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Voter News and Issues ~ Helpcom.net - My opinion on the US providing military aid to Israel.
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My opinion on the US providing military aid to Israel.
Posted on Thursday, October 13 @ 18:15:30 MST by annoregni

Cannac  the  Magnificent Live On HelpCom

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I’ve been asked by a FB friend my opinion on the US providing military aid to Israel.

I think the better statement is that Israel is providing men and materials to the US efforts to keep one fashion of moslems from devouring another moslem fashion and receives materials and funds from the US to help the US in its efforts.

To question closely this statement lets look at the Irian Kurds and what Saddam did to them.

The Kurds, an Iranian ethno-linguistic group--like Persians, Lurs, Baluch and Bakhtiari,--inhabit the mostly mountainous area where the borders of Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria converge. Following World War I and the breakup of the Ottoman Empire, the Kurds were promised their own country under the terms of the 1920 Treaty of Sevres only to find the offer rescinded under the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne.

 

Numbering at least 25 million people, Kurds are mostly divided among Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria. The main area they inhabit is about 230,000 square miles, equal to German and Britain combined. The Kurds are the largest ethnic group in the world without a state.

The term "Kurdistan" is widely used in Iraq to refer to the Kurdish area of northern Iraq and in Iran to refer to the Kurdish area of northwest Iran. Turkey and Syria, however, avoid this term for political reasons, although under the Ottomans it was widely used.

The area of northern Iraq where Kurds predominate, is a region of about 83,000 square kilometers. This is roughly the same size as Austria. Smaller ethno-linguistic communities of Assyrian-Chaldeans, Turkomans, Arabs, and Armenians are also found in Iraqi Kurdistan. In Iraq there are approximately 3.7 million Kurds in the predominantly Kurdish northern safe haven area, and between 1 and 2 million in the rest of Iraq, particularly Baghdad, Mosul and that part of Iraqi Kurdistan still under the control of the Baghdad regime.

 

(1)The majority of Kurds are Sunni Muslims. There are also Shi’a and Yezidi Kurds, as well as Christians who identify themselves as Kurds. Yezidis are Kurds who follow a religion that combines indigenous pre-Islamic and Islamic traditions.

The once thriving Jewish Kurdish community in Iraq now consists of a few families in the Kurdish safe haven.



Since the creation of the modern state of Iraq, the history of Iraqi Kurdistan has been one of underdevelopment, political and cultural repression, destruction, ethnic cleansing and genocide.

(2) Al-Anfal (The Spoils) was the codename given to an aggressive, planned, military operation against Iraqi Kurds. It was part of an ongoing, larger campaign against Kurds because of their struggle to gain autonomy within the Republic of Iraq. Anfal took place during 1988 under the direction of Ali Hasan al-Majid, Saddam Hussein's cousin. He became known as "Chemical Ali" because of his use of chemical and biological weapons on Kurdish towns and villages.

The broad purpose of the campaign was to eliminate resistance by the Kurds by any means necessary. Its specific aim was to cleanse the region of "saboteurs"--who included all males between the ages of 15 and 70. Mass executions were carried out in the targeted villages and surrounding areas.

The operation was carefully planned and included identifying villages in rebel held areas, declaring these villages and surrounding areas "prohibited" and authorizing the killing of any person or animal found in these areas.

Economic blockades were put onto these villages to cut them off from all support. The army also planned for the evacuation of them and the inhabitants' relocation to reservation-like collective towns. People who refused to leave were often shot. In some cases, people who agreed to leave were gathered up and separated, with men from 15 to 70 in one group; women, children, and elderly men in another. Many of the men were executed while the others were removed to the collective towns or to camps in the south of Iraq.

 

During the Anfal operation, some 1,200 villages were destroyed. More than 180,000 persons are missing and presumed dead.

While the Iraqi government was motivated partly by the fact that some Kurdish groups cooperated with Iran during the Iran-Iraq war, documentation recovered in the Kurdish safe haven in 1991 reveals that this operation was part of a larger campaign undertaken by Saddam throughout his time in power. Many now regard this operation as proof of genocide against Iraqi Kurds.

In all phases of the ethnic cleansing program, which began when the Baath Party first seized power in 1963 and culminated in the Anfal operation, it is estimated that more than 4,000 villages in rural Kurdistan were destroyed and perhaps 300,000 people perished.

The best-known chemical attack occurred at Halabja in March 1988. This town is located in the mountains near Sulaimaniya, about 11 kilometers from the Iranian border. Between 40,000 and 50,000 people were living there at the time. The Iranian army had previously pushed Iraqi forces out of the area. During three days, the town and surrounding district were attacked with conventional bombs, artillery fire, and chemicals--including mustard gas and nerve agents (Sarin, Tabun, and VX). At least 5,000 people died immediately as a result of the chemical attack and it is estimated that up to 12,000 people died during those three days.

Almost fifteen years later, there is still not much known about the impact of these agents on the people and environment. Dr. Christine Gosden, a professor of Medical Genetics at the University of Liverpool, working with the Washington Kurdish Institute (WKI), helped establish the Halabja Post-Graduate Medical Institute to understand the impact of weapons of mass destruction on civilian populations. It offers both research and medical help for thousands of survivors living in the area.

(3) The Kurds' first-hand experience with such attacks has prompted their request to the international community for protection from this type of weapons in the event of U.S.-led military action against Iraq.

In April 1991, following the March uprising of Kurds in the north and Shi’a Arabs in the south against the central government, Iraqi Kurdistan was divided into two parts. Relying on UN Security Council Resolution 688, military forces from eleven countries, including the United States and Turkey, implemented Operation Provide Comfort to give security and humanitarian assistance to refugees in camps along the Iraq-Turkey border. The so-called Kurdish safe haven and northern no-fly zone were established in this context. Under considerable constraint and against strong external and internal opposition, the Kurdish safe haven has been successfully governed for a decade by the Kurds themselves. This part of Iraqi Kurdistan is roughly 40,000 square kilometers, or about half of Iraqi Kurdistan.

(4) The rest continues to be directly governed by Baghdad.

In October 1991, the Government of Iraq (GOI) voluntarily withdrew its civil administration and the citizens of the Kurdish safe haven were left to govern themselves. Elections were held in May 1992 and the Kurdistan National Assembly (KNA) and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) were created. The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) entered into an equal power-sharing arrangement, with 5 of the 105 KNA seats allocated to members of the Assyrian-Chaldean Christian community. Turkomans boycotted the election, although efforts were made to include representatives from all ethnic and religious communities.

Participatory processes were instituted to develop experience with the requirements, and systems and procedures of democracy. These elections were deemed to have been free and fair by international observers.

(5) Regional governance has been based on the March 1970 Autonomy Agreement with the GOI. Four provinces were established, each headed by a governor.

The regional government, headed by a prime minister with a cabinet of ministers, was established in the regional capital of Erbil. But the 50-50 power-sharing arrangement broke down within two years. Today, the Kurdish safe haven is governed in two separate parts, each by one of the two main parties (KDP and PUK). Efforts have been on-going to find how to integrate the two administrations.

Despite this disappointment, there have been some more positive developments. Free and fair local elections, under international observation, were conducted in dozens of municipalities in 2000 and 2001 in the KDP and PUK areas. For the first time since 1994, the KNA convened in its entirety in Erbil on October 4, 2002. The reconvening of the KNA is a clear indication of the growing cooperation between the KDP and PUK, particularly in their dealings with the Bush administration and U.S. Congress, as well as with states in the region and Europe. In particular, the KDP and PUK are unified in asserting the Kurdish right to self-determination in a future democratic Iraq in which they call for Iraqi Kurdistan entering into a federal relationship with the central government under a new constitutional arrangement.

The Kurdish safe haven is now a decade-old example of what can happen throughout the rest of Iraq. The liberated part of Iraqi Kurdistan has become a refuge for all Iraqis seeking freedom and democracy. Since 1991, thousands of Iraqi refugees in Iran have returned. And since 1991, thousands more Iraqis from central or southern Iraq have sought asylum. Even more striking, some families who fled Iraq over 20 years ago, and who became citizens of the United States and European countries, elected to return since 1991.

Despite various internal difficulties and constraints, including the strong opposition of neighboring countries and both external and internal embargoes on the region by the Iraqi government, all basic public services have been provided to the extent resources have permitted. Freedom of speech and of free movement is respected. Local NGOs have been established and the three universities are working with U.S. and European partners to develop new academic programs, reform and update curricula, and provide faculty training opportunities. The region's leadership has allowed satellite television with over 500 channels to be available to anyone who can purchase readily available hardware. Private companies provide uncensored international phone service. Unlimited and uncensored Internet access is also available from private, independent sources. According to Human Rights Watch, the leadership of the region has made notable progress in promoting and protecting the basic rights of the people of liberated Iraqi Kurdistan.

(6)With assistance from the international community, hundreds of destroyed communities were reconstructed and tens of thousands of families were able to return to their original homes between 1991 and 1997. Despite serious problems due to inefficiency, intransigence and the efforts of Baghdad, the oil-for-food (SCR-986) program that began functioning in 1997 continues to provide the region with substantial resources from Iraq's public oil wealth for health care, reconstruction and education. The KRG directly cooperates with twelve UN agencies in the region, including nine involved in the management of the oil-for-food program.

The history of Iraqi Kurdistan before 1991 is the history of destruction and displacement. More than 4,000 communities were destroyed including towns of more than 50,000 Iraqi citizens. Hundreds of thousands of citizens were detained and killed. Tens of thousands were forced to live in Baghdad-controlled "collective towns." Many were injured in years of warfare. Despite their achievements in democratization and civil society building since 1991, the citizens of Iraqi Kurdistan continue to be threatened by Baghdad and the neighboring states in a manner that jeopardizes their hard-won freedom and tenuous well-being. The future of Iraqi Kurdistan remains most uncertain.

Israel has helped the US, with US aid, prevent one moslem fashion from cleansing another moslem fashion and the other ethnic groups of the middle east. By these means the US has not had to directly intervene with with its boots on the ground in this area of the world.

 

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