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Letter to The Independent: northern Iraq and US power

 
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David C
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Post Post subject: Letter to The Independent: northern Iraq and US power Reply with quote

Sent to letters@independent.co.uk; not published

21 January, 2004

Dear Sir,

Johann Hari once again misleadingly claims that the United States has provided protection for the "democracy" of northern Iraq ('It is time to start trusting the Iraqi people ', 21 January, 2004). He fails to mention Turkey's repeated incursions into the region in the 1990s, slaughtering Kurdish civilians in the "no fly zones" which were allegedly, and with no basis in international law, set up to protect Kurds from Saddam Hussein. There was no protest from the United States which provided Turkey with the F-16 warplanes it used to attack northern Iraq, as well as huge quantities of other arms, economic aid and diplomatic support.

On January 4, the New York Times ran an article claiming that the Bush administration had decided to let the Kurdish region remain semi-autonomous as part of a newly sovereign Iraq. But three days later it reported that "the Bush administration, increasingly fearful of Iraq's breaking up along ethnic lines after the American occupation ends, is urging Kurdish leaders to compromise in their demand for a fully autonomous state in the north." Colin Powell said that earlier reports had "perhaps overstated what our position is" in support of genuine democracy.

Johann is fond of quoting "the indisputable wishes of the Iraqi people" ('The state visit of President Bush: I support Bush on Iraq - but I'll join the protests', November 19, 2003). Perhaps, then, he ought to bring to your readers' attention the polls showing that the majority of Iraqis view "coalition" forces as "occupying powers". One recent poll revealed that 79 percent of Iraqis questioned had "no trust" or "very little trust" in the US-led "coalition".

The Iraqis' ability to see through US attempts to bring supposed "democracy" to Iraq is grounded in history, experience and reality - all sadly lacking in Johann's contortions in support of hegemonic power.

yours faithfully,
David Cromwell
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David Cromwell
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Media Lens
www.medialens.org
Thu Jan 22, 2004 10:20 am
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