January 17, 2005

The Kurds Aren't Alright

Praktike notices that some Kurds are grumbling about the upcoming elections in Iraq. But there's a twist—they're grumbling about their own soon-to-be representatives.

Indeed, we tend to assume that all is well up north with the Kurds, but this is hardly so. The region has been autonomous since the early 1990s, true, but they've never had much in the way of democracy. (The "elected" Kurdish parliament last met in 1995.) Meanwhile, the two main Kurdish parties—the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK)—are largely corrupt patronages, who have spent much of their time fighting among themselves, starting a civil war in '96, uprooting their opponents, and allying themselves with either Saddam Hussein (KDP) or Iran and Syria (PUK) in the interests of grabbing power. If I was a Kurd, I'd sure be depressed that these folks are going to be the new government.
-- Brad Plumer 5:30 PM || ||