Sign In / Up

Add contribution as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Comment as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Login

Not a member Register   Forgot Password
or connect using
 

Email

 

Rudaw

Opinion

Kissinger Cables Shed Light on How US Sees the Kurds

By Hiwa Osman 22/4/2013
COLUMN
COLUMN

 


WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has released a database of diplomatic records from the 1970s by then secretary of state Henry Kissinger, sheds light on how the Kurds are seen from an American perspective.

The released cables were not classified and had been available in national archives, but Assange’s main reason for compiling them is to show that, "The US administration cannot be trusted to maintain the history of its interactions with the world."

The database has been organized in a user-friendly way, so that ordinary people - not only historians and specialists - can easily go through the documents.

As a journalist, I went to the website, www.wikileaks.ch and typed the various usual keywords of Kurds, Kurdistan, Kurdish, KDP, Barzani, Talabani, etc., and found many cables that were telling of the consistency of US policy toward the Kurds.

The most striking discovery is that America always listened to others about the Kurdish "problem." Its Kurdish policy, if it existed, was through the eyes of the Iranian Shah, the Turkish Ambassador in Baghdad as well as other ambassadors. The US action toward the Kurds was always dictated by what others told Washington about the Kurds, not what the Kurds said themselves. This was true even on very basic issues.

One cable quotes Cuhruk, the Turkish Ambassador in Baghdad, talking about the points of difference between the Kurds and Baghdad as being:  “Over boundaries and census; control of central government over chief of executive regional council; and right to appoint local officials including police".

This is not very different from today's issues and the US attitude toward them. No wonder that Washington supported Baghdad over the Kurds.

The other stark point in the cables was their treatment and dealing with General Mustafa Barzani during and after the September revolution, despite the fact that not all cables related to the word Barzani are available in the search. The US was clearly not interested in him as a leader. All it wanted was to accommodate him and contain him as much as possible, in collaboration with Iran and Baghdad during the last days of his life in the USA.

In another cable from 1974, and the criticism of Al-Thawra newspaper of the Voice of America’s coverage of the Kurdish issue, it concludes by recommending that: "If accusations against US government reappear during coming week, Dept [of state] may wish to consider outlining US position at noon briefing in response to question. Hopefully it could include disclaimer of involvement in internal affairs and some recognition of GOI (Government of Iraq) efforts to resolve this historically difficult internal problem".

This cable should be read by all who are involved in talks or conflict with Baghdad. They should not rely much on outside support, especially the US.

The Iraq that the cable was referring to was an Iraq that the US had good relations with. Today's Iraq is also one that the US has good ties with. The above cable could perfectly be sent today if Baghdad accuses the US of siding with the Kurds.

Hiwa Osman is a media development specialist based in Erbil.

Comments

 
reo | 25/4/2013
But what about all the major US oil companies coming here? Exxon? They represent billion of dollars in income for the US. But yes, maybe they will make new contracts with the Iraqis. Even still, the kurds cant be stopped, especially not in these times.
Tags :
Print Email to a friend
Save this story
1134 Views

Be Part of Your Rudaw!

Share your stories, photos and videos with Rudaw, and quite possibly the world.

What You Say

JamKurd | 11/21/2014 1:40:49 AM
If it truly turns out to be a Kurd who carried out the attack in Erbil, Asaish should kick his family out of their house and Kurdistan and either...
Hans Guderian | 11/23/2014 4:45:02 PM
It is interesting to note how many people can so easily voice their anger against terror, but the same people can go and applaud when terror is done...
Life goes on in Erbil despite car bomb attack
| 20/11/2014 | (3)
Greater Kurdistan | 11/23/2014 4:41:27 PM
How about spending on the Peshmerga you far rat bastard!
Ex-Iraqi PM: spending on Shiite militia’s justified to proect government
| yesterday at 01:51 | (1)
Kurdish Patriot | 11/23/2014 3:59:47 PM
If Turkey is genuine about improving relations with Kurds, they need to keep the peace process and improve relations with PKK to erase all past...
Suzan | 11/23/2014 4:25:46 PM
Independence time now! Now or never
Turkish military to train Peshmerga forces, Kurdish official says
| yesterday at 11:48 | (3)
Long live Peshmerga and gerilla | 11/23/2014 4:17:33 PM
Good. Don't let the iranis occupy it!!
KIM | 11/23/2014 4:24:30 PM
All Kurdish territories under Peshmargas. Go for your independence now.
UPDATE: Peshmerga have Jalawla; ISIS on the run
| 22 hours ago | (3)

Elsewhere on Rudaw

Kurdish town hopes Americans will return to abandoned air base 12/11/2014 | (11)

Kurdish town hopes Americans will return to abandoned air base

Speculation circulates that Harir will host a new more
Bringing Silicon Valley to Erbil: teaching Kurds to “do world domination” 11/11/2014 | (16)

Bringing Silicon Valley to Erbil: teaching Kurds to “do world domination”

Swedish start-up coach offers advice to more
Despite rising violence, hope remains for Turkey-PKK peace talks, think-tank says 7/11/2014 | (14)

Despite rising violence, hope remains for Turkey-PKK peace talks, think-tank says

Peace talks not yet broken, report shows. more
0.593 seconds