Sardar : Security Team Leader : Kurdistan : Iraq

jezckurdsecurity

A couple of years ago I was up in the North of Iraq in the land of the Kurds ………. that is always the most relaxed and welcoming bit of Iraq especially for Brits or Americans ……… partly because many Kurdish people remember with gratitude the Western imposed no fly zone that protected them for years from Saddam’s forces the air policed by US and UK aircraft ……….. (Years before the US led forces ever arrived in Bagdad the Kurds had risen against Saddam ……. they rose at the end of the US led liberation of Kuwait in 1991) …………

One of my body guards in the region, Sardar, told me as a child he had escaped into the mountains with his family to flee Saddams forces during that uprising ………. his Grandmother had died from exposure to the cold …….. It had been a terrible time of suffering for his whole family ……. he wept as he recalled it ……….. The Kurdish fighters the Peshmurga fought fiercely …….. once they were protected from air attack by Saddams helicopter gunships and aircraft they fought back to win against Saddams forces on the ground and pushed them out of the Kurdish region then held the territory ………… Sardar’s remaining family were able to come back down from the mountains ……… the no fly zone was critical to allowing the Kurds to defend themselves and to live without the terror of Saddams regime in effectively a separate state calved out of what was then Saddam’s Iraq …………

When I was there I felt pretty sympathetic to the desire of most Kurds from Northern Iraq to once again be a separate Nation State …….. separate from the rest of Iraq …….. With all its continuing sectarian violence following the US led invasion ……………. But today I feel that sympathy even more strongly as I listen in horror to the news coming out of Iraq ………… summary executions…….. beheadings and other atrocities carried out by ISIS fighters the Al-Qaeda offshoot in Syria and Iraq (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) ) ………. These violent religious fundamentalists have seized so much territory they are even threatening Baghdad itself ………..

As I look at the maps I see ISIS is holding territory or at least operating in territory right up to Erbill in the Kurdish region ………. And that Peshmerga fighters are now defending Kirkuk as the Iraqi army have abandoned their posts ……….. I fear for the friends I made there …….. I fear for my modern progressive friends in Baghdad and especially other cities already fallen to ISIS …………..

In the Kurdish region I am thinking particularly of Sardar who wanted to hang up his AK47……… not worry about violence and war again …… he wanted to get married and raise a family and never carry a gun as was the wish for him of his soon to be wife ……… I truly hope that this might still be possible for him ………. but sadly I suspect he will have already felt the need to pick up his weapon once more ………. ready to defend his family and his people from another army coming up from the South armed with terrible weaponry and disgusting ideology.

Cheers Jez XXXXXXXXX

PS………… Here is a depressing overview in the UK’s Daily Mail

www.jezblog.com

[ 8 ] comments

  • Good luck to everyone standing up for democracy and freedom against these religious totalitarian monsters

    Kelly K @ June 13, 2014, 9:46 pm

  • Yes so depressing to have Jihadists taking over your country people fighting these forces really are brave……… as you say good luck to them :-////

    Jezblog GA :-)))))))) XXXXXXX @ June 14, 2014, 1:32 am

  • The whole of the Middle East is lurching back. Non of the gains that appeared to be made in freedom or democracy have any traction, Egypt to Libya and Iraq some progress seemed to be made for a while, at very great cost, only to just end up back in the same position or worse just months later. The whole Iraq war seems to have been pointless

    M J H Shots @ June 14, 2014, 1:41 am

  • Yes I have found the culture of the Middle East very depressing on this score myself ……. not enough ever seems to be done to protect the interests of the minority ……… apparently no one acts to protect the interests of others out enlightened self interest ………. the Sunni minority in Iraq have been turned over by the Shiite majority ……… so they rise up and join Al-Quada and destroy the entire country…… how is that in the interests of the Shia ????? So much better to have accomodated the Sunnis properly to avoid all this……… and Egypt and Libya…… never mind Syria……. too depressing for words ………..Cheers Jez XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    Jezblog GA :-)))))))) XXXXXXX @ June 14, 2014, 4:10 am

  • Now Shia clerics are calling the faithful to arms and Iran is threatening to step into the vacuum. Basically it’s the beginning of another Middle Eastern civil war. The Ottomans were right to divide the region into three separate provinces – Kurdish, Sunni and Shia..it was the Colonialist meddling of the Sykes Picot agreement that sewed the seeds of this bloody mess..can’t see any happy endings for it either :-((

    JMJ xx @ June 14, 2014, 5:08 am

  • Too grim bro :-/////////////// Depressing to find apparently no way out of all this violence……….. :-//////////

    Jezblog GA :-)))))))) XXXXXXX @ June 14, 2014, 5:26 am

  • This debacle in Iraq is of course nothing to do with an illegal invasion by the US on the pretexts of a “war on terrorism”, of a non-existent link between 9/11 and Iraqi, with “weapons of mass destruction” – invoked to justify the unrestrained use of militarism for (delusional) geo-political ends then? The ensuring chaos is nothing to do with a “divide and rule” strategy that fostered sectarian conflict (killing hundreds and thousands, creating an untold numbers of refugees) of course. Silly me. No no the invasion was to promote “human rights” to bring “freedom and democracy”, even feminism, to change “middle east culture”.. At least trillions haven’t been wasted on enriching corrupt politicians, oil companies and contractors, whilst leaving the population in poverty. The really great news is that this generous beneficence is being extended to Syria with the help of the very “terrorist” forces, oops sorry, brave “freedom fighters”. Let’s be clear: this has nothing to do with short term, cynical and bungled polices fuelled by a desire to dominate of an area of the world rich in energy… nope it’s them Muslims.. oh yes and them doubters at home… cheers JH

    John Harris @ June 14, 2014, 5:09 am

  • Yes of course all this a direct result of the US led invasion……. all this is primarily caused by the invasion……. but of course it is also a direct result of Islamism……. seems nutz to think the roll of violent Jihad plays no part in what is unfolding ……… tragically the overthrow of the disgusting fascist dictatorship of Saddam has led directly to a totally unstable situation were all sorts of other equally grim forces are now unleashed including Sunni Jihadist and some Shia militias ……… the situation in Syria is equally depressing without any direct US led invasion ……. I have no idea why Western countries are keen to be supporting (all be it in a low key way) the Syrian insurgents…….. seems clear Syria would become another violent Jihadist haven if Assad is overthrown ……. not that I support the dictatorship of Assad in anyway …… All this is totally depressing especially for the populations that fall under the rule of Jihadist groups like ISIS because of their total disregard for human rights………… You may say totally this was all predictable ……. that may be so ……. but still as it unfolds the sheer cost in human misery and suffering caused directly by some of the actors on the ground depresses the hell out of me ……. I have no suggestions……. its like that : Q “how do you get to Dublin?” …….. A: ‘Well I wouldn’t start here”…………Cheers bro Jez XXXXXXXXXX

    Jezblog GA :-)))))))) XXXXXXX @ June 14, 2014, 5:58 am

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