Saturday, February 07, 2004

The plan was to spend 5 days in Sulaimaniya, cousins 4 and 5, my brother and I. To go to the north of Iraq for Eid, but at the first day of Eid we saw those horrible attacks in Erbil and decided it would probably be better not to go. The plan was to go there take pictures and blog, well the plan fell flat on its face and I will have to do this from my bedroom in Baghdad.

I have a confession to make, well not really a confession, it has been on the blog before but the issue was never properly addressed. Part of outing yourself is to have [The Thing] out in the open and face it head-on.

I have been standing on the wrong side of the fence concerning the Kurdish issue. Even before the war, when people were theoretically discussing future models of Iraq the idea of a federal state made me feel a bit uneasy, the thought that the Kurds might not like us Arab-Iraqis at all was always brushed away.
I needed to hear someone talk about the issue form a very Arab-Nationalistic point of view to realize that I am not looking at the other side at all. The Arab nation is a myth that many Arabs still believe in, the main problem with that point of view is that it forgets the diversity of traditions, culture and races in the so-called Arab world.

The way I saw it was, the Kurds HAD to stick to Iraq, the bonds, the ties, "Kurds and Arabs united" and all that. Well, it is all bullshit. It is actually Arab Iraqis who seriously need to beg Kurds to stay along for the difficult ride the rest of the country is going to go thru the next couple of years.
The Kurds have been thru this and an almost working democracy and governing system has emerged after 13 years of self rule. We will be the unwanted load on their shoulders. We should be grateful if they agreed to stay within the boundaries of Iraq as part of a federation.

The discussion about the Kurdish issue gets you the weirdest reactions from people; it is at points like an atheist and a believer discussing the existence of a deity. There is simply no answer and tempers will flare, people will get angry. And as we have seen in the past this is an issue that could lead to civil war.
A federal state is not an option it is a necessity, there is no way around it. A federal state along "geographical lines" - as some people describe it - will not work; it will be along ethnic lines.
You say "it will rip us apart"? Mmhhm, yep it will. But it is a necessity.
You say "no it will be fine"? I say look at the signs, even before we are declared a federal state ministries are becoming tiny experiments for how the future will look like. To get anything; a job, a promotion in a ministry where a Shia minister has been appointed you better be Shia. Not only that but it would be favorable if you were a member of the same party.
Ministry of oil is shia, Ministry of Communication is also shia but Dawa Party, and it makes all the difference if you get the right references. Now imagine what would happen if we had a three part Iraq, do you really believe that a Sunni from central Iraq could really get a job in southern Iraq? Wouldn?t the Kurd rather have another Kurd working for him because he just doesn?t trust Arabs (I have experienced this when I was working with journalists, my presence was silence inducing the moment they realize I am Arab).

But we have to go the way of a federal state, time will heal the wounds and we will learn our lessons, just as long as we can stay within this political entity called Iraq. What it means to be [Iraqi] has to change. At the moment I am kind of worried that our fellow Kurdish blogger might be offended if he were called an Iraqi. To have a post titled: [how to finish off racism in a racist country like Iraq ...some Kurdish thoughts] isn?t a good sign, is it?

My new computer background image says: "Re-examine every thought and concept you have".