News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: Israelis in northern Iraq (Kurdish Area)

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Israelis in northern Iraq (Kurdish Area)

The following article by Tariq Ali provides the best analysis of the Iraq situation I have seen in some time.

Ali is a formidable critic of western ideology in the Mideast. Among other remarks, Ali notes that the proposed Iraqi constitution calls for slicing Iraq into three parts, something everyone has known for some time.

What is new is Ali's contention that northern Iraq, soon to be known as Kurdistan, will be a US-Israeli protectorate. This latter point is a significant development. To have Israeli army types in this area would be like throwing gas on fire. Right across the border from Iran, I cannot imagine that country standing this situation for long. In strategic terms, I question the wisdom of this policy, because I question the reasons for allowing Israel into this area.

I do believe that it is the Kurds themselves who want Israeli business in the area, and I believe that this is the reason why they are there now. Yet, were such a presence to grow, I can imagine some very dire consequences. At this time, it is not conducive to peace in the region.

Any perceived expansion of Israeli influence in the region will certainly be perceived by many Arab countries as aggressive in intention. A US-Israel protectorate would simply confirm the extremist Jihadis' contentions--that is, that America and Israel are bent on establishing a Christian-Zionist government in the region.

For a unique interpretation of these facts, see Lenin's Tomb. Here the author notes that Israel has had an influence in the area for some time. One of the more surprising remarks is this author's contention that Israeli leaders had identified Sunni and Shia leaders for assassination by Kurdish operatives. If this were to be true, it would confirm the idea that Israel is not simply a victim or benign agent in the area. Instead, in the pursuit of its own interests it foments unrest and chaos in the area. This instability in the region serves its purpose because it provides an image that 1) it is under continual threat from Arab nations 2) that US oil interests in the area are threatened and 3) that Israel is the only democratic state.

On the other hand, besides keeping an eye on Iran and destabilizing the region for its own self-interests, perhaps the Israeli presence in Kurdistan also concerns maintaining a needed flow of oil into its reservoirs:

"...Will the Kurds be allowed control of all the northern oil fields, and the opening of a long-discussed pipeline from Mosul & Kirkuk to Haifa, Israel?

Israel's recent steps towards more compromise and progress on a Palestinian settlement are being used to bolster the arguments for an independent Kurdish region:

Palestinian betrayal of the Kurds, by Alan Derschowitz

However, if Sy Hersh is right, then why does Israel deny the fact that there are Israeli agents in Kurdistan? The answer, of course, is that the intelligence services would never affirm this, even if it were true. Why?

"When asked about the report, a spokesman in the Prime Minister´s Office did not deny the report.

"I have no idea about the report," he said. "I also don´t know if it is true or not. We´ve read the report and no one [in the Prime Minister´s Office] is responding to it."

An Israeli intelligence source, however, scoffed at Hersh´s report, saying that infiltrating "hundreds" of agents into Iraq is both ludicrous and pointless.

He said Israel makes use of satellite imagery to monitor Iran´s nuclear development, and only a high-level plant could provide relevant information on Iranian nuclear plants.

While human intelligence is necessary, such a large-scale operation would be bound to fail, if only for the ease with which it could be detected, he added."

The logic of colonial rule
by Tariq Ali
Friday September 23, 2005
The Guardian

There is now near-universal agreement that the western occupation of Iraq has turned out to be an unmitigated disaster; first for the people of Iraq, second for the soldiers sent by scoundrel politicians to die in a foreign land. The grammar of deceit utilised by Bush, Blair and sundry neocon/neolib apologists to justify the war has lost all credibility. Despite the embedded journalists and non-stop propaganda, the bloody images refuse to go away: the immediate withdrawal of all foreign troops is the only meaningful solution. Real history moves deep within the memory of a people, but is always an obstacle to imperial fantasists: the sight of John Reid and the Iraqi prime minister brought back memories of Anthony Eden and Nuri Said in Downing Street just before the 1958 revolution that removed the British from Iraq.

The argument that withdrawal will lead to civil war is slightly absurd, since the occupation has already accelerated and exacerbated ethnic and religious tensions in Iraq. Divide and rule is the deadly logic of colonial rule - and signs that the US is planning an exit strategy coupled with a long-term presence is evident in the new Iraqi constitution, pushed through by US proconsul Zalmay Khalilzad. This document is a defacto division of Iraq into Kurdistan (a US-Israeli protectorate) [my emphasis], Southern Iraq (dominated by Iran) and the Sunni badlands (policed by semi-reliable ex-Baathists under state department and Foreign Office tutelage). What is this if not an invitation to civil war? The occupation has also created a geopolitical mess. Recent events in Basra are linked to a western fear of Iranian domination. Having encouraged Moqtada al-Sadr's militias to resist the slavishly pro-Iranian faction, why are the British surprised when they demand real independence?

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