IF THE KURDS WANT TO HAVE THEIR OWN COUNTRY THEY NEED TO STOP MAKING MISCHIEF IN TURKEY AND IRAN , THE QUESTION NEEDS TO BE STUDIED. IT IS PART OF THE BIG PICTURE. THE DEVIL WILL BE IN THE DETAILS. BIDEN HAS PROPOSED SEPARATING IRAQ INTO 3 PARTS. RICHARDSON AND OBAMA HAVE EXPRESSED INTEREST.

Turkey Forms Alliance With Iran Against Kurds

Monday, October 15, 2007 11:15 AM

By: Kenneth R. Timmerman Article Font Size

U.S. ally Turkey and U.S. arch-enemy Iran have formed a military alliance to drive opposition Kurds from bases in northern Iraq they have used since 2004 to launch guerrilla operations inside Iran, rebel leaders told Newsmax at a secret base in the Qandil mountains.

Both Iran and Turkey have vowed to send troops into northern Iraq, but until now evidence of active military cooperation between them has remained a closely-held secret.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stepped up political and diplomatic threats in recent days, telling the United States he would cut off U.S. access to the strategic Incirlik airbase in eastern Turkey if the U.S. tried to prevent Turkey from sending troops against the Kurdish bases in northern Iraq.

Leaders of the Party of Free Life of Iranian Kurdistan, known as PJAK, provided Newsmax with extensive evidence of the Iran-Turkey alliance in two days of exclusive interviews at a secret guerilla base deep in the Qandil mountains. An Iranian Revolutionary Guards outpost was visible on a nearby mountain peak.

“Iran and Turkey attacked jointly on August 16 against our forces inside Iran and against Turkish self-defense forces in northern Iraq,” a PJAK commander using the nom de guerre Xerat told Newsmax at the Iranian rebel base.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guards “attacked us across a broad front in the areas of Sardasht, Piranshahr, Shaho, Urmieh, and along the border line,” Xerat said, citing the names of major cities in Iranian Kurdistan where PJAK rebels have been operating.

While those ground operations were underway, Iranian and Turkish artillery simultaneously began shelling civilian villages inside Iraqi Kurdistan from Metina, Zaab, Haftani, and Hakurke in the north, to Haji Oumran, Qalatdizza, Zeh, Marado, and Xinera in the south, he added.

Turkish artillery hit the northern villages, while Iranian gunners hit the southern ones.

Iranian troops attempted to cross into Iraq through the mountain passes, but PJAK fighters held the line.

“The goal of the Iranians is to drive us from the border area,” rebel leader Biryar Gabar told Newsmax. “They want to turn this area into a no-man’s land, so they can use it to smuggle weapons and Islamist guerillas into Iraq to fight the Americans.”

He called the Iran-Turkey entente “an anti-American alliance,” not just an anti-Kurdish agreement, and said that it resulted from deliberate decisions from the ruling Islamist AKP party of Prime Minister Erdogan to transform Turkey into an increasingly Islamist state.

A senior European official, who was involved in talks to bring Turkey into the European Union, told Newsmax recently he had been “stunned” by the hard-line toward the Kurds taken by AKP party leader Abdullah Gul, now Turkey’s president.

“He was totally uncompromising,” the official said. “He took a harder line than the Turkish military.”

Iran has been offering Turkey an economic agreement with Iran in July to build a strategic pipeline that will bring Iranian natural gas to Europe, in defiance of a U.S. led effort to increase the economic squeeze on Iran.

During a press conference in August while he was still foreign minister, Gul defended Turkey and Iran’s joint action against Kurdish guerillas in Iraq.

“They pose a threat to Turkey as well as to other neighbors. Therefore, every country has the right to defend its borders and take legitimate measures for its own security,” Gül said.

On Sept. 9, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani publicly called on PJAK and Turkish Kurdish militamen to leave Iraq, or limit themselves to purely political activities.

Since the liberation of Iraq by the Coalition, PJAK has maintained control of the Iran-Iraq border in this area, and prevented infiltration by Iran or al-Qaida-related terrorists.

The U.S. military sent liaison officers to meet with PJAK in 2003 and again in 2005 to discuss Iranian efforts to infiltrate Iraq, but have not pursued discussions further, PJAK officials said.

“From August 16-24, the Iranians tried to cross the border along the mountain ridge line, but we pushed them back,” Biryar Gabar said.

During the Iranian ground attacks, PJAK learned from its operatives on the ground inside Iran that Turkish officers were acting as military advisors to the Iranian troops, he told Newsmax.

Additional information was gleaned from the interrogation of an Iranian Revolutionary Guards soldier captured by PJAK guerillas who is now being held inside Iraq, and from papers taken from the bodies of 60 Iranian guards troops killed during the clashes.

PJAK fighters have killed 200 Revolutionary Guards troops and lost seven of their own soldiers since the fighting began on Aug. 16, Biryar Gabar said. Another PJAK fighter was wounded, he added.

Since the failed ground offensive by the Iranians, Turkish officers have begun training Iranian Revolutionary Guards troops in counter-insurgency operations at the Soleiman training camp near the Iranian city of Urmieh.

“The Iranians had little experience in counter-insurgency operations, so the Turks are training them,” guerilla leader Xenat said.

“Our friends saw Turkish officers coordinating the operations of the Iranian army in the Kelaresh area,” he added. Kelaresh is in the border region outside of Salmas and Urmieh, Iran.

An exclusive Newsmax source in Iran reported in late August that eight Turkish officers were then in Urmieh, coordinating the anti-Kurdish military campaign with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

At the command level, Iranian and Turkish military officers have held monthly coordination meetings in the Turkish cities of Harakeh, Van, Bashakale, and in the Iranian cities of Urmieh, Mahabad, and Salmas, PJAK officials said.

The Iranian government sent a 12-member delegation to Hakkari, Turkey, for a summit meeting with Turkish officials on Sept. 10, PJAK officials said.

The Iranian delegation included the governor of Urmieh province, Hassan Gaffari Azer, and the deputy commander of the border guards, Coloonel Gurban Ali Muhubi.

They met with the governor of the Hakkari district, Ayhan Nasuhbeyoglu, security chief Cavit Cevik, the commander of the local gendarmerie, Colonel Zuhuri Atilla Ataal, and the governors of two adjoining districts.

PJAK guerilla leaders also pointed to the recent creation by Iran of civilian village guards, known as “jash,” in the Iranian Kurdish areas, as another sign of Turkish military cooperation with Iran.

“The Turkish army used a similar tactic when fighting the PKK in the 1990s,” said Xenat, a former PKK fighter who is originally from Turkey but joined PJAK once the PKK dissolved its military wing in early 2000.

The “jash” village guards act as spies for the Revolutionary Guards to identify PJAK guerilla fighters., he said. They are also dressing up in Kurdish guerilla uniforms and attacking Iranian villagers, pretending to be PJAK fighters.

“The Turks have been fighting a dirty war in anti-guerilla operations for 30 years. Now they are teaching this to the Iranians,” Xenat said.

PJAK leaders said they were countering the Iranian disinformation efforts through political work on the ground inside Iran, and by attacking Revolutionary Guards units and Iranian officials such as judges who had sentenced PJAK guerilla fighters and political operatives to death.

Unlike earlier Iranian Kurdish guerilla groups, PJAK has integrated women into both its political and military wing.

For example, on Sept. 10, PJAK launched a reprisal attack against a Revolutionary Guards base near Shaho, in northwestern Iran, that was coordinated by a female guerilla fighter, said Arsham Kurdman, the head of the PJAK women’s movement.

Twelve Iranian troops were killed during that particular attack, she told Newsmax, while PJAK had no losses.

War materiel captured during that attack is now being used by PJAK fighters inside Iran, she added.

© 2007 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

BY DIVIDING THE OIL WEALTH AMONG THE 3 ETHNIC SECTORS OF IRAQ, AND STOPPING THE CIVIL WAR.

However, the slimey cronyism and corruption that underlies the GW Bush administration has reared its ugly head and made that impossible.

Bush-linked Texas company signs oil deal with Iraqi Kurds
By Joe Kay
15 September 2007

Earlier this month, the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq announced that it had signed a production-sharing deal with Texas-based Hunt Oil. The move is an indication that Western oil companies, frustrated over the delay in the passage of a national oil law by the Iraqi government, are moving to make deals with regional bodies to get access to Iraq’s vast oil reserves.

As significant as the deal itself is the identity of the company involved. Ray Hunt, the CEO and president of privately held Hunt Oil, is a close confidant of President Bush and a prominent figure in the US political and intelligence establishment.

To what extent the policy of the Bush administration is motivating the deal—and to what extent it is motivated by purely profit interests—cannot be determined with precision. However, the announcement comes at a time of growing strains between the Iraqi national government, led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, and the Bush administration. Many commentators have noted that the moves by Kurdish authorities to establish autonomy in the control of the region’s oil resources could contribute to a fracturing of the Iraqi state along sectarian lines.

Hussain al-Shahristani, the Iraqi oil minister in the Maliki cabinet, denounced the agreement, saying, “Any oil deal has no standing as far as the government of Iraq is concerned. All these contracts have to be approved by the Federal Authority before they are legal. This [contract] was not presented for approval. It has no standing.”

The Wall Street Journal, in an article published on September 10, noted that the move by Hunt represents “a new willingness by some large Western companies to bypass the fractious government in Baghdad and deal directly with regional authorities in the war-torn country.”

The Journal went on to note that the contract with Hunt “is a watershed in the on-again, off-again scramble by Western companies to set up shop in Iraq…. Since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein … there has been no legal framework for signing deals and ensuring they last beyond the current government.”

The passage of an oil law that would open up Iraq to US and other foreign oil companies has been one of the key aims of the US occupation and a principal “benchmark” set by the Bush administration and the US Congress for the Maliki government. All sections of the US political establishment are united in the demand that this law be passed.

Earlier this year, representatives of the different factions of the Iraqi elite—Shiite, Sunni, and Kurd—reached a temporary compromise. In July, Maliki’s cabinet agreed to a draft law that was sent to the Iraqi parliament.

While the bill is universally portrayed in the American media as a means of reconciling the different Iraqi factions, the main purpose of the legislation is to end the state monopoly on the development of oilfields and abrogate preexisting contracts with Chinese, Russian and French oil companies. The draft was drawn up under the close supervision of American advisors.

The compromise was hailed with much fanfare when it was reached, but it has not been passed in parliament, foundering on conflicts over the division of the spoils. The Kurds, in particular, have favored more regional control over oil, while the Sunni elite and sections of the Shiites want more centralized control. Most of Iraq’s oil is concentrated in the largely Kurdish north and the largely Shiite south.

In his televised speech on Thursday, Bush issued another warning to the Maliki government that it must pass the oil law. “The government has not met its own legislative benchmarks,” Bush said, “and in my meetings with Iraqi leaders, I have made it clear that they must.”

In August, the KRG moved ahead by passing its own oil law that accords with the interests of the Kurdish elite. It then signed the deal with Hunt Oil in early September. An article published in the New York Times on Thursday reported that the draft oil law had “collapsed,” in part due to the Hunt deal.

Prior to Hunt, the KRG had signed contracts with other companies, including DNO of Norway, Genel Ernerji of Turkey, Dana Gas of the UAE, and Western Oil Sands of Canada.

The large energy conglomerates have thus far remained on the sidelines, waiting for the passage of a national law that will secure their investments and provide a legal cover for their operations. While Hunt is not the equivalent of oil giants such as Exxon or British Petroleum, the deal is a qualitative development over the earlier, smaller agreements. It is the first of the sort since the KRG passed its own oil law.

The move clearly strengthens the hand of the Kurdish authorities in their ongoing dispute with the central government. In addition to the oil law, conflicts are escalating over a referendum that is supposed to be held later this year to determine whether the oil-rich city of Kirkuk will be incorporated into the KRG. The national government has so far stalled on preparing for the referendum.

In the eyes of Kurdish elite, control over Kirkuk, combined with access to a larger share of oil revenues, will provide the foundation for a future Kurdish state. The US has been hesitant to back these aspirations. While the Kurdish nationalist parties and militias have been important collaborators in the US occupation, a separate Kurdish state could well provoke a military intervention by US ally Turkey, which fears Kurdish separatist tendencies within its own borders.

Given Hunt’s connections, however, there is reason to believe that the deal was encouraged by the Bush administration—either as a means of pressuring the Maliki government or as a step toward supporting regionalism over the national government.

In an op-ed piece published Friday, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman reported that Ray Hunt “is a close political ally of Mr. Bush.” He continued, “More than that, Mr. Hunt is a member of the president’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, a key oversight body.”

Krugman went on to note, “By putting his money into a deal with the Kurds, despite Baghdad’s disapproval, he’s essentially betting that the Iraqi government—which hasn’t met a single one of the major benchmarks Mr. Bush laid out in January—won’t get its act together.”

Hunt is also on the board of directors of Halliburton, the company formerly run by Vice President Dick Cheney. In 2000, Hunt was one of 241 Bush “pioneers”—meaning he raised more than $100,000 for the Bush presidential campaign. He was finance chairman for the Republican National Committee’s Victory 2000 Committee.

A report on the web site HalliburtonWatch.org from August 2004 notes that Hunt “serves as chairman of the board for the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and is a member of the National Petroleum Council, an industry trade group that advises the president on energy policy. Vice President Cheney also served as a member of the Council during his tenure as CEO for Halliburton.”

Hunt’s position on the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board places him in close contact with the intelligence establishment in the US. In 2005, along with Hunt, Bush appointed 11 other members, including Lee Hamilton, vice chairman of the 9/11 Commission and former Democratic congressman; William DeWitt, a close Bush supporter who helped Bush make his millions in his dealings with Harken Energy and the Texas Rangers; Donald Evans, long-time Texas oil man, Bush supporter and former secretary of commerce; and Martin Faga, former director of the National Reconnaissance Office, which operates US spy satellites.

Another factor behind the Hunt deal is concern within the administration over the growing interest in Kurdish oil expressed by other foreign powers—including China and Iran. A January 2007 report by the BBC noted “an increasing foreign interest in the future of Kurdistan’s oil.” The article cited Jerry Kisler, a US oil expert who was advising the KRG, who said Iran’s activity had been particularly notable.

According to Kisler, “They [the Iranians] have their eyes on lots of cross-border fields. It’s a reality that’s hard for Americans to swallow.”

THOSE NEARLY 4000 DEAD US SOLDIERS HAVE MADE GW BUSH’S RICH SPONSORS EVEN RICHER

I WOULD BE VERY POSSIBLE ON PAPER TO DIVIDE IRAQ INTO 3 PARTS ACCORDING TO ETHNIC POPULATIONS AND OIL FIELDS.

IRAQIS COULD THEN DECIDE WHETHER THEY WANT TO CONTINUE TO FIGHT IT OUT, DESTROYING THEIR COUNTRY IN THE PROCESS OR THEY WANT TO GET ON WITH THEIR LIVES .

IT HAS TO BE ONE OF THOSE THREE POSSIBILITIES.

Do you think that “stay the course” a good idea ? Do you think that is a bad idea? Do you not think?

IT IS NOT LIKE OPTIONS TRADING ….IT IS NOT A MATTER OF “IF ONE SIDE WINS, THE OTHER LOSES”.

In both cases we can end up with a positive sum if we don’t start out with the attitude of “What’s in it for me?”

This principle should be applied to stabilizing the Mideast. If the partition of Iraq is not beneficial to the Iraqis, it should not be done. We need to get the appropriate people together and research the question.