Wednesday, December 28, 2005


American Citizens Deserve to Understand the Politics of Oil and the Territorial Demands of the Autononmous Kurds

"Kirkuk has been described, even by U.S. officials, as a “powder keg...."
- Blogrunner: Jude Nagurney Camwell

"What the Kurds want most of all is to control Northern Oil - part of the Iraqi National Oil Co, in charge of the oilfields west of Kirkuk. It is apparent that Sunni Arabs will not settle peaceably with the Kurds on this issue."
- Jude Nagurney Camwell, American Street (June, 2005)

This oil city is a tinderbox full of ethnic rivalries and hatreds, and it is coveted by the Kurks, who now may make up half of the city of Kirkuk.
- Juan Cole, Over 10,000 Sunnis, Secularists March in Baghdad against Election Results; Al-Hakim meets Kurdish Leaders

Kurdish leaders have inserted more than 10,000 of their militia members into Iraqi army divisions in northern Iraq to lay the groundwork to swarm south, seize the oil-rich city of Kirkuk and possibly half of Mosul, Iraq's third-largest city, and secure the borders of an independent Kurdistan.
- CBS News - Keeping Iraq Intact

Kurdish leaders have inserted more than 10,000 of their militia members into Iraqi army divisions in northern Iraq to lay the groundwork to swarm south, seize the oil-rich city of Kirkuk and possibly half of Mosul, Iraq's third-largest city, and secure the borders of an independent Kurdistan.
- Knight Ridder - Kurds prepare for civil war in Iraq

Kurds Are Flocking
to Kirkuk,
Laying Claim
to Land and Oil

Staff Sgt. Les Patterson was there, tracking squads on a radio from a base near Kirkuk, Iraq, and receiving the news that his friend, Sgt. 1st Class Ronald Wood, had been killed.
- - Forever changed: War in Iraq has had a major impact on lives of many Utahns

A "Two-State Solution?" Are We Looking at a New Middle East Hotbed of Ethnic Strife and Violence Between Arabs and Kurds?
[President of Iraq under the Iraqi Interim Government from 2004 to 2005] Ghazi al-Yawar told the Arab network: "It is a national betrayal by the Kurds. There is a freedom of opinion in Iraq but this does not mean that some people would try to speak about disintegrating Iraq. This is not something we could accept and we will counter this with all our power." Al-Yawar's comments came just two days after British Foreign Minister Jack Straw's visit..Many observers speculated that Straw traveled to pressure Kurdish leaders to give ground on the oil rich-city of Kirkuk, which Kurds want included in their domain. But the Kurdish Prime Minister, Nechivan Barzani threw cold water on such plans, telling reporters: "Our policy and stance is clear, we refuse to compromise on any grounds regarding Kirkuk.

The people themselves on the ground – they watch al-Jazeera and they see that the rights of Palestinians are being discussed at the United Nations," explains Kani Xulam, director of the American Kurdish Information Network in Washington. "When somebody like Colin Powell says there should be a two-state solution, that translates into Kurds asking, 'Why can't there be a two-state solution to the Arabs and Kurds in Iraq, too?'"

- Kurdistan Observer - Kirkuk About to Explode? (October 2004

In the oil-rich northern city of Kirkuk, the insurgent group Ansar al-Sunna left leaflets at several gas stations warning employees not to charge the higher prices and describing them as "apostates," or lapsed Muslims. "We have been threatened with kidnapping and death because they think we are serving the government officials, but in fact we are serving the people," said Issa Abdullah Hadidi, who has run the Uqba Ibn Nafi gas station in the southern part of the city for 20 years. He said he has never felt so endangered.
- WaPo, At Gas Stations in Iraq, Price Hike Fuels Outrage

A united Iraq? No, a united Kurdistan..Should the Kurds push for independence, Kirkuk and its oil would be a key economic engine.
- Steve Gilliard, blogger,commenting on Kurds preparing takeover; U.S. exit strategy at risk

"Kirkuk is Kurdistan; it does not belong to the Arabs," Hamid Afandi, the minister of Peshmerga for the Kurdistan Democratic Party, one of the two major Kurdish groups, said in an interview at his office in the Kurdish city of Irbil. "If we can resolve this by talking, fine, but if not, then we will resolve it by fighting."
-Kurds in Iraqi Army Proclaim Loyalty to Militia

Adhaim, 70 km (45 miles) north of Baghdad on the main road to the flashpoint city of Kirkuk, is violent. Nineteen Iraqi troops were killed there on Dec. 3 when a joint patrol with U.S. forces was ambushed. Both al Qaeda-linked Islamist groups and more secular, nationalist groups have been active in the region.
- Reuters - 3 Iraqi troops killed; Rumsfeld signals pullback

Turkmen sources in Kirkuk said these lands belonged to their own ethnic people before the former regime pushed them out or executed their members, after which the lands were excavated with bulldozers. The issue of the city remains the main obstacle to reaching a consensus on the new Iraqi constitution being drawn up by a special commission, as Kurds insist that all their people who were deported to return to the city.
- Science Daily - Tension grows in Iraq's Kirkuk (August 2005)

Attacks, assassinations and bombings are routine in Kirkuk province in the north, a volatile mixture of Kurds, Turkmen and Arabs engaged in a subterranean battle for dominance of the area's oil fields.
- Juan Cole, Top Ten Myths about Iraq in 2005

While in Kirkuk, [US Army Infantryman Nick]Johnson saw many Kurds returning to that city after having been exiled from their homes under Saddam Hussein's dictatorship. They would return to their home city without a job or a place to live, just to be "home." "The Kurds loved the Americans and have a deep loyalty to us and the kids love us too; they would chase us all around," Johnson said.
- Reno Gazette Journal - A soldier's perspective on Iraq: We are winning and should stay

An Iraqi official in the disputed city of Kirkuk accused Kurds of cheating in Thursday's election, saying thousands had been bussed in to swell the Kurdish vote. Kurds denied the charge... The future of Kirkuk, at the heart of the northern oil industry, is one of the most emotionally charged issues in Iraq. Kurds, Arabs and Turkmen all claim historical rights to the ancient city 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad.
- Reuters - In Iraq's disputed Kirkuk, voting highly sensitive

The problem with the U.S. Staying in Iraq:
One Man's "Democratic Government" May Be Another Man's "Regime":
Yousif Mitty, the founder and director of the Evangelical Church of Iraq, is in the United States as a speaker at several engagements..The Mittys lived in Kirkuk, just south of the United Nations no-fly zone in Iraq..Leaving everything behind, the couple made a "quick decision" to flee Kirkuk and reside in Kurdistan, where they continue to teach the word of God..Yousif Mitty, who is a geologist with Northern Oil, himself served 10 years in Saddam's army during the Iraq-Iran War. "It's not an option," he said. "It's not volunteer." Yousif Mitty said a large number of Iraqi citizens are against the withdrawal of American troops for fear insurgents will rise up and create another dictatorship. "Praise the Lord, through American help we got rid of Saddam's regime, but we do not want another regime," he said.
- Pheonixville News - Missionaries from Iraq pay visit to Valley Forge

Using 9/11
The Long Strrrrrrretch: Civil War in Northern Iraq was Necessitated by the Actions of 15 Saudi Nationals?
In Kirkuk, I met with leaders of the Sunni, Kurdish and Shiite communities who are working to build a government. They expressed concern about outsiders coming in through Syria and thanked us for what we are doing for them and their country...We must never forget that on Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists attacked America and killed nearly 3,000 innocent people.
- John Shadegg, Republican US Congressman from Arizona