOUR et Hiva BOTIMAR, for « espionage ».

They have been just transfered to the central prison of Sanandaj (Sine), the capital of the province of Kurdistan, for the execution of their judgment.

These collaborators of ASO magazine (Horizons), published in Kurdish and Persan in Sanandaj, were arrested at the end of December 2006, by the dreadful Iranian police ITILAAT. At the time of their detention in the prison of Marivan, they were severely tortured. To protest against these maltreatments, they had made several hunger strikes.

The arrest of these two peaceful Kurdish journalists, of which one is engaged in an ecologist movement, is a part of a vast campaign of repression, launched by Iranian president Ahmedinejad’s regime against “the interior enemies”. During the last months, 150 intellectuals, journalists, and representatives of the Kurdish civil society were thus arrested. Most of them risk heavy judgments, facing the legal machinery of a regime founded by a leader, Ayyatollah Khomeini, who, since August 1979, called million of Kurds in Iran “enemies and children of Satan”, for the only motive that they are not shiite and support a laic and democratic regime.

Without an urgent intervention of the international community, both journalists will be executed and their martyrdom could open the way with a series of execution of other political prisoners, Kurdish and Iranian.

Additionally, news reports have indicated that the President of Syria, Bashir Assad, has readdressed the issue of granting Syrian Kurds citizenship rights. The Kurdish community seems to be withholding judgment on this one at the moment…perhaps next week will wield more on the issue.

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