Friday, January 9, 2004

Daring for victory: Iraq in revolution 1946-1959

iraq > history > revolution
After a brief mention of the Kirkuk massacre of 1959 in Riverbend's latest post (no, not this Kirkuk massacre), I searched for more on that episode of Kurdo-Turkmen enmity. I found the article linked above which is a review of post WWII developments in Iraq from a socialist (Trotskyist) perspective. From a similar perspective the following seems convincing:

...This [the strengthening of the ICP] makes the Kirkuk massacre of July 1959 all the more tragic. In the aftermath of the 1958 revolution the ICP concentrated in its hands control of many local governments, militias and even army garrisons. The largely Kurdish ICP branch in Kirkuk used this control to escalate a squabble over the celebration of the first anniversary of the revolution into an intercommunal bloodbath, particularly directed against the Turkomans who made up much of the city's commercial and middle classes. One month later in a central committee plenum called to deal with the consequences of the Kirkuk massacre, the ICP in referring to its own membership was forced to condemn "the dragging of bodies, torture of detainees, looting and trespassing on the rights and liberties of citizens..."

Also see this dissenting view from someone who apparently lived through the events.

About the Kurds in Iraq (and Iran and Turkey and Syria) there's more to say however. They remain the largest nation without a country and to simply deny their right to nationhood isn't morally defensible. That currently a declaration of statehood, or even of autonomy, might plunge the area into even worse adventures, is unfortunately true. But the Iraqi Kurds I see here in Athens, destitute,desperate and angry; who have risked life and limb and/or lost loved ones in their desperate exodus; who didn't belong to any exclusive club back in Iraq; these Kurds have a serious desire for nationhood and that is not going to change anytime soon, unless a serious political settlement is reached.

Forced partition, however, does seem like the potentially bloodiest of options. Not that the W. administration would care - if they can make a better buck out of that...

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