Friday, May 23, 2008

The Mosul riddle

By Pepe Escobar
Asia Times

"While most attention in Iraq is focused on Baghdad and the troubles in Sadr City, under the global radar an invisible war in Mosul drags on, officially against al-Qaeda jihadis but in fact a barely disguised anti-Sunni mini-pogrom conducted by government-embedded militias....

No one has asked the million-dollar-question: How come multicultural Mosul - a non-Kurdish city - is now being ruled by deputy governor Khoso Goran, a Kurd?.....

Osama al-Najfi - a Mosul member of the parliament in Baghdad - swore that Peshmergas were forcing people to sign letters saying their property was tied up in a Kurdish-dominated area. On the other hand, Peshmerga General Yabbar Yawar strongly denied there were any Peshmergas in Mosul. But his justification has nothing to do with the sectarian reality on the ground in Iraq. He said there are Kurds in the Iraqi army, but they respond only to the Ministry of Defense in Baghdad. That's not how it works; every single "official" body in Iraq is militia-ridden.

Mosul may now look like filthy, blast-wall, under-siege Baghdad - with vast neighborhoods no more than ghost towns. Just so the point is made: for the Pentagon and dubious US client Maliki, any Iraqi nationalist, Sunni (in this case) or Shi'ite (the Sadrists) is nothing else than "al-Qaeda". "

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