Why Baghdad Can’t Please Turks or Kurds

The Turkish crisis involving the Kurdish Labor Party [PKK ] in northern Iraq raises the following question: How will the Government in Baghdad deal with crises when they arise in the southern Shiite region, the Sunni area in the middle of the country, or in any other part of Iraq’s national territory?

It is said that the Iraqi Constitution – which up to now, people can’t agreed on amending – includes ways to resolve these types of issues … Would it be possible to use one of these purported solutions to confront this first major territorial crises, especially without the American agenda imposing itself on us?

If the Turks think that having the PKK declared a terrorist group will ensure their security, then they are being simplistic. Voices in Baghdad [even during Saddam’s rule] have never failed to respond to demands for the PKK to be labeled a terrorist organization and to force the closure of its party’s offices, especially when it’s Turkey doing the asking … Hence, to describe the PKK as a terrorist group is the easiest thing for the government to do, especially since it lacks the political mechanisms to really grapple with the problem. Unfortunately, labeling the PKK a terrorist group has created a negative reaction that has led to a further deterioration of the security situation [since Iraqi Kurds aren’t pleased]. Sad, too, is the fact that the labeling of groups as “terrorist” is such an important aspect of our foreign policy.

The political and security delegation that Baghdad sent to Ankara might manage to appease the symptoms, but it cannot treat the “disease,” which is considered chronic by the Turks and incurable by their generals. Meanwhile, Al-Maliki moved to appease his Kurdish coalition partners, in order to secure continued Kurdish support for his government – which was always shaky – unable to rise to heaven [go up], and yet never plummeting to the ground …

This government has no idea how to deal with neighboring countries in a professional and diplomatic manner because depending on their own interests, different Iraqi factions always try to establish their own bilateral relations. The root of the problem is that the different regional groups partake in their own relations with neighboring countries without the approval of the central government, as the Constitution requires.

Having a central government direct the nation’s foreign relations could be an advantage, but unfortunately the central government today is the object of widespread public scorn.

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