Saturday, June 12, 2004
Americans might think that they are not so good in finding friends around the world. I think this is not true. The problem with America is that it finds it so hard to retain any friends it found. From dropping the Iranian Shah like a used handkerchief to divorcing Ahmed Chalabi in such a terrible way, America has proved that it has hard time keeping friends on its side. I know the Shah wasn't the best democratic ruler on earth who was kicked out of his country after a popular revolt and Ahmed Chalabi proved that a crook will always be a crook. However, there were much better and smoother "ways of divorce" than kicking a cancer patient out of the US and using Iraqi soldiers to storm into the house of a Governing Council member.
I am afraid America might be on its way to foolishly lose the Kurds, one of the extremely few people on earth who love the US with both their minds and hearts. Looking at Iraqi and Iranian Kurds' blogs yesterday showed me how those precious people are so angry at the US because it succumbed to the demands of Almighty Ayatollah Sistani and refrained from mentioning the new transitional law in the UN resolution. This law states that minorities (i.e Kurds) can veto any future law. By having this clause, Kurds can always veto any constitution that doesn't grant them their regional autonomy under a federal system. Ayatollah Sistani refused to accept the transitional law not because he is against the federal system, but because he don't want the majority (i.e Shias) to be held hostage by a veto from the minority (i.e Kurds). Both the Kurds and Sistani's demands are realistic.
I fully understand why the US and Britain didn't want to antagonize Sistani. The Grand Ayatollah, or Almighty I should say, is the de facto ruler of Iraq. Lose Sistani lose Iraq. However, the Kurds are entitled to feel secure that the US didn't find another friend and that it will not abandon the vision of an autonomous Kurdistan in a federal Iraq. President Bush should immediately do the following:
1. Emphasize that federalism will be the way of governing Iraq. Most Iraqis agree. This will look like a new "Balfour Declaration" to one of America's ONLY true friends in the region. He should personally send a letter to Iraq's Kurdish leaders stressing this fact.
2. Sign a treaty with the 2 Kurdish Iraqi leaders vowing to protect the Kurdish people in Iraq with whatever means available.
3. Travel to Kurdistan in Iraq, wear the Kurdish dress, and deliver one of his emotional speeches there.