Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Iyad Alawi supports Kurdish President in removal of Baath’s flag

By Ardalan Hardi

The decision by President Massoud Barzani to ban the Baath’s flag in the Kurdistan Regional Government has been criticized by some Arab politicians as a move toward independence. These politicians choose to overlook all of the crimes that were committed against the Kurdish people under that so called Iraqi flag. To the Kurdish people, the Baath’s flag is a reminder of Anfal and mass graves. It has always and will continue to be associated with Saddam’s thugs and their crimes against innocent Kurdish civilians. Furthermore, the Baath’s flag has not been hoisted in Kurdistan since Kurdistan’s liberation in 1992.

Those who fuel the fire by suggesting that the leader of the Kurdish region threatened secession are the same people who stood by and watched silently as genocide of the Kurds was being committed by Saddam’s thugs. Most are the same Sunni Arabs that recently insisted that Saddam Hussein must be freed and the charges against him and his co-defendants be dropped so he could reclaim the presidency. They will do and say anything to destroy the recent Kurdish political gains. The reality is that while more than 98 percent of the Kurdish population has voted for independent Kurdistan, the Kurdish leaders have insisted on remaining a part of Iraq.
Yesterday Iyad Alawi, the leader of the Iraqi National Accord (INA), also joined President Barazini in support of removal of Baath’s flag reported Awene, the independent Kurdish newspaper from Sulaymania. Alawi asked all political parties in Iraq to understand and sympathize with the removal of Baath’s flag in Kurdish autonyms region. He also requested the Iraqi parliament take on the removal of the Baath’s flag urgently and discuss a potential new design that would represents all Iraqis.

Article 12: of the Iraqi constitution states “The flag, national anthem, and emblem of Iraq shall be fixed by law in a way that represents the components of the Iraqi people”.

No Kurd should be forced to live under a flag that is associated with thugs of the Anfal campaign (the Kurdish genocide) and the Iraqi constitution clearly affirms that.

Could the world stand seeing a Nazi flag flying in Germany knowing the barbaric and inhuman crimes that were committed under Hitler’s regime? Of course not!

It is time to put that dark chapter of Iraq’s history behind and move forword and face the real issues that concern everyday people in Iraq – economic concerns and security issues – that are tearing Iraq apart.

These hogwash debates are simply attempts to divert the focus on the real issues that face ordinary people in Basra, Bagdad and Erbil.

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