The test drive in Iraq - YAŞAR TAŞKIN KOÇ

The test drive in Iraq

It may have drawn your attention on the occasion of Kut al-Amara commemorations: One of the critical factors in the siege during the battle was the Tigris River flowing beside the town. Both Turkish and British troops tried to use the river throughout the clashes for their own purposes.

Over a century later now we are face to face with a tremor, and the Tigris is in the lead role again.

A day ago, a group supporting Muqtada al-Sadr raided the parliament building in Baghdad.

The group that broke windows, chairs and tables during the raid on the parliament that could not determine the new cabinet dispersed after shouting slogans.

What do these developments that are currently on hold with the statements of Sadr keeping the situation and tension under control correspond to?

Are they awaiting a development in Iraq? Is it the natural reflection of the order that has not been able to get on track since the invasion?

It is possible to interpret in any way...

What's more important is that a few days before these demonstrations, US Vice President Joe Biden said "it's an artificial country" in reference to Iraq during his visit to Baghdad.

If it weren't for this statement, it would have been much easier to evaluate what happened differently.

But what about now?

It should be noted one under the other in this timetable how both a routine reference is made to the territorial integrity policy of this country and the publication of an article in the influential US daily New York Times in relation to the “How will the international community react if Iraq is divided?” checks being made.

Surely Biden's saying, "We drew artificial borders in these lands in the past," is a sound confession. But him saying "They consist of completely separate ethnic, religious, cultural groups. And we told them 'Here is an artificial state, co-exist,'" in the continuation of the same paragraph, leads to another and dangerous discussion.

Isn't everybody now paying the price of seeing the region, these lands, these people as separate groups due to ethnic, religious, cultural – he didn't say it, but let us add sectarian – differences? As a matter of fact, these statements are the extension of an approach that will deepen the immense ongoing problem and conflicts rather than fix or change the situation.

It is obvious that the Westerners, do not, cannot see eye-to-eye with us, the people of this region, in relation to what part of those borders drawn using that ruler once upon a time, is contrary to the truth.

A century ago we drew wrong borders, so let's correct that mistake now?
How?

We see now that we tried to force different faiths, ethnicities and cultures within the same state borders, let us give this up…

How is it going to work?

In any case if the issue is Iraq for example, let's just divide it into three and get it over and done with... There is an actual Kurdistan – a predominantly Shiite region in the south, with part of it in the west. I guess it will be complete once we establish a Sunni region in the middle somewhere that joins with those in Syria.

It will look cool, too, from a bird's-eye view...



After Biden's statements, it is inevitable to look at the developments in Iraq differently.

We are going through a period in which Aleppo is bombed from dawn to dusk, people are dying of hunger in Fallujah, the generally sectarian and specifically ethnic conflicts in the entire Islamic region, primarily in Syria, are trying to be made gangrenous.

Suggestions to solve the problems from a great distance, by confessing to past mistakes in a way that will lead to new mistakes, will not benefit or contribute to these lands or their people.

We mentioned Kut al-Amara earlier.

Now, exactly 100 years later, we are forced to look back at one of the most critical geographical factors in that war, the Tigris River.

Sadr supporters who raided the parliament are crossing the bridge over the Tigris to carry out their demonstration.

Sunni deputies and especially the deputies of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) are again trying to reach north through Tigris in that scramble.

Incidents change, people change, but the geography remains the same.

The river is the same river, the people are the same people.

The problems presented to them from the West and the solutions that would make the problems more difficult are also the same...

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