The unfinished story of Iraq’s Oil Law: An interview with Greg Muttitt

July 31, 2012 at 10:43 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Jul 24 2012by Ali Issa
[US Sergeant Masterson checks out an oil pipeline valve in Iraq early in his deployment in 2005. It was referred to as
[US Sergeant Masterson checks out an oil pipeline valve in Iraq early in his deployment in 2005. It was referred to as “the big steering wheel-looking thing.” Image by YourLocalDave via Flickr]

“No Blood For Oil” was a slogan featured on many a sign in demonstrations during the run up to the US-led invasion of Iraq, and throughout the early years of the occupation as global opposition to it grew. But as Iraq faded from the headlines in 2009, the struggle over its oil continued. In the following interview, Greg Muttitt, investigative journalist and author of the groundbreaking Fuel on the Fire: Oil and Politics in Occupied Iraq (2012), discusses the attempts by occupying forces, multinational oil giants, and newly minted Iraqi “leaders” to privatize Iraq’s oil. Having worked directly with Iraq’s oil unions, Muttitt also describes the heroic role that Iraqi civil society played in challenging these efforts, how it all shook out and where it might be headed today, at an especially sensitive moment when the Iraqi labor movement is facing a series of fresh attacks. The audio interview was conducted on 13 July 2012, and what follows is an edited transcript.

Ali Issa (AI): Based on the hundreds of US/UK documents you have unearthed, what were your findings about the role of oil in the Iraq War?

Greg Muttitt (GM): Unsurprisingly, the documentary record shows that oil was a central part of the strategic thinking behind the war, and consistently shaped the conduct of the occupation. My book is primarily about what happened during the occupation. The United States, Britain, and the “international community” were keen to see Iraq’s oil developed through foreign investment. It was not so much about helping out their own corporations—that was a secondary concern for them. What they wanted was to see foreign investment in Iraq as a starting point for opening up the other nationalized industries, especially of the region, so as to get oil flowing more quickly. Iraq’s oil sector had been nationalized since the 1970s. The nationalization took place mostly in 1972, and the final phases of it continued until 1975. Essentially, what they wanted to do was to reverse that: put multinational oil companies back in the dominant role in the Iraqi oil sector.

Continue Reading The unfinished story of Iraq’s Oil Law: An interview with Greg Muttitt…

Erdoğan Suriyeli Türkmenler dosyasını açtı

July 29, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment

Erdoğan Suriyeli Türkmenler dosyasını açtı

Hürriyet / Sedat Ergin

Türk kamuoyunun bir kesimi, galiba Suriye’deki Türkmenlerin varlığından geçen pazar günü Gaziantep İslahiye’de Suriyeli mülteciler için kurulmuş olan çadırkentteki olaylar dolayısıyla haberdar oldu.

Çatışmalar nedeniyle Lazkiye’den Türkiye’ye göç eden yaklaşık 1500 Suriyeli Türkmen’in bu çadırkente yerleştirilmesi, kamptaki Arap mültecilerin tepkisine yol açtı, gazetelere de yansıyan olaylar patlak verdi.

Continue Reading Erdoğan Suriyeli Türkmenler dosyasını açtı…

Wary Baghdad reveals Kurdistan ‘in secret weapons deal’

July 29, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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High-ranking Iraqi official says security agencies have uncovered secret weapons deal

between Kurdistan region, unnamed foreign country.

Middle East Online

Weapons… What for?

BAGHDAD – A high-ranking Iraqi official on Sunday said security agencies have

uncovered a secret weapons deal between the autonomous Kurdistan region and

an unnamed foreign country.

“Iraqi security agencies (discovered) a secret weapons deal between the

president of the Iraqi Kurdistan region, Massud Barzani, and a foreign country,”

the security official said on condition of anonymity.

Continue Reading Wary Baghdad reveals Kurdistan ‘in secret weapons deal’…

Debate about the return of former army officers to service in Kirkuk

July 29, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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KIRKUK, July 24 (AKnews) – The opinions in Kirkuk province vary about the decision of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to return the officers and employees of the former army, where Kurds and Turkmen consider that the decision is not in Kirkuk’s best interests, while Arabs see it as a step in the right direction.

Kirkuk - HawijahIn June PM Maliki agreed, after the visit of a delegation of parliamentarians and members of the Kirkuk provincial council and the Arab political council, to reinstate the police and army officers of the former army who left the service for security reasons.

After the fall of the former Iraqi regime by foreign forces in 2003, the US civil governor of Iraq Paul Bremer issued a decision to disband the ministries of defense and interior and security circles that were operating during the previous regime.

Iraqi military sources point out that the number of employees of the former army is estimated to be 450,000 soldiers, and only 50 percent of them either received pensions or returned to military service within the Iraqi security forces, while the fate of the others is unknown.

Some observers say one of the causes of insecurity is disbanding the former army after the fall of the Iraqi regime on April 2003.

A member of Kirkuk Provincial Council from the Kurdistan Democratic Party, Mohammed Kamal, said: “Those officers or affiliates were not supposed to be sacked from the beginning, but referred to retirement because the former Iraqi army officers were confined to one nationalism and single party, and this is not just.

“The Iraqi government must open new courses and train academic students or military colleges in Kirkuk to allow all ethnic groups in Iraq to participate in the current army. We want all the former officers to be referred into retirement and the appointment of new ones from all nationalities. Here lies the justice.”

On July 18 a committee from military band 12 in Kirkuk received groups of former Iraqi army officers to return them to service in the context of the decision issued by the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.

The assistant of band commander brigadier general Iyad Mohammed said in a press statement that more than 200 officers have signed up their names to start receiving applications.

Member of the security committee in Kirkuk province Ali Mahdi, a Turkmen, said Turkmen and Kurds were deprived of appointments in the army since the eighties. He said that is why Arabs make up most of the returnees.

Mahdi called on the prime minister to reconsider the mechanism of return, which he described as a “breach of what has been agreed upon, that is the share of 32 percent for each nationality”. Mahdi also criticized the central appointments that come from Baghdad and are from one nationality.

The head of Hawija District Council Sheikh Hussein Ali Saleh al-Jabbouri said: “During our recent visit to the Prime Minister in Baghdad an order was issued to return the sacked policemen and security forces of the former regime after the invasion of Iraq in 2003, where the officers that have the rank of lieutenant colonel will be able to return while the ones that have higher ranks will have the right to retire.”

Jabbouri considered the return of the former officers as a good step to find balance and genuine reconciliation without partisanship, sectarianism and nationalism.

An officer in the former Iraqi army who declined to be named wished to return and expressed his willingness to serve the Iraqi army. He said: “How can I support my family and I do not have a job or pension or a monthly salary. I hope to go back to the service as soon as possible.”

Kirkuk province is one of the areas in which ownership is still disputed between the governments in Baghdad and Erbil. The province is 250km away from the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. Kirkuk is inhabited by Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen and Christians.

By Abdullah al-Amiri


Syria: Syrians, Iraqis, Palestinians: No Place to Hide, by Felicity Arbuthnot

July 26, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
Syria: Syrians, Iraqis, Palestinians: No Place to Hide
Pentagon’s plan to “take out 7 countries in 5 years….”
by Felicity Arbuthnot
Global Research, July 25, 2012

“A person can only be born in one place. However, he may die several times elsewhere: in the exiles and prisons, and in a homeland transformed by the occupation and oppression in to a nightmare.”

 (2004 Acceptance speech for the Prince Klaus Fund Award, Mahmoud Darwish, 1941-2008.)

Syria’s citizens are now another nation reduced to tragic turmoil resultant from being targeted in the post 11th September 2001 Pentagon plan to: “take out seven countries in five years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and finishing off with Iran”, as described by General Wesley Clark. (i)

US planned carnage in sovereign Syria was a bit behind schedule, but now back on track, if out of predicted sequence, with another wannabe Crusader in the White House, this one with a Nobel Peace Prize. Fact mirrors fiction’s wildest darknesses, and from the “Nile to the Euphrates” the regions’s residents increasingly have only the most uncertain and tenuous places to hide.

Continue Reading Syria: Syrians, Iraqis, Palestinians: No Place to Hide, by Felicity Arbuthnot…

Iraq’s Government Increases Pressure Upon Kurdistan For Its Oil Policy By Threatening To Cut Its Share Of The Budget

July 24, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Iraq’s Government Increases Pressure Upon Kurdistan For Its Oil Policy By Threatening To Cut Its Share Of The Budget

Published in Musings on Iraq

The dispute between Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) over their independent energy policies continues to escalate. In April 2012, the Kurds ended their oil exports over a payment dispute with the central government. Immediately, officials condemned the move, and claimed that it was threatening Iraq’s revenues. That led to a number of statements by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his deputy Hussein Shahristani that they would deduct the amount of money they claimed the KRG owed from its share of the national budget. This was a major threat since almost all of Kurdistan’s funds come from Baghdad.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki made the Kurds’ oil policy the topic of discussion at a recent cabinet meeting in July 2012. According to Trade Minister Khayrulla Hassan Babakir Mohammed of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), the premier arrived at the meeting and proclaimed that Kurdish oil smuggling would be at the top of the agenda without informing anyone before hand. He allegedly brought files on the Kurds’ energy deals with him. Oil Minister Abdul Karim Luaibi said that petroleum had to be controlled by the central government, and claimed that Kurdistan was smuggling oil to Iran and Turkey. Maliki stated that the KRG had earned $8 billion from this illegal activity, which was not sent to the government’s coffers. He demanded that money be deducted from the Kurds’ share of the national budget. The Kurdish ministers and Deputy Premier Rowsch Nouri Shaways of the KDP along with Finance Minister Rafi Issawi of the Iraqi National Movement all objected.

The Kurds claimed that trucking oil to Turkey was legal, and blamed the lack of an oil law as the real problem in Iraq. Maliki ignored those complaints, and called for two auditing committees to be formed to go through the KRG’s Natural Resource Ministry’s finances. Despite the Kurds no votes, the proposal was passed by the parliament. This was mostly for show since Maliki and his allies have been talking about reducing the Kurds’ budget since April.

Continue Reading Iraq’s Government Increases Pressure Upon Kurdistan For Its Oil Policy By Threatening To Cut Its Share Of The Budget…

Extremism and Islam: Whose? By Felicity Arbuthnot

July 24, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment

Extremism and Islam: Whose?

by Felicity Arbuthnot / July 23rd, 2012

We are the indispensable nation.

— US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, NBC, February 19, 1998

On September 21st, 2001, George W. Bush addressed Congress and the nation and stated:  “Americans are asking “Why do they hate us?” He gave the nation the answer:  “They hate us for our freedoms, our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech …” By “they”,  of course, he meant the vast, great ancient Muslim diaspora, wherever they were.

Thus, just ten days after the collapse of the World Trade Centre, dismissed were the messages of sympathy from around the world, from leaders of countries, threatened by the US, from those who had been victims of the US. It was a historic opportunity to respond in kind, to truly build bridges and to make that America’s homage and memorial to the dead – of eighty countries – as he reminded that day.

What marked the messages was compassion and humanity. Three, however, in the light of recent and current events are particularly notable.

Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi, accused of aiding terrorism by the US and in international isolation, in his communication, also urged Muslim aid groups to offer all assistance.  He wrote:

… regardless of political considerations or differences between America and the peoples of the world. Irrespective of (conflicts) with America it is a human duty to show sympathy with the American people, and be with them at (the time of) these horrifying … events which are bound to awaken human conscience.

That was three  years before Tony Blair’s visit to Libya (March 25th, 2004) and his Judas kiss. The BBC’s Andrew Marr called that meeting “… an absolutely pivotal moment in the history of the region, possibly even in the history of the war against terrorism.”  Gaddafi agreed to dismantle Libya’s weapons, to trade with the West. Shell gained a $550 million deal the same week,

“Trust on both sides will take time to establish,” Blair said at the time. Tragedy for Libya, arguably is that Colonal Gaddafi was not more judicious with his.

Continue Reading Extremism and Islam: Whose? By Felicity Arbuthnot…

Should Turkey Be Afraid of the Syrian Kurds? Soner Cagaptay

July 24, 2012 at 11:36 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Soner Cagaptay – CNN Global Public Square – July 20, 2012

Given the situation along the border and the risk of a Kurdish insurgency, a unilateral Turkish foray into Syria would be extremely risky for Ankara.

Many in Turkey are said to be alarmed by reports over the past couple of days that Syrian Kurds have taken over a string of towns along that country’s border with Turkey, including Ayn-al ‘Arab and Afrin. Turkish fears stem from the fact that the Syrian Kurdish group, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which is reportedly taking over some of the border cities, has a reputation for opposing Turkey and supporting its sworn-enemy, the PKK. Until recently, the PYD advertised itself as being close to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a group notorious for leading a decades-long fight against Turkey — one that has resulted in tens of thousands of casualties.

Continue Reading Should Turkey Be Afraid of the Syrian Kurds? Soner Cagaptay…

Iraqi Kurds train their Syrian brethren

July 24, 2012 at 11:25 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment

By Jane Arraf – Al Jazeera  – 23.7.2012 – SALAHADIN, Kurdistan region‘Iraq’, — The Kurdistan Regional Government KRG in the north of Iraq is training Kurdish-Syrian fighters who will be sent back to defend Kurdish territory at home, says Kurdish regional President Massoud Barzani.

In an interview with Al Jazeera at the presidential palace near Erbil on Sunday, Massoud Barzani, the president of Kurdistan region confirmed for the first time the presence of a training camp in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region. The training puts yet another twist on complicated Kurdish relations and highlights major differences between the policy of the KRG and Iraq’s central government towards neighbouring Syria.

Continue Reading Iraqi Kurds train their Syrian brethren…

Kurdistan irakien : enlèvement d’un journaliste pro-israélien

July 24, 2012 at 10:48 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
Mardi 24 juillet 2012

Kurdistan irakien : enlèvement d’un journaliste pro-israélien

Par Gilles Munier

A condition de rester discret, le Mossad fait ce qu’il veut au Kurdistan irakien, du moins dans les territoires expressément contrôlés par Massoud Barzani. Ce n’est pas tout à fait le cas dans la région de Soulimaniya, fief du clan Talabani qui entretient des relations privilégiées avec le régime de Téhéran. La Savama, le service secret iranien, y a un bureau chargé, entre autres, d’éliminer les peshmergas du PJAK – Parti pour une vie libre au Kurdistan, en kurde : Partiya Jiyana Azad a Kurdistanê –et de dépister les agents israéliens s’infiltrant en Iran. En 2011, 10 000 Gardiens de la Révolution – Pasdarans – ont envahi la région frontalière de Chouman – au nord-est d’Erbil – faisant de nombreuses victimes civiles et détruit des villages côté irakien ; 8000 hectares de forêts sont partis en fumée. Ils s’en sont pris avec la même violence à la région de Penjween (50 km à l’est de Souleimaniya). Depuis les assassinats de scientifiques nucléaires revendiqués à demi-mot par Israël, l’Iran est sur le qui-vive (1). Les agents du Mossad arrêtés, ou supposés l’être, encourent tous la peine de mort.

Une cinquième colonne israélienne

en Irak

En Téhéran, en 2009, la fondation d’un Institut Israël-Kurdistan, à Erbil, avait été ressentie comme une provocation, d’autant plus que Mawlud Afand rédacteur en chef de sa revue,Israël-Kurd Magazine, est originaire du Kurdistan iranien. L’Iran a demandé sa fermeture à plusieurs reprises, sans succès.Dawood Baghestani, 64 ans, président de l’institut, a aussitôt été qualifié « d’espion de la cinquième colonne israélienne en Irak », et pour tout dire les Irakiens n’en pensent pas moins. C’est un personnage haut en couleur, plutôt hâbleur. Selon lui, qui s’est rendu à plusieurs reprises à Tel-Aviv, dont une fois clandestinement en 1967, il suffirait que les Etats arabes rendent leurs biens aux juifs pour qu’Israël fasse de même avec les Palestiniens ! Il affirme également, sans que ce soit vérifiable, avoir été emprisonné en Syrie, dans la cellule qu’aurait occupé le célèbre espion israélien Elie Cohen. Il ne faut donc pas s’étonner si les activités de son institut sont suivies de près par la Savama.

Eliezer Tsafrir,

ancien chef  du Mossad

au Kurdistan irakien

Mawlud Afand a été menacé de mort à plusieurs reprises et Dawood Baghestani sérieusement tabassé. Le 8 juin dernier, les Iraniens sont allés plus loin. Afand a quitté son bureau à Erbil pour un mystérieux rendez-vous à Soulimaniya, et n’est pas réapparu depuis. Ses collègues disent qu’il devait rencontrer une femme parlant le persan qui lui avait téléphoné. Deux jours plus tard, Dawood Baghestani a accusé les services secrets iraniens de l’avoir kidnappé avec l’aide de l’UPK, le parti de Jalal Talabani.

Les médias kurdes ont demandé l’ouverture d’une enquête, sans se faire d’illusions.Reporters sans frontières s’est dit« préoccupé » : on le serait à moins… Masrour, fils de Massoud Barzani, qui préside depuis le 8 juillet dernier le nouveau Conseil national de sécurité kurde – comprenant l’Asayish, le Service de renseignement militaire et l’Agence régionale d’information – ne lèvera pas le petit doigt, et Pavel, fils aîné de Jalal Talabani, à la tête du Dazgay Zaniyari, service secret de l’UPK qui coopère avec les Pasdarans et laSavama fera la sourde oreille.

Interviewé par un magazine turc pro-israélien, Eliezer « Gayzi » Tsafrir, chef d’antenne du Mossad au Kurdistan irakien (2) sous les présidences des frères Aref (1963-1968), a estimé que Mawlud Afand avait fait preuve d’un« courage hors normes ». « Il écrivait ouvertement en faveur de liens ouverts et publics avec Israël, appelait à des investissements israéliens (au Kurdistan) et appelait à restituer les biens des juifs kurdes. Ces choses là, ont non seulement irrité l’Iran», a-t-il ajouté, « mais aussi humilié le gouvernement kurde autonome qui fait preuve d’une grande prudence en matière de relations avec Israël…». On se demande ce que cherchent les Israéliens, car ce genre de déclaration ne peut qu’aggraver le sort réservé à Afand.

 (1) Mossad Behind Tehran Assassinations, Says Source, par Ulrike Putz (Spiegel on line – 8/2/11)

(2) Eliezer Tsafrir, chef d’antenne du Mossad au Kurdistan, irakien, de père kurde et de mère marocaine, dirigeait les conseillers israéliens encadrant les peshmergas. Leurs officiers étaient formés en Israël. Parallèlement, Tsafrir aidait le jeune Massoud Barzani à créer leParastin, service secret du PDK (Parti Démocratique du Kurdistan).

Pour info : Interview de Elieser « Gayzi »Tsafrir, dans le n°2 d’Israel-Kurd Magazine (janvier 2011).

Lire aussi :

Kurdes et Mossad : tribalisme, séparatisme et business, par Gilles Munier (Afrique Asie – juillet 2010)

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